September 2004
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Day September 10, 2004

Killian memos, campaign tactics, and my lack of comments

I haven’t commented on the Killian memos (1) or recent campaign tactics, and I’m going generally going to continue that policy. Like many writing online, I’m far more interested in what our next President proposes to do, especially since solutions to health care, economic growth, the social safety net, foreign policy issues, and civil liberties aren’t without significant difficulties and tradeoffs. I guess I’m getting accustomed to the fact that the remainder of the campaign is going to be fought tactically and without much deliberation or discussion. And that depresses me.

I’m not even sure I know whether that’s the right strategy or not anymore. It certainly isn’t the right strategy for reaching me, and many of the folks I talk with or whose writings I read. But we’re a small and non-representative sample of the citizenry, so perhaps the attacks and negative campaigning are needed to reach others. I hope that’s not the case, because it doesn’t say anything particularly good about the state of citizen decision-making. It’s also the case that folks like me have long-settled choices in this campaign, so it’s also possible that reaching the miniscule percentage of undecideds requires different tactics.

I just hope the Kerry campaign knows what it’s doing.

I don’t have a huge argument here…I’m mostly just articulating why I’m not commenting much on the state of either candidate’s campaign lately.

(1) I do, however, tend to believe that at least some of the Killian memos could be forged, and not well done at that. The presence of proportional fonts, kerning of the type, true superscript “th” for 187th, and the true right single quote rather than vertical apostrophe do suggest the use of a modern word processor rather than a commonly available typewriter. And even if some specialized and expensive typewriting/setting equipment was available in the early 1970’s, it doesn’t seem very likely it would be used in National Guard offices, does it?

UPDATE: I knew I shouldn’t have commented on the Killian memos at all. Turns out that the IBM Executive Model D did have all the features needed to produce the memos, or so some experts have claimed. I’ll just shut up about it and let you read the ongoing controversy yourself.