Jeff Emanuel

Anti-war Leftists take careful aim, shoot selves in the foot once again. It’s no secret that the Democrats and the rest of the anti-war Left are still upset over the "swiftboating" of their Presidential nominee in 2004. Heck, they’re not over the 500 votes and hanging chads in Florida yet, so it would be pretty foolish to expect them to get over a bigger loss four years later – especially when such a large part of it (in their minds) stemmed from some squeaky-wheel veterans who just wouldn’t shut up and let their Vietnam veteran candidate continue to portray himself as a military hero.

As the Iraq war (and the debate surrounding it) has raged on in the years since, the Left has been trying harder and harder to claim the moral high ground with regard to the treatment and use of US troops, both by championing the few it can find who oppose the War on Terror, and by attempting to marginalize those who dare speak out against them.

A major problem with this strategy, though, comes from the overall ignorance on the part of the anti-war, anti-military Left to nearly any aspect of military or veterans’ affairs. From championing the likes of John Murtha (D-PA) as a paragon of patriotism and as an idolized military hero, to ignoring those real heroes whose politics don’t quite line up with the Democratic party line, the Left suffers from a fundamental lack of subject matter understanding, which, combined with the employment of the usual ham-handed tactics, often cause the Left’s continuous attempts to re-frame the debate surrounding America’s national security, the War on Terror, and respect for US troops to result simply in further setbacks to their cause.

The L.A. Times recently provided an excellent example of the Leftist tendency to load up their assault rifle, take careful aim at the right, and then deposit round after round in their own foot.

Last week, Times columnist Rosa Brooks, in a fit of continued rage over the use of John Kerry’s own words and actions to sink his presidential bid (i.e., the right’s "swiftboating" of him and his candidacy), lashed out at a panel which had appeared at CPAC to discuss "The Left's Repeated Campaign Against the American Soldier." Her invective included calling panel participants "key" members of "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the right-wing goon squad whose defamatory insinuations helped sink John Kerry's presidential campaign."

Her column, entitled "The Lunatic Right Returns," continued:

What's depressing about the reemergence of the Swifties, though, is that it's symbolic of the increasing takeover of the "conservative" movement by unprincipled, right-wing extremists.

Jeff Emanuel

Jeff Emanuel, a Special Operations military veteran, is a Leadership fellow with the Center for International Trade and Security at the University of Georgia, where he also studies Classics. In addition, he is a contributing editor for conservative web log, and is a columnist for the Athens, GA Banner-Herald newspaper.

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