Actually, Democrats have convinced themselves taht Dukakis loss because he did not fight back hard against charges made against him, so they have to head their boat toward the guns. But, they are shooting back at Bush and not the guys who are firing at them. Kerry finds himself in an ambush where he is shooting at someone who is not there. Meanwhile the Swiftvets continue to draw blood as it becomes clearer and clearer that while Bush may benefit from their attacks, he is not responsible for them. For the Swiftvets, what they are saying has nothing to do with Bush, and everything to do with Kerry. Kerry may redirect some fire toward Bush from Kerry's accomplices in the media, but in the meantime he is sitting in the Swiftvets kill zone only responding with insults.
In a move that has puzzled many observers, John Kerry saw the claims by former Swift Boat veterans gaining traction, and he decided to fight fire with… gasoline.
While true that the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth were sapping Kerry’s numbers among veterans—a little bit because of the ads, but mostly because of media attention surrounding them and the book, Unfit for Command—the issue really was operating around the fringes, on blogs, talk radio, and cable TV news.
Yet Kerry taking direct aim at the ads made the story legitimate headline news.
So for more than a week now, Kerry has been talking about what happened 35 years ago, instead of what he’d like to see happen for the next four years. And he doesn’t seem to know how to get the discussion back on track.