mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Kerry hates troops? probably not, but still a bad move...

I admit that when I saw the Kerry "end up in Iraq" quote a few days ago on instapundit I took it as an attack on Bush, not as an attack on troops. Obviously, a lot of other people didn't, which suggests that it was, at best, badly phrased. Which is pretty ironic, when he's talking about education. It may just because I work for a college in a blue state, so I'm pretty much surrounded by Bush-bashers at work and on the bumper stickers of every Prius and Volvo 240 from here to White Marsh.

Of course, as James Taranto of WSJ/Opinionjournal points out, it's pretty silly to say that Bush pushed for Iraq because of a lack of education. First of all, he's a two-term president, which suggests he's at least smart enough to convince people to vote for him. And secondly, as James points out, he's got an Ivy-league educatation, so obviously he understands the value of an education.

Of course, it's a traditional simplification of the issues. Going to war is a complicated decision, and there were a lot of factors that played into the decision (enough support from both sides to get it through, bad intellegence, the fact that Saddam certainly acted like someone who had WMD's and was ducking inspections, a desire to nation-build, the strategic role of oil in our economy, the parallel intrests of Saddam and AQ against the US, ect). But it's way easier just say that "Bush is dumb" than to debate the issues on their merits.

And Kerry's response - calling people who complained about his comments right wing nut jobs - is pretty stupid. I can easily see why people would interpret the comments as anti-troop, even if I didn't. The thing is that elections are won in two ways - by getting the faithful out to polls (which the Republicans did to great effect in Ohio in '04) and by trying to get swing/undecided/moderate voters to vote for your candidate. Stuff like this hurts both those efforts - it energizes the Republican faithful, especially those in the military or with military ties, to go to the polls. And it makes moderate voters who are somewhat sypathetic to some of the views on the right more sympathetic. Remember, a swing voter or undecided is someone who is considering voting for either candidtate. That means they are considering voting for the "rightwing nutjob" candidate - and might not want to vote for someone whose views are far enough away that they would refer to them as rightwing nutjobs in a press release.

Of course, it's never stuff like this that causes Dems to lose elections. They must be stolen.


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