Thursday, August 26, 2004


Depending on where you look, with whom you talk or what bumper stickers are on your car, the attacks on presidential candidate John Kerry by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are: moving polls in President Bush’s direction; hurting the Bush campaign by offending voters; being milked by the Kerry campaign to generate sympathy; other; or some combination thereof, and on into meaninglessness.

Now that Bush is saying Kerry is, in fact, a war hero, does it mean the attack ads have served their purpose? Or that Bush is retreating before he does any further damage to himself?

Whatever. What’s stunning is that roughly half the country is ready to vote for this sleazebag, our president, who even supporters must acknowledge sat out Vietnam, can’t prove he fulfilled even his cushy stateside responsibilities and has -- at the very least -- failed for months to criticize attacks on Kerry’s war record that he now agrees are unfair. So we’re trotted through vomitous episodes of national debate over such things as whether Kerry was in Cambodia during Christmas or just afterward and whether he threw out all or some of either his or someone else’s medals or ribbon.

All the talk about a divided nation, the red and blue states, retro vs. metro, finally sinks home on the Swift Boat issue. I’ve never felt such a disconnect as I do with my fellow Americans -- supposedly the moral ones, the ones opposed to Hollywood liberals and gay marriage and dope (like the president’s cocaine?) and lies and philandering and such, but those willing to vote for this smirking, cowardly sleazebag. Our president.

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