This just strikes me as a stupid idea, and one that will fail quite miserably, and rightly so:
Led by Tom Matzzie, a liberal political operative who has been involved with some prominent left-wing efforts in recent years, the newly formed nonprofit group, Accountable America, is planning to confront donors to conservative groups, hoping to create a chilling effect that will dry up contributions.
“We want to stop the Swift Boating before it gets off the ground,” said Mr. Matzzie, who described his effort as “going for the jugular.”
The warning letter is intended as a first step, alerting donors who might be considering giving to right-wing groups to a variety of potential dangers, including legal trouble, public exposure and watchdog groups digging through their lives.
A couple of quick thoughts. First, the notion that they way to fight swiftboat attacks is to, well, swiftboat the swiftboaters, strikes me as the sort of illogic the right wing has labored under for the past few years- the best way to fight the immoral and and evil behavior of terrorists is to… torture and indefinitely detain while bombing indiscriminately. You can see shades of this idiocy still today, as wingers yesterday lamented that the Hamdan sentence showed we are not “tough enough” to win the war on terror and that they are laughing at us because we are so soft. In short, the best way to stop behaviors you do not like are not to emulate and legitimize those behaviors.
Second, the real problem with the swiftboaters is not the swiftboaters themselves, but the fact that in this one case, the media gave them a whole ton of attention. There are plethora of books, websites and e-zines out there right now saying all sorts of horrible stuff about John McCain, much of it along the lines of the kind of crap that was spewed about Kerry. I am not going to link the jackasses (and don’t put that crap in the comments of this post, please), but you can do your own web search including the words John + McCain + canary and get a quick idea of the stuff out there. The difference is that the media is paying no attention- and that is the crucial difference.
Third, I just generally find threats like this distasteful, and right now the Democratic party needs as many folks like me in their wing as possible. I am not a Democrat because I am some sort of crazy liberal who believes in all sorts of left-wing causes. I am a Democrat because in a two-party system, when one party is abso-damn-lutely corrupt, immoral, incompetent, and, well, evil, you have to do what you can to support the other party. Long story short- there are a lot of folks like me out there who are enthusiastically supporting lots of left-wing candidates as a way to return some balance and order to the system, but who are not going to take kindly to the Democratic party embracing the worst aspects of the right-wing. This sort of nonsense just doesn’t strike me as right, even if you think your cause is just.
And finally, I just hate bullying, and that is what this smacks of to me. Give to the cause we don’t approve of or that says things we don’t like, and we smear your name all over the internet and give you a counter-top inspection. Sound familiar?
No money for these guys from me.