Category Archives: Political Commentary

A True Purple Heart Weighs In

Bob Dole says that Bob Dole is skeptical about his friend Senator Kerry’s Purple Hearts. He’s not very kind to his friend Senator Kerry in general:

…what I will always quarrel about are the Purple Hearts. I mean, the first one, whether he ought to have a Purple Heart — he got two in one day, I think. And he was out of there in less than four months, because three Purple Hearts and you’re out.

[Update a couple minutes later]

This Boston Globe editorial is simply mind boggling:

Kerry, on the other hand, may have done more than Dole to qualify as a genuine war hero. Although his tour in Vietnam was short, on at least two occasions he acted decisively and with great daring in combat, saving at least one man’s life and earning both a Silver Star and a Bronze Star. That’s not our account or Kerry’s; it is drawn from eyewitnesses and the military citations themselves.

Ignoring, of course, the much greater number of eyewitnesses who dispute it, and the possibility that the citations are based on false testimony.

And this bit is amazing as well:

Rather than seeking debate, however, this group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, is attempting political assassination, claiming in ads and a best-selling book that Kerry is “Unfit for Command.” In many cases the charges conflict with statements the same men made in the past. Sometimes the allegations contradict documentary evidence.

“Rather than seeking debate”? They’re eager to join in a debate, but the media refuses to interview them for the most part. It’s John Kerry who is resisting debate. He won’t even address the charges, instead slandering them and accusing them of being Republican attack dogs.

Anyway, on to the relevant part of the Dole interview with Wolf Blitzer:

Continue reading A True Purple Heart Weighs In


Fred Barnes just predicted that Arnold will call Democrats “girlie men” in his convention speech, and that it will bring down the house.

I hope he does. It was pretty funny to see him stir up the hornet’s nest in Sacramento (and San Francisco) the last time, in which they all got outraged and acted as though they were going to hit him with their collective purse.

If the Dems are smart, they’ll be figuring out a way to respond ahead of time that doesn’t make them look ridiculous, so they’ll be ready for it this time. But so far, they haven’t shown much sign of being smart.


That’s the only word I have for this piece from the AP. It’s a compilation of all of the Dem talking points in a single article. As someone at Free Republic said, they’re not even attempting to pretend to be objective any more. There’s an amusing howler in the first graf:

John Kerry’s Vietnam War service records run to multiple medal commendations and a notation of “conspicuous gallantry” in combat. President Bush’s file tracks the stateside career of a National Guard test pilot. Yet the combat veteran is the one under attack as a wartime pretender in the race for the White House.

The National Guard has test pilots? And George Bush was one of them? Who knew?

Apparently not David Espo.

Of course, if he was smart enough to know the difference, he’d also know that a test pilot has a much lower life expectancy than a Swift Boat commander in the post-Tet-offensive Mekong Delta of late 1968, after much of the Viet Cong had been wiped out.

The last line in the paragraph somehow reminds me of Monty Burns grumbling after he loses the race for governor: “Ironic, isn’t it Smithers? This anonymous clan of slack-jawed troglodytes has cost me the election. And yet, if I were to have them killed, I would be the one to go to jail! That’s democracy for you.”

Read the whole thing, and be amazed.

The Weakness Of Their Argument

The primary strategy (at least until his story began to implode this week) of the Dems this year was to put forth a decorated Vietnam vet, and attempt to contrast him with a president and vice president who hadn’t served in that war. The hope was that they could set up his record as sacrosanct, and unquestionable. For the most part, until the Swifties came along, the Republicans went along with the deal (“No one questions Senator Kerry’s service to his country in Vietnam”).

But here’s a problem with that argument that occurred to me the other night. The stock response from the Dems is “He volunteered to go to war, he gave his blood for our country, he fought bravely, he earned commendations.”

But unfortunately, he’s not the only person of whom all that could be said. Clearly, his four-month resume, by itself, even if accepted at face value, will not be sufficient to launch him into the White House. Now that his war stories have been severely damaged, the real battle in the fall will be what he’s done since the war, and I don’t think that it’s going to be very pretty picture.

[Update at 12:30 PM PDT]

Am I the only one that sees nothing in this story to justify the headline “Kerry Campaign Unfazed by Bush Attacks”?

First of all, these aren’t “Bush attacks.” They’re Swift Boat Vet attacks. And there’s nothing in the behavior of the Kerry campaign that could be characterized as “unfazed.”

And of course, trial lawyer John Edwards urges the president to violate the law, by coordinating with a 527:

“This is a moment of truth for George W. Bush,” Edwards said at a Democratic rally. “We’re going to see what kind of man he is and what kind of leader he is. … We want to hear three words: Stop these ads.”

And the Bush spokesman makes the excellent point that the only campaign that’s denigrating the service of Vietnam veterans is the Kerry campaign (in their attacks on the Swift Boat Vets). And speaking of denigrating vets, check out this latest outrage from Pat Oliphant.

[Update a few minutes later]

No, of course I’m not comparing John Kerry to Benedict Arnold.


Benedict Arnold was a competent military commander.