||Sorry about the thread title, but I wanted to be up there in the running for stupidest ever. Anyway, (this is mainly for hif), here's a recent blog post from Joshua Micah Marshall.
Marvin Olasky coined the term 'compassionate conservatism' for the president and is one of his house intellectuals. And now he's got an OpEd out explaining that John Kerry joined the Navy to stay out of Vietnam. The premise of the piece is that Olasky (1971), Bush (1968) and Kerry (1966) each graduated from Yale ...
(this is from the article)
Neither Kerry nor Bush nor I wanted to fight in Vietnam, and we all did what we could in our situations: Naval Reserves (Kerry), Texas Air National Guard (Bush), draft lottery No. 278 (me), which meant immunity from having to serve. In his circumstances, Kerry's choice was smart: Navy or Coast Guard folks were much less likely to see combat service than their counterparts in the Army or Air Force, and the safest Navy spot may have been that of a Naval Reserve officer.
A combination of unlikely circumstances placed Kerry, despite his plans, in a combat situation for three months during 1968 and 1969. How he performed during that period is now a matter of intense dispute. I've gone through the claims and counter-claims, and suspect he was valiant in one incident and a whiner or exaggerator in others.
(end of excerpt)
I spoke to two Navy officials today who told me Olasky's got the US Navy Reserve issue all wrong. (My understanding from them is that it was standard that you'd end up with a USNR designation at first if you went in through NROTC.) But his analysis also seems a bit belied by the fact that Kerry specifically requested service in-country (i.e., on a Swift Boat) rather than simply in-theater (on a blue water naval vessel).
Not only is Olasky's piece shameful. He's also seriously off-message. Doesn't he know Kerry made sure he could get into 'Nam to string together a few bogus injuries so he could head back to the states and crank up the political career?
I mean, doesn't he read the papers?
I dropped Olasky a line to ask him about the ducking service in Vietnam bit. I'll let you know if we hear back.
-- Josh Marshall