Democrats who had been criticizing Vice President Dick Cheney's five deferments for the mandatory Vietnam war draft have finally laid the controversy to rest by conceding that Mr Cheney's absence from the battlefront was probably to the benefit of US troops fighting over there against North Vietnamese guerillas.
This sudden turn-around in Democrats' opinion of Mr Cheney's draft-dodging reportedly came about due to yesterday's incident involving the Vice President when he pumped shotgun pellets into a fellow hunter by mistake while shooting quail. Democratic National Committee Chairman Dr Howard Dean, on being asked for a comment, replied, "Previously, it was our belief that the Vice President had opted not to fight in Vietnam out of concern for his own life, but now it is clear that he was more concerned about the lives of American troops who would have been in his line of fire. In fact, his repeated requests to the draft board not to send him into battle are a mark of his patriotism since he was acting in the best interests of our troops. A man who could miss a flock of 400 birds and instead shoot one of his buddies by mistake on a sunny Texas day would have been a big liability in the swamps and jungles of Vietnam where visibility would have been severely compromized."
Mr Cheney's lack of dexterity with a gun was further underlined by the fact that the 400 birds in question were domesticated, being pen-raised, and would have offered an extremely easy target after being let loose for the sole purpose of being slaughtered by the VP and his hunting buddies.
As a token of appreciation for not serving in Vietnam and thus, saving American lives, President Bush has awarded Mr Cheney with the Congressional medal of honor. The medal usually celebrates gallantry in battle but in this case, will celebrate Mr Cheney's gallant attempt to avoid battle.