‘THESE TI­TA­NIUM LEGS DON’T BUCKLE’

Illi­nois sen­a­tor and VP con­tender blasts Trump, Fox News host af­ter they ques­tion her pa­tri­o­tism

Chicago Sun-Times - - FRONT PAGE - LYNN SWEET lsweet@sun­times.com | @lynnsweet

Sen. Tammy Duck­worth, a pos­si­ble VP con­tender, takes aim at Fox News host Tucker Carl­son, Pres­i­dent Trump af­ter at­tacks on her pa­tri­o­tism

‘These ti­ta­nium legs don’t buckle.” That’s the mes­sage Sen. Tammy Duck­worth, D-Ill., whose legs were blown off dur­ing com­bat in Iraq, sent Thurs­day to Tucker Carl­son and the man tak­ing cues from the Fox News host, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

In a New York Times op-ed posted Thurs­day, Duck­worth said Trump and Carl­son “are ques­tion­ing my pa­tri­o­tism” and us­ing “racist in­sults” be­cause “they’re des­per­ate for Amer­ica’s at­ten­tion to be on any­thing other than Don­ald Trump’s fail­ure to lead our na­tion” as he seeks a sec­ond term.

On his Mon­day and Tues­day shows, Carl­son, in a se­ries of child­ish taunts, called Duck­worth a “mo­ron,” “silly,” “unim­pres­sive,” a “cow­ard” and a “cal­lous hack” who did not care about vet­er­ans who none­the­less wants to lead a “coun­try you de­spise.”

He wrapped up on a barely coded racial note, show­ing a pic­ture of Duck­worth, who is Asian Amer­i­can, and a Black mem­ber of Congress while talk­ing about the need to “pre­serve our na­tion and our her­itage and our cul­ture.”

Carl­son got riled up af­ter Duck­worth, on the short list to be Joe Bi­den’s vice pres­i­dent pick, said there should be a “na­tional di­a­logue” over tak­ing down Ge­orge Washington stat­ues.

Carl­son twisted that into two nights of at­tacks, which Duck­worth re­sponded to Thurs­day in the op-ed, and I’ll get to more about that in a mo­ment.

On Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day, Duck­worth, a Hoff­man Es­tates res­i­dent, also pushed ahead on sev­eral fronts on one of her top pri­or­i­ties, U.S. mil­i­tary and vet­er­ans is­sues, a sub­stan­tial port­fo­lio she has de­vel­oped since first be­ing elected to the House in 2012 and the Se­nate in 2016.

Duck­worth, a mem­ber of the Se­nate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee, on Thurs­day was push­ing De­fense Sec­re­tary Mark Esper to de­ter­mine one way or the other if the Rus­sians were pay­ing a bounty to kill U.S. troops in Afghanista­n. Gold Star fam­ily mem­bers, she told him, need to know. Duck­worth also was ask­ing the Army to in­ves­ti­gate a pos­si­ble bun­gled re­sponse to re­ports over the dis­ap­pear­ance of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, who even­tu­ally was found mur­dered.

On Wed­nes­day, Duck­worth vowed to con­tinue to block 1,124 se­nior Armed Forces pro­mo­tions un­til Esper comes clean about if key Trump im­peach­ment wit­ness Lt. Col. Alexan­der Vind­man — who re­tired from the mil­i­tary Wed­nes­day — was de­nied a pro­mo­tion by a vin­dic­tive Trump White House.

Duck­worth, a re­tired lieu­tenant colonel who served 23 years in the Illi­nois Army Na­tional Guard, lost her legs and shat­tered her right arm when her Black Hawk he­li­copter was shot down in Iraq in 2004.

In her New York Times op-ed, she notes — since the Carl­son at­tack is pegged to Ge­orge Washington — that she is the de­scen­dant of sol­diers who fought in Washington’s Con­ti­nen­tal Army.

Duck­worth was born in Thai­land — her fa­ther was a U.S. cit­i­zen work­ing there; her mother is Thai, with fam­ily roots in China. Duck­worth speaks Thai and In­done­sian.

She said in the op-ed, “Set­ting aside the fact that the right wing’s right to lie about me is one of the rights I fought to de­fend, let me be clear: I don’t want Ge­orge Washington’s statue to be pulled down any more than I want the Pur­ple Heart that he es­tab­lished to be ripped off my chest. I never said that I did.

“But while I would risk my own safety to pro­tect a statue of his from harm, I’ll fight to my last breath to de­fend ev­ery Amer­i­can’s free­dom to have his or her own opin­ion about Washington’s flawed his­tory. What some on the other side don’t seem to un­der­stand is that we can honor our founders while ac­knowl­edg­ing their se­ri­ous faults, in­clud­ing the un­de­ni­able fact that many of them en­slaved Black Amer­i­cans.”

“... They should know, though, that at­tacks from self-serv­ing, in­se­cure men who can’t tell the dif­fer­ence be­tween true pa­tri­o­tism and hate­ful na­tion­al­ism will never di­min­ish my love for this coun­try — or my will­ing­ness to sac­ri­fice for it so they don’t have to. These ti­ta­nium legs don’t buckle.”

“The hate­ful vi­sion for Amer­ica par­roted by Mr. Trump and Mr. Carl­son will not win. Their re­lent­less ef­forts to drive wedges be­tween us will not work for­ever. We are too re­silient a na­tion, too di­verse a peo­ple, to let them.”

‘‘AT­TACKS FROM SELF-SERV­ING, IN­SE­CURE MEN WHO CAN’T TELL THE DIF­FER­ENCE BE­TWEEN TRUE PA­TRI­O­TISM AND HATE­FUL NA­TION­AL­ISM WILL NEVER DI­MIN­ISH MY LOVE FOR THIS COUN­TRY — OR MY WILL­ING­NESS TO SAC­RI­FICE FOR IT SO THEY DON’T HAVE TO. THESE TI­TA­NIUM LEGS DON’T BUCKLE.”

SEN. TAMMY DUCK­WORTH, D-Ill., fol­low­ing at­tacks on her pa­tri­o­tism by Fox News host Tucker Carl­son and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump

Sen. Tammy Duck­worth, D-Ill. AP FILES

GETTY IM­AGES

Sen. Tammy Duck­worth, D-Ill., in 2016 at the Demo­cratic Na­tional Con­ven­tion.

Tucker Carl­son

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.