Saturday, September 11, 2004

Diversionary Tactic

The whole story about Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard now centers around typefaces, superscripts, and minutiae. This is exactly how the defenders of Bush want it to go. Divert the attention away from the real story – did Bush fulfill his commitment? – and look at the trivial – did CBS participate or fall victim to a hoax?

It’s worked for them before. The whole business over the hanging, dimpled, or pregnant chads in the 2000 Florida recount took the attention away from the fact that there was never a valid count of all the ballots in the state before the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in. It’s like the magician’s creed – keep the audience’s attention elsewhere while you make the switch and palm the coin.

Of course, there is one person who could put the whole matter to rest in this case. He’s not some anonymous source, not some dead lieutenant colonel, and not a handwriting or typestyle expert. It’s George W. Bush. Get him under oath, just like the Republicans insisted for Bill Clinton. That would end the whole thing right there.