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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

By now, you've probably heard of either a) the new Kitty Kelley book, 2) the newly surfacing evidence that Bush shorted the government on his service in the National Guard, or 3) both. I'm not sure how this hurts Bush in the long term, since most of this stuff has been tried already, and I'm sure after the drubbing taken by Kerry in the last few weeks, anything is worth a shot.

Ironically, I think most people would rather hear about the candidates' records in government than in the military. The military records that should be most considered are the ones pertaining to the candidates now. That is to say, the man best for the job should be determined by what positions he has championed legislatively. Kerry's refusal to fund the Iraq war does not bode well for him in that regard. Even his staunchest supporters don't really know where he stands on this, or many other, issues.

The reason these angles are not taken by the mainstream press is simple. They largely endorse the candidacy of John Kerry (and many have admitted to that fact), and to analyse the candidates on those records would not be to their advantage. Realistically, the best chance John Kerry has to attain victory is to show the President to be a war-dodging deserter, while showing himself to be a patriot.

Thus, we have the reports on 60 Minutes II tonight. One could almost see the glee on Dan Rather's face as he reported the "exclusive evidence attained by CBS News". Moreover, one cannot ignore another fact: when similar information arises about the "preferred" candidate, the media buries it until it can no longer do so. Allegations directed toward the "other" candidate, however, draw the immediate attention of the mainstream media, to the point where they almost trip over themselves reporting it.

In reality, the allegations of Bush drug use by Ms. Kelley, the CBS report, and even the book by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth will do little damage. Most Americans have already embraced a candidate for one reason or another. Undecideds do not get involved until late in the game, and those who have can only come to one conclusion: the mudslinging is unbearable, childish, trite, and enhances neither candidate.

As for myself, I decided long ago that I would vote for George W. Bush because of his record regarding taxes, Social Security privatization, vouchers, and, most importantly, the prosecution of the war on terror. Kerry's record on those issues largely diverges from the President's. Thus, the choice for me is a simple one. The military records of either candidate have no bearing on that choice. I would venture a guess that most voters feel the same way.

MORE: Rex Hammock, who blogs more about the world of publishing than about politics, says "Enough already". This seems to reflect the general mood of the public as far as I can tell. Even here in Connecticut, a largely Democratic state, the people with whom I work who are ardent partisans say the same thing.


.: posted by Dave 7:53 PM

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