Here’s a fascinating, and non-vitriolic look at the ‘character’ issue for both candidates. Note that just because I’m unhappy with the polarization of politics right now that I’m not dismissing politics or the importance of the election. And note that I’ll publicly commit to aggressively attack anyone who – after the election – immediately launches into a partisan effort to hamstring whichever candidate is elected.
That’s my pledge, and I’d love to see other polibloggers take it as well.
Someone like me, who never served in the military, has no business passing judgment on a combat veteran’s record – and I am not doing that here. Anyone such as Kerry, who carries shrapnel in his body as a result of service to his country, deserves to boast if he wants to. But politics is not always fair, and Kerry’s eagerness to harness his military background for political purposes is haunting him. It fits a lifelong pattern of grooming himself for high office. Voters like ambition, but they’d rather not see you sweat.
We learned that, unlike Kerry, he [Bush] was most willing to use his privileged status to avoid harm’s way in Southeast Asia.
But in light of Bush’s hawkish presidency, claims that he dodged a fight do not fit the pattern of how voters see his character.
Instead, Bush’s military record fits a character pattern that many voters like about him. His war years demonstrate that this is not a man who spent his entire adult life plotting to run for president.
For starters, how lame it was for Bush to lose his Texas Air National Guard flight status simply because he missed a physical examination. But it does fit his image as a regular guy who cannot stand paperwork.
Even if Democrats could prove their unsubstantiated claim that Bush was AWOL in the summer of 1972, it is not clear that enough voters are going to care to make a difference.
A great analysis, and one that points to where the Democrats must not go if they’re going to have a chance (certainly, a chance with me – and I assume that I’m pretty typical).