Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman is a dream witness. All of the legal commentators have been cooing over him. As the first witness to have first-hand knowledge of the Trump-Zelensky phone call, he’s one of the most important figures to emerge in the impeachment inquiry. Vindman is now one of the leading figures in what Jonathan Alter has called the “patriotic surge” of national security professionals testifying against Trump.
One side’s dream witness is the other side’s nightmare. You’ve heard about the smears so I won’t repeat them here. Suffice it to say pro-Trump pundits and media outlets have launched a xenophobic, bigoted, mendacious, and moronic assault on Vindman. They’re like monkeys throwing shit against the wall, hoping that some of it will stick. It’s what they do. They’ve been doing it for a long time.
The MSM has presented as heroes the few GOPers who have expressed qualms about the attacks on a decorated military man. I call bullshit. Do I need to remind people about Liz Cheney’s deranged daddy? You know, the guy who sounded sane because he spoke in a monotone but was a batshit crazy chickenhawk who benefited from smears against those who served. Dick Cheney supported the Vietnam War but didn’t serve because he had “other priorities.” John Kerry opposed the war but served anyway.
In addition to calling bullshit on elected GOPers who were shocked, shocked by the Vindman smear, Charlie Pierce took on the Never Trumpers:
Where, for example, were the Never Trump concerns about slandering war heroes in 2002, when wounded veteran Max Cleland was slandered as a terrorist sympathizer by Republicans in support of Saxby Chambliss—a campaign, it should be noted, advised by current Never Trump hero Rick Wilson? (It was so bad that Republican senator Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam veteran himself, threatened to come to Georgia and campaign for Cleland if the Chambliss campaign didn’t knock it off.) Where were they when the Swift Boats sailed in 2004? Where were they in New York at the 2004 Republican National Convention? Did they upbraid the people with the Purple Heart Band-Aids? Did they say squat about slandering that decorated war hero in the years between John Kerry’s defeat and Donald Trump’s victory? If they did, I didn’t hear it.
The sainted Rick Wilson? The guy who presumes to give advice to Democrats on how to do politics? Wilson *is* funny but anyone who was involved with the disgusting smear of Max Cleland should be shunned unless and until they issue a grovelling apology, which Wilson thus far hasn’t done.
Thanks to Charlie for pointing out Wilson’s role in the 2002 Georgia Senate race. I did not know Wilson was one of the monkeys throwing shit in that race. Remember that the next time you see him opining on MSNBC.
Wilson claims the Cleland smears weren’t about his “service but his votes.” You be the judge:
I think calling someone unpatriotic *is* an attack on their service, especially when one candidate was a disabled veteran and the other a Republican chickenhawk.
Lee Atwater apologized for his smear laden career. Why can’t Rick Wilson?