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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Sunday, February 06, 2005


Kerry interview

posted by Aziz P. at Sunday, February 06, 2005 permalink View blog reactions
There's an excellent interview with Kerry at the Boston Globe. Partr of the interview reveals that Kerry intends to sign Form 180 releasing all his military records. Note that Bush did release some records, but never as many as Kerry had released during the campaign, and Form 180 will make Kerry's record even more open for review. He has also challenged Bush and the Swift Boat group to do the same - and I think we know that will never happen.

excerpyt, and slight rant, below the fold...

The furor over military credentials hasn't ended with the campaign. Kerry pledged to sign Form 180, releasing all of his military records, but challenged his critics, including Bush, to do the same.

''I want them to sign it, I want [swift boat veterans] John O'Neill, Roy Hoffmann, and what's their names, the guys on the other boat," Kerry said. ''I want their records out there. They have made specific allegations about my record, I know things about their records, I want them out there. I'm willing to sign it, to put all my records out there. I'm willing to sign it, but I want them to sign it, too."

Kerry later confirmed that his decision to sign the form is not conditional on any others signing, but he expressed lingering bitterness over double standards on military service.

''Let me make this clear: My full military record has been made public," Kerry said. ''All of my medical records and all of my fitness reports, every fitness report involving each place I served, is public. Where are George Bush's still? Where are his military records? End of issue."

I remain quite angry with the Republican Party for its embrace of the smear artists with the Orwellian audacity to name themselves veterans "for Truth". I will never forget the image of delegates to the GOP convention sporting purple-heart band aids in mockery of Kerry and every other veteran who ever received an injury in service. I have some fairly partisan non-purple thoughts about the affair over at my zombie blog JFK04.


The Republicans didn't create SBVT. I did not like their initial ad attacking Kerry's purple hearts. However, their second less noticed (but more effective) ad was about his testimony in the Senate after the war. It was legitimate and public information that offends many veterans and citizens who lived through the Vietnam War. Also, there argument that Kerry's claim to be in Cambodia was a lie was generally correct. I wasn't here then so these arguments have less of an effect on me, but it seems they are legitimate targets. I do wish they had laid off the purple hearts.
Furthermore, I hope you are equally angry at the Democratic Party for putting Dan Rather on stage with fake documents to try to discredit the President. FWIW, I don't blame the Dems for Rather nor the Repubs for SBVT. Rather is a symptom of today's "gotcha" media and a newsroom without political diversity and SBVT are a symptom of campaign finance reform that empowers non-party groups to do the dirty work at a distance from the candidates.
Finally, I applaud Senator Kerry for signing his 180 (assuming he does it and isn't just saying it). But I must ask why he didn't do it during the campaign? Any thoughts?


I think that part of the problem with political dialog is that when one side sees a criticism from the other, the impulse is always to reply with "yes, ok, but what about THIS" (insert opposing issue). This is essentially ping pong.

It only serves to muddle the issue. Dan Rather is irrelevant here. And bringing up Dan Rather in response undercuts any acknowledgement of the wrongs perpetrated by the SBT group, which never actually was interested in a true debate on Kerry's post-Vietnam record.

Suppose a terrorist professing the Islamic faith murders a group of people. Suppose then that in response to your denunciation of same, I responded with, "yes, it is terrible. but what about Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people?" A valid point, in its own right, but in this context certainly serves to undermine my response, no?

For what it is worth, I have read and listened to Kerry's full testimony and the SBVT completely misrepresented the content. To argue that Kerry somehow attacked the veterans in his testimony, and then to make excuses for a group that paraded about with Purple Heart bandages in mockery of a true war hero's service, is allowing partisan tinge to principle.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.