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Elliot: Cat fights, dogfights

BY BEAU ELLIOT | JULY 21, 2015 5:00 AM

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I like cats. I must; I’ve lived with many of the four-footed Einsteins. (Though I admit, sometimes they’re four-footed Einsteins on a bad-hair day, and if that sounds like something out of the “Twilight Zone,” well, yeah. Welcome to the universe; enjoy your stay.)

So I like cats. If I hear a guy playing or singing well on stage, I’ll say something along the line of That cat’s got some pipes. You have to be careful, though; the cat’s got to be a guy, because women don’t like to be called a cat. (Just trust me on this one; don’t try it at home.)

That would be “guy” as in male-type guys. Because females use the word “guys” to mean themselves, giving the term a no-sex, no-gender, neutral-like-Switzerland sort of feel. (Well, neutral like Switzerland, only without all the secret bank accounts.) As in, “Hey, guys, let’s go down to the bars and diss some boys.” And another woman responds, “Nah, we do that all the time.”

And I see something of a cat fight has erupted between GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump (man, it is difficult to write that with a straight face) and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Or maybe it’s a dogfight. So hard to tell these days. I had always thought a dogfight involved airplanes, but then Michael Vick showed me I didn’t have nearly enough imagination when it came to dogfights.

Anyway, Trump in Iowa on July 18 famously (or infamously, depending on your point of view and your sense of word usage) said McCain “was not a war hero” because he was captured. “I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said.

And McCain responded by not comparing Trump with Sarah Palin, though the temptation must have been nearly impossible to resist.

Trump, as it turned out, never had to worry about being captured because he never served; he had four student deferments and a medical deferment from the draft. (He was the son of a multimillionaire real-estate guy.)

Predictably, probably, the Trumpster underwent a barrage of criticism about his McCain comment, including some not-so-friendly fire from ex-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in a tweet:

“Enough with the slanderous attacks. @SenJohnMcCain and all our veterans - particularly POWs have earned our respect and admiration. 12:19 PM - 18 Jul 2015”

Well, that’s nice and all, trying to put Trump in his place, though no one seems to know where at the table that might be. But before we get all huggy-muggy about Bush, we should remember his reaction to another decorated Vietnam War vet who endured slime attacks in 2004.

That was John Kerry, who earned several medals for his service in Vietnam, in the 2004 presidential campaign. An outfit going by the monicker Swift Boat Veterans for Truth spent millions challenging Kerry’s war record, contending that he didn’t deserve his medals. Those claims were demonstrated to be false, but the damage to Kerry’s campaign was palpable. As Think Progress points out, “The claims were first published in a book by Jerome Corsi, who would later gain fame for insisting that Obama had a fake birth certificate and was not born in the United States.”

And Jeb Bush? He supported the Swift Boats Vets’ group, thanking one of the leaders for the group’s support for his brother’s campaign.

Cat fights. Dogfights. They’re so much fun to watch.


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