Republicans bullied/bamboozled Congress into believing that if Congress declined to fund any more war in Iraq, if the Pentagon legally had to use the money that they have to evacuate those troops, that this wouldn't be "supporting our troops." Personally, I think that the most important thing that we could do to "support our troops" is to get them out of that hell-hole where they're dying for nothing before another thousand or so of them die. Granted, I am well aware of the fact that not all of our troops agree, even if at least one milblogger estimated that in his unit, the percentage that agree with me is around 95%. It's a moot point, now; thanks to the Democrats' surrender last week, we're not going to support out troops in that way until sometime around next Memorial Day, at the earliest.
Since the Republicans keep insisting that supporting our troops while they're in the field of combat is and should be one of this nation's top priorities, surely they don't want to wait until next Memorial Day to show their support, nor even until September when the next war funding bill will or won't pass. (Probably will, unless the Democrats in Congress miraculously grow a spine in the next 3 months.) And it turns out that there are two things that Republicans could do, one of them that only the Republicans can do, if they really mean what they say about how important it is to support our troops.
(1) ENLIST. In case you failed to notice, our troops are getting sent back to Iraq over and over again, some of them after less than three weeks at home between tours, because the military just plain doesn't have anybody left to send over there. So the next time you see someone who claims to be heterosexual, who appears to be between the ages of 18 and 41 inclusive, and who says that it's important that we support our troops, ask them what in the heck are they doing here instead of Iraq if that's what they think?
Granted, that one anybody with a Chinese-import yellow magnetic ribbon sticker on the back of their car can do. So here's one that's at least as important, and that (unfortunately) only the Republicans can do:
(2) PROSECUTE THOSE WHO STOLE OUR TROOPS' VOTES. BBC investigative journalist Greg Palast says that he has extensive documentation, accidentally sent by Karl Rove and Tim Griffith and Monica Goodling to email addresses at georgewbush.org instead of georgewbush.com, that among the many ways that the Republicans stole the 2004 election was one that very explicitly doesn't support our troops. That is to say, they made the not unreasonable assumption that black servicemen might be more likely to vote Democratic than Republican. So they compiled a list of black navy and army servicemen known to be on active duty in Iraq, arranged to send a registered letter marked "do not forward" to their registered home addresses, and when those letters were returned, used those return letters as evidence that there was no legal voter at that address. What's particularly charmless about this is that in the relevant states, absentee ballots from unregistered voters are discarded without notice, that is to say, those servicemen think that they voted, but their votes were simply not counted, even though they were all legal voters.
I don't know what would be so surprising about this if it turns out to be true. One of the things that was worrying me literally sick, going into the 2004 election, was that if George Bush and his crew really believed what they claimed to believe, if they were telling the truth when they said that they believed that America's very survival depended upon George W. Bush staying in office, then by their own moral standards it would be completely unconscionable of them to allow the election to go forward if they had any doubt. When the election appeared to go off without any more of a hitch than any normal election, I took this as something of a relief, as proof that they were exaggerating the extent to which they believed it a matter of national life and death that they win. If Greg Palast's evidence holds up in a court of law, then it will turn out that I was right to worry, and wrong to stop worrying; they allowed that election to go forward, while the rest of us thought there was still some doubt about the outcome, because they had already arranged everything necessary to steal it ... specifically by not supporting our troops' all important right to vote, along with the voting rights of other law abiding Americans.
I know that there's an argument going on over at DailyKos.com about whether or not Palast is telling the truth, but Palast says that he has thousands of pages of documentation of this crime, and will turn it over to any prosecutor who asks. There's only one small problem with that, though. In all of the relevant jurisdictions, the prosecutors are Republicans. So for anything to be done about this, we are dependent on the same Republicans who have demonstrably politicized the criminal justice system to this one time make an exception and investigate their own party's guys, if that's what it takes to support the troops.
(I'm not holding my breath waiting for large numbers of Republican talking heads and bloggers and campaigners to enlist, and I'm not even vaguely optimistic about the prospect for honest criminal investigations of illegal voter "caging" by, among others, the new US Attorney for Little Rock. So much for "support our troops." Hope you had a better Memorial Day than our troops did.)