Swiftboat veterans expose something new

By Kevin McCullough

Something struck me today that jolted my thinking on the whole swiftboat veterans issue. As I was reading the reports of John Kerry sending campaign staff to Crawford to ask President Bush to denounce the swiftboat ads, something just smacked me in the face.

Over most of the campaign year, John Kerry has not faced much adversity. From the media preordaining him as “the” candidate earlier in the year, to his sudden and swift winning of the nomination, to his further coronation experience at his nominating convention, things have pretty much gone his way.

The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have exposed something that I think is far more damaging about Kerry than they realized at the time.

Vietnam – blah, blah, blah – you hear the two sides go at it and so it goes …

But last Thursday, John Kerry gave the vets the legitimacy they were looking for by acknowledging them, beginning to call them names and claiming they were dishonest. This is where I believe the “Swiftees” have done us all a favor in exposing John Kerry.

They exposed him and his lack of leadership skills in how he handles a crisis.

And what we are beginning to see is ugly.

His party threatens to sue television stations carrying the ads. Then they shift to apply pressure to Regnery Publishers to recall their book “Unfit for Command.” Then they go after bookstores which were selling it. Then they label all swiftboat vets liars and go on television to try to debate the guys. (And for what it’s worth Kerry’s surrogate – John Hurley – has looked absolutely pathetic.)

Then, out of desperation, Kerry begins trying to secretly arrange meetings with the swiftboat vets – which they only expose him on. And when all of these attempts make no impact, he sends goons to Crawford, Texas, to protest outside Bush’s private residence.

They were delivering a letter that sounded like a piglet which had finally been caught in the County Fair “pig grab” rather than a serious complaint in this political season.

“The crying, the whining, the moaning – oh my.”

And that’s when it began to hit me like a ton of bricks.

John Kerry is so afraid of conflict, of criticism, of anyone who disagrees with him or points out his inaccuracies, he would never survive six months in face of the genuine problems he would have to deal with in the White House.

I can just see it. Every single time there is a negative press report out about him – “President Kerry” would feel compelled to go on every single cable TV talk show to “denounce the smears.”

Anybody remember how President Bush responded when groups spent $65 million dollars morphing him into Adolph Hitler?

So, I ask you to fill in the blank:

“From watching John Kerry handle the campaign crisis posed by the controversy of the swiftboat vets, __________ is what I have learned about John Kerry’s leadership.”

Knowing that the presidency is not something where one can survive long with ultra-thin skin, I want to know what voter’s impressions are on how you believe John Kerry would react in face of a true crisis.

Listeners to my radio show seem to believe Kerry had a resemblance to a 3-year-old toddler who – though he wanted to be the tough guy in the room – was likely to be the first one to run for mommy’s skirts should another kid look at him funny.

I believe that this is an outstanding analysis of exactly how he responds.

Remember Iowa – Kerry is Mr. Bravado: “BRING IT ON!”

Remember Illinois – Kerry is Mr. Stealth: “These guys are the biggest bunch of liars …”

Remember Boston – Kerry is Mr. Soldier: “Reporting for duty …”

All of those occurred when his world was looking up – no crisis – no real challenge.

Remember last Thursday – Kerry turns into Mr. Crybaby: “Tell them to stop picking on me …”

All the debate about what happened in Vietnam aside, the Swift Boat Vets have exposed the fact that, in a crisis, Mr. “Bring it On” is really Lt. Clueless, Junior Grade.

And realizing what the mullahs in Iran or the dictator in North Korea wish to do to us, America does not need a child who plays victim “Reporting for duty.”