Sunday, April 25, 2004

A Christmas Carol Campaign

The Republican attack machine has decided to John Kerry: Past, Present and Future.

Present Kerry is campaigning under a sweltering barrage of Bush attack ads that (in my view) distort his record. He did not vote again and again to withhold pay and armor from our troops -- he voted against an omnibus bill that was assailed on both sides of the aisle.

Future Kerry is assaulted by Bush attack ads, which claim that a Kerry Presidency would lead to all manner of negative consequences, for example, a $900 billion tax hike. The Bush campaign has publicly acknowledged that they want to define Kerry before he defines himself in the eyes of the American voter, and they have no problem with bending the truth to aid in their definition.

Starting this month, we can add Past Kerry to the mix. Responding in kind, Bushies demanded Kerry release his military records, and now they're trying to poke holes in statements he made as an activist opposing Vietnam.

As much as I dislike attacks on Present and Future Kerry, those strategies make sense's attacking Past Kerry that I don't understand.

Every time a Kerry staffer is questioned on Past Kerry, I'd like them to begin their comments with,"Well, first off, I'm glad you brought it up -- because we'd love to compare the candidates based on their behavior during the 1970s."

Kerry was in Vietnam, Bush was somewhere in Alabama.

Both ran unsuccessfully for public office: Kerry ran for Congress in 1970 & 1972, and Bush sought a House seat in 1978; however, Kerry doesn't have a missing period of drinking (and driving?)

Bush has been content to classify his mid-seventies behavior as youthful indiscretions; however, his campaign's focus on the younger Kerry means that more scrutiny needs to be paid on the President's behavior before he cleaned up.

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