Two million contracts in two districts are twice as good, and better all around would be three contracts at million apiece.
Hart did so (I was part of the group, along with Andrew J.
Bacevich of Boston University, John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School, and Norman R.
Usually I would have stopped watching too, since so many aspects of public figures’ appearances before the troops have become so formulaic and routine. Obama gave his still-not-quite-natural-sounding callouts to the different military services represented in the crowd. He said that the “9/11 generation of heroes” represented the very best in its country, and that its members constituted a military that was not only superior to all current adversaries but no less than “the finest fighting force in the history of the world.”If any of my fellow travelers at O’Hare were still listening to the speech, none of them showed any reaction to it. This has become the way we assume the American military will be discussed by politicians and in the press: Overblown, limitless praise, absent the caveats or public skepticism we would apply to other American institutions, especially ones that run on taxpayer money. Then everyone except the few people in uniform getting on with their workaday concerns.
The public attitude evident in the airport was reflected by the public’s representatives in Washington.