A caller to Thom Hartmann's radio show Friday offered what he described as an "absurd" suggestion. That it certainly was, though Hartmann didn't think so.
The caller complained that President Obama missed "a great opportunity" to rein in defense spending and asked Hartmann what he thought about "completely closing down the military." Here's a transcript of the conversation and Hartmann's response (audio) --
CALLER: You inspired me to give you a call and I have an absurd solution. It seems like this is the time for absurd solutions because the right seems pretty absurd.
CALLER: But Obama missed a great opportunity when he came in to not pick up the war. Under Obama, I mean, he's spending around $1.3 trillion. If he cut a trillion from the war, brought the troops back, closed the bases, stop the Petraeus-led war on Americans and took that budget and put it on the economy, in terms of creating jobs in the United States and also trying to deal with climate change. I'm a climate scientist and so, I was working at NASA, and so, do you think it's an absurd idea, that idea of completely closing down the military and cutting off a trillion dollars?
HARTMANN: No, I think it's a really good idea and I totally agree with you. And in fact President Eisenhower has, you know, would have agreed with you. Back in, it was a speech he gave to the American Association (Society) of Newspaper Editors and it's famously known as the Cross of Iron speech.
... whereupon Hartmann played an excerpt of Eisenhower's speech, delivered in April 1953 three months after he took office. (transcript and audio).
That Eisenhower loathed waste in the military, having seen plenty of it during his decades in the service, and did not trust what he later derided in his farewell address as the military industrial complex, is beyond dispute.
That the man who led Allied forces in Europe against a ruthless Nazi military emboldened by pre-war weakness in the West would want to close down the American military is beyond absurd.
Hartmann, not surprisingly, has a bit of a following in Russia, presumably extending to the like-minded pacifists in the Kremlin.
(Illustration credit, Lala50 via Flickr)