Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Tuesday, February 10, 2004  

The question of whether Bush went AWOL while serving in the National Guard is well-covered (currently 910 sources on a Google News search). Kevin Drum, who's become the point man on it (I saw he was quoted by the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune) has all the relevant info. In the mad rush to spin the story (it's possible only Bush knows the whole truth), people are theorizing some pretty grand things. I suggest that we just watch it unfold. That Bush--the man who led the country to two wars and whose administration has publicly questioned Democratic patriotism--is defending himself against charges of having gone AWOL in an earlier war is pretty shocking stuff.

Moreover, there are some uncomfortable questions floating in the air that I'd prefer stay there as long as possible. Kevin identifies two: why don't the stories add up, and why is Bush refusing to release his entire military record? I'd add a third--why has no one stepped forward to defend the President from the years he allegedly wasn't AWOL? All of those questions have more than one answer--and all of the answers are bad for the President. Letting voters ponder the possibilities (what else is amiss?; how bad a soldier was he?; what else is in his military record?) is just dandy by me.

Because, while all this is playing out, I'm wondering--where the hell have you all been? For three years people have bought all the President's explanations, given him the benefit of thousands of doubts, and overlooked abundant evidence that he's dishonest, incompetent, a slacker, and not particularly bright. After his chat with Tim Russert, he got a Bronx cheer from pretty much the entire world. They blamed him for being confused and unsteady, lackluster, dishonest, and dim. Yeah? Did any of you see the debates he had with Gore? He hasn't changed a bit--but for some reason the country has awakened to the man they elected.

This AWOL business is keep America's eyes trained on the man they elected. The longer that happens, the happier I'll be.

posted by Jeff | 12:15 PM |
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