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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  1. 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…

  2. [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.


  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. *&$&%^)@&&#!!!!!!!

    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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. [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.

  13. [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.

  14. [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.

  15. 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.

  16. [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….

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. [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!

  20. [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?

  21. 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!

  22. 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?

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