Tuesday, February 24, 2004
Bush Already Wrapping Himself in 9-11
"September the 14th, 2001, I stood in the ruins of the Twin Towers. I remember a lot that day," Bush told 1,400 Republican donors at a fund-raiser for GOP governors, recalling his trip to New York after the attacks.
"As we all did that day, these men and women searching through the rubble took it personally. I took it personally," he said. "I have a responsibility that goes on. I will never relent in bringing justice to our enemies. I will defend America, whatever it takes."
This man is going to wrap himself in the flag in order to win the election. Get used to it.
John Kerry understands this. He has preemptively been establishing his own patriotic credentials and openly discussing his own war record in order to inoculate himself against Bush attacks. Smart huh? Not according to the blogoshere, liberal bloggers think it shameful JK is spending so much time on a “non-issue.”
I keep hearing it repeated on multiple blogs, mostly from liberal bloggers, distain about how Kerry is using the flag and how his use of his Vietnam experience will backfire. Most can’t believe Kerry is not talking about “real” issues. I find this to be understandable and debatable from a liberal perspective, but naïve about the nature of political campaigns. The culture of liberals resents the attention paid to mere symbols of this country like the flag. Most would argue vehemently it is intangibles like civil liberties or legal documents like the Constitution that should be revered. At the same time, they would look disdainfully to the “simple patriot” who slaps a flag decal on his pickup truck. Okay, I’m not going to get into the argument here about patriotic symbols and their worth as contrasted with the fundamentals of democracy like civil liberties. This isn’t my point…
What I do want to discuss is just pure campaign strategy and lessons of why Republicans win elections. Every year, Democrats start talking about “issues,” the same issues 70% of the American people agree with us on, then every year the Republicans kick our ass by wrapping themselves in the flag and by questioning the patriotism of the Democrats.
John Kerry realizes something most Democrats don’t. If you let the Republicans have the “flag,” Democrats will lose this election. Liberals call it a non-issue and decry how shallow the debate is being waged. Have you stopped to wonder why John Kerry is doing better with blue-collar workers than Edwards? He understands the importance of “image” and patriotism and how they can be used to develop trust with Americans. He is not being disingenuous in this approach and is dealing with a real issue. Giving the Republicans a monopoly on patriotism and patriotic symbols is a real issue. There is a lesson here Democrats should have learned long ago.
George Bush only has the “flag” to run on. Take it away and the Emperor has no clothes. Do you really think Americans understood the “lock-box” in 2000? No, they made fun of it. When Bush stood with all the military generals and military, did they remember that? Yes.
Most bloggers have simply lost perspective and are demanding our preferred candidates to engage each other in a level of debate on issues far beyond what 90% of the American public could follow. If Kerry were out every day introducing a new wonkish policy, the same people criticizing him now, would be decrying him as being out of touch. Give me a break, this is about winning… Liberal bloggers, buck up and sit through the simple crap it takes to win elections and stop trying to torpedo JK.