Ooo, a delectable “turnabout is fair play”-type Swift Boat retort from the paper once known as McNews! (via Truthout) (How’s this for insuring message discipline: “Since February, the White House has banned all Guard and military commanders outside the Pentagon from commenting on Bush’s records or service. Requests for information must go to the Pentagon’s Freedom of Information Act office.”)

Speaking of cowardice —

Josh Marshall has choice and elegant words on the president’s character issues:

“The real issue isn’t physical bravery but moral cowardice. President Bush is an examplar of that quality in spades. And it cuts directly to his failures as president. Forget about thirty years ago, just think about the last three years.

[…]

The same sort of moral cowardice that led him to support the Vietnam war but decide it wasn’t for him, run companies into the ground and let others pay the bill, play gutter politics but run for the hills when someone asks him to say it to their face, those are the same qualities that led the president to lie the country into war, fail to prepare for the aftermath and then refuse to take responsibility for any of it when the bill started to come due.

That’s the argument John Kerry needs to be making. And he needs to make it right now.”

(It’s worth reading his whole entry.)

I have never liked Bob Dole —

Not even his cuddly new Diet Pepsi-shilling, Brittany-lusting, Viagra-touting, self-effacing, wise-cracking late night TV persona. Somehow, New Bob never really disguised Ineffectual, Mean-Spirited Obstructionist Old Bob – the bitter war hero who went to Washington to block progressive reforms at every turn without ever, ever offering constructive alternatives. So I part with Matt Yglesias on that introductory point in this column, but couldn’t agree more with the rest of it.

For an encore —

The White House line is that the president will unveil his shiny new second term agenda at the Convention. Until then, it’s all a closely guarded secret. Could it be that he’s still trying to figure out what to do with the next four years, in the unthinkable event that he is either legitimately elected or rigged into office? Recall that he was deeply mired and uninspired in his first year, doing nothing but taking vacations until September 11. September 11 gave him an agenda, all right — a gift-wrapped opportunity to undermine or eliminate all those pesky aspects of democracy that bother Republicans so. But now, even conservatives are getting nervous about the deafening silence from the Bushies. Golly… what do we think George W. Bush will do with a second term in office? If you didn’t read Robert Reich’s thoughts on the second term agenda when I linked to his article last April, by all means, read the piece now.

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