The most dishonest thing that the left is doing now is trying to polarize the question of whether Bergdahl deserted or even defected by ignoring the soldiers who served with Bergdahl and claiming that “the right” is behind the attacks.
Smug articles by the likes of Michael Tomasky reduce the protests of the soldiers to “a vast right wing conspiracy.”
The accusations against Bergdahl have come from his fellow soldiers. They’re the ones who risked their lives and lost friends. Some conservative sites have picked up their stories from Facebook and Twitter, but they did that just ahead of CNN and ABC News.
It’s understandable why Michael Tomasky or Media Matters are reluctant to deal with those soldiers. Directly attacking men who have served is unpopular.
And the alternative is to go on defense, which Obama attack dogs like Tomasky and Media Matters just don’t do. Their usual play is to just skip past the facts and accuse the Koch Brothers, FOX News and Karl Rove signaling to their followers what to think.
Package that with claims about Republican strategists arranging interviews to imply that the whole thing was set up and you can just cry Swift Boat without having to go any deeper about the men making the accusations. The soldiers can be cynically written off as pawns in a political game.
The actual facts are messy and might not come out their way. It’s easy to denounce “conspiracy theories” about Bergdahl, to attack FOX News, which is just broadcasting the same stories as CNN when it comes to Bergdahl, than to deal with the fact that this is not a right-left issue.
At least one of the men who served with Bergdahl and has been vocal about it is a Democrat.
Untangling what happened to Bergdahl is a messy question that requires poking through multiple tiers of lies, but it didn’t become impossible until Obama bought some relief from the VA scandal through the Bergdahl deal.
That’s why Tomasky at the Daily Beast, despite publishing one soldier’s account, has to turn this into a right-left issue. It’s why Media Matters has to go on the warpath. It’s no longer about Bergdahl. They’re protecting the few points in the polls that Obama might pick up from the Bergdahl exchange.
Democrats and Republicans often don’t listen to soldiers unless they’re hearing something that they can use in a partisan battle. And even then they don’t always listen.
They’re listening now and Media Matters and its political allies would like them to stop.