Faithful commenter Matt writes regarding the body armor ad:
It's also absurd. Let's go over what this argument supposes:You may have noticed that the narratives that define political campaigns occasionaly deviate from slavish devotion to "facts" and "truth." What this ad is is brilliant political theatre. There are a million legitimate ways to criticise the administration's execution ot the Iraq occupation. The problem is this: they're complicated, boring, and impossible to explain in a 30-second ad.
A) That Donald Rumsfeld would not take more budget if you gave it to him.
B) That you know more about the effective distribution of resources for battlefield safety than staff at the Pentagon.
Seriously, the body armor thing is a horrendously stupid argument. Could it make a great campaign? Sure, but it just fails on its merits.
This is exactly the same thing as the "John Kerry voted against $80 Billion for the troops" that was so effective against him. It is a minor out-of-context vote (maybe even a procedural vote?) that is used to illustrate the broader point.
In Kerry's case, the point was: Kerry is soft on terror.
In this case the point is: The Republicans have screwed up the war.
Both points are debatably true, but more importantly, both fit well in the narrative that the parties want to use in the respective campaigns.