Friday, August 20, 2004

Josh Marshall on SBVfT

Marshall points out that it is cowardly to refuse to take a side against SBVfT, and to even allow their claims to be repeated to your face without challenging them, while maintaining that you will not "raise questions about his [Kerry's] service."

Then McClellan says:

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, let's not be selective here. Let's look at the overall activity that's going on by all of these shadowy groups. I think we're being a little selective right now. And Senator Kerry is being -- is trying to have it all ways, yet again. He says one thing, while his campaign goes out there and does another thing.

Marshall notes that in any meaningful sense of the word, the Swift Boat group is a Bush-campaign front. I'm not sure that merely having common funders or political associates makes it a "front," but, like Josh, I find his unwillingness to disavow their ads to be a bit cowardly.

In contrast, Kerry has disavowed several of these 527-sponsored ads (like the Hitler spot and the spot questioning Bush's Air National Guard service). The links between Kerry and MoveOn are considerably more tenuous than the links between Bush and SBVfT, and Kerry still feels that he should disavow some of MoveOn's tactics, even though their tactics have been considerably more mild than SBVfT (e's. g. piles of misleading or unverifiable statements, private investigators pressuring vets to sign anti-Kerry affidavits, etc.).

Should the 527 loophole be closed? Yes.
Should campaigns be fully publicly financed first? Yes.

UPDATE: Kerry campaign files FEC complaint against SBVfT. Don't worry, it's hard to prove illegal collaboration.

Uh oh.


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