Rafe Colburn comments on the slime machine:
Colburn is despondent today, thinking that the Swift Boat Veterans will torpedo Kerry’s chances to win the presidency all on their own.
But Josh Marshall thinks Kerry is getting fighting mad, discussing a new Kerry campaign ad which uses 2000 footage of John McCain castigating candidate Bush’s attempt to besmirch his war record, finishing with a shot of Bush’s speechless trapped face that cannot fail to convince us what a shameless coward he was, and is. It strikes me that this is as much Kerry’s response to McCain’s re-embrace of the President, about which I wrote below, as to Bush’s smear attack.
And Ed Fitzgerald holds a hand out for people trying to find a way to kick the self-deceived-Republican-vote habit:
Don’t feel embarrassed, we’ve all done stuff we’d like to forget, but also don’t think that you’re locked into position on this thing just because you made a mistake four years ago. Look around — there are plenty of people who did the same thing as you did and who have now recognized their error and mustered the will to make the big change. You can do it too, we’ll help you get through it.”
Fitzgerald is building on this wonderful plain speakin’ from Matt Yglesias:
…(T)o state what should be obvious, the president is not your father, your husband, your drinking buddy, or your minister. These are important roles, but they are not the president’s. He has a job to do, and it’s a difficult one, involving a wide array of complicated issues. His responsibility to manage these issues is a public one, and the capacity to do so in a competent and moral manner is fundamentally unrelated to the private virtues of family, friendship, fidelity, charity, compassion, and all the rest.”
Reduced to its essence, Yglesias is trying to hammer home a single concept, on which I repeatedly harp here — that, as he puts it, “intelligence matters more than character.” FmH readers will know that I have been pretty despondent about the voters’ receptivity to this notion.
But, hey, Bush and his slimy ilk just sink further and further into their sleazy morass, as made clear by this pair of columns from Bob Herbert and Paul Krugman on their latest Florida dirty trick. Maybe even the voters who still believe they need to vote for righteousness regardless of brains will have their eyes opened if this sort of thing continues.
PS: Do voters who like South Park have a sense of humor?