Feb 16, 2004
President Bush tried to defend his National Guard service by showing his pay stubs, a dental record, and many other equally irrelevant documents.
No one has disputed that he was paid. Lots of influential people get paid for doing nothing. Neither has anyone accused him of failing to get dental attention on the National Guard's dime. These are phony answers, trotted out to hide what Bush has no real answer for.
The issue is how Bush used his family's wealth and power to evade service during the Viet Nam war.
Bush can't deny that he was jumped over 500 applicants already in line for openings in the Texas Air National Guard. Nor can he deny that he was placed in a unit of the Guard that, full of the sons of wealth and privilege, was put to training on obsolete jets that would never be used in war.
Can Bush deny that he requested and received a transfer to the Alabama Guard, and while in Alabama used his time to work on a political campaign? No, nor can he produce any evidence that he actually performed all the hours and duties required of National Guardsmen of that era – in a unit that never faced even a hint of possibility of being sent to Viet Nam.
None of Bush's documents go one inch toward satisfying those questions. Even more telling, none of those who have accused Bush of evading service – even those using the terms "AWOL" and "deserter" – not one of those accusers has been sued for libel or defamation of character. Not one of the multitude of high-priced lawyers available to Bush and his family has been used to call any of the accusers into court.
If not, it's not because Bush is a temperate man. It can only be that evidence in court would be too damaging to him.
Bush constantly holds himself up as a model of morality, a model of Christian born-again righteousness. Evasion of his obligations, both legal and moral, during wartime? It certainly indicts him and his pretensions.
But in another way, Bush's "moral model" is perfectly accurate. Bush, the wealthy frat boy, requested – and got – released from the military six months early, so he could go to Harvard Business School. When asked about it, he said he "worked it out with the military."
Yes, this is the moral model of the wealthy and privileged few, who always know how to begin wars which will enlarge their wealth and privilege – and know how to send the workers and the poor off to fight. This is the moral model of those who know how to "work it out" so they never need serve when others serve, never endure hardship that others endure – and never die where others die.
This is the truly despicable, and wholly accurate, morality which Bush – representing his class – embodies.