What's Wrong With This Picture?
Besides the fact that it includes Bush, I had no idea until my grandmother Melba pointed it out to me: Bush doesn't have the faintest idea how to salute. As a Korean War veteran, my grandmother should know--she had to spend hours and hours standing in the Texas heat with hundreds of other Air Force trainees practicing until she got it right. With a proper salute, she explained, you always bring your hand up--and never bring your head down.
As you probably recall, not too long ago conservative pundits were all over the fact that Commander-in-Chief Clinton dodged the draft and had no idea how to salute. But little media attention has been given to the fact that Bush went AWOL during Vietnam. In other words--Bush is perfectly willing to send other people's children off to fight his war for oil in Iraq, but when his own turn came the rich boy skipped out of the National Guard before he even learned to salute.
Now, I don't mean to say that there is something inherently horrible about a president who can't salute. I would love to have a president who couldn't salute because, say, there hadn't been any wars in recent history or because he/she had avoided service during Vietnam because he/she was an anti-war activist who put his/her anti-war beliefs into practice as President. But the Bush administration is full of chickenhawks, as Boston's Weekly Dig recognized in this question from their Year in Politics Quiz:
13. Match the following staunch proponents of war against Iraq with their reason for avoiding military service in Vietnam:(Answers: A-1, B-3, C-4, D-2)
A. Dick Cheney
B. Tom DeLay
C. Trent Lott
D. Rush Limbaugh
1) "Had other priorities"
2) Had anal cysts
3) Claimed there was no room for patriotic folks like him because minorities had taken up all the slots
4) Served instead as a college cheerleader
Oh, and the other thing that really gets my grandmother (who lived in Georgia for many years) mad was Georgia Republican Saxby Chambliss's recent attacks on the patriotism of his opponent in the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Democrat Max Cleland.
For the record, Cleland lost two legs and an arm during his service in Vietnam. Chambliss didn't serve at all. But offensive or not, Chambliss beat Cleland in the recent midterm elections. Sigh...