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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Should Kerry fire back?

I thought Kerry's appearance on "The Daily Show" was great. The audience laughed, he was funny, and anyone with a brain watching would see that this whole Swift Boat Liars thing is a pathetic attempt to smear someone who is not afraid a genuine war hero. He also managed to score a slam dunk calling out the President for using this issue to avoid talking about the real issues. Naturally, the press flipped out. How dare John Kerry join in with Jon Stewart and laugh at them for not doing their damn job and reporting the truth of these allegations! This morning, all I heard was how "bad" and "boring" the interview was. While it is more entertaining to watch a Bush stutter and stammer his way through answers to questions and try to figure out what the hell he's saying than to watch Kerry make sense, I felt that this sort of spin is really doing a disservice to the Kerry campaign.

Of course, Rove's lapdog press firmly believes there is no smear too stupid to hit any challenger to the Bush throne with. After all, this Swift Boat thing should have been put to bed a long time ago.

With the media firmly against Kerry, in part because he's not making their job as easy for them as BushCo does, he's taking a beating on what should be one of his biggest strengths. A lot smart people are getting concerned. I know I've been optimistic about this whole Swift Boat crap--okay, fine, let's talk about Vietnam if you want to--but now even I'm afraid Kerry may not turn this around and hit Bush with it like he should. Eventually, he's going to have to turn this on Bush. And the timing is probably critical.

But still, I hold out hope. It wouldn't take much for all this shit to come and bite Bush on the ass. I think it's good that Kerry keeps linking the Swift Boat Liars to Bush. People need to understand these attacks come from Bush, not from independent sources. If that link can be firmly established, then it's time for the kill. And we all know what the kill will be--how is it that Bush feels that has has a right to attack Kerry's war record when he doesn't have the right to shine Kerry's boots.

I have trouble believing Kerry doesn't know what he has to do. If he's stalling, he's probably doing so to overshadow the convention. Drag this out and then, after Bush accepts his nomination with no doubt all the pomp and circumstance of the crowning of a king, blindside him. Accuse him of being a coward--in Vietnam, yes, but also afraid to talk about the issues. Kerry was hitting up the word "stubborn" to describe Bush last night. Not a good idea--that's playing a hand they need to keep hidden, which is they know that they can count on him to stick by a position long after they've mocked it into the ground. The word they need to attach to him is "afraid".

Update: According to Steve Gilliard, Max Cleland and Jim Rassman will be going to Crawford, TX to publically ask Bush to defend Kerry's war record and denounce the Swift Boat Liars. This will be really fucking hard for the GOP to spin. If Bush refuses to denounce them, he's going to look like an asshole. If he denounces them....yeah right. He's a stubborn bully. Everyone thinks Kerry is dragging his feet. I'm going along with Steve's optimism. Kerry is letting this Swift Boat thing gain some momentum and then he's going to overturn it. He's not going to get run over like Al Gore did. He let it be known during "The Daily Show" interview last night that he and his people are studying the Gore loss and the Richards loss very well and that they know that trying to engage the Smirking Frat Boy on the issues isn't going to work. So they need to draw attention to his cowardice. Maybe the "stubborn" meme he's trying to float isn't so dumb after all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld will tell anyone who will listen that John Kerry is not to be underestimated. Ever. He is a lethal campaigner. The man flat out knows how to win elections. Bush should be very afraid.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best way to combat the Swiftboat Vets -- whose allegation is that he is unfit for Commander-in-Chief -- is for Kerry to discuss and explain his Senate record with respect to armed services committe and intelligence votes. The main purpose of the federal government is to ensure the collective security of our country and regulate exports, imports and interstate commerce. He needs to explain his Senate record and how his votes and views will make him fit to accomplish the primary repsonsibility of the federal government -- collective security.

I think his votes can be explained, but he needs to explain them. That way he can say -- I am fit for command. I have voted for a stronger defense. I have voted for better intelligence resources. As commander-in-chief I will ensure our military remains the strongest in the world and is employed in the interest of national security and not financial gain. As you can see by my Senate votes I voted to provide better armor for our military members, more resources for intelligence gathering, and less overseas commitments. His only problems will be that he voted against better armor, decreased funding for field agents and voted to deploy our military in several NATO and UN actions that are not vital to the security of our nation. We are in so many wars that Senator Kerry voted for that we cannot possibly fight the additional wars (one viable, one not) this crazy administration has put us in. He is a fraud, just like his opponent.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I *loved* Kerry's appearance on "The Daily Show." He was funny and smart and just came across very well all around. The thing I was most struck by was that Kerry was unafraid to come onto an irreverent show like that--one that's actually made fun of him--while Bush was busy making anyone who talked to him sign a loyalty oath. I'm surprised they're not calling it "fealty" yet.

And I was thrilled to hear about the Cleland-Rassman thing. Let's hope it gets front-page coverage tomorrow.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I just had another thought--one thing I do think Kerry needs to do is defend the way he protested Vietnam. Make it clear that he was justified--doesn't EVERYONE think Vietnam was a bad idea?--and that "dissenter" doesn't equal "traitor."



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