Thursday, February 12, 2004

BUSH'S TEETH REPORTED FOR DUTY IN ALABAMA

The White House is in a losing battle over this whole AWOL thing. I don't have the time to fine-tooth comb all the evidence, so my observations are based more on the process as it unfolds rather than the veracity of particular pieces of evidence.

President pro tem Bush was emphatic in last Sunday's now monumental MTP interview that he did his duty in serving in the National Guard. More than whether he showed up or not, or used his family's political influence to doctor records, the interesting question American's should be asking themselves and the White House just how exactly George Bush defined his duty.

Bush's sense of duty seems to amount to showing up and getting a check for attendance next to his name. Contrast Bush with John Kerry, whose service in Vietnam and sense of duty has earned him widespread accolade from democrats and conservatives alike, inspired a veterans brigade to take up the cause of his presidential campaign, and brought out even lifetime Republicans alongside whom Kerry fought in support of the Senator. Kerry's sense of duty pervaded his service and earned him the respect of servicemen and women across the board.

How many of Bush's National Guard cohorts have come forward to validate his claims and to stand by the president's side at his time of need? Bush's performance and commitment was so lackluster that his superiors can't even remember if he showed up! But whether Bush showed up or not, that the service he offered and the commitment he expended has faded into oblivion demonstrate that the President took his duty lightly at best.

Which brings us back to this morning's Washington Post article: while some were giving their lives for this country and others were serving in the National Guard to avoid a war they opposed on principle (Bush supported the Vietnam war), Bush was galavanting around Alabama getting free dental exams on the taxpayers dime.

The more superfluous evidence the White House puts forward, the worse this is going to get for Bush. It makes him look desparate and insincere. Sincerity, after all, would have produced the men and women with whom Bush served and built lasting bonds of mutual respect, not dental records.

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