You Think You’re Tired Of Hearing About Vietnam Now — Just Wait Part 2

Here’s an excerpt from a post I wrote back on Feb 11th of this year. Given all the Vietnam related charges and counter-charges being tossed around, I thought it might be a good time to pull this one out of the archives…

“However, if you’re already sick of talking about Vietnam, just give it a few months. I say that because the Democrats seem to be gearing up to make John Kerry’s distinguished service in Vietnam one of the key issues, perhaps THE key issue that he intends to run on.

I know some of you are probably thinking,

“Come on Hawkins, he won those medals 35 years ago and then he even allowed the world to think that he threw them away for more than a decade. Surely he can’t think that he’s going ride those medals to the Presidency?”

Hey, I’m not in charge of political strategy for the Kerry campaign. But, if they’re crazy enough to think that they’re going to be able to sell people on the idea that man who has been in the Senate for 20 years is going to stand up and “fight special interests,” then they obviously believe they can convince people of just about anything.

But, if you’re watching, all the signs of a “Vietnam” strategy are there. Kerry has already been mocked across the blogosphere for incessantly mentioning that he was in Vietnam. He also surrounds himself with Vietnam vets and has run campaign commercials in the primaries that focus on his status as a, “veteran and war hero”.

Most importantly, you have to remember that the last thing a Massachusetts liberal with a terrible voting record on security issues wants to do is go toe to toe on defense issues with George Bush in a time of war. So expect him to try to use the old Max Cleland dodge to get out of it. Kerry will claim that simply being a decorated Vietnam vet makes him credible on national defense and if anyone questions his judgement, they’re attacking his patriotism. Then the issue becomes the attacks on his patriotism, not his sure to be mousey foreign policy.

So if Kerry is going to try to convince voters that they can trust him in the Oval Office primarily because he’s a war hero, then the GOP is going to have to hammer him on his disgraceful activities after he returned Vietnam just enough neutralize the issue. Of course, that means — yes, you guessed it — we’re all probably going to be treated to Vietnam discussions ad nauseum for months unless Kerry gets his nose bloodied on the issue early and decides to go in another direction. All I can say is root for that bloody nose…”

Now I did expect the debate to be mostly about what Kerry did after the war, not during it, but of course we didn’t know at the time that John Kerry was fibbing about his record in Vietnam.

Moreover, may I add that this STILL ISN’T CLOSE to being over. Yes, the Republican National Convention will tear the spotlight off of the Swiftees for Truth, but only temporarily.

You know why I say that? Because there’s blood in the water…John Kerry’s blood.

The SBVFT have already caught Kerry in a lie about Cambodia and that damaged him. Furthermore, the fact that Kerry is refusing to release his military record and is stonewalling the charges made against him, despite all the attention they’re getting, is making him look dishonest. On top of that, if the Swift Boat Vets for Truth can convince that public that John Kerry is telling a number of lies about his record or even more importantly, can deliver the coup de grace and show that he lied to get one of his Purple Hearts, this campaign is as good as over.

Personally, I think that there is a lot of “there there” to the charges made by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and unless Kerry can put this whole issue to rest by releasing his records and coming up with plausible answers to some of the tougher questions the SBVFT are putting to him, his run at the presidency is going to be crippled.

So despite the fact that there are lot of issues that are more relevant to this campaign than Vietnam, like Iraq, the war on terror, taxes, etc, etc, Vietnam looks likely to loom large in this election all the way down to the wire…

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