The Obama administration is making another ill-advised political calculation by using a pejorative term to describe soldiers who served with Bowe Bergdahl and insist he was a deserter. Speaking on background, several White House aids told MSNBC lapdog / White House ventriloquist dummy Chuck Todd that Bergdahl is being “swiftboated” by his former soldiers.
For starters, the term “swiftboating” is defined as:
American political jargon that is used as a strong pejorative description of some kind of attack that the speaker considers unfair or untrue—for example, an ad hominem attack or a smear campaign.
There you have it. The White House is accusing a deserter’s fellow soldiers of being engaged in a smear campaign against Bergdahl. So, according to Todd’s White House sources, these soldiers aren’t just liars but they’re smear merchants who are bearing false witness against one of their own.
In reality, it comes down to the White House smearing these soldiers while simultaneously defending a deserter.
The term “swift-boating” came to be in the 2004 Presidential campaign when John Kerry the object of claims by fellow soldiers who painted him as a fraud. If Bergdahl is indeed a deserter, then he is not being swift-boated at all (based on the definition). In this sense, Kerry should object to the term being used in the case of Bergdahl because it lends credibility to the charges of the veterans Kerry served with.
In either case, on Monday, Kerry’s State Department insisted that Bergdahl wasn’t a deserter. On Tuesday, it asserted that soldiers who served with him and said he was a deserter are lying. When that didn’t go over well, White House aids doubled down again and appear to have sent up a trial balloon through Chuck Todd, that honorable soldiers are swift-boating a deserter.
The irony that Kerry is involved in the origin of the term “swift-boating” shouldn’t be lost on anyone.
Just when you thought the White House couldn’t reach a new low in this scandal, they do: