Put up or shut up, Sen. Kerry

By Ben Shapiro

In Jewish thought, there is a concept called “midah k’neged midah” – literally, “measure for measure.” Jews invoke this phrase when the punishment for an action fits the crime perfectly. A flawless example: Stephanie and Bryan Loudermilk of Okeechobee County, Fla., created fetish videos in which Stephanie stepped on and crushed live animals. Bryan ended up as roadkill in June 1999, crushed to death beneath the rear wheels of his own truck. Poetic justice.

It seems John Kerry is slowly being crushed beneath the weight of his own truck of lies. After making his name in 1971 by returning from Vietnam and slandering U.S. troops before Congress, Kerry decided that in order to win the 2004 presidential campaign, he’d have to become Andrew Jackson, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ulysses S. Grant all rolled into one. He’d have to revive his image as all-American war hero in order to win the swing vote. So while in 1971 Kerry denounced his fellow veterans and labeled the war in Vietnam a disastrous mistake, Kerry has suddenly discovered that Vietnam was in fact World War II and he was Audie Murphy.

John Kerry’s entire presidential campaign has been predicated upon the idea that he won some medals in Vietnam – and that, as a medal winner, he’ll be a friend to American soldiers. To that end, Kerry has also rewritten his original feelings about Vietnam vets, telling the Veterans of Foreign Wars that “for 35 years I have stood up, and fought, and kept faith with my fellow veterans.”

Meanwhile, Kerry allowed “Section 527 organizations,” which are exempt from campaign spending limits, to pour extreme radicalism into the political sphere. The Moveon.org crowd, the Michael Moore acolytes, play a crucial part in the Kerry campaign machine. Kerry’s campaign has adopted the language, tone and tactics of the Michael Moore wackos.

Just this week, Kerry’s campaign spokeswoman derided President Bush, stating: “John Kerry is not the type of leader who will sit and read ‘My Pet Goat’ to a group of second-graders while America is under attack.” Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9-11” spends a full seven minutes focusing on this ridiculous argument – and mislabeling the book Bush read to a group of second-graders “My Pet Goat.” The real name of the book is “Reading Mastery 2,” and the story Bush read was called “The Pet Goat.” Kerry’s spokeswoman simply lifted Moore wholesale.

Kerry’s campaign has been one long string of deceits. But Kerry made a crucial error: He counted out cosmic justice. Nearly three decades after the end of the Vietnam War, the veterans Kerry degraded are back. A group of 250 Vietnam veterans known as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are speaking up, letting America know that what happened in Vietnam and its aftermath has not been forgotten.

They claim that John Kerry is no war hero – that, in fact, he is a back-stabbing glory-seeker. And their voice is being heard: “Unfit for Command,” their book, has dominated the best-seller charts ever since its release. To add to the irony, Swift Boat Vets for Truth is a 527 organization – a direct parallel to the Moveon.org, pro-Kerry monster.

The Kerry campaign has been unable to cope with the problem of “midah k’neged midah.” Instead of confronting the charges leveled by the Swiftees – just release your records, Sen. Kerry! – he has questioned their integrity, trying to pull a Hillary Clinton-esque charge of “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Instead of welcoming the debate – just release your records, Sen. Kerry! – he has attempted to stifle it, filing a Federal Election Commission suit baselessly alleging that the Bush administration is behind these veterans (yet another instance where Kerry has no problem insulting vets if they disagree with him). Instead of putting forth a convincing argument in his own defense – just release your records, Sen. Kerry! – he has called upon the publisher of “Unfit for Command” to pull it from stores.

Now that “midah k’neged midah” has come crashing down about John Kerry’s ears, he wants to stop talking about Vietnam. Pathetically, he told an audience in New York that it is Bush who is “misleading the American people, hiding behind front groups, saying anything and doing anything to avoid the real issues that matter, like jobs, health care and the war in Iraq.”

Sen. Kerry, I’ve been waiting for months to hear you speak to the real issues in this campaign. But you don’t have any real answers, and so you’ve continually hearkened back to your halcyon days on the Mekong Delta. Sen. Kerry, you wanted to relive the Vietnam era, and now, you’ve got it. All you have to do is release your records. Now’s the time: Either put up, or shut the hell up.