Let me see if I’ve got this right this year:
In 1992 and 1996, a record of military service (like George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole had) was absolutely not important…
…but in 2000, it – or the version of it in which being a “military journalist” under the watchful eye of a senior NCO who didn’t let the future Democrat candidate within miles of any known action was bigger and better than being an Air National Guard F-102 pilot. a job with a frighteninly-high “peacetime” casualty rate.
In 2004 it was especially confusing – since having been a Navy “Swift Boat” commander was reputed to give absolute moral authority, while crewmen in those same boats who dissented from their former junior officer’s view of things were said to be blackguards.
It was back to normal in 2008, when a Community Organizer was deemed the real hero, and America’s chattering classes reduced themselves to tittering about the dental state of a man who’d spent years in a POW camp, to say nothing of the circumstances of his getting shot down in the first place.
And this year? Supporters of Obama are trying to paint the community organizer – who was one of about 98% of the adults in his generation who never served in the military – as somehow more noble as the community organizer (for the Mormon Church) who was among the 70-odd percent of people of his generation who got one form of deferment or another – missionary and educational – until he was finished with school, in 1975. Two years after the draft ended.
Which is it?