The president remarked, regarding the the difficulties that political life imposes on a politician’s family, “It’s the ultimate sacrifice, really”. Speaking to a gathering of newly elected members of congress, he continued, “sacrifice your privacy; it’s a sacrifice of time with your kids.”
The stunning lack of insensitivity embodied in the above remark can only be explained when one understands that some words are missing from the transcript. Here’s the corrected piece:
It’s the ultimate sacrifice, really, that our kind of folks make.
Now, it’s a plausible statement. For his kind of folks. Folks whose kids never have to consider joining the service for financial reasons, folks who would never offer their own lives, for this or any other war. Folks for whom public-sector jobs are a step down from high paying private-sector jobs. Note: I have nothing against such folks, knowing some myself and occasionally resembling same. But it’s a shame when the commander-in-chief gets confused as to what constitutes the ultimate sacrifice.
Meanwhile. I just heard on the news that 1500 soldiers from nearby Ft. Riley are being sent back for a second tour of duty in Iraq. There’s a group of folks who may have other ideas as to what constitutes the ultimate sacrifice. And hey, what happened to the Vietnam notion of serve a year in a combat zone and you’re done?
By the way, I didn’t really believe this story when I first read it, but after confirming the words at the official White House site, I had to share. I am mostly avoiding writing about politics these days, as there’s both too much bad news and too many places to get it, but will on occasion continue to comment as I feel the need.