Constitutional Emergency

None of the below get my vote. We have to start getting our own out there. We cannot allow the DNC the GOP nor the msm pick our candidates. This is what they would give us....No good choices.


Barack Obama, Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney are pictured. | AP Photo
Most potential candidates are missing what used to be a prerequisite for the presidency. | AP Photo Close

The resumes of the Republicans most frequently mentioned as potential presidential candidates are studded with impressive accomplishments and experience at the highest levels of government.

Yet, nearly all of them are missing a tour of duty that for much of American history has been a prerequisite for the presidency: military service.

Of the 16 top GOP presidential prospects for 2012, only Rep. Ron Paul and Texas Gov. Rick Perry have ever served in the Armed Forces. Since President Barack Obama also never served in the military, the odds are that in two years, Americans are likely to cast their votes in the first presidential race in nearly 70 years where neither major party nominee has ever worn the nation's uniform.

The last time that happened was 1944, when New York Republican Gov. Thomas Dewey lost to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had been crippled by polio.

The veteran-free presidential contest would take place as the nation debates the future of its military presence in Afghanistan — now the nation's longest war — and attempts to figure out how to limit the American presence in Iraq.

Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.), a Medal of Honor winner who lost part of his leg in Vietnam, points out that while the scenario once might have seemed highly unusual, such a small percentage of the population now serves in the military that few voters care whether a presidential candidate has served in the military.

"I don't see a lot of evidence that it matters to voters anymore," Kerrey said. "We have an all-volunteer force now. ... Once people didn't have real skin in the game, they began to lose interest."

What's developed, he said, is a political culture that's a lot more willing to send men and women to war — and one that's less likely to question leaders who do.

"I think you lose what you would call the political trip wire on expeditionary efforts. Anything that requires men and women to go into harm's way is an awful lot more difficult to do if it's broadly shared by all households," Kerrey said. "I promise you that it would come up at town hall meetings if every 18-year-old had to go sign up for the draft and possibly go to war."

"The bottom line is it's just a sign of the times. We moved several elections ago into the Vietnam and post-Vietnam generations," said John Ullyot, a Republican political consultant who spent years working for the Senate Armed Services Committee under then-Chairman John Warner (R-Va.).

The likely absence of a veteran at the top of the ticket coincides with a decline in the number of veterans serving in Congress. In 1971, there were 398 veterans serving in the House and Senate. By 1981, it had fallen by roughly a quarter to 298, according to the Congressional Research Service. There will be just 113 veterans in the 112th Congress when it convenes in January, down from 121 in the current Congress.

While there are signs that veterans of recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have started entering public life in greater numbers, it's unlikely to significantly move the dial because a hallmark of these wars are repeated tours from the same small group of people. Rep.-elect Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), for example, served a combined five tours with the Air Force, three in Iraq and two in Afghanistan.

"You've asked a very small part of America to take most of the risks for America," said Anthony Cordesman, an analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies who has advised the Obama administration on its policy in Afghanistan. "I don't think the 2012 Republican slate is as much an issue as the level of sacrifice that's being asked a very small proportion of America to make."

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