There is a new chapter -- or should I say a new footnote -- in the annals of Republican chickenhawkery.
Chickenhawks, if you don't know, are public figures who endlessly question people's patriotism but in the contemporary application of its use avoided the Vietnam War themselves. While chickenhawks aren't confined to the GOP, it's hard to find a Democrat who is one while the number of prominent Republicans are legion: They include Dick Cheney, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Tom DeLay, Rush Limbaugh and Ted Nugent.
Then there is George W. Bush.
The accepted wisdom, which briefly threatened to be an issue in the 2004 Bush-John Kerry tilt before the hapless Democratic challenger was swift boated over actually having served in Vietnam, has been that George H.W. Bush, the influential father, pulled strings to get the underachieving son a slot in the Texas Air National Guard, which was a sure-fire way to avoid being drafted and sent to Vietnam.
As it was, young George's service as a fighter pilot was desulatory. It coincided with a period in his life when he was partying hard, which probably included the use of Colombian Marching Powder in addition to alcohol and marijuana.
So the claim of Bernard Goldberg, a sycophantic Bush water carrier, that he has found proof that the future president actually volunteered to go to Vietnam, did so multiple times and was turned down multiple times, bears close scrutiny. And fails miserably.
This is for three reasons:
First, it's not true.
Second, if it were true, Bush's surrogates would have been all over Kerry like a cheap suit when his own surrogates were making the chickenhawk claim.
Third and most importantly, if young Bush really wanted to defend his country, he could have enlisted in the regular Air Force.
Nice try, Bernie, but no cigar.