Election 2012

The Swift-Boating of President Obama

I have a feeling we'll be talking a lot about these guys.

A secretive right-wing group, Veterans For A Strong America, is attempting to do to President Obama what the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth did to Sen. John Kerry in 2004. And they aren’t shy about it. The group’s leader and sole employee, Joel Arends, told Mother Jones, “Yes, it’s the swift boating of the president.”

Arends said his goal is to take “what’s perceived to be [Obama's] greatest strength” — the successful raid on Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistani compound — and make it “his greatest weakness.” The effort started this week with a web video attacking Obama for taking too much credit.

ThinkProgress compiled a list of their actions so far. It's worth reading in preparation for what's to come.

Here's their first video in case you missed it. And beware -- it's infuriating to watch.

Now, we could sit here and talk about what Bush 41, Bush 43 and Reagan did in the past, but it doesn't matter with these people. The best counterattack is to simply restate the facts in the boldest and most concise way: the president ordered his team to hunt down Bin Laden, and they got him. The previous president didn't.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Barbara-Stroud-Cross/100001629402722 Barbara Stroud Cross

    I thought that video was amusing. Why does Joel Arends think people are dumb. As I said before, please don’t underestimate President Obama. Swift boating??? Don’t you have anything else to do? In fact, you are making our vets look bad. Go home with your one-man show.

  • villemar

    Herp derp…The Military Chain of Command is clearly deliniated in the United States Constitution…anyone who is not severely retarded or a deliberately lying Chickenhawk troop-hating coward knows this. Navy Seals aren’t a fucking freelance improvisational troupe. Assholes.

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    I see that Arianna got her two cents worth in. Complete and utter money-mongering bitch.

    EDIT: Aside from that, I think their position is extremely weak. Unless they manage to get actual Navy Seals involved, which it appears they’re attempting to do, it should remain weak.

    • i_a_c

      Conservative news outlets are already running quotes from SEALs who are criticizing the president. It’s coming.

      • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

        I’m not surprised.

      • muselet

        No doubt, but I’m guessing most of those quotes are or will be anonymous because they’re afraid they’ll be court-martialed for daring to speak out against the IslamoKenyan usurper guy, or some such hooey. In other words, they got nothing (or nearly so).


        • i_a_c

          Of course, the men and women in the military do not share an ideology; they are Democrats and Republicans and Independents. So it’s not a surprise that AFP et al. are able to find (former) SEALs that are also Republicans. We’ll see if Americans fall for this trick.

          • muselet

            I agree with regards to SEALs and political ideology, and I didn’t mean to imply otherwise. I meant to imply that those quotes would be coming mostly from political operatives (I should have used quotes around anonymous to be clearer).

            I don’t think there are going to be a huge number of ex-SEALs lining up to do anti-Obama political ads, and those who do line up will be mostly middle-aged white guys long retired from the service. I don’t think they’re going to make for very compelling ads, but what do I know? I didn’t think the Swiftboat ads were compelling, either.


          • Brutlyhonest

            I live here in east wingnuttistan, home to the east coast seal teams (and many more military and contractors. A majority of the economy of this shithole depends on federal spending, yet they hates them some big gubmint.

            Last week during the dead bin laden anniversary coverage, there were plenty of “former seals”, and not all old, crawling out of the woodwork to whine about him cheapening their efforts.

            A year ago, right after teh event, they were whining about him placing their families at risk for admitting ST6 did the raid.

            And while it’s true not all military are of the same mind, over my 27 years people became more and more openly right wing and religious. Yes, the two are related. Those of us who were moderate had to pretty much shut the fuck up most of the time. It was almost like hiding your sexual orientation.

      • stacib23

        I saw that last week, but none of the SEALs quoted were from Seal Team Six. All were past their careers in active service.

        • i_a_c

          Right, but the message will be “SEALs hate how the president is doing such and such,” not necessarily that any of them were part of the team that killed bin Laden.

  • Lazarus Durden

    Funny thing do they really think this can win? They are trying everything from the ’08 playbook and none of it worked then.

    Inexperienced? Yeah It’s not like he’s had a term as President or anything.

    Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright? LOL really? That again?

    Weak on foreign policy? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WbCWG7GquiA

    Reality refutes every talking point the Right puts out. The sad fact is they just don’t care. They just keep on spouting it hoping, praying people will believe them.

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in this country who are A)ignorant B)pay no attention to politics until the television ads start rolling.

      The reality of those people, if they’re Republicans, is whatever Fox News and party television ads tell them it is.

  • rikyrah

    someone at another blog noticed this:

    Veterans For A Strong America.
    P.O. Box 1246
    Sioux Falls, SD 57101-1246.

    Americans for Prosperity.
    PO BOX 1246.
    SIOUX FALLS, SD 57101-124

    interesting isn’t it?

    • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

      Even more interesting because AFP/Koch brothers have been the big attackers recently.


      Adding….Arends, the director of VASA, worked as a consultant for Americans for Prosperity.

  • Victor_the_Crab

    Obama and his campaign team will be ready to counter attack these lying scumbags. What do the Republicans have to offer? The same Bush tax cuts shit and endless wars that nearly drove the country off the cliff?

  • i_a_c

    Special thanks go to Arianna Huffington for providing that pro-Romney soundbite for the swift-boaters.

    Edit: In case the sarcasm was too subtle, by “special thanks” I mean “fuck you.”

    • Lazarus Durden

      It’s been pretty clear that Arianna hates Obama. HP runs the most negative articles on the administration all the time. Bob, Chris Weigant, Robert Creamer are the only people I read on HP except for the occasional article that catches my attention.

  • Lazarus Durden

    Joe Biden: “When anybody asks you about us… Today bin Laden is dead, and GM is alive.” That about sums it up.

    • Victor_the_Crab


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TLHIXVS2CHDJNWYPZJIZ5NNZ3A Robert

    Better explanation: “The president ordered his team to hunt down Bin Laden, and they got him. The previous president didn’t. The guy running against him said he wouldn’t.”

  • drsquid

    Oh please. Swift boaters took away Kerry’s greatest strength by casting doubt on its existence. This clownshoe’s argument seems to be, “Yeah, but he’s rude about it.” Reeeeeally persuasive, that argument.

    • GrafZeppelin127

      One wonders sometimes whether Republicans and their allies are actually trying to “persuade” undecided voters, or are just trying to “persuade” those who are already in the fold to stay there. In other words, is this an attempt at persuasion, or validation?

      • http://twitter.com/scifritz scifritz

        Yeah, it is more like ads by Coca-Cola and Miller…not really to attract new customers, just keep the old ones knowing they are still there and to keep buying it…Remember “We are the ‘Real Thing'” and “We ‘taste great'”!

        • GrafZeppelin127

          I don’t know about that. I think most product ads are designed to attract new customers, and the claims they make typically are substantially less ridiculous than those we see and hear in political ads, but there are laws against false advertising when it comes to products. For some reason, false advertising doesn’t seem to apply to political ads. A commercial for a product can puff up its subjective quality but it can’t flat-out lie or make a ridiculous claim about the product that couldn’t possibly be true. They can claim that Coca-Cola or Miller “tastes great” but they can’t claim that it will cure cancer or get you laid. Political ads can make claims like that.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Everything the Republicans and their allies put out these days is “infuriating to watch.”

  • trgahan

    So how many anti-Obama “grass roots” groups consisting of one angry white guy with a surprising amount of monetary backing does this make?

    • drsquid

      That depends. How many cops are dead because of various “one angry guy with a gun” terrorist groups out there?

  • Randy Debler

    If George “I really don’t spend much time on him” Bush had cared enough to order the killing or capture of Osama, The Republicans would be carving his face into Mount Rushmore and repealing the 22nd Amendment so he could be President indefinitely.