Skip to main content

The GOP's pathetic attempt at swift boating President Obama over the raid on bin Laden
Great quote from a fascinating Mother Jones article on Joel Arends, the South Dakota Republican who is leading the effort to swift boat President Obama over the bin Laden raid (my emphasis):
Joel Arends, [Vets for a Strong America's] founder, chairman, and sole staffer, tells me he's proud of his organization's viral video, even if it's characterized as swift boating. "Yes, it's the swift boating of the president, in the sense of using what's perceived to be his greatest strength and making it his greatest weakness."
It's hilarious enough that this would-be swift boater actually describes his goal as being the "swift boating of the president," but the best part of the statement is that instead of making Obama's greatest strength his greatest weakness, Arends is actually just reminding people again of one of President Obama's most significant achievements.

The key thing to remember here is that when the swift boaters went after John Kerry, they were accusing him of fraud. They were saying that Kerry did not actually deserve the honors that he had been awarded. They said he lied about his service. And if their charges were actually true, they would have been damning.

Arends is accusing President Obama of taking sole credit for having killed bin Laden. That's an absurd and false claim, but even if it weren't, Arends isn't challenging that bin Laden was killed under Obama's watch. If this were really Kerry-style swift boating, Arends would be claiming that bin Laden was still alive. He'd be demanding a death certificate.

And if the Kerry swift boaters had made the argument Arends is making, they wouldn't have challenged what Kerry did in Vietnam, they'd have merely complained about how his campaign talked about it. You can imagine how ineffective that line of attack would have been: "We acknowledge that John Kerry is war hero, but we believe he shouldn't brag about it." But swift boaters didn't take that line of attack because they didn't want to concede that Kerry had done anything heroic.

So when Arends runs an ad accusing President Obama of refusing to share credit for ordering the Osama bin Laden raid, the worst possible outcome is that some of the people who watch the ad don't realize it's a lie and as a result walk away thinking President Obama is kind of a dick. But even if that happens, at least they'll still think he's the dick who killed bin Laden.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri May 04, 2012 at 09:35 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site