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NYT flogs the lifeless TANG horse

Today's New York Times brings us yet another hit piece on Bush's TANG records. It's the usual stuff, allegations of missed drills and special treatment, but nothing substantial or novel enough to elicit anything more than a stifled yawn from any but the most partisan Kerry backers.

God, this must be frustrating as hell for those guys! Why does this story seem unable to gain the kind of traction that the Swift Vets got?

Here's why: people don't care.

Well okay, maybe they care a little, but it will never be a huge campaign issue for most voters. The average person on the street likely just assumes that Bush got some favorable treatment while in the Guard. They may not like the fact that this kind of thing goes on, but they pretty much accept it as a matter of course.

My guess is that Bush's less-than-stellar Guard service may have cost him a point or two in the polls, but that hit has long ago been factored into his overall approval rating, and repeated questions and innuendo are unlikely to result in additional damage.

The ABB crowd is seething at the hit Kerry took from the Swift Vets, and they're desperate to reproduce it. The problem is, Bush's campaign didn't package him as a war hero. They haven't made his TANG service the centerpiece of his campaign. Bush doesn't constantly invoke the imagery of his National Guard duty in practically every speech or public appearance he makes.

These things matter. That's why the Swift Vets campaign resonated in ways that the "Texans for Truth" cannot achieve. It's astonishing that they're still unable to realize this.


You're right, Barry.

The mistake the Democrats make is assuming that this is more important that Bush's four years as president.

The only reason that Kerry's record from the same time period has been of more import is because the guy made us all focus on his service.

People will judge Bush on his presidency - good or bad. Not on what he did 35 years ago.

I'm still shaking my head that Kerry made the decision to call Bush's Guard service, "hiding out." Not many weekend warriors hiding out these days. I'm active duty and I took umbrage at that jab. I wonder how many present and former guard personnel are angered that they were considered to be hiding out too.

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