Sunday, February 01, 2004

Still Waiting Here's yesterday's e-mail from the Kerry camp to supporters:
This week the chairman of the RNC and George Bush's own campaign manager questioned my commitment to the defense of our nation...I take a back seat to no one when it comes to defending America. As a veteran, I have fought for this nation and as a senator I have been a steadfast supporter of our armed forces. These attacks are particularly outrageous because this president has turned his back on America's veterans.

I understand something that George Bush doesn't. The commander in chief of this nation has a responsibility to defend and protect not only soldiers in the field, but also veterans and their families when they come home. George Bush has failed that test. So, if George Bush and his Republican attack machine want to attack my commitment to defending this nation, I have three words for them they will all understand: Bring it on.

Again Kerry's answer to criticism is, first and foremost, to tout his military service. He also tacks on criticism of Bush's record on veterans issues, but that is clearly secondary.

Now, maybe the Kerry camp's refusal to waver from the I Fought In A War spiel is a primary campaign tactic, designed to keep their candidate "on message." And you could argue that the military rhetoric is directed not so much at Bush as at Democratic primary voters--part of Kerry's "electability pitch."

All the same, isn't it time for Kerry's handlers to give us all at least a hint of their strategy for the general election--when the question of "electability" goes out the window? Shouldn't his people start throwing out substantive rebuttles to criticism now and then?

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.