This week docweasel takes a shot at the popular passtime of political blogging. Hell, everyone else with a domain or access to blognet is doing it and doc has more opinions than any of them. First up: John Kerry, dead in the water
I think the book and the series of ads will be the tipping point that sinks Kerry. Face it, he's not a likable guy. The only reason he has any support at all is because there is undeniably a large number of Democrats who detest GWB and want him out of office. They will do whatever they think it takes. In the CW of the left and right coast liberals, what "fly-over" country people want is a strong, militaristic leader. So, a guy who commanded a little speedboat in VietNam, even if he did throw away his medals and slander his "Band of Brothers" upon his return, is just what the doctor ordered.
The depth of the cynicism involved in the entire Dem convention was really breath-taking. 80% of Dems are against the war, but the convention was an orgy of saber rattling and militaristic macho poseurism. Even the Deaniac anti-war fanatics were holding fire at Kerry's charade. You'd think that there would have been a lot of noise from the "Peace at any price" wing of the party, but they held their tongues, even though camera time is like mother's milk to peaceniks. Why? Because Kerry is giving them a wink and a nudge and they get it. "We'll act out this 'toughguy' routine until I get elected, and then watch me scarper out of Iraq faster than you can say 'seared in my memory'."
The Bush-haters imagine that a majority of Americans hate or dislike Bush just like they do, and by just offering a palatable substitute who prefesses to be tough on terrorists will be enough. The problem is, Kerry is about the most UN-likable candidate who ran this year. He constantly makes elitist gaffes, like cussing out secret service agents and flying in Christophe to tweak his 'do. The entire Wendy's episode on the Edward's anniversary was typical of how the Heinz-Kerrys are not only out of touch, but condescending toward Joe Sixpack and middle-America.
In fact, Kerry is not only unlikable, he has perhaps the most liberal voting record in the Senate. He is far out of the mainstream. He hasn't said word one about his 30 years in politics. He also avoids talking about his stint as an anti-war wackjob after returning from Vietnam. For every question and statement, he drags out some tired reference to the 4 months and 12 days he was in-country during the VN War. From his love of dogs to his fondness for peanut butter, it all goes back to his life-forming experience as a young war hero. Its the be-all and end-all. He uses it to rebut any and all criticisms of his votes in the Senate, his verbal gaffes, his constant opportunistic flip-flopping on issues, in fact any criticism of Kerry by any and all on any subject is rebutted by his minions or Kerry himself with "as someone who risked his life in Vietnam I don't kindly to criticism in any way shape or form" or words to that effect. So the construct is, you can't ever criticize a war vet.
So does the fact you did service out the country, no matter how briefly, trump all other considerations? I mean, howcome Kerry and his subordinates, as recently as this week, keep ragging on Bush over rumors he didn't complete all his reserve service? Never mind that there is nothing but rumor to that effect, and the MainStreamMedia keep insisting Bush prove a negative, that he didn't cut out of service, instead of giving him the benefit of the doubt any human deserves until there's proof otherwise. Never mind that flying fighter jets, even over U.S. soil is not exactly as safe as a deskjob as an aide to an admiral (which Kerry was when he returned from his oh so short abbreviated tour of duty). Never mind Bush served for five years, honorably and with distinction. Let all that go. How about Kerry explaining why reserve duty is less honorable than overseas duty. I'm sure the millions of active and ex-reservists would like to hear why Kerry is exempt from criticism of his military record, but Bush the reservist is not. I mean, let's have some consitancy or at least an explanation.
Taking the next logical step, say Kerry does indeed aver that his active duty overseas trumps Bush's five years as a reservist, even flying fighter jets, and that anyone who actually served under fire in Vietnam cannot be gainsaid or attacked. Fair enough. So how about the Kerry machines attack on the Swifties? The campaign has produced a notorious "Brown Book" handed out to reporters, detailing supposed flaws in various Swiftie member's personal lives, their military service, their financial dealings, their political leanings. Hey, you can't attack them, they risked their lives for freedom of speech now you are trying to suppress them? Some of these guys were prisoners of war who were read Kerry congressional testimony about fabricated American war crimes by their captors as part of psychological torture. How dare Kerry impugn the honesty of someone who actually spent time in VietCong prison camps? You get the idea.
The next thing is the fact the mainstream media is really, finally, totally being unmasked in this entire episode. Since Kerry has staked all on his VN service, and it could all come crashing down with the Swifties, MSM has gone in to full protection mode and the NYT first mention of the ads at all is to ascribe political motives and connect shadowy connections to the Bush Admin with the Swifties. No mention of the Christmas in Cambodia, the magic hat from ferrying CIA agents and Navy Seals into enemy territory (which no crew member will corraborate with Kerry) or any other fanciful tale explantion. Its the Bill Clinton book of damage control: personal attacks on the accusers, muddy up the waters and change the subject. If Kerry is so righteous, why doesn't he rebut their charges head on? Good question, but not one any MSM reporter will ever ask. I think we all know the answer already anyway.
I've been telling anyone who will listen I have serious doubts about the "razor thin" election this time around. I seriously doubt the supposted 80% of voters who claim they have already made up their minds. Are they telling me if a really damaging issue comes up about EITHER candidate, they won't jump off like rats on a sinking ship? You bet they will. They have already made up their minds who they want to WIN. That's a whole 'nother ballgame from who they will vote for. People like to vote for a winner, or if they can't stomach the other guy at all, they will sit home, in the event that Kerry looks like toast.
I predict this is a tipping point. I thought it would be the debates, when America gets to see Kerry up close and personal. Just like Al Gore, Kerry will not wear well. Since the press has insisted on hanging on to the myth that Bush is Chauncey Gardner, an idiot who stumbles into important office due to dumb luck, good handlers and the stupidity of voters, if Bush even shows up he's done well at the debates. Most people know him and like his personality, after four years. No scandals, straight shooting and a clear moral center, not tacking with the wind like Clinton and certainly no unpresidential sleaze. Kerry is the one on trial here, and I don't see him holding up well. He can't even fake it.
However, this new imbroglio has the power to wreck Kerry before he ever makes it to the debates. The chattering classes cluck over every little titbit of election trivia as if it were of major import and ignore the major factors which have not changed: Kerry is a liberal Senator from a very liberal, North-East state, and he's a sitting Senator. We all know who the last person with a similar resume who was elected president. And he won in a squeaker that likely involved major voter fraud to get that win. The country is if anything, even more conservative than it was then. JFK I rode a wave of increasing liberalism that crested with the resignation of Richard Nixon. Since then, conservatisism is so much the norm that the only way a Dem gets elected is by acting as conservative, or in Kerry's case, as militaristic as possible.
Bush Landslide (electoral, at least). Remember, you read it here first.