Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Attack of 10,000 bubbleheads

Dear Gregg Easterbrook:

Expect mail.
Check the list of the U.S. Navy's supercarriers and note the presidential succession. Of postwar presidents, Republicans Dwight Eisenhower, Ford, Reagan and the elder George Bush have supercarriers named after them; Democrats Truman and John Kennedy have supercarriers in their names; the missing presidents are Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Since Nixon is the only president ever to have resigned, it would be inappropriate to name a ship after him. That means there are three postwar presidents worthy to have their names placed on Navy capital ships, who have not had a supercarrier named for them -- and all are Democrats. Attention Pentagon: You're not supposed to be partisan, how come the Navy is showing favoritism to the Republican Party in the naming of supercarriers? There is an attack submarine named for Carter, but no ship named for Johnson or Clinton. Bill Clinton was elected to the presidency twice; Gerald Ford was never elected to any national office, and served only an interregnum term in the White House; Jimmy Carter is the only living president to have won the Nobel Peace Prize; yet Ford's name now graces the new class of supercarriers, while the Navy has extended only a lesser honor to Carter and no honors to Johnson or Clinton. This seems cheap political favoritism unbefitting the United States military.
If Easterbrook had ever spent any time around military guys--especially those who served in a tight-knit military community like the submarine service (as Carter did)--he'd know they don't consider it a "lesser honor" to have a sub named after them.

And they won't take kindly to Easterbrook's saying it is.


Blogger Jim said...

Surely having the attack sub named for oneself is the higher honor. After all, as every submariner knows, there are only two types of sea-going vessels -- subs and targets.


7:08 PM  

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