Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Because They SAID So

There were more big page one, above-the-fold newspaper stories yesterday attempting to spin the Swiftboat Vet controversy in Kerry’s favor by either further muddying the waters (i.e. telling additional versions of Kerry’s combat exploits) or simply branding the Swifties as “discredited” and declaring victory, more or less echoing the Kerry campaign itself at the end of last week.

Ah, if only wishing made it so. But maybe that’s to be expected from a candidate who has fictionalized so much of his background to make it more politically saleable. I’m still flabbergasted that Kerry chose to run on his Vietnam combat record and did not anticipate that that would draw out his former “band of brothers,” and then had so little personal, much less political, discipline as to take their bait and let himself be drawn into a fight that he could not win.

But what’s more amazing still is that it isn’t just Kerry that is indulging in denial. The lib talking points over the weekend read as if they had just been faxed over from Kerry HQ. “The Swiftboat Vets are lying,” “They’re a Bush front group,” “Bush is sending these surrogates out because he has nothing else to talk about,” and the inevitable piece de resistance, it’s really “all about Bush’s ‘failure’ in Iraq.”

No, I take that back; libs being in denial isn’t amazing, that’s pretty much their SOP. What’s “more amazing still” is that neither Kerry nor his surrogates and allies appear to have any backup plan or strategy. Their guy is damaged, growing more so by the day, a slow bleed of a decidedly shallow “blood” reservoir, and all they can do is what they’ve been doing for almost two years – bash Bush. It’s all Bush’s fault that Kerry chose to run on his Vietnam bio; it’s all Bush’s fault that Kerry smeared the Swifties and all Vietnam vets thirty-three years ago and turned them into enemies that have struck back at his penultimate moment of glory; it’s all Bush’s fault that Kerry gave them more free publicity than they could ever have garnered on their own; it’s entirely Bush’s responsibility to violate the Campaign Finance Reform Act and specifically tell the SBVT, and no other 527, to cease and desist. And, of course, Bush “lied” about WMD and “misled the country” into a “war of choice” for his “oil cronies” and has created a “new Great Depression” with his “tax cuts for the rich.” And, oh, yes, he’s a “moron.”

It would appear that “anybody but Bush” was not a cliché. The left really believed it. They really believed that if they shouted long and loud and nasty enough, they could gin up so much hatred for George W. Bush that they could run a potted plant and take back the White House. They’ve become almost a totalitarian party that keeps forgetting that the country they seek to dominate is still, at least nominally, a democracy; that political opposition to them is still, at least nominally, legal; and that people like the Swiftboat Vets have, at least nominally, the right to free speech, and are harder to consign to a concentration camp in Alaska than libs appear to believe they should be.

The disloyal opposition either does not recognize, or does not want to recognize, that the paradigm of this campaign has shifted, and the same Bushophobic gimmick no longer has the cachet it did a few months ago. And if the other side’s cupboards are bare already, if their scabbards are empty this early, if they really are a one-note samba with over two months yet to go until Election Day…

Well, all I can say is that the last time I saw the Dems in a state of mass denial this vehement was in…1994.