Wednesday, March 26, 2003
Ready for the Backlash: I think Kerry, for all his opportunism, is too savvy to say anything meaningful in criticism of Bush or the war. Kerry has been able to play both sides of the war fence for years, stretching back to when he was the anti-war vet who supported the troops in Vietnam but wanted them withdrawn bad enough to hurl his medals at the steps of the Capitol except they were somebody else's medals and his were back at home in a polished walnut box or something. (Deep breath.) I think the Dems have to consider this very seriously. The first effect of bad news will not be to turn Americans into anti-war types overnight. Remember that even 10 years and thousands of dead Americans into the Vietnam war, Nixon still won re-election without making any serious moves toward withdrawal. The smart thing to do is what Daschle did: voice support for the troops, but attack Bush for failing to convince the French to bless our endeavor. Daschle took a big risk, and took some major criticism from the GOP and some veiled criticism from Dems. But he achieved one major victory -- he got to be the last major voice you heard slamming Bush before the bombs fell. If things go well, nobody will remember that; if things go poorly, Daschle hopes, everyone will.