The pro-military party

THE PRO-MILITARY PARTY…. Over the last couple of years, there’s been a striking trend that runs counter to the conventional wisdom: on nearly all issues related to the military and national security, military leaders and Republicans have been on opposite sides.

Since President Obama’s inauguration, the divide has been unmistakable. On everything from counter-proliferation to Iran to civilian trials to Gitmo to torture to how the U.S. perceives the Middle East peace process in the context of our national security interests, the White House’s approach enjoys the backing of the Pentagon, the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Petraeus, and other senior military leaders, while Republicans are on a separate page altogether.

The general perception that characterizes Republicans as “pro-military” stands in contrast to the fact that the official GOP line has deliberately rejected the judgment of the nation’s military leaders on nearly everything.

The issue came into sharper focus this week, with the release of a congressional scorecard from the nonpartisan Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America Action Fund, rating lawmakers on their votes related to veterans’ issues. The partisan divide was as obvious as it was important.

Brad Johnson reminds us that Rachel Maddow did a good segment on this the other day, highlighting the fact of the 94 members of Congress who earned an A or an A+, 91 were Democrats. Of the 154 lawmakers who received a D or F, 142 were Republicans:

All of this, meanwhile, comes against a backdrop of GOP candidates who appear surprisingly anxious to privatize the Veterans’ Administration.

Remind me, which party has a more credible case for being labeled “pro-military”?

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.