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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Purple Hearts

In the past two weeks, John Kline has written two screeds opposing a purely symbolic effort to reinstitute the draft, a bill which everyone knows will be dead on arrival in January.

Yesterday, Kline proudly announced passage of a bill imposing harsher penalties for those who falsely claim to have earned military awards they haven't earned:

Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., said awards such as the Purple Heart "hold a deeper meaning and value for servicemen that far outweighs their monetary worth," and called the bill a chance to honor the sacrifice of all troops by preserving the military’s legacy.

There are only two reasons why Kline is burnishing his record of support for the military. For one thing, the Republican-led Congress, in its final throes, is still dragging its feet on getting anything done, and so backbenchers like Kline have plenty of time on their hands to pass feel-good legislation.

More important for Kline, the recent campaign exposed his record on veterans' issues, which quite frankly is dreadful. This didn't hurt him in 2006, but he's clearly working to neutralize this issue as a liability for 2008.

However, like Republican efforts to pass a "Flag Desecration Amendment" or privatize Social Security, this bill is a solution in search of a problem. I mean, how frequently do people trivialize the "deeper meaning and value" of the Purple Heart? Off the top of my head, I can only think of one such occurrence, and I don't recall Kline raising a stink about it then.




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