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September 27, 2004

WaPo Liberal Columnist Changes His Mind on the SwiftVets

He doesn't suddenly agree with them down the line. But he does now seem to understand that it's not some petty criticism that John Kerry accused his comrades of murder and rape in Vietnam:

Those who dismiss critics of John Kerry's Vietnam service as just a bunch of right-wing Republicans out to advance George W. Bush's cause don't know what they are talking about -- or they are engaged in wishful thinking. Okay, I may have once thought that about the critics, too. But after poring over the large volume of e-mail I received after my Aug. 28 column, "What Matters About Kerry and Vietnam," I don't any longer.

...

I spoke with Coleman this week about citing his e-mail in a column. He agreed, adding that he was still wrestling with his Election Day decision. His final written words are worth remembering, especially by those in the Kerry high command.

"I served my 13 months in combat. Returned in 1972 with the Bronze Star and the Vietnamese Technical Services Honor Medal to a very anti-Vietnam America. [Harry] "Butch" Robinson, Denny [Dennis] Hightower, and many more that you know did the same. We endured the pain of separation from our loved ones, were frightened when the rockets came in to camp and lives were lost. But we were never unfit for command.

"Kerry still hasn't satisfied me and many others. . . . It's September and I'm still conflicted. Speaking for myself, it is NOT enough that he served!" Those aren't the thoughts of a Republican-funded, right-wing, over-the-top Swift boat veteran. Ignore them, Kerry camp, at your peril.

It's a little shocking that liberals actually thought this would never be a live issue. Just because they didn't mind a bit slander in agitating against the Vietnam War, they assumed that no one else did either; they also assumed, as they frequently do, that their near-monopoly on the dissemination of information would be enough to keep this story underground and unread.

It's been pointed out by others -- Jonah Goldberg, I think -- that in some ways the LLM actually hurts Democrats. It cocoons them; it misleads them into a false notion that the nation's thinking mirrors that of the LLM; it leads them unaware into nasty surprises.

The LLM might want to start getting on these stories earlier if only to help the Democratic Party they love so much.

Thanks to TL for sending me the article.


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posted by Ace at 12:04 PM

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