Democrats & Liberals Archives


Chances are if the title of this rant strikes you as familiar, like its author, you may be in the possession of Maureen Dowd’s new book, Bushworld. It is the first ever collection of columns by the Pulitzer Prize winning columnist of the New York Times. She is one of my very favorite writers, to the extent that, if she is the Beatles, then that makes me The Rutles. I am about 40 or so pages into the tome, which is thick enough to provide a suitable counterweight to Bill Clinton’s My Life. Having finished the newly written Introduction, I had a number of uncontrollable giggles and filed away a few interesting bits of Bush Dynasty lore, for future idle conversations. However, it was my hijacking of the book’s title for a message board posting that proved fitting, and aided in putting the events of the past few weeks in proper perspective.

How best can one describe a world where volumes of evidence debunking and discrediting the accusations of the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, do not exist? Thus, every one of their claims stands as credible, ‘unless effectively refuted’, according to Conservative columnist Robert Novak. In this world, the first SBV commercial spot may no longer be running in the initial 3 battleground states, but it’s in power rotation at Fox News. Where anchors hint that this controversy is hurting John Kerry among Swing Voters, however after the break, there is no follow up or evidence backing up this claim. And, it is certainly not reflected in the leads opened up recently in the Swing states of Ohio and Florida, by the Democratic ticket.

In the real world, it is absolutely mind boggling that such a large majority of War Veterans would choose the not even confirmed, yet woefully lacking service of George W. Bush, over war hero John Kerry. They rival the Miami Cubans for longest grudge against the Democratic Party, and the anger that results from Kerry’s anti-Vietnam war crusade, is just as palpable as it was 30 years ago.

In returning verbal fire this past Thursday, John Kerry delivered his most effective (and maybe critical) sound bite of the entire campaign. However, I believed it to be bit of a reach for him to claim that the SBV were a ‘front for the Bush campaign’. However, the swiftness in which the Republicans inadvertently shored up his accusation, should give one a clear idea of the state of this race. But, only in Bushworld, will failure to properly vet a member of your campaign’s Veterans Steering Committee, and a simple flyer, fail to seriously damage your plausible deniability.

Explanations abound as to why the delay from the Kerry camp, in responding to the SBV’s accusations. The usually reliable CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider echoed Conventional Wisdom, that the Democrats had finally sensed the controversy was exacting a toll. However, I disagree.

As I’ve stated before, debunkers from Media Matters to, and news organizations from the New York Times to the Washington Post, had done such a thorough job following the first Swift Boat Vet TV spot, that with the exception of Fox News, the broadcast media stayed away from the dying and discredited story. But, that was before Friday August 7th. The day disappointing July job figures and continued rising oil prices, combined to knock the wind out of the stock market, but more importantly, effectively torpedoed the Economy as a favorable issue Bush could run on.

Overnight, the Swift Boat Veterans story on Fox News, went from being relegated to the Factor, Hannity & Tool and Brit Humes’s Special Report, to one of the three top stories leading off each half hour news brief. And soon enough, the networks, MSNBC and CNN followed suit. Not only a clear indication of how Murdock & Ailes’s ratings behemoth can effectively dictate the news cycle, but how dependably gutless Wolf Blitzer is, without talking points supplied by the White House on his teleprompter.

So, what can actually permeate Bushworld, and cause a noticeable change in the weather? Well, there’s John Kerry’s call for immediate implementation of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations, that prompted a White House panic and ‘flip-flop’ on an Intelligence czar. Then, there was Ron Reagan Jr's passionate Convention speech on stem cell research, which turned a bright light on Bush’s dispassionate pact with pro-Life Conservatives. Which prompted an appearance by First Lady Laura ‘The Purifier’ Bush, and an intentional blurring of the lines, in an attempt to appease all.

But a last, General Bush and Captain Rove stand atop the battered fort, aside the last cannon gun, with dwindling ammunition and worried conscripts. There are rumors of a secret band of mercenaries valiantly engaging the increasingly bold enemy, at its flank. Communication with these brave souls is risky, if not impossible.

Only if they are successful in saving Bushworld, will they ever be personally thanked.

Posted by Bert M. Caradine at August 24, 2004 6:05 PM