So much for the post-convention bounce - just a scant week after the conclusion of the hatefest that was the Republican National Convention, the incompetent incumbent ("the incumbetent?") saw the triumphant reports of his double-digit lead over Kerry in some polls swallowed by a spate of natural disasters and human atrocities: hurricane after destructive hurricane slamming into the Florida coast, the Chechen school standoff and its bloody aftermath, even the news of former President Clinton's impending quadruple-bypass heart surgery. Now Dubya faces a shitstorm of his own making, as fresh and potentially damning inquiries into his spotty National Guard service have resurfaced and are - take a deep breath - being aired on such mainstream news outlets as 60 Minutes this time around. Last night's story on CBS provoked another release of previously "lost" documentation from the White House which more or less confirms what most of us suspected all along - that our "War President" failed to meet his obligations while serving in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War and only garnered his much-touted honorable discharge in the same manner as he got his plum noncombat fighter pilot berth in the first place, i.e. by pulling strings and using his father's political clout.
And now comes Kitty Kelly's tell-all about the Bushes titled The Family, which alleges that our born-again, clean and sober hero of September 11th was snorting cocaine at Camp David while Poppy was President, if her sources are to be believed. Primary source Sharon Bush, the former wife of George's cousin Neil Bush, has since backed off her initial assertions, but as Karl Rove and his political smear machine know all too well at this point, the average American never reads the retractions, which is why the ads floated by the Swift Boat Veterans for "Truth" hurt Kerry's approval ratings as well as they did. Well, what's good for the gander is good for the goose; let Rove and company do some damage control for a change as their golden boy is exposed as the substance-abusing, draft-dodging compulsive liar that he is. No wonder Bush is trying to wriggle its way out of one of the three scheduled debates against Kerry before the November elections - his campaign is literally hanging by the thread of self-delusion that the GOP rank and file need to maintain in order to stomach backing this born loser for a second term. Even the normally unflappable Dick Cheney has resorted to base scare tactics in order to keep the electorate in line, insinuating earlier this week that if Kerry were to be elected, the nation would almost certainly be attacked again by terrorists (Cheney insists that his remarks were taken the wrong way, but he knew damned well what he was saying, and what kind of an effect such comments would have less than sixty days before the election).
Will the people allow their fear to overlook the simple fact that over the past four years the Bush Administration has done nothing but careen from disaster to disaster, and will almost certainly do exactly the same if (re)elected to office? Or will sanity prevail and the United States of America take its first step back from the brink and onto the path of civilized behavior in early November? I guess we'll find out soon enough!