There’s quite a bit of wingnut pearl-clutching over Wes Clark’s rather mild comment over the weekend about McSame’s military service. In their two minutes of hate, they seem to have conveniently forgotten what Karl Rove did to McSame in 2000 to get The Great Leader elected.
… Bush surrogates (several later involved in the Kerry swiftboating effort) skillfully turned McCain’s service record against him (thereby deflecting questions about Bush’s own service record.) They planted stories that the torture McCain suffered as a POW had brought about mental instability, including rumors that he had been programmed as a "Manchurian candidate" who "collaborated with the enemy." No longer could McCain use the fact that he had endured torture as evidence of dedication to serving his country.
In the 2000 South Carolina Presidential primary Bush surrogates circulated stories that McCain’s five years as a POW had made him "mentally unstable," gave him a "loose screw," that he "committed treason while a POW" and "came home and forgot us."
And McSame blamed Bush for this crap — personally:
In a barely controlled debate that revealed the depth of their mutual anger, Gov. George W. Bush and Senator John McCain lashed into each other’s negative campaign tactics tonight, with Mr. McCain lecturing Mr. Bush that he ”should be ashamed” that a surrogate had accused Mr. McCain of abandoning veterans.
Mr. Bush refused Mr. McCain’s demand that he apologize, instead insisting that Mr. McCain stop impugning his integrity. In seething, indignant accusations, each man tried to portray himself as the victim of gutter politics, with Mr. McCain saying he had been called everything but a fascist.
”You’re putting out stuff that is unbelievable, George, and it’s got to stop,” he said. ”And your ads have got to stop.”
So to recap. Peddling vicious and false smears about McSame (and John Kerry, for that matter) is perfectly fine if you’re Karl Rove and George W. Bush. Raising a question about McSame’s qualifications, while effusively praising him as a "hero"? Totally out of bounds if you’re Wes Clark.