The salty ex-Marine Gunny Sergeant of “Full Metal Jacket” fame and former TV host of the History Channel’s militainment program “Mail Call” fired a surprising salvo at President Obama at a charitable event last month intended to raise toys for needy children, catching his co-hosts completely off guard. In an ad-lib at an event billed as “Roe & Roeper’s Miracle on Indianapolis Blvd. Holiday Extravaganza” in the Horseshoe Casino’s Venue room in Hammond Indiana last December 10th, R. Lee Ermey attacked the President, accusing him and his administration of having “a lot to do” with the poor economy.
In my view this makes Ermey a “jack-wagon”. This term, used in his GEICO Commercial, seen here, is a innocuous form of the term “jagoff” which the urban dictionary defines as an asshole, jerkoff, jerk, jackoff, dickhead, jackass, prick, douchebag, dick, idiot, jack off, wanker, loser, asswipe, tool and ass , just to name a few. One of these is bound to apply for someone who appears to be dismissing the fact that this recession started long before Obama took office for factors that related more to the bad dealings in the financial private sector. And though people like Ermey are not willing to show an ever improving economy under Obama, realists and the data are. We just need employers to read the writing on the wall and start doing some serious re-hiring. 159,000 new private sector jobs this last October is a good sign.
Now I know it seems as an anathema to call a man a jerk who has done as much for Marine Corps recruitment as John Wayne did starring in the “Sands of Iwo Jima” and Jack Webb did a little over a decade later in the film “The D.I.” but anyone who uses a noble event like Toys 4 Tots to express his political views using words intended to incite those present to overthrow the government by declaring that people should be “rising up … [to] stop this administration from what they’re doing because they’re destroying this country” steps over the line in my book.
I don’t begrudge Ermey his right to express his political views. It’s a free country that he has honorably served. As a former Marine myself I admired the man from afar not only because of the shared “brotherhood” all Marines feel towards each other but because he so aptly displays the image of the fighting leatherneck that makes all Marines proud. It turns out that Ermey served in Vietnam shortly after I departed in late 1968 and as a part of the same Marine Wing Support Group 17 I was a part of. He served in DaNang while I was stuck on hill 20 miles north of DaNang with a surface-to-air missal company.
But the Marines are, as the other military branches, first, last and always supportive of their commander-in-chief. And though you may hold opposing political views with him, you don’t “break ranks” in public to expose a lack of discipline to the Corp tradition. Some may think that as a civilian Ermey is not bound to this loyalty but Corps blood is thicker than retirement status, not to mention that the former staff sergeant has used his USMC connections to make him a paid celebrity.
What makes this even more egregious it seems is that GEICO fired former voice over actor D.C. Douglas last year after he left a disparaging voice mail at the corporate funded offices of FreedomWorks, an organization dedicated to promoting so-called Tea Party values. Ermey’s words were not even made public until two weeks after the event and to this date there has been no indication from the home and auto insurer that Ermey’s popular psychiatrist clip will be removed from the air waves nor asked to be a part of any future GEICO commercials.
I’ve been a loyal GEICO customer for 25 plus years and have fought off the urge by claims of other insurers guaranteeing to offer lower rates than GEICO. I think I just found the motivation I needed to make that call. Hooah!