Between Kristof and Beldar, I’d say we’ve asymptotically approached the truth enough for there to be not a whole lot of interesting argument left. Two of Kerry’s Purple Hearts are shaky and he’s guilty of (at least) hype–but he also demonstrated real bravery. His service would be a sure net positive if he hadn’t a) overdone it and b) used it as a crutch, a substitute for appealing political substance. … 11:55 P.M.
That’s none other than the immortal Mickey Kaus, who manages in the same paragraph to a) admit that the Swifty charges that he pored over so dearly are nonsense, and b) blame Kerry for the whole mess.
I wonder what would have happened if Kerry hadn’t emphasized his military service. . . hmm. . . what would have happened. . .
AlternaKaus: Kerry’s service sure seems like a positive, so why isn’t he using it? Is he afraid that he’ll scare away some supporters on the left? Or is he hiding something? Stay tuned.
AlternaKaus: Now we know what he was hiding! Any surprise that a guy without any personal appeal or political conviction is really a coward?
AlternaKaus: It looks like there’s not a whole lot of interesting argument left. A couple of the Purple Hearts are shaky, but he demonstrated real bravery. His service would be a positive if he had played it heavy at the convention, where he could have immunized himself from these attacks.
Not to pick on Mickey too much, because every other conservablogger has made the same argument. I hope that no one at this point can be fooled into thinking that the Republican slime machine actually needs a reason to move forward; Kerry would have been hammered regardless of what he had done. Nor would nominating Wes Clark have produced a different outcome. Instead of the Swift Boaters, we would get innumerable commentary from those serving around and under the four star general to the effect that he was ambitious, incompetent, crazy, and whatever else they could dredge up. Some people will believe anything you say, as long as you say it about a Democrat.