Bravo Zulu, or Well Done! in Navy speak, is a Ryan Zinke motto. It appears often in both his political and personal Twitter accounts. Hooyah! is another service call that makes it into his tweets.
Missoula writer Dan Brooks has an article in The New York Times Magazine analyzing Commander Zinke’s social media sites. There’s little blurring between Zinke’s political and personal accounts — soldier, patriot, Republican — the things that make up, Brooks writes, “a lifestyle brand.”
There are no scandalous revelations in the piece but there is this dichotomy: can a soldier do a politician’s work? According to a Zinke tweet, he promised to, “push back against making decisions based on politics, rather than what is right for the mission.”
But is the U.S. House of Representatives a political body or a military mission. It seems right now, to Zinke anyway, it’s a mission to block anything Pres. Barrack Obama advances: climate change mitigation, closing GITMO, health care, diplomacy, refugee resettlement …
A quick look at Zinke’s Facebook page reveals many more military references than congressional posts. Then there are the ubiquitous AR-15 fundraising raffles. And while many soldiers returning from battle in the Middle East decry our perpetual wars, he continues to saber rattle to the exclusion of all else.
There’s a history of honorable veterans serving in Congress. They tend to focus more on the intricacies of governing and less on reminding voters that it’s “Commander Zinke, SEAL Team SIX.”
Brooks wraps it up this way:
His social media persona captures the central fantasy of contemporary politics: that running this country is simple, so long as we are bluff, hearty and unusually brave.