This New York Times op-ed about the differences between the treatment of the Vietnam National Guard service of Dan Quayle and George W. Bush got me thinking. The only possibility that I could come up with is that Clinton's experiences during the Vietnam years changed the political landscape by eliminating the war from litmus tests.
Or perhaps the insidious principle of "wealth hath its privilege" has simply become more acceptable. Either way, Trillin is wrong to defend Quayle; if he used his family's connections to avoid going to Vietnam, then he is an immoral person. If Bush did the same, he is also immoral. Two Republicans do not make it right, so to speak.
One must wonder, however, what the world would look like if Quayle had somehow became the Republican nominee in 2000 and won, becoming President. I am fairly certain that he would not do a better job than Bush, but I also do not think he could do much worse.