As Yogi Berra might say, it's deja vu all over again for Senator John F. Kerry and one his fiercest antagonists from his 2004 presidential bid.
Kerry today launched a new website -- called "Truth Fights Back" -- to combat a new anti-Barack Obama book and other assaults on Democrats by Jerome Corsi, who was co-author of "Unfit for Command," which attacked Kerry's Vietnam War record.
"John Kerry can and will fight for the truth on cable news, but we need all of us to battle against the smears in every way," it says on the website. "By signing up, you’ll stay on top of the right-wing smear machine and help us battle it back! This site is designed for activists like you to take back the truth from the Bush/McCain politics of Karl Rove that have come to dominate the GOP. So sign up and join in the fight, and start reporting in some smears! We populated the site with a few smears to get you started, but report in any you’ve seen, and help us fight for the truth."
The website will be funded by Kerry's political action committee, which told supporters: "Pick up the New York Times this morning and read the headline: 'Book on Obama Hopes to Repeat Anti-Kerry Feat.' Yes, Jerome Corsi, the right wing fringe author who made his bones smearing the Catholic Church and lying about my military record, is back atop the best-seller list with an anti-Obama book chock full of lies. If your blood isn't boiling yet, read this: "This is a fact: Today Barack Obama is subject to what is probably the greatest concentrated attacks of smears, lies and innuendo in the lifetime of anyone who reads these words."
The New York Times reported today that "Obama Nation" will debut at No. 1 on the Times nonfiction hardcover bestseller list this Sunday, despite challenges to the accuracy of its claims that Obama is a stealth radical who never ceased his youthful experimentation with drugs.
Kerry has often said he didn't react quickly and forcefully enough to attacks on him four years ago. In his message to supporters, he says, "We know the game, we've learned some things...."
"You can't just play defense against smears, pointing out how they aren't true. You've got to play offense, too, exposing the whole cynical game for what it is: an attempt to keep us from talking about the real issues and ultimately changing our country for the better. The Republicans have nothing to run on, no ideas to push, no solutions for America. They'll run a campaign of laughable gimmicks and outright distortions and lies. But we can fight back with the truth - and the truth can win this time. Let's do it."
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.