LULU by John Linton Roberson (c) 2012.
I Didn't Write That!
08 September 2004
  CYA CYA

So the Ben Barnes interview aired tonight on
CBS. Truth be told, there was far less of former Lt. Governor Barnes, apart from the barest facts about his shame at having helped Bush out of Vietnam while many whose names are on the Vietnam War Memorial died in his stead, than there was of many, many documents by the late Col. Jerry Killian(one intriguingly headed "CYA", three letters which may be heard a lot more in the coming months, concerning pressure from his superiors to go easy on Bush) which confirm that Bush was suspended from the Texas Air National Guard for neither performing any of his duties toward certification but also not even showing up to a required physical, and so very much more that the Boston Globe publicized as well today. Then there's the interesting fact, long since reported but unnoticed, that at the time Bush would have had to take his physical...

"...the Air Force announced its Medical Service Drug Abuse Testing Program, which meant random drug testing for pilots, including Guardsmen."

So much for Bush's post-convention bounce. It may not have been wise for them to pull a surprise as they did with the very right-wing character of last week's RNC convention, when what had been expected was an attempt to seem moderate again, the "compassionate conservative" pose. From Zell Miller on, the speeches became more poisonous and overconfident, focused on sneering, hatred, and avoiding anything like truth. In Bush's speech he even attempted to do a bad John Kerry imitation. What is this, a high school election?

Then Cheney tells us all that if Kerry is elected and there's a terrorist attack, on our heads be it. This from the administration that, rather than actually going after terrorists (and almost no mention of Bin Laden throughout the convention, but plenty of Saddam, Saddam, Saddam) instructs us to be worried, coat our houses in duct tape, but buy things.

Gosh, I've felt so safe the past four years. God knows I wouldn't want that to change.

And then they have the absolute audacity to not only question Kerry's service but mock it--and all Purple Heart recipients, such as my
father, Lt. John L. Roberson III, who volunteered and served in Vietnam at roughly the same time as Bush ducked his service--when Bush didn't even show up for the minimal, stateside service Lt. Governor Barnes pulled strings to get him into. Bush is a coward and a liar; he looks very much like what he is. Are our expectations of ourselves so low that we allow someone so incompetent to be president, thinking like a bunch of Homer Simpsons that if the president is dishonest and low, less will in turn will be expected of us, to our relief?

But he's also a coward and liar who has wealthy and powerful protectors, within his family and without. Many of the same economic class dying (and torturing) in Iraq were drafted to go to Vietnam and died in place of people like Bush. Some of that class did volunteer and were wounded or killed out of a sense of national duty, such as my father or John Kerry or many of my father's friends who died in the same fields my father's hand and mind were maimed. Meanwhile, George Bush got drunk and partied. And he snickers at those who did go, and Cheney defends his deferments because he had "better things to do."

Vietnam was a wrong, evil war. Nevertheless, the willingness to fight and die for what one believes in--and walking the walk--has to be respected, particularly when one doesn't have to. My father could have gotten out in ways Bush did, and did not, and whatever he might have been after Vietnam was entirely caused by his having been there. His maimed hand. His shaking brain that woke up with a start at the slightest noise. His three suicide attempts, the final one successful(in 1986). All because Vietnam destroyed his soul.

Meanwhile, Bush was having the fun a son of privilege is enntitled to. And now he sneers at those who actually went. Imagine if Clinton had tried to mock the elder Bush's World War Two service--the Republicans would chave mobbed him with torches.

They have no intention of doing anything but what any illegitimate leaders of a coup, bloodless or not, would do, which is plunder everything they can while they can, riding our fear to their own personal successes. Our country has been, for quite some time, in the hands of pirates. And arrogant pirates at that. I remember a time when the GOP at least acknowledged that people had to be lied to a bit more gracefully. Whereas the Bush camp is more like "Be Scared Shitless, America, and Shut Up."

Aren't there things we need to get on with in this country that they have ignored, like, oh, the fact most of us still have no fucking jobs? The spiraling poverty and crime rates? Who of us ever actually gave a shit about Iraq? Do we actually believe that Saddam was somehow connected to 9/11, or do we simply not care because we know that if it weren't one excuse, it would be another? How dare Republicans mock those they send to fight and die for their own profit, few or none of which are among their own children but rather the children of the poor who joined the army merely for college tuition or job experience? I think I just answered my own question.

The RNC was quite self-assured and could only hammer at Kerry's service, the same time-wasting mistake made by the DNC in making Kerry's heroism such a repeated point. Except, just as that backfired on Kerry, this is backfiring on Bush. The Swift Boat Veterans--whom no one doubts were GOP operatives--have been played out, and now Bush's complete lack of service--and the surprising venom of the convention--sink in instead. Today too, the Log Cabin Republicans withheld endorsement of Bush along with
Andrew Sullivan doing so as well. Great time to fracture their on party. Buchanan's 1992 Culture War Speech seems almost reasonable compared to Zell Miller's.

I have said it many times: the minute the Republicans become drunk on hubris they fuck themselves to death. This may happen.

I personally just want a competent president who understands his best interests and mine are the same, as Clinton intelligently did. If John McCain were running against Bush I'd vote for him too. Anyone but this one, who will go down in history as the single worst president ever. By comparison Nixon was freakin' Lincoln, and I never thought I'd live to see such a thing.

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