Why The Smear Boats Are Sinking


Other than in the opinion of the most rabid Rush Limbaugh fans who have decided to leave reality behind, the smear boat ads aren't having the effect that the FReepers, "Bush and only Bush" Republicans, and various other right wing whack jobs had hoped for. As a matter of fact, it's not hard at all to find reporters who are speculating that the smear boat technique has either already backfired, or will backfire. What I was having a hard time understanding was, "why"?

Then I read this article, and some of the "fog of war" began to clear.

Some of us, including me, are relics from that era.

Younger Americans don't remember the Viet Nam war, and they don't hold those deep seated old grudges. Older Americans fought their own war, and have their own opinions on the success or failure of the Viet Nam war. The smear boaters just don't have the effect on them that they have on us. It's only us baby boomers who still fight that ancient battle, and there just aren't that many of us sitting on the fence.

People my age still care about what happened in Viet Nam. We know what "vietnamization" meant, how we were lied to by our government, how our National Guard shot students our own age dead, and we watched with mixed emotions as the helicopters airlifted the last Americans off the roof of the embassy in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City.) Many of us can still vividly recall those images of a woman kneeling over a dead student at Kent State, and of those Americans climbing those ladders, today.

Some of us, at least, still have an ulterior motive. We're all still on one side or the other of the question of whether the war was a just cause that staved off the growth of communism, or a failed attempt to impose democracy where it wasn't wanted. One side thinks it was an unrecognized success, the other thinks that it was an unrecognized humiliation. But we are, all of us, on both sides of the old war/peace debate, only a fraction of the swing voters.

Most of us aren't going to change our vote, this year, no matter what. Ninety percent of Americans have already made up their minds. Ten percent of "not that many" doesn't equal much. At least some of the "not that many" are going to be turned off by the smear boaters gleefully destroying the credibility of EVERY veteran who ever served in their mad lust to destroy Kerry. If every voter who swings to Bush as a result of the ads is countered by a voter who is disgusted by their low, lying tactics deciding to vote for Kerry you don't have much of a movement.

The smear boaters, who think the war was a success, can't stand to be humiliated. Their howls of rage will only grow. And we will rise to the occasion, and meet those howls of rage with our own. So it goes, but in the end the saner swing voters will be disgusted by the politically motivated smears against everyone who ever served our country honorably by the veterans for "truth".


And we may just be raising a whole new generation of Americans who will fight the same type of battle over Iraq, all of their lives. This will be Bush's historical legacy. Tearing the nation apart, once more.

Read the article. He says it better than I just did.

"I suddenly have this vision -- that when you guys reach the nursing homes, you're going to be leaning on your walkers and beating each other with your canes, because you still will not have settled the arguments from the Sixties."