By: Frank Lautenberg
Date: Feb. 24, 2004
Location: Washington, DC
Mr. LAUTENBERG. Mr. President, I rise to discuss a troubling issue that has plagued our political debate for many years and now has come to a head. I cannot stay silent any longer.
We so much admire the eagle, the bird of strength, the bird that portrays the courage of America, the willingness to support our country no matter what the cost. That is what the eagle says to me. At times it has been an endangered species. But there is another bird I want to talk about today. That bird is called, in my view, the chicken hawk. There is such a bird, but usually it is the hawk chasing the chicken. But now I want to talk about the chicken that really chases the hawk.
Those of us who answered our Nation's call for military service at wartime have not grandstanded on that issue. We served our country and, frankly, many of my colleagues who answered the call are not always willing to talk about their experiences.
But now I see a disturbing trend from the other side of the political aisle. More and more, Senators in this body are tagged as lax on national security or homeland security or support for the military because of votes they took against problematic defense bills over the years. For years the charge coming from across the aisle is that Democrats are somehow or other less patriotic, less supportive of defense, and it is a shameful and grotesque charge. In my view these charges typically come from people I would simply call chicken hawks. rest of transcript>>>