But let’s say Donald Trump doesn’t know the truth of President Obama’s time at Columbia University, rather than call the man a liar (my bad). I will just introduce some of Obama’s acquaintances at Columbia for Mr. Trump’s edification and leave it at that:
Dr. Cathie M. Currie, who played soccer on campus with Barack Obama. Columbia spokesman Brian Connolly, who confirmed Obama spent two years at Columbia, graduating in 1983. Prof. Michael Barone, who taught the future president at Columbia. The Occidental professor who wrote a letter of recommendation to Columbia, Anne Howells. His Columbia classmates, Michael Wolf and Michael Ackerman. His college roommates, Phil Boerner and Sohale Siddiqi. Libertarian Jim Davidson, who discussed his discomfort with a militant campus group with Barack Obama.
Let’s say Donald Trump heard some bit of nonsense from Wayne Allyn Root and mindlessly repeated it at the CPAC, or made an unfunny joke he knew would cause Birther conservatives in the audience to laugh and clap uproariously. Eh, there is no law against being an asshole at a gathering of assholes.
There is a law, however, against a member of the United States Army appearing at a political event in uniform.
Texas GOP Vote reported from the event:
Retired Army Lt. Colonel and now Member of Congress, Allen West introduced Army Sgt. Jason Arbor who trains the soldiers who guard the tomb of the unknown soldier. He spoke briefly about how Conservatives must save this country. He then saluted Colonel West and left the stage.
What SGT Arbor said to the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Committee was this short piece, after being introduced by Congressman West:
“We don’t have much time. Can I say something real quick? The reason I’m here is because I have a bigger fear for my future than I did, of the fear that I had back in Baghdad. And the reason I’m here is because I believe in the Colonel. So thank all of you and God Bless America.”
He said it while disobeying a Lawful Army Regulation, 670-1. A United States Congressman, a retired Lieutenant Colonel himself, who presumably knew what he was doing, encouraged and abetted this soldier in breaking the law–there over his right shoulder.
I couldn’t help thinking of YearlyKos 2007, when a soldier in attendance was chastised on two occasions by Retired General Wesley Clark, for attending a political event in uniform, and counseled to leave to avoid possible disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Two retired officers. One behaves responsibly and the other doesn’t. One respects the law and the other doesn’t. The difference between liberals and conservatives, perhaps, or maybe between Four Star Generals and Lt. Colonels.
Given the poor choice between Donald Trump giving the old wink and nod to Birthers and a Member of the United States Congress assisting a member of the Armed Forces–a soldier in The Old Guard, no less–to a dishonorable record, I’d say “The Donald” does the least harm, having only made himself and his audience look foolish.
A United States Congressman should set very high ethical standards for his own behavior and, for sure, has no business flouting the law. SGT Arbor said he believes in “the Colonel”–well, “the Colonel,” who is supposed to look out for his men, failed SGT Arbor at CPAC 2011.