March 20 2013
Our hearts go out to the families of the seven Marines from a North Carolina unit who were killed in a training accident at the Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. Six other Marines were injured.
The accident occurred when a mortar round exploded in a firing tube during an exercise Monday. An investigation is underway to determine what caused the explosion.
In an act of breathtaking opportunism, even by the standard’s of today’s Washington, Senator Harry Reid immediately pounced on the deaths of the Marines to blame the sequester. Fox News reports:
“My thoughts are with those who are injured and of course the families of those who lost loved ones," Reid said.
But then, after explaining that the Marines were at the depot for training, Reid went on to use the tragedy as a segue to talk about the importance of canceling the automatic budget cuts known as sequester.
"It's just not appropriate, Mr. President, that our military can't train and do the maintenance necessary," Reid said. "These men and women, our Marines, were training there in Hawthorne and with the sequester it's going to cut this stuff back, and I just hope everyone understands sacrifices made by our military, they are significant."
The Marines quickly issued a statement that the sequester had nothing to do with the accident. Reid's charge was not only opportunism, but it was a slap at the Marines. Fox quoted one offended Marine official saying that the U.S. military would not risk lives by sending Marines on a practice mission the military didn't have the money to conduct. Reid backtracked as best he could.
Canceling the White House tours and threatening to cancel the White House Easter egg hunt to score political points about the sequester are bad.
Using the deaths of our Marines to score points is shocking. It is a new low, even for Senator Reid.
What does it say about Reid that his immediate thought upon learning of the deaths of seven Marines was to use the loss of life to his political advantage? What does it say about Washington that such a man is a leader? What does it say about us that we send people of this moral stature to Washington to represent us?