So far, the usual right-wing tactics such as voter suppression, wrapping themselves in the flag, discussing tax cuts, or attacking unemployment or the economy have bombed spectacularly, with the Republicans now in danger of losing control of Congress this election year. Now comes the 2004 hail-mary pass, with a new organization, the awkwardly named Special Operations Opsec Education Fund, Inc planning on engaging in a Swiftboating attack on the President over the death of Osama Bin Laden. Already the group has released a 22-minute attack video, seen below:
While the group claims on its website that it is operating only to educate and to fight against what they call “the politicization of intelligence and special forces operations”, and are “not affiliated with any political efforts”, the group has clear ties to other Republican groups. The group’s spokesperson, Chad Kolton, was the spokesperson for the Center of National Intelligence under the Bush administration, working directly under directors John Negroponte and John Michael McDonnell. Other people involved with the organization include Scott Taylor, former Republican candidate for Congress in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional district, and Paul Vallely, former US Army Major General who has belonged to many other Republican front organizations such as “Veteran Defenders of America,” “Center for Security Policy,” the “Jerusalem Summit” organization and the “Stand up America US” organization. Claims of non-partisanship ring hollow when the same people from the same side of the fence are continually brought out and paraded around before the camera.
And the American people are no longer buying it.
Instead of taking the Democrats by surprise, as the Swift Boat group did in 2004, this time the group found itself confronted almost immediately by counter-information, debunking it even before it hit the air by both Democratically aligned and independent groups. Even the apartisan website Snopes has debunked some of the source claims which the group is now using to push their attack.
The Republicans continue to stick to the echos of the past, unable to understand that the world they are in is dramatically different from the one they have ever dealt with before. The light-speed access of information is destroying their attempts to lie and distort even before it has been fully implemented. Voter suppression techniques are now being spread through the social media circles thwarting their attempts months before the elections. And all the money in the world cannot spread through the blogosphere as fast as a current internet meme can.
This new attack only shows how desperate the Republicans are. With the new polls showing ever more of their base as fleeing to the Libertarian and Constitution parties than ever before, and the revolt of the GOP delegates for the Republican National Convention about to show the results front and center, one has to wonder, is the Republican Party going to survive this election intact?