Sunday, August 08, 2004

Things that make me go Hmmm...

I have been Dan Gilmartin's friend for the last 25 years. He's a Democrat, I'm... well, I guess that I'm a Republican these days. But since I passed around that Drudge article about the SwiftBoat guys I am afraid that I've finally pushed his buttons one time too many. I hope not. But I don't mind saying that it concerns me to realize that the "silly season" of a political campaign might actually become a genuine source of divison.

Come on guys. I'd like to think that we can disagree without being disagreeable. The first rule of discourse must be civility. But before that, we all have to agree of several things. Fair play, honesty, common goals. If we settle for civility and not require honesty then there is no meaningful debate. We are left with the application of force. That's not healthy. At least, not for me.

If these folks at FastBoatersForTruth or whatever they are called aren't actually living up to their names then they should be deposed and have to face the consequences. And by the same token if any candidate of POTUS is found to have committed anything that is less than honorable, then he should face the same music. There are laws against slander and libel. Let's get the parties into an arena where they have to tell the truth or deal with a visit to a grand jury and see who blinks first.

What I am for sure is... I'm sick and tired of the "business as usual" bullshit that our selection processes have become. I'm sick and tired of having to sift the lies and the sickness that degrades the whole process and makes my kid believe that our political institutions have become something that she doesn't want to dirty her hands with.

Here's the e-mail exchange of 8/8/2004:

Dan -

Hopefully I'm not singing in anyone's choir. With my voice that would probably be seen as cruelty to churchmen. But I will admit that the SwiftBoat guys have definitely got my attention.

One of the things that I certainly do believe in is the rule of law. If there is "truth" available from these guys then I say that it might be a good idea to get some of them under oath and see if they are willing to bring these charges with someone willing to pursue perjury charges. Of course, that libel and slander accusation and the threat of litigation is a sword that cuts both ways. Why not put the opposing spin masters under oath and see which one lands in Raiford? For me, I wouldn't mind stifling some free speech if I could lower the threshold of vicious lying and hate speech a bit. I've got a feeling that a little chill in the air during this silly season would be a welcome change. Like I said, this may be serious stuff. I'm especially concerned about the implication that the "war hero" stuff could be so easily manufactured. Is it really possible to shovel this kind of crap? I thought not, but then I have been accused of being naive in the past.

My Kathryn (hopefully not yours) is so disgusted with the whole process that she is threatening to chuck it all and move to the Sudan. Unlikely, but I agree with her distaste.

In the meanwhile, lets both please agree to be friends no matter what. Truth is that the guy I really want back in office is Lawton Chiles. Who gave him permission to die anyhow?

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dan Gilmartin" <>
To: "Bob Baird" <>
Sent: Saturday, August 07, 2004 8:57 AM
Subject: Swifties tell the TRUTH ??? Please!!
> Bob:> Saw some of your 'Drudge' attack stuff on> Kerry.> I think you might want to check out the following> site before singing with the RNC choir -- in> newsroom terms, you don't have the story.> McCain has denounced this and has asked Prez> Skippy to renounce this Swift Boats for Truth> group -- but Bush won't do that -- all you have> to do is look at what Rove and him did to McCain> in the 2000 South Carolina primary. Nasty stuff> and nothing to do with the truth. Not that I'm> shocked -- you also might want to see the book> "Worse Than Watergate" by John Dean. I think the> former President's First Weasel got it right. > ...Danno> >> >

If I have to lose my oldest friends over this crap then I may join Kathryn and move to Sudan. Well, maybe not, but Costa Rica sounds pretty nice according to the Acidman.