Here It Is

Here it is. The latest smear. The big one. Drudge is pushing (and Limbaugh repeating) a new smear ad, supposedly by veterans who “served with” Kerry. This is Bush campaigning at its … finest. This is what we all knew was coming.

“VIET VETS CHARGE: KERRY KILLED A LONE, FLEEING, TEENAGE FOE; LIED TO SUPERIORS TO GAIN MEDAL

Slaughters Animals, Burns Down Tiny Village

**Exclusive**

A veterans group seeking to deeply discredit Democrat John Kerry’s military service will charge in the new bombshell book UNFIT FOR COMMAND:

“Kerry earned his Silver Star by killing a lone, fleeing, teenage Viet Cong in a loincloth.”

“And if Kerry’s superiors had known the truth at the time, they would never have recommended him for the medal.”

The book also claims to detail how Kerry personally ordered the slaughter of small animals at a small hamlet along the Song Bo De River.”

This is a pretty big smear, and you can be sure they are pushing it through every channel available to them. Drudge. Limbaugh. Internet chain letters. Internet discussion sites. Churches… They are also running a new commercial in swing states.

Of course the entire right-wing machine is all over this today. Limbaugh, etc. are talking about nothing else.

This is the expected, coordinated, well-funded smear. We bloggers have been talking about this for more than a year. Everyone knew it was coming. This is what Bush did to McCain in 2000 — and it’s even the same people doing it. From a New York Times story about this smear,

“Mr. Kerry’s aides circulated an 18-page packet discrediting the veterans group and linking its backers to Republicans, noting that a public-relations consultant the group paid $27,000 this spring, Merrie Spaeth, was also involved in a advertising campaign attacking Senator John McCain during his tough race against Mr. Bush in the 2000 primary in South Carolina.”

So here we are. What does Kerry have ready in response?

Two weeks ago there was a coordinated smear campaign involving Sandy Berger, that the Republicans claimed proved that Clinton was entirely responsible for 9/11. The Democrats weren’t ready for this at all, and did not respond. I don’t even think they understand today that this was a planned, coordinated smear designed to convince people that Bush was not responsible for letting the 9/11 attack happen!

And now a big Kerry smear arrives. What response has Kerry prepared? To me, this is the question of the election. What does Kerry have ready in response? Did I say that we all knew it was coming. This is what Bush Sr. did to Dukakis. This is what Bush did to Gore. The Big Smear. This is what Republicans do.

Since Bush Sr. effectively used these tactics on Dukakis the Democrats must have been preparing a response. Right? Or at least since they did it to Gore. Right? They must have had teams of psychologists, linguists, advertising pros, etc. doing the necessary research on how to most effectively respond to this kind of smear. Right?

To me, this goes beyond the campaign. This goes beyond protecting their own political careers. This goes to protecting us. What is the criticism of Bush for 9/11? That all the signs were there that we were going to be attacked, and they ignored it.

Does Kerry have a devastating response ready for The Big Smear? To me this is the same question as: Is Kerry ready to be president?

Update – For those who think that McCain speaking out for Kerry is all that is needed, remember: Bush did this to McCain in South Carolina, AND THE RESULT WAS THAT McCAIN LOST!