Does Barack Obama Hate The Troops For Talking At A *Chicago* Cemetery, On Memorial Day?

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Some veterans and right-wing radio hosts (mostly right-wing radio hosts, like Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson) are upset with Barack Obama’s decision to spend the long weekend in Chicago, where he will speak at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery on Memorial Day, instead of staying in Washington to speak at Arlington National Cemetery, as is standard. (Joe Biden will be there instead and better KEEP HIS FUCKING MOUTH SHUT, OKAY JOE?) Why is Barack Obama the first president to insult the troops like this — especially Southern troops, since he’s speaking at Abraham Lincoln’s death field?

This claim has been DEBUNKED, that Obama is the first president to ignore the troops at Arlington on Memorial Day — most thoroughly at Snopes, which WON’T LET US COPY-PASTE FOR SOME REASON?, so here’s old Media Matters instead:

Previous presidents have honored Memorial Day away from Arlington Cemetery

1983: Reagan attended summit meeting; Defense Department official Thayer laid wreath at Arlington. Deputy Secretary of Defense W. Paul Thayer laid a wreath at Arlington Cemetery during the Memorial Day ceremony in 1983, according to a May 31, 1983, Washington Post article (retrieved from the Nexis database). The Associated Press reported that President Reagan attended a “summit meeting in Williamsburg, Va., with leaders of the industrialized democracies.”

1992: George H.W. Bush allowed VP Quayle to lay wreath. In 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, according to a May 26, 1992, Boston Globe article (from Nexis). The Globe reported that President George H.W. Bush attended a wreath-laying ceremony and made brief remarks at an American Legion hall in Kennebunkport, Maine, where he also played a round of golf.

2002: George W. Bush spoke at commemoration in Normandy. On May 27, 2002, President George W. Bush spoke at a Memorial Day commemoration in Normandy, France.


But then again, it’s always nice when the president goes to Arlington on Memorial Day. It’s a very gorgeous spot, very moving ceremony. (That means no jeans, okay, Biden?) It’s understandable that certain veterans would want him there. Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson can deal with it, though.

[Washington Post, Media Matters, Snopes]

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About the author

Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell


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  • chascates

    Glenn Beck and Erick Erickson are both decorated veterans.

  • x111e7thst

    [re=587016]chascates[/re]: And by this you mean that they are fat, ugly and give blowjobs in highway rest stops.

  • Allyson

    Please, Vice President Biden, please tell those in attendance at Arlington that Memorial Day is a “big fucking deal.” I will pay any amount of money…

  • Seek

    [re=587016]chascates[/re]: But only as front line participants in the War on Sanity and Reasoned Discourse. No one gets buried at Arlington for that.


  • Sharkey

    Memorial Day happens every year?!? That’s right, Obama was at Arlington last year. Carry on then.

  • RoscoePColtraine

    To think, he would have been the most perfect president, ever, if he’d done this Arlington thing. Maybe if he could just show up at the Capitol one day and just cold tell a senator to go fuck himself, we’d have a more favorable opinion?

  • plowman

    And the chances of Joe keeping his fucking mouth shut are???

  • DangerousLiberal

    Per Snopes:

    “In 2002, President George W. Bush was in France on Memorial Day and participated in ceremonies at Normandy (site of the D-Day landings) honoring the U.S. soldiers who fought and died in World War II. In his place, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.”

    Maybe Wolfie was just scouting out pretty new burial plots that he and his sick draft-dodging asshole buddies would soon be filling with amazing speed.

    Also note that Clinton (yes, a draft dodger, but not a Wolfie/Dick level asshole) went there all 8 years, FTW.

  • Fox n Fiends

    He disgraces America by honoring that socialist Republican who defeated Real America(tm).

  • Joehoya

    Dan Quayle was supposed to lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, but he accidentally put it next to a streetlight on the GW Parkway.

  • Texan Bulldoggette

    If the RW-tards keep up this level of indignation at every little perceived slight, they are going to have fucking breakdowns by the end of his first term. Hmmm…maybe that is Barry’s grand plan after all.

  • slappypaddy

    at least neither barry nor joe will be speaking amongst the nazi ss dead… as far as i know.

  • Jim89048

    Imagine the outrage if he was gonna visit the National Cemetery in Hawaii.

  • Enslave the Whales

    Jim, your examples are inappropriate. You have forgotten the cardinal rule: “It doesn’t count if a Republican did it”. It’s like broken cookies.

  • Extemporanus

    Knock ’em dead, Joe — literally!

  • dijetlo

    Do Eric son of Eric and Weepy not realize that the Army is having trouble filling the IED disposal team slots? I’m sure both can get waivers to strap on that blast suit and wander the wilds of Afghanistan looking for hundreds of pounds of high explosives to tinker with. C’mon guys, it only hurts for a few hundredths of a second, then you get to meet Jesus!
    As an added bonus, there is a strong possibility that you can be in the Garden of Stone every Memorial day, from now until Kingdom come. It’s full heroes, just like yourselves!

  • Extemporanus

    [re=587033]Fox n Fiends[/re]: Grab a shovel, and uncover that Socialist plot!

  • you didn’t ask, but

    [re=587037]slappypaddy[/re]: Well, even though it’s spring, let’s hope Barry O doesn’t wear an olive drab parka for the Windy City:

  • Holding Out for a Hero


    That’s so I won’t get banned. What I have to say to Glenn and Eric Son of Erick might even be too much for Wonkette.

  • comicbookguy

    Among the Presidents mentioned, the only one to lay a wreath at Arlington every Memorial Day of his Presidency is Bill Clinton, which explains why Beck and Ewicksonofewick constantly praise him for his patriotism and dedication to our troops.

  • iantenna

    maybe it’s just ’cause i’m drunk at work again but “lay wreath” is about the funniest thing i’ve read all day. if that’s not a euphemism for some sexual act (checks urban dictionary, nope, not yet) it sure as hell oughta be.

  • Way Cool Larry

    [re=587036]Texan Bulldoggette[/re]: you kidding? They are zen masters of fake indignation.

  • Katydid

    [re=587037]slappypaddy[/re]: Forgot about that. When Elie Wiesel begs you on national teevee not to go to Bitburg and you go anyway, that’s some cold shit. “May I . . . implore you to do something else, to find another way, another site,” Wiesel pleaded. Not Ronnie. He probably wasn’t listening, although I remember his stone white face while Wiesel talked.

    I just read that Helmut Kohl had asked Reagan to visit a concentration camp, but Ronnie refused, “because he didn’t want to risk ‘reawakening the passions of the time’ or offend his hosts by visiting a death camp.” So offend the Allies instead. That’s genius.

    I can’t think about Reagan on any topic, my heart will explode. Need drugs now. Sorry for the downer. It’s late.

  • Way Cool Larry

    [re=587089]iantenna[/re]: “drunk at work again”???? what do you do, work at the SEC or the MMS?

  • Katydid

    [re=587113]Katydid[/re]: Not that it matters much at this point, but upon further research I see that Reagan was finally pressured into visiting Bergen-Belsen also.

  • DangerousLiberal

    [re=587127]Katydid[/re]: To celebrate German efficiency, maybe?

  • Gorillionaire

    [re=587016]chascates[/re]: By “decorated” you mean slathered in lipstick and nail polish and by “veterans” you mean they have serviced various glory holes around the East Coast.

  • Jukesgrrl

    Have the Texans removed Abraham Lincoln from the text books, also, too?

  • Mr Blifil

    Fun fact: The horse racing track in the Chicago area is known as Arlington. So if Barry drives over and puts down fiddy on a trifecta ticket, he’ll be good right?

  • smitallica

    I laid a wreath once. Prickly, but good.

  • Lascauxcaveman

    Because memorial day is the day we honor dead soldiers, I plan to do so. I have a half rack of Red Hook Long Hammer IPA and a half rack of Pyramid Thunderhead IPA.

    There will be many dead soldiers this weekend; they will be honored with due respect. Memorial Day Weekend Rocks.

  • villageatrois

    [re=587146]Lascauxcaveman[/re]: My father would have appreciated this. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He didn’t know Barrack Obama, nor care about him. His favorite beers were Sapporo and Kirin, from our years in Japan. But, if you’re buying, let’s go with Red Hook Long Hammer and Pyramid Thunderhead, unless you’ve got a Sapporo in the fridge….

  • Lionel Hutz Esq.

    It is a well known fact that only true blooded American soldiers are allowed to be buried at Arlington. Socialist, Muslims and the ghey soldiers are buried in Illinois as part of their shame.

  • finallyhappy

    My father and uncles were all WWII vets and they like many, many others of all our wars are not buried at Arlington- and no President or VP or cabinet secretary has ever laid a wreath where they are buried. So President Obama is just doing something for all the rest of our vets. I hate Glenn Beck- I hope he cries himself to sleep every night.

  • Capitol Hillbilly

    Only medium fries? No SUPERSIZE?

    That’s no way to salute our fallen heroes!

  • morkus

    Jim, if you have the greasemonkey addon installed in Firefox, you can install the userscript Anti-Disabler ( to allow you to copy/paste on sites like Snopes.

  • Whatever Blows Your Skirt

    [re=587146]Lascauxcaveman[/re]: As a vet.
    The son (both sides) of vets.
    The nephew of vets.
    General relative (throughout the family) of vets going back to the the Revolution I say sir:

    Damn Fine!!!

    Continue Smartly!

  • Tundra Grifter

    [re=587089]iantenna[/re]: Wasn’t that what the politician down in South Carolina was gonna do, driving around the bone yard? Or was it a wraith?

  • Tundra Grifter

    Off-the-Mark Levin was equally upset: “Obama isn’t going to Arlington on Memorial Day.”

    But the opinion I really care about belongs to Bull O’Really? because, unlike all those others, he has “combat experience.” Just ask him!

  • germansteel

    The wingnuts are just upset because they had to change their pre-arranged talking point from “Obama is only showing up at Arlington for the photo op, he hates our troops” to “Why does Obama hate to recognize our war dead by only going to some lame-ass Chicago weed patch of a cemetery?

  • town-crier


    Not sure where you get that story from, … but there is nothing in his bio about having ever served in the military.

    Check your facts