Saturday, October 29, 2011

Swift boat rising

Charles Pearce wonders where the "serious Republicans were in 2004.

In 2004, as part of the general campaign to re-elect George W. Bush, there was an organized campaign to cast doubt upon — and, ultimately, to smear recklessly — the undeniable heroism shown by Democratic candidate John Kerry during his time as a Naval officer in Vietnam. Entire books were written promoting this slander. Prominent pundits — most notably, the execrable Michelle Malkin's visit to Hardball — went on television to mainstream vicious nonsense. At the Republican National Convention, delegates wore cute little Purple Heart band-aids to mock Kerry's wounds. The whole thing was despicable, and that's being enormously kind.

Make no mistake. Swift Boatism is different from birtherism only in two ways. First, the target is obviously different. But, second, and most important, there was serious money behind Swift Boatism and there is little behind birtherism. (In Republican campaigns, the difference between an "issue" and a "distraction" is whether the Koch Brothers have busted out the checkbook yet.) And those are the only two differences between the two. They are equally nasty. They are equally truthless calumnies. They are equally the product of the fevered hive mind of the conservative Republican base.

"Serious Republicans" have been slinging this shit for half a century. Calling birtherism a "distraction" now is a typical Republican habit of denying the facts of their very existence.

Via Balloon Juice.



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