LULU by John Linton Roberson (c) 2012.
I Didn't Write That!
30 August 2004
  Bush's Noble Service In Vietnam Bush's Noble Service In Vietnam

The Bush Beast has hit New York and the protesters are there in droves to meet it. I wonder if he's saying "Bring 'em on" now.

And now it's time for the Bush campaign to reap what it has sown by daring to attempt to make Kerry's service an issue, something Karl Rove has incredible chutzpah for attempting. (He's no Lee Atwater--now there was a master villain) While the Bush campaign, despite its use of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, still cannot find someone who actually served with Kerry who speaks ill of him, someone has now spoken up about Bush's service about the same time. Not someone Bush served with because he was AWOL even from protecting our borders from the feared Mexikaners--indeed, not one man has come forward to confirm Bush even served at all in the minimal way his father managed to swing for him so that he would not have to go die in a useless war like poorer people. Unlike Kerry, also a son of privilege, who volunteered as my dad did.

No, the person confirming that Bush went into the safe Air National guard is the man who arranged it, who now describes his action as something he's deeply ashamed of. This would be former Texas Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes, who speaks of this
here. (note: Windows Media Player required--download if needed here)

Some of the things he says:

"Let's talk a minute about John Kerry and George Bush, and I know them both," said Barnes in the video, which was filmed at a gathering of about 200 Kerry supporters in Austin on May 27. "I got a young man named George W. Bush into the Texas National Guard when I was lieutenant governor, and I'm not necessarily proud of that. But I did it. I got a lot of other people in the National Guard because I thought that was what people should do when you're in office, and you help a lot of rich people."

"And I walked to the Vietnam Memorial the other day," Barnes continued, "and I looked at the names of the people that died in Vietnam, and I became more ashamed of myself than I have ever been, because it was the worst thing I ever did, was help a lot of wealthy supporters and a lot of people who had family names of importance get into the National Guard. And I'm very sorry about that, and I'm very ashamed, and I apologize to you as voters of Texas."


At least he's man enough to admit it.

*************************************

Be sure to peruse this handy-dandy schedule of this week's RNC convention.

Also, here's an
interesting essay by William Greider concerning the depths to which Bush will stoop on this campaign in which he's got no record to run upon. Some snippets concerning how the old smear tactics that worked so well for Bush the First in 1988 may not do the same this time:

The President runs on fear and character assassination--big fear and big lies. While Bush's claims and insinuations are utterly distant from the truth, the strategy can't be dismissed, because Republicans are so experienced at this kind of politics. GOP marketing proceeds on a cynical assumption that voters can be moved by the brazen repetition of evocative falsehoods and broad-brush caricature. Their model is 1988, when Bush's daddy used the racist "Willie Horton" ads and "card-carrying member of the ACLU" to defenestrate Michael Dukakis, a decent and capable governor they turned into a national joke...

The man [Bush] will do anything (didn't we already know that?). If Kerry is smart, he can turn this latest hit job into an excellent opportunity. Since Bush has raised the question of character and honesty, by all means let's talk about it. Kerry should open every speech with that line and then review the shameful evidence of Bush's mendacious character, from the fictitious threats from Iraq to the 5 million jobs his rich-guy tax cuts were going to produce for ordinary Americans. Which candidate trashes the truth? By all means let the election be decided on that question...

This is not 1988. To begin with, trying to portray Kerry as a cowardly liar in Vietnam simply doesn't have the emotional resonance of Willie Horton, especially since Bush himself wimped out during that war. More to the point, Kerry is not playing passive, as Dukakis did, but counterpunching smartly, forcefully challenging Bush on the warrior's own turf. Kerry has even introduced the magic word people yearn to hear about Iraq--"withdrawal"--albeit in a backhanded way. Kerry's position is lathered in nuances, calling for an "enormous reduction" starting next year, but he is now positioned to express his idea loudly and often (and "responsibly," of course), if he finds the nerve to do so. A big if, alas. Bush can hardly win points by attacking "withdrawal." He tried to top Kerry by promising to bring US troops home from Europe and Asia, but that's another attempt to change the subject.

Kerry has also acquired an unusual asset--the neutrality of the major media. After playing compliant lapdog for the Warrior in Chief, the New York Times and Washington Post are now creating distance from their former hero and even challenging his distortions (both newspapers recently confessed institutional embarrassment for their go-to-war enthusiasm). At least the big media are not ridiculing Kerry as they did so freely with Al Gore in 2000 and Dukakis in 1988. Reporters and editors read the polls too. They know this incumbent President is in deep trouble. They can see his old moves are not working--not yet, anyway.

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