The Bush Brigade Hits the WaPo

From Holden:

The Washington Post’s Terry Neal notes Buzzflash’s petition calling on the Bush progeny to serve their country and wonders why the press has not asked about the Bush Brigade.

Publicity stunt or not, it does raise a question. If the sacrifice is so noble, has the president urged his own children, or enlistment-age nieces and nephews – of which there are eight – to join the military and fight in Iraq?

I called the White House to pose this question and was somewhat surprised to learn that none of the supposed liberal baddies in the White House press corps had ever asked the president or any of his spokespersons that question.

Spokeswoman Dana Perino couldn’t find that this question had ever been asked. She said she’d have to check and call back. And she did later Tuesday afternoon with this prepared statement: “There are many ways for people to serve their country and to help make the world a better freer and more peaceful place. The president is grateful to all of those who have answered the call to service whether it’s in the military or in another capacity and members of his family have done both.”

That didn’t really answer the question.


[C]ritics on the left are comparing Bush unfavorably to Franklin Roosevelt, whose four sons served as decorated officers in World War II.


[Cindy] Sheehan has suggested that if the Iraq cause is so noble, he should send his little “party animals” to serve there.

This is a newer version of the old chickenhawk argument – that is, that the administration is filled with hawks who avoided military service themselves. The current argument focuses on the question of whether children of today’s Iraq war supporters are urging their children to fight in a war they deem noble.


“Back in 1993, when Bill and Hillary Clinton moved to Washington, they decided to enroll Chelsea in a private, rather than public, school,” Richard Bradley wrote in “Because the decision seemed to contradict the Clintons’ stated faith in public schools, the press asked the Clintons about that decision, and they had to defend it-publicly. (And unlike the Bush daughters now, Chelsea was a minor.)”

So the Bush twins should be fair game as well, he reasons.

“It’s pretty simple, really. The military doesn’t have enough soldiers; the president believes that this is a good and just war; he has two daughters who could enlist in the military, but haven’t. These things don’t add up.

“So here’s a question I think a White House reporter should ask the president: President Bush, if your own two daughters won’t enlist, how can you expect anyone else’s children to join the military?”