Democrats need a lesson about distrust when it comes to the American military.
West Point graduate Jeremy Hunt, a Fox News commentator and Yale Law School student who served as a captain in the U.S. Army, took only a few words Monday to shred Rep. Steve Cohen’s unhinged take on the idea of disloyalty in the National Guard.
And they’re words every American should remember.
In a Martin Luther King Day interview with Fox News, Hunt reacted to Cohen’s implication on CNN the same day that National Guard soldiers stationed in Washington for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration could not be trusted because of their race, their gender and their suspected political leanings.
After citing his Twitter feed — almost always a dangerous sign — and mentions of the assassinations of former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat by their own armed forces, Cohen proceeded to smear the men and women in uniform in the District of Columbia for inauguration security.
“The Guard is 90-some-odd percent I believe male, only about 20 percent of white males voted for Biden. You gotta figure that in the Guard — which is predominantly more conservative, and I see that on my social media and we know it — there are probably not more than 25 percent of the people that are there protecting us who voted for Biden,” Cohen said.
“The other 75 percent are in the class that would be the marginalized folks who might want to do something. And there were military people and police who took oaths to defend the Constitution and to protect and defend that didn’t do it who were in the insurrection. So it does concern me.”
Cohen’s comments came as the government announced it is vetting all 25,000 servicemen and women in the capital for inauguration security after the Jan. 6 incursion that disrupted Congress and horrified the country.
Hunt wasn’t buying Cohen’s take for a second — and blasted the congressman for sowing the “seeds of hatred.”
During his time in uniform, he said, he “served with people who had all different types of political views.”
“But what binded us together was a common creed. It was an oath that we took of fidelity to the Constitution,” he said.
If there are those in the military who can’t put their personal views aside for the sake of that oath, “they have no business wearing the uniform of the United States military.”
But he reserved his heavier fire for Cohen’s comments.
“If you are a United States congressman, and you think it’s acceptable to sow such seeds of hatred, especially on a day like today, you too have no business leading this country,” he said.
“If you think that all conservatives who serve are somehow a potential insider threat, look, we don’t need that in our country. You, too, should go home.”
Accusing a congressman of sowing “seeds of hatred” is pretty strong stuff, but when it comes to Cohen, it’s too tame.
The Tennessee Democrat is an embarrassment even by his own party’s disgracefully low standards.
He’s famous — or, rather, infamous — for stunts like wearing a “Make Russia Great Again” hat for an MSNBC interview in August of 2019 where he accused President Donald Trump of obstruction of justice, and munching grotesquely on a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken at a House Judiciary Committee hearing being boycotted by then-Attorney General William Barr earlier the same year.
And now he accuses members of the United States military of what amounts to treason — not to mention the possibility of an assassination conspiracy — on the basis of their skin color and gender.
What happened on Jan. 6 at the Capitol was a disgrace. No amount of anger and frustration with a legitimately suspect presidential election justifies the violent, pointless and essentially counterproductive incursion by Trump supporters that took place.
But what Cohen and his Democratic supporters are doing is arguably worse than the spasm at the Capitol. It isn’t a fit of rage precipitated by an event like the congressional certification of Biden’s Electoral College victory.
It’s a calculated and continuing attack on Trump and, by extension, the more than 70 million Americans who voted for him as suspect citizens. And now Cohen is deliberately including members of the American military in that vast circle of suspects.
A man like that really has no business in a leadership position in the country, as Hunt said. A political party that condones remarks like that doesn’t belong in power either.
Despite Biden’s victory, and their majorities in Congress, though, the Nov. 3 results show an American public deeply divided. Democratic cheerleaders in the mainstream media and Hollywood — and pretty much every public institution in American life — can pretend that the election was a mandate, but the reality is something considerably different.
Democrats lost seats in the House they were expected to win. Their majority in the Senate hinges on the vote of vice president. And a sizable percentage of Trump voters still think the election wasn’t honest — and likely never will. In other words, the country is deeply, and sharply, divided.
In those conditions, Democrats are going to have a lot to prove. They can start by taking a lesson from the members of the military, who, as Hunt made clear, put fidelity of their oath to the Constitution above politics.
Or try to make themselves try.
It would be a start.
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