As our troops are engaged in an epic battle against sworn enemies
of America, our elected officials take to the Senate floor, whining about a passing
comment by a talk show host.
Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid scored a 'twofer.'
He burnished his pro-troop credentials while at the same time, attacking Rush
Limbaugh. This was a masterful 'gotcha' moment. Senator Reid implored his fellow
Senators to join him in condemning Limbaugh for a "hateful" and "unpatriotic" attack
on U.S. troops. This, in response to a comment about 'phony vets' made by Rush Limbaugh.
Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa threw in his two cents, wondering
aloud, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, if maybe Limbaugh "was just high on drugs
again." Left unspoken was the fact that distinguished Senator Tom Harkin is exactly
the type of phony vet Limbaugh was referring to.
Phony vets are people like Harkin, who claimed in his 1992 bid for the presidency
that he had served as a fighter pilot in Vietnam. Eight years later, Harkin boasted
he had served a year in Vietnam flying F-4s and F-8s on combat air patrols. Oops,
it turns out those claims were phony. Hence the term phony vet. Which is the politically
correct term for a lying hypocrite.
Turns out this particular phony vet had not seen combat in
Vietnam, as he was busy serving as a ferry pilot in Atsugi, Japan. Well, says Harkin,
what he really meant was that he was a Vietnam era vet. Having
explained away this deliberate falsehood, Harkin emerged unscathed, unchastened
and fully qualified to condemn Limbaugh for even uttering the term that so described
him. Senator Harkin now qualifies as a 'Phony Vet With Chutzpah.'
If Harry Reid and Tom Harkin, elected officials in the 'world's
greatest deliberative body,' were really as pro-troop as they would have you believe,
one has to wonder why neither of them has uttered a word of condemnation about the
disgraceful treatment meted out to returning troops by protestors atOakland Airport.
Last Thursday, 204 Marines and soldiers who were returning from
Iraq were not allowed into the passenger terminal at Oakland International Airport.
This was not a security measure. This was a slap in the face to our fighting men
and women. Met with utter silence by the aforementioned pro-troop Senators who
managed such exquisite outrage over the phrase phony vet.
I guess these Senators were too busy doing the people's business.
Like trying to sneak through enhanced hate crime legislation that Bush had promised
to veto, by attaching it to the defense appropriations bill. This is called playing
politics with our troops.
No matter how you spin it, using our troops to score political
points against Rush Limbaugh is shameful. Almost as shameful as stealing honor
by lying about combat experience in Vietnam. Almost as shameful as using troops
as political fodder for enhanced rights for gays.
Pro-Troop? My butt.
Nancy Morgan is a columnist and senior editor for conservative news site
She lives in South Carolina.