Republicans are claiming that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is a deserter at best and a traitor at worst. They are enraged with President Barack Obama for releasing five Taliban captives just to get this soldier back.
Democrats like Sen. Harry Reid contend Obama’s critics are being hypocrites. The Huffington Post provided evidence of bloggers and conservatives on twitter accounts who once demanded that Obama take the deal to release Sgt. Bergdahl and not leave him behind. Only now they are changing their tune because Obama did what they had demanded for years.
The National Memo site provides five cases, including Sarah Palin and the Pajamas Media. Some, like Palin, recently tried to scrub their sites of their earlier comments, but may not understand that such a measure isn’t permanent.
But now there’s evidence that it’s not just bloggers. Conservative members of the House of Representatives actually co-sponsored a resolution to get Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl back.
Four members of Congress co-sponsored a House Resolution 296 on June 28, 2013. It reads “Whereas the people of the United States and Congress have a responsibility to support the troops that have been sent into harm’s way, making all efforts necessary to bring them home safely and expeditiously; Whereas Army Sergeant Bowe Robert Bergdahl of Hailey, Idaho, the only known United States Prisoner of War, was taken captive on June 30, 2009, and still remains in Afghanistan; and Whereas the creed ”Leave No Man Behind” has long been part of the spirit and culture of the United States Armed Forces: Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that before the United States ends its commitment in Afghanistan and United States involvement in the conflict draws to a close, the Nation needs to ensure no one is left behind and all members of the United States Armed Forces are accounted for.”
The measure was co-sponsored by Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA), Rep. Michael K. Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) and Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC). Foxx, by the way, is the most conservative member of the North Carolina delegation. She co-sponsored the bill on November 13, 2013. The others did so in July, November of 2013 and January of 2014.
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), recently called out his own party for picking on Bergdahl, his family, and the exchange. We will see if Rep. Simpson and Rep. Foxx will join him.
John A. Tures is a professor of political science at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Ga.