Operation Yellow Elephant, the anti-war movement's in-your-face effort to sign up young Republicans for duty in Iraq, is breaking into a full trot - and taking fire.
It's holding a Blog Your Campus back-to-school contest, soliciting posters that promote OYE's mission "to expose the hypocrisy of hawking College Republicans and other conservatives who are too cowardly to fight in the war they demanded." By way of encouragement, it offers some examples of the Freeway Blogger's work. Prizes include an iPod Shuffle (small version) and various T-shirts.
Locally, OYE is encouraging recruitment of the Montgomery County Young Republicans, posting brief pictures and bios of the officers, and generally ridiculing the whole lot. The post was written by the Spin Dentist, a member of the All Spin Zone, the lefty Philadelphia political blog. OYE is waged by a coalition of bloggers at lefty sites, and commanded by General J.C. Christian, of Jesus's General.
A sample of the dentist's drilling: "Next is James C. Saring, and among his accomplishments is being named the Pennsylvania Young Republican Richard M. Nixon Man of the Year in 2004. (As an aside, these folks give tons of awards -- or maybe the officers here are hogging all the awards. . . ) James has quite a square jaw there, and also a bit of a Charles Manson gleam in his eye. I'm thinking he's a candidate for service in Tikrit. Anyone agree? Encourage him to enlist by emailing ..."
Someone must have alerted Jim Saring to the campaign, because he replied:
"For your information, one of our former Montco YR officers is serving in Iraq in the Army JAG and an officer of our neighboring federation (Bucks County) has just enlisted in the Army Rangers. Several YR federations in Pennsylvania have sent care packages to our troops and are continuing these efforts. Tell me sir, what have you done."
Lab Coat Larry replied to the reply. "Too bad that care packagin' and flag-waving is negated by the fact that you actively support a party that lied to start a war. I'm sure troops would forgo the Oreos and blankies if they could be led by a competent administration that doesn't treat them like a neo-con lab project and doesn't send them into battle without armor."
That sort of back and forth is typical of the discussion since the Yellow Elephant campaign began in early summer. The Baltimore Sun quoted Young GOPer chair Nathan Taylor saying: "Most of our members either serve, have served, or plan to serve in the United States Armed Forces, or have participated in events or projects supporting the United States Armed Forces. We will not be intimidated."
Which prompted this retort from Atrios, the Philly blogger born Duncan Black: "There you
go. Most serve, have served, plan to serve, OR HAVE PARTICIPATED IN EVENTS OR PROJECTS, such as Operation Drink a Beer for the Troops, Operation Burn a Dixie Chick CD, or Operation Put a
Yellow Ribbon on my SUV, supporting the United States Armed Forces."
A Philly blogger called The City Troll finds the whole operation offensive:
"I find it amusing that the so called free thinking Liberals are starting a public campaign to harass people who have a different point of view than yourselves. The same old stupid cries over and over. If your going to support the countries military actions you can't speak about it unless you serve. Do you know how pathetic and silly that makes you all sound? The so called supporters of free speech and minority rights have created a campaign to attack others that don't think as they do.Your actions are the same as giving prizes to people for putting up posters to harass Blacks, Gays, Women, etc.. The only difference is that your replacing one of those groups with conservatives. What would your reaction be if a campaign that plastered posters ostracizing any whites for supporting Civil Rights? and prizes would be given to the best poster."