Here’s the most insightful look back at 2004 I’ve seen so far.
I especially agree with this part:
George Bush won in spite of himself. He was a so-so candidate in a campaign memorable mostly for missed opportunities. Numerous times Kerry should have been knocked to the mat for good but the Bushies let him get back up and revive himself. Only the Swift-boat Veterans seemed to know how the game was played.
Indeed, I shared these sentiments about GOP ineffectiveness until the Swiftees came out. Here’s what I wrote back in March:
Think about what makes you really mad about John Kerry. If you’ve been reading this blog, it’s probably his Vietnam-protesting days, when he belonged to Vietnam Veterans Against the War, an outfit so radical that it took the American flag off its offices because its members were offended by the flag. The thought that a radical leftie, who called for “almost eliminating” the CIA, could be president boggles the mind.
However, people who don’t read web sites like this and don’t generally use other conservative news outlets have no way of knowing about Kerry’s radical past. Most voters have no idea that Kerry participated in protests where veterans threw their medals over the White House wall, let alone knowing that Kerry threw away someone else’s medals.
There’s a reason for this Vietnam-protest blackout: Republican wimpiness. Compare the GOP’s approach to Vietnam with the Democrats’.
Kerry touts his Vietnam service with every breath. By contrast, no prominent GOP official ever mentions Kerry’s protesting days, let alone the fact that he tried to get out of Vietnam service and spend a year studying in Paris instead. When given the chance to talk about VVAW on national TV, RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie mumbled something about Kerry having the right to say what he wants.
But Democrats aren’t shy about bringing up President Bush’s honorable national guard service. DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe slanderously called Bush “AWOL” on national TV.
The liberal media has an excuse for never mentioning Kerry’s radicalism: Republicans don’t bring it up. Similarly, they also had an excuse for levelling the AWOL charge against Bush and trumpeting Kerry-as-war-hero: Prominent Democrats brought it up.
By never mentioning Kerry’s extremist past, Republicans have unilaterally disarmed on the Vietnam issue and allowed Kerry to turn it into a huge positive. Unless this changes, Kerry will be “defined” in voters’ minds as a war hero, not a war protester. And that takes away the most potent weapon Republicans have, the one thing that most drives conservatives like me to work for Kerry’s defeat: the horrifying prospect that someone who gave aid and comfort to our Communist enemies (Kerry’s outrageous Senate testimony was used to demoralize our POWs) may become the most powerful man in the world.
Thank God for the Swiftees!