Saturday, June 07, 2014

Bergdahl's father appears to have been a lifelong Republican

As said before, there may not be a bigger disgrace to suffer by those conservatives that have called this man and his son every nasty name in the book.

In June 2010, Robert Bergdahl, the father of released American POW Bowe Bergdahl, gave a speech at an Idaho Republican Party fundraiser. In one of his first public appearances during his son's five-year captivity, he asked the conservative audience to show compassion for his son's captors—and, in a twist that foretold the plot of Homeland—he alleged that the United States had killed one of those captor's children with a drone strike.

In the past week, Bowe Bergdahl’s case has grown into a full-blown political firestorm. The 2010 speech was not televised, but it was one of the first sparks. It was Robert Bergdahl's first turn as either a tool or technician of national politics in his family's struggle.

The Idaho fundraiser was an election year event, and the day's other speakers—Idaho Senator Jim Risch, then-national-party-chairman Michael Steele, radio host Dennis Prager, and a belligerent stand-up comic named Eric Golub—took the usual shots at President Obama and rallied partisans to donate money to November's cause. (I covered the event as a reporter for AOL News.)

"There are many things that can hurt America," Senator Risch said. "Al Qaeda, Iran, North Korea, the Taliban—they can all hurt us. But they can't destroy us. This [Obama] Administration can destroy us."

I expect the criticisms of Bergdahl's father to quickly go mute.  You'll be able to measure the silencing of the fauxtrage by how soon (or late) they get the news.

"I grew up in a conservative family in Los Angeles," he said with a smile. "My father was for Goldwater. He wore a Nixon button in our liberal Jewish neighborhood. I was the lone U.C. Santa Barbara surfer who voted for Ronald Reagan." Many in the audience nodded in approval, and then Bergdahl talked about the work of retrieving his son.

Keep reading if you want a profound lesson in the nuances of war, supporting the troops, and all that.

The only thing I have left to wonder about is if this episode is enough humiliation for conservatives to simply STFU.  And the saddest part is that I doubt that it is.

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