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.


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