Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Killing the messenger, Democrat-style 

I've written about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth before (hasn't everyone? The story is really generating the maximum amount of buzz in the blogsphere and slowly starting to trickle through into the mainstream, particularly in relation to the latest controversy about John Kerry's possibly imaginary Christmas in Cambodia). The Vets' book, "Unfit for Command," is just hitting the bookstores, but it seems that its co-author Jerry Corsi is in trouble for some stupid comments he had left in the past on the Free Republic website. It's all rather juvenile commentary along the lines of "Islam is a peaceful religion — just as long as the women are beaten, the boys buggered and the infidels are killed," as well as digs at pedophilia in the Catholic Church, the Pope's senility, and insinuations that John Kerry is really a Jew.

No shock or surprise there for all of us who have been inside the blogsphere for some time - check the comments on any popular and controversial blog and you'll find unrelenting hyperbole and abuse. I particularly recommend Healing Iraq and Little Green Footballs, which on account of the topics they cover tend to generate the fiercest clashes of civilisations, though not necessarily of civility. Other bloggers, like Glenn Reynolds and Andrew Sullivan make the conscious decision to save everyone any future embarrassment (not to mention saving themselves a lot of valuable time) and don't have comments section on their blogs at all.

So, a lesson for all of you kiddies out there: watch what you write if you're planning to author a book in the future. Or if you feel a really strong urge to write something inflammatory, don't sign with your real name and email address. The Democratic Party operatives are already scouring the Chrenkoff blog collecting up dirt on all of you, dear readers. Well, I'm sure they aren't, but if any of you decide to become famous in the near future, I'm sure they just might.

But returning to our current controversy, Jerry Corsi has definitely handed the Democrats a perfect opportunity to play the man and not the ball. In the words of Chad Clanton, the Kerry campaign spokesman: "President Bush should immediately condemn this sleazy book written by a virulent anti-Catholic bigot. It says something about the smear campaign against John Kerry that it has stooped to enlist a hatemonger."

Three comments immediately spring to mind:

1) But Chad, what about the book itself? Whether or not it has been co-written by "a virulent anti-Catholic bigot" (Corsi describes himself as a "devout Catholic", although from his remarks it seems of the Mel Gibson variety) it doesn't address any of the allegations raised in "Unfit for Command" by numerous Swift Boat veterans who served with John Kerry. It's a dangerous tactic, but hardly untried in the Democrat camp, where every question of Kerry's voting record on defense and security issues meets with a reminder that Kerry had, after all, served in Vietnam. "Mr Kerry, veterans allege that you were not in Cambodia in 1968, as you had previously claimed. What do you have to say to that?" "Jerry Corsi is an anti-Catholic bigot."

2) President Bush will condemn this "sleazy book," as soon as John Kerry condemns Michael Moore's "sleazy documentary." And at least the anti-Moore crowd has done a pretty thorough job refuting the Fahrenheit "facts," in addition to having a go at the fat stupid anti-American himself. The other side obviously thinks that killing the messenger will suffice to defuse the issue.

3) John Kerry obviously thinks he's got the Muslim and the Jewish vote all in his bag but is still going after the Catholic one - otherwise why only an "anti-Catholic bigot" and not an "anti-Catholic, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic bigot"? That, or Kerry, not being a Muslim or a Jew himself, can only feel true outrage at anti-Catholic slights, in which case how will he be able to properly represent (i.e. feel the pain) of the Democratic rainbow coalition of ethnic and cultural grievances? He's clearly unfit to command the coalition of the victims.

Now I also know why an elephant is a Republican Party symbol; elephants have far thicker skins than donkeys.


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