"I can still feel the hangnail in my right foot, and it's missing! And we have a guy who says he had a bone spur that kept him out of Vietnam but doesn't remember where it was."
Similar to his predilection for lecturing black people about the issues facing their community, Donald Trump has tried to claim superior knowledge on the military.
But as someone who avoided the draft multiple times for questionable reasons, he can hardly back up that stance particularly when challenged by Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, and Iraq War veteran and double amputee.
During the recent GOP-engineered government shutdown, Trump lashed out at Democrats, falsely accusing them of “holding our Military hostage over their desire to have unchecked illegal immigration” even though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was the one to kill the effort to protect military pay.
“I will not be lectured about what our military needs by a five deferment draft dodger,” she declared.
“And I have a message for Cadet Bone Spurs: If you cared about our military, youd stop baiting Kim Jong-un into a war that could put 85,000 American troops and millions of innocent civilians in danger,” she added.
Indeed, it was a “bone spur” that Trump insisted made him unable to serve something even Republican Sen. John McCain subtly shaded him for.
And as Duckworth noted on “Face the Nation” Sunday morning, Trump’s “bone spur” complaint which he has at times attributed to one foot and others to both failed the smell test.
Referring to Trump’s deferments, Duckworth noted that they included “four for school and one for medical reasons that he can’t even remember what foot the bone spur was in.”
“I can still feel the hangnail in my right foot, and it’s missing! And we have a guy who says he had a bone spur that kept him out of Vietnam but doesn’t remember where it was,” she noted bitingly.
When asked if that “disqualifies [Trump] from being commander in chief or making decisions about the military,” Duckworth said it did not. But it does mean one crucial thing.
“I don’t think that he has the right to question other people’s support for our military, especially those of us who have served.”
Having served in the U.S. military and losing her legs in defense of the nation, Duckworth is positioned well above Trump as far as understanding what troops and veterans need, the issues they face both in combat and at home, and how to do right by the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way.
Trump may not want to listen to a woman who knows more than he does, but that doesn’t make her words any less powerful.
Duckworth gave her all for the country. Trump did all he could to give nothing.