The Right Coast

September 09, 2004
I don't care. Do you care?
By Tom Smith

Looks like the Democrat counter-attack has begun. I guess the gist of it is W skipped a physical and got his wings yanked, plus it's not clear that he showed up in Alabama, or maybe he did. I don't know. And I don't care.

It would be a matter of concern if it told us something about Bush we didn't know already. We know he was an irresponsible youth. His Guard record seems adequate at best. But I suspect most Americans feel they know W pretty well. I doubt anything but really shattering new information will make much of a difference. Kerry, by contrast, is not well known, and was using the Vietnam service thing to brand himself with the public, better than NE liberal. That's partly why the Swiftboat ads hurt. They brand Kerry as a grown up sissy war protestor, and undercut the counter-narrative of war hero.

It will be interesting to see how the polls react. I do agree, reluctantly, that the Democrats almost have to do this, though I object on grounds of morality and taste to super-sleazy attacks, like digging up old girlfriends' abortions and making them up if necessary. I just don't think the Guard attack will do much for the Dems beyond slowing their hemmorage. I get the feeling Kerry is really stalled, and attacks on W's Vietnam years won't change that. It may even be a rope-a-dope for Bush, enough to draw Kerry's fire, but all the while distracting him from his only winning issue, which is spreading false hope that a Democrat in the white house would somehow improve the economic picture.