Republicans have turned their outrage over Obama’s “latte salute” into a crass fundraising ploy that is disrespectful to all Marines who have served, fought, and bled for their country.
Badly trailing in fundraising the National Republican Senatorial Committee is trying to raise money off of Obama’s latte salute:
— NRSC (@NRSC) September 24, 2014
The Republican fundraising pitch is that Obama has disrespected the troops, “Our Commander-in-Chief should take the time to properly salute our nation’s heroes in uniform. They do it for him. Unfortunately, his disregard is part of a larger pattern. If you want to send a message to this White House that you’ve had enough, fill out this form and get your free bumper sticker.”
The bumper sticker tells Obama to put the latte down and features the hashtag semperlatte. Semper Latte is an abuse of the Marine motto Semper fidelis, which means always faithful or always loyal. Hundreds of thousands of Marines have bled and died for our country with that motto in their hearts. It is the height of disrespect for Republicans to warp the motto into a crass political gimmick that they are trying to use to raise money for their struggling Senate campaigns.
This behavior is nothing new for the GOP. The Republican Party wrapped themselves around the flag while raising money off of the troops that they sent to die during the Iraq war. Exploiting the troops for financial gain is normal behavior for Republicans, and the irony of Republicans claiming that President Obama disrespected the Marines while they disrespect the Marines to raise money should not be lost on anyone.
The fact is that Obama didn’t disrespect the Marines. There is no rule or protocol for saluting the troops. It is a bit of political theater that Ronald Reagan invented in 1981. The basis for the Republican outrage over the “latte salute” has been debunked. The conservative tizzy over Obama’s salute is another distraction that is hiding the reality that the 2014 election isn’t going well for the Republican Party.
Republicans could be facing another defeat in November, so they are inventing a new Obama scandal to distract the voters from figuring out what a terrible job their party is doing. What is disrespectful the troops has nothing to do with a latte, and everything to do with Republicans exploiting phony patriotism for political gain.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association