Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger attended the U.S. Air Force Academy (Class of ’73) because “serving the cause greater than oneself is the highest calling.” He went on to fly F-4D fighters, then left the Air Force with his multimillion-dollar, taxpayer-funded flight training and experience as soon as his seven-year mandatory tour was up. Well, so much for his total commitment to the cause greater than self.
His next cause was making the big bucks flying airliners, which by happenstance resulted in a world-class and truly phenomenal piece of dead-stick flying involving a forced water landing, now called “The Miracle on the Hudson.” He saved 155 lives! Honest-to-God, well done!
Alas, Sully now has a new cause, shilling for the NeverTrump “Republicans” of the Lincoln Project in a television commercial, while simultaneously aviating his ego-driven, spit-shined Swearingen Merlin IIIC flying hotrod.
The Lincoln Project was formed last year by what might be fairly described as a group of seething, vindictive McCainiacs and Romneyites, who are reacting in unison like Samson after a buzzcut.
One might wonder, though, exactly how does flying for 53 years and perfect water landings qualify Sully, retired pilot and author of two semi-ghostwritten books, to swim around with these political pariah piranhas?
Well, it doesn’t.
He is merely being used.
In the worst way.
The Lincoln Project effort with Sully is analogous to the shameless manner in which Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein used starlets for big box office: “T&A.”
Yup. The Lincoln Project, bent on NeverTrumping, has managed to reduce a genuine, stellar American hero to a piece of last minute, political eye candy.
What sullies Sully’s legacy even more is that the words he uses in the ad apparently aren’t his own. Compare his manner and speech pattern in 2009 in his very first TV interview with his strident-voiced, dramatically lighted 15 seconds on camera: Listen to that artificial reverb! It’s Charlton Freaking Heston in “The Ten Commandments”!
Somehow, one senses that Sully did not write the script; it seems that the Hero-of-the-Hudson has simply devolved into the White-Haired-Sock-Puppet-of-the-Never-Trumpers.
And the final rub.
Humans remember in images. If the sound is down, Sully’s denouncement looks just like a Trump commercial. Thus, he may be unable to get all 155 of his former passengers to vote for Biden. Well, 154 anyway.
P.S. Check six.
Editor’s note: Like Sullenberger, Chuck de Caro was also a member of the Air Force Academy Class of ’73. He, too, has been a pilot for 53 years, aviates his own ego-driven, spit-shined Super Navion flying hotrod, has authored and co-authored four books on information warfare, and is the progenitor of the world’s first military virtual unit, the 1st Joint SOFTWAR Unit (Virtual). He even directed a war game of his brainchild 1st JSU(V) from his hospital bed, 10 days after being shot three times.
It seems that de Caro, too, understood the highest calling and stuck to it for decades, many times pro bono patria.