Pull up a chair, Ralph. We need to talk.
You see, Ralph, watching this whole kettle of fish that was stirred by the not-so-swift boat liars boil over during the past few days, something occured to me.
Dubya's henchboys are doing the smear thing because he's managed to stay within spitting distance of Kerry in the polls. The goppers are coming up on their convention, so both the Democratic Party and GOP have kicked up the decibel level on the megaphones. No one wants to yield the stage. And because Dub's within spitting distance, he can play to his base with bullshit like the Kerry's record of service, simply because he doesn't have to defend his own spotty record. It may be bullshit, but it keeps TeamKerry on defense.
Now, if Dub was behind an additional 3 to 5 points (interestingly enough, just what you're polling in most states that will let you in), I'm of the opinion that the Bush campaign couldn't pull this crap. The reason? He'd actually have to find an issue that he's strong on, and really highlight that attribute. I know, I know, the pickings are slim, but that's the way he'd have to campaign.
So let's get down to brass tacks. The whole swifty thing is your fault. If you weren't hanging around in the margins, George Bush might actually have to campaign on the issues. Notice I said, "might". But the thing is, as long as you're still sucking up campaign oxygen, you give Bush life. And you give the Rovian attack machine the breathing room it needs to run out some other trumpped up stuff (did you hear the latest? Edwards didn't serve in 'nam. Doesn't matter that he wasn't old enough...).
You, more than anyone, should recgonize the value of actually discussing issues in a presidential campaign. But as long as you remain in the race, you give voice to the slander machines, and real policy issues that define the difference between the two candidates go undebated.
So please, Ralph. I'm asking; I'm begging; I'm pleading; I'm putting this nicely one more time:
It's time to go.