Thursday, September 23, 2004

It was only a matter of time . . .

before Bush started making the argument that Kerry is "demoralizing" the troops by his critism of the President's Iraq policy and, according to the Washington Times, that time is now.

Two thoughts on that line of argument: First, it is meant to play off of the Swift Boat Veterans ads regarding Kerry's activities after he returned from Vietnam. It is a subtle, but fairly clear and meant to help gin up the Republican base.

Second, however, it illustrates the problems that the Bush campaign has with Kerry's criticism over Iraq. Instead of attacking the criticism substantively, they claim it is bad for the troops or that it is a flip flop. They can't attack it head on, because Iraq is a mess, and Bush doesn't have a clear plan, other than "stay the course."

However, most people realize that of all the options, "stay the course" is the least likely to change the situation. But Bush can't say that we should withdraw and he can't say that we should increase the number of troops . So, he is left with the old canard that any criticism of the President is bad for the troops. And frankly that is such a weak argument, that if the Kerry campaign can exploit it, they will get the voters who will decide this election to take another look at Kerry.