Tea Party and Renegade Special Ops Officers Attempt to “Swiftboat” President
…A group of former special operations and C.I.A. officers started a campaign on Tuesday night accusing Mr. Obama of recklessly leaking information about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and other security matters to gain political advantage.
The new group, called the Special Operations Opsec Education Fund, using shorthand for “operational security,” describes itself as nonpartisan, but some of its leaders have been involved in Republican campaigns and Tea Party groups. …NYT
Chad Kolton, who was the spokesman for the director of national intelligence in the Bush administration and now represents the Opsec group, said that because it was classified as a 501(c)(4) educational group under tax laws, it was not required to identify its donors. He said the group had raised nearly $1 million since June and intended to run television and Internet ads, as well as show the video in swing states. …NYT
And the ties to the radical right and the Republican party are strong.
The Opsec group shares an office suite in Alexandria, Va., with a Republican consulting firm, the Trailblazer Group. Christian Ferry, a partner in the firm, said that he had sublet space to Opsec because it included “people I know,” but that Trailblazer had no role in the project.
Among the featured former members of the elite Navy special operations teams are Benjamin Smith, whose Facebook page identifies him as a model and actor who served in Iraq and later became a spokesman for the Tea Party Express and several Republican campaigns. Another former SEAL member, Scott Taylor, is the group’s president and ran unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate for Congress in Virginia in 2010. …NYT
They’re not getting away with it this time. The military are on President Obama’s side.
In a CNN interview last month, Adm. William H. McRaven of the Navy, who oversaw the raid as commander of the Joint Special Operations Command, said, “The president and his national security team — I’m not a political guy, but I will tell you as, as an interested observer in this — they were magnificent in how they handled it start to finish.”
He added: “At the end of the day, make no mistake about it, it was the president of the United States that shouldered the burden for this operation, that made the hard decisions, that was instrumental in the planning process, because I pitched every plan to him.” …NYT
The Republicans are getting their knickers in a twist. What is this horrible attitude the Democrats are showing? Well, the Dems are turning back on Romney campaigners the very same treatment the Republican party doled out in ’04 and ’08 — the very same treatment Romney’s campaign used on rivals during the primaries. Ouch, Mittsi! Stings, doesn’t it!
Yes, it’s ugly out there. But is this worse than four years ago, when Obama was accused by the GOP vice presidential nominee of “palling around with terrorists”? Or eight years ago, when Democratic nominee John Kerry was accused of falsifying his Vietnam War record?
What’s different this time is that the Democrats are employing the same harsh tactics that have been used against them for so long, with so much success. They have ceased their traditional response of assuming the fetal position when attacked, and Obama’s campaign is giving as good as it gets — and then some. ...Dana Milbank, WaPo
Milbank quotes Dan Balz, a veteran political reporter, also of the Washington Post. Balz says that the “most striking” element of the campaign is “the sense that all restraints are gone, the guardrails have disappeared and there is no incentive for anyone to hold back.”
In large part, this is because the Democrats are no longer simply whining about the other side being reckless and unfair: They are being reckless and unfair themselves. …Dana Milbank. WaPo
I’m not so sure they’re being “unfair.” After all, turnabout is fair play. The Republicans’ complaints are precisely the complaints that schoolyard bullies make when someone finally hits them back. “Not fair”? No way. Finally justice is being meted out.
It’s true that Romney is in a weak position to be complaining that the other side has been mean and nasty. He won the nomination by eviscerating his rivals with negative ads and accusations, and an ad his team aired last week that falsely claimed Obama was gutting welfare-to-work requirements injected racial politics into the campaign.
Also, many of the things Romney complains about are not unusual. Asked Wednesday morning by CBS News to explain why he thinks Obama has brought hatred into the campaign, Romney mentioned “the divisiveness based upon income, age, ethnicity and so forth. It’s designed to bring a sense of enmity and jealousy and anger.” But that’s standard fare for a presidential campaign. …Dana Milbank, WaPo
There’s every sign that Democrats are going to continue giving as good as they’ve been getting.