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The buzz from New York and the Republican National Convention is all about Morton Blackwell. This political operative from Virginia is behind the hot prize on the floor of the convention--purple heart covered bandages intended to ridicule John Kerry's service in Vietnam.
Blackwell's ingeniousness is featured in this story on CNN, which laughably describes Blackwell's conservative training "institute" as "non-partisan."
Virginia Republicans have long been familiar with Blackwell's Donald Segretti-like tactics. (He was the architect of Newt Gingrich's 'Contract On America.') The fact that Blackwell himself has never served his country seems to have escaped the attention of the media and the delegates in New York who are so crassly displaying the bandages. One has to wonder whether the chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign in Virginia, Jerry Kilgore, approves of the open mocking of the servicemen and women of this country.
This statement from Bill Pittman, Commander, Arlington Memorial Chapter Military Order of the Purple Heart, says it all:
"As a combat disabled Vietnam veteran who received the Purple Heart medal after serving with Marine Infantry units in Vietnam--and saw brave men die--I am outraged and deeply offended that the President of the United States would permit his Republican National Convention surrogates to dishonor the Purple Heart medal award. The tens of thousands of men and women killed in combat in Vietnam and all those who died in combat in Iraq who have earned Purple Hearts should not have the status of this award diminished."
From the DNC daily convention dispatches:
New York City - Two days ago, the DNC Convention Response Team caught Bush-Cheney delegates mocking our troops by wearing purple heart band-aids on the floor of the Republican convention. The band-aids were worn by delegates all over the floor and were distributed by Karl Rove's close friend, Morton Blackwell.
The mocking of this sacred symbol--granted only to those soldiers who are wounded in action in defense of our country--was decried by everyone from the Military Order of the Purple Heart to...Fox News. Yes...Fox News.
"[The purple heart band-aids, that]...absolutely was disgraceful. Whatever you think about the controversy regarding the swift boats, that's uncalled for." [Fox & Friends, 9/1/04]
Posted by laura at September 1, 2004 10:43 AM
Question? If the Purple Harts are so important then why do you chose to ignore the fact that John Kerry threw the medals or ribbons representing those medals over the White House fence. Whether they were his or someone else's, doing so defaced the value of the award. Both of my parents have a combined 47 years in the Air Force and I my self am a vet. For someone, anyone to throw one of the highest awards that a serviceperson can receive is a testament to that persons character. What's next the Bill of Rights?
Posted by: at September 1, 2004 01:16 PM
Why would a man with years 19 of service in public office chose to base a campaign on a 4 month period which happened over 30 years ago? If you are running for the office of President and have almost two decades of elected experience under your belt, don't you think it would make more since to run of of that experience? Does Sen. Kerry have something to hide? Why campaign on service that you later protested? As Lt. Governor you would have experience in the executive branch of the government, but you omit that time from your campaign? Why is Sen. Kerry running from his history.
Posted by: at September 1, 2004 01:45 PM
Nice touch there, hiding behind an anonymous post to throw some mud while questioning Senator Kerry's honor. I'll also point out that I know from system records that these both came from the same location. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt that your two questions occurred over a half hour and that you're not trying to artificially inflate your numbers. ;)
Sentator Kerry has 19 years as precisely that, a Senator. That represents experience in higher office at the national level for which George Bush has no comparative credentials. His Senatorial record is strong, admirable and well documented.
The issue of his voluntary, honorable and decorated service is an important one in a campaign where the current President wraps himself in the mantle of "War President" while refusing to reveal all the details of his own questionable avoidance of actual Vietnam service. I'm not going to roll around in the mud on the finer details of just how questionable George Bush's service records happen to be... Rick O'Dell addressed it rather well in a speech he gave at the Lynchburg Democratic HQ opening last Friday (which we will post here on DocDem). A choice quote:
"Think about it - somebody took George W. Bush's place in the draft. Some poor kid without the political connections and privilege of little George may have died or been grievously wounded in his place in Vietnam."
Talk of John Kerry's Purple Hearts is not a discussion of physical medals, but a discussion of service and sacrifice which is documented, factual and irrefutable. The whole obsession with the minutae of throwing medals over a wall is another of those diversions the GOP is so obsessed with in its panic to distract people from the bigger picture and how poorly this administration as a whole (with a VP who avoided Vietnam AND a Sec. of Defense who did the same) stacks up against Senator Kerry.
Those stupid Purple Heart bandages we saw on the floor of the RNC are an insult to not just John Kerry, but to every single veteran who has ever been awarded one, regardless of their political views. It's positively shameful. But then, so is a Commander in Chief who lies to the American public and sends honorable soldiers to their death in Iraq under false pretenses.
Senator Kerry has not hidden from anything nor does he have anything to hide. The same cannot be said for this administration. Deal in facts, Anonymous poster, not inuendo.
I'm going to just let that Bill of Rights remark hang out there and look appropriately silly.
Posted by: Aaron at September 1, 2004 02:37 PM
The open-minded left, good job pulling all of the posts I placed yesterday.
Posted by: All Muddy at September 2, 2004 09:39 AM
The intention of this blog is to develop a community where people have a fair exchange of ideas and opinions.
The things I write sit out there for the world to see, complete with my name and an email address. We invite comments but have noticed a trend of late.
Those who support our opinions seem to be equally comfortable, if not proud, to share their names.
With increasing frequency, though, the comments that often appear to come straight from the Fox News talking points arrive with no identity. It's pretty cowardly and it does nothing to foster a sense of community. For me, it's like standing in a pitch black room and having to yell reponses into the dark to a disembodied heckler. That's not a debate or a discussion... It also doesn't do any good for your integrity or the image of those sharing your political views.
Our system has an option where we can approve each comment before it can become visible. Those settings STILL remain off and we'd like to keep it that way. What is turned on now, though, is the requirement for a name and an e-mail address (which you are free to reformat, as long as it represents a valid address). It seems only fair.
So, from here out, comments that are no more than spineless snipes under a false identity (such as your last one) will be treated with the silence they deserve. Healthy discussions that include a name and an address (which, so far as my system logs indicate from your existing posts, should end in liberty.edu on your future remarks) will be respected.
Posted by: Aaron at September 2, 2004 10:43 AM