As we were rolling back from a few peaceful days in the desert this week, steam was building in the Republican Attack Machine against John Kerry's war record. That, in and of itself, should be jaw-dropping coming as it does from the blustering "We Support our Troops!" crowd. I guess by troops, they don't mean John Kerry. But it seems Americans are becoming immune to such baseless and unsubstianted attacks - and perhaps that's the whole point.
So, kudos are due Kevin Drum (formerly blogging as CalPundit) at The Washington Monthly for putting things in a bit of perspective...
George Bush, fresh out of Yale, uses family connections to join the Air National Guard in order to avoid serving in Vietnam. After four years of a six-year term he decides to skip his annual physical, is grounded, and heads off to Alabama, where he blows off even the minimal annoyance of monthly drills for over six months.
Conservative reaction: why are you impugning the patriotism of this brave man? He got an honorable discharge and that's as much as anyone needs to know.
John Kerry, fresh out of Yale, enlists in the Navy and subsequently requests duty in Vietnam. While there, according to the Boston Globe, he wins a Purple Heart and then follows that up with more than two dozen missions in which he often faced enemy fire, a Silver Star for an action in which he killed an enemy soldier who carried a loaded rocket launcher that could have destroyed his six-man patrol boat, a Bronze Star for rescuing an Army lieutenant who was thrown overboard and under fire, and two more Purple Hearts.
Conservative reaction: Hmmm, that first injury wasn't very serious. This is something that deserves careful and drawn-out investigation, and it would certainly be unfair to impugn "craven or partisan motives" to those doing the impugning.
Are these guys a piece of work, or what?
POSTSCRIPT: Kerry's military records are here.
None the less, I'm sure such to-the-point perspective won't keep the chattering usual suspects from repeating their contemptable claims over and over again until every uninformed DittoHead in America buys it. Or until everyone else is so sick of it they simply give up caring. Mission accomplished.