But I must say, honestly, I hate to see a grown man cry.
On the other hand, before you get too caught up in Duke Cunningham’s (R-Nowhere, now) tearful apology on the courthouse steps, let me remind you of some of his greatest hits.
From the Pajamas Media Hostage, David Corn:
During the House debate this week over a constitutional amendment to ban the desecration of the American flag, Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a California Republican and the lead sponsor of this measure, repeatedly referred to 9/11. He declared that permitting flag burning “is an insult to all those who perished in the attacks of September 11, 2001.” He also said. “Ask the men and women who stood on top of the [World] Trade Center. Ask them and they will tell you: Pass this amendment.”
I keep trying to remember this quote about patriotism and scoundrels…. Bueller? Anyone?
Hubris? We got some for you.
Cunningham has exploited this record into what one commentator calls “hero inflation” and Shakespeare’s Henry V called “remembering with advantages.” He now claims to have been a military hero deserving of the Congressional Medal of Honor (which he didn’t get), even though he acknowledges that his aerial dog-fighting had little effect on the course of the war. Cunningham has created a company called “Top Gun Enterprises” that sells lithographs of himself in his pilot’s outfit and books he has written about his navy exploits. His company’s web site, claims that the 1986 film Top Gun starring Tom Cruise was actually about Randy “Duke” Cunningham.
He has persisted in such attacks on the patriotism of Kerry, notably in an interview with Rush Limbaugh on August 17, 2004. Here’s an excerpt:
“DUKE: It’s not about Vietnam. It’s about what he did in 1971, bad-mouthing all of us, calling us war criminals. It’s his votes since he’s been in the Senate, he ran on cutting defense and intel, after the first Trade Center bombing, he tried to cut intelligence $9 billion. And it’s about who is going to protect my family, my daughters, my son, my wife in the next few years, and to me, it’s not Senator Kerry. Rush, if Senator Kerry was a Republican running, I would oppose him.
RUSH: Congressman, thanks very much for the call. It really is an honor to hear from you. I know your history and I’ve been very impressed with it, and you’re one of the guys still taking a lot of shots because of who you are in Washington. You stand up to ’em and we all appreciate it, we honor your service here. Thanks very much.
DUKE: Life is good, Rush.
RUSH: It is. That’s Duke Cunningham, congressman from California, the first fighter ace in Vietnam, five MiGs shot down.”
and, by the way, he’s an asshole:
In 1998, after Cunningham had been operated on for prostate cancer, he commented to the press that “[t]he only person who would enjoy a prostate biopsy is Barney Frank.” His fellow congressman Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, who is openly gay, replied that “Cunningham seems to be more obsessed with homosexuality than most homosexuals.”
So, yeah, see ya’, asshole.