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September 09, 2004

Pissing Contest

The fact that more information has now surfaced regarding Bush's military service is of little interest to me. However, I do believe that if you think he really didn't know the information contained in the latest memos to come out (that he was suspended from flying), you are fooling yourself. He had to know that he was suspended from flying, and didn't want that to come out because he thought it would look bad and hurt him in the election. And he damn sure tried to put it under the rug so people would stop looking. Still, who really cares?

I understand that the Democrats will most likely use this to attack his devotion to country, and say that these actions prove him to be an unfit Commander and Chief, but I don't think so. I will not be voting for him in the upcoming election, but it is not because of his military record. While each party looks to discredit the other, I do not believe that I should make my decision based on the actions of young men. This is why you have to be at least 35 to run for the office of president, because the country does not believe that people younger than that have enough life experience or wise judgement to lead the country. Clinton, who I did vote for, ran to Canada, and who knows how many of us would have done the same thing if given the opportunity? And I damn sure know that if my son were of that age, and I was from a privileged background, I would try to save his life as best I could.

I wish that both parties would lay off of each other's military record. I am truly baffled at their desire to make each other's records (perceived to be lacking) an issue. If you don't believe that Kerry earned his medals, fine. But you can't argue the fact that he volunteered for duty when he didn't have to. For Bush to try and get into a pissing contest with Kerry about this is beyond me. Each of them should just acknowledge the other's service and move on to current issues that affect this country. What they did when they were young men (in this case) is not such a big issue for me. My God, I hope that people who meet me now will not base my job performance today on what I did, or didn't do, when I was in college. Let's just drop this and move on.......both of you.

Posted by Woundwort at September 9, 2004 01:58 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
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Comments

I knew he was suspended from flying for missing a physical six months ago, if not more, and this this "failure" to have a physical was not a punishable one, nor unusual.

I also knew it was in '72, when they wanted to put AF men coming back from Vietnam in the small number of flying spots, not NG men.

More relevantly to your post, as near as I can tell, Bush isn't... er... "laying on" Kerry's record. Didn't Bush himself recently say that Kerry's service was honorable and say no more, when asked about it?

People on Bush's side are attacking Kerry's war record. And the main reason, from here, looks to be that it's the main support prop for the Kerry campaign, apart from "He Isn't Bush".

I agree it'd be great if nobody cared about either of their records, and stuck to arguing about their policies and plans for the coming four years. The problem with that is that nobody seems to know what the hell Kerry's policies and plans would be - I'm not even sure he knows, from looking at how he talks.

Posted by: Sigivald at September 9, 2004 02:09 PM

Well, actually it seems as if each candidate is letting "their people" question each other's service, but it would be naive to believe they did not have something to do with it at some point during this election. They each could have done a lot more to squelch this debate.

Posted by: Woundwort at September 9, 2004 02:15 PM

> They each could have done a lot more to squelch this debate.

Really? What exactly? Be sure to not suggest something illegal.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 9, 2004 03:16 PM

They each could have made a bigger issue out of the fact that each other served their country, and that we should focus on other issues. Each person has done little of this. I'm not suggesting something illegal, come on people.

Posted by: Woundwort at September 9, 2004 03:19 PM

> But you can't argue the fact that [Kerry] volunteered for duty when he didn't have to.

According to Kerry, that's not quite true. He says that he volunteered for the Navy when he didn't get a deferment and was about to be drafted into the Army. He looked at the odds of seeing action and "Go Navy".

Kerry volunteered for the Swift boats when they were a safe billet. When their mission changed, he tried to get out.

I'm not saying that Kerry was wrong to do these things, just that it's wrong to portray him as anything other than extremely reluctant.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 9, 2004 03:20 PM

> I wish that both parties would lay off of each other's military record.

And I'm certain that Woundwort expressed that sentiment before the Swifties got involved.... FWIW, Kerry expressed that sentiment during Clinton/Dole but during the DNC said that his military record was one of his important qualifications.

Bush has never said that his military record is relevant to the election. Others may disagree, but that's his position.

Kerry, on the other hand, claimed that his military record was an essential qualification. Why shouldn't we believe him?

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 9, 2004 03:27 PM

The fact that he volunteered is something he can be proud of, not something the other side should try and attack. I could care less about what the Swifties say right now, the fact is he volunteered and that took balls. Reluctant? I have no problems with that, but he did it. I would be reluctant too. He saw combat, who wouldn't be reluctant?

Posted by: Woundwort at September 9, 2004 03:43 PM

The part I'm most impressed with is that these new memos appear to be forgeries. It may shake out that they aren't, but there's a significant possibility that CBS has been duped. Or has tried to dupe us.

I'm fine with attacks on both candidates' military records - just as soon as Kerry agrees to disclose his to the extent Dubya has been made to disclose his.

Posted by: Blackavar at September 9, 2004 04:31 PM

But isn't that part of the issue? Dubya didn't give out this info, news sources got it. I agree, I would like to know ALL about Kerry as well, but I still don't think this information will be a deciding factor in my vote.

Posted by: Woundwort at September 9, 2004 04:57 PM

Senator Kerry's campaign focus has been twofold from the beginning—primarily his Vietnam service, secondarily how he would have done foreign and domestic policy differently, and better.

His primary emphasis has, then, naturally drawn the most attention, especially given the several well known contentions surrounding it. Secondarily, apart from some pretty serious tax increases and spending levels, he has yet to offer or discuss any details regarding his vision for planning and implementing different and better policies. The only thing left is his 20 year record in the Senate. He isn't bringing that up either. Others have though, e.g. his very ragged 8 year attendance record as a member of the Senate Intelligence committee.

He says repeatedly he wants to run on his record, but that always seems to stop at the early seventies. What are we to make of this?

Posted by: Stephen at September 9, 2004 06:22 PM

Bush has gone out of his way to honor Kerry for his service, and to say his tour was more dangerous. I don't think Bush is trying to make an issue of Kerry's record. Kerry had been trying to use his record as a positive, and this is where things came apart; he apparently "exaggerated" a bit.

Posted by: Ole Eichhorn at September 9, 2004 07:58 PM

> The fact that he volunteered is something he can be proud of, not something the other side should try and attack.

Strawman. No one has attacked him for volunteering.

He's being attacked for lying for political gain about what he and others did.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 10, 2004 08:28 AM

I can see I will not get much support for this idea from the right side of the isle.

Posted by: Woundwort at September 10, 2004 08:35 AM

I'm with you, Woundwort. I can't wait for the first election where both candidates were too young to have served in 'Nam. All the foofaraw is no more than another symptom of the baby boomer's fascination with themselves. They're the only ones who give a shit about who did what 30 years ago, and their endless media driven squabbling over it pulls the level of political debate in this country down to the infantile.

But I still blame Kerry for the current round. His endless, self-indulgent and totally inappropriate preening over his service is what triggered this. Had he followed in the footsteps of men like Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy and even Carter and been appropriately humble when it came to his service records he wouldn't be in the trouble he's in now.

I had hopes one time that the Democrats would realize that using Vietnam as an issue always backfires on them. It always hurts them, and practically never hurts a Republican.

But like attacking Bush from the right on the war on Terror, the idea is too simple for them to adopt.

Posted by: Bigwig at September 10, 2004 09:09 AM

> I can see I will not get much support for this idea from the right side of the isle.

It turns out that Bush's and Kerry's stated positions are exactly the same. Both have repeatedly said that Kerry's service was honorable and that the attacks, which started in August, should stop.

Meanwhile, one of Kerry's most stable positions is that the attacks on Bush, attacks which started before Kerry was even a candidate, are acceptable.

And yet, Woundwort blames the right? I'll ask again - did Woundwort complain before Kerry got hit?

We are living the "As a citizen of the USSR, I too am free to critize the president of the USA" joke.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 10, 2004 10:17 AM

> They each could have made a bigger issue out of the fact that each other served their country, and that we should focus on other issues. Each person has done little of this.

I'll bite - what has Kerry said about the attacks on Bush? Did he say it without reference to the attacks on himself? (Bush has denounced the attacks on Kerry without mentioning the attacks on him.)

> I'm not suggesting something illegal, come on people.

If we're following orders, both "do it" and "stop" are illegal. If we're not following orders, "stop" isn't controlling.

Apart from "it didn't work", what is the argument for "not enough"?

And again, I'll point out that Bush has done more than Kerry.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 10, 2004 10:29 AM

Yes, I did feel the same way about this issue before Kerry "got hit." That appears to be an important question for you.

"And yet, Woundwort blames the right?" Continuing the theme of talking about me in the third person, Woundwort blames both of them. It is a topic I am tired of hearing them discuss, and while you think Bush is taking the high road, he did not denounce the Swifties' attacks on Kerry, even though some in the Republican party felt he should have. Apparently you feel that Bush has taken the high road here, while I, excuse me, Woundwort believes that both candidates could have done more in distancing themselves from these attacks.

Posted by: Woundwort at September 10, 2004 10:42 AM

> Yes, I did feel the same way about this issue before Kerry "got hit." That appears to be an important question for you.

People who said that the NG attacks on Bush were wrong BEFORE the Swifties went after Kerry are in a different position from folks who didn't say "both sides should stop" until after Kerry started taking water.

> [Bush] did not denounce the Swifties' attacks on Kerry,

Except he did, a couple of times. He called for all of the 527 groups (the Swifties are a 527, albeit one with relatively little money) to stop.

He's also said that Kerry's service was honorable and shouldn't be criticized.

Kerry has coyly encouraged the NG story. I haven't seen any indication that he's changed his mind.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 10, 2004 05:20 PM


> even though some in the Republican party felt he should have.

So what? Some in the Dem party think that Kerry should step aside.

I don't think of "some in the Republican Party" as authoritative and it's strange to see Woundwort claim that they are.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 10, 2004 05:22 PM

Give me a break, he didn't denounce it until it went on for a while. I understand you believe he is without any fault, because he is simply wonderful, but I, I mean, Woundwort thinks he could have done better, they both could have.

Posted by: Woundwort at September 11, 2004 10:17 AM

> [Bush] didn't denounce it until it went on for a while.

Actually, Bush said that Kerry's service was honorable BEFORE the Swiftie attack, and didn't do so as part of a plea to end the long-standing attacks on him. He responded to the actual attacks on Kerry within a month.

The attacks on Bush started before Kerry was a candidate. It may be too much to expect Kerry to denounce them before he's officially running, although if it is, the "principle" becomes a bit dodgy, but he was still encouraging the attacks until recently. Has he ever denounced the attacks on Bush apart from "everyone should stop"?

My point is that the "evenhandedness" of Woundwort's ire ignores what the different parties have actually done.

I think that Bush does a lot of things wrong. However, the election isn't between Bush and perfection. It's between Bush and Kerry.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 11, 2004 12:44 PM

Correct, which is why I said "both sides" could do better a LOT, but you seem to miss that.

Posted by: Woundwort at September 11, 2004 03:18 PM

Sorry, I mean Woundwort said that.

Posted by: Woundwort at September 11, 2004 03:19 PM

> Correct, which is why I said "both sides" could do better a LOT, but you seem to miss that.

I don't miss it. I'm pointing out that the two sides are not in the same position, so there's nothing evenhanded in asking the same from them.

In a related story, Drudge reports that Kerry is going to step up the direct attacks. Bush's only direct action has been prompt and consistent with Woundwort's stated request.

That's why Woundwort finds them equally at fault, right?

http://www.drudgereport.com/dnc77.htm

Posted by: Andy Freeman at September 12, 2004 07:34 PM

Seems as if our presidential campaign resembles more the television shows such as Judge Judy, and The People's Court, than it does two political parties presenting their platform to the American people. The media, and us, spin away on these emotionally-charged trivialities rather than focusing on the bigger picture.

What a pathetic charade... trenched in blood.

Posted by: Lorelei thelocalady at September 15, 2004 07:39 AM
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