Saturday, September 11, 2004

Gillespie vs. McAuliffe

Now that we've seen Terry McAuliffe in the past two days all over the news, standing at a podium calling Bush a liar and AWOL, it's amazing what the differences between the respective heads of the two parties are. Gillespie will get on the cable news shows every so often and say a few pro-Bush words and lob a few grenades at the Kerry camp, but the tone of the attacks are always along the "weak on defense," "voted against X program and Y spending on the military," and "will raise taxes." Which is what you'd expect the leader of the Republicans to say: completely unsubstantive and actually quite boring.

Contrast that with the hysterical McAuliffe, who can't control himself from drifting further and further off into Deanland. Ask yourself: should the leader of the Democrats really be going on these ad hominem attacks? If they want to dispatch their surrogates, like Harkin or Robert Reich (saw him on Fox News tonight) or whatever, that's understandable, but the leader of a party is supposed to be above the fray - sort of the elderly statesman of the crew, the coach who doesn't get involved in name-calling with the other team's players but instead focuses on developing a devastating gameplan in private while dutifully reciting all the bland, substance-free cliches in public. I think these rampages by McAuliffe, which will obviously wreak major political fallout on him and his party once the Rather documents are exposed (I predict that Wednesday is when the house of cards falls down. They have the weekend to hide out in their Manhattan apartments, but CBS and Rather can't hide once Monday rolls around), more than anything make Americans wonder what the hell this supposed "leader" is doing.

The same could be said for Bush vs. Kerry too; Bush hasn't ever personally waded into the Swift Boat saga, but Kerry runs around with the Hollywood, Michael Moore conspiracy theorists, doing public appearances and fundraisers with them, not to mention his "Bush lied" and failed to serve his country schticks. I know the CW says that no swing voters exist, but I submit that a lot of people are becoming more and more put-off by the antics of the Democratic establishment. It's one thing to have attack dogs (I hate MoveOn, but they're certainly good at getting their message out. Their problem is that they're factually challenged), but it's another to bring the establishment into the fold.

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