11/07/2005 10:20 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Swift Boat Vets Are Back, This Time Targeting Sanders

In a breathless, frightening, foaming-at-the-mouth diatribe on the right-wing fringe site Newsmax, John O'Neill - the leader of the slanderous Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - said his group is targeting Vermont Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders for defeat in Vermont's upcoming U.S. Senate race.

O'Neill's letter, not surprisingly, is filled with wild lies. The truth is, Sanders has been one of the most outspoken advocates for this nation's veterans. For instance, he led the long and lonely fight to force the U.S. government to address Gulf War Syndrome, instead of trying to sweep it under the rug. He has also fought tooth and nail against Republican efforts to slash veterans health care funding.

Clearly, the far right is eager to defeat Sanders because he's been such a tireless and effective advocate for progressive causes. And these conservative lunatics promise to stop at nothing to elect Republican Greg Parke or Rich Tarrant. Tarrant is considered the frontrunner in the GOP primary and he is already quite controversial. For instance, he is now being hounded by a new scandal involving his business dealings.

Sanders biggest challenge will be fundraising (though he is holding his own, thanks to the grassroots). Tarrant has said he will spend up to $5 million of his own money in an effort to buy the race - money that will clearly be needed for him to hide his troublesome business record, and flip-flopping on key issues. Sanders, meanwhile, refuses to take corporate PAC money. It will be up to the grassroots to support his candidacy, beat back the fringe right-wing assault and put one of the true progressive champions in the Senate.