Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Drudge linked this story yesterday to try to demonstrate that Democratic complaints about Bush's Top Gun stunt were hypocritical:

‘Tailhook scandal’ finds congressmen in same boat

Lost in the political firestorm over President Bush’s Top Gun landing on an aircraft carrier to proclaim the end of the Iraq war is the fact that lawmakers and congressional staff have routinely made similar forays.

Navy records show that 25 congressional personnel, including 12 lawmakers, have flown to aircraft carriers in four separate instances since the beginning of the year....

The story enumerated ordinary trips to aircraft carriers by members of Congress and their staffs -- overlooking the fact that the complaints about the Top Gun stunt weren't about the fact that it happened but about the way it was done, with a showy and utterly unnecessary tailhook landing.

The story listed the names of several others in government who'd made the same kind of tailhook landing Bush made:

In late January, six congressional aides made a less publicized tailhook landing on the USS Nimitz as it also plied the waters off of Southern California, Navy records show.

Aides to Republican Sens. Sam Brownback (Kan.), Michael Crapo (Idaho), Thad Cochran (Miss.), and Jeff Sessions (Ala.), and to Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), made the tailhook landing on Jan. 24. The delegation stayed overnight and left the following day....

... a group of lawmakers led by House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) made a tailhook landing on the USS Harry S Truman, deployed in the Mediterranean Sea.

Traveling with Hastert to the carrier were Republican Reps. Judy Biggert (Ill.), Anne Northup (Ky.), Mike Pence (Ind.), John Portman (Ohio), John Shadegg (Ariz.) and Todd Tiahrt (Kan.). Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) also made the landing. At least 16 press organizations reported on the trip to the carrier.

Let's see -- one Republican president, seven Republican House members, six Republican senatorial aides, and one Democratic House member did this.

Anyone see, y'know, a pattern here?

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