Wednesday, July 02, 2003

Generally impressed


The SCLM has a requirement that at least two stories a day have to be flogged in the mainstream press about how impossible it’s going to be for Democrats to beat Bush. Everyone knows it’s b.s., considering the same stories were written about the 1992 election. You can’t compare the two exactly, but, in my opinion, the main reason you can’t is because Junior’s wingnut bootlicking (and its effects on the military, the environment, the economy and the middle class) puts him in a much worse position than the moderate Poppy Bush. Everyone says he’s unbeatable, but it’s ridiculous.

So, when I started readingTom Junod’s article about Wesley Clark in the August edition of Esquire, I kept getting more and more pissed. It seemed like more of the same, opening with an embarrassing David and Goliath comparison and moving quickly to a paragraph which suggests that Democrats don’t serve in the military and military people don’t like Democrats (both arguments I prove wrong, much less Kos, Stephen Charest and Frank Lautenberg, among others). After that, though, it gets damn good.

For those of you who know about Clark, you might not find much new, but I did. The guy’s a genius who speaks four languages and was a Rhodes Scholar from West Point.

He taught himself to walk again after being shot four times in Vietnam.

“His principles -- shorn of mystique -- are not so different from Howard Dean’s,” Junod writes.

He’s ticked about the Republican thought police, saying, “We’ve got to have a dialogue in this country... that is premised on an understanding that asking questions, demanding evidence and holding people accountable is not unpatriotic, it’s the duty of every American.”

He does great impressions of George W. Bush and Slobodan Milosevic.

And, most amazing to me, he’s an honest to God hero. Listen to this story about traveling the scary, sniper-lined backroads of Bosnia:

In his book, the general describes what happened this way: “At the end of the first weekwe had a tragic accident on Mount Igman, near Sarajevo. [Three members of the team] were killed when the French armored personnel carrier in which they were riding broke through the shoulder of the road and tumbled several hundred meters down a steep hillside.”

It is not until one read’s Holbrooke’s book, To End a War that ond finds out that after the APC went off the road, Clark grabbed a rope, anchored it to a tree, and rappelled down the mountainside after it, despite the gunfire that the explosion of the APC ser off, despite the warnings that the mountainside was heavily mined, despite the rain and the mud, and despite Holbrooke yelling that he couldn’t go. It is not until one brings the incident up to the general that one finds out that the burning APC had turned into a kiln, and that Clark stayed with it and aided in the extraction of the bodies...

Man, if that doesn’t put in perspective an aircraft landing by an Air Guardsmenwho was AWOL for over a year, I don’t know what the hell does. In fact, here’s my suggestion: Since only Bush can get a copy of his complete service record, I’d like to see Clark (or, for that matter, Kerry) promise to have a copy of his complete record sent to members of the media -- straight from the Army’s record depository -- and challenge Bush to do the same.

I think “Bring ‘Em On” Bush’s head would frigging explode.


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