Remember the Purple Heart Bandages at the 2004 Republican National Convention? It was a crass stunt by the GOP to make light of the Purple Hearts which Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry earned for injuries suffered in Vietnam.
It infuriated Military Order of the Purple Heart and Purple Heart recipients everywhere:"I have received numerous calls from members of our organization to protest the misuse of our award," said Robert Lichtenberger, national commander of the group, "They are outraged that an award that has been earned by them for shedding blood on the battlefields of the world would be so denigrated by using it for the purpose of political advantage."The idea came from Karl Rove's mentor, Morton Blackwell, and coupled with Rove's Swiftboat lies you can see that the GOP made attacking Kerry's honorable service in the military their #1 priority.
And why not? Almost EVERY SINGLE member of Bush's team had never served their country or not seen one single day of combat and most used their influence to avoid the Vietnam war. Not Bush, not Cheney, not Rove. None of them served their nation. Even Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had never seen combat and got his "street creds" from three years as a FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR!!
MSNBC interviewed this delegate, Ms. Pat Peale, making a mockery of the military and Purple Hearts recipients everywhere on national television. And yes, (groan) she's from Texas. The day Ms. Peale had her 15-minutes of fame I want her to know that U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Aaron N. Holleyman was killed in Iraq. He was only 26 and taken away from his family by the man Ms. Peale gleefully supported. A man who never served, who has never asked his two partying daughters to serve, and who could have put a stop to the purple bandages and yet never did.
Yes, when we're gnashing our teeth and pulling our hair over advertisements in the New York Times, it's good to remember that not one person clutching their pearls over the MoveOn.org ad said a word when delegates sported purple heart bandages at the Republican National Convention.
No one. Not Rudy Giuliani, not Ann Coulter, not Bill O'Reilly, not Limbaugh.