The annoyance meter is pegged today for something that most people would not even comment on because it sounds right, but is at its core wrong. President Obama gave an interview to ABC News regarding his position on gay marriage (http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/president-obama-affirms-his-support-for-same-sex-marriage.html), but my annoyance is not about that. Here is the text of what he said, in part. See if you can find the belief he espouses that annoys me.
"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that 'don't ask, don't tell' is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I've just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,"
Did you catch it? The military doesn’t fight “on my behalf” as in personally for the President, it fights, works and grinds things out day after day, year after year for the people of America, for the Constitution, for their buddies. They fight at the direction of the President not for him. History has taught us that power should reside with the position not the individual. While there were many reasons the Roman Republic failed and turned into an Empire after hundreds of years of relative stability, primary among them was because troops became loyal to specific generals and those generals thought of themselves before the Republic. I am not equating the President with Roman generals, but I am highlighting the pitfall of believing the troops are somehow committed to the person of the President rather than the position.
This small, innocuous comment shows the real beliefs of the President; he thinks it’s about him when really it’s about the objective. As Commander in Chief, he is part of the team. If he had said the military was fighting on behalf of the American people or on behalf of all of us, I would not have a problem. My annoyance is that he said on “my behalf” but earlier this month it was reported that he crafted his directions to Admiral McRaven, the operational commander for the Osama bin Laden raid, to give the himself an out if the operation failed. You can’t have it both ways. If they are working on your behalf, you own the outcome.
This President continually claims credit for the successes and casts aspersions on others for the mistakes. Speaking of mistakes, I hope he doesn’t make as many as he indicated in the interview, that alone would be grounds for voting for someone else!