Friday, June 24, 2005


RoveGate: Josh Marshall Gets It

Today, Josh Marshall's sole comment (so far!) on the whole RoveGate phenomenon is to bring up what he said in this August 2004 post of his on the philosophy behind the John O' Neill "Swift Boat" attacks:

Consider for a moment what the big game is here. This is a battle between two candidates to demonstrate toughness on national security. Toughness is a unitary quality, really -- a personal, characterological quality rather than one rooted in policy or divisible in any real way. So both sides are trying to prove to undecided voters either that they're tougher than the other guy or at least tough enough for the job. In a post-9/11 environment, obviously, this question of strength, toughness or resolve is particularly salient. That, of course, is why so much of this debate is about war and military service in the first place. One way -- perhaps the best way -- to demonstrate someone's lack of toughness or strength is to attack them and show they are either unwilling or unable to defend themselves -- thus the rough slang I used above. And that I think is a big part of what is happening here. Someone who can't or won't defend themselves certainly isn't someone you can depend upon to defend you.
Yes, yes, yes! THAT is why so many of us were so pissed off about Durbin's crumpling up like toilet paper in a rainstorm. THAT is why Kerry himself wanted to hit back, and HARD, against O'Neill's Two-Lie Crew, but refrained from doing so because of his advisors. If Durbin -- or Kerry -- can't or won't defend himself, how the hell does he expect to get people to believe that he'll defend them?

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