Friday, September 03, 2004

What now?

haven't been posting much lately have I? What can I say? I have nothing really to say about the RNC - a ghastly affair, I imagine - not that I watched any of it. Zell Miller was a big hit I guess. Michael Berube, fortunately, kept us all informed though. Lots of posturing and ranting and the GOP's patented vexed relationship with the truth. Take this representative note from TAPPED:

UP IS DOWN. Two parts of the president's speech last night struck me as emblematic of the his administration's pervasive up-is-downism. The first was where Bush, quite baldly, tried to position himself as the guy who respected our allies, and John Kerry as the guy who was nasty to them. "In the midst of war, he has called America's allies, quote, a 'coalition of the coerced and the bribed.' That would be nations like Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, El Salvador, Australia, and others allies that deserve the respect of all Americans, not the scorn of a politician." (Of course, as this Associated Press article pointed out, none of them except for Great Britain is actually putting significant numbers of men on the ground.) The other was when Bush -- who deployed thousands of troops to Iraq without up-to-date body armor or plating for their Humvees -- accused Kerry of being against those same disbursements.

These kinds of deceptions are, of course, nothing compared to the "make shit up" strategy employed by Zell Miller, Mitt Romney, George Pataki, and Rudy Giuliani. Beware any sentence beginning "John Kerry says..."

So what does it mean? I can't tell you - I can't understand how politics work. The Swift Boat Vets came out of nowhere, lied throught heir teeth, were more or less completely debunked by all the major papers - but stiill seem to have raised doubts about Kerry. What doubts? It is stunning to me that tghey can have any effect - nothing they said passed the smell test up front - this isn't Tim Johnson making up stories about fighting in Vietnam. Kerry's record has been well documented, from the beginning - he has been a public figure for 30 plus years, and this stuff never got past the smear level in all that time. How do you contradict the public record and have people believe you? and then have your story come apart - the guys who weren't there, the guy who contradict their own medals, the ties to Nixon and then Bush... I don't know. You have to wonder.

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