The Kerry campaign has been proving its utter idiocy in dealing with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group. Their campaign against Kerry would have likely backfired with swing voters had Kerry simply issued a blanket statement disavowing their claims and attempting to change the subject. This sort of think doesn’t help Bush at all.
Certainly the last thing you’d want to do is make yourself look like you’re desperately trying to cover something up. By going on such an attack, using media surrogates to attack (and apparently lie) about those making the charges, it only increases the effectiveness of those charges. If you look like you’ve got something to hide, people are going to start thinking you do.
Personally, I think this issue is a wash – it won’t help Bush, and it’s making Kerry look spiteful and petty. Kerry had an opportunity to make his usual rhetoric about how nasty the right wing is stick – instead he’s behaved in a way that’s just as cheap.
Then again, what can you expect from someone who hangs around with Michael Moore?