Wednesday, February 04, 2004
Bush's National Guard service: For those of you who aren't up to speed on the latest inside-the-beltway scandal, "Bush was AWOL," here are some links for your education and edification.
First, the inestimable Bill Hobbs has a plethora of posts on the subject.
For those of you who don't trust any blogger other than myself, a non-partisan Web site, Factcheck.org, also has a list of facts regarding Bush's military service.
To summarize what you will find above, yes, Bush got special treatment getting into the Texas Air National Guard. Everything else DNC Chairman Terry McAulliffe, Michael Moore and their ilk have been saying is lies.
The curious thing is why Democrats are seemingly concerned about this issue now. After all, when Bill Clinton was the party's nominee, they sang a different tune.
Sen. John Kerry, the Massachusetts Democrat whose backers have raised questions about President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard, once assailed critics of President Clinton’s lack of military service, saying, "We do not need to divide America over who served and how."
The Massachusetts senator, a decorated Vietnam veteran, went to the Senate floor in 1992 to defend Clinton, who was being dogged in his presidential campaign by charges that he dodged the draft.
Kerry compared Clinton’s critics to "latter-day Spiro Agnews" by playing "to the worst instincts of divisiveness and reaction that still haunt America. Are we now going to create a new scarlet letter in the context of Vietnam?"
"The race for the White House should be about leadership and leadership requires that one help heal the wounds of Vietnam, not reopen them," Kerry said at the time.
The Democrats also didn't address the issue when Vietnam veteran Al Gore was running against Bush. Why? Because Gore's service was seen as insulating his anti-war father from criticism, and the younger Gore had bodyguards. Bush got special treatment to get into the National Guard, but Gore got extraordinary treatment designed to keep him alive in a war zone.
Kerry doesn't have Gore's downside on his military experience, so he doesn't have to worry about a hypocrisy charge on the subject. Kerry's still going to have to answer questons regarding things he said and did as part of Vietnam Veterans Against War, but slamming Bush for his National Guard service is a pretty safe, if disgusting, play.