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Kerry Grills Bush Nominee Over Swift Boat Liars Connection

by Pamela Leavey

On Tuesday, as Todd noted here in an earlier post, John Kerry “grilled Bush nominee for the ambassadorship to Belgium, Sam Fox about why he donated $50,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth during the 2004 presidential race.”

The SBVT group, as we all know so well, “made unsubstantiated allegations against Kerry — then the Democratic presidential nominee — and charged that Kerry did not deserve the medals he won in the Vietnam War.”

Might I ask you what your opinion is with respect to the state of American politics as regards the politics of personal destruction?” Kerry asked near the end of the hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Fox, one of the nation’s most generous contributors to Republican candidates and causes, said he shared Kerry’s concerns that politics “has become mean and destructive.”

Fox said he didn’t recall who asked him to give to the group and blamed partisans on both sides for contributing to so-called 527 groups that are not subject to conventional campaign finance rules.

“So is that your judgment that you would bring to the ambassadorship, that two wrongs make a right?” Kerry asked.

“I did it because politically it’s necessary if the other side’s doing it,” Fox said.

I guess that says it all doesn’t it? Fox donated to the SBVT because “politically it’s necessary” — necessary for him to land a plumb ambassadorship with no experience and no qualifications. Or maybe, as Kerry asked, because Fox felt that “two wrongs make a right?” Regardless, cornered, Fox said to Kerry, “Senator, you’re a hero,” adding that no 527 group “can take that away from you.” Damn right Kerry’s a hero Mr. Fox. What part of that didn’t you get in ’04? Were you too busy kissing up for your ambassadorship?

Kerry said Fox’s donations to the SBVT after they had been debunked, “raised questions about Fox’s fitness to serve as an ambassador.”

Barack Obama, a presidential hopeful and chairman of Tuesday’s hearing, weighed in and said that he “found Fox’s responses ‘unsatisfying,'” and noted that he “would have preferred if Fox admitted it was a mistake to contribute to the Swift Boat group.”

Over on the other side of the blogosphere, wing-nuts are predictably crying foul over Kerry raking Fox over the coals. They seem to be a little peeved that the media is not as willing to do their dirty work any more when it comes to spreading lies about John Kerry. Some folks wouldn’t know an ass-kicking if they tripped over it and they’d rather perpetuate their own twisted fantasies instead. One “reasonable conservative” asks Sam Fox, “Can You Spare $50,000?

Mary Ann Ackers noted on her WaPo blog that “Kerry remained conspicuously — almost incredibly — calm, explaining his demeanor at one point to the audience in this way: “Sometimes you go to these hearings and senators rant and rave and scream and I’m not a screamer.” Thus proving the point that you don’t have to be a screamer to wipe the floor with a dirty Fox.

Watch the video of Kerry grilling Fox here. (Hat tip to C&L)

RELATED POST: Kerry Lets Loose

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