Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tancredo: Another GOP Chicken Hawk

Tom Tancredo is a Big War Advocate But Was a Vietnam War Draft Dodger Due to Claims of Depression

He's a flame throwing supporter of the Iraq War and demagogic opponent of "illegal" immigration (as in Mexican immigration, not white people immigration). As a college student, he also was a rabid enthusiast for our war in Vietnam.

But Tom Tancredo, the congressman who invites guests over to his Colorado mansion to watch John Wayne movies, was given a 1-Y deferment from serving in Vietnam. Why? Because he claims that he was treated for mental illness while in high school.

No, that doesn't stigmatize mental health problems. Lord knows we need to pay more attention to them as a nation and get more coverage for them in our health insurance programs -- and hopefully national health insurance.

But it is a bit too consistent that one of the current bottom tier GOP presidential contenders is just another Chickenhawk. Like Cheney who got multiple deferments that kept him from serving in Vietnam, like Bush who used Daddy's help to get him in the cushy Texas Air National Guard to avoid combat, Tancredo got himself out of the army during a war he supported by declaring that he was mentally ill.

If he was that mentally ill, and what he is describing doesn't just go away, maybe the good people of his district might want to re-think voting for him to represent them in D.C.

If the story seems all too emblematic of GOP hypocrisy, that is because it is true.

A "Rocky Mountain News" article recounts:

It was reported that in 1970, after Tancredo's student deferments ran out, he appealed his 1-A draft status, which would have put him at the top of the list for draft eligibility during the Vietnam War.

Tancredo said he didn't remember it that way. But he said he was given a 1-Y status, which put him at the bottom of the list, when he reported that he had been treated for mental illness as a teenager.

Tancredo said he was diagnosed with depression when he was 16 or 17 and received medication for five years for panic attacks and bouts of anxiety and depression....

In a radio interview, Tancredo was quoted saying "I did not serve. I could not serve, but I certainly wish that I had that opportunity."

Geeze Louise, I can remember quite a few guys who could have been easily diagnosed with any of the above or all three disorders back in those days. Hell, no one wanted to go to Vietnam; no one I knew, except for one fellow, whose life long dream was becoming a Marine. His name was Phil Holloway. You can find it on The Wall. He was killed during my first year of college.

Do you ever get the feeling that these guys -- like Tancredo, Cheney and Bush -- are playing toy soldiers, blowing everything up as a way of overcompensating for their cowardice? Not that we would ask such a question.

We would. We think they all need to be examined by a psychiatrist!

And who is Tancredo's campaign manager in his volatile, narcissistic campaign for president? According to a Scripps Howard News Service article,

"The woman behind Tancredo's flirtation with the 2008 presidential race is Bay Buchanan, treasurer of Ronald Reagan's presidential campaigns and the sister behind conservative commentator Pat Buchanan's presidential runs.

"Tom, to me, is the best grass-roots candidate there is," Buchanan said. "He energizes a real base. He has a cause. He represents an entire movement. The movement is there. The others don't have a movement."

Sometimes I wonder if Bay isn't Pat in drag; same gestures, same manner of speaking, same right-wing, jaw dropping philosophy.

Although he's an over-the-top war advocate with outlandish ideas about "retaliation" (including bombing Mecca), he's become best known for his code word racist campaign against Mexican immigration.

"Right after 9/11, Tom Tancredo was pushing many of the ideas that bona fide white-supremacist groups were pushing," said Mark Potok, director of intelligence for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama, which monitors hate groups.

That's some movement, Bay, the chickenhawk, racist demagogues who, like your brother, want to lead an army of peasants with pitchforks, as long as Tom doesn't have to actually be in combat, that is. That would be too depressing for him. He just likes to play George Patton, not have to really face bullets. A coward can only handle so much.

These people, who are far to cowardly to fight the endless wars they support with their hateful speeches and lapel flags make me sick. Either go fight or shut the hell up.


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The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

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