Democratic candidates make a mistake in failing to lace into President Donald Trump when he says things that are patently false, insulting to the military and reaffirm his unfitness as commander-in-chief. Granted, that could be a frequent occurrence, but sometimes the moment cries out for a swift direct rebuke.
Trump, in carving his path of destruction through Anglo-American relations, declared in an interview with Piers Morgan on Wednesday that "I would not have minded that at all. I would have been honored" to serve in Vietnam. He got out of service for "bone spurs," so one wonders if he really didn't mind.
Moreover, Trump sounded like he had--don't laugh--conscientious objections to the war: "I thought it was very far away, and at that time nobody ever heard of the country. So many people dying, what is happening over there? So I was never a fan--like we're fighting against Nazi Germany, we're fighting against Hitler."
I'm not sure what he's saying although it sounds a little like Neville Chamberlain ("a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing"), but he sort of sounds like he was saying it was fine to shirk a war people didn't like. Then it got really weird.
Trump declared that "I think I make up for it right now" (made up for ducking service?) because of the big defense budgets he has requested. The technical term for this sort of reasoning is "bonkers."
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) let him have it on Twitter:
"You didn't 'give' the military anything. That money belongs to American taxpayers (which you are not) & is appropriated by Congress (which you are not part of).
"So you are pretty much the only person in America who is NOT involved in funding the military."
Trump likes to stand in the reflected glory of the military and pronounce his affection for them, but he understands virtually nothing of their code of military service. He's suggested bombing wives and children (a war crime) and pardoning actual war criminals. He uses the military as a prop.
Moreover, if he were a true friend of the military he'd not take them by surprise in announcing a Syria pullout, nor deny Russia's attack on our elections (which military intelligence among others in the intelligence community emphatically said had occurred) nor hollow out the State Department (as former defense secretary James Mattis explained, if you cut diplomats, the military will need more bullets), nor fire beloved Mattis and replace him with an ex-Boeing executive who lacks military experience of any sort.
Trump's demonstration of out-and-out cowardice in avoiding service--with a questionable injury--should not get a pass, no matter how many years have gone by.
Editorial on 06/07/2019
Print Headline: Excuses get more incoherent