I've been reading some interesting reports that J. F. Kerry has decided to engage the folks at Daily Kos (the lack of a link is entirely intentional). Here is one such report; Cassandra has another, at her quietly-reopened blog. I'm rather amused that Kos said that Kerry should be taken out and shot; but apparently the Senator is a forgiving sort (as long as you aren't a Secret Service agent who "caused" him to trip).

But look especially at Greyhawk's writeup. The founder of the MilBlog Ring can't help but notice this little exchange between one of the Kos commenters and Mr. Kerry:

Commenter: Liberals shouldn't pretend to be in favour of the military (as a concept most liberals are instinctively against it) when we aren't. The military are 'special cirucmstances' - men who must do a dirty job when all other opportunities and options are exhausted. They aren't men to be lionised and put on a pedestal - they're like toilet cleaners: it's a dirty job, but someone's gotta do it. There's nothing brave or noble about it - it's a dirty, degrading, inhuman affair, but one which is occasionally necessary.

Kerry: As you can imagine, it's difficult to respond to each of you individually, but Teresa and I were impressed with your thoughtfulness, your honesty, and your dedication.
I don't know. I might have taken some time out to respond to that one individually, if I ever wanted to be taken seriously as a candidate for a national office. I'm not sure anyone outside of the Kos kids does take him seriously, though; even the despicable attack emails have essentially stopped mentioning him. The lastest "Democrats are pro-terrorist" urban-legend email to drop in my box had apparently reverted to bashing Gore, whereas it had been an anti-Kerry email in 2004. (This one, if you're curious.)

I really hate these things, by the way -- regardless of whom they target. They're designed to plant a big lie in your mind ("Candidate X is a child molestor"). Even if the lie is patently untrue, and in fact proven to be untrue, once you've forgotten the charge and the response you'll remember that you once heard something awful about the guy. It's a poisonous kind of discourse, and if you ever get one of these things, I hope you'll take a moment to research the truth about it rather than passing it on.

John Kerry, of course, claims to have been a victim of such a campaign all along -- or rather, a whole lot of them, including the "Swift Boat Veterans" campaign, the AuthentiSEAL team, the Stolen Valor movie, the authors of Unfit for Command, and others. That's an argument not worth having again, except to reassert that I actually know one of the AutheniSEAL team (Steve Robinson, mentioned on the page), and trust his honesty entirely. The charges they raised, I have every cause to believe they actually believe to be true. Since Kerry has still not released his full military records to the public as he's promised, I see no reason to take his word over my friend's beliefs at the end of his investigation.

In fairness to the Senator, however, Snopes considers him clear of the fake-medals charge. Actually, they have a whole page for Kerry, most of which claims are rated false by Snopes. My own sense is based on a personal friendship, and high regard for the honor of that friend. I see no reason why my regard for Steve Robinson should be persuasive to anyone else, but for what it is worth, there it is.

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