From now on, when you hear a Democrat claiming someone is questioning their patriotism, realize they are hiding something. I have no other way to interpret Ezra’s utter inability to understand the distinction between questioning someone’s military service and patriotism and their voting record on defense and intelligence issues. John Kerry is, as I have asserted frequently, a war hero, but questioning his judegment and his voting record is not attacking his ‘military record.’ It is what the Democrats frequently like to call ‘discussing the issues.’
Ezra does have an interesting post up regarding the capture of Saddam and the impact this might have on the 2004 election:
Dick Morris has a theory that Presidents get beaten for two reasons. The first is for not doing what they promised. The second is for doing what they promised. The latter argues that the people gave their Commander a mandate and, once he’s fulfilled it, his usefulness is pretty much over. Bush’s current argument for his reelection is that he’s a wartime President and the country needs him in the driver’s seat pursuing our enemies. The problem with the rhetorical frame of war is that it isn’t endless, it has heroes and villains. Once Osama is captured the war, in the minds of most, will have been won. People won’t stay afraid forever; if Osama’s capture doesn’t end terrorism (and it won’t), America will just blame Bush. he did all he said he would and failed, time for someone new. If Osama is captured and the terrorism does abate for awhile, the electorate will stop worrying about terrorism and Bush will have to run on the economy. His worst nightmare.
Let’s put aside the Morris theory- most of the time Democrats borrow this argument it is to find a reason for why they have just lost an election. The breathtakingly arrogant argument goes something like this: Bill Clinton balanced the budget and put the fiscal house in order, because of that, more people move into the middle class, thus they don’t need Democrats to watch out for them anymore. The Democrats are being punished at the polls for delivering! Yawn. And you thought it was you who got up every day, worked hard, hired people, paid taxes, etc. Naive fool- you are a bit player- the Democrats and Bill Clinton did the heavy lifting.
However, regarding Osama, I think it will be a wash. While his capture will be great in the short term (check out the polls after Saddam’s capture), it will neither assure Bush’s re-election nor assure his demise. The issue of terrorism is here to stay, and this is why the Democrats are so vicious regarding their lies about Bush’s service in Vietnam. They recognize that the electorate still believes they are weak on national defense, so any canard will do to avoid the issue. How weak are they? Check out this recent Zogby poll (and I apologize in advance for the write-up that includes the increasingly annoying red state/blue state schtick):
– Fifty-percent of voters said Bush would do a better job compared to the 33% of voters who felt John Kerry would do a better job.
– Fifty-eight percent of current military members and 53% of veterans feel that Bush would do a better job while 32% of current military members and 27% of veterans gave the nod to Kerry.
– Gun owners and investors by overwhelming margins of 63% to 23% and 58% to 28% respectively, feel Bush would do a better job in dealing with rogue states and leaders.
– Non-investors also thought Bush would do a better job in dealing with rogue states and leaders by a margin of 48% to 35%. Church-goers and non-church-goers alike thought Bush would do a better job.
– Daily church-goers and weekly church-goers favored Bush by margins of 57% to 22% and 62% to 21% respectively. Non-church goers also favored Bush to deal with rogue nations and leaders by a 42% to 36% margin.
– Forty-nine percent of NASCAR, high school sports and little league sports fans think Bush would do a better job of dealing with rogue states and leaders and 33% felt that Kerry was the better choice.
– Forty-eight percent of non-NASCAR fans also thought Bush would be better to deal with rogue states and leaders while 32% favored Kerry.
There is no breakdown for chocolate lovers vs. vanilla lovers, South Park vs. Simpsons fans, or red vs. white wine drinkers, but it appears that on the issue, every discernable group trends towards Bush.
You can see the entire report here.