Caution: Republican slime machine at work

A new milestone for boy george, and a sign of profound desperation:

Opponents of John Kerry have hired a Dallas-area private investigator to gather information aimed at discrediting his military service, say several veterans who served with the Massachusetts Democrat in Vietnam.

Several veterans who have been contacted in recent days accused the private investigator, Tom Rupprath of Rockwall, of twisting their words to produce misleading and inaccurate accounts that call into doubt the medals Mr. Kerry received for his service.

“They’re just distorting things,” said Jim Wasser, who served with Mr. Kerry. “They have nothing to go after John Kerry for, so now they’re trying to discredit him.”

Mr. Rupprath was hired by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth on the recommendation of Merrie Spaeth, a Dallas public relations executive assisting the anti-Kerry group.

“Read the whole thing” to see just how slimy this is. The tactics the PI is using redefine poilitical sleaze.

By the way, hiring public relations experts to slime one’s enemies is an old dirty trick of the bush family. In order to get Americans all psyched about invading Iraq in the first Gulf War, GHWB hired the PR agency Hill & Knowlton, which had a 15-year-old Iraqi girl named “Nayirah” testify to a stunned Congress on how Saddam’s evil soldiers went through a Kuwaiti hospital and tore hundreds of premature babies off their incubators, killing them. Only problem was, “Nayirah” turned out to be the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the US and the whole things was a lie concocted by H & K. You can read all about it in Kevin Phillips’ American Dynasty.

Update: Interesting — a little research on Merrie Spaeth, PR consultant for the fraudulent “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth,” shows she managed PR for President Reagan and is a regular donor to the Bush campaign. I have to wonder, is she really working for the Swift Boat clowns (could they possibly afford her fees, which would be in the 6-digit range?), or is the whole thing a big PR spectacle being paid for by Karl Rove? I don’t know, but I’d bet my house that the whole thing was concocted and paid for by Rove and the bush campaign.

The Discussion: 8 Comments

Is this a new low, or just business as usual for the Bush campaign(s)?

People always seem to discount Goerge the First waaaay too much. Don’t forget, he was director of the CIA, and you don’t get that job by being charming and sweet.

July 14, 2004 @ 4:06 pm | Comment

A daily “new low” IS business as usual for the bush campaign.

What the bush scoundrels have been doing is using lawyers to pore over every past syllable Kerry (and now Edwards) have ever uttered or written, looking for damning contradictions, mistakes, incriminating words of any kind. This was a new low in itself — previously theis kind of digging was done by GOP volunteers and was far less formalized and drastic. But now, hiring a PI and using him in the way the article describes — lying his way into the homes of Kerry’s friends, winning their trust and prying information from them — well, it’s pretty grotesque and definitely unbcoming.

July 14, 2004 @ 4:28 pm | Comment

Haha, richard, your statement about bush’s daily lows reminds me of Office Space.

Everyday marks the lowest point for the bush administration, since each day brings a low that is lower than the previous days!

On the serious side though, the actions of the GOP here disgust me. I’m normally not a fan of mud-slinging, but I can’t help but wonder… do you think it would help if the public knew more about this PI nonsense?

On a separate note, I now have my blog hosted on a server of my own, thanks to an a cheap old machine I put Linux on,, and forwarding a couple ports on my router. (Yes, this is a shameless plug)

July 14, 2004 @ 8:22 pm | Comment

This microscopic examination of every political enemy’s life generally backfires, since everybody’s got skeletons in some closet. J. Edgar Hoover, the late great dirt-digger-upper, was eventually embarassed by his own personal habits.

I’m not sure if it’s an effort to evade addressing the actual political issues directly, but it seems to suck masses of people into a kind of Partisan Derangement Syndrome. Oh, my God, Cheney said “Fuck”! Oh, yeah? Kerry said Fuck specifically for publication, so there! Bush was a worthless drunk? Well, by God, Kerry was cuddling with the Commies, for chrissakes!

Personally, I think it would be just peachy if they invested all that energy into making a strong case for their actual programs, proposals, and policies (both sides, I mean).

July 15, 2004 @ 3:42 am | Comment

P.S. as a side note, I sat down for a beer with W about 30 years ago in west Texas. No shenanigans occurred at that particular meeting; he was just a moderately friendly, sorta fratty guy in a park. If I had any dirt on him, I’d sell it to the highest bidder, and it sounds like the bids would be damn high now.

July 15, 2004 @ 3:47 am | Comment

have you seen this?

July 15, 2004 @ 9:27 am | Comment

dodo, thanks for that link — those are amazing ads (all 150 of them!).

Sam, it’s all about pushing people’s hot buttons and discrediting the opponent. The infuriating thing is how trivial it gets. We saw this in the last election when Gore offhandedly said he had been at some natural disaster site, when he hadn’t, though he was very involved in it. For days, that was all the press talked about, as press releases flew off the GOP fax machines about Gore lying. Two days ago Kerry said he was “proud” to vote against the $87 billion for Iraq, and there was the same thing, press releases on how Kerry was “boasting he wouldn’t support our troops.” Both sides do it to some extent, but it’s pretty obvious the GOP does it with a lot more malice and ruthlessness, getting way more trivial, to the point of sheer idiocy.

The tragedy is, it takes us away from real issues and debate. Bush Sr. mastered the art when it came to his pointing out the mess in Boston Harbor (which you can find in any major harbor in America, no matter how wonderful the governor is) and, of course, with the Willy Horton ad.

About the F-word (and I hope we don’t have to debate this whole thing yet again): Kerry’s saying the F word to a reporter in a non-confrontational way (like “that’s fucking ridiculous!”) compared to Cheney’s saying “Fuck yourself!” to a US Senator in front of everone on the Senate floor — well, they’re hardly comparable. Had it been Clinton the media would have had a field day, just as they did with Cheney. No surprise there. That isn’t an example of the slime machine at work — Cheney set himself up for that by doing a dumb thing. Kerry’s team didn’t say a word or send out any faxes, nor did they have to. It was a real story, and was even the lead stotry on Matt Drudge and Fox News!

July 15, 2004 @ 11:20 am | Comment

Except for Colin Powell and possibly Richard Armitage, the Bush Administration are all chickenhawks, you know, the sort who cry for blood and war and lead the charge from their nice cushy offices.

Such chickenhawks have to destroy Kerry’s credible war record, else Bush (with his alleged AWOL) will stand 6 inches tall besides Kerry’s actual height. Kerry has the credentials to pull America out of Iraq without suffering too many accusations of cowardice. Hard to argue against a case of ‘been there, done that’.

July 19, 2004 @ 9:29 am | Comment

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