Note: This item was originally posted on March 2. It has been updated and reposted.
Watch the Marines and you will understand.
“Tepid” was kind.
This video has received a lot of attention. As of right now, it is showing well over a half a million hits since it was posted on March 1. It is also controversial. Many Obama supporters have claimed to “debunk” the video by pointing out that the events were not comparable. They argue that the event in Anbar province that President Bush attended in September 2007 was informal. The Camp Lejune event that President Obama attended, on the other hand, was more formal. They point out that it is not fair to compare two events in which the Marines are subject to different rules of behavior.
In fairness, they are correct. The events were different in many ways and the Marines present were subject to different behavioral expectations. There is, however, more to this video than that. If the content of this video were that easily “debunked” it would not still be drawing tens of thousands of hits per day. The different degrees of formality aside, this video is quite revealing.
In the video, the Marines exhibit obvious love and respect for President Bush. His visit was not an event that followed closely on the heels of 9/11. This video was taken after the worst days of the war and after the surge created major progress in the region. The president is visiting the troops in Anbar Province, the home of the infamous Falluja and Ar Ramadi killing grounds. This visit took place after the province had been pacified. In other words, the Marines showed their love of Mr. Bush even after the darkest days of the war.
The Lejune video, on the other hand, shows Obama entering with all the pomp and circumstance of a royal visit to the peasants. Hail to the Chief plays in the background; something that President Bush didn’t allow during his military visits. Obama knows that keeping the Marines locked at the position of attention means that no comparison can ever be made to the loving reception President Bush regularly received from the troops. Obama knows how the Marines feel and will always treat them exactly like the rabble he sees.
This is the real truth of the video and why it is so popular. It warms the heart of Bush supporters to see President Bush receive the love, gratitude and respect of these warriors. It angers Obama supporters because they also see the love President Bush receives and they know their man will never see anything similar from the troops. They know that these warriors loved the last president and will never give similar respect to this one.
A good YouTube video stirs the emotions and this one does that. It elicits different emotions in different people but the underlying truth that is the catalyst for the emotional response is the same for everyone. The Marines loved President Bush in a way they will never love President Obama.