Ed Driscoll

The Swiftian Clich

One last item in Posner’s otherwise interesting essay begs questioning, but I figured I’d break it off into a separate post, as its not really germaine to his main points about the Blogosphere. At least twice, he refers to the Swift Boat vets, at one point writing, “Conservatives were unembarrassed by the errors of the Swift Boat veterans”.

I wonder if the New York Times’ editors inserted that line, as it’s become a cliche on the left. But which errors are Posner referring to? He doesn’t say. You can argue back and forth about Kerry’s Purple Hearts until you’re purple in the face yourself, but the core element of the Swift vets anger was with the infamous “Winter Soldier” speech that Kerry delivered to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on April 22nd, 1971, while he was still in the US Naval Reserves. Unless you want to go into fullblown Foucault-style postmodern dissembling, it’s tough to argue with a speech that’s been in the Senate records–including audio tape–for almost 35 years.

And then there’s Kerry’s “Christmas in Cambodia” invention–which is also in the Senate records, and also thanks to Kerry himself.