Kerry Spot [ jim geraghty reporting ]
YES, THE LEFT QUESTIONED BOB DOLE'S MEDALS IN 1996
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Let's not hear any more talk about how high-minded the left was about Bob Dole and his medals eight years ago.
The Nation argued that Bob Dole got his first Purple Heart for a self-inflicted wound. Robert Ellis, who, like Dole 10th Mountain Division in World War II, sought to debunk the "myth" of Dole's heroism:
The truth about Dole's war record is considerably less than awe-inspiring. Yet the myth endures, and with the candidate running on the contrast between his and Clinton's military record, his campaign isn't eager to give a more accurate account. Dole, at the behest of his handlers, is less reticent about his service than in the past, but he mainly speaks about his wound and rehabilitation. He has passed up several opportunities to correct the exaggerated versions in biographies, and in the case of his self-wounding has even approved a sanitized account in which his maladroitly hurled grenade goes unnoted. Journalists continue to portray him as a hero, winner of two Bronze Stars. Joe Klein, for example, writes in Newsweek that Dole knows "what guns do. He also knows what politicians do, which is rarely anything quite so dramatic as leading an army into battle." Such attempts to make political capital out of Dole's war service go beyond the respect due him for the role he played as a soldier with the 10th Mountain Division.
A presidential candidate's fellow veteran makes claims, charging the candidate wasn't the hero his party says he was? Unprecedented!
[Posted 08/23 09:10 AM]