It is, of course, entirely possible that Donald Trump’s bone spurs were diagnosed as a favour to his father, Fred, by a friendly podiatrist. A rich man keeping his son away from a dangerous and useless war – as it seemed to many at the time at least – is hardly all that unusual. Even in the US it’s not historically been unusual, the Union allowed substitutes, paid ones, for those due to offer military service after all. It’s not quite what we think is just or righteous these days to be sure but in that historic setting there’s little unusual about it. And both Bill Clinton and George Bush the younger have a certain amount of controversy about their services, no? Bill rather more than George in fact, at least Bush did learn to fly jets, a dangerous enough occupation at that time.
But, to Donald Trump. The fun part here isn’t the speculation as to what happened. We can believe it happened this way, it wasn’t unusual for a diagnosis to be shaded. We can believe he was tearing to go but wasn’t allowed to if we wish too. But the fun part? Just look at the standard of evidence on offer here:
A New York podiatrist may have given President Trump the bone spurs diagnosis that helped him avoid military service as a favor to Trump’s father, according to a New York Times report. The daughters of Larry Braunstein, the foot doctor, described the relationship as “family lore” to the Times, saying that they didn’t know if their father ever actually examined Trump, but that he signed off on the diagnosis as a favor to Fred Trump, from whom their father rented his Queens office. “I know it was a favor,” said Elysa Braunstein, whose father died in 2007. The Trumps sold the building in 2004. “What he got was access to Fred Trump,” she continued. “If there was anything wrong in the building, my dad would call and Trump would take care of it immediately. That was the small favor that he got.” The Times reported that they were unable to find any paper evidence corroborating the Braunsteins’ account, including medical records or other documents related to Trump.
Personally I’m entirely willing to believe the story. But seriously. Family hearsay is now the standard of evidence to use for front page news? Let alone what we know is going to come next, people shouting for impeachment over something that wasn’t even done by the guy currently serving as President.
Yes, obviously, no dog in this fight but really? Hearsay being used as evidence? That’s how politics and journalism work these days is it? Rather than the bile and vituperation which is our own stock in trade….