Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Will News Of Trump's Draft Dodging Do Him In This Time?


Later this evening, George Lakoff is going to share some cognitive and linguist secrets with us about how to defeat Monsieur Trumpanzee. Meanwhile though, a friendly Republican Member of Congress who detests Trump and will never vote for him-- announcement coming soon-- sent me a note last night telling me that of all the stuff going on with the Trumpanzee-- from the catastrophe with the Khan family to his love affair with Putin-- the thing that's most likely to stick and hurt him with GOP voters is the Steve Eder story in yesterday's NY Times about Trump as a draft dodger. I pushed back because the story has been told before. That New York Daily News front page above came out a year and 2 weeks ago, right when Republican primary voters were falling in love with him. The congressman said what would seal Trump's fate was the juxtaposition between Trump's disrespect for the service of Captain Humayun, the disrespect for Gold Star families, the exposure he's had regarding his cascade of lies about how he's helped "the vets" and the draft dodging. He may be right. He knows what's in the psyches of Republican voters better than I do.

Eder was unsparing in his critique, pointing out that the 22 year old Trumpanzee (human years) was "the picture of health" back in 1968 at the right of the U.S. war against Vietnam. He had a perfect medical record and was playing football, tennis and squash. "But after he graduated from college in the spring of 1968, making him eligible to be drafted and sent to Vietnam," wrote Eder, "he received a diagnosis that would change his path: bone spurs in his heels."
The diagnosis resulted in a coveted 1-Y medical deferment that fall, exempting him from military service as the United States was undertaking huge troop deployments to Southeast Asia, inducting about 300,000 men into the military that year.

The deferment was one of five Mr. Trump received during Vietnam. The others were for education.

His experience during the era is drawing new scrutiny after the Muslim American parents of a soldier who was killed in Iraq publicly questioned whether Mr. Trump had ever sacrificed for his country. In an emotional speech at the Democratic National Convention last week, the soldier’s father, Khizr Khan, directly addressed Mr. Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, saying, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Mr. Trump’s public statements about his draft experience sometimes conflict with his Selective Service records, and he is often hazy in recalling details.

In an interview with the New York Times last month, Mr. Trump said the bone spurs had been “temporary”-- a “minor” malady that had not had a meaningful impact on him. He said he had visited a doctor who provided him a letter for draft officials, who granted him the medical exemption. He could not remember the doctor’s name.

“I had a doctor that gave me a letter-- a very strong letter on the heels,” Mr. Trump said in the interview.

Asked to provide The Times with a copy of the letter, which he had obtained after his fourth student deferment, Mr. Trump said he would have to look for it. A spokeswoman later did not respond to repeated requests for copies of it.

The Selective Service records that remain in the National Archives-- many have been discarded-- do not specify what medical condition exempted Mr. Trump from military service.

Mr. Trump has described the condition as heel spurs, which are protrusions caused by calcium built up on the heel bone, treated through stretching, orthotics or sometimes surgery.

Mr. Trump said that he could not recall exactly when he was no longer bothered by the spurs, but that he had not had an operation for the problem.

“Over a period of time, it healed up,” he said.

In the 2015 biography The Truth About Trump, the author, Michael D’Antonio, described interviewing Mr. Trump, who at one point slipped off a loafer to display a tiny bulge on his heel. And during a news conference last year, Mr. Trump could not recall which heel had been involved, prompting his campaign to release a statement saying it was both.

Mr. Trump, who has hailed his health as “perfection,” said the heel spurs were “not a big problem, but it was enough of a problem.”

“They were spurs,” he said. “You know, it was difficult from the long-term walking standpoint.”

In December, his longtime personal physician, Dr. Harold N. Bornstein, announced that Mr. Trump had “no significant medical problems” over four decades and that, if elected, he “will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” Dr. Bornstein made no mention of the bone spurs but did note the appendectomy from Mr. Trump’s childhood.

The medical deferment meant that Mr. Trump, who had just completed the undergraduate real estate program at the Wharton School of Finance and Commerce at the University of Pennsylvania, could follow his father into the development business, which he was eager to do.

The story of Mr. Trump’s draft record has been reviewed by other publications, starting in 2011, when the Smoking Gun published his Selective Service documents. But a Times examination of his history, including interviews with Mr. Trump and experts on the era, new details.

For many years, Mr. Trump, 70, has also asserted that it was “ultimately” the luck of a high draft lottery number-- rather than the medical deferment-- that kept him out of the war.

But his Selective Service records, obtained from the National Archives, suggest otherwise. Mr. Trump had been medically exempted for more than a year when the draft lottery began in December 1969, well before he received what he has described as his “phenomenal” draft number.

Because of his medical exemption, his lottery number would have been irrelevant, said Richard Flahavan, a spokesman for the Selective Service System, who has worked for the agency for three decades.

“He was already classified and determined not to be subject to the draft under the conditions in place at the time,” Mr. Flahavan said.

In a 2011 television interview, Mr. Trump described watching the draft lottery as a college student and learning then that he would not be drafted.

“I’ll never forget; that was an amazing period of time in my life,” he said in the interview, on Fox 5 New York. “I was going to the Wharton School of Finance, and I was watching as they did the draft numbers, and I got a very, very high number.”

But Mr. Trump had graduated from Wharton 18 months before the lottery-- the first in the United States in 27 years-- was held.

The fact that a candidate seeking the presidency received military deferments or otherwise avoided fighting in Vietnam is not unusual. Voters have shown themselves willing to look past such controversies, electing George W. Bush, who served stateside in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam era, and Bill Clinton, who wrote to an Army R.O.T.C. officer in 1969 thanking him for “saving me from the draft.”

Mr. Trump likened his history to that of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and other prominent politicians, who also received several deferments. Mr. Trump said he had strongly opposed United States involvement in Vietnam.

“I thought it was ridiculous,” he said. “I thought it was another deal where politicians got us into a war where we shouldn’t have been in. And I felt that very strongly from Day 1.”

Even if his views on Vietnam are broadly shared today, both his record and his statements on the war have proved fraught for Mr. Trump during his campaign. Last summer, he faced a backlash when he declared that John McCain, the Republican senator who had been a prisoner of war during Vietnam, was “not a war hero,” explaining, “I like people who weren’t captured.” Then a series of audio clips surfaced from the 1990s, including one in which Mr. Trump told Howard Stern, the radio show host, that avoiding sexually transmitted diseases while dating “is my personal Vietnam.”

Mr. Trump has acknowledged feeling somewhat “guilty” for not serving in Vietnam and has stressed that if he had been called, he would have gone.

After his 18th birthday, in June 1964, Mr. Trump registered with the Selective Service System, as all men his age did. It was the summer after his graduation from the New York Military Academy, and Mr. Trump recalled filling out his papers with his father, Fred Trump, at the local draft office on Jamaica Avenue in Queens.

The next month, Mr. Trump received the first of four education deferments as he worked his way through his undergraduate studies, first at Fordham, in the Bronx, and then as a transfer student in the real estate program at the Wharton School, in Philadelphia.

He received subsequent student deferments during his sophomore, junior and senior years.

At Fordham, Mr. Trump commuted from his parents’ home in Queens and played squash, football and tennis. He remembered Fordham for its “good sports.”

At Wharton, Mr. Trump began preparing in earnest for his career in real estate by buying and selling fixer-upper townhouses in Pennsylvania and driving home to New York on weekends to work for his father.

During the Wharton years, he said, he had less time for sports but stayed physically active, playing pickup golf at public courses near campus.

At Penn and other universities, Vietnam dominated discussions. Mr. Trump said Wharton, with its business focus, had been somewhat different. Although he “hated the concept of the war,” he said, he did not speak out against it.

“I was never a fan of the Vietnam War,” he said. “But I was never at the protest level, either, because I had other things to do.”

As Mr. Trump’s graduation neared, the fighting in Vietnam was intensifying. The Tet offensive in January 1968 had left thousands of American troops dead or wounded, with battles continuing into the spring.

On the day of Mr. Trump’s graduation, 40 Americans were killed in Vietnam. The Pentagon was preparing to call up more troops.

...Since Mr. Khan publicly addressed him in the Democratic convention speech last week, Mr. Trump has been pressed about his sacrifice, including by George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week on Sunday.

“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices,” Mr. Trump said to Mr. Stephanopoulos. “I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve had tremendous success. I think I’ve done a lot.”
Remember that human wreckage, New Hampshire state Rep. Al Baldasaro, Trumpanzee's Veteran Affairs advisor, from the Cleveland convention? He was the one who kept calling for Hillary to be shot by a firing squad. This handsome fellow:

Monday Baldasaro, still a member in good standing of Team Trumpanzee, was spreading his poison online, telling other sick, primitive Trump fans that Khizr Khan is an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. So good of the Trumpish acolytes to keep giving him a hand in digging his hole deeper and deeper. President Obama reacted yesterday at a press gaggle he did with the prime minister of Singapore.



At 10:20 AM, Blogger Kirsten Crippen said...

Why would this do it when nothing else has? I mean what would be a step too far? Burning the American flag? Being caught in bed with a homosexual Hispanic man? Burning a Bible?

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Ruben Chandler said...

Throwing stones at the man who will not be (S)elected and ignoring the bullshit in the dnc outing of the anti-democratic principles of the supposed party of the same name is wasting our time while pandering to the emotionalism of the genus neanderthalus americanus. It's cowardly in that it is so easy. Hillary, the anointed one, the one the 1% want, and you, by extension, would feed us in some sort of delusional feeding frenzy, Hillary is the problem. Trump is a foregone conclusion and part of the choreographed display of politics being the entertainment wing of the military industrial complex. I thought you were smarter than this. Trump, so what. What about Hillary, the one rimbaud must have been thinking of when he wrote "I set truth and beauty on my knee and found her a diseased syphilitic whore"? Don't be a tool or a fool. We'll all bail on your brand.........

At 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ruben Chandler- go away.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger ann roberts said...

He is a coward , he can talk about sending other people kids to war , but his never went to war and his sons never went to war . Does his wife have a college degree ? She has a horrible speaking voice .

At 12:21 PM, Blogger ann roberts said...

Trump did not go to Vietnam and his sons never went to any wars . So you figure out the approval for the truth . He is a coward that can send others people kids to war .

At 12:22 PM, Blogger ann roberts said...

Trump is a war Mongreal when it come to others then him and his kids .


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