Forward to now, where we have a President who can't prove that he served in the National Reserve as there are no real records to be found. There are some records, but they are circumstancial at best. They can't find people (not the plural) who remember him serving. To add fuel, the Vice President was waived from participating on multiple occasions.
So it does ring hollow when the "Dubya Machine" goes into high gear attacking veteran's records. It bothered me when Senator Max Cleland was attacked by the machine (he also tried to partner with Bush to his peril -- he forgot that at the end of the day, politics is politics and that he needs to always be on his guard). And we can all remember when John McCain's service credentials were attacked (he might be a fellow GOP member, but again, politics is politics).
Again, I hate towing the democratic line, but I have to agree here. Whether Vietnam service was 2 years or 4 months, I credit Kerry for answering the call the serve and not trying to exempt out or skirt his service. And that he was anti-war upon his return doesn't mean that he is any less patriotic. Indeed, standing up against the status quo is sometimes the most patriotic thing a person can do. During the civil rights era, standing up against the status quo meant bracing water hoses, attack dogs, selective public establishments, church bombing, and attacks. It is unbelievable that the "Dubya Machine" went so far as to cut snippets of a Kerry speech to make it fit their means. Shame on Swiftboat Veterans for Truth.
I have the fortune of watching this election from a filtered lens. The lens of non-American news networks that present less bias than either CNN or Fox. And it seems shameful that attack ads on both sides cover up the real issues. A billion dollars will be spent on the presidential campaigns this year, and yet we haven't evolved politics to a point yet where we can discuss issues.
A billion dollars wasted. Especially since the majority of the voting public made up their minds a long time ago.