Not-so-swift boats

Not-so-swift boats

: Glenn Reynolds once accused me of getting obsessed on the FCC vs. Howard Stern and the First Amendment. I disagree but fine, he saw that as a friendly intervention.

In that same spirit, I’d say that Glenn is going overboard — pun a fringe benefit — on the Kerry swift boat/Cambodia hooha.

I tried to do a search on what Glenn had to say about the Bush National Guard hooha; couldn’t get it right; but I’ll bet Glenn didn’t go so glub-glub deep into the attempted Bush scandal as he is going into the attempted Kerry scandal.

And in any case, I don’t think either is a big issue or should be a big issue in this campaign for either side. I don’t think this is a productive fountain of blather. I think it is symptomatic of picking presidents by gotchas and personality rather than issues and stands, which is the dumb and dangerous way to pick presidents. I fear it feeds an atmosphere of gotchas and presidential hatred (about which I’ve written much; see the links in this graph).

In a post Glenn belittled yesterday, Matt Welch said it well:

What I don’t understand is how anyone professes to truly give a flip about what John Kerry and George Bush did 32 or 36 years ago. On Friday, I was given a talking-to by a right-of-center friend (who told me, helpfully, that “even though you’re a liberal we still like you”) about Why I Should Care About the Swift Boaters, and last night a left-of-the-dial pal wanted to get me excited about Bush’s National Guard service