Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Thing that gets me is people are still shocked at how low they’ll go. I know some folks are financially invested in pretending conservatives in general and the Republican party in particular aren’t giant goddamn hypocrites who’ll drop every proclaimed principle at the drop of a hat for the least little bit of edge. But let’s be grown ups here.

Before we get started with today’s jeremiad, I feel the need to clear some stuff up first. I am not a fan of the military for various reason: what they do, how much money is sunk into them, how they treat the soldiers, etc. Furthermore, I don’t hold either active duty soldiers or veterans to any positions of worshipful status. I’ve known far too many of both to think of them as anything other than human, and thus, fallible and imperfect. So there’s you grain of salt, I won’t be going into more detail. Anyhow.

Cast your mind back, children, to the fall of 2004. We were in yet another election season. George W. Bush was riding high on the Iraq War as America was drunk with patriotism and that whole thing hadn’t turned sour in our mouths yet. The Democrats, showing once again how solidly their thumb was on the collective pulse of the voter, decided to roll with John Kerry as it’s nominee.

Apart from being a long-time senator from Massachusetts with a commendable record and no particular skeletons in his closet, he was richer than Croesus due to both family money and smart marrying. If there is such a thing as “elite”, Kerry represented it. Just from that, it seemed an odd choice for the Democrats, who were trying to bring back into the fold some of the folks they lost to Nader four years previously.

Granted, he was up against another well-bred scion of a powerful political family. Bush had managed to convince folks that he was an aw-shucks, folksy good ol’ boy from Texas when he was really a lunk-headed rich kid from Connecticut. Having a beer with the president was important back then, and a recovering alcoholic scored higher than a windsurfing champagne sipper who had no idea what NASCAR was but was sure everyone loved it.

But he had something that Bush couldn’t march, or so the Democrats thought, and that was service in Vietnam Conflict, then the biggest scar in the American psyche. While Bush managed to dodge the heavy shit by serving in the Texas Air National Guard. Now, I’m not one to judge him on that. If faced with going to Vietnam or hooking up with what my Marine veteran of ‘Nam father called “weekend warriors”, I ain’t going to lie about it, I know which one I’d chose.

Although he could have undoubtedly slipped past as well, Kerry served an abbreviated four-month tour in South Vietnam as the OIC of a Swift Boat in the U.S. Navy, which frankly, isn’t the sort of thing I’d want to be in if people were trying to shoot me and blow me up. For his service, Kerry was awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and Three Purple Hearts.

After getting an early return – and who can blame him – Kerry came back to join the Vietnam Veterans Against The War, where he first entered the public eye by testifying before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs. This was a ballsy move as public opinion hadn’t quite turned against the war. Kerry went further, kicking up a hornet’s nest by bringing to light U.S. war crimes.

So we fast-forward to 2004 and the D’s see Kerry’s decorated service record and his history of protest as a solid one-two punch. What they didn’t count on was just how low the Republican party would go to smear a veteran despite their claim to “support the troops”. First there was the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group of bullshit artists that claimed all sorts of nonsense despite the U.S. Navy telling them they were full of shit. They also gave the world unhinged overcooked bake potato and full-on nutjob Jerome Corsi to befoul the political world with some of the dumbest conspiracy theories known to man.

Obviously an AstroTurf group, the Swift Boaters nevertheless muddied the waters enough but anyone who was disinclined to vote for Kerry (or any Democrat) wasn’t going to vote for him anyway. However, probably the most egregiously hypocritical thing Republican knuckledraggers did was show up the to GOP convention with bandages with little purple hearts on them. This was enough to piss my father off, a Purple Heart recipient as well.

And it didn’t end there. Self-proclaimed “Never Trumper” and incredible slimeball Rick Wilson spear-headed a campaign to smear Georgia Senator Max Cleland, a Vietnam Vet who not only won the Silver and Bronze Star but was a triple amputee. He brags about this, the sorry shit, and I’m convinced the only reason he’s against Trump is because he hasn’t been asked to join the crew. He’d crack the concrete hitting his knees if commanded to steam-press the Blind Idiot God’s pants, the craven piece of shit.

In any event, it worked. Bush won a commanding victory and a second term, during which everyone sort of pretended they didn’t vote for him. Indeed, though there were some voting irregularities that were pretty much ignored, this was the only time since his dad was in office that the GOP actually won the popular vote without question. Also, it was at the time the largest voter turnout on record. I never have been able to wrap my head around that one, but that’s politics for you.

That brings us to today. For the ongoing investigations as to whether or not the U.S. House of Representatives should bring impeachment charges, the Democrats interviewed Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a 20-year officer and, again, a Purple Heart recipient. Apparently, this might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, as his testimony on the TrumpUkraine call is pretty unsettling.

Trump has gone on one his usual Twitter rages, proclaiming him a “Never Trumper”. Vindman’s family escaped the Ukraine in 1979, when it was still part of the Soviet Union, when he was 3. So, of course, former Wisconsin Congressmen and pencil-neck geek Sean Duffy along with professional drooling jackass Brian Kilmeade has claimed Vindman’s testimony is suspect because he has “an affinity for where he was born,” as we all do.

Fox’s pet Nazi shield-maiden Laura Ingraham has suggested Vindman is a double agent, groomed to bring down the Holy Trump. In this, she’s agreeing with former U.S. Attorney General and testicle-crushing enthusiast John Yoo, who should really shut the fuck up about anything and everything. And since Vindman’s testimony might be what gets the Democrats in gear, I’m sure we’ll hear much more.

Now. Like I said, I don’t really have a dog in this hunt, but if you think either the Trump administration and GOPthe right-wing media arm or the unwashed horde of masturbating howler monkeys that make up the base won’t try to smear a guy they should hold up as a hero if they had any honesty to them at all, well… I don’t know what to tell you.

This is what they do. They slime for slime, and since Trump’s is their golden child, just the blithering moron of an facile authoritarian they’ve been waiting for. And all the while they’ll be calling anyone who’s not on board the lowest of the low, socialists and baby killers. Since this seems to have motivated the Democrats to make shit get real, just you wait.

Okay. That’s plenty for today. This is where we are, y’all, so buckle down. It is about to get ugly.

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