"Overture, curtain, lights! This is it. The night of nights. No more rehearsing or nursing a part. We know every part by heart!"
In the big ring tonight, Smirking Chimp-Boy vs. The Sen-a-torrr! History awaits the impact of tonight’s debate on the race for the White House. Will it be an utterly-predictable snooze-fest, full of over-rehearsed blurbs devoid of meaning?
Will it be the electorate-moving mega-event the Kerry campaign hopes for?
Will it help Kerry on his road to the Presidency?
Absolutely. I believe that Kerry, consciously or not, is pursuing a counter-attack strategy. The basic idea is to let the President make the first thrust, and when he’s shown his hand, counter-attack. It is a powerful strategy, allowing the defender the chance to husband their resources while the other side expends much of their resources and energy in an ultimately unsuccessful parry. The defender lives to fight another day, and now has a comparative advantage: plenty of resources left, while the opponent is depleted. If the counterattack is strong and well-timed, it can be the death blow. A solid performance tonight can be the first drop in a drip-drip-drip strategy of building momentum through Election Day.
At least that’s what I’m hoping. It certainly explains Senator Kerry’s history as a “strong finisher” as well as a prosecutor. A prosecutor must put on a strong prima facie case, but victory lies in being able to discredit the various excuses and defenses that the defendant raises. As the excuses and defenses are discredited, the prima facie case becomes all the stronger. I suspect that is what is happening here.
The President has now spent his attack capital. Kerry is a flip-flopper, irresolute, soft, etc. He has not had any other campaign. If (when!?) Kerry refutes these claims, the President is cooked. The refutation will not only serve to elevate Kerry, but will show the President to be a liar – a belief for which there is already a considerable foundation laid. Most voters are aware that the President stands accused of misleading us into war. If Kerry can show that the flip-flopper charge is bogus, more people will buy into the “frame” of President as untrustworthy. Plus, they’ll have a solid basis to think that Kerry will be a resolute president.
I continue to be optimistic about this race, since I think the exposure of voters to any kind of facts inevitably helps Senator Kerry and hurts President Bush. In truth, in reality, Kerry is a far superior choice to be President than Bush. (As was Gore.) The President’s ability to obfuscate reality by creating a series of diversions ought to be weakened by his having done so and been caught out on it with the Swift Boat deal. As the election nears, the Media will have a harder and harder time pretending that the actual issues facing the electorate are secondary to things such as “tan-gate,” this morning’s newest diversion (Did John Kerry Visit a Tanning Salon?”).
In the end, of course, we’ll get the President we deserve. If too many of us insist on living in a fantasy world, we’ll get a fantastically bad president. If enough of us wake up and smell the coffee, we’ll get a competent guy who’s actually committed to helping the American people and humanity in general.
And, win or lose on November 2, the days of the fascist-Repubs are about done. Americans have come too far to let these petty thieves take away our liberty. A new day is dawning, and whether it’s President Bush or President Kerry, the Rise of The Progressives has begun and shall not end for a generation.
Besides, even if Bush wins, having him around for 4 more years to torture will be fun. Why, the indictments alone will be worth it.