John Branch starts us off with a political laugh.
Trump’s standard defense is “I don’t know the guy,” which means that, if you rob a bank, the police should only interview witnesses you’ve had lunch with.
I know politicians who pride themselves on the number of people they know, and even cheat the number up.
Hubert Humphrey had index cards and, when he visited a city, his aides would slip him these cheat sheets so that he could not only greet people by name but reference personal things about them. He is far from the only politician who’s thought of that.
Trump is no politician, and, instead, insists he doesn’t know people whom he probably should.
In the case of Vindman, he said
I don’t know him. I don’t know, as he says, ‘the lieutenant colonel,’ I understand someone had the misfortune of addressing him as ‘Mister’ and he corrected them. I never saw the man. I understand he wears his uniform when he goes in.
Note that he not only thinks wanting to be called by your rank is foolish and unbecoming, but even seems to doubt that Vindman is really a lieutenant colonel.
Which raises an important question: WTF?
It’s not just that Trump never served. We’ve had several presidents with no military duty, including Grover Cleveland and Bill Clinton, who each gamed the system to avoid service.
But they both took criticism for it, and, while I don’t know whether either of them felt shame or regret over it, they were smart enough not to draw attention to how little they knew about the military.
You can hear Trump’s remarks here, and the article also explains — for those whose rich daddies got them excused from service — why this so-called self-described lieutenant colonel chose to wear his uniform:
Army regulations state that “when an invitation calls for business attire, the appropriate Army uniform is the service or dress uniform.” The regulations further state: “All personnel will wear an Army uniform when on duty, unless granted an exception by the commander to wear civilian clothes. “
In other words, it wasn’t a choice, any more than “Lieutenant Colonel” is something he simply decided to call himself.
Andy Marlette hammers on the contrast more directly, and, on the one hand, I find this a bit shrill, which is to say that it’s awfully direct and devoid of wit or satire.
On the other hand, maybe a little less wit and a little more hammering is a good thing.
After all, when you deal with the Deplorables, you’re dealing with people who were willing and eager to believe the lies of the Swift Boat Veterans who assailed John Kerry’s combat record, while refusing to believe that serving in the National Guard — as both Dan Quayle and George W did — was often a means of avoiding the draft.
And who still go ballistic over the name “Jane Fonda,” mixing her admittedly foolish political moves with abject lies about what she actually did.
So pointing out that their Dear Leader not simply “avoided” service but actively lied to do so, that he didn’t just “game the system” but was a deliberate draft dodger, is worth the effort, and, certainly, there’s no need to be subtle or witty.
Staying in school to maintain a II-S deferment may have been “gaming the system.” He was clearly no scholar, despite his lies about the grades he won’t release, which, by the way, is a contrast with his calls for Obama’s grades to be made public.
But filing a false document in order to flunk your physical is pure, planned draft dodging, and deserves to be pointed out, even if they won’t believe you or have somehow decided it doesn’t matter.
And on a related topic, here’s a sketch — one of several — from yet another of Ann Telnaes’s continuing coverage of the hearings.
It’s been annoying enough to hear Republican apologists sputter over the idea that the impeachment investigation is an attempt to overturn the election.
It really does make you wonder what they think an impeachment is, if not that.
But, as she points out, it’s also incredibly hypocritical, given the fact that they not only dragged their feet throughout the Obama administration, but publicly, defiantly announced their intentions of doing so unless he changed his policies to align with theirs.
Leaving this question: How many pikestaffs would you need, if you wanted to attach one to every lightpole on Pennsylvania Avenue between 1600 and its intersection with 1st Street?
Because opposition politics is part of the democratic system.
But there’s a point at which it isn’t, and we’re well past that.
Juxtaposition of the Ridiculous
I suppose if you don’t find it incongruous for an out-and-out draft dodger and his supporters to question the patriotism of a decorated veteran or two, you won’t find it absurd for nepotism babies to question the bona fides of other nepotism babies.
Let’s be clear: If I were Joe Biden, I wouldn’t have put my son in that position. I wouldn’t have put him in any position.
I was raised to despise nepotism. In fact, my father — who was well-educated and well-qualified for his position — switched steel companies once his father was promoted to a point where bearing the same name aroused even ill-founded suspicions.
Which makes me particularly resistant to listening to a daddy’s boy who created his own medical association so he could be a doctor and another who was a legacy at his old man’s second college.
So, no, I wouldn’t have put my son in a position people would speculate he had achieved through nepotism.
Maybe that’s just me.
But, jumpin’ jesus on a pogo stick, I also wouldn’t trot out Clyde Barrow and Pretty Boy Floyd to lecture against bank robbery.
Rebel Without a Coat
And then there’s Gym Jordan, who is such a rebel that he doesn’t wear a jacket even to Congressional hearings.
Whoa-ho! What’s he doing in the House?
One thought on “CSotD: The Inappropriate-shuns Committee”
I always appreciate you take, Mike. And today’s piece was thoughtful and entertaining as usual. But the Dead Milkmen reference — Wow! — I had to drop you a thank you for that!
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