A great maneuver in politics and war is to surprise your opponent by appearing to attack on one front and, once the opponent has turned his attention to that front, surprise him by launching the major and planned assault on the newly weakened front.
See e.g. the opening scene in Gladiator and the maneuvering outside the Black Gate in “Return of the King.”
Consensus opinion, which I agree with, is that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are on weakest ground when they attack Kerry over his service record. Virtually the entire punditocracy has said they should go after Kerry’s anti-war activities. Nonetheless, the Swifties fired their first compelling shot against Kerry’s war hero status.
Once the first shot was lobbed, the Swifties, with supporters in the blogosphere started taking apart Kerry’s war record. A lot of people thought it mean spirited and some still do. But, right when the volume got to near ear piercing decibles, the Swifties began an assault on the anti-war activities John Kerry engaged in.
Attacking on two fronts, the Swifties had barely made headway on the anti-war front before returning, with ad number three, to Kerry’s war record. The last ad, at least to me, is not even all that compelling — though it is probably because Cambodia is old news in the blogosphere.
My prediction is that the Swifties, having mixed up Kerry’s forces, are about to launch their final offensive on Kerry’s anti-war activities. We’ve gotten hints of it in the past few days. People are starting to come forward, probing at Kerry’s defenses, mentioning that Kerry’s statements were used by the North Vietnamese.
The Swifties are marshalling their strength and forces to win the war. John Kerry had four months of battle experience. The Swifties have years and we are about to witness their battlefield experience.
This should be fun to watch.