Joe Conason reminds us of this lovely one from Ann Coulter:Following the success of the Cleland smear, Goppers followed up with the Swiftboating of John Kerry, as Conason recounts:
“Max Cleland should stop allowing Democrats to portray him as a war hero who lost his limbs taking enemy fire on the battlefields of Vietnam,” she writes, claiming that he “lost three limbs in an accident during a routine non-combat mission where he was about to drink beer with friends. He saw a grenade on the ground and picked it up. He could have done that at Fort Dix. In fact, Cleland could have dropped a grenade on his foot as a National Guardsman …. Luckily for Cleland’s political career and current pomposity about Bush, he happened to do it while in Vietnam.”Cleland won the silver star for the battle of Khe Sanh.
when he ran for president in 2004, a litany of outlandish claims about his own highly decorated service, for which he had earned a Silver Star and two Purple Hearts.What did Jeb Bush have to say about that?
Those false charges were concocted and publicized, as I reported at the time, with money provided by Texas millionaires allied with the Bush family and their political boss Karl Rove. The Republicans led by Rove went so far as to mock Kerry’s Purple Hearts on the floor of their convention. Their aim was not only to ruin Kerry’s reputation, but to deflect attention from the highly questionable service record of George W. Bush — a subject about which he had lied shamelessly in his own 1999 campaign autobiography, A Charge To Keep.Ultimately, Kerry and the Navy vets who had actually served with him refuted all of the bogus Swift Boat accusations. By then, however, the political damage was done. He had lost a close election to a man whose presidential candidacy was originally rejected by most voters, and whose presidency came to be seen as a tragic mistake by most Americans.
On the day before his brother’s second inauguration in January 2005, Jeb Bush sent a groveling letter (on official Governor of Florida stationery) to George E. Day, one of the leaders of the Swift Boat campaign. “As someone who truly understands the risk of standing up for something.” he wrote pompously, “I simply cannot express in words how much I value the [Swift Boat Veterans’] willingness to stand up against John Kerry. Their efforts, like their service to their country, speak volumes about what matters most.”Pond scum then. Pond scum now.