Just Call Them Cowardly Hypocrites

BuzzFlash, May, 2001



In case you missed it, BuzzFlash.com enjoyed a spirited stint on the Alan Colmes radio show last week.

Progressive talk shows not only draw like minded callers, but they also bring the right wingers out of the woodwork. So it was no surprise that one caller last Wednesday started shrieking to Colmes about Clinton being a yellow-bellied draft evader who avoided Vietnam.

In a perverse way, we were glad to hear from the psychotic ranter because it got the Buzz thinking about one of our favorite topics: the GOP leaders are mostly cowardly men who evaded service in Vietnam.

In fact, Bush, Cheney and Ashcroft all avoided service in 'Nam. The President, whose Dad got him a position in the Texas National Guard, ran against Gore, who served in Vietnam. The closest Bush got to Vietnam was Abilene. Furthermore, Bush didn't even bother to show up for his last year of service in Texas. Cheney got a college deferment from military service. Ashcroft got a deferment claiming that his law school teaching gig filled a vital national need.

Hey, and let's not forget Tom DeLay, who is the guy who pulls the strings in the U.S. House of Representatives. Read an excerpt from a 1999 article that recounts the novel excuse that DeLay offered as to why he and Dan Quayle didn't serve in Vietnam:

Which Bug Gets the Gas? Will the next house DeLay fumigates be that big White one or his own? By Tim Fleck

In 1988, a little-known Texas congressman gathered a crowd of reporters in the lobby of a downtown New Orleans hotel housing several state delegates to the Republican National Convention. Clutching a pole topped by a drooping American flag, 22nd District two-termer Tom DeLay launched into a rather implausible defense of Dan Quayle, an Indiana senator freshly picked by George Bush as his presidential ticket partner.

Bill Clinton's draft-dodging efforts would become an issue in his successful campaign against Bush four years later, but now Quayle's own past manipulation of family ties to get into a national guard unit was touching off a classic feeding frenzy among the convention press corps.

DeLay seemed to feel the issue applied personally to him, and perhaps it did. He had graduated from the University of Houston at the height of the Vietnam conflict in 1970, but chose to enlist in the war on cockroaches, fleas and termites as the owner of an exterminator business, rather than going off to battle against the Vietcong.

He and Quayle, DeLay explained to the assembled media in New Orleans, were victims of an unusual phenomenon back in the days of the undeclared Southeast Asian war. So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself. Satisfied with the pronouncement, which dumbfounded more than a few of his listeners who had lived the sixties, DeLay marched off to the convention.

"Who was that idiot?" asked a TV reporter who arrived at the end of the media show. When he was told the name, it drew a blank. DeLay at that time was a national nobody, and his claim that blacks and browns crowded him and other good conservatives out of Vietnam seemed so outlandish and self-serving that no one bothered to file a news report on the congressman's remarks.

(see http://www.houston-press.com/issues/1999-01-07/columns2.html)

And here are some other GOP luminaries who never served in Vietnam, but join the teeming mob of right wing zealots in labeling Democrats as draft dodgers. (The list includes our previously mentioned Vietnam cowards):

Elliott Abrams - Sought deferment for bad back. Richard Armey - Sought college deferment, too smart to die. Bill Bennett - Sought graduate school deferment, too smart to die. Pat Buchanan - Sought deferment for bad knee. George W. Bush Daddy got him in the National Guard Dick Cheney - Sought graduate school deferment, too smart to die. Tom DeLay - - Sought college deferment, too smart to die. Newt Gingrich - Sought graduate school deferment, too smart to die. Phil Gramm - Sought marriage deferment, too loved to die. Jack Kemp - Sought medical deferment while in the NFL. Rush Limbaugh - Sought deferment for ingrown hair follicle on his ass. Trent Lott - Sought deferment, didn't want to muss his hair. P.J. O'Rourke - Sought deferment, too stoned. Dan Quayle - Family got him into the Reserves. Pat Robertson - Father pulled him out of Korea as soon as the shooting began. Kenneth Starr Sought deferment for psoriasis. John Wayne - Sought deferment to further acting career. Vin Weber - Sought deferment for asthma. George Will - Sought deferment, too much of a wussy.

(thanks to http://www.rackjite.com/chawks.htm for this list)

We've also heard from readers (since we first posted this list) that the current GOP Governor of Michigan ­ and a big Bush partisan ­ got out of the draft for being overweight.

If there is anything that so preeminently displays the moral bankruptcy of the current administration and the rest of the GOP leadership, it is their failure to serve our country in Vietnam while fostering attacks on Democrats, many of them who actually served the U.S. in that ill-begotten war.

Worse for these major league hypocrites is that they scammed their way out of Vietnam not because of noble ideals that the war was a misguided tragedy. Rather, these guys were just plain cowards looking to save their skins.

It's an abiding fact that the right wing continues to foamingly deride Clinton for protesting Vietnam because it was a bad war, while refusing to criticize the GOP leaders who evaded Vietnam because they were just plain yellow-bellied. Moreover, it is a glaring indication of the advanced pathology of the rabid right wing hordes that they don't give a hoot that their leadership has a yellow streak as wide as Texas running down their backs.

The Limbaugh loonies are, after all, beyond reason in matters of politics. They needn't bother with the truth, even if their own leaders (including pork boy Rush) exemplify everything they claim to scorn in the way of no guts and fairweather patriotism. The hypocrisy is so rank, it smells like an Iowa Hog farm in a heat wave.

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