Million Vet March Slams Ted Cruz and Tea Party For Using Veterans for Political Gains

millionvetmarch1For those of you who might not have heard, there were marches that took place in Washington DC and around the country yesterday, most of which were loosely organized by the Million Vet March on the Memorials.  It’s a group who opposes the closure of veterans memorials due to the government shutdown.  It’s an apolitical movement that honestly has one belief: Veterans memorials should never be closed.

Now I don’t care which side of the political argument you reside on, I don’t think there are many Americans who like seeing memorials dedicated to our veterans closed for any reason.  Particularly for reasons as stupid as what caused this government shutdown to begin with.

Well, with a perfect chance for a photo-op presenting itself, you just knew tea party Republicans were going to try to hijack the event for their own political agendas.  Which is exactly what Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and Mike Lee attempted to do in a disgusting photo-op where they blamed President Obama and Democrats for the shutdown their party caused.

Because again, until Boehner allows the House to vote on the Senate’s clean continuing resolution (he continues to block it), the blame for this shutdown falls entirely on their shoulders.

This photo-op didn’t go unnoticed, and the Facebook page behind the Million Vet March had some choice words for the tea party stooges who tried to use their march for selfish political gains.

The Million Vet March on the Memorials posted this response to Cruz, Palin and Lee using their event for political purposes:

“For some, it is hard to separate the politics from the issue at hand. Some will blame the President, some will blame the Congress. Make no mistake about it Americans. We, as Americans, voted everyone of our elected officials into office. We are ALL responsible for this mess. It is up to us, as Americans to correct this mess. We all have opinions, but we need to drop them and get to the business of fixing what is wrong with our government, not what is wrong with America. America is a great nation with people from all over the world and to blame one party, faction or group over another is counter productive to democracy in a Constitutional republic.

Why were Veterans prevented from visiting their memorials and monuments dedicated in their honor? We don’t know. We would really like to know the justification for why this was done. However, to us, it is one issue. Monuments, Memorials and Parks dedicated to honor the sacrifices of our American Veterans and their brothers and sisters-in-arms know NO politics.

To shut down the memorials to our Veterans is the greatest dishonor to Americans who have gallantly served on the field of battle and those that have laid down their lives in the ultimate sacrifice for their fellow man for the cause of freedom. It is also of the highest dishonor to those who currently serve, who are under enemy fire every day in battlefields abroad and those military spouses and their children that are left behind. As military brats, we all faced the possibility of one or both of our parents not coming home as a result of military action. It was a huge burden to carry most of our lives.

It is our official position that the purpose of this march and the accompanying rallies is focused on the re-opening of the Veterans memorials and keeping them open. While we understand that a Constitutional republic requires the equilibrium of checks and balances to maintain the democratic process, the memorials, monuments and parks built in honor of Veterans should NEVER be closed, blocked or restricted from use. We take the official position that no government office holder shall have ability to abridge the freedom of access to these hallowed grounds.

We have, as a group, been prevented from certain groups that have piggy-backed off our grassroots efforts, to effectively create a comprehensive media message campaign. We made the mistake of trying to partner with some Washington insiders that thwarted many of our genuine concerns for keeping this apolitical and grassroots. While we support many of those groups common causes for Veterans, we do not support the manner in which they go about it. We chose instead to not incite or create panic.

We chose to listen to all Americans and all Veterans that have asked us to keep going on despite the disingenuous politicians, political action committees, talking heads on the televisions and press reports attempting to hijack the message. This included many threats of personal and political attacks on our group’s character, businesses, colleagues and our true intentions. While our hearts were heavy by the disheartening acts of a few powerful Washington elite and political extremists jumping on the opportunity to make money, we decided to stay true to our message of a non-partisan effort to assist Veterans.”

And I can already hear it now — “But they never mention the tea party, Cruz, Palin or Lee by name so how do you know they mean them?”

Well, in the comment section for this post the page administrators did directly mention Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin:

“We stressed early on that this wasn’t about a political protest.  Monuments, memorials and parks dedicated to Veterans should never be closed, unless for maintenance.  While we respect Ms. Palin and Mr. Cruz for their service to our country, we didn’t feel the time was right for a political narrative.”

Though respectful in tone, the length of their response following Cruz, Palin and company trying to hijack this event displays the agitation the organizers seem to have felt following their appearance.

Especially when you factor in the simple truth — Republicans caused this shutdown.  Let’s not forget it was Senators like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul who, for months, spoke at rallies about shutting down the government if they couldn’t defund “Obamacare.”

And now that the ugly results of that government shutdown are being felt they want to pretend that they had nothing to do with it.  They want to pretend to be appalled by situations like veterans memorials being shutdown, yet their party frequently votes to cut funding for veterans benefits. 

I’m just glad this group stepped up and called out these right-wing hypocrites for their blatant attempt to use this apolitical event for some kind of sick political gain.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • waynef43

    It really simple. Memorials are closed down because there’s no one on staff to clean up the trash left behind and no one to safeguard the memorials from vandals.

    • telulikeitis

      You are right Wayne.

    • ta2t2o

      These yokels who come in from out of town think these things magically take care of themselves. They need only go outside and look at the mold growing on the side of their trailers that haven’t been power-washed in 20 years to understand that it actually takes an effort to maintain these monuments for the public. If you want a good comparison – look at the water-feature in the WWII memorial or the FDR Memorial….then head on over to Teddy Roosevelt Island and look at that memorial. Then tell me which memorial has people taking care of it and which one doesn’t.
      For us locals – we understand the value of the Park Police and Rangers and the folks that take care of these memorials because we’ve seen the trash and crap that these tourists and protestors leave behind. I would love to see video of what the grounds looked like after the protesters left yesterday. I’m sure there were discarded water bottles and protest signs all over the place (as there always are after these events). Beyond that, we also understand the value of our local police. We’ve already had a couple Presidents who have been shot in this town – so when the police tell you to move away from the fence and get off the White House fence – you hillbillies need to do it. Fortunately for those asswipes – DC doesn’t have the Stand Your Ground law as Obama would have been fully justified in sitting on the porch there and picking off these dumbasses who were hanging on the fence around the White House and vandalizing the barricades that were set up to protect the monuments from vandals like them.

      • Ernie Braden

        You are more than welcome to look at all of the pictures online to see what the memorials looked like after we left. Any and all of the trash was picked up, no water bottles laying around, and no one took a crap on any flags or cop cars for that matter. The only “trash” left laying around was the barricades that were removed and piled up.

        As for calling people “hillbillies” and “asswipes”…. lol you can call us whatever names you like if that makes you feel better, I’ve been called much worse from far better men then you. Your ignorance is apparent when you stoop to calling people names because they have opposing views of than yours and peacefully demonstrate at public property.

        I proudly stood with thousands of other vets yesterday from WWII to the veterans of the most recent conflicts. I am a veteran, I am a conservative but hold no allegiance to any particular party, I’m not a member of the Tea-Party, I don’t graze on grass, I do watch Fox News, however I also watch (CNN, C-Span, ABC, CBS, my local news and occasionally BBC), I do not watch MSNBC, and I read online publications such as Wall Street Journal and USA Today. I make sure I get my news from a majority of sources as it is my chosen profession in Public Relations/Journalism and I make up my own opinion on matters.

      • ta2t2o

        I’m a veteran as well. I don’t appreciate you using this event to make veterans political pawns – that was offensive. As someone who has been to Afghanistan 6 times and worked side by side with many honorable Muslims, I was also offended by the racist remarks about Muslims by one of the speakers there – Larry Klaymen. If you were there and said nothing when this happened – then you should be ashamed. Many Muslims serve honorably in the US military and more than a few have given their lives in service to this country. I get local news here in DC – and those that taunted our police and calling them “brown shirts” – THOSE asswipes denigrated cause. As I’ve stated previously on other blogs, I would have been happy to be there on the mall yesterday were it not for the fact that I knew this would get hijacked by Tea Party assholes who just want to use Vets as political props. Meanwhile – none of those douchebags politicians making speeches there had the balls to serve. If you’re a veteran and went there and allowed them to yes you like that, then you should be ashamed.

      • Ernie Braden

        Uneducated is uneducated……. ok first off… Muslim is not a race, it is a religion. Therefore you can’t be “racist” against muslims. You can be biggoted, but not racist. Second, I never said I supported Larry Klaymens comments… in fact I think it was a ridiculous comment he made. However, this is America where people have the freedom of speech. You however are asking me why I allowed him to speak?? You want me to silence him? That seems to me, to be the exact opposite of progress…… just because I don’t agree with someone, doesn’t give me the right to silence them. Maybe you should rethink your ideology.

        You say you watched your local news, so you’re getting your information second-handed…. or hell maybe even third or fourth handed…… maybe you should have come out there and seen what was going on yourself so you could make your own opinion instead of being led on by the media’s bias agenda.

        These “brown shirt” comments that you are so up in arms about……I didn’t call anyone that, but I’ll just call it how it is, Nazis. The old saying goes, “If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck….”

        You say you are a veteran, yet you live right there in DC and couldn’t muster up the courage to come to a veteran march to support veterans? Regardless of who else showed up, this was a march for veterans by veterans to support veterans. Instead you sat at home and hid behind your computer, you should be ashamed of yourself.

      • ta2t2o

        If you’re going to call someone uneducated and nitpick their sentence structure, you should at least spell bigoted correct. Also, while I support freedom of speech, you could have used yours to counter his if you thought differently. You obviously have no problem doing so with me. I can only assume you’re either ambivalent about what he said or through your silence you condone it. Seems like you have inconsistent standards when it comes to speaking out against those you disagree with.

        I also can see clearly. The video was pretty straight forward. A large group of people stood by while members of the crowd taunted, ridiculed and in at least one situation accosted the police who were out there working (WITHOUT PAY), doing their jobs, and didn’t deserve this disrespect.

        I also made it very clear why I didn’t go down there. I knew based on the online conversations about this event, that it was going to get co-opted by Tea Party politicians, and I was right. I also have respect for the law. Something that group there was sorely lacking.

        As for supporting veterans, you have no clue what I do. I don’t need a little rally to justify my commitment to veterans. I live it daily. There’s a reason I live here in DC. Showing up at a political tea party rally doesn’t take any courage. Showing up in Afghanistan several times a year takes a little more than that – thank you.

      • Ernie Braden

        Nitpick? I believe ensuring that someone knows what the actual word racists means is a little more important then “nitpicking”. Racist is a very powerful word, people have marched against it, have died fighting against it. So yes I will “nitpick” it when someone uses it in a forum when trying to discuss something with me.

        As far as using my freedom of speech to counter his, again it sounds like you want me to silence him or maybe shout out so that he can’t be heard. It seems to be a common tactic, just like the guy that shouted at Sarah Palin when she spoke, “Hey Sarah you’re a fucking cunt”. I do not choose to use my freedom of speech to oppress others of their freedom of speech. Just like I am not trying to oppress yours. You are absolutely free to have whatever opinion you want, and are definitely free to express it regardless if it is factual or not. Just like I am free to provide a rebuttal to those comments.

        As far as the “respect for the law” “something that group there was sorely lacking.” Well I’ll toss out a few other historic events in American history where Americans broke the law: The signing of the Declaration of Independence, The Boston Tea Party, Martin Luthor King Jr.’s march, and of course Rosa Parks…. all illegal. Just because something’s legal, doesn’t make it right. If all the little good boys and girls never stood up and challenged the law, imagine where we’d be today.

        As far as what you do in DC I could care less. You said you were 4300 PBW when you were in the military. Great, you flew in the sky in a big airplane. You say you go to Afghanistan several times a year, for a total of 6 times, awesome. You claim you do all of this, as well as claim your father and grandfather were Vietnam and WWII/Korea war veterans…. you claim you support veterans, but yet you resorted to calling them names like “asswipes”. You want to say I’m ambivalent when it comes to freedom of speech, well I’m going to say your either conflicted on your own opinion of veterans or your liar.

      • Patricia Stidham-Burns

        You ARE a Republican or a Tea Bagger. Deny deny deny. You’re full of it!

      • Ernie Braden

        To be the ideology that is supposed to be the most open-minded and tolerant of all views and opinions, you’re sure quick to stoop down to the maturity level of a 5 year old and call someone that has a different view point of yours names.

        I’m socially liberal, and economically conservative. I’m not registered for either party, I vote independently. I’m sure though no matter what I say, your prejudice has you convinced I’m super evil that you will just have to come up with some witty label to call me again, or just use the old worn out cliche’ ones again like “Tea bagger”.

        Just remember, history is full of people that label others, and that’s what you just did. Deny deny deny, but make yourself comfortable in the bigoted ranks.

      • Sapper Daddy

        oh ta2t2o, you are so incorrect its not even funny!!! First off, one thing they teach us “DUMBASSES” as you like to call is in the military is proper police calls!!! No trash left behind, PERIOD. Second you fucking douche bag, those were VETERANS visiting THEIR memorials, NOT YOURS FUCKWAD!!! We have paid dearly for those memorials in our own blood and many of my fellow brothers and sisters in arms have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Educate yourself you fucking moron!!!! Do this world a favor and kill yourself!!!!

      • ta2t2o

        As it is, I happen to be a veteran as well (4300 PBW -Desert Storm – Diego Garcia) – and have 6 trips to Afghanistan and 2 to Beirut. My father was a veteran (Vietnam) My Grandfather was a veteran (Korea & WWII). My brother is a veteran as well. – so save the preaching about your brothers in arms.

        Also, I get the local news here. I didn’t need any national news to tell me that a group of the folks who showed up treated our police here with total disrespect. They also shared a bit of racism and bigotry with derogatory comments about Muslims and Kenyans. There’s enough video evidence to show that those folks who went to the White House acted like white trash asswipes. If they were veterans doing this, then they dishonored themselves by disrespecting our police who were just trying to do their job. I guess the only uniforms these folks can respect are military uniforms because they certainly didn’t show any for our police. So if my comments about the way those people acted offend you – bite me.

      • Jason

        You really believe the cop who grabbed an American flag from a Veteran’s hand and snapped it in two, then let it drag on the ground was “just doing his job”?

        Sorry to burst your bubble, but just because you’re a local doesn’t mean you’re infallible, and neither are your police officers.

        The fact that you consider taking up arms against Veterans in a majority peaceful protest to try and push them out of public territory – thereby violating their second amendment rights – “their job” makes me question whether you ever took an oath of civil service or not.

        The Officer’s who pushed Veteran’s around, broke American flags, and let them touch the ground most certainly did not act in the interests of protection of the people.

        The worst in everyone comes out in these things, it would seem this holds true for yourself too. Quit making a fool of yourself and shut your suck.

      • Jason

        1st Amendment rights* forgive me, it’s late and I’m tired.

        At any rate, what is going on in the White House is a disgrace, there are plenty of pictures of Veterans picking up their own trash after the protest, and there are even more pictures of police abusing their power in spite of peaceful protest.

        You don’t like hillbillies and assholes coming into your city to protest? Don’t live in the Nation’s capitol. Where else are people supposed to vent their frustrations when the Government is no longer working in the best interests of it’s people?

      • ta2t2o

        The fact that I’m a veteran myself makes your entire argument stupid. The fact that many of these police officers are veterans as well makes you a dumbass. I don’t care who you are, when you pile up fences barriers next to the White House, and make threatening comments about removing the Commander in Chief, I question how many of those there have any idea what their oath meant. It’s also clear that you have no concept of what an unruly crowd can do – especially when urged on by radical elements or irrational people. As you said, the worst in everyone comes out in these things. That was evident by the actions and words of this crowd.

      • mannyfimbo

        you’re a wanker, kid

      • ta2t2o

        I’m not a kid. I’m a veteran who happens to care about my country and the city I live in. I also have a problem with racists.

      • Patricia Stidham-Burns

        I love your SYG law for Obama!! Does my heart good! LOL!

    • Sean

      Well that, and the visitors themselves. Because many of these sites don’t get regular/high visitation on any given day with the exception of tourist season. So if say one person is there within a span of three hours and has a diabetic attack they’re going to be dead before anyone else comes along. There are/were days when I see/saw no one but co-workers for hours on end.

  • SPK

    There are no “staff” to ensure there would be no vandalism, graffiti and garbage thrown around the memorials, let alone fights! Thank you GOP!

  • BettyWhite0321

    Republican National Committee has offered to cover any costs required
    to keep the memorial open. The White House refused. The GOP will pass a compromise bill that would fund America’s national parks. Obama has threatened to veto that too. They were only shut down and are being kept down for Obama’s political gain.

    • Youre a disservice to Betty White’s name. She is a blue blooded liberal just like me and she would be ashamed you use her name.

      • BettyWhite0321

        Easy there fuzzy little man-peach.

    • William Passting

      wrong, they were shut down because the republicans shut down the government. End of story

      • HF

        Funny how they seem to skip right over that part.

    • SLP

      Really? And you got this information where? Please post PROOF of your so called facts, then maybe someone might take your post seriously.

      • BettyWhite0321

        I tried. My comment is up for “Mediation”. Nothing rude they just won’t let me I guess. Please search for it yourself. It’s not a competition, just find out the truth.

      • SLP

        “Truth” according to whom?

      • BettyWhite0321

        USA Today and plenty others. But don’t look for yourself, It might cause a glitch in the Liberal Matrix if you look beyond what they tell you to believe.

      • SLP

        oooooh, USA Today. That hotbed of objective “journalism.” Liberal matrix? THAT’S hilarious. Ever hear of GOP TV aka Fox News? Where I suspect YOU get most of your talking points. So you think liberals only get their info from, oh I don’t know, oh yes, the “matrix’, but you are wholly informed by USA Today and plenty of others. Since all your posts thus far are from the negative point of view, one can only assume, as you so pointedly do, you are deeply sunken into the bubble.

      • BettyWhite0321

        I don’t watch fox news so come up with something new. I’m the one here reading this completely libtarded page which is YOUR bubble. Try leaving your safe zone sometime.

      • SLP

        Awww, I’m sure your tea party friends appreciate the sacrifice you’re making. Using “libtarded” pretty much sums you up. I don’t bother reading Redstate or Drudge or whatever, because then I have to read comments from the delusional angry crowd. No one is asking you to be here. Go away if you don’t like it.

    • Laura Lynn GIlbert

      Not an al carte menu gov’t. You can’t go picking and choosing only the bits that you think will get you the most votes in the next election cycle.

      • BettyWhite0321

        Really? There’s no security? Sounds a little dramatic to me. While you bring it up,those weapons were supposed to be destroyed by 1994 and they’re now 33 billion over their 1.8 billion dollar budget. Go government!

  • dasboot

    Let’s see, USDA not inspecting food, EPA, FBI, barely functioning and that is just fine with the GOP. But, the WWII memorial is closed??? OUTRAGE!! Cause you know those republicans care so much about people, especially veterans and the elderly.

    • Aloanstar

      Just like they said “We got every thing we wanted!!” as they walk by giving thumbs up, smiling and laughing….they were very happy to shutdown the government, since they have been talking about doing it for the last 3 years….mission accomplished for them…again.

  • BettyWhite0321

    Okay, lets translate at this “We made the mistake of trying to partner with some Washington insiders
    that thwarted many of our genuine concerns for keeping this apolitical
    and grassroots”(we know we’re on the same team but we were afraid this would open a can of worms for us and we already fought our war) “While we support many of those groups common causes for Veterans,” and” we respect Ms. Palin and Mr. Cruz for their service to our country” (we agree with you,). “keep going on despite …..threats of personal and political attacks on our group’s character, businesses, colleagues and our true intentions.” (Did you see what CNN said!) Who would have the power to threaten our veterans to the point of them seeing no other option but to disassociate themselves with the Tea Party? Ron Paul, “the Godfather of the Tea Party” received more donations from active duty military than all candidates combined during the last election! What threats were made to our veterans? Why are we allowing them to be silenced and rubbing it in their faces with this article?

    • 20 year vet

      Please offer one bit of proof the Ron Paul received more donations that all candidates combined. This veteran sure did not donation to his ill fated attempt and this veteran sure doesn’t see how this article is rubbing anything in the faces of my former brothers in arms.

      • Aloanstar

        This one didn’t either!!

  • OurNewz

    Is your cut and paste not working? Let me assist, here is *one* portion (not the only portion) of the article that your cut and paste missed.

    We were asked many times why we did not come forward and be talking heads for a political group. Well, the answer is simple, we chose not to be part of the Washington politics-as-usual, personal attack behavior that has continuously persisted in this country. We are not politicians, nor will we choose that route.

    Hmm. Seems to me you are the same unprofessional feckless nonsense and fact distortion that the Veterans want no part of. Everyone CLICK THE LINK and read what our Veterans REALLY said.

    United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

  • Shaun

    The 3 star that organized the event blamed “this administration” the night before the march on national television. Supporting Tea Party and Republican views was well established beforehand. A lot of good could have occurred if the frustration wasn’t directed entirely towards the President. They wanted their chance to go yell at POTUS for not being a conservative.

  • Patrick D

    I’m more concerned about whether my comp will come in on the 1st. I’m looking at being homeless if so.

  • Mr. Timm

    This shutdown continues to appear more and more as a deliberate attack on the President. House Republicans have the ability to end it right now, but have changed the rules of order to perpetuate it. Veterans should understand, more than any other group, that they took an oath to uphold the laws of the country. The ACA is not just a wish that Mr. Obama made – it was signed into law.

    The people who want the US to default on its debt in order to bring down Obama should be arrested for treason and sedition.

  • Dawg

    Love how everyone forgets to mention Claire “The Puppet” McCaskill showing her face for a photo op then blasting the Republicans for doing the same thing.

  • Patricia Stidham-Burns

    Really this is the way you want to honor and assist your Vets? By keeping a Memorial open? How about giving them their benefit and re-open the government. I think that will show a lot more honor and give them more assistance.

  • Patricia Stidham-Burns

    Did the Veterans worry about the old people that were missing meals for Meals on Wheels or at risk babies that depend on getting their food form WIC? Why weren’t they out there protesting that rather than a memorial? I would think feeding the most vulnerable in this country would mean a little more to them….

  • GGood