Times Enters Michael Moore Fantasyland with Criticism of Romney's Sons

Wednesday's "Political Memo" by Michael Luo, "Question of Sons' Choices Dogs Romney Campaign," reached into Michael Moore territory in relaying criticism of Republican candidate Mitt Romney for his sons' failure to serve in the military.

"Mitt Romney has been asked before on the campaign trail if his sons have served in the military, and he usually has dispatched the question easily enough.

"But an awkward response last week in Iowa, in which Mr. Romney said in part that 'one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected,' forced him several days later to say he misspoke and injected a discordant note into his otherwise triumphant few days after he won the state's Republican straw poll.

'It has also threatened to put a chink in what has been widely viewed as a major asset in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination: his crowded family portrait, which includes five successful adult sons who have been a prominent part of his campaign.

Luo exaggerated military woes for effect.

"The fact that none have served in the armed forces is a potentially sensitive point, given how badly stretched the nation's military has become with the conflict in Iraq and the nearly unanimous support for the war on the part of the Republican candidates."

Next came the Moore part.

"Politicians should try to envision whether they believe in a war enough that they would send their own children, said Nancy Lessin, co-founder of Military Families Speak Out, an antiwar group made up of more than 3,600 military families.

"'If this war is so important, why is it O.K. for you to support our loved ones fighting it but not send your own sons?' said Ms. Lessin, whose stepson joined the Marines after college and went to Iraq.

"The fact that Mr. Romney's sons have not served is not necessarily surprising, she said, because the military tends to be dominated by those from less well-to-do backgrounds.

"'There is the economic, or the opportunity, draft,' Ms. Lessin said."

So just how does a parent, even a politically powerful one, order his adult children onto the battlefield, anyway? That's an argument straight out of Michael Moore fantasyland, but Luo appeared to take it seriously.