blogenlust
9.09.2004

Bush and TANG


I think kos has the best rundown of the Bush National Guard Story. Here is a teaser:
The Ben Barnes thing is subject to debate, and partisans will line up on the obvious sides (like they have with the Swift Boat Liars). But the official documents uncovered by 60 Minutes (despite the White House's attempt to cover them up)? There's no way to spin those away. The facts are there in black and white.
Also, at the Political Animal:
This story is a perfect demonstration of the difference between the Swift Boat controversy and the National Guard controversy. Both are tales from long ago and both are related to Vietnam, but the documentary evidence in the two cases is like night and day. In the Swift Boat case, practically every new piece of documentary evidence indicates that Kerry's accusers are lying. Conversely, in the National Guard case, practically every new piece of documentary evidence provides additional confirmation that the charges against Bush are true.
This is not rocket science. The records clearly demonstrate that Bush skipped his National Guard obligations. Is this relevant? Well, I know arguments will be made to answer both sides of this question, but I do think they are relevant, if only because the White House has been misleading the public on this for so long. Bush prides himself on, and in fact campaigns on, his image as a straight-shooter who doesn't go back on his word. The White House cover-up of Bush's records, and not to mention Bush's own lies on the subject (see Meet the Press interview with Tim Russert) should be pretty damaging to Bush's cred. I say should because we've all been down this road before. Bush has been lucky to get through many sticky situations, and I hope this time it is different. One last thing. I've heard many Administration and Bush Campaign officials try to dismiss this because Bush was honorably discharged. This may sound good, but it doesn't hold up (under these new records) that Bush should have been honorably discharged. I've read a few people who claim that it was not unusual for people to be honorably discharged, even if they don't deserve it. Clearly, the records demonstrate there was some political pressure on the TANG to handle Bush with kid's gloves. That isn't in dispute anymore (e.g. pressure to "sugar coat Bush"). From this, it doesn't take too big of an imaginative leap to connect the dots that Bush's honorable discharge was political.