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October 17, 2013
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Just-in-time honor

The chutzpah of this president’s situational “appreciation” of the military sometimes beggars the imagination. Four years after an Army soldier performs medal-worthy feats on the battlefield, President Obama deems the moment exactly right to disgorge a Medal of Honor. Yesterday — of all days and all weeks — Army Capt. William Swenson’s awe-inspiring bravery in Afghanistan in 2009 finally rose to the level of warranting Oval Office acknowledgement. Timing, as they say, is everything.

This most presidential act is completely unrelated to the commander in chief’s droopy performance ratings at a pivotal moment in our nation’s history, of course. Or the hurricane-like public blow back to the administration’s astonishingly petty suspension of death benefits to survivors of men recently killed, thousands of miles away, fighting America’s battles, while blow-dried gas bags sit around in Washingtonian luxury and pontificate over whether it is better to spend this country into oblivion this very afternoon or to wait four months and do it.

More cynical minds might also speculate as to whether Mr. Obama’s handlers have perhaps invested a minute or two peering over the horizon, while kibitzing aloud about the way a possible societal breakdown could actually play out, if it came to that. And the sort of relationship a politician might wish to enjoy with his military at that watershed moment.

Anyway, the odoriferous politics behind yesterday’s ceremony notwithstanding, it’s always nice to see a hero finally get his due.

Bill Boyl

Nevada City


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The Union Updated Oct 17, 2013 09:38PM Published Oct 17, 2013 09:38PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.