Christopher Hitchens who is mostly exasperating to read has a good jab at deconstructing the meme. Pejman Yousefzadeh at Red State, has a novel solution to the chickenhawk arguement, get those who subscribe to it explain how they would pay for an army 60 million strong. He asks:
So what I want to know is how the propagators of the meme propose that we pay for a 60 million-plus person armed force. What programs should we cut to be able to afford to train, equip, feed, house, clothe, pay and insure all these troops? Education? Infrastructure? Anti-poverty programs? Social Security? Medicare? Medicaid? The welfare state as a whole? Foreign aid? And how much should we cut them? Even assuming that the armed force is not as large as 60 million (though it would have to be lest the remainder that stay civilians be subject to the "chickenhawk" insult), we're still talking about a lot of people that have to be admitted to the armed forces so that the polemical demands of a few misguided souls are satisfied. So again, I ask: How will all of this be paid for?
Jeff Goldstein has a good idea:
The bottom line is, the chickenhawk argument is an impediment to legitimate discourse and debate—and legitimate discourse and debate over national security is a necessity in a free society; and for that reason, those who raise the chickenhawk argument should be treated by everyone—right and left—as intellectual pariahs.
Jeff G. correctly zeros in on the fact that what really matters to these arguers is this:
Of course, in practice, non-military personnel such as those who are quick to use the chickenhawk argument are themselves permitted to express an opinion on the war—provided it’s the correct opinion, namely, that the war is illegal and immoral...
So I have a solution that employs a single fact and is guarenteed to shut up a chickenhawk screed. Agree that only military folks should have an opinion on the war and Bush as commander in chief, then point out the military went for Bush by roughly 80%.