Tag Archives: Swift Boat

Swift Boat fiends are back

You’ll recall how 2004 Democratic Party presidential nominee John Kerry was defamed by those who sought to portray his heroic Vietnam War experience as a falsehood.

The term “Swift Boat” became a verb. You know, how Kerry was “Swift Boated” by the liars who launched the scurrilous attacks on the former Navy officer’s heroism while patrolling the rivers of South Vietnam.

Well, guess what, ladies and gents. The folks who engineered that hideous campaign are getting back into the game. They are planning a multimillion-dollar ad campaign aimed at bringing down the candidacy of the current Democratic nominee, Joe Biden.

Granted, Biden didn’t serve in the military, but he well might be receiving his version of the Swift Boat treatment from the political action committee that wants to support Donald Trump’s re-election.

They call themselves Preserve America. They will start advertising in swing states where Trump reportedly is vulnerable. As Politico reports: Preserve America’s first commercials will begin airing Tuesday in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Iowa, and Georgia. Roughly $25 million of the total buy will be invested on TV, a figure that nearly matches what America First Action and Priorities USA have spent on the airwaves over the course of the entire election cycle. The remaining $5 million will appear on digital platforms.

This is a frightening new aspect of this campaign, which everyone expects to head straight into the gutter as Trump’s mud-slinging machine kicks into high gear.

The Swift Boat defamation effort launched against John Kerry was despicable on its face. I am saddened to say I became acquainted with one of the Swift Boaters’ major benefactors, the late Texas oilman Boone Pickens. I regret terribly to this day never asking Pickens why he chose to underwrite the lies that Kerry’s enemies told about him and his valiant service during the Vietnam War. Well, that was then.

The here and now offers a stern warning about what lies ahead for the race between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

My advice to the Biden team? Be ready to respond quickly and with all due vigor when they spread the lies we know are certain to come.

Good bye, Mr. Simmons … and good riddance

Harold Simmons is dead at age 82.

His death has drawn a lot of attention in political circles. The billionaire Texan was a big contributor to Republican candidates and causes. That’s fine. I don’t begrudge that one bit.

What I do begrudge, though, is the $4 million he gave to a particular GOP effort.


It occurred during the 2004 presidential campaign between President George W. Bush and U.S. Sen. John F. Kerry. Simmons kicked in the big dough to a group dedicated to smearing Kerry’s reputation, which he earned while serving in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War.

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth thought it would smear Kerry’s war record with lies, suggesting he didn’t really earn the medals for valor while serving during that long-ago war.

It was a disgraceful display of rotten politics — which can be pretty rotten even without this kind of defamation.

Simmons played a hand in that slander, which must not go unnoticed as the political world bids good bye to 2013 and to this individual.

I’m quite aware that both parties are awash in lots of money, much of which is used as ammo to smear candidates from the other side. None of it is appealing. None of it is fair.

The “swift boating,” of John Kerry, though, will stand for a long time as an example of how politics can stink to high heaven.