Thursday, October 07, 2004

It's Not a Partisan Thing

Colbert King is a liberal columnist in the Washington Post. A few days ago he wrote an interesting piece about John Kerry's service in Vietnam. He starts with
Those who dismiss critics of John Kerry's Vietnam service as just a bunch of right-wing Republicans out to advance George W. Bush's cause don't know what they are talking about -- or they are engaged in wishful thinking.
Surprising words for a Liberal.

He admits to having initially dismissed the Swift Vets as Republican shills. Then he started getting e-mails from Vietnam vets who were unabashedly Democrats. One was "former assistant secretary of the Air Force Rodney Coleman. A Democrat, Coleman has local roots, having worked for the D.C. Council..." Can't get more Democrat than having worked for the DC government.

Mr King quotes Coleman's e-mail:
"When Kerry made those critical statements of the war," Coleman wrote, "my parents, God bless them, went ballistic about their son going in harm's way. My military colleagues in the fellows program who had been there and were shot up were incensed that a so-called military man would engage in such insubordinate actions. At the time Kerry made those unfortunate remarks, America had POWs and MIAs, among them my friend, Colonel Fred Cherry, the longest-held black POW of the Vietnam War. How could a true American fighting man throw away his medals, while thousands he fought alongside of were in the midst of another example of man's inhumanity to man?"

This is the heart of the Swift Boat Vets and their opposition to Kerry. He's flawed. Not just humanly fallible. He's Macbeth flawed, rotten to the core, without the redeeming conscience at the center of a Shakespearean tragedy. That, at least, might leave room to pity him. But not for John Kerry.

Let's just hope he loses and disappears into the political wilderness where he belongs.

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