Kennedy and Byrd: a fantasy

Weir Thinking About It
                                                                        
At a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Iraq war, two Democrats, neither of whom would qualify to shine the shoes of President Bush or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, sat in judgment of the aforementioned leaders. Once again, they put a bulls—eye on the backs of every US soldier on duty around the world.

The following are two particularly egregious questions/statements by the senators, followed by the answers I wish I could have given in Mr. Rumsfeld's shoes. A guy can dream, can't he?

Senator Ted Kennedy:
"There have been a series of gross errors and mistakes. Those were on your watch, Mr. Secretary. Isn't it time for you to resign?"

My fantasy response:
'Senator, I thought it was time for you to resign in 1969 when you let Mary Jo Kopechne drown while you saved yourself and rushed home to concoct an alibi, failing to report the crime until the next day. That young woman's lifeless body remained in the water all night, while her parents agonized over her disappearance, and you tried to figure out how to save your political career.

Not only did you not resign, but you had the audacity some years later to attempt a run for president. For some inexplicable reason, the people of Massachusetts kept you in office, but, thank God, the rest of the country had the moral integrity to keep trash like you out of the White House. So, please don't lecture me about resignations.'

Senator Robert Byrd
"Mr. Secretary, I've watched you with a considerable amount of amusement. ... I've been here a long time, longer than you have. ... I've seen a lot of secretaries of defense. ... I don't think I've ever heard a secretary of defense who likes to lecture the committee as much as you. ...

"You may not like our questions but we represent the people. ... We ask the questions that the people ask of us whether you like it or not. ... The problem is we didn't ask enough questions at the beginning of this war that we got into, Mr. Bush's war. ...

"I don't mean to be discourteous. I've just heard enough of your smart answers to these people here who are elected. ... So get off your high horse when you come up here."

My fantasy answer:
'Excuse me, senator, but I've seen a lot of senators too, and I don't think I've ever been lectured to by one that used to be a high ranking official in the Ku Klux Klan. Aren't you the guy who recruited racists into the KKK for $10 a head? Aren't you quoted as saying the clan was an effective force in promoting traditional American values?

'Senator, you tell me to get off my high horse. Well, I don't mean to be discourteous either, but I must ask, what high horse were you on when you wrote the following statement in a KKK brochure? 'I would never fight with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by a race of mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.' Recently, senator, you tried to explain away your past as youthful foolishness. If that were true, then why is it, senator, that in 1964 you spent 14 hours on the floor of the senate in a filibuster attempting to stop passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act, legislation that was supported by a majority of Republicans.

'Furthermore, senator, why is it that you were the only senator to oppose the nomination to the Supreme Court of the only 2 black justices?

'No, senator, I'm not on a high horse, I'm just trying to defend this country against global terrorism, and I don't like being criticized by the coward of Chappaquiddick, or a racist who spent his early life wearing sheets and hoods and burning crosses outside the homes of those he considered inferior to him because of the color of their skin. We may never know how many black people were lynched, shot, or died within their burning homes because of your hateful rhetoric and racist behavior, but I have a feeling you haven't lost any sleep over it. Now, senator, unless you have any more questions that further illustrate the profound hypocrisy being spewed by you and your similarly values—challenged colleague, I'd like to get back in the company of some real leaders; our troops in battle.'

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com

Weir Thinking About It
                                                                        
At a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Iraq war, two Democrats, neither of whom would qualify to shine the shoes of President Bush or Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, sat in judgment of the aforementioned leaders. Once again, they put a bulls—eye on the backs of every US soldier on duty around the world.

The following are two particularly egregious questions/statements by the senators, followed by the answers I wish I could have given in Mr. Rumsfeld's shoes. A guy can dream, can't he?

Senator Ted Kennedy:
"There have been a series of gross errors and mistakes. Those were on your watch, Mr. Secretary. Isn't it time for you to resign?"

My fantasy response:
'Senator, I thought it was time for you to resign in 1969 when you let Mary Jo Kopechne drown while you saved yourself and rushed home to concoct an alibi, failing to report the crime until the next day. That young woman's lifeless body remained in the water all night, while her parents agonized over her disappearance, and you tried to figure out how to save your political career.

Not only did you not resign, but you had the audacity some years later to attempt a run for president. For some inexplicable reason, the people of Massachusetts kept you in office, but, thank God, the rest of the country had the moral integrity to keep trash like you out of the White House. So, please don't lecture me about resignations.'

Senator Robert Byrd
"Mr. Secretary, I've watched you with a considerable amount of amusement. ... I've been here a long time, longer than you have. ... I've seen a lot of secretaries of defense. ... I don't think I've ever heard a secretary of defense who likes to lecture the committee as much as you. ...

"You may not like our questions but we represent the people. ... We ask the questions that the people ask of us whether you like it or not. ... The problem is we didn't ask enough questions at the beginning of this war that we got into, Mr. Bush's war. ...

"I don't mean to be discourteous. I've just heard enough of your smart answers to these people here who are elected. ... So get off your high horse when you come up here."

My fantasy answer:
'Excuse me, senator, but I've seen a lot of senators too, and I don't think I've ever been lectured to by one that used to be a high ranking official in the Ku Klux Klan. Aren't you the guy who recruited racists into the KKK for $10 a head? Aren't you quoted as saying the clan was an effective force in promoting traditional American values?

'Senator, you tell me to get off my high horse. Well, I don't mean to be discourteous either, but I must ask, what high horse were you on when you wrote the following statement in a KKK brochure? 'I would never fight with a Negro by my side. Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by a race of mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.' Recently, senator, you tried to explain away your past as youthful foolishness. If that were true, then why is it, senator, that in 1964 you spent 14 hours on the floor of the senate in a filibuster attempting to stop passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act, legislation that was supported by a majority of Republicans.

'Furthermore, senator, why is it that you were the only senator to oppose the nomination to the Supreme Court of the only 2 black justices?

'No, senator, I'm not on a high horse, I'm just trying to defend this country against global terrorism, and I don't like being criticized by the coward of Chappaquiddick, or a racist who spent his early life wearing sheets and hoods and burning crosses outside the homes of those he considered inferior to him because of the color of their skin. We may never know how many black people were lynched, shot, or died within their burning homes because of your hateful rhetoric and racist behavior, but I have a feeling you haven't lost any sleep over it. Now, senator, unless you have any more questions that further illustrate the profound hypocrisy being spewed by you and your similarly values—challenged colleague, I'd like to get back in the company of some real leaders; our troops in battle.'

Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City Police Department. He is the editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com