Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

James Boyce Headshot

Saxby Chambliss Seeks Deferment From Runoff -- Cites "Bum Knee"

Posted: Updated:

Never one to let an opportunity to mislead the people of Georgia, Saxby Chambliss has requested that he actually be excused from the December 2nd runoff against Jim Martin and just be declared the winner.

It is rumored that in private statements, Saxby has claimed that the knee that allowed him to have six deferments from serving in Vietnam has been acting up again, and not a minute too soon, as the race for what could be the 60th Senate Senate appears closer than ever.

Just in case his deferment is not granted and Saxby never had a problem in the past, Saxby has started to run a commercial in Georgia focusing on the attacks on 9/11.

Let's go to the tape and make sure you listen to the first line, "When our country was under attack, we trusted Saxby Chambliss."

Well, there are a couple of unintentionally humorous things here. First, the only thing Saxby can be trusted to do when the going gets tough, is go get another deferment.

Second, back on 9/11, Saxby wasn't sitting in his seat, Max Cleland was. Saxby then defeated Max as many of us know, by running perhaps the worst ad in American political history. An ad so bad, I'm not going to embed it here but it showed Osama Bin Laden morphing into Max Cleland's face. It was a test run of swiftboating, and tragically it worked -- turning Max's service and sacrifice against him in favor of someone who has never served anyone but himself.

At the time, many veterans in the US Senate were absolutely outraged by the ad, most prominently and passionately, John McCain.

"I've never seen anything like that ad," says McCain. "Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to a picture of a man who left three limbs on the battlefield -- it's worse than disgraceful, it's reprehensible."" (Washington Post, 7/3/2003)

Senator Chuck Hagel chimed in.

"Beyond offensive to me."

Unfortunately, Saxby's treatment of Max wasn't the only time his treatment of a decorated war hero was horrific. In honor of Veteran's Day, let's run through Saxby's record on this issue.

(And remember, if you get really angry, count Saxby's deferments.)

Chambliss Voted Against the New GI Bill for Veterans of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Chambliss Has Voted Against Veterans Programs at Least 23 Times Since Joining the Senate

Chambliss Voted Against Additional Funding to Research Traumatic Brain Injury--thee "Signature Wound" of the Iraq War.

Chambliss Opposed the Webb Amendment Guaranteeing Troops Time At Home Between Deployments

Chambliss Repeatedly Voted Against Additional Funding to Give the Men & Women in Uniform the Armor and Equipment They Need.

There are more, but I think his record is clear, the rest are here.

Now, on December 2, there will be a runoff in Georgia, unless Saxby gets a deferment because of his knee. So in honor of Max, in honor of all our veterans, here are a couple of things we call can do.

First, if you are in Georgia, have relatives in Georgia or know anyone in Georgia, let's get them to the polls on that day and vote for Jim Martin, a Vietnam Veteran by the way.

And, if you can, donate here to Jim Martin's campaign, $5 or $10 a deferment is fine, this is a special fundraising page, called "Do It For Max" All the money donated goes straight to Jim Martin's campaign, but it's a little tip of the hat to the man who, frankly, still should be sitting in that Senate seat.

Finally, yesterday, we launched a very special NewsLadder dedicated to the Georgia Runoff. Click here and see the latest stories about this critical last Senate race.