Happy Hypocritical Memorial Day from Mayor Pete and Joe Biden

Mayor Pete Buttigieg did all of six months in 2014 as a reservist deep inside Bagram air base, mostly as a driver for his boss, all locked and loaded inside a civvie Toyota Land Cruiser. It is highly unlikely he ever ate a cold meal.

Nobody questions his service, everyone had different challenges and experiences. But the guy sure is milking it for all its worth politically. And if Mayor Pete is going to make much of his service as part of his public biography, and especially if he wants to invite comparisons between himself and other candidates, to draw lessons on leadership and courage from his experience, then his short military tenure cannot be treated as bullet-proof. He wants us to look. We’ll look.

As one veteran put it, “If he’s going to use his combat time as a discriminator, then it gets to be evaluated.”

“In his interview on ABC, Buttigieg criticized Trump for reportedly considering pardons for several U.S. service members accused of war crimes, calling the idea ‘slander against veterans that could only come from somebody who never served.’”

(NOTE: These Memorial Day pardons of “war criminals” the media has been talking about for weeks have not actually happened. Check your fake news folder…)

“The 37-year-old Democrat ratcheted up his attacks on Trump ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, mocking the president’s past role on the reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice in an interview with The Washington Post.

“I don’t have a problem standing up to somebody who was working on Season 7 of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ when I was packing my bags for Afghanistan,” Buttigieg said.”

Pete also defended those ancient history kneeling NFL national anthem protests, saying “Trump would get it if he had served.” In his autobiography, Pete makes much of having spent time in what the military calls “an imminent danger pay area,” basically the current pay status classification for most of the mideast.

Hurrah!

For those who like comparisons to Trump, third-time presidential candidate Joe Biden received five student draft deferments at the peak of the Vietnam War, same number as Dick Cheney, and in 1968, he was reclassified by the Selective Service as “not available” due to having had asthma as a teenager. If you are hearing about Biden’s multiple deferments for the first time here, ask yourself why. Better yet, ask your favorite MSM person why not, perhaps after they’ve done their most recent “Candidate Bone Spurs” punch piece.

Bill Clinton received multiple draft deferments to stay out of Vietnam. As the New York Times generously wrote of Clinton when he was running for president, “Bill Clinton worked to avoid the draft, at times cleverly, but in ways that accorded with accepted common practice among others of his generation. Against that history, this Vietnam echo looks like an irrelevance that ought not distract New Hampshire voters from judging Bill Clinton on his merits… to single him out as some sort of devious draft-dodger does him, and the anguish of Vietnam, an injustice.” You are free to imagine the Times making similar statements about Trump skipping service, but you will never find them. Different rules apply.

Bernie Sanders, also seeking to be Commander-in-Chief, did not end up in Vietnam after applying for conscientious objector status until he aged out of the draft.

Hillary, Obama, Pence, Booker, Harris, and the rest chose not to volunteer.

Meanwhile, 2020 Democratic candidate Tulsi Gabbard did two full tours in the Middle East, one inside Iraq. In 2004, Tulsi volunteered to become the first state official to voluntarily step down from public office to serve in a war zone.

And FWIW, I spent a full year in Iraq, stationed at two Forward Operating Bases.

So if you wanna measure for size, Pete, the line forms right behind Tulsi…

Veteran and now podcaster Pete Turner writes “I give Mayor Pete all the credit in the world for deploying he is a combat veteran. However, there is a difference in the quality and severity of the types of combat veterans. Mayor Pete is more of a combat tourist than a warrior. If he’s going to use his combat time as a discriminator, then it gets to be evaluated.

“People with one (short) combat tour, which meant minding a desk, with access to that delicious fresh baked bread they made daily at the BAF DFac, need to ease up on their warrior status. He’s clearly a combat vet, but discussing it, as he does, is cheapening his experience.

“Here’s the truth. If he was to go outside the wire, he’d be a liability to any patrol. I don’t mean to be unfair or unkind but, whatever ‘contribution’ he delivered would at best be forgotten the moment he stepped forward off the battlefield. He went to war, that’s commendable and honorable. That’s where it stops. People with his pedigree for deployment acknowledge that they spent a short tour and barely got away from their desk. They certainly don’t lean on that service as a credential for presidential candidacy.”

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Peter Van Buren

Author of Hooper’s War: A Novel of WWII Japan and WE MEANT WELL: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts + Minds of the Iraqi People