Swift Boat Vets -- Sooo Five Minutes Ago:
'Scuse us, but are we done here? Are we finished? Can we move this thing along? It was a nice distraction, a little turn off the main highway and all, but, really, and c'mon, isn't it time we got back on the map?

Let's see where we stand here:
Benjamin Ginsberg, who sports a head so shiny that small planets revolve around it, an attorney for Bush, resigned from the campaign because he was also "advising" the Swift Boat Vets for "Truth." On CNN this morning, Ginsberg brought it home, using every chance he had to say how fucking wonderful George Bush and "his" agenda are, taking the President's cock out of his mouth only to praise the "decorated veterans" who he represents.

John O'Neill, one of the authors of Unfit to Command, the bestseller devoted to the monomaniacal rantings of the Swift Boat vets, claimed he was never in Cambodia and that Kerry had to be lying because the border couldn't be crossed by the river, was caught on tape telling Richard Nixon, "I was in Cambodia." And, in what surely must be one of the great "hominah, homninah" moments, Alan Colmes, on Fox "News," revealing a heretofore unseen spine, drilled O'Neill with his own words, with O'Neill trying to deny he had said what, well, he had said.

And then there's the bizarre, seemingly self-destructive behavior of the Swift Boat Vets. There's the Oregon prosecutor, Alfred French, who may have committed ethics violations for signing an affidavit stating that he witnessed events involving Kerry that he had, in fact, only heard about. There's Larry Thurlow, the Swift Boat Vet who, in essence, says his own Bronze Star must be based on a lie because it's the same report that says the boats came under fire.

All that and not a single contemporaneous document that proves anything but the official reports on Kerry's service record. Why are we wasting time here?

It's simple. It's the Republican modus operandi. Find some nutcase or nutcases screaming on the corner. Clean 'em up and make 'em presentable. Give 'em a ton of money and exposure (it helps if your movement owns a well-financed "publishing" house that's one notch above a vanity press). And let your attack nutzoids in the media do the rest. It's the same reason that Paula Jones received any notice whatsoever. It's the same reason that anyone even thought twice that Vince Foster might have been murdered. If the Rude Pundit had the money, he could finance a book and tour for someone like Robin Lowman, who, it has been claimed, was forced to have an illegal abortion by George W. Bush in 1971. See? Isn't this game fun? Doesn't it help us progress as a society? Doncha love talkin' about the issues?

The Swift Boat Vets are a group of sad, deluded old men, deserving of pity as surely as they are deserving of contempt. Instead of getting the help they so critically need, they have been exploited by the supporters of the President (and, now, the President himself). Their madness has become mainstream; their mass hysteria allowed to spread. Can we call it done now? Can the Vets go back to simmering in their paneled dens, calling each other in the desperate dark of night, whispering in whiskey hushes about how they and only they know the truth?