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1 comments | Thursday, June 29, 2006

It occurred to me recently why the Swift Boat-style attacks work against a given candidate. What they do is take a positive (an additional resume item), and reduce it to a negative or non-entity. I wish I could remember whether Kerry challenged and questioned Bush's Texas Air National Guard service (I remember the 527 ad with the guy who served with Bush saying he never saw him with his unit, but that's all), because it also occurs to me that this is the way to defend against these type of egregious attacks. It may not even be important to stand up for a particular candidate's patriotism or military service, but I think what the Dems need to do in response to these kind of attacks, is to levy a counterattack upon their opponent's lack of service (or questionable service as in Bush's case). It's critical to do this in order to not only defend the Democrat's credentials, but to kill two birds with one stone, by offering a defense and an offense all at once.

Jim Webb just provided an excellent example of this in his campaign against George Allen. Allen criticized Webb for voting against the flag burning amendment, and Webb's camp retaliated by saying, "While Jim Webb and others of George Felix Allen Jr.'s generation were fighting for our freedoms and for our symbols of freedom in Vietnam, George Felix Allen Jr. was playing cowboy at a dude ranch in Nevada." In issuing this response, Webb and his team defend Webb's patriotism and respect for the flag, while bringing into question Allen's patriotism and commitment to the country. I'm sure there must be some Democratic strategist out there, that thinks this is impolitic, but I say study it as an example of how to defend against this brand of contemptible attack.


Blogger Oberon said...

......it just never ends.

12:17 AM


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