Salutegate

obm-strbcks-sltThis week, President Obama made headlines for his exiting of Marine One in New York when he half-saluted a saluting marine while holding a Styrofoam cup in his right hand. The controversy stems from military protocol which states one should not salute while holding an object in their right hand.

Liberals rushed to President’s defense immediately. Their first line of defense was Bush did it too as they posted a picture of Bush exiting an aircraft and saluting while holding his dog in his left hand. This defense was quickly debunked by many conservatives who noted Bush’s salute was a proper salute as he was not holding an object in his right hand but his left hand. Sally Kohn and other liberal commentators offered this defense of the president immediately.

Once that line of defense was refuted, the left then went to the “it really doesn’t matter” and “there are bigger things to worry about” card. If it really doesn’t matter why was the left so eager to claim Bush did it too? If it doesn’t matter for Obama why should it matter for Bush?

Coupled with the “it does not matter” defense was the presidents are not required to salute defense. This line of reasoning is simply absurd on its face. Yes, it is true the Commander in Chief is not “required” to salute a marine when exiting an aircraft. It is a tradition that started with Ronald Reagan. As Bob Carey, Military & Veterans Outreach Director at the Republican National Committee noted in Breitbart “President Reagan started it as a sign of respect to the military and to ‘finish’ the give and return process of the salute. He understandably felt a little uncomfortable leaving the giver of the salute ‘hanging’, wondering when he should drop the salute. So, after consulting with the Commandant of the Marine Corps, President Reagan started returning salutes to both return the respect given and to let the giver of the salute know when he could drop his salute.”

Thus, yes while it is true the CIC does not have to salute, and most presidents prior to Reagan did not, that does not mean if one does it, it should be done dismissively without care. In my opinion if a CIC is going to salute they should do it properly. As Carey noted “Taken alone, I might overlook it. But given this is the same Administration that continues to send pink slips to Army officers leading men and women in combat in Afghanistan, forces disabled veterans to wait until death to see a Veterans Affairs doctor, and publicly dismisses the private recommendations of his military leaders on how to prosecute wars, it’s starting to look like this President, and his Administration either don’t understand the military or just don’t care.”

However, the underreported story within this story is not only the disdain shown to the military by this administration, but the audacity of those on the left who have never served to lecture veterans and wounded warriors about how they should feel about this incident. As JR Salzman, a wounded warrior, noted on twitter “I love it when civilians/non-veterans try to lecture me on how to properly salute.” Leftist media and commentators care so little for our veterans as to tell them they should not be concerned over this incident. It does not matter according to liberals. The dismissive elitism on the left toward our finest men and women who have served is mind boggling.

Are there soldiers who do not care about this event? Yes, I am sure there are many who do not care. However, are there soldiers and veterans who do care passionately about this incident and take it personally? Yes, there are many. For the left to lecture and dismiss the feelings and opinions of these veterans who took offense to this event shows outright callousness. As Mr. Salzmann also noted “I had to salute with a prosthetic arm, yet Obama cant even put down his damn latte? Come on.” Yes, come on indeed leftists.

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