Sunday, August 22, 2004

Maureen Dowd:


It's easy for the Bushes to stay gallant. They delegate the gutter.

There are always third-party political assassins, ostensibly independent, to do the dynasty wet work.

W.'s old pal and running partner, Lee Atwater, set up the Bush modus operandi: Lay in the weeds while craftily planting plausibly deniable surrogates to slice up your rival....

Reports in The New York Times and The Washington Post last week made it clear that the vile Swift boaters have told wildly varying accounts, sometimes supportive of Mr. Kerry.

The Times revealed that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - is that like the administration's Clear Skies Act for spewing pollution? - has a trellis of ties to Karl Rove, the Bush family and Bush supporters. "A Texas publicist who once helped prepare Mr. Bush's father for his debate when he was running for vice president provided them with strategic advice," Kate Zernike and Jim Rutenberg wrote. Indeed, it was the same woman who worked for a third party group that slimed Mr. McCain on the environment in the 2000 primaries....

It makes sense for W. to use surrogates to do his fighting, just as he did when he slid out of Vietnam and just as he did when he sent our troops to fight his administration's misbegotten vanity war in Iraq.

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