In 2002, Tom DeLay Took the Cake as a Chickenhawk, but Not By Much. The Bush Administration Was a Den of War-Mongering Chickenhawks.
Al Gore and John Kerry served in Vietnam, but end up having their service maligned by a plethora of GOP chickenhawks. In this 2002 BuzzFlash editorial, we take aim at the chickenhawks of the GOP. This is a Republican legacy that is also manifest in the administration of president bone spurs and warhawk John Bolton (who like Bush sat out the war in the National Guard). Cheney, by the way, had five draft deferments.
Originally Posted in March, 2002
“DeLay's excuse for having a yellow streak as wide as the Rio Grande down his back is truly imaginative, if you take a delight in the bizarre. The man who believes Dioxin is good for you (again, we are not making this up), claims that he volunteered for Vietnam, but all the spots were taken up by minorities, so he was not allowed to serve. Clearly all those years of exposure to toxic chemicals had some serious side effects on 'Ol Tom.”
Of all the Republican Chicken Hawks, Tom DeLay takes the cake. But make that a fruitcake, please.
The man who avoided service in Vietnam to open an exterminator business (we're not making this up) regularly gets up on his high horse alleging that liberal Democrats lost the Vietnam War. Now, according to one of our readers, DeLay has gone even further, defaming Senator John Kerry, who actually fought heroically in Vietnam, and by claiming Bush would have won the war if he were president then:
This morning (3/9), I was sipping tea and watching CNN when Tom Delay came on to speak about wonderful GW. He was asked about Kerry's mild rebuke of him and he came out with the most outrageous comments I think he should be censored.
He said that Kerry fought in Vietnam and came back to protest against it and it was people like him that gave aid to the enemy and undercut our soldiers over there and that people like him caused us to lose the war. Then he said that if GW had been president we would have won that war. I think I have lived long enough to be totally disgusted by the revisionist history of Vietnam by people who ducked and hid.
A BuzzFlash Reader
Of course, Bush could have helped try to win the war by actually serving there, but Bush, another Republican with a Vietnam yellow streak down his back, chose not to fight or be anywhere within 5,000 miles of Vietnam. To evade service in the war, Junior had Poppy Bush make a call to get him into the Texas National Guard (where he was essentially AWOL for his last year of service, but that's another story).
DeLay's excuse for having a yellow streak as wide as the Rio Grande down his back is truly imaginative, if you take a delight in the bizarre. The man who believes Dioxin is good for you (again, we are not making this up), claims that he volunteered for Vietnam, but all the spots were taken up by minorities, so he was not allowed to serve. Clearly all those years of exposure to toxic chemicals had some serious side effects on 'Ol Tom.
This is where you, the reader, may think BuzzFlash is exaggerating. Oh, yee of little faith!
As the Houston Press reported in 1999: (Go to: http://www.houstonpress.com/issues/1999-01-07/columns2.html/1/index.html).
"In 1988, a little-known Texas congressman gathered a crowd of reporters in the lobby of a downtown New Orleans hotel housing several state delegates to the Republican National Convention. Clutching a pole topped by a drooping American flag, 22nd District two-termer Tom DeLay launched into a rather implausible defense of Dan Quayle, an Indiana senator freshly picked by George Bush as his presidential ticket partner.
Bill Clinton's draft-dodging efforts would become an issue in his successful campaign against Bush four years later, but now Quayle's own past manipulation of family ties to get into a national guard unit was touching off a classic feeding frenzy among the convention press corps.
DeLay seemed to feel the issue applied personally to him, and perhaps it did. He had graduated from the University of Houston at the height of the Vietnam conflict in 1970, but chose to enlist in the war on cockroaches, fleas and termites as the owner of an exterminator business, rather than going off to battle against the Vietcong.
He and Quayle, DeLay explained to the assembled media in New Orleans, were victims of an unusual phenomenon back in the days of the undeclared Southeast Asian war. So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself. Satisfied with the pronouncement, which dumbfounded more than a few of his listeners who had lived the sixties, DeLay marched off to the convention.
"Who was that idiot?" asked a TV reporter who arrived at the end of the media show. When he was told the name, it drew a blank. DeLay at that time was a national nobody, and his claim that blacks and browns crowded him and other good conservatives out of Vietnam seemed so outlandish and self-serving that no one bothered to file a news report on the congressman's remarks."
Well, unfortunately, the Democrats let "that idiot" get away with far too much. For DeLay to air comments on CNN denigrating war hero Kerry, without being denounced by leading Democrats and the DNC is not just unacceptable, it's unconscionable.
Tom DeLay should be roundly -- and repeatedly -- denounced for the coward he was. He joins a long list of prominent Republicans who love to paint the Democratic Party leaders as unpatriotic and as the cause of the U.S. "losing" the Vietnam war, but who didn't have the guts to fight for their country.
Read the list at http://www.awolbush.com/whoserved.html.
As you can see from visiting awolbush.com, it is the Democrat leaders who primarily served -- and the Republican leadership who, for the most part, ran from Vietnam like scared rabbits.
Bill Clinton didn't go to Vietnam because he felt morally opposed to the war and thought Americans were dying needlessly. Tom DeLay and his GOP Chicken Hawk colleagues didn't serve, but supported the war, sending other young men to die in their place. Now they are still blaming the Democrats for losing Vietnam, when it is the Tom DeLays of the world who were paper tiger warriors.
We should never let DeLay, Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Lott and their Chicken Hawk colleagues forget who served their country in time of war -- and which fair weather patriots ran away from service, even as they continue to denounce principled opposition to the Vietnam War.
Just one more reason the GOP should change its name to the GHP, the Grand Hypocrisy Party.