Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Rove, the Coward

Unsaid in all the blather about Karl Rove’s leaving the White House is that, under all the macho geek bravado, he has been another prototypical Bush-Cheney patriot who, like his leaders, did everything possible to avoid bleeding for his country when he might have and later savaged those who did.

Dirty politics is galling enough, but a certified coward slandering the brave to win elections is pathological.

During the war in Vietnam, Rove slithered in and out of colleges to keep a 2-S deferment after drawing a draft lottery number making it likely he would be called. He got himself reclassified as a University of Utah student despite, according to Wikipedia, “being only a part-time student in the autumn and spring quarters of 1971...and dropping out of the university in June 1971.

“Rove was a student at the University of Maryland, College Park in the fall of 1971...but registrar's records show that he withdrew from classes during the first half of the semester. In December 1971 he was reclassified as 1-A. On April 27, 1972, he was reclassified as 1-H, or ‘not currently subject to processing for induction.’ The draft ended on June 30, 1973.”

This is the war record of the man who in 2000 slandered John McCain as mentally unstable after five years as a POW in Vietnam, in 2004 swift-boated John Kerry who fought and bled in the war Rove dodged and, most unspeakable of all, impugned the patriotism of Sen. Max Cleland, who lost both legs and an arm there.

It would take a team of psychologists to untangle the sickness in all this, but the late Mary McGrory summed it up with the Shakespearian, "He jests at scars that never felt the wound."

But Rove is a man of his times. Now we have to endure super-machismo war talk from Rudy Giuliani, who evaded Vietnam on the basis of his indispensability as a law clerk, Mitt Romney who spent that period as a Mormon missionary in France and Fred Thompson, who was too busy as an assistant prosecutor in Tennessee.

It’s not vital that Presidents and President-makers have defended the country in uniform, but it would help if they tried to understand and respect those who did.

1 comment:

Dr. Stimplove said...

"It’s not vital that Presidents and President-makers have defended the country in uniform, but it would help if they tried to understand and respect those who did."

And wouldn't it be great if they hadn't done everything they could to avoid serving in a war they supported? Dubya served in the Air National Guard to avoid the risk of getting his ass shot down over Vietnam, but as far as I know he agreed with his papa about US military involvement in Vietnam. Fast forward to 2004 and Dubya doesn't speak up to put a stop to the slandering of Kerry, someone who could easily have avoided military service by enrolling in law school right after his BA but chose to risk his life in that dirty war.

It surprises and disappoints me that chickenhawk politicians aren't called on this shit a lot more.