"B-1 Bob" vs. Maverick

Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain allege Maverick was a lousy pilot who lost five U.S. Navy aircraft, four in accidents and one in combat.

Who the hell does this McCain guy think he is, Bob Dornan?

As the Weekly's R. Scott Moxley so colorfully illustrated in his 1996 expose “The Secret Lives of Bob Dornan,” our favorite bitter, defeated ex-congressman with the “B-1 Bob” nickname actually had a habit of crash landings himself.

Before moving from Hollywood to win the Garden Grove-based congressional seat now filled by Loretta Sanchez, “B-1 Banzai” went around portraying himself as having been a “shit-hot fighter pilot.” But what he wasn't mentioning, as Moxley's reporting showed, was Dornan avoided service during war time, fortunate because once he did enlist in the Air Force, “The resume shows that Lieutenant Dornan's career as a pilot was ignoble at best (he crashed three jets and a helicopter during pilot training after the war's end.)”

Speaking of Moxley and the two eventual Republican presidential race losers, check out this “Secret Lives” section:

Because the incident was not reported by our two local dailies, you probably don't know about Dornan's run-in with U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), who had blasphemed and trespassed on Dornan's political turf: he turned up at Bill Clinton's side on July 11, 1995, as the president—whom Dornan has called a traitor—normalized relations with Vietnam.

McCain's presence was natural. A decorated combat pilot who was shot down over Vietnam, he spent five and a half years in a North Vietnam POW camp and is recognized by his peers in D.C. as a man of unquestionable motives on the Vietnam issue. Except for Dornan, who, true to form, blasted McCain for "selling out" American prisoners of war by supporting normalization.

It was an odd move, even for Dornan. In attacking McCain, he might have drawn attention to his own military record—a record that, despite Dornan's claims, is a reverse image of McCain's. But Dornan had two things working for him in l'affaire McCain: McCain, a genuine war hero if there ever was one, is also somewhat gentlemanly, refusing to engage in Dornan's style of personal politics. Nor were the media likely to do more than they have ever done with Dornan: broadcast his outrages as mere sideshow entertainment, discount his relevance in any debate, and move on without a serious investigation into his record or his motives.

McCain's response to Dornan's attack was angry but subdued: "For him to allege that I could somehow abandon the families of my squadron mates is so offensive that I have no words for it," he said simply.

An unimpressed—and unashamed—Dornan shot back: "John thinks he owns the issue. He should stop torturing the families. . . . We had to push him out of the way. And I won. He didn't."


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