Saturday, March 20, 2004


You need to read Joshua Marshall's excellent analysis of how Bush has bulled his way ahead of Kerry. Marshall's main argument: At a critical moment, the Bush forces have successfully framed the public's perception of Kerry, based on lies. And Kerry has stumbled in his attempts to break the frame.

Marshall: "The winning campaign against the president is equally clear. He doesn't tell the truth. Almost nothing he has told the American people has turned out to be true (from budgets to jobs, from wmds to his personal past). In many cases, that's because he's lied to them. In others, it's because he's promised things he had no reason to believe were true. In some instances, he just failed to deliver."

I disagree with Marshall on one key point: "Just as the president only tauntingly alludes to the attacks being mounted by his campaign surrogates, Kerry can't go around calling the president a liar."

Really? What if he did? Imagine the publicity!

The Republican brainwashing system would scream in outrage, of course. But so what? They'll scream in outrage no matter what the Kerry forces do.

I suggest Kerry initiate a phase of his campaign centered around two words: "BUSH LIES!" I see posters on telephone poles around the country, bearing that phrase and the URL of a website detailing all of this administration's many fabrications.

Yes, I think Kerry should say the words himself. He should lead crowds in chanting the phrase. When the pundits howl in protest, don't back down. Keep hitting hard: BUSH LIES. BUSH LIES. BUSH LIES!

Make the campaign about the president's credibility. Never offer an apology for using those two words; always offer specific examples demonstrating why the words are justified. When the press asks Kerry why he isn't running a positive campaign, he should answer that there is nothing more positive than the truth, and he wishes Mr. Bush would start telling it.

Later, the opportunity will come for John Kerry to have a "pet the dog" scene (as they say in Hollywood) to prove his likability. Right now, he needs to do something dramatic -- even melodramatic -- to make the race about George W. Bush. He needs to deliver a clear, simple message: BUSH LIES!

No comments: