Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Not Too Swift

The chorus of fauxrage about what Gen. Wesley Clark said about John McCain continues, including the charge that the Obama campaign, through Gen. Clark, is swiftboating Sen. McCain.

Swiftboating has come to mean making up shit about someone’s service record and putting it out there as fact. In other words, lying. But in all this hoo-ha, I have yet to hear anyone state that what Gen. Clark said is a lie. As Ezra Klein points out, even John McCain will tell you that what Gen. Clark said is true:

[T]here’s nothing to reject in Clark’s remarks. He not only failed to say anything untrue, he didn’t even say anything controversial. John McCain would be the first to tell you that getting shot down doesn’t prepare you for the presidency. When folks ask him about his war heroism, he’s even got a stock reply: “It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to get shot down,” he laughs. But it does take a lot of effort to constantly remind the media and the voters that you’re a WAR HERO.

And that’s all that really matters, isn’t it? Being a war hero makes you untouchable… as long as you’re a Republican.

This goes back to one of my axioms about media outrage. The bigger the deal the Orcosphere makes out of something like this, the less important it really is. All it does is provide them with a handy distraction so they can talk about the story itself rather than the inconvenient truth behind it.