A few weeks ago, Williams brayed to a crowd at the Iowa state fair that “We’ve got a Muslim president who hates farming, hates the military, hates the US and we hate him!” The faithful cheered, the Des Moines Register reported.
At the same time Williams gets down in the gutter against the president, he loudly proclaims his patriotism. His favorite colors are red, white and blue and camouflage. Williams is wild about guns, hunting and just about anything military. But here’s the funny thing: he didn’t fight in the war of his youth, perhaps preferring to stalk quarry that can’t shoot back.
Williams is 63. He was of prime military age during some of the bloodiest days of the Vietnam War. Given his macho talk and his fondness for the flag and firearms, you’d think Williams would have volunteered for what surely would have been the ultimate hunting trip for him. Heck, he could have donned real military duds, not sporting goods store camo. He could have swapped his .22 rabbit rifle for an M-16, a real man killer, and shot it out with real Reds. He stayed stateside, safe and in civvies.
I don’t know how Williams beat the draft, legally, like I did, I presume. I didn’t want to go to Vietnam, but I didn’t want anyone else to have to serve there either. Mum’s the word on Bocephus’ official Internet website about why he was never in service.
Anyway, Williams wants Mitt Romney to be president. I don’t, but I don’t blame Bocephus’ candidate for actively–and lawfully–ducking the draft and Vietnam. I’d be a hypocrite if I did. But I do blame Romney for not rebuking Williams, though I’m not surprised he hasn’t. The Texans and Iowans who whooped and hollered for Bocephus are doubtless voting the Romney-Ryan ticket. However, I know a president who would have called the bigot Bocephus to task. Before he moved into the White House, this quiet spoken Kansan wore a real military uniform with five tiny, shiny stars fastened on the shoulders. “I despise people who go to the gutter on either the right or the left and hurl rocks at those in the center,” said Dwight D. Eisenhower, who, before he was commander in chief, was supreme allied commander in the European Theater of Operations in World War II. I doubt many folks in Hank Williams Jr.’s GOP would like Ike. The tea partiers probably would brand him a “RINO”–Republican In Name Only–and a “socialist.”
At any rate, like Williams, I’m on the verge of my golden years. I’m 62, but I don’t get Bocephus’ raging testosterone against the president. I wonder if deep down inside he somehow feels he’s less than the manly man he wants his fans to think he is. Williams is what the New Hampshire Gazette skewers as a “Chickenhawk,” meaning somebody known for “choosing to ’support’ war, while also choosing not to serve in the military. His motto becomes: ‘Let’s you and him go fight; I’ll hold your coat.’” I also wonder about the gay bashing. I don’t care if Williams is gay or straight. But a buddy of mine who teaches psychology says some people bash gays to hide their own homosexuality or their fear that they might be gay. And a more than a few right-wing Republican gay haters turned out to be gay themselves. In any event, I think it’s more than a tad unseemly for guys my age to talk tough or sing tough and to be gung-ho for sending young people off to war when in their salad days they didn’t put themselves in harm’s way for their country.
Neil Thex says he served in Vietnam in 1969-1972 as a first lieutenant in the 25th Infantry, the famous “Tropic Lightning” Division. In an online comment posted on the East Valley, Ariz., Tribune’s website, Thex mused: “In 1967, Hank Williams Jr. turned 18 and his country was at war. Married men with as many as four children were serving in the Vietnam War, and casualties were high. Hank decided to show the white feather and stayed at home studying music instead of serving his country.
“A Chickenhawk leaves some fairly distinctive footprints, and they lead right to Hank’s music studio. Hank’s absence did not harm the war effort much, because there’s nothing in Hank’s makeup to indicate that he would have made much of a soldier. However, the Vietnam War was fought by a whole bunch of citizens who didn’t want to be there, but who did so out of a sense of duty that Bocephus apparently never felt. Barack Obama turned 6 that year, and I wouldn’t have expected him to show up for Vietnam duty. Which means that however patriotic or unpatriotic Obama is, he was certainly more of a patriot than Hank Williams Jr.
“So, Bocephus, carry on with your political mission, but don’t ever identify yourself as having anything to do with veterans. You’re not fit to carry ammo for a real veteran.”
Williams’ bilious hate is equally unseemly. No doubt he also despises Bill Clinton and probably didn’t catch the ex-president’s speech nominating Obama for a second term. Clinton said he never learned to hate Republicans like so many of them hate Obama and Democrats.
I voted for Clinton twice. I plan to vote for Obama a second time on November 6. Even so, I don’t hate Mitt Romney or his running mate. I just disagree with their policies.
Meanwhile, the likes of Williams the phony warrior would do well to get back to the roots of the GOP of real warriors like Ike who believed that American politics was not a holy war, that we are all Americans and that honorable people can honorably disagree without wallowing in muck, Bocephus-the-bigot style.
A footnote: Count this union-card-carrying lefty Democrat among critics of South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian’s asinine comparison of Palmetto State Gov. Nikki Haley to Adolf Hitler’s mistress. Harpootlian was talking about Haley holding a press conference in the basement of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C., during the Democratic National Convention. “She was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun,” The State newspaper of Columbia, the South Carolina capital, quoted the Democratic bigwig.
Right on cue, the Republicans are playing the righteous indignation card. Some are claiming Harpootlian called the governor a Nazi, which he didn’t.
I wouldn’t vote for Haley for dog catcher. She’s a union-hating, tea-party tilting reactionary. But Harpootlian’s comparison was inept at best and way off base in my book.