Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Friday, August 06, 2004

It consistently surprises me that Bush does not have more of a credibility gap. I can understand, sort of, why a lot of people prefer to believe that he is not stupid-- it would reflect poorly on themselves, and besides, most people do not particularly value intelligence. That said, it has been my experience that most people resent being lied to, and most people are at least skeptical enough to inspect the things they are told for a passing resemblance to the truth. The best way to defend a case is to catch the other party out in a statement that can't be defended as true. Even modest exaggeration debases the coin of credibility to the point where a jury will be inclined to discredit most of what that party has to say. I wonder if the Swift Boat attack ad that is presently being run may be the bogus claim that establishes once and for all that these people will say anything if they think it advances their cause, regardless of a statement's relationship to reality. It seems to me that Bush's credibility is already unraveling: although Kerry is not suggesting that the recent terror alert is based more on politics than on actual intelligence, there seem to be a number of people that default to that assumption. The whole terror alert thing seems more like a political toy than anything else to me: we are all as jumpy as cats all the time, and nothing that Tom Ridge has to say about the color of the day has any effect on that.

I'm spending most of next week in NYC, and I'm more afraid of Republicans in town for a pre-convention visit than I am of anything else.

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