Bachmann Vs. Duckworth: It Says Something, Doesn’t It?

I often tell my students that one of the most useful tools a writer can use is juxtaposition. It allows authors to show the real character of a person or organization simply by the act of placing it near something else. It’s hard not to think about juxtaposition when I consider the keynote speakers chosen by the Montana Republican and Montana Democratic parties for their signature events.

Who did the GOP pick? Michelle Bachmann, who hates veterans (at least she did, until she got caught):

If Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) wanted to make a name for herself by proposing to cut funding for veterans health care and disability compensation, she has succeeded. "Such an ill-advised proposal is nothing short of heartless," according to Disabled American Veterans Washington Headquarters Executive Director David W. Gorman.

"It is unconscionable that while our nation is at war someone would even think of forcing our wounded warriors to sacrifice even more than they already have," Gorman said. "Their injuries and disabilities were the result of their service to the nation, and our nation must not shirk its responsibilities toward them. How do you tell a veteran who has lost a limb that he or she has not sacrificed enough? Yet Rep. Bachmann wants to do just that."

Who did the Democrats select? Tammy Duckworth.

Duckworth has dedicated her life to public service and defending veterans rights since serving as a Blackhawk combat helicopter pilot in Iraq, where she was wounded in action during a rocket attack. She lost both of her legs and partial use of one arm. She was awarded the Purple Heart, the Air Medal and the Combat Action Badge.
Since her recovery, Duckworth served as the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and testified several times before Congress on medical care and employment issues for veterans. In 2007 she received the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award and was named the 2008 Disabled Veteran of the Year by the Disabled American Veterans.

It’s that kind of symbolism that reveals the deep divide between the two parties. One defines its patriotism with flags on their lapels, the other defines its by staying committed to the promises our nation has made to its soldiers. That’s why Representative Rehberg talks about supporting veterans but doesn’t serve their interests.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.


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  • Well, I can see Dopey Reeburp’s reasoning for bringing in Michelle. You see, she’s the “armed and dangerous” lady. Her comments were a HUGE hit with the nazi, anti-gubmint crowd. (read montana teawnkers) SO, who better to protect Dopey’s drink while he was up there speaking than Machinegun Michelle? I joke.

    Look, he actually DID bring this looney woman here because she fits with the teabagger mentality of threats and intimidation. It’s really not all that subtle. She actually ENCOURAGED her constituents to be “armed and dangerous” on some mundane issue of policy. I mean, how friggin’ nuts can one get? So, Dopey set the stage for his speech with intimidation alREADY in place by bringing this stupid woman here! All he had to do was BAM! kick it up a notch!, which Dopey most certainly did.

    But I must wonder, where HAS Dopey spent his entire life? Does he not remember when judges in the Bitterroot where in actual fear of their lives from rightwing wacko kooks? I do. I remember those times well. It’s NOT ok to even hint at violence or eliminating and intimidating those that you disagree with in our democracy! But alas, that is EXACTLY what Dopey Reeburp has done.

    You see, what usually happens when a moron like Dopey plants the seed of incitement is that late one night, after copious amounts of booze, some young toughs who aren’t too bright to begin with, with their courage up and their brains off, decide it’s a good idea to actually act OUT on Dopey’s incitement! Then, violence occurs. This scenario has happend repeatedly here in Montana throughout our history.

    So, it’s the height of irresponsibility and recklessness to do what Dopey has done. It must be condemned in the strongest of terms. This is NOT how we do things in our democracy. We DON’T allow our elected officials to be intimidated by morons like Dopey. We DON’T allow even subtle threats of violence in our civil society toward judges. And we DON’T allow dinks to attempt to hijack our demrocracy by violent, divisive rhetoric!

    Hopefully, at least SOME of the state’s newspapers will condemn this outrageous attack on our system of government, for that is exactly what it is. Dopey’s speech is sickening to listen to.

  • Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options for another platform. I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

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