Brat: DREAMers in Military Means ‘Decline of Western Civilization’

Rep. Dave Brat, the guy who managed to beat Eric Cantor from even further to the right, is quickly making a case for himself to be included in the Republican Moron Caucus in the House. His latest bit of stupid is to claim that if we let DREAMers serve in the military it would cause “the decline of Western civilization.”

Discussing the House’s narrow vote to strip the proposal from a Pentagon spending bill last week, Fredericks asked Brat, “What’s going on out there?”

“Well, what’s going on is the decline of Western Civilization at the highest level,” Brat responded. “I think everybody knows their old Roman history, part of the reason Rome fell was because they started hiring the barbarians in, otherwise known as the Germans at the time, to be troops in their own army, and that led to their eventual downfall.”

Brat also had a response to proponents of the measure who pointed out that being willing to serve in the U.S. military shows a certain level of patriotism: “I wanted to stand up and shout, I mean ISIS is willing to serve in our military as well.”

Oh for fuck’s sake. At any given time there are thousands and thousands of non-citizen immigrants serving in the U.S. military and that’s been true for a very long time. The first American soldier to die in the Iraq invasion was Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez, a Guatemalan immigrant who came to the United States illegally. President Bush gave him citizenship posthumously, as were more than 100 others who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Throughout the Bush administration, they were expanding opportunities for non-citizens to serve in the military:

“Over the past eight years, Congress has amended military related enlistment and naturalization rules to allow expanded benefits for immigrants and their families and encourage recruitment of immigrants into the U.S. Armed Forces. The U.S. military has also implemented new programs to encourage the enlistment and rapid naturalization of non‐citizens who serve honorably during the current conflict. Without the contributions of immigrants, the military could not meet its recruiting goals and could not fill its need for foreign‐language translators, interpreters, and cultural experts.”

Do you remember one word from any Republican about how horrible that was, how it was going to cause the collapse of the country or any such nonsense? I don’t either. In 2009, there were more than 13,000 non-citizens serving in the military, and since 9/11 more than 50,000 non-citizens have served. “Support the troops,” yell the armchair pseudo-patriots while demeaning huge numbers of them with their xenophobia.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • tbp1

    Hasn’t military service historically been a path to citizenship since, you know, forever?

  • colnago80

    There is no indication that the Congresscritter ever served in the military. Maybe if people like him, (and to be fair me) had volunteered to serve, there wouldn’t be any need to recruit non-citizens for military service.

  • Mr Ed

    So H1B visas good because reduces high tech labor costs makes technology cheaper. Immigrants in the military bad because there are so few jobs we need to save them fro real Americans.

  • caseloweraz

    Brat: “Well, what’s going on is the decline of Western Civilization at the highest level,” Brat responded.

    America is the most powerful nation on Earth. It’s so powerful that it can bring about the decline of Western civilization (which includes France, Germany, and the other 47 nations of Europe, plus Ireland and the United Kingdom) simply by letting the wrong people into low ranks of its armed forces. Note: low-ranking troops matter; people like Poland-born General John Malchase David Shalikashvili do not (according to Brat’s “logic”.)

  • Big Boppa

    tbp @1

    Hasn’t military service historically been a path to citizenship since, you know, forever?

    I think it all started going downhill when they let Casimir Pulaski and Marquis de Lafayette stick their stinkin’ foreign noses in our nice, clean revolution.

  • rationalinks

    I love when Christians bring up the Roman Empire and try to use that as an example of a once great civilization failing. It tells me they have no clue what they are talking about. In the early days of Roman, the Romans followed the example set by Alexander the Great. When they would conquer a territory they would not force that civilization to adopt the Roman pantheon, nor would they force them to adopt Roman culture. For the most part they would leave them alone, allow the men to join the military (as a path to citizenship), and would even start public works projects. Fast forward a few hundred years and Christianity takes over the heart of the Roman empire. All of a sudden Roman IS forcing it’s religion onto the conquered people. Instead of absorbing tribes and allowing them to maintain their culture and heritage, the HRE chooses to destroy and ostracize if the conquered refuse to convert. At this point in history, recruitment in the army is low because the pool of young people willing to join is drying up, and conquered citizens do not want to join (or can’t) either. The Army gets weaker and less diverse. The “barbarians” are created or incited because of Rome’s “scorched earth” doctrines.

    History can conclude that the fall of the Roman Empire actually started the moment Christianity took hold in the empire and Rome went from being inclusive to exclusive. But hey, you can’t tell a Neo-Con any of that, it goes against their narrative, and every time they try and use Rome as an example, I’ll simply point and laugh at their total ignorance.

  • scienceavenger

    Rome is coming up fast on the Nazis as the most talked about, but least understood topic on the right.

  • Big Boppa

    Rome is coming up fast on the Nazis as the most talked about, but least understood topic on the right.

    And yet, they never seem to talk about the Roman Nazis

    http://forum.valka.cz/attachments/osobnosti/Italie/benito_mussolini.jpg

  • raven

    Rome is coming up fast on the Nazis as the most talked about, but least understood topic on the right.

    True.

    And they never know the most obvious points about Rome. It fell after it became xian. The Germanics who pushed it over were also…xians!!! It was a conflict between two groups of xians over who gets control of the land and loot.

    That is just a correlation though. IMO, the Western Roman empire fell for a combination of reasons.

    Historians themselves don’t agree at all and there have been over 200 explanations advanced. One of the combination reasons was simple geography. The Roman empire was mostly a ribbon of land around the Mediterranean sea. A long narrow territory with a lot of borders, on the other side of which were people who wanted in for various reasons. It was always going to be hard to defend, and a constant battle. It is amazing they managed as long as they did.

  • raven

    You can be sure if Dr. David Brat says something it will be drastically wrong.

    This is an economics professor from Randolph-Macon university who doesn’t know any…economics. His knowledge base goes downhill from there as well as his ability to use a search engine.

  • garnetstar

    My Italian grandfather was in the army as an immigrant (whether legal or not, I don’t know) during World War I. He definitely contributed to the decline of Western civilization.

    Don’t tell Brat this, because he’d probably come after me, but my grandfather was granted US citizenship at the end of the war because of his enlistment. And that is why your Garnetstar is with you today, continuing to contribute to the decline. You see, Brat’s fears are justified!

  • colnago80

    Re BigBoppa @ #5

    Not to forget Frederich Wilhelm von Steuben.

  • colnago80

    Re @12

    Apparently, von Steuben was gay so I guess that makes him personna non grata to the opponents of gays serving in the military.

  • busterggi

    SAy, weren’t Davy Crockett & his bunch actually illegal aliens when they fought at the Alamo?

    Imagine making a bunch of illegal aliens into heroes, its UnAmerican!

  • scienceavenger

    IMO, the Western Roman empire fell for a combination of reasons.

    Historians themselves don’t agree at all and there have been over 200 explanations advanced.

    Probably because it didn’t “fall” so much as very slowly slide down incrementally over centuries.

  • Trebuchet

    Brat has the second most awesomely apt surname in the RWNJ business, after Larry Pratt.

  • tsig

    Exactly who or what is our vast military protecting us from?

  • bryanfeir

    That is just a correlation though. IMO, the Western Roman empire fell for a combination of reasons.

    One of them likely being just the sheer size.

    Rome didn’t have a standing army for the most part; they gave officers funding and got them to go out and recruit people on the way out to the borders. Generally this happened right after spring planting: one of the two times of the year when farms need everybody involved to get the work done efficiently. The workers who were less needed because the farm was less busy over the growing season would sign up, head off to the borders, and the survivors would come back with their money.

    This worked reasonably well until the borders got so far away that a march out to the borders and back took long enough that people didn’t get back in time for the fall harvest, the other time of the year when the farms need everybody working. Volunteering for the military became a lot less popular after that…

  • Pierce R. Butler

    … part of the reason Rome fell was because they started hiring the barbarians in, otherwise known as the Germans at the time, to be troops in their own army, and that led to their eventual downfall.

    If I thought Brat knew anything about history, I’d ask him to specify in which campaign Roman troops mutinied, deserted, or just slacked off so as to cause their side to lose. This may actually have happened, but it doesn’t seem to have made it into the general-history books.

    rationalinks @ # 6: …Christianity takes over the heart of the Roman empire. All of a sudden Roman IS forcing it’s religion onto the conquered people. Instead of absorbing tribes and allowing them to maintain their culture and heritage, the HRE chooses to destroy and ostracize if the conquered refuse to convert.

    A bit of an anachronism here: Emperor Theodosius mandated Christianism for all in his domain in the very late 300s, but the Roman Empire as such (not counting its eastern part) collapsed less than a century later. Charlemagne established the “Holy” Roman Empire (which apparently didn’t get called that until centuries later) in 800, but had by then already enforced conversion-on-pain-of-death upon conquered pagans across his domains for years.

  • eric

    part of the reason Rome fell was because they started hiring the barbarians in, otherwise known as the Germans at the time, to be troops in their own army, and that led to their eventual downfall.”

    Now that’s highly amusing. We can’t let Hispanic immigrants into our WASP-dominated military because in the past, Germanic barbarians destroyed the highly refined southern European empire.