September 7, 2004 [LINK]

Dems mad at Swift Boat ads

For some reason, many Democrats are furious at the ad campaign launched by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, even though it was Kerry himself who made his Vietnam service the centerpiece of his campaign. ("I'm John Kerry, reporting for duty!") First, few people would doubt that, compared to President Bush, Kerry has more to be proud of for his military service. Bush himself said as much. But the ferocity of this latest flap does suggest a serious double-standard at play, as Benjamin Ginsberg argued in the Washington Post on September 1. He was recently obliged to resign as counsel for the Bush campaign after it was reported that he also did legal work for the Swift Boat Vets, because some people charged that this "proved" that there was illegal coordination between that "527" group and the Bush-Cheney campaign. Meanwhile, top Democrats such as Harold Ickes, Bill Richardson hold prominent positions in both "527" groups such as the Media Fund or and the Democratic Party. Ginsberg lamented the failure of journalists to scrutinize the much stronger ties between the Democrats and various non-party political organizations:

When the Bush-Cheney campaign filed a detailed, 70-page complaint detailing illegal coordination by Democrats, the move produced 14 news articles, with no follow-up. When the Kerry campaign filed an unsupportable charge of coordination about the Swift boat ads, there were 74 articles, and the pack swarmed.

Liberal media bias? Whatever! Sadly, some facts of political life are just so obvious that no one gets worked up about it anymore.


With regard to that atrocious mistaken AP story mentioned yesterday, the hyper-partisan blogger Josh Marshall first reported the story almost as soon as it hit the wires, later mentioned that it had been retracted, then curtly acknowledged it was not true, and finally ridiculed Bush aide Karen Hughes for screaming at the AP reporter who got it wrong. (I probably would have screamed, too!) If he really thinks it was not important enough to get so upset about, then why in the world did he bother to call attention to the AP story in the first place??

NOTE: This is a "post facto" blog post, taken from the pre-November 2004 archives.