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Former Texas Lt. Gov. says he helped Bush dodge 'Nam.
August 27, 2004 5:09 PM   Subscribe

Former Texas Lt. Gov. says he helped Bush dodge 'Nam. "I got...I got a young man named George W. Bush into the National Guard when I was the Lt. Governor of Texas, and I'm not necessarily proud of that. But, But I did it, and I got a lot of other people into the National Guard because I thought that's what people should do when you're in office and you helped a lot of rich people. And I walked to the Vietnam Memorial wall the other day and I looked at the names of the people that died in Vietnam, and I became more ashamed of myself than I've ever been because it's the worst thing I did was help a lot of wealthy supporters, and a lot of people who had family names of importance get into the National Guard. And I'm very sorry about that, and I'm ashamed. And I apologize to you, the voters of Texas."
Video available here.
posted by insomnia_lj (43 comments total)

 
How much longer to the election? Over two months?

*buckles seatbelt*

This is gonna be a great election. Pass me the popcorn, will ya?
posted by keswick at 5:13 PM on August 27, 2004


This is probably very bad news for Bush.


...alright, alright. I'm done now.
posted by punishinglemur at 5:16 PM on August 27, 2004


Hey, did you hear that Bush was AWOL, too?

*cough*
posted by MrAnonymous at 5:17 PM on August 27, 2004




"John Kerry said today he wants to debate President Bush once a month. Hey good luck, if Bush couldn't make it to the National Guard once a month, he's not going to show up for this." —Jay Leno

"The Bush campaign for re-election has officially begun. They're actually running television commercials. Have you seen any of the television commercials? In one of the commercials, you see George Bush for thirty seconds. In another commercial, you get to see George Bush for sixty seconds — kind of like his stint in the National Guard." —David Letterman

"In Louisiana, President Bush met with over 15,000 National Guard troops. Here's the weird part, nobody remembers seeing him there." —Craig Kilborn

"The White House has finally found one guy that kinda remembers serving with President Bush in the National Guard. Now they just need to find someone who remembers Bush working on an economic plan. ... I think the White House spent more money looking for this guy than finding weapons of mass destruction." —Jay Leno

"The White House has now released military documents that they say prove George Bush met his requirements for the National Guard. Big deal, we've got documents that prove Al Gore won the election." —Jay Leno

"There was an embarrassing moment in the White House earlier today. They were looking around while searching for George Bush's military records. They actually found some old Al Gore ballots." —David Letterman

"There's this huge controversy over the fact that President Bush apparently received credit for National Guard service in Alabama in '72 and '73 even though his commanding officers are saying he never reported. I think what's even more disturbing is that he received enough credits to graduate from Yale." —Jay Leno

"Bush did have an explanation, he said he did go to Alabama but when he didn't find weapons of mass destruction, he went back to Texas." —Jay Leno

"As John Kerry sails toward the Democratic nomination, new questions are emerging about President Bush's service in the National Guard, like where he was for six months in 1972 and why he refused to take a routine physical. President Bush has vowed to get to the bottom of this right after Election Day." —Craig Kilborn

"President Bush stopped off at a bass pro fishing store to pick up a fishing reel, some line and some rubber worms. He's going to disappear and go fishing. So he must think he's back in the National Guard." —Jay Leno

"Critics are now saying that his dad got him out of going to Vietnam. However, his dad did get him to go to Iraq." —Jay Leno

"Ironically, the possibility that the president dodged his military service has increased his approval ratings with Democrats by 80 percent." —Craig Kilborn

"President Bush is not fazed by other candidates' war records. He said, I may have not fought in Vietnam, but I created one." —Craig Kilborn

"The big story now is that President Bush is coming under attack for his service in the National Guard. The White House said, 'no no,' that they have payroll records to show that he served in the National Guard. But today, the commanding officers can't remember seeing Bush between May and October of '72. President Bush said, 'Remember me? I'm the drunk guy. Remember me?'" —Jay Leno

""They are having a panel look into the intelligence failures in Iraq. It is a seven person panel and it will include Senator John McCain, but the findings from this panel will not be issued until after the election. President Bush says the commission can go off and report back in a year, you know, the same way it works in the Texas National Guard." —Bill Maher

(from: http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/blbushawoljokes.htm
posted by jackspace at 5:26 PM on August 27, 2004


My money's on a right-wing pundit crying that Barnes was a Democrat, hence proving the video is a complete fabrication, plus it was done by Commies.

Believe Barnes or not, this video deserves just as much attention on the news as the Swift Boat Liars were given.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:17 PM on August 27, 2004


I'm not sure I see why Bush's choice of and entry into the guard is a big deal. Faced with a draft, I would probably enlist in some branch other than the army myself, even for a well-justified war.

Don't get me wrong: I think the questions about his actual guard service are worth asking, as they are with Kerry's Vietnam service, as are questions about how those experiences qualify someone to understand and make judgements about war.

But complaining that a Lt. Governor got someone into the state air guard seems sortof like complaining that a senator helped get someone into West Point. The privilege angle makes it seem a little unpleasant, but the choice of service doesn't.
posted by weston at 6:20 PM on August 27, 2004


some good ones there, jackspace : >

this guy is great, and i'm glad he had the balls to speak up.
posted by amberglow at 6:21 PM on August 27, 2004


Barnes was nailed in the Sharpstown Stock-fraud scandal in 1971,

and with quotes like "But I did it, and I got a lot of other people into the National Guard because I thought that's what people should do when you're in office and you helped a lot of rich people"

is anybody surprised that Barnes was involved in a scandal or two?

When it comes to the response to this. Remember, it's smearing when you mention anything bad about the SBVTs. But I bet those people will claim that Barnes was just an evil Democrat.
posted by RobbieFal at 6:34 PM on August 27, 2004


XQUZYPHYR , you're correct, though to be brutally honest I don't think either event deserves very much attention from the press. However given the smear campaign the Republicans started it wouldn't be right to squelch it either.

Ideally something as important as a presidential campaign would involve many opportunities for debates and not a schoolyard pissing match.
posted by substrate at 6:43 PM on August 27, 2004


Didn't George W. promise to "elevate the discourse"? And didn't he say he wasn't "going to participate in the old Washington, D.C., game of gossip and slander"?

More W. : "The game many people want to play is: "Let's force George W. to answer questions about gossip. Let's force him off his message by making him talk about a rumor, or rumors." I'm not going to participate in that game. I'm not going to try to disprove a negative. I'm going to talk about what I want to do for America."

So, er, condemn those Swift Boat ads already, W.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:54 PM on August 27, 2004


"Let's force George W. to answer questions about gossip. Let's force him off his message by making him talk about a rumor, or rumors."

Heh. Meanwhile, Kerry is answering questions about gossip and has been off his message by talking about rumors. I am no longer convinced that Bush is the stupider of the two...
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:59 PM on August 27, 2004


This is stupid. The Swift Boat thing was stupid, and this is stupid. America has the politics it deserves.
posted by reklaw at 7:02 PM on August 27, 2004


reklaw: we are all part of a vicious little hissing match.--from here
posted by amberglow at 7:08 PM on August 27, 2004


ElephantsDonkeysFilter.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:12 PM on August 27, 2004


Barnes was nailed in the Sharpstown Stock-fraud scandal in 1971,

Neil Bush was part of the Silverrado bailout - costing tax payers millions. George W Bush is connected to BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerice International) via Bath. And you have Prescott Bush and the Nazi connection.

Are you trying to tell the readers of Metafilter that the halls of power are full of hyprocrites? That the halls of powers are filled with corrupt SOBs? OR did you have some other point?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:15 PM on August 27, 2004


No, I just said that it wasn't surprising that a guy who thought part of his job involved keeping rich kids out of Vietnam was nailed in a scandal.

I'm not trying to defend Republicans or anything.
posted by RobbieFal at 7:54 PM on August 27, 2004


Reasons why this claim is actually quite credible:

- Ben Barnes swore under oath that he had been asked to intervene by a Bush family friend, Sid Adger.

- Ben Barnes *ONLY* swore under oath about this after forced to by the court -- he initially resisted giving testimony.

- Bush scored only a 25% on his flying test -- the lowest acceptable grade -- but got past a very waiting list of hundreds, many of whom were more qualified.
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:22 PM on August 27, 2004


How is it possible that they have managed to make the election about Vietnam? In this day, my God. It stuns one's balance to see, right in front of your nose, the Swift Boat tactics be effective even given the embarassing record of Mr, Bush, and Cheney who had "other priorities". How is this possible? Why can't the Kerry people simply demonstrate that
Bush policy is generally bankrupt in language that voters understand? It's a train wreck, people, and there is plenty of blame to go around.
posted by crunchburger at 8:40 PM on August 27, 2004


I'm confused, we should just attack Vietnam already.
posted by iamck at 9:12 PM on August 27, 2004


This is some news! So Bush is now running on his record in the National Guard as Kerry is running on his heroism in Vietnam?

I can't wait for the RNC when he shows the video and cavorts with his mates on stage.
posted by dand at 9:14 PM on August 27, 2004


How is this possible?

The rest of the world watches, and wonders. I can only assume that any Americans with an IQ above the waterline are embarrassed for their country.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:11 PM on August 27, 2004


To those who say this is not an issue, read Josh's post. It's an issue only because Bush lied about (or, heh heh, had no idea whatsoever about) whether or not strings were pulled to keep him out of Vietnam. And that's a much bigger, deeper lie than how many drops of blood you shed while you were under enemy fire risking your ass for your country.
posted by soyjoy at 10:11 PM on August 27, 2004


It's not so much a non-issue as a small issue-- one that I wouldn't think can affect the trajectory of the election. For people who already don't like Bush, it's another nail in the coffin. For people who like Bush, this is not going to really dent his image. For people who aren't sure, I can't imagine this doing much more than casting a small doubt.

If it's true Bush didn't serve out his guard term and there were smoking guns, that'd be something. But Bush pulled favors to get in the Air Guard and avoid infantry duty? I think more people are going to relate to that idea than find it deeply disturbing, especially if they're already sympathetic to Bush (I'm not, and I relate).
posted by weston at 12:14 AM on August 28, 2004


Weston, the reason some people think this IS a big issue is that if true, Bush tried his best to keep himself out of harms way, but now as president he seems to have no qualms at all about putting others there. It is that type of hypocrisy that pisses people off.

I'm like you in that I would try hard to avoid going to the front lines, but the difference between me and Bush is that if I were president I'd try with all my might to keep others from having to go there too.
posted by Hypharse at 1:34 AM on August 28, 2004


but now as president he seems to have no qualms at all about putting others [in harms way]

What a bunch of bullshit.
posted by techgnollogic at 5:06 AM on August 28, 2004


god damn Bill Maher sucks.
posted by delmoi at 5:36 AM on August 28, 2004


but now as president he seems to have no qualms at all about putting others [in harms way]

What a bunch of bullshit.


You're right, techgnollogic. Hypharse should have added "...for the benefit of his family's economic interests.
posted by squirrel at 6:17 AM on August 28, 2004


Or, to put it less snarkily, you may think it's bullshit, but a lot of the "values" crowd that elected W are going to either reconsider his hypocrisy or go deeper into logical dissonance.
posted by squirrel at 6:28 AM on August 28, 2004


reconsider his hypocrisy or go deeper into logical dissonance

Hmmm... Which is more likely? I think I'm gonna go with B: go deeper into logical dissonance.
posted by psmealey at 8:11 AM on August 28, 2004


not the ones that have kids serving, or coming home in bodybags.
posted by amberglow at 8:36 AM on August 28, 2004


Do the candidates/parties ever get around to discussing, say, what's going on today?

I should think things like Bush's failure to revive the US economy is more important than whether he skipped service. Or that the 2004 US soldier deathtoll has now surpassed that of 2003. Or that US Americans now have fewer rights and freedoms than ever before. Etcetera.

Just on the basis of Bush's performance these past four years, any halfway competent campaign should be able to mop the floor with him.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:59 AM on August 28, 2004


Just on the basis of Bush's performance these past four years, any halfway competent campaign should be able to mop the floor with him.

It's easy to say that, fff, but the fact is that half of America couldn't give two shits about the serious issues you just raised. They're much more worried about Arabs and gays taking over the country. As long as they personally have a job, they personally don't have a dead son in the desert, and they personally haven't been strip-searched by the FBI, then those things will always be somebody else's problems to the vast majority of Americans.
posted by logovisual at 9:22 AM on August 28, 2004


And you can talk about important stuff all you want (and Kerry/Edwards are, almost every day, all over the country) but if it's not covered, no one sees it except for the people that are there, or if the local news covers it.
posted by amberglow at 10:18 AM on August 28, 2004


And once again the real issue is ignored; why the fuck should either of these people become president?
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:31 AM on August 28, 2004


because someone has to do it, Dark Messiah, and the guy who has the job now needs to be replaced, due to multiple failures and fuckups.
posted by amberglow at 10:41 AM on August 28, 2004


here you go, Dark, from a guy not known for his wild-eyed radicalism, Garrison Keillor: This is a great country, and it wasn’t made so by angry people. We have a sacred duty to bequeath it to our grandchildren in better shape than however we found it. We have a long way to go and we’re not getting any younger.
posted by amberglow at 10:50 AM on August 28, 2004


I think DM's right on the money: neither Bush nor Kerry is good for the USA.

They're both going to benefit the wealthy far more than the poor, are both corporate lapdogs, are both going to favour only "their type" of people, and are both going to absolutely fail to make any decisions that lead toward long-term equality, support and opportunity for the lower classes.

They are fundamentally bad leaders for a nation.

And y'all have no choice about it: there is no real alternative to either them.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:45 PM on August 28, 2004


I tend to agree with FFFish as regards the class war. But Bush and Kerry are distinguished mightily by many important social and personal liberties issues.

Frankly, after the last 4 years, I'm surprised to see anyone raise the "there's no difference" argument. That meme was rife in 2000, and just think now about how differently Al Gore would have handled the last 4 years. I bring up this derail here and now only because this thread seems to have run its course.

In the choice between two devils, better the devil you know? Not in this case.
posted by squirrel at 7:34 PM on August 28, 2004


It's not just the lesser of two (d)evils. It's sending a message to all who would follow the uber-cynical model of the Bush administration: You cannot do that and get away with it.
posted by soyjoy at 8:22 PM on August 28, 2004


In recent weeks the 2004 Presidential campaign has become mired in controversy over what may or may not have transpired in the jungles of Southeast Asia thirty years ago. Partisans and pundits have picked apart every aspect of the whereabouts and behavior of each candidate, but still the complete story of this contentious period in American history has yet to be fully understood. In an effort to settle once and for all what really happened, the Federal Elections Commission has teemed up with a Baltimore-based Civil War group to reenact the Vietnam War in its entirety on the National Mall.
posted by darukaru at 9:52 PM on August 28, 2004


Do the candidates/parties ever get around to discussing, say, what's going on today?

That will happen when the public and the media care about what's going on today.
posted by callmejay at 5:05 PM on August 29, 2004




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