'Major Dad' joins Bush on front lines of campaign


WASHINGTON -- Major Dad fires back.

From Palatka, Fla., to the nation's capital, television's make-believe Marine -- CBS actor Gerald McRaney -- is holding the line against cultural elites for his commander in chief, George Bush.

"There seems to be a continuing effort by this country's liberals to silence people with opposing views, with direct attacks on their character," Mr. McRaney wrote last week in the Washington Post.

Major Dad was targeting political columnist Mary McGrory's "acid-tainted prose."

In a column about a Bush trip to Orlando, Fla., she had pointed out that Mr. McRaney, the president's master of ceremonies that day, is "all Dad and no Major."

It's true: The actor, who has played Marines in two top-rated shows -- "Major Dad" and "Simon and Simon" -- never served his country in the military.

"I did try to enlist but was turned down because I was married and had a child at the time, which disqualified me for enlistment or for the draft," Mr. McRaney said in his letter to the editor.

Still, nobody -- not even President Bush -- gives it to the enemy like Major Dad.

Remember how he wowed the crowd at Palatka's train station a few weeks ago?

"We don't need an overeducated moron in Washington, D.C.," Mr. McRaney said in reference to Democratic nominee Bill Clinton during the Labor Day weekend gathering.

And could anything top how Major Dad summed up the gulf war?

"For you kids in the audience, please pardon my language, but over there in Desert Storm we kicked butt, and then we came home," he proclaimed in Palatka.

Let it be remembered that in the bass tones of Major Dad's exhortations, we heard the call of a Republican era. "I like to hunt," he once said. "And Clinton is for gun control. Well, I can tell you that I'd like to be able to keep my gun and hunt some more."

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