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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

"Where Was Bush?"

This is a new DNC page questioning Bush's military service record that is being pushed on the Kerry blog this morning. That the Kerry campaign is making this an issue really bothers me (previously the campaign had let the DNC pursue this line of attack on its own, but now the Kerry camp seems to be wading into the muck as well). Yes, Bush appears to have some inconsistencies in his military record, but no, I don't think that has any place in the presidential campaign. As Kerry himself said in 1992:

The race for the White House should be about leadership, and leadership requires that one help heal the wounds of Vietnam, not reopen them... We do not need to divide America over who served and how.

Those words remain as true today as they were in 1992, when Kerry was defending Bill Clinton's Vietnam-era choices. I fear that resorting to divisive tactics like these, though they may help Kerry win some votes, poisons the well of American politics even further, making progress on real issues more difficult to achieve.