Thursday, August 19, 2004

Politics: Swift Boat Liars

The Washington Post got a hold of some of Larry Thurlow's (one of the head honchos of the nut-job Swift Boat group) military records, and it seems like he's full of shit.

Here's Kerry's response to the whole episode, which he gave this morning at some firefighter convention thing:

Over the last week or so, a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth has been attacking me. Of course, this group isn't interested in the truth -- and they're not telling the truth. They didn't even exist until I won the nomination for president. But here's what you really need to know about them. They're funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars from a Republican contributor out of Texas. They're a front for the Bush campaign. And the fact that the president won't denounce what they're up to tells you everything you need to know -- he wants them to do his dirty work. Thirty years ago, official Navy reports documented my service in Vietnam and awarded me the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Thirty years ago, this was the plain truth. It still is. And I still carry the shrapnel in my leg from a wound in Vietnam. As firefighters you risk your lives every day. You know what it's like to see the truth in the moment. You're proud of what you've done -- and so am I. Of course, the president keeps telling people he would never question my service to our country. Instead, he watches as a Republican-funded attack group does just that. Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: 'Bring it on.' I'm not going to let anyone question my commitment to defending America -- then, now, or ever. And I'm not going to let anyone attack the sacrifice and courage of the men who saw battle with me. And let me make this commitment today: their lies about my record will not stop me from fighting for jobs, health care, and our security -- the issues that really matter to the American people.

I'm surprised how absolutely direct Kerry is about linking Bush to the Swift Boat group. I mean, has anything smelled so much like Karl Rove as the Swift Boat controversy?

And what exactly of this will the public buy? Will veterans care--most of them hate the guy for being anti-war after coming back to the states? Will moderates notice the page torn from the Karl Rove election survival manual? Or will people simply vomit about hearing about 3 purple hearts, the bronze star, the silver star... zzz...zz...z...?

Or will we fade into this simple formula: if the economy does well in September - November, Bush wins; if it does poorly, Kerry wins. Or throw in the possibility of a terror attack, which could lead to a) we need the cowboy to protect us for four more years, or b) the cowboy is clueless, give us somebody else. I really doubt that anything else other than late summer economic activity or a massive terrorist attack will have any bearing on this election whatsoever.

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