Saturday, June 7, 2014
Praise The Swiftboaters
Jonah Goldberg on the Bergdahl affair, focusing on how it was (mis)managed by the White House.
"This president, we are constantly told, gets his information about scandals in his own administration the same way we do: from the newspapers. This raises an interesting question: Why have an office in the White House? Apparently you can do this job from anywhere.
Maybe Obama needs to get a subscription to Rolling Stone? If he’d read the story from two years ago, he’d at least know that Bergdahl’s case was like Norwegian weather in September: a lot of gray. In fairness, I don’t want the president of the United States wasting his time reading that rag. But in the old days, someone in the White House would have read up on the guy. A pro would have said, “Hey, let’s type Bowe Bergdahl into the Google machine and hit the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ button!” If they’d done that, they would have at least known not to say Bergdahl was captured on the “battlefield” and that he had served “with honor and distinction.” On why this was outrageous see Ralph Peters. On why this was politically stupid, see the entry in the dictionary for "Duh".
This White House went a different way. They sent Susan Rice — Susan Rice! — out on the Sunday shows to beclown herself again. This woman was going to be secretary of state until she went out on the Sunday shows and read Ben Rhodes’s talking points verbatim. Apparently that’s sort of her thing. She reads what the hacks above — or below — give her. It’s like she’s the Ron Burgundy of foreign policy. But you’d think this time around she’d go over with her staff exactly what they know — and don’t know. You’d think she’d be like Roy Scheider in Jaws 2 telling the town council, “As God is my witness, I’m not going through that Hell again.” Instead she’s like Mikey from the Life cereal commercials and the White House political hacks are like the other kids. “Give these talking points to Susie, she’ll say anything.”
And now, to cover their mistakes, these guys are complaining anonymously to Chuck Todd that Bergdahl is being “swiftboated” by his former comrades. My friend Iowahawk called this one perfectly. Seriously, what’s the point of putting the hacks in charge if they can’t even hack right?
It’s amazing how good liberals are at creating terms that attack motives in order to deflect inconvenient facts. I have my problem with the uses and abuses of “McCarthyism,” “witch hunts,” “climate deniers,” “reality-based community” etc. But “swiftboating” really stands out as slimy piece of business. What the Swiftboat vets did was tell the truth as they saw it about events they had firsthand experience with. Some of their recollections may have fallen short of accurate, but many were completely accurate. I guarantee you not one in a hundred people who throw the term “swiftboating” around can tell you exactly what the vets did wrong.
Well, I take that back. They can tell you what they did wrong: They created problems for the Democrats. What they can’t tell you was what the vets said that was inaccurate — because they don’t care."
Jonah likes making allusions to movies. Well, I have one. Obama's crusade to close Gitmo is reminiscent of an EPA official (played by) William Atherton ordering the shut down of the ingenious and effective ghost containment system fabricated by "Ghostbusters" (played by) Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. Predictably, when the system is turned off, all hell breaks loose as the evil spirits are released and wreak havoc on New York City. Prepare for a similar effect as Gitmo is emptied. Who ya gonna call then?
"Ghostbusters" spot-on portrayal of the EPA as a rigid, misguided adversary of a beneficial private enterprise helped earn it the number 10 spot on National Review's list of 25 top conservative movies (2/23/2009).