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It seems like a far cry from "Bring It On!," but John Kerry and John Edwards are begging George Bush to violate election law and the First Amendment in order to force the Swiftvets into silence:
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry on Saturday night urged President Bush to "stand up and stop" what he called personal attacks on him over his combat record in Vietnam.
Personal attacks? He's done nothing but hold up his Viet Nam narrative as his single best qualification for the Presidency since the beginning of this year. Perhaps his staff should play the videotape of his acceptance speech at the Democratic convention, or the speeches in support of him by the discredited David Alston and others, who couldn't talk about anything else.
"That's why they're attacking my credibility. That's why they've personally gone after me. The president needs to stand up and stop that. The president needs to have the courage to talk about it." ...
In Roanoke, Va., on Saturday, Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards also called on Bush to end the Swift Boat Veterans ads.
"This is a moment of truth for George W. Bush," Edwards said at a Democratic rally. "We're going to see what kind of man he is and what kind of leader he is. ... We want to hear three words: Stop these ads."
I don't know what kind of a lawyer John Edwards might be, but he's obviously rather deficient on tax and electoral law. Candidates can't direct the actions of independent 527s; otherwise, it violates both codes. Not only should both Edwards and Kerry know this as lawyers, they should know it as candidates, since independent 527s like America Coming Together and MoveOn have spent over $50 million against George Bush this year, compared to the microscopic $250,000 the Swiftvets have spent on their campaign.
In regards to the nature of the attacks, the Bush campaign should condemn that -- just as soon as Kerry/Edwards condemns Congressman Sherrod Brown, who took the opportunity during a public hearing with Colin Powell to accuse George Bush of going AWOL:
Powell, however, became testy when Brown said, in a reference to questions about whether Bush completed his National Guard service: "You are one of the very few people in this administration that understands war. We have a president who may have been AWOL" from duty.
Or, for that matter, when Kerry fires his own party chairman, Terry McAuliffe, for also calling George Bush AWOL:
While none of the presidential candidates has directly criticized Bush's service, some Democrats, including Democratic National Committee Chairman Terence R. McAuliffe, have accused the president of shirking his military duties in 1972, when Bush transferred to an Alabama unit. McAuliffe on Sunday called Bush "AWOL," or "absent without leave," during that period.
Or for representing that viewpoint as the official position of the Democratic party:
But while the AWOL charge may be absurd, the question remains: Since John Kerry went to Vietnam and George Bush didn't, is Kerry more qualified to be a wartime president than Bush? Terry McAuliffe seems to think so. "I look forward to that debate when John Kerry, a war hero with a chest full of medals, is standing next to George Bush, a man who was AWOL in the Alabama National Guard," McAuliffe said. "George Bush never served in our military in our country. He didn't show up when he should have showed up."
Note that these examples involve Democrats, one an officeholder and the other its national chairman. The incidents go back to February of this year, while both Edwards and Kerry were still running for the nomination. Neither one of them have ever condemned McAuliffe or Brown, or for that matter Michael Moore, who has repeatedly called Bush a deserter. In fact, they invited Moore to their nominating convention, where he sat in an honored position with former President Jimmy Carter.
But now that the shoe is on the other foot, both Kerry and Edwards are reduced to squealing like schoolgirls in the onslaught of Swiftvet allegations that have raised disturbing questions about Kerry's character and his precious Viet Nam narrative. In schoolyard terms, they picked a fight with someone they thought couldn't defend himself and now want everyone else in the playground to rescue them from the battle they provoked. They've broken out the lawyers and even invoked the McCain legend to help them squirm out of the debate they started.
In fact, they've done everything except release all of John Kerry's service and medical records from his service in Viet Nam, a move they pressured Bush to make months ago, which he did.
Is this how tough the Kerry/Edwards ticket will be in defending American security?
UPDATE: Kevin at Cadet Happy notes a few other examples of Kerry's pusillanimous history:
Kerry demands Bush condemn the Swift Vets, though he poured fuel on the "AWOL" story in February . . . Far from condemning the attacks on the President, Kerry specifically pushed the story forward: "The issue here is . . . was he present and active in Alabama at the time he was supposed to be? I don't have the answer to that question and just because you get an honorable discharge does not, in fact, answer that question." SEN. JOHN KERRY, D-Mass., in Richmond, Va., commenting on Bush's statement.
And in the Washington Post on April 27th of this year (no link, article by Jill Zuckman and Jeff Zeleny):
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry scolded the White House for criticizing his protest of the Vietnam War and said Monday that President Bush "owes America an explanation" about whether he lived up to his own wartime obligations a generation ago. "I've fought for my country. I know what it means to defend my nation," Kerry said in a television interview here, directly challenging Bush's service for the first time. "This president can't even prove he actually showed up for duty in the National Guard."
So just as soon as Kerry condemns Sherrod Brown, fires Terry McAuliffe, and withdraws from the race for starting this debate, Bush will happily condemn the Swiftvets.Sphere It View blog reactions
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» Kerry to Bush: save me from myself from The Key Monk
John Kerry knows (or should know) that if Pres. Bush called for the Swifties to stop their anti-Kerry ads, it would constitute illegal coordination between the Bush campaign and a 527 group. Therefore, Kerry is trying to set Bush up for a "gotcha" mo... [Read More]
Tracked on August 22, 2004 2:09 PM
» More chutzpah from the Democrats from Hube's Cube
Probably the best summary of the gall of Democrats now complaining about the Swift Boat controversy is courtesy of Captain Ed -- here and here. The Dems have hammered Bush for months using 527 groups, but now, after just a... [Read More]
Tracked on August 23, 2004 9:38 AM
» New Ad by the Swiftboat Vets from Josh Ferguson
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Tracked on August 23, 2004 12:37 PM
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