Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Lurch keeps trying the Hail Mary!

David Brooks in the NY Times - Kerry Off the Leash:
Let's review the string of heavy-handed assaults from the Kerry-Edwards campaign.

On Monday, Kerry told seniors in Florida that Bush is plotting a "January surprise" to cut their Social Security benefits by as much as 45 percent. "That's up to $500 a month less for food, for clothing, for the occasional gift for a grandchild."

As Kerry knows, that's ludicrous - it's a stale and transparent canard that Democrats have brought out in election after election, to less and less effect. President Bush has not entertained and would not entertain any plan that cut benefits to seniors. Bush would sooner give up any Social Security reform than cut benefits.

Kerry's second wild attack is that Bush would reinstate the draft. The administration, which hasn't even asked for trivial public sacrifices in a time of war, does not want to bring back the draft. The Pentagon does not want to bring back the draft. The Republican Party does not want to bring back the draft. Given the nature of military technology, it doesn't make sense to bring back the draft. There may be some in the bureaucracy taking precautions, but it is hard to imagine an attack with less basis in fact.

Kerry's third attack is the whole Mary Cheney thing. That's been hashed over enough. But remarkably, Kerry has not apologized. You use somebody's daughter to attack the father and his running mate. The parents are upset. The only decent thing is to apologize. If anything, an apology would make Kerry look admirable. But Kerry, in his permanent attack dog mode, can't do the decent and politically advantageous thing.

The fourth assault is Kerry's attack on the Bush administration's supposed "ban" on stem cell research. John Edwards's ludicrous statement that if Kerry was president, people like Christopher Reeve would be able to get up and walk was only the farcical culmination of a series of exaggerations about the possibilities of finding cures for Alzheimer's and spinal cord injuries.
Brooks offer theories about why Lurch is making desperation mode plays, but I think a more interesting question is "Why now?" Usually the whacky stuff gets trotted out a few days before the election when there isn't enough time to laugh it off. But since I joined many across the nation and dropped by the county seat to cast my "no excuse absentee ballot" today, I'm thinking that maybe Lurch's handlers feel they can't wait.