Sunday, September 05, 2004
Democratic Activists Preparing For Nasty Fight
If it is a tabloid war they want the Bush campaign is going to get it.
A book is coming out by a popular author detailing Bush troubles with drugs, alcohol, women, and unwanted pregnancies.
It is common knowledge around Washington that Bush has started drinking again and he and Cheney have had past drinking problems.
The AWOL charge will not go away and is coming out again in a big way.
Kerry wanted to respond immediately to the Swift Boat Lies but was persuaded it was a lie and everyone knew it. Because he didn't respond it was allowed to grow and has cast doubts on his believability. Never again. Kerry is assembling his come from behind team and activists who have also gotten tired of the do-nothing Democratic leadership will come out swinging independently.
A taste of this can be found in Kleiman's pick up of Susan Estrich's goes nuclear.
Activist Democrats are angry.As one who lived through an August like this, 16 years ago - replete with rumors that were lies, which the Bush campaign claimed they had nothing to do with and later admitted they had planted - I'm angry, too. I've been to this movie. Lies move numbers.
Remember the one about Dukakis suffering from depression after he lost the governorship? We lost six points over that lie, planted by George W.'s close friend and colleague in the 1988 campaign, Lee Atwater. Or how about the one about Kitty Dukakis burning a flag at an anti-war demonstration, another out-and-out lie, which the Bush campaign denied having anything to do with, except that it turned out to have come from a United States senator via the Republican National Committee? Atwater later apologized to me for that, too, on his deathbed. Did I mention that Lee's wife is connected to the woman running the Swift Boat campaign?
What do you do, Democrats keep asking each other.
The answer is not pretty, but everyone knows what it is.
The trouble with Democrats, traditionally, is that we're not mean enough. Too much is at stake to play by Dukakis' rules and lose again. That is the conclusion Democrats have reached. So watch out. Millions of dollars will be on the table. And there are plenty of choices for what to spend it on.
Gary Permalink on 9/05/2004
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