Dingy Harry - Phony Senator?

It’s been interesting to watch the posturing of the lawmakers lately…indeed, the silliness in which they engage on a daily basis. Senate Majority Leader Reid decided that a diatribe against a “talking-head” had risen to the level of Senate business the other day and delivered himself of a seven-minute speech on the Senate floor to excoriate the talk-show host. The fact that he misrepresented the facts of the matter was of no consequence, since senators are not bound by the same rules as ordinary people, this one involving the telling of the truth.

Reid was not actually as interested in castigating his target, who referred to Reid on practically a daily basis as “Dingy Harry,” as he was in making a speech against the Iraqi action, complete with the ever-available statistics to back up his claim of perfidy by the administration. The irony, of course, lay in the fact that Reid was harping on the subject of “phony soldiers,” taking his target to task for somehow maligning the troops. His target, Rush Limbaugh, had not done this, but the “phony soldier” catchword that had been used to describe a war-protestor-Iraqi-veteran who had served in the army a total of 44 days and probably couldn’t have found Iraq on a map, much less served there, was too delicious to avoid in a gleeful verbal bloodletting.

Reid made his speech, based on patriotism (or lack thereof), in the full knowledge – okay, maybe he had forgotten – of his remarks for months and months having to do with the Iraq War as a lost war. In other words, Reid had been saying for months that the GIs had lost the war for this country. This was the penultimate insult to a military man, who could be counted on to take it very personally. Even though Limbaugh had never accused the soldiers of being phony, Reid accused them of being losers…in other words, “phony soldiers,” since they hadn’t been “real” enough to do their job. Despicable!

Reid even went so far as to point to Limbaugh’s lack of military service as a disqualification of his right to speak, thus implying that no one who hasn’t served militarily has a right to say anything about those who have – phony or not. However, Reid did not mention his military service in order to establish his bona fides to discuss soldiers. It seems that after Reid finished law school in 1964 at about age 25, he lived in Nevada (city attorney, Henderson, Nevada) during the Vietnam War, and even got elected to the Nevada Legislature…while guys his age were dying at an average rate of about 20 per day in Vietnam.

Reid’s kind of hypocrisy stinks to the heavens, not because he chose not to serve – also the choice of a number of senators – but because he didn’t go where he seems to think others should have in order to speak. Either he’s an unwitting hypocrite or he’s as dumb as a gourd to bring up the subject. Neither description is very flattering. He has company in the Senate. Senator Harkin in other days made much of his combat missions in Vietnam and even mentioned his combat planes (F-4s and F-8s), the catch being that he never flew even one combat mission in Vietnam, even though he served in the Navy and the Naval Reserve. Senators decide for themselves what truth is, notwithstanding any facts that get in the way, but campaigning for office on a foundation of lies is reprehensible.

As far as “Queen Hillary the Senate Clinton” is concerned, General Petraeus, the commander of American forces in Iraq, is also a phony soldier, since “real” soldiers never tell a lie. She made it clear to the general in the recent hearing that he was an unmitigated liar, though she’s never worn the uniform, either, not being susceptible to the draft during Vietnam and certainly not volunteering to serve in the military that her husband “loathed” (his term). One wonders how these characters ever manage to climb out from under the rocks into the light of day, where their shenanigans are easily recognized.

So…the Senate goes about the nation’s business by treating it to “monkey business.” C-Span shows what a lot of the Senators spend time doing – standing around and shooting the breeze while votes are recorded. The votes could be recorded electronically in 30 seconds or less, but they mill around, check to see how others are voting, mill around some more, walk over to record a vote and mill around some more. Or, they make insipid speeches about which they know nothing or upon which they rely on outright lies for effectiveness, such as in the case of “Dingy Harry.” Egad!