Friday, October 06, 2006

A Message to Democrats: Run on Soldiers' Rights

Democracy Arsenal points us to this story on Congress slashing funding for brain-damaged veterans.

The Republican Party runs on a pro-soldier platform all the time, but they don't actually care about soldiers. They wrap themselves in the flag and think that is all they have to do. But that's not right.

I have thought for several years now, probably since at least 2003, that Democrats should run campaigns based around soldiers' rights. Why is it that soldiers have to buy their own uniforms? Why do they have to pay for their own meals when they are wounded? Why does Congress routinely slash the budget for Veterans' Affairs? Why is the nation completely unprepared for soldiers returning home while dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome? And now, why does Congres slash funding for brain-damaged veterans?

Why doesn't every Democrat who votes against these cuts go on the attack against Republicans (or anyone) who votes for them? Is it because as a nation, we don't actually want to think about the casualties of war? We don't want to sacrifice our tax cuts to treat soldiers right? Maybe. But I have to think that any attack on politicians who vote to cut soldiers and veteran benefits is likely to be effective. And I just cannot understand why Democrats don't make this a central part of their campaigns.

Meanwhile, the US has only had 23 soldiers killed in Iraq since the first of the month.