Dole should be ashamed of himself

I thought Bob Dole had mellowed after he became poster boy for Viagra. I thought he was less crusty, less the hatchet man and more of a human being. I totally misjudged him, and now I see he’s the same old hatchet-man he was in the 1970s. A seriously wounded veteran and war hero, Dole had led me to believe — or rather, my misplaced perception of him led me to believe — that he’d be gracious to John Kerry. And he now joins the ugly chorus of smearers and character assassins, stirring up the shit so bush can keep his hands clean. Just another source of disillusionment.

The Discussion: 27 Comments

RE: Americans living abroad, I’ve posted instructions for applying for an absentee ballot in the upcoming Presidential election. Don’t let this wait too long- be counted! The link is here.

August 23, 2004 @ 6:25 am | Comment

Expats tend to vote Republican, Matt… ๐Ÿ˜‰

August 23, 2004 @ 8:31 am | Comment

Not all of us, contrary to what this twit seems to think.

August 23, 2004 @ 8:54 am | Comment

oops… bad linkage.

the twit is here.

August 23, 2004 @ 8:55 am | Comment

For anyone interested in why Kerry’s past matters, check out:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/5797120/
I’m all for Kerry, but it makes for an antidote to the never-ending entries attesting to his sainthood on this page. For me he’s not Bsh. That simpe.

It ends:

“In 1944, another politician of vaulting ambition scored a Silver Star from an obliging Douglas MacArthur after riding as an observer aboard a U.S. bomber. It was the only mission he ever flew and, according to at least one of the surviving crewmen, an uneventful one at that, with no sight of the enemy nor even the slightest whiff of danger, according to author Robert Caro. Yet back in Washington, the former passenger regaled reporters like Time’s Hugh Sidey, with tall tales of marauding Zeros “and how the bullets came zinging through the fuselage,” according to Sidey’s written recollections on the Web.

TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCES. That politician was Lyndon Johnson — the President whose escalation of the war saw Kerry and so many others obliged to fight a conflict that geopolitical constraints doomed to failure, even as the force of U.S. arms never failed to triumph in the field.

Might a Johnson who was less keen to gild his reputation as a man of action been more wary of Indochina’s swamp? Might he have thought twice about misrepresenting what happened — or rather, didn’t happen — in the Gulf of Tonkin as his excuse to escalate a war that should never have been fought? ”

August 23, 2004 @ 11:10 am | Comment

Since He Brought It Up…

I wasn’t going to say anything, but since Bob Dole decided to go partisan and falsely criticize fellow veterans, let’s take a quick look at his own war record as well… (continued)

August 23, 2004 @ 11:44 am | Comment

The “kid” sniper was a grown man, another blatant lie from John Oneill, he is totally despicable.

August 23, 2004 @ 4:44 pm | Comment

On my way to Nepal to finish this blody movie I’ve been in Tibet 2 months doing, so I thought before I get kidnapped by blockading Maoist rebels I’d offer this link from the Daily Telegraph:
“And even if he’d never slimed his comrades, there’s something ridiculous about a fellow with four months in Vietnam running as Ike, the Duke of Wellington and Alexander the Great rolled into one. On Sunday, after calling on the Senator to apologise to the 2.5 million veterans he slandered, Bob Dole couldn’t resist chipping in his own view of Kerry’s wounds.

“Here’s, you know, a good guy, a good friend. I respect his record. But three Purple Hearts and never bled that I know of,” he said. “I mean, they’re all superficial wounds.” Dole’s right arm is withered and useless from wounds received in World War Two, and he never made a big hoo-ha about it in the ’96 campaign.

But, more significantly, Dole prizes bipartisan Senatorial chumminess over almost everything, and my guess is he wouldn’t be slamming Kerry if he weren’t so revolted by the unseemly showboating of this campaign. If Vietnam vets loathe him, World War Two vets seem to think he’s a buffoon. Short of reversing over the last 128-year-old Spanish-American War veteran in the retirement home parking lot, it’s hard to see how Kerry could more comprehensively diminish his military support.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2004/08/24/do2402.xml&sSheet=/portal/2004/08/24/ixportal.html

Well, I can’t vote in your election so I don’t dwell too much on it except that I hope against hope Bush isn’t rewarded for tearing up every treaty from Westphalia to Kobe while following Hitler’s Doctrine of pre-emptive strikes.

August 23, 2004 @ 7:12 pm | Comment

As you know, the Telegraph is a very (like, very, very) conservative paper. Check out the Chicago Tribune and Knight Ridder for very different perspectives. Anyway, it’s all nonsense — an eyewitness today said Dole (who I don’t recall serving in Vietnam) was dead wrong, there was plenty of blood. So the argument becomes even more stupid. Stupid. Nonwitnesses, talking like witnesses about things they never saw. What can be nuttier?

Maybe 4 months wasn’t a long tour, maybe his wounds weren’t deep enough to meet eveeryone’s criteria; but he did serve bravely, and those who served on his boat with him stand by him today. All of the SBVFT’s lies have been exposed — this is such an inexcusable smear job, words hardly suffice to condemn it.

August 23, 2004 @ 7:25 pm | Comment

Every attack on Kerry is a terrible and false piece of dishonesty … every attack on Bush is a righteous and unquestionable thing … anything in the media that reflects badly on Kerry is a product of nasty Republican smear tactics, anything that appears in the media that attacks Bush cannot be questioned. Michael Moore is a hero because he uses misleading information to support your stance, but Fox is the servant of Satan because it does the same thing in the other direction.

I find this blog really good when it comes to things Chinese, where you struggle to be as objective as you can, and to give the Chinese government credit, where credit is due, and to curse them when they deserve it. On matters concerning USA … it might as well be a propagandist website in the best traditions of the Chinese communist party … there’s not even an attempt to be objective.

I’m not saying that you don’t have the right to support Kerry, or to attack Bush … but I really would like to see a bit more balance. Seldom in this world is someone all black or all white (figuratively speaking). Kerry isn’t the second coming, and Bush isn’t the devil. I’m not sure about you Richard, because I’ve come to respect you as someone who likes to be pretty balanced, so I can’t predict how you will respond to me here, but I know full well that some of the readers of this blog would reply, “yes, Bush is the devil” … To me, that just shows their lack of rationality. I’d no sooner listen to these acolites of the cult of Kerry than some religious nutter walking down the street handing out pamphlets of his particular creed.

On matters Bush-Kerry, this blog will be applauded by those who already agree with you, but it won’t persuade anyone from an opposing point of view, because it’s too obviously partisan.

With respect from a regular reader. ๐Ÿ™‚

August 23, 2004 @ 7:29 pm | Comment

Kerry is not the second coming. He is flawed and not my ideal choice for president, though I respect him and was impressed when I saw him in person. I have said that many times.

But his crucifixion, following the exact same pattern as that carried out against McCain in 2000, is something I have to speak out against. And I have to speak out against bush — he really is a compulsive and habitual liar, and I mean he lies about the real stuff. About dangerous stuff that affects each and every one of us. I beg you to read the new book All The President’s Spin — it is by very fair authors who flay democrats and liberals alive for his own misstatements, though the prize by a long shot goes to bush.

I gave bush a chance. I gave initial support to his war, one of the worst mistakes of my life. Look at the mess my country is in. Why shouldn’t I be hard on bush? Why shouldn’t I speak out? I am not alone. This nation is polarized; I’m on one side, you and Conrad and others are on the other side. I have never, ever been so outraged by the actions of a US president. He’s a con artist, and that is the worldwide consensus. His former supporters like Lee Iacocca and Warren Buffet and most of the Centcom generals and just about everyone else who thinks for himself has turned against this man. You may admire him, and I respect that. But I’m not going to change my tone and I’m not going to give in — we are in danger (to use bush’s own words) and the idea of a bush-appointed supreme court literally horrifies me. I have been a watcher of politics since I was a teen, and I have never been so offended and so frightened as I am today, not for emotional or idealistic reasons, but for concrete, specific examples of dishonesty and poor governance. He is not the devil — he is just consistently inarticulate, stupid (and that I can document) and totally out to enrich his cronies, deregulate their companies, and avenge his old grudges. I am very sorry to disappoint you, but this is now the cause of my life. I’ve never felt that so much hinges on a presidential election. I call it like I see it, and while I may sound strident and emotional at times, my anger is based on facts and figures. I am no moonbat and no bleeding heart liberal. And I stood firmly behind bush after 9/11, which only made it more agonizing to watch him reduce the country to failure, ridicule and despair. Budgets deficits that will take generations to pay, the gaping wound of Iraq, obscene tax cuts for those least in need — well, you know where I stand. Again, I respect you and know exactly where you’re coming from. But if our president feels he is on a “mission,” so do I. bush as got to go and I have got to do all I can to expedite his departure. If he wins, I will have to consider leaving the country. Yes, it’s that bad.

August 23, 2004 @ 7:52 pm | Comment

How dare Bob Dole question Kerry’s Vietnam record? Maybe the fact the Demcrats tried to cast doubt on his (as they did Bush’s father) when he ran against Clinton opens the door.

Perhaps Bob Dole earned the right when hh spilled his blood on the battlefield in WWII?

August 23, 2004 @ 9:09 pm | Comment

When did the Dems attack Dole’s war record? If they did, I would condemn them for it. This is the first I’ve heard of it. I have similarly never heard of them attacking Bush I’s war record, and I would condemn that likewise. If they DID condemn it, they never published phoney books about it and never went on the cable news shows en masse to destroy them.

August 23, 2004 @ 9:13 pm | Comment

More of the Dole-Kerry telephone exchange:

Dole told Kerry, “I’m not trying to stir anything up, but I don’t believe every one of these people who have talked about what happened are Republican liars.

“And very frankly, Bush is my guy, and I’m tired of people on your side calling him everything from a coward to a traitor to everything – a deserter.”

Dole said he urged Kerry, “Why don’t you call George Bush today and say, ‘Mr. President, let’s stop all this stuff about the National Guard and Vietnam – and let’s talk about the issues.”

Dole said Kerry responded, “I haven’t spent one dime attacking President Bush.”

But the Republican war hero shot back, “You don’t have to. You’ve got all the so-called mainstream media, plus you’ve got MoveOn.org and all these other groups that have spent millions and millions of dollars trying to tarnish Bush’s image.”

“Don’t tell me you don’t know what some of these people are doing,” he told Kerry.

“Everybody likes quiet heroes,” Dole added, saying he told Kerry, “John, everybody knows you were in Vietnam and the less you say about it, the better.”

August 23, 2004 @ 9:27 pm | Comment

Richard:

Dole here ann Bush Sr. here. And while you’re condemning, would you care to condemn this:

Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh, speaking on โ€œHannity and Colmesโ€:

“George Bush betrayed his country by not fighting in Vietnam.โ€

Given an opportunity to correct this rather incredible statement, Ms. Marsh declined, arguing that she had nothing to correctโ€”that it was a fact that George Bush betrayed his country by not fighting in Vietnam.

Betrayed his country?!?

Guess Clinton did too then, huh?

=====

Sam:

That last line from Dole is EXACTLY what originally put me totally off Kerry.

My Dad flew Wild Weaselsin Vietnam. One of my grandfathers was picked up off the beach and Dunkirk 1940 and relanded at Normandy 4 years later. My other grandfather chased the North Koreans to the Yalu River and had his ass chased back to the 38th parallel by the Chinese. I served in the USMC and, while I never saw combat, I served with officers and NCO’s with heroic combat records.

Not once did I ever here any of them preening, yammering and puffing out their chests about their own records, as Kerry has done all his life. Indeed, they were all modest and quiet about it. Kerry’s behavior is unseemly and it turns my stomach. Bus Sr., Dole and Kennedy had more class than than. John the rent boy, doesn’t.

August 23, 2004 @ 10:13 pm | Comment

Conrad, YES — I DO condemn Mary Marsh. I saw her on Hannity & Colmes and I was sickened. She was utterly stupid and irresponsbile.

I am no hypocrite and I have no double standards. I hate stupidity — Kerry has been stupid at times, and I can’t easily forgive him for it. But he’s our one hope to get rid of bush. All is relative. Kerry may be pumping his chest about Vietnam — but he was there, while gwb was playing poolside volleyball and snorting — well, never mind. I don’t admire the chest thumping, but I definitely dislike it less than I do bush’s games.

I gotta go to sleep.

August 23, 2004 @ 10:18 pm | Comment

Richard, we all all hypocrits and have double standards, to one degree or another.

The thing I don’t understand is how anyone can assert that service in the Nir National Guard (ANG) was somehow less than honorable.

1. Flying fighter jets, particularly in that era, was bloodly dangerous business, even in peaceful conditions (my Dad did it for many years and we never rested completely easy when he was flying).

2. The ANG was primarily responsible for US air defense during the period Bush served.

3. The US was engaged in a cold war with the Soviet Union, with massive Russian nuclear armed bomber fleets on standby to strike the US, meaning that, not only was domestic air defense important, it was vital (think Cuban missile crises).

5. Notwithstanding the cold war, would you have disbanded the US’s domestic air defense?

6. If the answer to No. 5 is “no”, but Bush was dishonorable in performing the task, who precisely should have done it? If Bush was worng to fly ANG instead of serve in Vietnam, so was everyone else who did so.

7. If your response is “Bush pulled strings” or “Bush was AWOL” please note that there is no more physical evidence (and less testimonial evidence) regarding that, than there is about Kerry’s suposed failures.

8. In light of No. 7 above, why are the AWOL, string-puller charges aceptable but the swiftboat veterens charges not?

9. Why was Bill Clinton, who really did pull strings to avoid any service whatsoever, acceptable to be President but not Clinton? If the answer is “AWOL!” please see item No. 7 above.

Personally, Richard, as I’ve said before, I don’t like the Kerry medal allegations (Cambodia is different). If the Navy said he earned them, he did. But, the same goes for Bush. If the ANG says he performed his duty, he did. Instead, Michael Moore, MoveOn.org and the Swiftboat Veterens have decided to behave like feces flinging monkeys, which is great fun to watch, but hardly edifying.

August 24, 2004 @ 12:09 am | Comment

Conrad, I don’t have the strength to argue now, except to say this: I truly respect you, but I cannot believe you don’t recognize bush’s choice to use connections to get into the ANG as an attempt to seek safe haven from the danger of the war — the war he said he supported, no less. Bill Clinton avoided service and so did nearly all the architects of our war in Iraq. Clinton never hid from this. bush has tried to hide from this truth by referring often to his being a pilot, especially at the time of his infamous Mission Accomplished landing. Just like Kerry (by your logic) he is vulnerable to questions here, because he brought it up and pointed to it as an asset of his leadership. bush did evade service. Kerry served. Period, end of story. He can be criticized for it; it’s something he’s always tried to dance around. But should we make up blatant lies about it? Should we write books about how we was off doing disgusting things based on hearsay? Of course not. That would be supremely unethical. That’s what they’re doing now to Kerry. Yet more SBVFT have been caled on their lies today, and their swift boat is swiftlysinking.

(By the way, I don’t remember Moore flinging feces about bush’s ANG service — can you remind me why you say this)

August 24, 2004 @ 8:04 pm | Comment

Like many people in this world I don’t have the right to vote in the coming US election, but the American presidency is so important to the international community (ask the Afghans, Iraqis, Liberians, Vietnamese, etc) that we are not only interested in who becomes the president but who we would prefer to be the one. That’s why non-Americans feel the need and the ‘right(?)’ to comment on an American presidential candidate.

Bush by himself is not dangerous but the people behind him are – that’s why the Bush (Jnr) administration is the most feared and despised American administration in history – and we aren’t talking about the feelings or views of Arab or Muslim countries. Even Nelson Mandela said that the US under Bush Jnr is the most dangerous nation on the globe.

Behind his back, Bush’s closest allies make light-hearted pokes at him but frown at those actually pulling the strings of US power – a top Spanish politician (from one of the Coalition of the Willing) remarked, in fact during Spain’s involvement in the Iraq invasion, that the world “needs more of Powell and less of Rumsfeld in the US administration”.

Back to the thread, does it matter whether Kerry’s wounds didn’t bleed as much as Dole would have like to see – he was in Vietnam fighting for the US, wasn’t he?

When one has shed a drop of blood or two, witnessed deaths and injuries of comrades, and experienced the physical, mental and emotional morasses of war, whether he be Kerry, McCain or Powell, one would be more cautious about sending young men and women to war on flimsy and fabricated reasons. One shouldn’t be surprised if a bloodied veteran becomes a dove, or at least very much less of a hawk.

August 24, 2004 @ 8:06 pm | Comment

Jacky, I have just two words to say: Thank you.

August 24, 2004 @ 8:16 pm | Comment

“Bush pulled strings.”

Evidence please.

August 24, 2004 @ 8:56 pm | Comment

Everyone wanted to get into the ANG — “guanxi” was the only way to get in, and bush as never, ever denied this. It was all due to a letter from Dad. If you really want me to research this I will, but it’s no secret; this fact has never been disputed by the bush camp; they never said he simply applied and, lo and behold, he was moved to the top of the list by magic. That’s not how it worked in the Vietnam days, and you should know this. I’ll go and collect evidence if you so request; but please agree that if I do, you’ll concede the point to me if the evidence is reasonable. Thanks.

August 24, 2004 @ 9:21 pm | Comment

I do not think there is any evidence whatsoever of a letter from his Dad. If you can point to to evidence otherwise, I’d love to see it.

Besides, so what if he did. The ANG served a real and necessary function during the war. Yet, according to your logic, everyone who served in the ANG during Vietnam behaved improperly since influence was supposedly the only way to get in.

Actually, for what it’s worth (this is strictly anecdotal) my father says there were often openings in Air Gurad units because (1) entry requirements were high; (2) there was long training and active duty involved and (3) it was a long committment. There were other, much easier ways to avoid service (grad. school, regular guard, etc.) particularly if you had influence.

I tend to defer to the Old Man on this since, after ‘Nam, he served as a flight instructor, which would have included ANG pilots.

August 26, 2004 @ 1:06 am | Comment

Be that as it may, Li’l George’s business career — not to mention his very presence in the White House itself — is the ultimate example of guanxi in action.

August 26, 2004 @ 9:41 am | Comment

Conrad, if you are not aware that the ANG was seen as a safe haven for kids with dads who had some political muscle, then we may as well give it up. I know you aren’t that poorly informed or naive. But let’s give you the benefit of the doubt and say this was service equivalent to a soldier sent to Vietnam, bizarre as such a comparison surely is. So bush has accepted this mighty responsibility, as grave and urgent as John Kerry’s, and what does he do? He flakes out, misses his physical and is, for all intents and purposes, AWOL. 245 naval officers may swear against Kerry in their little book (though most never heard of him, and their sworn affidavits have been all but completely discredited). But at least those 200+ officers say they saw Kerry where he was supposed to be. We can’t find ANY credible witnesses who can recall seeing bush when he was supposed to be on duty in Alabama, none at all. And still, you want to see their service to America as equivalent. I respect you and I respect your intelligence, but I honestly cannot reconcie these things. I can’t understand how you take this set of facts and arrive at your conclusion.

August 26, 2004 @ 8:51 pm | Comment

Richard:

I take it the reply above means that you cannot produce any evidence of the “letter from Dad” that you alleged?

August 26, 2004 @ 9:31 pm | Comment

No Conrad — I said I would try to track it down if you’d agree that if I succeed, you’ll concede this point to me and agree that bush did not to his utmost to support a war he said he was in favor of. I am working n0ow and it’s not nearly so easyu for me to spend hours trying to track down these things. I’ll do it if, as I said, you’ll acknowledge it appropriately.

August 26, 2004 @ 9:57 pm | Comment

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