Military service: Rhetoric vs. Reality

Tom DeLay issued a statement criticizing some colleges and universities from not allowing military recruiters on campus. DeLay said:

"Such policies are obnoxious in times of peace, but they are simply intolerable in times of war, and the equal access of our military recruiters to federally funded colleges and universities must be protected."

That's a far cry from his own past. At the 1988 Republican National Convention, DeLay defended a fellow draft-dodger then-Vice Presidential candidate Dan Quayle. Back in 1999, a columnist for the Houston Press wrote about it:

He and Quayle, DeLay explained to the assembled media in New Orleans, were victims of an unusual phenomenon back in the days of the undeclared Southeast Asian war. So many minority youths had volunteered for the well-paying military positions to escape poverty and the ghetto that there was literally no room for patriotic folks like himself. Satisfied with the pronouncement, which dumbfounded more than a few of his listeners who had lived the sixties, DeLay marched off to the convention.

"Who was that idiot?" asked a TV reporter who arrived at the end of the media show. When he was told the name, it drew a blank. DeLay at that time was a national nobody, and his claim that blacks and browns crowded him and other good conservatives out of Vietnam seemed so outlandish and self-serving that no one bothered to file a news report on the congressman's remarks. (emphasis added)