-- Badger Bush every time he attempts to showcase his prowess as commander in chief, as with these recent spurious charges that President Bush is exploiting 9-11 through political ads designed to underscore his military leadership.
-- Scream bloody murder every time Team Bush properly highlights the senator's very vulnerable record, particularly on defense. Kerry will squeal that his patriotism is being challenged in an effort to squelch inquiry into his indefensible history of cutting vital weapons systems. Yet all the while he'll try to impugn President Bush's patriotism through misinformation about his attendance record with the Air National Guard.
-- Invoke his military heroism in Vietnam ad nauseum while declaring off limits any discussion about his opportunistic verbal assaults on our troops from his Jane Fondaesque bully pulpit beginning immediately upon his return from Southeast Asia.
-- Engage in truly negative campaigning by positively distorting his own record and negatively distorting Bush's record from the issue of jobs, to tax cuts for the rich, to false charges of the administration lying about WMD.
We must understand that dirty campaigning is lying about or distorting your record or your opponent's record. It is not dirty to expose the truth about your policy positions and record or that of your opponent, even when it puts him in a negative light. Such an airing of the record is not only not dirty campaigning, it is essential to inform the electorate. If the candidates' views and records aren't fair game, then there is no point to political campaigns or even to democratic participation.
So if you keep your eyes open, you'll likely see that every time Kerry complains about Bush's negative campaigning, Bush will have struck pay dirt on an unflattering aspect of Kerry's record or policy proposals. Team Bush should be undeterred by such specious protests and treat them as invitations to dig deeper into John Kerry's abysmal record with the goal of enlightening the public about the consequences of electing him as our next president.