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Vietnam
  • Mitt Romney "Longed" to Serve in Vietnam, Got Four Deferments

    Mitt RomneyThis is a such a sad story. Mitt Romney so so wanted to serve alongside his fellow young short-haired Americans in the Vietnam War after high school. But, alas, t'was not to be.

    If only he hadn't sought and received four draft deferments and gone away to France for two-and-a-half years, maybe his deepest dreams could have become a reality…

    He said in 2007 — his first White House bid under way — that he had "longed in many respects to actually be in Vietnam." But his actions, Selective Service records and previous statements show little interest in joining a conflict that ultimately claimed more than 58,000 American lives.

    Still, he repeatedly cites his commitment to public service and the nation's military while campaigning for president.

    "Greatness in a people, I believe, is measured by the extent to which they will give themselves to something bigger than themselves," Romney said in San Diego last week to a Memorial Day crowd of thousands, flush with military veterans of all ages.

    He did not address his own Vietnam history that day. And his campaign has refused to comment publicly on the subject over the past week.

    To be totally fair to Romney, he may not have gone to Vietnam per se, but he did spend a little time in uniform.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Military, Mitt Romney, Vietnam
  • Our Endorsements: Openly Gay Republican Stands Up to Romney

    * Wonkette shows us the only Republican still standing up to Romney.

    * Hope you didn't dump all of your 401K in cotton candy stock futures.

    * "Ridin' Joe Biden" pulls another stunt, from The Onion.

    * Finally, proof that the job market for college students is picking up.

    * Etsy's most patriotic products are what America is all about.

    * Julie Klausner's "How Was Your Week?" podcast features Anthony Bourdain getting political.

    * Finally, an honest Memorial Day beach bar flier, from Happy Place.


    Tags: California, Daily Links, Economy, Fred Karger, Joe Biden, LGBT, Mitt Romney, Patriotism, Podcasts, The Onion, Vietnam
  • In Romney Clan, the Foot Doesn't Fall Far from the Mouth

    By now, we're all familiar with Mitt Romney's penchant for cringe-worthy gaffes about his own massive wealth. There was the accidental admission that his wife drives "a couple of Cadillacs," his friends own NASCAR teams, he likes "being able to fire people" and of course, that he's "not concerned about the very poor."

    But what seemed like an individual quirk might be a deadly inherited condition

    [S]o far, Mitt's verbal flubs still fall short of his father's. George Romney was forced to drop out of the presidential race in 1968 after uttering one of the most ruinous gaffes in modern politics, a 50-megaton slip of the tongue… If Romney history continues to repeat itself, Mitt's most stupendous gaffe is still to come…

    George took seemingly contradictory stands on many issues, including the war in Vietnam… Romney conceded that he had changed his views on the war, but claimed that when he had toured Vietnam in 1965, he'd been misled by overly-optimistic reports from American military and diplomatic officials.

    Then George Romney uttered the line that would haunt him for the rest of his life: "Well, you know, when I came back from Vietnam, I'd just had the greatest brainwashing that anybody can get."

    Rick Santorum may have a Google problem, but it looks like Mitt Romney's got a Romney problem. From flip-flopping to embarrassing gaffes, Romney's biggest liability is his own mouth. No wonder the candidate hasn't spoken to the national press in over 20 days and had an Economist reporter arrested.

    So please, donate to the Romney campaign. You can help cure Mitt Romney, and the entire Romney family, of this debilitating condition of verbal diarrhea. Every dollar you give to Romney will help him win over GOP voters without actually talking to voters.

    Photo by Bryan Mitchelll/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Economy, George Romney, Mitt Romney, Primaries, Vietnam
  • Jackie Gingrich Cushman Gives Her Dad a Deferment

    It's hard being a politician's daughter. How do I know? A little bird told me. Lynda Bird Johnson, to be exact. You try dating George Hamilton while your dad is trying to win in Vietnam. It must be even more difficult when your father is trying to win the GOP nomination after becoming the poster child for marital infidelity, but Newt Gingrich's daughter Jackie Gingrich Cushman is trying her best to contain the media's domino effect

    Cushman seems to have taken it upon herself to tell the story of her family, and specifically her father, from her perspective — leaving no topic off-limits.

    "I try to frame it in a way that makes sense and resonates with people," Cushman told NBC News. "Like many families, we had a hard time and we’ve all moved on. And we’re all focused on helping each other."

    In fact, several times during her five-stop jaunt through South Carolina’s Upstate, Cushman chose to address the divorce issue head on, using a half/serious, half/humorous anecdote about when her father and then-boyfriend Jimmy Cushman met for the first time, at a bar.

    Standing next to two other men at the bar, Cushman said she heard one say, "There’s Newt Gingrich. I heard he abandoned his wife and children."

    Cushman corrected the men and has continued to wage an ideological battle out in the jungle of this year's campaign trail.

    Guess you could say improving her father's reputation is her own personal Vietnam.

    Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Imgaes News/Getty Images


    Tags: Bill Clinton, Lyndon Johnson, Newt Gingrich, Republicans, Vietnam
  • Hours Before Debate, Blumenthal's Fan Fiction Comes Back to Haunt Him

    You know when you're having dinner with a group of friends, and maybe somebody gets a little too crunkified and turns to one of the other guys and says something really mean but also totally true?

    The state of Connecticut is now that awkward dinner party, thanks to Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon's new attack ad against her opponent, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. Um, can we really call it an "attack" ad when it's just a "stating the actual facts" ad?

    The video the McMahon campaign obtained shows Mr. Blumenthal, the state’s attorney general, delivering an address that it says occurred in Bridgeport in 2003 to express support for American troops overseas. "When we returned, we saw nothing of this gratitude," Mr. Blumenthal said.

    The video of Mr. Blumenthal, who has been under fire for exaggerating his military record, was part of a 30-second advertisement in which the narrator asks: "If he lied about Vietnam, what else is he lying about?"

    Of course, if Blumenthal had been using "we" in the metaphorical sense, it might not have been such a big deal. But as the New York times points out it pointed out in May, Blumenthal has a history of, um, lying about history. In March 2008, he reportedly told a ceremony of Connecticut veterans and military supporters, "We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam. And you exemplify it." Ooh, except he totally never went to Vietnam and certainly was never in The Shit.

    Well, hey, maybe he just really, really liked Tim O'Brien's classic Vietnam memoir The Things They Carried, and, you know, was writing fan fiction. And then reciting that fan fiction as truth, in front of actual military veterans. This is akin to performing in a Star Wars-themed LARP festival in front of Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and whoever played Boba Fett. And that sounds like fun! Right? RIGHT? Blumenthal should probably use this defense tonight in his first formal debate with McMahon.


    Tags: Connecticut, Linda McMahon, Military, Richard Blumenthal, Senate, Vietnam