Victor Davis Hanson, Pajamas Media, October 2:
Barack Obama: “We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens. We don’t believe in them being silent since. You want to be Commander-in-Chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient.”
I have read this a dozen times and have no idea what it means. Is the transcript wrongly transmitted? E.g., He meant to say something like, “We don’t [agree with] [those] being silent, since [it begs the question], ‘You want to be Commander-in-Chief’”?, or “We don’t believe in [tolerating] those who are silent, since they want to be Commander-in-Chief].” Again, presidents have to speak constantly and under trying circumstances, so they deserve some exemption from grammatical nitpicking; but when on the attack and questioning the character of others, their charges should be unambiguous.
Anyone who finds the President’s remarks ambiguous is either a dullard, or (more likely in Hanson’s case) extraordinarily disingenuous. The President is stating quite clearly that the platoon of pipsqueaks who aspire to succeed him in office next year lack the moral standing to do so, since they happily stood silent while audience members at their “debate” jeered a gay soldier. The “politically convenient” reference brings it home elegantly; they’d rather pander to the homophobes who make up a significant portion of their voting bloc than stand with an American soldier. Or, even worse, they share the homophobia.
Seems to me that those charges are pretty damned unambiguous.