The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are the 2004
political equivalent of Tonya Harding sending Jeff Gillooly
to whack Nancy Kerrigan on the knee. (For those of you who don't remember, Tonya Harding was a figure
skater competing for the US Olympic Team in the 90's. Nancy Kerrigan was her primary competition, who
consistently upstaged her. So Harding had her boyfriend go ambuse Kerrigan and break her knee with a lead pipe.)
What Bush is doing here is very simple. Kerry
came out of the Democratic Convention looking very attractive....
an articulate, intelligent, genuine War Hero. And, Bush was losing in head-to-head matchups on nearly every issue in the national polls.
However, following the Democratic Convention,
Bush had a serious advantage over Kerry: once Kerry accepted
the nomination, he was bound by law to spend ONLY the $75 Million he receives from Federal Matching Funds.
Bush isn't bound to these limits......... he only becomes bound when he accepts the GOP nomination on September 2.
So Bush's calculation is quite clear: Kerry has
three months to spend $75 Million, Bush has two. The best possible
postion for Bush going into October is to have a 2-to-1 spending advantage over Kerry. That's s what the GOP has
wanted all along, but Kerry successfully raised far more money than the GOP thought possible during the primary season.
To get re-elected, the Bush strategy depends upon Bush having a spending advantage, because his record just isn't good
enough to get him reelected. So he has to make a dent in Kerry's pocketbook.
Being prudent, Kerry has wisely decided to hold
off spending during the five-week period between the Democratic
Convention and the Republican Convention, so when Bush accepts the nomination, they both start on an even footing with the same $75 Million.
Bush knew he had to slow Kerry's momentum in the
polls and he desperately wanted to make Kerry spend money.
So what did he do? He sent his goons to whack Kerry on the knee, forcing Kerry to spend money countering a vicious,
unsubstantiated attack, based mostly on outright lies.
The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are nothing
but a bunch of hired goons, who were willing to sign on to this smear job
against Kerry because - 30 years later - they're still carrying a grudge against him for his leadership in Vietnam Veterans
Against the War. For the pleasure of payback and to hurt Kerry, they're willing to tell lies and even destroy their own
reputations. They're nothing but hired goons, sent by Bush to do his dirty business.
To the Bush campaign, who cares if these guys
are goons? They've succeeded in achieving what the Bush campaign needed.
They've slowed Kerry's momentum and they've forced him to spend money. To Bush, the Swift Boat thing has been a huge success.
So why should he care if it stinks?
What the American people largely don't understand
is that the Bush people operate much like the Mafia. If you're one
you'll be protected. If you're not, they'll find a way to get you. They're clever, they're dangerous, and they're unscrupulous.
Basically fair Democrats like Kerry, Gore, and Cleland get blindsided by guys like Bush, because Bush (and his mastermind
Karl Rove) actively think of ways to take down their opponent that Democrats would never consider, because of the pure sleaziness of the attack.
If Jeff Gillooly had succeeded in whacking Nancy
Kerrigan and not getting caught, Tonya Harding would have succeeded in
making the Olympic Team. Would she have cared that it came at the price of being a thug? Of course not.... she was after Olympic Gold.
It's exactly the same thing at work here. Bush wants reelection. He doesn't care if he has to act like a thug to get it.
The irony of it all is, Bush is a guy living in
a house of glass. His war record is abysmal. If the Kerry people took a
to his knees in return, Bush would not make it to November. But that's the rub....... since Nixon, the Republicans biggest
advantage has been the Democrats own principled approach. Democrats largely won't fight dirty.
This gives the GOP a double-advantage: they can fight as dirty as they need to win, and they don't have to worry about dealing with it in return.
I personally believe the Democrats need to take
a sledgehammer to Bush's AWOL status from the Alabama Air National Guard.
Launch a national WHERE WAS GEORGE? campaign so "where was George" becomes as prominent as "Where's the Beef"
or "Morning in America" was in prior campaigns.
And where was George? George was friggin' AWOL,
that's where he was. The records prove it. The National Guard
another package of Bush's records just a few weeks back and the pay stubs clearly show that for a six month period in 1972 while
Bush was on transfer from Texas to the Alabama Air National Guard, he was NOT paid.
The only reason you don't get paid in the National Guard is if you're on suspension or you don't show up. Bush wasn't on suspension;
he just didn't show up. Put that together with the termination of his flying privileges for not attending a required physical (which in itself
was a violation of the law) and there's plenty of ammunition to attack Bush's service record.
Bush truly lives in a glass house..... and yet
he throws stones, smirking while he does it. Bush sent a half a dozen
Jeff Gilloolys -
the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - to politically whack Kerry on the knee, because without them, Bush was in danger of
losing out on his version of Olympic Gold: reelection in 2004.
George W. Bush is the Tonya Harding of Presidential
Politics. Given his own National Guard record and his clear delight
in throwing stones, I think it's past time the Democrats threw a boulder right through the window of Bush's glass house.
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