Not that Big John was ever down and out in this race against Bush, but this comeback is more about the return of a spine into the back of him and his Democratic Party. This week we've seen dozens of examples of Kerry and his surrogates openly challenging the government on a variety of issues. To wit:
1. Howard Dean's claim Sunday that Homeland Security's terror alert for the East Coast may have been politically motivated. He caught heat for it at the time, but once newspapers revealed
that much of the threat intelligence predated 9/11, people started wondering, "Hey, maybe that was politically motivated."
2. Kerry mocking the "we've turned the corner" line in Bush's new and improved stump speech, saying that the last President who used that rationale
was Herbert Hoover, and also weaving it into a motif from his acceptance speech:
“Just saying that you’ve turned a corner doesn’t make it so. Just like saying there are weapons of mass destruction (in Iraq) doesn’t make it so. Just like saying you can fight a war on the cheap doesn’t make it so. Just like saying ’mission accomplished’ doesn’t make it so.”
3. Jon Stewart's anal coring
of GOP "Rapid Response Team" Rep. Henry Bonilla of Texas, who couldn't even name where he got the statistic that Kerry and Edwards are "the most liberal and the fourth-most liberal US senators." Go read the transcript at the link, it's awesome.
4. Donna Brazile's anal coring
of GOP strategist Ed Rogers, bringing him to his knees with a single question:
BRAZILE: Dick Cheney served in Congress for over a decade. How many bills did he pass?
ROGERS: (steam coming out of his ears, long pause) Dick Cheney was very effective...
ROGERS: He was rewarded by his party and he was acknowledged by his party as a leader very early on. He was put in a leadership position in Congress.
BRAZILE: Only two. Only two. John Kerry, 57. We've corrected the record today. We've corrected the record today.
Well, there goes that "Kerry wasn't an effective senator" meme.
5. Kerry actually bringing up the whole Bush reading "The Pet Goat" thing
from Fahrenheit 9/11, criticizing the President for his failure of leadership:
“Had I been reading to children and had my top aide whisper in my ear that America is under attack, I would have told those kids very nicely and politely that the president of the United States has something that he needs to attend to,” Kerry said.
6. Kerry's campaigning in traditional Republican strongholds, like Grand Rapids, MI; Davenport, IA; southern and western Missouri; and elsewhere.
7. The media actually catching a Republican in a lie, this being Alan Keyes, who the Illinois GOP has tapped to run against Barack Obama for US Senate, despite the fact that Keyes lives in Maryland. Here's what Keyes had to say in 2000:
I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there. So I certainly wouldn't imitate it.
There are others, but these are the best. All in all, this is a real comeback, a willingness from the mainstream candidates and the mainstream press, not the fringes, to go after the Republican liars and spinmeisters, to force the GOP into account. I love it. Go Big John!