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On The Rebound

Barring any contradictory developments, I think the Republicans have just been handed good evidence that that God sometimes punishes people by granting them their prayers.

You’ve got a credible source in Marian Carr Knox, who just tonight talked on 60 minutes concerning the documents, a little old lady who may nonetheless have shifted the course of an election, and has certainly changed the terms of the debate.

The good news(for the Red Column): She says the documents were likely forged, and that she certainly didn't write them.

The Bad news (for the Red Column): She says the information in the document is correct.

Oh, I know, something may discredit her sometime in the future, but right here and now, I can't help but smile about the whole affair. Here we are, Republican congressmen calling for investigations, the Freepers putting Dan Rather's career on a deathwatch, everybody predicting doom and gloom for CBS News...

And now this. If the people at CBSNews haven't screwed the pooch on this one, then the Republicans are certainly in a untenable position. Rather pulled a very elegant career save here, by going on the air and letting her debunk the memos. With that, the clouds of inaccuracy and the problems of authenticity were just blown away.

And in their place you have more than just some document, you have somebody who was actually there, who knew Bush, worked for his commanding officer, and can back up most of the information in the forged documents as being correct.

That includes Bush being ordered to take a physical and failing to do so. That includes him missing a great number of drills, and not making many of them up. That includes pressure being put on Killian to sugarcoat things.

My feelings? The Republicans may have committed a grievous error in making the authenticity problem political. By doing so they admitted tacitly that the contents of those memos deserved a closer look, that it mattered what they said. By piling on all week, the news media has made sure people knew about it.

And now, because of the revelations Ms. Knox has made, the documents are barely relevant at all, but their contents are more relevant and authentic than ever. Before, one could suppose that Bush might not have been directly ordered to take the physical. Now, we have word from a reliable source that he was.

The SwiftVet Controversy may have taken the wind out of Kerry, but this controversy may end up doing worse to Bush and the Republicans, especially because they made such a big deal out of it. You Republicans should have taken your own advice to us Democrats, and just let the past be.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at September 15, 2004 11:40 PM