Your reference to President Clinton as a "draft dodger" rings of a hollow partisan attack. Many of our presidents never served in the military, and some that did were not effective leaders. So military service by a president is a non-issue. If Clinton is a "draft dodger" because he avoided service in the Vietnam era, then doesn't President Bush fit into that same category? As I recall the news reports, he used his influence to enlist in the Texas National Guard (when there were no openings), and soon decided there was no need for him to make the meetings. I see little difference in the actions taken by the two men to avoid service in Vietnam other than one had connections and one didn't.
I have mixed feelings about the environmental issues you referred to, Rudy. I think some well-meaning people with legitimate concerns about the environment tend to go to the extreme to make a point. I don't agree with every stance they take. But the fact is we do need to take better care of our land, air and water.
Regarding the drilling in Alaska issue, I have one question for you, Rudy. If we need the oil so badly that we must drill in Alaska, why are we not talking about drilling offshore in Florida? Could politics be at play here? Is Florida off-limits because of its electoral importance? We won't even mention the family connection to the governor there; that couldn't possibly be a factor.
Either we need the oil or
we don't. Basing our energy and environmental policies on where political capital can be won or lost is irresponsible at best. So if you want to play the blame game, Rudy, there is plenty of blame to go around. The blame goes back through several administrations, some Republican and some Democratic. It goes back through several sessions of Congress, some controlled by the Republicans and some controlled by the Democrats.
Ours is not a perfect society or government. Each administration has its successes and failures, regardless of party affiliation. For you to publish a piece that lays the blame for a tragic event in our history squarely at the feet of the Democratic Party was extremely poor judgment on your part. I suspect you had an axe to grind because a base closure affected you personally. A base I was stationed on has been closed, too. Get over it, Rudy. It's time to move on.
Look, nobody is saying President Bush is at fault for the 9/11 tragedy, but it is important to discover what went wrong so we know what needs to be fixed. It is wrong for either party to try to gain political advantage from the events of 9/11. This is an American issue, not a political one.
Republicans are not more patriotic or less patriotic than Democrats. We all want what is best for America. I would suspect the military graveyards hold a like number of people from each party. True patriotism knows no political affiliation. I, as well as many others who are registered Democrats served in the military just as honorably as you did, Rudy. And I suspect I was not the only one offended by your accusatory comments in the May 24 column.