September 9, 2004

Bush, Not Big On Loyalty

Records Say Bush Balked at Order

President Bush [Ed note: Miserable Failure] failed to carry out a direct order from his superior in the Texas Air National Guard in May 1972 to undertake a medical examination that was necessary for him to remain a qualified pilot, according to documents made public yesterday.

Can you think of anything more disloyal than refusing a direct order in the military? Let’s think about this. You’re ordered to take a goddamn physical and you can’t show up, but ordering 1000+ loyal Americans to their deaths is doable. There is no spin here. There is no need to fund a round-up of partisan veterans to repeat this over and over again. It’s in the records. That this doesn’t rankle military supporters of Bush to the point of distraction frankly baffles me.

I just want to get this straight. If I joined the armed forces and refused to follow a direct order, then lost the privilege to fly, I still have an out. I can still get some military folk to kiss my shiny white bottom if my Dad can help me hide the records long enough. By the time the records come out, no one will care… as long as I’m a Republican. Be proud, Bush supporters, of your order-shirking commander in chief.

Do I really care what happened over 30 years ago? Truth be told, it’s not high on my priority list. But here’s the kicker. We used to have arguments, months ago, about whether Bush has lied during his presidency. Bush supporters were all over it. “He hasn’t lied!” they would insist. And we’d look at the statements and marvel at the wording which, at the time it was said could only be taken one way. We looked at the wording and it was only taken one way when it was said. Then, some time would pass and you’d realize that for it to remain truthful you now had to take it a different way. Bush supporters were willing to do that. It’s not a flip-flop, it’s adjusting the past to meet the expectations of the present.

Today these discussions do not take place. Some of the people who argued most vehemently that Bush did not lie have even retreated of my favorite discussion board. Because there is no question now that Bush is not truthful. He has misrepresented his record as recently as January of this year. He claims he fulfilled his duty. He did not. He was suspended from flying. He refused a direct order. How can refusing a direct order possibly square with the White House claim that Bush “fulfilled his duties.”

The lies have continued into the present. Not just lies, but a pattern of lying, of twisting the past to meet the political needs of the present. A pattern of distraction.

And then, perhaps most disturbingly, a pattern of fear-mongering as a means to gain political advantage. This is the only honest way I can describe what the vice president has engaged in of late.

I can’t draw the line any more clear. Know an administration by its actions and by its words. All indications are that this administration views the American people as its dupes. I. for one, had had enough long ago. Now I’m just angry.

Posted by James at September 9, 2004 9:15 AM
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I. for one, had had enough long ago. Now I'm just angry.

You and me both. That's why my fantasy that he'd volunteer for Iraq is just a fantasy; he's much too much of a liar and a self-preserver to send himself into harm's way.

Posted by: Ailsa at September 9, 2004 10:44 AM

Hmmmm, I wonder if the medical technology was available 30 years ago to detect cocaine use during military physicals.

You just have to wonder why he would refuse to take a routine physical. It makes no sense unless there's a "there" there.

Posted by: Steve at September 9, 2004 11:25 AM

That is the reason that I heard -- that cocaine would have been detected. It's so stupid it must have been damage control.

My dad pointed out to me that it cost about $1 million to train a pilot back then. Not only did he refuse a direct order, he flushed a million in taxpayer dollars down the toilet by losing his flight privileges. Not that he's too shy about flushing taxpayer dollars.

Posted by: Maggie at September 9, 2004 11:40 AM

I am perfectly willing to forgive Bush for what was done 30 years ago, and for covering it up all this time. The one small favor I ask is that he step aside and let someone else handle things.

If a beach sandal is the right's representation of Kerry, a pretzel ought to be an appropriate symbol for Bush. Apart from the historical significance (that we were almost without a president as a result of a pretzel) he twists the truth into a more pleasing shape to suit whatever the politics of the day demand.

One can justify flip-flopping as adjusting to a new situation or even political compromise. The latter, while not to be trumpeted as a virtue, is endemic to politicians.

However, making the truth into a pretzel by twisting it beyond recognition is the worst wa to treat the people of this country. It's the most despicable use of the faith they place in you, and the love they have for their country. I believe Bush has taken advantage of people in a horrible way. I'm actually more sad for those who originally put their faith in him than I am for myself. For myself, I'm just angry.

Posted by: James at September 9, 2004 11:50 AM

George Bush is obviously way out of his (intellectual) depth but he shrewdly uses powerful images and emotions that resonate with people.

Reagan, FDR, and Kennedy did the same thing.

I think Kerry strikes the middle/middle-right as one of those typical northeast libs who almost seem embarrassed by patriotism.

He tried to address it by emphasizing his service in wartime but it backfired. I wonder if he could elbow in on Bush's turf by giving sincere, heartfelt stump speeches that touch on his love for this country, etc. (NB that love should not be tied to some vast new government program)

People support Bush because of the intangibles. If they went by his record they'd run screaming away. Kerry has to really dig down in his frosty soul and begin to appeal to people on something other than an intellectual level.

Posted by: Steve at September 9, 2004 1:22 PM

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