HorsesAss.org has been “blog lite” the last couple days, as I’ve been very busy working on a special project. You’ll find out the details later today.
So I hope you’ll excuse me if don’t celebrate Collin Levey Day with my usual gush of poison penmanship.
In fact, I don’t really have much criticism of her latest column, “The wink-wink world of campaign-finance laws“, except to point out that it is most notable not for what it says, but for what it doesn’t.
Sure, she spends more time attacking the Democrats’ hypocrisy regarding campaign finance reform than the Republicans’, and she underplays GOP motives for supporting McCain-Feingold in the first place (they thought it would disadvantage Democrats.) She is also typically disingenuous when she suggests that “the spending ledger overwhelmingly favors the Democrats” — it’s a touch closer this year, but once again the Rs will dramatically outspend the Ds.
And I certainly disagree with her apparent conclusion, that what we need is more unrestricted political money, not less.
But it is always important to note not what Collin says, but why she says it. She and her fellow cogs in the right-wing media machine are focusing on 527 groups and campaign-finance, to distract Americans from the real issue at the heart of the notorious “Swift Boat” ads: the vicious lies financed and coordinated by close associates of President Bush.
Bush and Cheney avoided service in Viet Nam. That’s okay. If I had been ten years older I would have tried to do the same.
But that’s all the more reason to be totally disgusted at their pattern of smearing opponents by attacking their war records. Bush did it to John McCain, and (surprise, surprise) now he’s doing it to John Kerry.
The efforts by Collin and her media colleagues to morph this into a debate over 527 committees is a blatant attempt to maximize exposure for the Swift Boat lies, while minimizing the political and financial cost to its sponsors. Collin has an excuse: this is what she does. But those reporters and editors in the “mainstream press” who have fallen for this trick should be ashamed of themselves.
We have a White House full of chicken hawks, who talk tough about our military, but display obvious disdain for those who serve it. If the media insists on making Kerry’s military record the most important issue in this campaign, then they owe it to voters to spend equal time exploring the service of Bush.
If the Rs want to make Kerry’s military record the focus of this campaign, then it is time to compare apples to apples. John Kerry chose to risk life and limb in Viet Nam. At the most, all Bush risked was his liver.