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Why didn't Kerry stand up to Swift Vets?

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indianablue Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:39 PM
Original message
Why didn't Kerry stand up to Swift Vets?
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 08:39 PM by indianablue
I know about the election fraud and agree that there was serious fraud.

I am a Veteran and if someone questioned my patriotism in the same fashion as these people did I could not be quiet.

If my advisor's told me not too I would have to ignore them

I would have went on 60 Minutes and whomever else would have me on and give my side of the story.

I would tell them these guys are GOP operatives some of whom I have debated in the past. They are upset over my protest of the Vietnam war and are being used by the GOP to serve their agenda. I would also say yes I served in the Vietnam War and also protested it. If you can never vote for me because I protested so be it. I would have said these allegations are false, etc etc.

I know some said ignore it, it will go away.

I think that was big mistake.
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Machiavelli05 Donating Member (335 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. Yeah, Mary Beth Cahill...
said it would blow over, or at least thats word on the street. Thats pretty much it.

Its also regarded as the single most significant f*** up in the campaign.
However, I would say that their mistakes were much more fundamental and went to the core of their message discipline and candidate image.
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indianablue Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I agree was just pointing out one item.
One other thing as a veteran when I saw people at the GOP convention mocking the purple heart by wearing small purple band aids. I would not be able to stand by for that either. I would make a public statement asking the GOP conventioners to stop mocking veterans and the Purple Heart.

I know some people say the candidate has to stay above the fray but if its personal then you have to get personal.
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Machiavelli05 Donating Member (335 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. That was the biggest disgrace...
A bunch of college gop and young gop wearing purple heart bandaids mocking those who risked their lives... while they ask our VOLUNTEER military to go over there and fight their war. I didnt see any of those bandaid wearers signing up for Bagdhad duty. What cowards.
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indianablue Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Yeah when I saw them on TV and in papers...
I wanted to smack them right in the face.

As a veteran, although I never served in combat but did some dangerous duty now and then, it makes me enraged.

These people need to be in a canvass covered Humvee heading into Iraq alone.
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mzmolly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
57. I recall DU-ers were livid and said Kerry should fire Cahill.
WE knew what needed to be done, WE knew he needed to stand up quickly and, yes even angrily to these attacks.
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Machiavelli05 Donating Member (335 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 09:47 PM
Response to Reply #57
65. Hindsight is 20/20
At the time the SBVFT seemed likely to blow over... it did sound logical.
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Ruffhowse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Kerry got HORRIBLE advice on this from Cahill and others, who all said
to ignore it and it will go away. Biggest mistake of the campaign.
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indianablue Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #2
10. As a vet in support of Kerry I was very upset by his lack of response.
It gave the impression that it was all true.
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Angelique Donating Member (67 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #10
59. It gave the impression that it was all true....
... I couldn't dismiss the thought that perhaps he could not dispute these despicable morons, with anything that wouldn't start a bigger story.. I still can't resolve the reason that as this story grew, his absence of outrage in his personal rebuttal became the only story that remained in the minds and hearts of our enemy. IMHO, This was the writing on the wall of the outcome of the election.
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newscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yeah it was probably a mistake.
But I think it was a lose/lose situation for Kerry.

They should have immediately gone after O'Neil as a kook who has been trying to get even with Kerry since the 70's.

Not sure if he could have won that mudslinging fight.

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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #3
32. I agree.
I'm a vet, those would have been fighting words to me! Seriously!
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
43. I was surprised when I saw "Going Upriver"...
...to see just how long this thing between Kerry and O'Neil has been going on, more than 30 years, I believe. Kerry should sue him for libel if nothing else.
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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:43 PM
Response to Original message
4. It showed that Kerry was not strong...
He just disappeared while those guys wailed away on him.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
6. Kerry and his political strategists would have to --
-- speak for themselves, but my take is that Kerry exacts a very high adult standard of conduct, service, awareness, and compassion of himself, and wished to inhabit a democratic construct in which Jefferson's educated and informed farmer class would not abide such slanderous bile.

My question would be why the free press (!) did not do its job and call the Swiftboat Liars to task?

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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
21. I agree
I hold the MSM far more responsible in this situation than Kerry.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. Hi, proud2Blib.
Yes. The Nation, Village Voice, and a handful of others do pretty well, but I've about given up on Jennings, Blitzer, etc.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #24
29. Hi Old Crusoe
:hi:
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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
30. Agree, OC: I think Kerry always wanted the "rules of
political engagement" to be fair, civil, with strong opinion firmly but politely made. He's a statesman. And I think it's much to his credit that he conducted himself that way. But in the context of a competition with the down and dirty machine, and with a media that loves nothing more than bar room brawls, it was 50/50 that a strategy like that would work.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. I believe you are right, IndyPriest --
-- but I wish that this current president and his administration and cronies understood the spirit of public service.

Then I wouldn't feel so defeated about this last election.

I can accept loss, especially in politics, but when people cheat to win and characters are smeared, public service gets short shrift. Of the two rich Yalies running this time, I felt only one understood what public service really is, but the other guy won.



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Amaryllis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #33
38. Not won. Stole it. Big difference. And I agree with you. Still trying to
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 10:27 PM by Amaryllis
comes to terms with the whole thing so I can live inside my own head.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 06:12 AM
Response to Reply #38
47. Hi, Amaryllis. Yes --
-- inside my head, too -- it's the hard part.

I can find the energy to be very positive about the future of meaningful reform, but the thing that keeps shadowing me is the Red State voter.

After Abu Ghraib, I do not see the ethical justification for voting for four more years of the Bush administration.

I don't understand why even conservative Red State voters didn't say, "I don't like New England liberals, but torture of detainees is morally abhorrent."

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Amaryllis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #47
62. They get all their news from MSM. THey don't know what we know. Their
Edited on Wed Jan-12-05 04:10 PM by Amaryllis
news sources even make Gonzales look good. Forgive them, for they know not what they do? The voters, I mean. MSM is unforgiveable.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #62
63. Yes.
I like the way you take the MSM to task.

(And properly so.)
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:47 PM
Response to Original message
7. You may be right
However, the rationale for ignoring the attacks is that sometimes when you respond to something like that you end up giving it more exposure than it would otherwise get. If that happens, you're shooting yourself in the foot. So it was a tactical decision.
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indianablue Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. They where going to get the exposure no matter what.
Hell they we on the Cable channels at least once a week in seemed.
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bklyncowgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 07:08 AM
Response to Reply #7
48. As long as you're in the right exposure is good.
I think that they needed to go after these guys hard and show them for what they were. Exposure is a good thing.
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seito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
8. It was a mistake
I know he regrets it. I am a veteran also, and I have to say that those attacks hit me on a very personal level.
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indianablue Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Yeah those purple heart band aids was just outragious...
at the GOP convention.
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BanzaiBonnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
9. First impressions COUNT
And the Swifties gave the first BIG impression of John Kerry.

When he did not counter, it was the beginning of the end. Kerry's advisors played the game badly.

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seito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Do not ignore the role of the corporate media
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 08:51 PM by seito
the ads themselves would not have been nearly as damaging, had the media not given them an echo chamber.

edit: sp
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Osamasux Donating Member (846 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:51 PM
Response to Original message
13. They put him in a no win situation.
If he focuses on them, he gives them more press. If he plays it down, the money and MSM kept it high. They tried to throw it back at Bush, but they had that "eliminate all 527's" response all ready.

Yes, his campaign managers sucked. But where were the other democrats to fill the pit bull role and go after these bastards? Kerry had to take the high road and act presidential. What was the excuse for the others? Clarke spoke up a lot on it, but not many others. This was a failure of the whole party.
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indianablue Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. I guess but I think Kerry could have gone on 60 minutes..
or something then let the others defend him. This was such a personal attack I think it had to be dealt with by him, he needed to address it himself.
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demgrrrll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. Good point. I read that Mary Beth Aunt Bea Cahill was shocked I mean
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 09:00 PM by demgrrrll
shocked Andy...that the M$M kept running interviews with the sbv's.
She stated that she did not expect that they would continue to cover the sbv's after their allegations proved to be false.
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BOHICA06 Donating Member (886 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #13
25. Bob Kerry could have helped, but
Bush had him tied up with the 9/11 commission. Perfect, the most decorated Dem was on ice when we needed him the most.
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indianablue Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Well he got a slight smear by 60 Minutes if I remember....
He supposedly killed some villagers in Vietnam.
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Osamasux Donating Member (846 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #25
42. If that was intentional, that was a damned shrewd move.
We now know the Bushies knew these Swift ads were coming, so it is possible Rove pegged Kerrey for the commission for that reason. Clever point.
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MNBiker Donating Member (107 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
17. I'm tired of this never ending thread....My 2 Cents....
Kerry over played the VET angle.

Any DU'er whose father was a vet will tell you "My pop never went around bragging, I was in the Army and I got medals."

The brings us to the Question. Why was he silent. Because he fudged a fact or two (not arguable). He should have come clean right away. He expected the vets to last one news cycle. They figured they could overcome any fallout. His silence gave the story legs.

Epilogue: Don't try and sell me the Swift Vets cost Kerry the election. Kerry ran the campaign like a pompous ass, that doesn't sell away from Nob Hill.
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indianablue Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. Yeah i agree he overplayed it.
I think he should have acknowledged his Vietnam service both in theater and protest and then moved on.

I did not say it cost him the election just one of many factors.

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ROC Donating Member (140 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #17
31. Have to agree with you
but I have a nagging feeling that there was something to the rumors that the medals wouldn'tt stand up to heavy scrutiny. He never signed a 180.
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Maria Celeste Donating Member (104 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 01:26 AM
Response to Reply #31
44. I agree, the SF 180 was key
He never gave a valid answer as to why he did not release his records. That coupled with his overplaying of his military record made him vunerable in that area.

Against an incumbent like Bush, you can't give them opportunities like that.

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Philly Buster Donating Member (133 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #44
49. Good point
Releasing only selected records made it look like he had something to hide. Couple that with the Swift Boaters accusations and his over emphasis on 4 months of service in Vietnam and it spelled trouble.

He could have overcome it by answering the attacks and by either signing the 180 or backing off the Vietnam tour emphasis. Not ignore it, mind you, he just went overboard with Vietnam.

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EVDebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:01 PM
Response to Original message
22. You nailed it, Indianablue. Huge mistake....but Kerry expected media
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 09:02 PM by EVDebs
...that is MSM main stream media...to play fair and fact check and actually report the TRUTH. What MSM did was just keep repeating the same old unsubstantiated charges of the SBVF"T" and in reality that's all the media itself wanted to do. MSM didn't want to tell the truth, that doesn't generate dollars as much as 'controversy' does.

BTW, O'Neill only served at most 6 months on swiftboat duty to Kerry's 4 months ! Kerry's 3 and 1/2 yr service record is actually longer than O'Neill's two years, from the reports I've seen. And O'Neill himself claimed that average swiftboat tours of duty were 12 months !

(See http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... )

There are other lies this gang of SBVF"T" told but the media doesn't want to report those.

MSM wanted Republicans in power in order to make more money off of FCC media monopolies. Dems think more about what the average Joe needs.

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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:54 PM
Response to Reply #22
35. Why? Has he turned on the television in the last 10 years?
It was pure naivete to expect the cable news networks to fact check. They very rarely do so. The print journalists did expose the lies, but few paid attention. When the stories came out showing the swift vets were lying, Fox and Scarborough said things like, well, we can never know the truth, there are two sides. Of course there was a well proved record establishing Kerry's claims, but in this current television world, none of that matters.
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DemoVet Donating Member (572 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:02 PM
Response to Original message
23. He should dared them to appear on 60 Minutes with him
Them on one side, and his supporters on the other. Let them tell their lies to his face and let him tear them new ones individually and collectively. They had nothing, their whole story was shot through with lies, inconsistencies, and contradictions. He would have eaten their lunch, but I doubt that any of the cowards would have appeared anyway.
I still think he should consider legal action against some of them, and also those in the neofascist punditocracy that spread these lies and even made up some of their own (Michelle Malkin's appearance on Tweety's show comes to mind). His honor and the honor of all of us who served and sacrificed have been smeared by these pigs, and letting them get away with this is going to encourage them to even worse things.
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yinkaafrica Donating Member (535 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:19 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. That would have been great
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lenidog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
27. I don't know what Kerry's advisors were
Edited on Tue Jan-11-05 09:21 PM by lenidog
on but they should have stopped using it and got their head back in the game. Even if it had been true (it was all BS as we know) I would have expected a better response to it that we saw.
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imenja Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:51 PM
Response to Original message
34. Bob Schrum
ran some focus groups where voters said they didn't like negative advertising. They always say that, and then vote for the most negative of all. A heard a poll that actually said more Americans viewed Kerry's campaign as more negative than Bush's! Go figure.
The argument at the time was that Kerry didn't have money to run ads countering the charges. We learned after Nov. 2 that he had 15 million sitting in the bank then.
Schrum and Cahill gave Kerry bad advice, but ultimately it was his responsibility. He blew it.
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indianablue Donating Member (558 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. Bush's campaign was one of the mosy negative in history.
You woudl think John Kerry cut open women and killed their babies in front of them then ate them.
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stirringstill Donating Member (116 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
37. Assasination politics 101
One guess I've had is that Kerry has been hounded by these Nixon spawn for decades and Kerry probably thought to himself--what's new. Kerry had dealt with these same allegations for most of his career and probably had felt that he had dispelled their fog of lies long ago. They knew this group had been resurrected for the election, but it seems thay didn't think they were a real threat. After all, Bush and Cheney didn't even go to Vietnam. I think the Kerry team believed that Bush and Cheney would not dare go after his Vietman War record when their own absent record spoke volumes. A third party attack from the Swift boats should given Bush's heroism in the Texas Guard just bounce off Kerry or at least never gain any traction! Right? Responding to the swift boat vets may also dilute the notes struck at the Democratic convention?

Bottom line--the Kerry team couldn't believe the media would run and run and run and run with the Swifty story. I imagine each day they thought it would be dropped from the news cycle and then it would pop up again and yet again. They should have taken the gloves off and gone after Bush's Vietnam record immediately, not a month later. Even though CBS fumbled those documents, the swifties bleeding of Kerry stopped as soon as Bush's Vietnam record was targeted. The audacity of the Bush team won the day in that volley with an essential assist by the right wing echo chamber. The swifties, aided by the media, defeated Kerry. Kerry's strengths--courage, honor, duty etc were all undermined in many voters minds by that exchange.
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:33 PM
Response to Original message
39. I think it was a combination
Bad advice from advisors.

The past experience that the press ignored the SVT in May, so they thought the SVT would be ignored again. But somone pumped money into the SVT in August, and it was also a slow news month and a month in which it was well known that Kerry would need to conserve funds. The perfect month to hit him, in other words.

When Kerry realized what was happening pollwise, he took some more precious time making sure the evidence they presented would debunk the bastards. He contacted the widow of one shipmate, but she didn't have any letters from her deceased husband that would help. He called Rood. He presented his medical records to the press (I believe they got a fuller accounting than we did, but I can't imagine if this were true that they wouldn't have leaked them everywhere.) In other words, he was Mr. Obsessive/Compusive again.

I also don't understand why the Band of Brothers were ignored. Was that the presses fault? I did attend a Kerry veteran rally with Max Cleland and Jim Wasser that happened right around the time Rood came out, so perhaps it was the veteran's rally that was supposed to help counteract the lies. But the rally was only attended by the faithful, not the naysayers.

And of course, the right wing media could have given a damn how much was debunked. Hannity alone... oooooh!

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IndyPriest Donating Member (685 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
40. There was a story about Kerry and angry vets before the
election. Not the swifties. I don't remember all the details. But the gist of it was that Kerry had encountered a group of vets who were pissed at him. He asked the press to leave the room, closed the door, and sat down with those guys for a long time. I don't remember what the result was. But my impression from the story is that Kerry takes the vets very seriously, and will not play politics about them or their feelings. I think that attitude played a big role in his dealings with the swifties. I think it's a principle with him.
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AtLiberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 11:05 PM
Response to Original message
41. I wish Kerry would sue the swifties for slander...
;)
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Sleepless In NY Donating Member (749 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 02:12 AM
Response to Reply #41
45. indianablue that & pulling the McCain ad
I couldn't understand him not going after the Swift Boat Vets, legally. Or him pulling that McCain ad showing bush getting nailed by McCain for questioning his loyalty to the military. Two really bad moves. I dont think you can blame the Media, the ball was in Kerry's court, he should have showed real anger, instead, he made little or no response and alot of people took it as the Swift Vets being right. Before the Swift Boat ads, Kerry was ahead. Then his numbers started to drop. You can blame all the people around him, but lets face it, when you're running for president, the final decisions have to be made by you. That McCain ad should have been put up Pronto after McCain stabbed him in the back at the RNC convention. There was still time to do it. Instead,I think he gave alot of people the perception he wasn't a fighter.

One thing for sure, if he has any plans of a 2008 run, he better do something about the Swift Vets now, because it will only come back to haunt him.
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IStriker Donating Member (408 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #41
66. So do they. They have tried to get him to sue because they would...
like nothing better than to get him under oath and to have access legally to what they know is in his records.
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mahina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 02:54 AM
Response to Original message
46. I think he had a better opinion of the IQ of the American voter
than was ultimately justified, even with the diebold etc. shit.
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KerryDownUnder Donating Member (73 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
50. I think I know why Kerry didn't respond to the SBVT smear job...
I think I know why Kerry didn't respond to the SBVT smear job. I think it was only partly the fact that Mary Beth Cahill and other top "strategists" felt that responding would draw more attention to it. That's a valid claim...for the first couple days. It's not exactly like the Kerry campaign didn't have a rapid-response group or understand the potential cost of not responding to attacks.

But he didn't respond. Why?

Having followed the story closely at the time it became pretty apparent that while Kerry was indeed deserving of all his medals and all his awards there were inconsistencies in some minor points. And it was those minor points that the Repug agents were ready to clobber Kerry over the head with. So Kerry instead stayed quiet and tried to let John Hurley and others speak on his behalf to insulate himself. Not because he had something to hide, but because if he had come out and said x-y-z happened there existed prior statements from Kerry that would contradict parts of the story. Minor contradictions, but contradictions that he seemed hellbent to avoid highlighting.

So he let the Repugs frame the issue.

Kerry went through the same kabuki dance over Iraq for months. But there the spin/smear was made a lot easier with his own statements/votes for authorization and against funding (which I can understand, and you can understand, but the Repugs were tremendously effective at casting in a much different light).

So he let the Repugs frame the issue.

Once Kerry finally started framing the Iraq issue on his terms it became a plus for him, IMO. If he wouldn't have been concerned with how the Repugs cast 20 year old statements about his service in Vietnam, I believe, he would have had similar success in pushing back on this attack as well.
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McCamy Taylor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
51. Maybe Vets are his Achilles Heel, he respects them too much to Dis them?
Even when they are acting like a horses' ass?

And Karl Rove spotted this weakness and jumped on it?
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Sir Jeffrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 10:57 AM
Response to Original message
52. I'm a polisci major, and in campaigns, a general rule is that you never...
respond to a third party attack with a candidate. The idea is that you artificially give weight to the charges and allow the media to run shit-crazy with it.

With that being said, I totally disagree with this "rule". It is complete bs. When an attack is working, respond. Go nuclear. We all might remember the charges against Jeb Bush in 2000 about his alleged "affair". Those charges were made by a third party and he went nuclear ie completely denied the whole thing and forced the accusers of lying. He then challenged them to produce evidence, which they never did and the story died. Many of you may have even forgotten about the charges.

This is exactly what Kerry should have done (and according to Newsweek's post-election issue this is what he was talked out of doing by his dumbass "by the book" advisors Shrum and Cahill).

I have a friend in the marines who said that he would have voted for Kerry if it weren't for the SBV shit. I told him it was a bunch of lies, but my friend didn't believe me because Kerry never defended himself against their crap. He was even convinced that Kerry never did release his military records, even though they were up on his website during the entire campaign.

Shrum and Cahill need to go back to flipping burgers IMO. They're awful.
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KerryDownUnder Donating Member (73 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #52
53. I don't necessarily disagree with not responding directly...
but after the first few days when it was apparent that the story was not going away Kerry should have stepped up and said x-y-z happened, thrown on a heavy helping of disdain for these idiots and then pointed to that statement whenever confronted with it in the future.
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Sir Jeffrey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:09 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. I agree with you...
And it was obvious to anyone well-schooled in campaigns that the ** camp was going to rerun the 1988 smear campaign on Kerry.

Also, John O'Neill had been a "Kerry assassin" for 30 plus years. Did Shrum and Cahill not expect the repubs to drag his miserable ass out for some media-whoring one last time? It appears that they did not, and I can guarantee you that there are about 50,000 campaign strategists out there who could have handled Kerry better than these two professional losers.

** was a weak and very flawed incumbent with no discernable record to run on. He should have been beaten by ten points. Kerry wasn't the problem, though. It was his handlers.
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KerryDownUnder Donating Member (73 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #54
64. I seem to remember reading...
that Kerry had contacted several of the SBVT's "founding fathers" earlier in the year - like March or April - and had tried to persuade them not to make an issue out of his service and subsequent activities. They turned him down back then. You're spot on when you say Cahill and Shrum should have not only known it was coming, but Kerry should have as well.

Bah! I've got to move on from this whole mess...everytime I start thinking about the opportunities missed it just gets my blood boiling.
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Amy6627 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
55. I totally agree with you. I think one of the Dems biggest
mistakes is not fighting and standing up on every single issue. Some people say they need to pick their battles. I disagree. When something is wrong or a lie we (Dems) need to scream about it every single time. Not just when we think we will win or only on big issues. When we don't speak out, it looks like we agree.
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tngledwebb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
56. If we had an intelligent broadcast code here, as they have in the UK,
and other western democracies, those ads would never had been aired at all.

It's disgraceful that time on our public airwaves can still be bought for ANY attack ads, never mind ones as unfounded as those of the Swift Boat 'vets'.

And MSM let it go on, treating the issue as if was credible and relevant, when it was actually an unproven 'conspiracy theory' of the first magnitude.

Kerry and the Dem party were libeled and should be suing the phony uniforms off those bastards, and the Repukes who put em up to it.
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KerryReallyWon Donating Member (297 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
58. I worked with kerry's boat crew on campaign and they "begged"
john to let them go up on TV right away!!! Yes, Mary Beth. Bad decision.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
60. Please see my posts at
(Will Pitt's Report from Camp Kerry)
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

While I agree with your sentiment wholeheartedly--it was a scurrilous attack and should have been countered immediately and strongly--and while I had other issues with Kerry as well, I don't think the running of the campaign, or the way Kerry framed the issues, or his policy positions, were the real problem. He won, after all! Really and truly.

The real problem was that the election system was a fraud going in. Owned and controlled by BushCon companies, using secret, proprietary source code to control central electronic vote tabulators and individual machines, and no paper trail. An utterly fraudulent, non-transparent voting system, with added perils of great insecurity and hackability (basically, a piece of shit of an election system). And Kerry said nothing about it.

Surely he knew. He was in Congress when they set it up.

I can't get past this. WHAT were the Democrats thinking?

I' have a friend who said Kerry needed a 10% to 20% cushion (margin of votes) to overcome the fraud that they were surely going to commmit--rather than the 3% to 5% that he got. (He said this before the election--he predicted it.) And in that sense, any mistake Kerry made was greatly exaggerated.

But how unfair is that--that he would have to not just win, but blow Bush to smithereens in the vote, to just break even and barely win?

He should have warned us that it was unfair. He didn't. I want to know why.

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z-man Donating Member (41 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-12-05 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
61. I thought he should have
come out against them sooner.
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