by David Sisler

If all you know, to paraphrase the late Will Rogers, is what you read and/or hear in the liberal media, you believe that President George W. Bush is the instigator of mean-spirited campaign ads. And if he isn’t the instigator, he is the poster boy for mean ads at their worst. He is, therefore, lower than a mangy, three-legged, egg-sucking dog.

Well, that is not all there is to it – “it” being John Kerry’s war record and the attack mounted against him by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

On February 8, 2004, candidate John Kerry lit the first match when he said, questioning President Bush’s military service record, “The issue here, as I have heard it raised, is was he present and active on duty in Alabama at the times he was supposed to be. Just because you get an honorable discharge does not in fact answer that question.”

Can you see John Kerry watching the SBVFT advertisement, petulantly pointing his finger and then shrieking, “He started it!”

The SBVFT are asking questions that John Kerry is ducking.

Instead of defending his record with a complete unveiling of it, he has harped at President Bush to tell the SBVFT to back off. Simultaneously, Kerry accused the Bush campaign of being linked to the ads. Kerry’s statements are obviously calculated to make it appear as though only Bush supporters are broadcasting harsh campaign ads.

When John Kerry insisted that President Bush denounce the SBVFT, who have raised $1.7 million, he conveniently forgot that he has benefitted from $62 million spent on similar advertising against the president. Kerry has also conveniently forgotten the collateral benefits his campaign has garnered from “Fahrenheit 9/11" and Michael Moore’s accusations that President Bush is a “deserter.”

As I noted here last week, John Kerry’s campaign has become one of, “We don’t want you to know what we really did, so while we hide the records, we are going to tell everyone that you mug old ladies and steal bottles right out of the mouths of babes.”

The editorial staff of the Boston Herald agrees. In an institutional piece on August 24, 2004, they wrote, “Rather than dealing with the merits of the contentions of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth by releasing all of his military records, Kerry is running a response ad which accuses the president of breaking the law ... Kerry ought to pull the ad based on its truthfulness, but barring that unlikelihood, he ought to pull it because the president did what Kerry and Sen. John McCain asked him to by saying the anti-Kerry ad, and all such ads, ought to stop.”

The editorial concludes: “The Bush campaign is starting an ad about Kerry's record on raising taxes – after running one on Kerry’s intelligence oversight record. Kerry is running the ‘Bush smear’ campaign ad. Which candidate wants to stick to the issues?”

In a bit of fine irony, The Augusta Chronicle noted on Page 3 yesterday that President Bush “wants an end to ads.” Opposite that on Page 2 was a smaller piece that headlined, “Celebrities will star in 10 anti-Bush ads.”

No where in The Chronicle (or any other paper I’ve read) is there any indication that the Kerry campaign is going to ask Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and the other celebrities to not run the ads. Instead,, described as an independent group not connected directly to Kerry, “has promised an unconventional approach to the election.”

In the time which has elapsed since President Bush called for all of the independent ads to stop, Kerry has failed to make a similar pronouncement.

Speaking on August 23 in Boston, Kerry said, “The Bush campaign and its allies have turned to the tactics of fear and smear.”

The Scripps Howard News Service reported on August 25 that Kerry’s attacks continue with Kerry’s charge, “you can’t lead America by misleading the American people.”

John Kerry can howl about the Swifities, but he really can’t have it both ways! Democratic’s standard bearer should remember, that he started this in 1971 when he proclaimed himself a hero and accused other veterans of “war crimes.”

Matt Drudge reported that Kerry telephoned Robert “Friar Tuck” Brant Cdr., USN (RET), one of the anti-Kerry Swift Boat veterans.

Kerry asked, “Why are all these Swift Boat guys opposed to me?”

Brant replied, “You should know what you said when you came back, the impact it had on the young sailors and how it was disrespectful of our guys that were killed over there.”

Kerry said, “I wasn’t talking about the Swifties, I was talking about the rest of the veterans.”

That is a convenient spin, one which few are believing.

Cdr. Brant obviously did not believe it. He declined to meet one-on-one with John Kerry because “Kerry was obviously not prepared to correct the record on exactly what happened during Vietnam and what happened when Kerry came back.”

Former Senator Bob Dole suggested, in a report by MSNBC, that Kerry apologize for his 1971 testimony to Congress about atrocities U.S. soldiers allegedly committed in Vietnam.

“One day he’s saying that we were shooting civilians, cutting off their ears, cutting off their heads, throwing away his medals or his ribbons,” Dole said. “The next day he’s standing there [saying], ‘I want to be president because I’m a Vietnam veteran.’ Maybe he should apologize to all the other 2.5 million veterans who served. He wasn’t the only one in Vietnam.”

“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” was a favorite saying of President Harry Truman. Mr. Kerry, you were the one who lit this fire, and have kept it fueled. If it’s too hot, you have no one but yourself to blame.


Copyright 2004 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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