It’s now open season; let the games begin

At the DNC, Kerry made an eloquent plea to bush to end the personal attacks and focus instead on the issues that will affect the lives of the American people. bush’s response was to ignore the offer; a few days later the SBVFT launched their first salvo, resulting in a veritable orgy of talk-show battles, angry accusations, indignant punditizing and blogosphere pyrotechnics.

Anything goes now. Expect bush’s being awol to re-emerge like never before, and expect even greater polarization, if that is conceivable. bush will do anything to hold onto his goodies. But unlike Gore, Kerry will fight equally hard to take them away. The latest outrages will energize him more than ever. Kid gloves are off.

The blogger covering the attacks on Kerry most eloquently is digby, whom I only recently discovered. Here’s what he wrote today, a great summary post of the sorry little effort to smear Kerry.

Just keep in mind that the swift boat smear is being done to obscure the fact that our great wartime leader couldn’t even fulfill his pathetic little obligation to guard the Alamo during the Vietnam war, which is emblematic of his terrible handling of the war in Iraq and the threat of Islamic fundamentalism. Character will out. That’s all it is. And that all of these so-called patriots are willing to smear a man who volunteered and actually served in order to cover for this sad little fellow who never spent a minute outside the cozy comfort of his daddy’s protection says a lot more about them than it does about Kerry.

There were many honorable ways to behave during the Vietnam era. There were those who believed in the war and volunteered to fight it. There were those who were drafted and went as a matter of duty. There were those who fought the war, came to believe it was wrong and came back to change the policy. And there were those who believed it was wrong and refused to participate. All of those people stood up for what they believed in and did their duty as they saw it.

There was one group, however, who supported the war but didn’t stand up for their beliefs — refusing to take the heat that being a citizen, particularly a young man, in those days required. They played the system. Many of them “had other priorities” using every possible excuse, all the while vociferously backing the war effort — as long as someone else fought it. And, the worst of this group were the privileged who supported the war but merely pretended to fight it by having their connections pull strings to get them into safe stateside duty that they could later claim amounted to “service.” They would have pictures of themselves looking handsome in their uniforms. And they could swagger around with their buddies and drop casual hints for the rest of their lives about their days in the military. But even those phonies at least actually completed the minimal requirements to claim such affiliation.

It is very rare to find someone who finagled their way into the guard ahead of people who’d been waiting longer, had the government spend huge sums of money training him to be a pilot, quit flying less than two years later of his own accord and then dropped out of sight many months before his duty was fulfilled. It’s even rarer to find someone like this declared a fine figure of a man who served his country well — particularly when there are so many who actually did.

It is a very sad thing to see military men stoop to the level of smearing a combat veteran in a desperate bid to get a fey little richboy legitimately elected. I never thought I’d see the day they would debase their own service and that of all their comrades in order to play cheap partisan politics on behalf of such a man. As one who grew up in as military family, it makes me sick to see it.

Me too.

The Discussion: One Comment

I love this site, it’s nearly as good as cheese

May 17, 2006 @ 3:37 am | Comment

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