Super-star NYT Op-Ed columnist Billy Kristol shot one off today that outslimed even his own epic levels of sliminess.
The doughty Vietnam non-vet took Senator Obama to task for giving a commencement address at Wesleyan this weekend in which he didn't remind his "elite" audience that military service was one kind of public service they might consider.
Just as back in 1970 young Billy, then a draftable little chickadee of 18 summers, fresh from elite Collegiate School in Manhattan, considered military service in the only war he could have qualified for. And said to his heroic inner man...hellllll nooooo. I'm serving my country at...Harvard.
Just like er, well, er, Obama.
Except there wasn't a war on when Obama was 18.
But pointing out a trivial omission in a list of public service choices wasn't Billy's true intent. He was actually parroting in that inimitably intellectual and slimy way, the current troglo-right theme that Obama can't be trusted with the world's largest military. Why? Because Obama didn't fight in one of the wars he could have qualified for. Like say, our glorious 3-day victory over Grenada in 1983, when he was 22. Code-named as you may proudly recall Operation Urgent Fury.
Of course Billy phrased his smear, with his trademark brilliance, so that it could refer either to Obama's omission in his commencement address or to his omitting to put himself in harms way:
"It can't be that the possibility of military service as an admirable form of public service didn't occur to Obama."
But...nor did military service occur apparently to any of the other late lamented candidates for the Presidency to whit: John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich or even our brave Iranocidal Boadicea, Hillary Clinton; nor, more to the point to: Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback or Tom Tancredo (who received his get-out-of- Vietnam-free card for "stress-related anxiety")
So why did one of the nation's pre-eminent draft-dodgers pick Obama as the one candidate to slime? Could it be the reflexive racism that drives all neo-conservatives; it's because Obama is, you know, African-American? And 'military service as an admirable form of public service' ought to occur to all African-Americans, male or female, before any other career choice?
Dammit, why the hell didn't Michelle volunteer for Operation Urgent Fury? She was 19 -- the perfect age to earn her spurs blowing away a shovel-wielding Cuban construction worker. Why didn't she volunteer for our glorious victory over Panama in 1989 when she was a mere 25? Firebomb a few pesky Canal-thieves? Why didn't Obama? He was only 28. What's wrong with these people? How could any patriotic African-American not be stirred to his or her very core by a war codenamed Operation Just Cause?
Billy was. To his very core. His fat little yellow belly used to go all fluttery with butterflies at the thought of hunky Marines locking and loading. And not just black Marines -- any Marines. And the wonderful thing is, that lovely vision of vicarious violence never stales. Not for Billy nor for any his fellow cowards too craven to have ever put themselves in harms way.
Which is why we're in Iraq.