Have you heard the one where Obama is now dissing baby boomers who were against the Vietnam War? Hopefully not, because it is not true. Just in case the Clinton supporters persist in this false claim I thought it would be useful to document what Obama actually said and how it is being distorted. Obama said:
One of the saddest episodes in our history was the degree to which returning vets from Vietnam were shunned, demonized and neglected by some because they served in an unpopular war. Too many of those who opposed the war in Vietnam chose to blame not only the leaders who ordered the mission, but the young men who simply answered their country’s call. Four decades later, the sting of that injustice is a wound that has never fully healed, and one that should never be repeated.
This is perfectly reasonable. Most of us who opposed the war considered those who fought in Vietnam to be victims of a terrible policy. There is controversy as to what degree the returning vets were “shunned, demonized and neglected by some” but regardless of how prevalent it was such an attitude was wrong. Many Democrats who oppose the Iraq war are also making the same point about opposing the war but supporting the troops.
Jonathan Martin first spins this as “repudiating boomers.” Clinton supporter Jeralyn Merritt takes advantage of this to concentrate on the false spin as opposed to what Obama actually said, running a dishonest headline claiming “Obama Disses Boomers Who Opposed Vietnam War.”
My major concern is the manner in which Obama’s comments are being distorted by both the rightwing and by Clinton supporters (sorry if this is redundant). There are also some other peripheral issues which Nitpicker and Instaputz cover.