What Else Is In Scott's Head?

The blog site for writer Scott C. Smith. Some observations on the world we live in and life in general. And maybe some politics.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Cold Watch '04: Day Two

Damn this cold. My head is swimming, I'm stuffed up and cranky.

It looks like attention is finally shifting from John Kerry's military record to George W. Bush's record. And while this is an entertaining diversion, I wish the DNC leadership would drop this issue.

In question is a flyer from Bush's 1978 campaign for the House of Representatives. The flyer states that Bush served in the Air Force. Democrats are saying that the flyer is further proof of Bush's duplicity as he served in the Air National Guard and not the Air Force. Bush's campaign has countered this by saying Bush had been placed on active duty for a period of time, and while on active duty he was considered a member of the Air Force.

I think the DNC is hoping this latest example of Bush's lying about his military service will influence the group of voters that will not vote for Bush on the basis of his military service (or lack thereof): the swing voters. In a close election, they might make the difference in a Kerry presidency or a second term for Bush.

I can understand the reasoning behind the DNC jumping on this issue. I just wonder why the Kerry campaign, and the Democrats, don't just focus on Bush's record as president. It's not a great record. It's the kind of record that can cost an incumbent a second term. Instead, we keep going back to what the candidates did or did not do during the Vietnam conflict. I don't know if Bush was ever on active duty and considered part of the regular Air Force. I really don't care. I know he's not been truthful about his past. His tour of duty in the Air National Guard has always been an issue for Bush when running for public office. And when it comes up, Team Bush simply says that since Bush received an honorable discharge, he fulfilled his obligations to the Guard. Yes, that logic is flawed. But so far no one has come up with a "smoking gun" to show that Bush was AWOL from the Guard. Even if he was, I doubt that revelation would affect voters much.

I suppose it's a good thing that attention has shifted from John Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans to George W. Bush's service in the Guard. This would be a great time for Kerry to come in swinging with attacks against Bush's domestic policy and the war in Iraq. Keep him on the ropes through the debates and on to the election in November. Hopefully the media will lose interest in what happened 30+ years ago and focus on what is happening now.


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