AWOL?….Josh Marshall wonders why the issue of George Bush’s military service is getting traction this time around, when it didn’t in 2000:

But there is something different here. And the difference is that the Democrats have decided to go on the offensive — and this is a version of preemption that Dems may, and should, warm to. After Clark had some stumbles with the issue, Kerry has been hitting it for a couple weeks. And the recent round of coverage on it would never have emerged had Terry McAullife not forced it into the news cycle over the weekend.

He’s right. But there’s more to it than that. I know that all these points are painfully obvious, but can I make them anyway? Thanks.

  • Thank you, Michael Moore! Sure, “deserter” was deliberately inflammatory, but that’s Moore’s schtick, isn’t it? And without the controversy about whether Moore had gone too far, this whole thing would have blown over almost immediately.

  • Back in 2000 a bit of youthful rebellion against military discipline wasn’t that big a deal. After 9/11 and last year’s flight-suited carrier landing, it is. George Bush’s own actions have made this into a legitimate issue.

  • Dare I say it? Perhaps blogs have helped to keep this issue simmering along….

  • Finally, there’s really only one question here, and it’s the one that everyone should be banging on: why won’t Bush release his full military record? What’s he afraid of?

    All the speculation in the world isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit. The battle cry should be, “Release your service record, Mr. Commander in Chief.” And we should say it over and over and over and over until it’s as famous as Willie Horton or Morning in America or Monica’s blue dress.

There’s no excuse for not releasing those records in full. Unless, of course, he has something to hide.

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