Written by Bucherm on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at 7:48 pm
So, one of the podcasts I listen to while I hike is “Mid Rats”, which is surely the only maritime security podcast worthy of the description. Tomorrow they are having on two scallywags by the names of Mackenzie Eaglen and Bryan McGrath to talk about the a paper(here) they put up on The Heritage Foundations website. They also posted a “adaption” of the paper in The Weekly Standard( over here). Go ahead and give both a look over. Notice any differences?
Sometime to bear in mind, THF bills itself as a non-partisan think tank(It isn’t, not in anyway that matters,but I digress), and TWS is a blatant partisan periodical, one that they own up to. When I was in Borders this afternoon I opened up an issue and first page I landed on had Paul Ryan throwing a line to a drowning woman labelled “Medicare” with a Donkey trying to stop him. Yup. Just pointing out what the two are so we can set the mood. See the differences yet?
I’ll help you out. In the THF paper the authors dance around naming politicans as the people hypothetically at fault for a hypothetical future. Possibly because, again, the THF bills itself as a non partisan thinktank. There’s a brief statement that the USN has shrunk 15% since 1998(implying that Bush 2 was on watch for most of the shrinkage) but then goes on to state that it’s gonna get worse because of the end of supplemental funding(in other words, someone is the bad guy for holding the DOD to a budget. I wonder who?). In the TWS adaption, the authors flat out lay the hypothetical rump-USN at the feet of Obama and Panetta. No mention at all of the steady decline in hull numbers since the Reagan Administration, apperently Barry and Leon just woke up one day and decided to bring us to this state. They are solely at fault.
So, why am I mad?
Because no one other than policy nerds are going to read the actual THF article. The groundlings at TWS are going to read the TWS adaption and go “yup yup durr…socialist Democrats”. It won’t even cross their hivemind that Bush, Clinton, Bush again, and Reagan were the ones that got us to our current fleet levels. And of course, they’re going to assume that Obama(who, as we all know, is a socialist defeatocrat), the guy who expanded the drone war in central asia and surged in Afghanistan, is going to respond to the PLAN become more capable by burning down the USN. The authors are trying to frame the public debate in a “us”(patriotic national-security minded Republicans) vs. “Them”(socialist cowardly Democrats) narrative.
I might add, if you want to spread the gospel of Sea Power TWS is a poor place to do it. Those guys are gonna vote for (more)defense spending everytime. You need to convince the readers of perodicals like Mother Jones and Cable news hosts like Rachel Maddow. Rachel Maddow, incidently, has been flown out to a LHD and she had the time of her life. I imagine this is a conversation she would be more than happy to have.
Anyway, this won’t stop me from listening to Midrats, should be interesting to see if the hosts ask them why they named names in one edition of the “thought problem” but not the other.