It never ceases to amaze me when the parrot-like denizens of the right-wing bubble latch onto the “narrative du jour” and beat it into our social media psyche, but the latest – the Obama-Marine “umbrella” flap – deserves a discussion for two reasons; one, the timing, and two, the hypocrisy (again). Last week, with Turkish prime minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan holding a joint conference with the President in the White House Rose Garden, a stray rain shower caught everyone a bit off-guard; at which point the President said
I am going to go ahead and ask folks, why don’t we get a couple of Marines — they’re going to look good next to us. I’ve got a change of suits, but I don’t know about our prime minister.
Makes perfect sense, right? Practical; diplomatic; even made life easier on the working press not to relocate the gathering, what with repositioning cameras and microphones and so on. Well, the right-wing attack media would have NONE of that “sensible” mumbo-jumbo.
Tucker Carlson lead the way on his Daily Caller website. Said, Tucker:
The commander in chief of the American armed forces today forced a violation of Marine Corps regulations, so he wouldn’t get wet.
According to Marine Corps regulation MCO P1020.34F of the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations chapter 3, a male Marine is not allowed to carry an umbrella while in uniform. There is no provision in the Marine Corps uniform regulation guidelines that allows a male Marine to carry an umbrella.
Nevertheless, during a press conference under a light drizzle with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan this morning, President Obama allowed the First Head to be protected from the elements by an umbrella held by a male Marine corporal.
The relevant portion of the regulation reads, “3035. UMBRELLAS (Female Marines). Female Marines may carry an all-black, plain standard or collapsible umbrella at their option during inclement weather with the service and dress uniforms. It will be carried in the left hand so that the hand salute can be properly rendered. Umbrellas may not be used/carried in formation nor will they be carried with the utility uniform.”
Items not expressly delineated as authorized components of the Marine Corps uniform are prohibited. Male Marines are informed never to carry an umbrella from the earliest phases of training.
Not even the President of the United States can request a Marine to carry an umbrella without the express consent of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, according to the Marine Corps Manual.
Alright, fine, Tucker; nobody will question the veracity of the Marine code; however, ask ANY Marine what they’d have done, were they in the position of the two
“Mr. President, when it rains it pours, but most Americans hold their own umbrellas,” former Alaska governor Sarah Palin addedon Facebook. Sarah, you make this too easy, sometimes, ma’am. (see left)
In other words: “Pay no attention to the proof that we misled America and the press to conjure up a false picture of Benghazi talking point crafting by the White House; instead, how DARE the President ask a Marine to hold an umbrella!?!?!?!”
I’m paraphrasing of course; but that sort of works with my first theory on “timing.” See, I can’t help but notice that – almost immediately after the White House released full e-mails of administration dialogue regarding Benghazi talking points – emails that proved the earlier “leaked” emails had “different quotes” – “Umbrella-gate erupted.
The second … hypocrisy – just seems like piling on, at this point, because you could say that just about every time the right wing talking heads work themselves into a lather about something they’d ignored when a Republican were in the same or similar circumstance. But a simple Google search of “Bush+Marine+Umbrella nets you all the visual evidence you need. Try it with Reagan, too, if you’d like. Lots of uniformed servicemen and assistants holding umbrellas over Presidents George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, and Saint Reagan himself.
Alright, look; about the Marine code: yes, as bow-tie Carlson points out, there’s this arcane “macho men don’t carry or use umbrellas” rule for uniformed Marines, and there’s a similar edict for those in the Army, too – for men, that is. But all that’s irrelevant, really, when you realize that those two Marines were almost literally being commanded by the highest-ranking person IN their “chain of command” to hold umbrellas. From TerminalLance.com:
People seem to forget that we’re Marines, and this is exactly the kind of shit that Marines do. Somehow, holding an umbrella for the President and the Turkish Prime Minister is seen as demeaning, while all of the other bullshit that Marines do every day is not. I find it entertaining to see Marines on my Facebook page saying things like, “I would have told him to fuck off and hold his own umbrella.”
No you wouldn’t.
We’re Marines, if the President of the f**king United States asks you to hold a fucking umbrella, you hold a f**king umbrella. As well, the day I give a sh*t about a boot Corporal holding an umbrella is the day I’ve forgotten what the Marine Corps is. Honestly, holding an umbrella for the President is probably the least demeaning thing I could imagine doing as a Marine, as opposed to the other bullsh*t I had to do every day. No one would think twice about asking a boot to police call cigarette butts across the entire base at 5am, but the minute this boot has to hold an umbrella for the Commander in Chief, people get upset.
He’s the President, he rates an umbrella.
Get over it.
In case you’re wondering: yes, that was written by a real Marine – Lance Corporal Maximilian Uriarte, USMC.
Tucker, Sarah … you’ve been outranked & dismissed.