Memorial Day: Lions led by Donkeys

From Lions Led By Donkeys

The problem is, these yahoos have managed an ugly trick. They have turned criticism of the policies of Bastards in Suits into criticism of The People in Uniform Getting Shot At. This, of course, is completely wrong, as one can easily tell the difference between the Bastards in Suits and The People in Uniform Getting Shot At. One group is in Suits, and Not Getting Shot At, while another is in Uniform, and Getting Shot At. Please, try to grasp this. Not the same.


The first war I read about extensively was World War I, where I encountered the magnificently British term “Lions led by donkeys.” If there’s a more apt description of our current thrill-ride, I can’t think of it. Here’s the thing: you folk on the other side of this particular argumentative aisle may like the Donkeys. You may trust the Donkeys. But never, ever forget the goddam difference.

Some people even seem confused on how we are criticizing the Bastards in Suits. The Bastards have a job to do. They are not doing it. Period. Tommy Franks recently trotted out the classic bit of misdirection, attacking critics of Donald Rumsfeld.

“I don’t care about your politics. I don’t. Don Rumsfeld is an American patriot.”

Yes, well, that’s lovely. But we’re not criticizing his patriotism. We’re criticizing his job performance. One of the great mysteries of the last six years was how and when the Bush Administration turned public policy into Special Olympics. “Oh, I know Donny knocked over all the hurdles, but HE LOVES THE RACE, so you SHUT YOUR FILTHY, CYNICAL MOUTH.” Jesus H. Christ.

The problem is, there is no single word in English for a man risking absolutely nothing, who demands someone else risk absolutely everything. I’m sure there’s a word in German — they are a whizzer with those kicky compound nouns — but none in English for that precise combination.

So, for now, we must let “chickenhawk” be its placeholder.

Thanks to the Aardvark.

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