A few years ago, the United Auto Workers in Detroit did the 1st Battalion 24th Marines a friendly turn. The UAW allowed the reservists working on the nearby base to park their cars in the UAW parking lot.
According to the Detroit News, the UAW has now attached conditions to the lot’s use. Marines driving foreign cars, or cars with George Bush bumper stickers are not welcome in the UAW parking lot.
Certainly, the Marines are entitled to drive whatever cars they like and apply any bumper stickers they choose to their vehicles. Similarly, the UAW owns the land so they can allow or disallow anyone use of the parking lot.
Lt. Col. Joe Rutledge, commanding officer of the battalion’s active duty instructors said,
You either support the Marines or you don’t. I’m telling my Marines that they’re no longer parking there.
And good on him. Rutledge went further, saying,
At a time when U.S. armed forces are fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, quibbling over parking privileges is silly.
This is the kicker, for me. Each side is well within their rights, but the UAW decision seems remarkably petty and childish.