How in the world did an administration known for political competence, if for no other kind, manage to pull off such a public-relations disaster? The answer is that the left has a very large blind spot when it comes to military culture.
[T]he administration seems to have been taken completely by surprise by the hostile reaction to the deal’s purported upside, Bergdahl’s release. [A] Time report contains a clue as to why: “Obama’s move was an ultimate victory for those at the White House and the State Department who had previously argued the military should ‘suck it up and salute,’ says the official familiar with the debate.”
That would be John Kerry’s state department. There are some intriguing similarities between young Bergdahl and the young Kerry, as well as between the administration’s current adversity and that which faced Kerry when he ran for president in 2004.
Kerry reacted with surprise and indignation to his fellow veterans’ dissent from his campaign narrative. It seemed he expected them to suck it up and salute–never mind that back in the 1970s, he himself had done anything but that.