Two of them attacked Fitzpatrick's democratic opponent, bronze star awarded Iraqi war veteran Patrick Murphy, accusing him of claiming to be a veteran of military action he didn't see.
This is a transparent, pathetic Swiftboat job.
Everyone in the county knew that Murphy would be swiftboated. I'm sure dozens of people, as did I, told Murphy to be ready for a swiftboat attack because he was a JAG in Iraq. After all, if Max Cleland, who lost multiple limbs in combat could be swiftboated, then Patrick could expect it as normal republican sleaze politics. It was expected that some right wing extremist group, funded by a wealthy right winger would independently sponsor swiftboat attack ads similar to the ones used on John Kerry and Max Cleland.
But I don't think anyone expected it to be such an obvious, transparent, direct attack. clearly orchestrated by Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick must be either weak on pull or stupidly following bad instructions, because it just plain looks incredibly sleazy the way he had the Iraq vets show up at his press conerence, nastily attacking Murphy and then rejecting their attacks.
Fitzpatrick is one of the faces the Republican party has been trying to portray as moderate. The party bosses give him a pass about a third of the time when votes are not close, and on issues his more moderate to liberal constituency hold dear, like the environment. But the truth is, Fitzpatrick is there when it comes to the tough battles, when every Republican vote is needed. He's there providing the republican majority that maintains control over the house, control of committees that fail to investigate ethics problems, fail to investigate abuses of power, fail to investigate corporate abuses, fail to investigate abuses of prisoner rights, torture, contracts not put out for bid, failures involving Katrina-- the list is incredibly long.
Fitzpatrick is a typical Republican candidate who, while presented as a nice family guy, just pulled a sleazy, nasty, incredibly transparent move-- allowing his opponent to be Swiftboated totally inappropriately. At least, when he allowed "swiftboat attacks upon his first opponent two years ago, he didn't set up the attack with a press conference. He failed to reject, criticize or disown outrageous attacks then. So this time, he does reject the message... after setting up the delivery of the message. Kind of like the old Republican hit ad on Kerry-- first he rejected the $87 billion, then he approved it.
what a joke. It's really very similar to his efforts to distance himself from his close relationship with Bush and the Republican culture of corruption. This is a pattern we will see all across the country.
Fitzpatrick is the pretty face of the Republican party. He is one of many good ol'boy and gal cheerleader type Republican candidates in congressional districts across the USA who represent the Republican party's last hope-- personality politics.
The problem is, even with nice people, good family, good, moral Republican representatives do bad things. They enable corrupt criminals like DeLay, Cunningham, and the rest of the extremists on the take to evade investigation, to head committees, to approve billions of dollars in handouts to corporate cronies.
Mike Fitzpatrick ran a press conference that allowed his dirty, sleazy cronies to put out a nasty attack message. Then he gutlessly, speciously and dishonestly backed away and said, pooh, pooh. I don't approve. Across America, the Fitzpatricks of the Republican party are going to be playing this same shell game-- pretending they differ from Bush, pretending they aren't a part of the Republican problem that has dropped Bush's approval rating to 33%, pretending they don't welcome the swiftboat attacks that the Republican party has budgeted over $60 million for advertising to spew into our living rooms.