Kerry calls for censorship
The Kerry campaign insists that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is strongly linked to the Bush campaign. A Republican "front". Yet, Kerry's left-wing buddies at MoveOn.org are somehow completely independent from the Democratic Party.
Hmm... let's see.
A single Republican donor gives the swifties a couple hundred thousand dollars. The rest of their money comes from small, individual donations. Total take is hundreds of thousands, not millions.
The co-author of the allegation-supporting book, Unfit for Command, John O'Neill, gave $7,000 to Republican candidates over time. But, he gave more then $20,000 to Democrats. Plus, he was a primarily a John Edwards supporter, not a Bush supporter.
The book itself is replete with details and external references. Many eyewitness interviews and comparisons to actual, official records.
On the other hand...
MoveOn.org had $5 million pledged by George Soros, who said his goal is to defeat George Bush. “IT IS THE central focus of my life”. He has also pledged more than $10 million dollars to other anti-Bush groups.
MoveOn describes itself as a "family of entities", including a Political Action Committee and the infamous 527 "independent" organization. 527 organizations, created under the McCain Feingold campaign finance reform act, are not allowed to ask you to vote "for" anyone. They are simply issue-based.
MoveOn PAC, on the other hand, can and does ask you to vote for Kerry. They, and the other MoveOn sites are linked on the same page, accessible with a single mouse click. Yet the Kerry campaign insists the 527 is independent and there is nothing they can do about it. So Kerry refuses to repudiate the smears of MoveOn.org, other than to say some statements are "inappropriate".
In the same breath, they insist the swifties are a Republican front, because they accepted some money from Republican donors. And Kerry now calls for the book to be banned.
Al Gore's August 7, 2003 speech at New York University was a MoveOn-funded event. The former vice president, then-ostensible leader of the Democratic Party speaks before a MoveOn.org crowd, and we are to believe the Democrats and MoveOn.org are not linked.
The current, central allegation of MoveOn.org is simply this: the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are liars and are funded by Republicans.
That's it. No real refutation of facts, just the attack on the swifties themselves. Mostly, the swift boat veterans themselves are decorated war heroes, but that does not matter. On the other hand, MoveOn is funded by leftist Democrats, therefore their words are to be accepted at face value, without question. And only John Kerry's version of Vietnam-related events is to be acknowledged and believed.
Now the Kerry campaign is calling for the critical book Unfit for Command to be banned. This, from the very people who insist they are the sole true defenders of free speech.
I'll give the Kerry folks a hint: it's not the Republican Party. It's the bloggers. Grassroots politics at its best. You guys may think you invented the internet, but the right-wing blogosphere is perfecting its use.
Here is the kicker: if Kerry is indeed being truthful about his war record, this swift boat fiasco would fly back into Bush's face. Regardless of connections-- or not-- between Bush and the swifties, Kerry would look great and Bush would look bad. All Kerry has to do is fill out the Pentagon form-- standard form 180, I am told-- and release all his military records to the public. Same as was demanded of Bush when MoveOn tried to make him out a deserter.
So, why doesn't Kerry release the records and clear the air? A straight shot to the White House, I would think. Unless the swifties tell the truth, I guess.
Does anyone else get the feeling that Kerry is his own worst enemy? "Bring it on", he said. Kerry made his four months in Vietnam the very centerpiece of his campaign, hoping to obscure his subsequent aid and abetment of the enemy, as well as 19 pointless years in the Senate. Now it comes back around to bite him in the ass and he has the gall to demand a critical book be banned from public eyes? Is this not censorship?
This swift boat mess really is not good for the Bush campaign, either way. Bush will win on the issues of security, defense and the economy, not by reliving an ancient war. Vietnam is Kerry's mental bog, not Bush's. Still, as much as Kerry has been avoiding a true debate on his Vietnam-era antics, by failing to answer the actual charges of the swifties, the bloggers of the world may now force upon him his own wish.
Bring it on!