The attacks on Kerry ranged from the reasonable—he certainly has empretzeled himself on Iraq—to the outrageous: Zell Miller's assertion that Kerry would take his orders from Paris. The Miller speech was the ugliest I've ever seen at a convention. It certainly trumped Pat Buchanan's 1992 "culture war" speech, in which the target was an abstract army of social liberals. This was a direct assault on the character and integrity of the Democratic nominee. And it followed a familiar G.O.P. attack pattern: like the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Miller wasn't an official part of the Bush campaign. He claims to be a Democrat, and so, several Republicans told me, he was free to say anything he pleased. But Miller's speech wasn't the most disgraceful part of the G.O.P. show. That honor went to the Purple Heart Band-Aids ridiculing John Kerry's Vietnam wounds that were distributed by a past associate of Karl Rove's. It goes without saying that Rove had absolutely nothing to do with the idea—exceptThere's been much talk about how Kerry is famous for turning it up in the homestretch of a campaign. I now at this point, that's what I'm waiting for - and it's what I have to believe will happen. I also know that the more they attack, the more favorably I view our candidate (though the result for others is distancing, I'm sure). I don't really hear enough comment on the politics of hate, mocking, and shame that came out of the RNC. Another example of liberal media bias, I'm sure.
perhaps for setting the scabrous tone of the Bush campaign. . . .
Aftera week of gut-wound assaults on his character, Kerry finally fired back on Thursday night, assailing Bush and Cheney for having avoided service in Vietnam and for having "misled" us into Iraq. The latter may be an exaggeration, but after the G.O.P. assault, Kerry has a right to exaggerate with impunity. Indeed, if he hopes to win, Kerry will have to do much more of that. He will have to become a version of the young John Kerry not celebrated at the Democratic Convention—the eloquent, passionate, uncoached leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War who caused the Nixon White House serious heartburn. Where did that fabulous young politician ever go, anyway?
Sunday, September 05, 2004
No, No, Americans HATE Negative Campaigning
You know, or, like, not. As anyone who watched last week's NY hatefest can tell, the Reeps have no interest in running a campaign to help them sleep better at night - they want to win. Check out this Joe Klein column - yet another plea for the Dems to get nasty and take on Bush in the only language he'll understand: