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Kerry: A Little Revenge on Swift Boaters

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) finally got a taste of revenge for the "Swift Boating" attacks that marred his 2004 presidential campaign.

Facing defeat in the Senate, the White House today pulled the ambassadorial nomination of über Republican donor Sam Fox, who gave $50,000 in 2004 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the controversial group that ran a smear campaign questioning Kerry's Vietnam military record and, the way Kerry and many Democrats see it, severely hobbled the Democrats' chances of retaking the White House.

President Bush's decision to withdraw the nomination came as a surprise to members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by Joe Biden (D-Del.), one of three 2008 presidential candidates on the panel. They found out only about 45 minutes before they were scheduled to vote on Fox's nomination late in the morning.

Even though they doubted the White House wanted to further inflame a Congress already angry over the U.S. attorneys flap, committee Democrats still worried privately that Bush might try to give Fox a recess appointment to circumvent the nomination process. Congress begins its spring recess next week.

According to one Democratic committee source, the White House gave no assurances that the president would not seek a recess appointment.

By law, the president cannot make a recess appointment unless a nomination is pending. But Democrats were taking no chances, as committee staff continued late Wednesday to research other federal statutes and executive privileges on presidential appointments.

Kerry, however, seemed confident that the matter was history. "Sam Fox had every opportunity to disavow the politics of personal destruction and to embrace the truth. He chose not to," he said. "The White House made the right decision to withdraw the nomination."

Kerry had the chance to grill Fox on why he gave $50,000 to the Swifties when Fox appeared for his nomination hearing last month before the Foreign Relations Committee. Fox provided few answers, which only infuriated Kerry more.

Eleven Swift Boat veterans who served with Kerry in Vietnam sent a letter on Tuesday to Chairman Biden and ranking Republican Richard Lugar (Ind.) urging them to oppose Fox's nomination, saying, "In our judgment, those who finance smears and lies of combat veterans don't deserve to represent America on the world stage."

"For us, this is personal," they added. "Today we see the word 'Swiftboating' used as a pejorative -- not the valiant, honorable term it was nearly 40 years ago when young men gave their lives on the Mekong Delta."

By Mary Ann Akers  |  March 28, 2007; 6:36 PM ET
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Swiftboating - the act of telling an inconvenient truth about a democrat. Kerry is a liar and a scoundrel. He got what he deserved after his slanderous and false senate testimony and his dalliance with the winter soldier frauds. This is despicable.

Posted by: John | March 28, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

John that is why you wingnuts can't handle the truth.When you smear a war hero but trust a deserter.

Posted by: CMK | March 28, 2007 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Fox shouldn't be able to just slink away...

He should be grabbed, his pants pulled down to his knees, put over our collective lap, and spanked hard on his sorry buttocks!


Posted by: Anonymous | March 28, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Neocon heroes--draft-dodgers Bush, Cheney, Rove, and Wolfowitz. Neocon bad guy--Kerry, a true hero decorated for valor but smeared by, who else, Republican liars . . . oh, sorry, I forgot "Republican liar" is redundant. Anyway, guess what, Mr. Fox, what goes around, comes around.

Posted by: mikeasr | March 28, 2007 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Truth: Something that RepubliCONS are genetically incapable of imparting to the electorate.

Deal with it, John-Swiftboat-Butt-Kisser Boy: PAYBACKS ARE HELL.

Posted by: Mister Johnson | March 28, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Sam Fox says that when people come asking for money, he takes out his checkbook.
Sam, Old Buddy, Old Pal, couldya spare $250K to help me out of this interest-only ARM I took out on my million dollar McMansion last year? I may not have a job around here much longer.

Posted by: Roberto Gonzales | March 28, 2007 10:07 PM | Report abuse

When you play to "win" regardless of the cost you should be prepared to to pay when the bill comes due. Pay up Mr Fox.

Posted by: Marion | March 28, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: alwaya | March 28, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse


Are you on drugs or just stupid?

Posted by: Diane | March 28, 2007 11:13 PM | Report abuse

All the above comments are ridiculous, which points to something unhealthy in our country's civic life. Smear campaigns and the mindless prattle of political commentary are just symptoms of larger problems, such as the two-party system and a culture that leads people to get co-opted into supporting internally-contradictory, multi-factional conglomerate parties which represent no one but corporate interests. Cui bono?

Posted by: Leonidas | March 28, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

A hollow victory for Sen. Kerry -- the Bush crony doesn't get the ambassadorship, but Kerry is still not president.

Here's hoping that Dumbya keeps up his stubborn ways and goes down with his ship, which is springing new leaks every day.

Posted by: Bob Bryla | March 28, 2007 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Well John, when you win a Silver Star, a Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts then you can do what you want with them and only those in your own party will criticize you for it. Until then, go back to your bowl of Trix.

Posted by: sim namore | March 28, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I was so disappointed in the Democrats in 2004. There was no push back on the lie and horrible smear that was swiftboating.

Bush is a liar and should have been held accountable for his lame military service.
One of many draft dodging neo-con, Republi-idiots.
On the bright side - no one can call HRC a draft dodger!
Dems - 2008 - "grows some" and fight back

Posted by: G Murdock | March 28, 2007 11:26 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Leonidas, it does not matter that Fox did not get the approval to be ambassador from Kerry or Congress.

Bush did what he was supposed to do by appointing someone, Fox is rich and can contribute 50g's to whom ever he wants and he still has money.

It is not revenge. Kerry is still an ass, because he decorated himself as "a war hero". 5 medals in 3 months that he recommended for himself. What a joke. He lost the presidency because he could not beat Bush the dumb guy. Kerry must be dumber.

You guys are idiots for thinking he is a hero. THEY ARE ALL LIARS.


Posted by: Hawaii | March 28, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I just read all the comments posted here and I come away a little chagrined that discussions of polarizing subjects such as this tend to devolve into personal attacks so quickly.

I disagree with the first poster, John. But I disagree with the demeanor of several others who posted here, even if I agree with their politics.

Progressives should be enlightened, and seek to enlighten others.

By the way, three cheers for Kerry!

Posted by: Yar | March 28, 2007 11:32 PM | Report abuse

wow self-righteous liberals happy to bring down a man from an ambassadorship for having the nerve to call John Kerry what he is, a French-speaking, military-bashing liberal who's claim to fame is calling our nation's bravest murderers during the Vietnam War. I believe that while he probably served honorably since I wasn't there, I do know what he did when he came back and calling his fellow soldiers war criminals is unforgivable. As a person with family and close friends in Iraq, this hits close to home. If that offends anybody, so be it. The level of rhetoric, from both sides needs to chill. This type of polarization doesn't help anyone but self-righteous special interest groups

Posted by: luke | March 28, 2007 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm surprised you can type your thoughts with such a miniscule intellect. Good job boy, (pant, pant) wanna play fetch? I guess being a Republican IS easier than thinking. Why don't you investigate the military service records of currently elected Republicans vs. Democrats. You may notice that most Republicans aren't willing to fight for this country. That is unless you consider sacrificing our young to protect one's financial interests as "fighting". In short, the GOP and the Carlyle Group cabal (Reagan/Bush administrations) that have taken over this country are the greatest threat this country and the world has ever faced. Your boy "W" represents the worst possible thing that can happen in the U.S. political system: that a spoiled, Blue-blood trust-fund cokehead, draft-dodging dry-drunk, who has failed at every past endeavor at the expense of those around him can be "elected" as "leader" of the free world. The current endeavor is at OUR expense. GET IT?! check this:

Posted by: Jake | March 28, 2007 11:52 PM | Report abuse

If you weren't actually in the Vietnam War, how can you say or accept 1/20th of what gibberish is posted above. Stop and think before you type. Save your misguided anger for a kick boxing class or therapy for christsakes. And where did you get that anger by the way? Your parents views? Too much Fox news?!?

If you weren't there with us, stop it, be humble, and read more books.


Posted by: MG | March 28, 2007 11:58 PM | Report abuse

It befuddles me to hear about Republicans or Democrats calling each other liars and then claiming innocence for themselves.

Both parties harbor a bunch of crooks. Neither party is innocent. If you look at the way our government is run in the face of all of our countries problems is embarrassing to say the very least.

When are the voters going to come to the realization that the people that represent them in Congress aren't out to help their constituents, but only themselves.

I could care less if Fox donated $50K or $500K to the "Swifties." If the guy was capable of doing a good job and serving the interests of the people of the United States great appointment approved. If he isn't the best guy for the job vote him down.

I am waiting for someone to polarize this country and bring about some massive reforms to our government. I just hope that it will occur during my lifetime so I can appreciate it.

Posted by: Steve | March 29, 2007 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Instead of calling it Revenge in your headline, how about Comeupance? Do we not all deserve to reap what we sow? When you spread lies and deceit, does not such action deserve to be considered? Of course, I am not asking this question with regards to employees of the Bush Administration since lies and deceit are a job requirement and the most important quality for job retention and advancement.

Posted by: klg | March 29, 2007 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Please let your voice be heard.

Posted by: Doug | March 29, 2007 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Kerry is a scull and bones !!!

Posted by: jwh | March 29, 2007 8:41 AM | Report abuse

The problem for the Republican Party is that lying is addictive. You start out with little ones, proceed to tell medium-sized lies, and pretty soon you are telling whoppers with a straight face. The last stage in the addiction is when you find yourself lying repeatedly when you don't even need to. At that point, your world of lies has become your reality, and you will defend it with all your might because even a moment of honesty will give you a glimpse of what you have become. The Democrats are no saints, in fact they are often fools, but can any person not imbecile deny that this is where the Republican Party, their media machine, and a good portion of the party faithful are at right now?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 29, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Hawaii is absolutely right. All who enter politics may not be liars initially, but they discover they must be liars to win. Eventually the best lying, spinning, exagerating silver tongued devils become the leaders of any organizations that have a political nature. Most of the electorate are unable to distinguish between fact and fiction in the political arena. So in the end we are stuck with what we hope will be the lesser of the evils we must choose between. Unfortunately, we are still stuck.

Posted by: r man | March 29, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Hey, what was Fox nominated for? Ambassador to what? It would be nice if that were in the post.

Posted by: Ryan | March 29, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I think it's incredibly hypocritical for the Massachusetts Blueblood to whine about being Swift-boated when he nod and winked at the Democrat's 527 who were doing the exact same thing to President Bush.

Kerry was a terrible choice to be the nominee- a silver spooned, snobby elitist with no f'n clue about what's going on in middle America. I would have voted for John Edwards in 04 and may do so in 08 if he gets through.

If the Dems truly want to make significant headway with middle America, stop nominating candidates who do nothing more than carry water for Big Labor and trial lawyers. Give us a candidate who actually realizes how much damage the policies, that both the Democrats and Republicans have foisted on us, has caused to middle America. Rising taxes. Rising gas prices. Rising cost of living. Stagnant or lower wages.

Posted by: Swamp Pirate | March 29, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Wow indeed.
A guy using the term *French-speaking military-bashing liberal* and lecturing on the level of polarizing rhetoric all in the same paragraph.
The internets never cease to amaze.
Gosh, I hope this isn't too polarizing.

Posted by: SamBrown | March 29, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

To all who are trying to smear Kerry it is clear to me that you never served your country during war.You can't beat a crooked bunch!!I do not love Kerry but I do know what a veteran goes through.

Posted by: Granny | March 29, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I am glad to see evidence of intellect in at least a few of the posts here. Although, your little discussion regarding the two political parties, while not only ignorant, is entirely stale and useless. Here is a link which may introduce you to genuine critical thinking...that is, if you're interested: (cut and paste the entire link)

Posted by: Ludwig Von Mises | March 29, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Well three cheers for Kerry! he spend a few days in Viet Nam and nominated himself for a few medals. A win. Came back and got himself a rich wife to support him. Another win. Got dumped but, no alimony and got a rich widow to support his way of life. Third win.

We cannot spank him for those, after all he has a little scar in his rear end from his "service" in Nam...Poor baby!

Well, he is happy about Fox loosing the
nomination. His priorities have always been screwed up so...was that a consolation prize for loosing the presidency or what? Congrats!

Posted by: a morrissey | March 29, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

If Mr. Fox is not fit to serve for what he did. Then Mr. Kerry is not fit to serve for what he did as well. In Mr. Kerry's words do two wrongs make a right? Kerry had the chance to take the high road, be a true leader, but he choose to get back. Swift boat did not loose the election for Mr. Kerry. Mr. Kerry lost the election for Mr. Kerry. He has shown what is wrong with this country. NO ONE is willing to place plame were it belongs, but always trying to place it on someone ealse. Hats off to Mr. Fox for standing his ground and not kissing up. He did what he should have, he back what he did and did not blame others.

Now, why is there nothing about move on . org. ? O thats right that is the Dems doing it so its ok.

Posted by: gerard | March 29, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Gosh thanks, "Ludwig". Always amusing to be condescended to from on high by one who is only detachedly observing the "little discussion" and not realizing the irony in the fact that he is in fact participating.
Yes, "ignorant, stale, and useless" pretty much sums it up.

Posted by: SamBrown | March 29, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

The sad part is we might have been a better country if Kerry had gotten the nomination so sad so sad what have we come to don't like a person win at all cost lie, cheat, fire attorneys, start wars lie lie lie lie and more lies. so sad bring on the zoloff and i don't even take medication legal or not

Posted by: jeanise55 | March 29, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

As a vet from the vietnam war it has always amazed me that so many could set around and discuss whom deserved meadals, whom were true heros, as it was then and now, all that were willing to pick up arms, serve in harms way, be it for a short or long period of time, deserve our admiration and thanks for a job well done. The whole swift boat thing is truely politics at its worse, although I disagree with our Presidant often, on this matter I have to admit, I agree with your decision to with draw, now lets keep it up.

Posted by: Gary | March 29, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"the controversial group that ran a smear campaign questioning Kerry's Vietnam military record"?

So if someone exaggerates concerning the facts (some might say lie) and someone else questions them about it... That's called a smear campaign?

Attaching Bush on not knowing ahead of time that there were no nukes in Iraq is also a smear campaign?

Posted by: usedtothebias | March 29, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Officers getting honorably discharged do not have to undergo a hearing so why did Kerry have to have a hearing?Sounds like he was less than honorably discharged-this would mean he is not eligible for elected office-He has never explained this-WHY?

Posted by: R Amelang | March 29, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

It certainly looks that the comucrats are out and active. John-boy Kerry can say what he wants against his opponents and cry like a baby when his weaknesses are exposed. Democrats, the cowards of the country. Shame

Posted by: Bob | March 29, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

"Fox provided few answers, which only infuriated Kerry more."
In Fox's senate confirmation hearing Kerry was not infuriated. He was cool, calm, and collected. His tone was incredulous and ironic.
Mary Ann is just repeating talking points that she got from Fox news. The rightwing spin machine is just ridiculous these days.

Posted by: sonofabastard | March 29, 2007 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Democrats, the cowards of the country. Shame

Posted by: Bob | March 29, 2007 04:00 PM

Spoken like a true chickenhawk, wearing a bathrobe and posting from his mother's basement. Hilarious.

Posted by: sonofabastard | March 29, 2007 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, he is happy about Fox loosing the
nomination. His priorities have always been screwed up so...was that a consolation prize for loosing the presidency or what? Congrats!

Posted by: a morrissey | March 29, 2007 11:12 AM
Morrissey is the brightest rightwing idiot on this thread, but he really needs to loosen up.

Posted by: sonofabastard | March 29, 2007 8:38 PM | Report abuse

We can all rest easier knowing that Campaign Finance Reform has empowered our elected officials to visit revenge on those who donate to their opponents. The FEC reports are becoming a treasure trove of names of people to "get."

By the way, the correct term for what you call "Swiftboating" is "Borking".

Posted by: Bob | March 30, 2007 8:14 AM | Report abuse

By the way, the correct term for what you call "Swiftboating" is "Borking".

Posted by: Bob | March 30, 2007 08:14 AM

No Bob, these terms aren't synonymous. Borking is when you vigorously oppose someone's appointment or election for political reasons because of decisions and actions that the candidate has actually made.
Swiftboating is when you oppose someone by using false allegations and slander.
Kerry got borked when he was called a flip-flopper. Kerry got swiftboated when his opponents lied about his record.

Posted by: sonofabastard | March 30, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

I liked the comment about John Edwards, while disliking those who smeared John Kerry. It would be refreshing to have a president who came from the "little people" and seems to have still remembered the experience and cares about it. Harry Truman was just such a man.

I am happy John Kerry had the opportunity to give Fox a kick back, though as others I fear Bush will appoint him anyway during the Congressional recess. Never put anything past Bush, our worst president ever.

Posted by: Eleanor Roosevelt | March 30, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

It was not so much about Kerry's record while driving that little boat on a river, it was what he did after he came home. If one ever read his book "Winter Soldier" which he has tried to buy them all up, they will see what the man who called the Vietnam vets Baby Killers really is Now he is called the troops in Iraq the same.
He should be in jail for sedition and not in Congress.

Posted by: daveyyy | March 30, 2007 10:47 PM | Report abuse

I guest there is a God after all. I watched my hopes for a Democratic president go down the drain every time one of the Swift Boat hit men take John Kerry off his campaign stride. The Swift Boat group was a huge distraction for a presidential race against someone who was suspected of stealing the previous election that got him into the White House.

On the morning of the 2004, Bush's first stop was Ohio. Is there any mystery why Ohio became the leader in questionably states won by Bush? From Swift Boat to Ohio, this president stinks with controversy

Kerry's victory of sorts is small but it appeals to my core right and wrong value system that always wants the good guy to win.


Posted by: Joseph | March 30, 2007 11:17 PM | Report abuse

It was not so much about Kerry's record while driving that little boat on a river, it was what he did after he came home. If one ever read his book "Winter Soldier" which he has tried to buy them all up, they will see what the man who called the Vietnam vets Baby Killers really is Now he is called the troops in Iraq the same.
He should be in jail for sedition and not in Congress.

Posted by: daveyyy | March 30, 2007 10:47 PM
Daveyyy, your posts here are laugh out loud funny. Do you have any idea what the life expectancy of those guys driving those little boats in Vietnam was? It was a lot lower than snivelling, draft dodging, coke snorting, National Guard deserting, frat boys back in the states. Have you no shame? Have you no self esteem? If you did you wouldn't be making such a public spectacle of yourself

Posted by: sonofabastard | March 30, 2007 11:34 PM | Report abuse

The chickens came home to roost for Sam Fox. And I hope they will do so for all of the other "Swift Boaters" involved in that despicable 2004 presidential campaign attack of a true war hero. But it did demonstrate how devious and clever the Republicans were in turning a weakness (Bush and his AWOL National Guard duty, or lack of it) into a strength (disparaging Kerry's service in Vietnam through outright lies)! This is similar to what the Bush campaign did to John McCain in the 2000 election - raise doubts about a war hero's record and beliefs.

How in the hell they would do that is beyond belief. But this is precisely what Bush et all has been doing throughout his imperious presidency. I am the Decider and I know what is right! Law, Constitution, Congress - don't stand in my way! I am the Decider and I know what is right for the country to protect us against those foreign terrorists!

But now the landscape has changed and the Democrats are in control of Congress (just barely). But Bush and company still behave as if they do not have to be accountable to anyone. After all, I am the Decider and what I believe and say goes!

Why else would Bush et all nominate someone with Sam Fox' background who would have to come before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on which John Kerry is a memeber? It just demonstrates Bush et all's arrogance, or their stupidity.

Bush now has to justify his decisions rather than having them rubber stamped by a Republican controlled Congress. Message to Bush et all. Wake up! The Democrats are in control of Congress and they are tired and are not going to take it any more!!

Posted by: David2007 | March 31, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I have to admit it sure will be nice when a democrat wins the White House. Just imagine how PERFICT everything will be. No more investigations, no more Guantanamo, no more war, no more patriots act, no more lies (we all know that democrats never lie), no more global warming, gas will be back to under $2.00 gallon, the president will be able to fire all the U.S. Attorneys he/she wants and no one will say anything, because we all know that what ever a dem wants to do is ok, it only becomes against the law when a republican does it. Democrats are the biggest hypocrites there are!

Posted by: Celeste | April 1, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are the biggest hypocrites there are!

Posted by: Celeste | April 1, 2007 10:37 PM

Celeste, rightwingers shouldn't attempt irony. Stick to being snide or sanctimonious. That's what you do best.
If you do attempt irony you have to be consistent for the entire comment or else you spoil the effect.

Posted by: sonofabastard | April 3, 2007 12:02 AM | Report abuse

sonofa, that's pure genius

Posted by: impressed | April 4, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

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