Monday, October 10, 2005

Bring Civility Back to Politics John Kerry - Report for Duty and Sue the Bastards

Dick Doak has a humdinger of an opinion piece in the Des Moines Daily Fishwrap. He wants some payback and has a plan. He wants John Kerry to sue the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth for libel.

John Kerry is scheduling appearances in Iowa again, leaving little doubt he harbors hopes of another shot at the presidency in 2008.

Forget it. Democrats are unlikely to give another chance to a candidate who they think should have been able to beat George Bush, but didn't.

But there is a significant public service Kerry could perform without running for office. He could sue the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth for libel.
Of course, Doak camouflages his partisan objectives in terms like:
A few well-chosen libel suits might give pause to the well-funded smear campaigns that are taking over American politics on both the left and right.
Okay then Mr. Doak, where'’s your example of libelous campaign shenanigans from the Left? Anything at all Dick...?

Hey, I can think of one example - and it wasn't even perpetrated by one of those dreaded 527 groups. It was "reported"” by that paragon of nonpartisan journalism, Dan Rather. Any clue..?

And while we'’re at it, would you care to offer any background on the Swift Boat Vets. Do you say anything about founder John O'Neil - including the fact that he is anything but a partisan Republican shill? Do you mention anything about John Kerry's despicable - and I think treasonous - actions while still a commissioned officer in the Naval Reserve? Uh... anything on Kerry'’s Christmas in Cambodia fairy story that he told numerous times including on the floor of the US Senate? Or Kerry's Magic Hat...? And have you heard about his Flying Dog?

Nah... I didn'’t think so.

Here's what we get from Doak regarding the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth:

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was the group that, among other charges, asserted that Kerry did not deserve the combat medals he was awarded by the Navy in Vietnam. The available evidence indicated the Swift Boat assertions were false.
And why must Doak use the term available evidence? Because, despite promises to do so and claims to the contrary, Kerry has not released all of his service records. If he did, we could find out - as some have reasonably speculated - that he received a less than honorable discharge for his dealings with our enemy during the course of a war.

Look, Kerry brought all this down upon his own head. The cornerstone of his campaign was his heroic service in Vietnam. He couldn't run on his record in the Senate after all... Somehow he neglected to mention the whole Winter Soldier thing - which is what the Swift Boat Vets are really steamed about.

Kerry took a poorly advised risk - run as a "warrior" presidential candidate in a time of war as if he had no involvement in Vietnam Veterans Against the War. The Swift Boat Vets along with the alternative media (including the Blogosphere) caused it to blow up in his face.

And that wimply little Shirley Temple salute he "snapped" at the Democratic Convention didn't help either.

Doak then goes on to propose that a libel suit could be brought against the Swift Boat Vets and that Kerry could win. I'm not an attorney (Random???) so I'll refrain from commenting on the likelihood of a successful libel suit against the group. I'm also not sure which of the Swift Boat Vet's accusations about Kerry's combat record directly contradict their previous comments. I've seen this site, but nothing from a source that does not lead back to Media Matters or some other left-wing partisan outlet.

And there's no disputing that Kerry unjustly accused his brothers in arms of butchery and conspired with the enemy. If that doesn't make one unfit to be Commander in Chief, then what does?

But it was the hilarious and clueless irony below that got me out of my apathy and write a response:
Of course, most negative-campaigning techniques would be immune from libel law because they don't require out-and-out lies. The half truth, the innuendo, the information out of context, the invention of straw men - the stock in trade of negative campaigns - could continue unfazed.

For them, there is only one remedy - an educated citizenry with a low tolerance for being fed propaganda dung and a willingness to shun politicians and their surrogates who spoon it out.
Oh boy... that's rich Mr. Doak. Fortunately for you, an "educated citizenry" is as elusive as a balanced Edtorial - one without half truths, innuendo, information out of context and the invention of straw men - in your newspaper.

Were it not... Well, you get the idea.


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