Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Hindsight is 20/60 All right, so Bush campaign chair Marc Racicot stretched the truth a bit when he claimed that the President "volunteered to go to Vietnam."

But it was probably an inadvertent slip. Or an uninformed quip. Racicot felt boxed into a corner and momentarily wandered off of his talking points.


Before you reach that charitable conclusion, consider these two recent bits of historical analysis.

From Jed Babbin at The National Review:

But the inexperience didn't prevent Bush—along with Bradley—from going to their squadron leaders to see if they could get into a program called Palace Alert. "There were four of us lieutenants at the time, and we were all fairly close. Two of them had more flight time than the president and me," said Bradley. All four volunteered for Vietnam. (Emphasis added.)

And this from an opinion piece in the Mobile Register:
Not only that, but another officer now has reported that Mr. Bush once volunteered for duty in Vietnam, but was turned down because no more pilots were needed at the time. " (Emphasis added.)

Three data points, of course, do not a conspiracy make. But it's hard to avoid the conclusion that Republicans are beginning a campaign to muddy the waters on this issue.

So one last time, let's look in on Bush's recent appearance on Meet the Press. We join the program already in progress:

RUSSERT: But you didn't volunteer or enlist to go.

BUSH: No, I didn't. You're right.

Repeat a lie as many times as you want, that doesn't make it true.

Especially when you forget to let the Big Man in on the new strategy...

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.