"Republicans," what's your take on John Kerry and Swiftboating?

This week, This Week, ran a segment on John Kerry’s life, and it made me curious about the 2004 controversy about his war legacy (a/k/a swiftboating.) I know that Democrats believe that swiftboating Kerry was unfair, undeserved, and unethical, but what do you, the opposition, think? Do you agree with Democrats’ claim that swiftboating Kerry was unfair, undeserved, and unethical?

BTW, I put “Republicans” in quotes, because I’m interested in what anyone who isn’t generally liberal in his/her politics thinks about this controversy, but I wanted to keep my thread title short and sweet. So, if you’re libertarian, an independent who trends conservative, a member of the Constitution Party, a member of some Tea Party, etc. (you get the idea, someone who Dems would generally think of as “not on their side”), go ahead and tell me what you think about Kerry and swiftboating, regardless of your official party identification. Also, please explain why you hold your opinion.


BTW (part 2), I don’t know enough about this to argue, so don’t think I’m ignoring you if I don’t respond. I was too young and distracted to pay attn. to this controversy when this particular shit hit the fan.

BTW (part3), “Democrats” needn’t fear that I’m going to necessarily agree with everything I read hereafter and attempt to “save me” from lies and the liars who lyingly lie them.

I’m going to suggest a hobby for you, this curiosity is unhealthy. It really helps to never think of it again. They all lie, and only you can save yourself from your own lies.

Why would I lie about such a thing?

I’m no republican, I don’t have the intolerance for it, I’d never pass the entrance exam. Swift Boaties went after Kerry because they were still pissed, many years after the fact, that Kerry mopped the floor with that douchebag on the Cavett show.
“Scuse me while I look for a link…”

Independent, although voting mostly Democrat these days.

I think it was unethical and undeserved for the simple reason that their claims were largely untrue and have been debunked pretty thoroughly. Unfair? There isn’t a rule book to define what is fair and unfair in a political campaign. Kerry made his military career a central point of his campaign, so it’s natural that his political enemies would try and use that against him.

Although not on the same scale as this, and not nearly as nasty, a similar thing happened to Romney re: Bain Capital, and for the same reason. Was that “fair”?

Okay. What’s the hobby? (<------Or does that question count as unhealthy curiosity?)

I am often a Republican and fairly conservative on most defense type matters. I doesn’t matter to me why he went or what he did when he got back, but he was there in harms way. If you don’t like the man or his politics fine but don’t impinge his honor. FWIIW I did five years in the Army and was in High School ROTC during the war.

The real RW resentment, I think, was not over what Kerry did or did not do in 'Nam, but over what he did when he got home.

I agree but to me that was a seperate issue. He fought for our ideals in Vietnam(if that is why we were there-different issue) and excercised them at home seems okay to me. I however don’t really care for his politics but can’t fault him on this.

What made it so despicable to me was that, by implication, it tarnished the honor of all veterans. Kerry wasn’t a US Senator when he was in Nam; he was a nobody. His family evidently had some wealth, but no extraordinary power or influence. So if a 23-year-old nobody could game the system to get all those medals without deserving them, then anybody could.

What was the evidence that persuaded you that he gamed the system to get medals he did not deserve?

Interesting that no Doper at this date is defending the Swiftvets.

Some did in 2004, IIRC.

Jesus, read the post again.

He’s not saying Kerry gamed the system. He’s saying if Kerry could, anyone could, so we have to cast doubt on any vet with medals and that idea is rediculous and offensive to all vets.

Ah, I see now. Thank you.

You’re welcome. I thought an actual explanation would be helpful. :wink: FWIW, I read it the way you did at first, too.

I know from my experience on other forums that a lot of people take this not just seriously, but as established, unshakable fact. You know, the same type of people who take “Obama is not an American citizen” as established, unshakable fact. You won’t find many such people here, as SDMB has this way of shaking people who are astoundingly thick, be it by moderator action or simply by everyone else pointing out how full of it they are.

Gardening, you’ll thank me later.

Dems were painting George XLIII as a draft dodger, I don’t blame the Reps for painting John F Kennedy as a chicken assed PT boat captain.

er … John Kerry as a chicken assed Swift Boat captain … if you get my drift.

In hindsight I’d say it didn’t really matter, it didn’t change my vote at all. Anyone else’s?

He was loathed and made fun of for his actions at the time. He wasn’t going to run for President without having it thrown back in face anymore than Jane Fonda would. He went out of his way to make himself a target by wrapping himself in his military past. His stage entrance at the Democratic primary was a solute and the words: “I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty”.

Speaking from the conservative wing of the radical left…

I don’t doubt John Kerry performed at least adequately, thought I have never quite come to grips with how a man can serve his country honorably by supporting his country in an innoble cause.

Thing is, John Kerry is a born political animal, like Bill Clinton, like Obama. They started dreaming about inaugurations before they learned to jerk off. Their ambitions formed their lives, their decisions, and their character.

When Kerry got back from Viet Nam, he was a solid Democrat in a solidly Democratic state, graduate of Yale, war veteran with citations. The Candidate. Rock solid boney fidos. Couple of years as a prosecuting attorney maybe, some other public role, then his hat goes in the ring and the sky is the limit.

And he risked that to oppose the Viet Nam war. Didn’t have to, his own (tempered) opposition to the war was a matter of record, he didn’t have to prove anything, didn’t have to risk anything, his dance card was filled out. All he had to do was keep his mouth shut, not piss off the hawks needlessly.

And he didn’t. Risked the most important thing in his life, his personal ambition, to do what was right. We will never have too many such men.

You know what happened, though? The thing that people made fun of him for back then was vindicated. Being a Vietnam veteran who came back to protest the war simply isn’t a liability any more. But you know what? Despite all of that, if you, or FOX, or the swift boaters, or anyone else wanted to criticize him for protesting against the Vietnam war after returning from it, I wouldn’t stand by you, but I’d at least say that it’s a fair point in whatever bizarre worldview you seem to hold. But that’s not what the swiftboaters did! You want to call a candidate on what he actually did, go right ahead. You want to make shit up in a bizarre and twisted smear campaign which has as much legitimacy as the claim that Karl Rove had sex with an 8-year-old each day on the Bush campaign trail? No. And you equating the two is simply wrong. I’m really almost shocked there wasn’t more slander litigation after the campaign.