Wednesday, August 24, 2005

An Explanation for Everything

There's a blog I check in with occasionally just to see what the right-wingers are talking about these days. It reminds me of those old Star Trek episodes where they ended up in the alternate universe.

One of the recurring complaints of the right is that the goll-darn lib'rul media simply refuses to report the good news, especially concerning events in Iraq. For example, did you know that enlistment in the military is up?

No, I didn't either. In fact, I remembered reading a few weeks back how the army kept reducing its recruiting goals in order to be able to stop saying they were falling short...and kept falling short. So imagine my surprise when I read this:

If you followed only the MSM, you might believe that recruitment is down, based on a few months were [sic] the Army did not meet its goals. But, according to a report in today’s New York Post, “Every one of the Army’s 10 divisions — its key combat organizations — has exceeded its re-enlistment goal for the year to date.” First-time enlistments are up as well. (If you don’t believe me, read whole thing.)

Well, I didn't believe it.

So I clicked on the link, whereupon I discovered this:

Correction: My article above contained a substantial error: The new-enlistment rates I cited were wrong. The Army is still falling short on new enlistments. I deeply regret the mistake.

Well, of course this little unpleasant injection of reality sort of undermined the entire post. I clicked on the comments section, but as no one had mentioned it yet either they were ignoring this inconvenient truth or they hadn't read it. So I took it upon myself to post the correction to see what the response would be. And here it is:

There is a reason enlistments are down. It’s because the strong economy is competing with the military. Recruiting is always a challenge during a period of strong economic growth.

Naturally, the Bush-hating left don’t want to talk about the strength of the economy.

Oh yes, of course. How silly of me.


Courtney said...

So dropping enlistment has nothing to do with 18 year olds realizing they could be sent far away to kill and die for dubious reasons and even more dubious results? Man, I feel like an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link -- I like to know what others think. I don't necessarily agree but I am very curious about what others think -- especially gay Republicans. It helps to keep one well-rounded. I am so glad my son is gay so he doesn't have to worry about being sent to Iraq. Well, that's not the only reason I love the fact that my son is gay...

Andy said...

I'm also too old to get sent to Iraq. As Homer Simpson would say, "Woo-hoo!"

Andy said...

I also feel obliged to point out that the commentator I referenced presumes, albeit unconsciously, that we don't really have a *volunteer* army. If enlistment is down because the economy is good, he's just acknowledging that the poorest segment of society is pressured into signing up as a way to find employment. But he's wrong in both counts: we don't have a strong economy, and enlistment is down not because of economic recovery, but because fully 72% of Americans -- approximately a 180-degree turn from early 2003 -- believe that this war is not worth dying for.

Matthew said...

Bravo for reading the other side. I try to do so myself, but it gets pretty nutty fairly quickly. There's only so much of it I can take in a day. It's also quite good that you fact-checked the post. Everyone should do more of that regardless of their political leanings.

Matthew said...

"I'm also too old to get sent to Iraq. As Homer Simpson would say, "Woo-hoo!"

Careful, Andy. The rumblings have been that if we have another draft, they're highly considering raising the draft age from 26 to 35, and also drafting women. And I don't think the fact that we're gay will be able to exempt us (funny how that works).

As for the folks whose site you went to, all I have to say is that it must be wonderful to switch into various alternate realities whenever one desires to do so, especially when those realities are the ones you prefer most. It's a trick many on the right seem to have mastered, and I'm sure it must be great for them. Not so much for the rest of us.

DJRainDog said...

I'm amused because it took me a moment to realise that by MSM, the writer meant MainStream Media, as opposed to Men who have Sex with Men. As to the whole "gay republican" thing, I posted the thought which occurred to me in the shower this morning, just a few minutes ago. (Dear Andy's Mom: If you're reading this, please ignore the existence of my website. Your son is a kind, handsome, respectable and wickedly intelligent gentleman who generally associates with folks of much higher moral values (huh-huh...he said "folks"...huh) and less tawdry character than mine.)