Swift Boaters Return

Ever wonder what happened to the guys who financed those Swift Boat ads? Well, Chris Hayes did. And it turns out that they've been "contributing and bundling nearly $200,000 to presidential candidates" including most notably Saint John McCain of Arizona:

The most notable recipient of Swift Boat largesse is John McCain, erstwhile front-runner and Stand Up Guy. When the Swift Boat ads were first unleashed, McCain was alone among his Republican colleagues to condemn them. A fellow Vietnam veteran, a good friend of Kerry's and a former target of smears about his own service, McCain called the ads "dishonest and dishonorable," a "cheap stunt," and he urged Bush to condemn them. But in pursuit of the GOP nomination, McCain ditched the mantle of maverick for that of hack, and his once-floundering, possibly rejuvenated campaign has been aided along the way by $61,650 from Swift Boat donors and their associates. "There is such a thing as dirty money," said Senator Kerry in a statement, after The Nation informed him of McCain's FEC records. "I'm surprised that the John McCain I knew who was smeared in 2000 and thought so-called Swift Boating was wrong in 2004 would feel comfortable taking their money after seeing the way it was used to hurt the veterans I know he loves."

That's what we like to call solid reporting. But wait for the Straight Talk™ when called on it:

(McCain's office did not return calls for comment.)

So very straight. Meanwhile, it's worth recalling that the people behind the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth weren't actually a bunch of aggrieved veterans pissed off at John Kerry's anti-war activities. Rather, the main donors were extremely wealthy businessmen like developer Bob Perry, oilman T. Boone Pickens, and drugstore mogul and investor Harold Simmons whose multimillion dollar contributions were solid investments in acquiring political power on behalf of the corrupt Bush Republican machine that could, in turn, further enrich them.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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