Which brings us to the week’s main event, the Republican attack on Obama’s newly-released military budget. Faced with the challenge of painting Obama as a defense wimp, they have simply made stuff up.
Their theme (quoting a number of Republican congressmen) is that Obama is working “to pull the rug out from under our armed services,” that he is seeking “drastic defense cuts that will weaken our national security,” that his “military budget cuts” suggest “a sense of naivete,” that “the one place he wants to cut spending is defense,” and that (in the words of Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe) “President Obama is disarming America. Never before has a president so ravaged the military at a time of war…he undercuts those he sends into harm’s way. It is not just unbelievable, it is unconscionable.”
One would never know, from those assertions, that Obama’s budget actually calls for a hike in military funds of $21 billion; that it includes billions in new money for veterans, particularly those suffering from mental health problems and brain injuries; that it adds $11 billion to expand the Army and Marines; and that, most importantly, it reflects a fundamental shift in war-fighting priorities long signaled by Pentagon chief Robert Gates – who started mapping his plans while working for President Bush.