Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Thursday, August 19, 2004

This is Just Sad

John Kerry, can you try to sound just a little less like a pathetic whiner?

He is very upset about the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth ads, most likely because recent polls show him slipping in battleground states, especially among critical, undecided voters.

"John Kerry fought back Thursday against campaign allegations that he exaggerated his combat record in Vietnam, accusing President Bush of using a Republican front group 'to do his dirty work' and challenging Bush to debate their wartime service records."

First of all, these are not "campaign allegations," if by that phrase we are to understand that they are allegations made by either the Bush campaign or the Kerry campaign. They are being made by soldiers who are not formally associated with any campaign, and indeed, it would be illegal if they were.

Second, the silence was deafening when Michael Moore made his tripe, or when repeatedly compared Bush to Hitler (note: they're still doing it, so it's not too late for Kerry to denounce them). In other words, we have all sorts of liberal front groups doing Kerry's "dirty work," and yet Kerry is only distraught with the conservative front groups. It's certainly understandable, but it's also completely transparent and makes you look like a total idiot, John.

Third, neither Bush nor anyone else can effectively debate Kerry's war records, because John Kerry won't release his records. That's in contradistinction to Bush's actions in the wake of the AWOL scandal, and in spite of the fact that by releasing his records Kerry can clear up all questions about his own, and in spite of the fact that he actually promised to release said records (and later reneged on his promise), and in spite of the fact that the media, were it anything other than brazenly partisan, would be just as insistent on viewing Kerry's records as they were on viewing Bush's.

So the ball's in your court, John. If you want a debate, give us the facts. What are you hiding, if the Swiftboat Vets aren't telling the truth? And then Kerry has the temerity, in spite of his willful failure to release those records, to tell the President, "Bring it on!"

"'Let's not be selective here,' White House spokesman Scott McClellan said in Crawford, Texas, where Bush is spending the next week. McClellan said Bush has been on the receiving end of more than $62 million in negative, false attacks by independent groups and 'the president has condemned all of the ads,' both those that criticize him and those that go after Kerry."

Kerry seems to forget that zillionaire George Soros has pledged to spend millions of dollars to defeat Bush, and has been doing so quite consistently for a long time now. Nary a peep of criticism from Kerry the martyr.

As fascinating as that story is, however, the real gem is what Kerry doesn't mention. The linked article is about the action in which Kerry won his Bronze Star and his third Purple Heart. Swiftboat vets say there was no enemy fire on that day, and that Kerry lied to get his commendations. But the swiftboat vets have also pointed out a gaping hole in Kerry's testimony, repeated over the past 30 years, that he spent Christmas, 1968, in Cambodia. That would have been illegal, but he says he was there under Nixon's orders, and he used the anecdote to disparage Nixon and undermine support for the Vietnam war. According to the Swiftboat vets, Kerry was nowhere near Cambodia on Christmas, 1968, and if he had been, he would have been court-marshaled.

Internet sleuths like Captain Ed, Wizbang and Powerline have tracked down every minute detail of the Christmas in Cambodia story, and it is full of more holes than a colander. Indeed, the Kerry camp retracted the story, changing it to "he was near Cambodia," or "he thought he was in Cambodia." Neither of these stories fly, because Kerry's sworn testimony before the Senate was for the express purpose of showing that he was given orders to illegally cross into Cambodia. Merely coming close or crossing the border accidentally simply don't pass muster.

And I point this out because in the linked article, Kerry doesn't say a word about it. Nothing. Nada. How are we supposed to believe a word he says about the Bronze Star incident when he has been caught in such a glaring lie about another Vietnam incident? The former story suggests that Kerry was willing to lie to embellish his credentials. There is therefore an enormous credibility gap between Kerry and the swiftboat vets, and Kerry's continued silence, combined with ludicrous machismo ("Bring it on, but don't ask me to release my records!") suggest that the man is in some serious trouble.

Enough trouble to cost him the presidency? Too soon to tell.