Ask the right questionsNow that the story that GW Bush did a half-assed job of his duty in the Air Guard has grown legs, it's time that we ask a few of the right questions. Why does it suprise people that Bush did a half-assed job at anything? He scored in the 25th percentile on the flight exam, barely enough to get in, yet he leap-frogged over more qualified applicants and avoided Nam. Click here to read Lou Dubose asking all the right questions, again, in the LA Weekly. Of course, Lou and Molly Ivans have been asking the right questions since Dubya became Gubna. Seems the press was taking a little vacation. Good to have them back.
While even some of my liberal friends are suggesting we leave this issue alone, I think there's something bigger here that deserves looking into. Of course, weapons of mass destruction are much more important. But the AWOL story and how the bushies handle it is part of a pattern of deceit these neo-cons have been perpetuating about their boy. From here, the press can easily slide into Harken Energy records that will show Bush taking the kind of loans he now says CEOs shouldn't, selling stock on insider tips, not filing paper work with the SEC while his Daddy was President and not getting in trouble for it. There's funeral gate, and Bush saying "show me the money" to lobbyists on the steps of the Texas Capitol. There's Bush telling Jews they're all going to hell, because only Christians get into heaven. And when asked about these, and many other stories, Bush's hemming and hawing will provide great fodder for Jon Stewart and the talented Daily Show writers.
I would also like to remind my liberal friends that this issue goes to much bigger points, like crediblity. For instance, when he says he didn't take the physical exam because he knew he wasn't going to be flying, how did he know that? Because he chose (or did someone assign him) to be trained in an antiquated plane that was being phased out (and therefore he would not be sent to Nam)? Aren't exams REQUIRED of people the public has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars training? What if he had been called up to active duty and sent back to his base in Texas, where they needed him to fly? Would someone in the press please ask him if he didn't take the test because he knew that with cocaine in his system he would flunk the physical, and that would fly in the face of the Texas Air Guard's Refer-Madness poster boy facade. “George Walker Bush is one member of the younger generation who doesn’t get his kicks from pot or hashish or speed,” says the 1970 National Guard press release. “Oh, he gets high, all right. But not from narcotics.”
If this guy is such a straight shooter, as his neo-con apologists want to believe, then why doesn't he just come clean? Hell, even Clinton finally admitted that he tried to get out of the draft, but eventually drew a high number. Seems W didn't want to just avoid the possiblity of a low number, he wanted to cut in line to go to the head of the class with the lowest score (elite affirmative action), and then he wanted to get by doing as little work as possible. If character is indeed as important as these people have been suggesting, then these questions aren't just important, they're essential.
Finally, for my liberal friends who suggest we move on, I would like to point out how quickly debate can shift these days. With massive acts of civil disobedience taking place all over the country at marriage license counters this Valentine's Day, we should never underestimate how one story can shift debate in this country quickly and righteously. Thanks to the Mass. Supreme Court, Civil Unions ala Vermont are now the middle ground. Just four years ago, Civil unions were considered liberal. Just think where reasoned debate, and asking the right questions about military service can take this country over the next five and a half months.