One Volunteered, The Other Smears Him For It

The bigger picture. One went, the other hid.

Digby says,

“The sad thing, of course, is that Kerry will never have his reputation back and at a time when Vietnam veterans were finally beginning to receive their due for their service a bunch of self righteous, petty old men stepped in to cast doubts on them all over again. Nice bunch of patriots selling out their brothers toward the end of their lives to protest a man they claim sold them out when they were young. By any means necessary I guess. “


He also said,

“However, there is an interesting example of how a smear can be fought to a standstill (although with your reputation forever shredded.) That is the method by which Clinton fought the Monica frenzy. He turned it into an attack on Ken Starr. And it largely worked because people instinctively recoil at the idea of nosy creeps like Starr rifling through other people’s underwear drawers.

There are elements of the same thing here if the Democrats can correctly keep the frame where they want it to be. A man who maneuvered his way out of Vietnam is now ruthlessly tearing down the war record of one who volunteered for combat. That just doesn’t sit well — it breaks the unwritten rules we have about military service. Just as with the Starr counter attack, the rabid GOP base will become even more agitated and wild. But, the majority of the country will likely begin to see through the smokescreen to what is really going on. And it could end up hurting Bush more than Kerry.”

But don’t forget, it worked against McCain.

Finally, Digby says,

“I am e-mailing the following quote to members of the press today. And, I think that all talking heads should have it on a 3×5 card and repeat it everytime they face a swift boat liar or one of their mouthpieces. Everybody needs to be reminded of what the real contrast is here. It’s not between Kerry the hero vs Kerry the alleged liar, but rather, the combat volunteer vs the chickenhawk smear artist.

“I was not prepared to shoot my eardrum out with a shotgun in order to get a deferment. Nor was I willing to go to Canada. So I chose to better myself by learning how to fly airplanes.” George W. Bush on why he joined the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, 1990.

Read that quote again. Bush, the war supporter. But for him, serving wasn’t even one of the options to be considered. Only ways to get out of it. Sounds like the story of his life, doesn’t it? How to get around the hard parts.