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Dems Vow "The Mother Of All Backlashes"

If John Kerry ends up loosing the election, Democrats can mark this day on their calendar as the beginning of the end. Kerry's speech today marks the point where he acknowledges that he has lost the carefully cultivated control of his Vietnam story.

BOSTON (AP) - John Kerry fought back Thursday against campaign allegations that he exaggerated his combat record in Vietnam, accusing President Bush of using a Republican front group "to do his dirty work" and challenging Bush to debate their wartime service records.

"Well, if he wants to have a debate about our service in Vietnam, here is my answer: Bring it on," said the Democratic presidential candidate, reviving an old war and campaign slogan amid strong urging from party leaders for him to respond to two-week-old GOP assertions.

As Kerry denounced the criticism as "lies about my record," aides privately acknowledged that they and their boss had been slow to recognize the damage being done to his political standing.

I'm on record as believing that the Vietnam questions are just a warm-up to revelations about the Kerry's much more damning post-war activities.

Judicial Watch takes up that tact in filing a request (cached version) with the U.S. Navy and the Defense Department for an investigation into the awards granted to Sen. John Kerry during his service with the U.S. Navy in Vietnam; and Kerry's anti-war activities, including his meeting with North Vietnamese and Viet Cong delegations in Paris, while a member of the Naval Reserve. BeldarBlog has a more detailed analysis of their charges.

In effect the Kerry camp is admitting that these questions will not go away and the only way to avoid getting trampled in the stampede is to go on the offensive, hence the already tired "Bring It On" theme. The problem is other than Kerry's awards and 4 1/2 months of combat, there's not much more there to build a case with. Lying about Cambodia, calling Vietnam veterans war criminals, hooking up with Jane Fonda, attending a VVAW meeting where assassination of Senators was discussed, a fake medal toss... These are not issues that engender a strong fact based offensive.

Today's Kerry supported attack ad from MoveOn.org (remember which candidate is not on record as opposing ALL 527 organizations, hint - It's not the President) is the sum total of the ammunition they've got. The problem is that the Bush Air National Guard territory was already covered to death earlier this year.

Here's the kicker from the AP article:

Kerry aides said they will maintain the offensive through surrogates, if not Kerry himself. Democrats welcomed the response.

"Out of desperation, the Bush campaign has picked the wrong fight with the wrong veteran," said Jim Jordan, former Kerry campaign manager who now runs an outside group airing ads against Bush. "Today's the start of the mother of all backlashes."

Read between the lines on those two paragraphs. They might better be read as follows:

"The Kerry campaign will use our massive 527 money advantage and lawyers to fight the Senators fight, while he pretends not to be involved and casually condemns ads (knowing that such statements have no practical effect) which go a little over the top."

As for "the mother of all backlashes," I'd advise Kerry to watch his own back. These things have a tendency not to have the desired effect...


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Comments (26)

Wait till the MIA/POW group... (Below threshold)
DelphiGuy:

Wait till the MIA/POW groups get in on the act :

http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0408/schanberg.php

(Link worth clicking just for the picture of Kerry)

Somehow, I don't think Kerry wants the words 'Document' & 'Shred' in a story about Vietnam POWs.

This is an older story, but has received little attention so far, perhaps the VRWC need something to run with in October ;-)

Kerry is so full of himself... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Kerry is so full of himself and willing to twist the truth to meet his own needs I wonder if this is also laced with lies

If John Kerry ends up lo... (Below threshold)
Paul:

If John Kerry ends up loosing the election, Democrats can mark this day on their calendar as the beginning of the end. Kerry's speech today marks the point where he acknowledges that he has lost the carefully cultivated control of his Vietnam story.

That is an excellent way to put that Kevin. They were fully in control of the story for over a year... until today when they acknowledged they lost it.

I would have said, "If Bush... (Below threshold)
Dave:

I would have said, "If Bush loses the election" mark this as the beginning of the end as the american mainstream people begin to see that all the Republicans have to talk about is a smear campaign with half-truths and inuendos from over 30 years ago instead of fighting on the issues.

Several of the SBVFT leaders supported Kerry's service and heroism as recently as 1 year ago and then somehow took a "U-Turn"...hmmmmm - I smell a rat there with revisionism on the Republican spin machine here to say the greater good is to tar this guy so he will not get into office even if we have to bend the truth a little to do it.

Most of the allegations are not provable and are minor differences - but enough to call into question actions that happened 30 years ago.

It will fail and it will only make the opposition even more determined to get more occasional/non-voters to the polls (people not included in the LV polls) to send Bush to a massive defeat.

Dave

I would have said, "If Bush... (Below threshold)
Dave:

I would have said, "If Bush loses the election" mark this as the beginning of the end as the american mainstream people begin to see that all the Republicans have to talk about is a smear campaign with half-truths and inuendos from over 30 years ago instead of fighting on the issues.

Several of the SBVFT leaders supported Kerry's service and heroism as recently as 1 year ago and then somehow took a "U-Turn"...hmmmmm - I smell a rat there with revisionism on the Republican spin machine here to say the greater good is to tar this guy so he will not get into office even if we have to bend the truth a little to do it.

Most of the allegations are not provable and are minor differences - but enough to call into question actions that happened 30 years ago.

It will fail and it will only make the opposition even more determined to get more occasional/non-voters to the polls (people not included in the LV polls) to send Bush to a massive defeat.

Dave

DelphiGuy is right; the Sch... (Below threshold)

DelphiGuy is right; the Schanberg piece from back in 1994 is more than likely one of the bullets in the SwiftVets bag of ammo. I blogged about it back in May, when Kerry was doing a 25 mill ad buy to "introduce himself" to the voters and he featured his work with McCain on the POW/MIA inquiry. Thought he was an idiot for bringing it up, and back then the Swiftvets were just getting started. Now that the war is on, all the guns are going to start blazing from both sides, and the Kerry camp, IMO, doesn't have the firepower to counter all the facts allayed against their boy.

In Kerry's statement yester... (Below threshold)
Willie:

In Kerry's statement yesterday, he said the swiftboat veterans did not exist until he received the nomination but that is not true; the swiftboat veterans held a press conference in May to voice their objection to Kerry's false heroism. I guess if it is not in the New York Times, it does not exist to Kerry. That is why fly over country cannot vote for such a man.

I believe there will be a ... (Below threshold)
Peter:

I believe there will be a backlash come November but it will have little or nothing to do with the Swiftees.
It will come from those who never seem to show up in polls or news articles, ordinary people.
Thirty-four years ago I took off Uncle's suit for the last time and went to work, raised a family, nobody has ever heard of me outside my small circle of family and friends. There's about two and a half million guys like me, Viet Nam vets who didn't join anything after we got out.
There is one thing we have in common. John Kerry called us a bunch of rapists, murdererrs and torturers. Over the intervening decades we've had to answer those charges when each of our kids came home from school.
Do you think my grown children are going to vote for the man that slandered 'ol Dad? Do you think my nieces and nephews will?
There are two and a half million of us and the vast majority are still quietly angry for the way John Kerry slandered us, more than just us, he slandered those young men who came back in aluminum boxes. We have wives and most of us have children old enough to vote. We have brothers and sisters and neighbors. We have coworkers and we haven't forgotten.
That's the backlash that's coming. Two and a half million of us know that John Kerry purposely surrounded himself with fake veterans and slandered all of us. November the second my whole extended family is going to tell him what we think of that. Think I'm unique?

John-boy might also want to... (Below threshold)
mojo:

John-boy might also want to watch the "mother of all" rhetoric - lets remember which arab dictator used to have that as his favorite line, and where said dictator is right now. Namely, in a cell watching cartoons and drooling on his jammies...

Dave......Your references t... (Below threshold)
epman:

Dave......Your references to this debate being small, non issues in the upcoming election don't hold water. This IS the ONLY thing Kerry is running on and now it's unravelling right in front of everyone's eyes. If he (kerry) only had something else to work with, Senate record or anything!

Dave: You would do ... (Below threshold)
Scout:

Dave:
You would do well to stop your comments NOW. My brother served 2 FULL tours in Vietnam (1970-1972) and is DEAD because of it. He was extremely angry at John Kerry for his LIES and FALSE ACCUSATIONS in the Senate testimony and anti-war activities in 1971.
You need to do your homework. Read Kerry's Senate testimony. Then watch the debate between John Kerry and JOHN O'NEILL on the Dick Cavet show in 1971; and finally, read the Winter Soldier investigation information. John O'Neill has spoken out against John Kerry SINCE 1971.
You want to offend my brother's honor? BRING IT ON. I deal with the TRUTH,... you wouldn't know TRUTH if it BIT YOU ON THE BACKSIDE. Otherwise, SHUT UP.

Peter,Nice comment. ... (Below threshold)

Peter,
Nice comment. I think that Kerry would have done well not to open these old wounds by centering his entire campaign around his Vietnam "heroism". Most vets would have let it pass had he not embellished his record to such an extent. I've always thought that his post-VN activity would do far more damage ultimately.

Thanks for your service.

p.s. hope you don't mind but I may use part of your comment in something I'm writing at my blog. If it isn't ok, let me know. I'll check back in a couple of hours here, or you can e-mail me.

Ah, yes. Kerry claims that ... (Below threshold)

Ah, yes. Kerry claims that The Swiftees are funded by a guy from Texas with several hunded thou.

Ignoring of course the concept that MoveOn, and a number of other similar groups supporting Kerry are funded by several MILLION of donations from a Hungarian Socialist.

Last I heard, Texas was still part of the US. Is it that Hungary a state of the US and I dind't know?

Then again, Democrats taking forign funding for their daily bread is pretty much standard fare, I guess.

Fine with me, Chris. What'... (Below threshold)
Peter:

Fine with me, Chris. What's the URL for your Blog? The link on your sig doesn't work.

Peter,Try this one.<... (Below threshold)
Davey Boy,Even if ... (Below threshold)
zetetic:

Davey Boy,

Even if all the Republicans had to offer was half-truths, that would still be better than Kerry's non-truths.

Well, there's a link I happ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Well, there's a link I happened upon yesterday while Googling another issue, an interview from last Spring in ELLE magazine, in which Teresa Heinz-Kerry "vowed" not to use her wealth from the Heinz Foundation for the Kerry campaign for the Presidency, UNLESS, I repeat, she said, "UNLESS (John Kerry's) CHARACTER WAS ATTACKED..."

THEN she says she'll use her personal wealth and financial resources for the Presidency, to obtain the Presidency.

I've read threats before but, I mean, this really reads like a military-type threat to me, if only due to the vast amount of "wealth" that TH-K has at her disposal and can "command" to be used or devoted to her purposes if she wants to apply leverage to various other organizations.

Which is what I believe she was saying there, in that interview.

I get the impression about ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

I get the impression about and from Kerry himself, that he couldn't stop the embellishments. You know, start a lie, embellish, embellish, because it requires ongoing embellishment to counter any questions. So, he's embellished and added and tweaked and modified, per the appearance, and now there's whole record of embellishments that he appears to have never anticipated being questioned about. Perhaps he even believes his own embellishments, which is even worse than being an embellisher.

I had the impression of Kerry -- this is personal opinion here, so it's not debatable (it is what a relaying of my impressions) -- when I first read about him and his behavior and all, from years ago, that this was a man who (1.) resented the U.S. military requirement for service to such an extent that he (2.) tried to avoid it by asking to be deferred for a full year inorder to "go to Paris" and didn't expect to be (3.) told no, he wouldn't be deferred but was liable for the draft as usual, so that he/Kerry then (4.) enlisted to avoid the draft but with enough resentment in the process as to intend a "tour of duty" that would spite the hand that threatened to draft him and so (5.) took his camera, reenacted his 'war footage,' and otherwise went about using the time that Uncle Sam provided him with to (6.) embarrass and harm Uncle Sam in any way he could but was later (7.) interested in another route for to accomplish that and so found his way into the Senate, where he went about working to undermine whatever he could as to the U.S. military and honor worldwide.

Thus, to someone like that, there would be "a loss of credibility" in the world's community of nations, because the U.S. wasn't going the Kerry Way. In other words, this is -- again, my impression of this person -- an individual who was raised in resentment, and went out into the world to prove his resentments were appropriate.

It's just that he chose a very, very irresponsible process. I think he is responsible for aiding and abetting "the enemy". I thought so before, and I'm even more sure about it now.

Scout,First of all... (Below threshold)
Dave:

Scout,

First of all, I am really sorry your brother gave his life in service for our country in Viet Nam and I appreciate his service.

I understand the pain you feel about Kerry's testimony before the Senate in 1971. I know that must have hurt you and made you angry and anything I say would never change that.

You need to take your feelings about that into consideration in your support for the next president of the US and I certaintly understand that.

All I will say is that John Kerry said what he did because he felt that it would save lives and get us out of Viet Nam quicker and he did volunteer for service and served honorably and bravely.

You can disagree with what he said but that is what he feels in his heart.

I wish you peace in your life and heart.

Dave

When Kerry discovers that h... (Below threshold)

When Kerry discovers that his only *after-action* alternative to his failed bid for the Presidency is in liberal talk radio, perhaps we'll hear the following bumper music theme from The Doors 1967 song, The End:

"This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend
The end of our elaborate plans
The end of everything that stands
The end . . .

It hurts to set you free
But you'll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die
This is the end"

To add to what Dennis wrote... (Below threshold)
-S-:

To add to what Dennis wrote (^^), I DO find Kerry's aggression to and about the Swiftvets more than problematic, as in, it's strangely negative, undermining, about these Vets, as is the response by the frenetic Liberal media today and tonight.

It's showing just how much disdain and actual emotional excess exists among the Left for Veterans, U.S. Military even. Pick the pimple, out pops all this crud from the Left...

The point I make here is that the extreme negativism, the display of real and visible upset, excited overheat, by the media and various Kerry campaigners, by Kerry himself, about this, shows a very palpable negative emotion that is way beyond normal there, about this issue of military service.

Something's going on, no doubt about it.

Moveon.org is registered as... (Below threshold)

Moveon.org is registered as a PAC not a 527. That means it must comply with a stricter set of federal election regulations than 527's

You're wrong about MoveOn.o... (Below threshold)

You're wrong about MoveOn.org. Read their tagline:

"The MoveOn family of organizations consists of three entities. MoveOn.org, a 501(c)(4) organization, primarily focuses on education and advocacy on important national issues. MoveOn PAC, a federal PAC, primarily helps members elect candidates who reflect our values. And MoveOn.org Voter Fund, a 527 organization, primarily educates voters on the positions, records, views, and qualifications of candidates for public office."

They play all sides of the equation.

Yeah, about moveon.org, som... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Yeah, about moveon.org, someone else was sharing just last night with me (my blog, and elsewhere) letters soliciting funding for John Kerry for the Presidency, signed by, ahem, John Kerry, sent out by moveon.org to their subscribers, from their site, through their e-mail address...

Kerry continues to say that moveon.org isn't "a part of the Kerry campaign".

Umm, alrighty-then, okay, byebyenow, byebye...does this man ever know what he really means? Or say it? I bet he thinks that the word, "campaign" excludes fundraising letters signed by him, or, well, it depends on what the definition of the word, "is" is. Something like that.

John Kerry is a fake and a ... (Below threshold)
A:

John Kerry is a fake and a phony. He will say and do anything to get elected. He is no hero to me. Nobody takes a video camera to Vietnam. I also want to say that I was a democrat all my life and I recently became a Republican because of Kerry and the liberals taking over the party.

Peter, I know this is a lat... (Below threshold)

Peter, I know this is a late response to your post but it was so beautifully written. My dad was a well decorated WWII vet and, God rest his soul, didn't really like to talk about his experience very much. Just came home and raised 10 kids to love God, family and country. And my experience and readings confirm that the vast majority of vets are like you and my dad. They'll talk to kids, close friends, etc. but don't like to bring attention to themselves about their service. Now compare that to Mr. Heinz and you get the sense that, while it's probably impossible to prove, his "heroism" appears so contrived...like so much of his life. Lastly, to all the vets out there, from any theater, thank you from my family and I for all that you did. Because of all of you my kids, both girls and boys, can choose to go to school, join the service, or carry negative propoganda vs. the President in peace. You guys are my heroes.




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