Draft-deferred Trump has some nerve going after McCain
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I thought that former Vice President Dick CheneyDick CheneySen. Ron Johnson: Straight from the horse's mouth Budowsky: When Dr. King, Rep. Cheney came to Washington Hutchinson says 'big lie' supporters 'not demonstrating leadership' MORE would never be surpassed for total dishonesty and hypocrisy regarding draft deferments during the Vietnam era. I was wrong. If you have forgotten this sorry and pitiful Cheney saga, allow me to refresh your memory.

Cheney was nominated to be secretary of Defense in 1989. At the time, he was a House member. Then-Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, raised a perfectly reasonable point to the nominee. Cheney was to be the leader of millions of military personnel, but he had never personally served in the military himself.


Cheney had been draft eligible during the '60s, but had avoided service by being granted five deferments during that time. He had secured a student deferment (both undergraduate and graduate), a married deferment and a deferment for being a father. All these deferments were permissible and legal. But what was unconscionable was Cheney's response to Warner's query. Cheney said the following: "I would have been happy to serve if called."

What an outrageous statement. Cheney had availed himself of every opportunity not to serve. How could he with a straight face make such an absurd and duplicitous remark? I remember reading Cheney's words and calling up the writer of the article, George Wilson. The Washington Post's Pentagon correspondent was well-respected and he said that Cheney's statement deserved further review. Wilson then proceeded to ask Cheney about this statement. Unbelievable, Cheney said "I had other priorities in the '60s."

Now we have Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump lawyers to Supreme Court: Jan. 6 committee 'will not be harmed by delay' Two House Democrats announce they won't seek reelection DiCaprio on climate change: 'Vote for people that are sane' MORE — who was also deferred from military service during the Vietnam War period — having the colossal nerve to say that Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainKelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities Sinema, Manchin curb Biden's agenda MORE (R-Ariz.) was not an American hero. Can one get any lower?

McCain was tortured in a North Vietnamese prison. He spent over five years there. He refused to be released early because he did not want his captors to score a propaganda victory. Anybody who put on a military uniform during that era, in my book, was a hero.

Those who were allowed to have the sanctuary of a college deferment (I was one of them) should have nothing but respect and admiration for those who did serve. Every one of them is a patriot.

Let's say it without hesitation or qualification: Trump is a cruel joke.

He is a insult to the idea of public service. This is an individual who will do and say anything to get attention. Trump appeals to the lowest common denominator. He has no place in American politics.

I fervently hope that the McCain remark is truly the beginning of the end for him. On Aug. 6, in the debate in Cleveland, every other Republican candidate should confront him and tell him that he is unfit to run for the highest office in the land.

The best thing would be for the voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to renounce him by voting in massive numbers for anybody but him. Then, and only then, will he be off the stage he desperately craves.

One final thought: Trump is not really a member of any political party; he is a member of the Trump Party. That means that, failing to secure the GOP nomination, I predict he will run in the November general election under his own banner. Hopefully, the ultimate and final humiliation will occur and we will not have Trump to "kick around anymore."

Plotkin is a political analyst, a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a columnist for The Georgetowner.