During the early months of 2004, Rep. Dick Gephardt called President Bush a "miserable failure," Wesley Clark stood by and smiled while hefty-lefty filmmaker Michael Moore call the president a "deserter," Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe echoed Moore and said Bush had been AWOL from his National Guard unit, Al Gore said Bush "betrayed" the American people, and Sen. John Forbes Kerry called Bush an "extremist." In addition, according to a blog on the official Kerry for President web site, Kerry's wife at a MoveOn.org house party in December 2003 handed out buttons that read "Asses of Evil" and featured the names of George Bush, Dick Cheney and John Ashcroft.
Given the harsh rhetoric Democrats have directed towards President Bush, it was nice to see a Kansas City Star editorial on March 4, 2004 with the headline "Kerry vs. Bush: Keep it clean." However, the content of the editorial was not quite what I had excepted. (Okay, it was what I have come to expect from The Star.)"Personal attacks and dubious charges will inevitably appear," The Star noted. "Republicans have relied on these attacks in recent presidential elections, and Democratic voters have made it clear this year they want their champion to fight fire with fire."
Further, "If [Bush] quickly turns to harsh personal attacks and inflammatory rhetoric, Kerry likely will respond in kind."
Kerry likely will respond in kind?