Military people past and present have good reason to wonder if the current administration truly values their service beyond its immediate effect on its battlefield of choice. The casting of suspicion and doubt about the actions of veterans who have run against President Bush or opposed his policies has been a constant theme of his career. This pattern of denigrating the service of those with whom they disagree risks cheapening the public's appreciation of what it means to serve, and in the long term may hurt the Republicans themselves.Finally, a Republican outs the Bush administration's disdain for those who have served our country honorably. He lays out Karl Rove's playbook for the world to see. Everyone with two neurons to rub together could connect the dots, but it really helps to have a non-Democrat tell it like it is and make it clear how destructive this tactic is, not only to the Swift Boatee (e.g. Kerry, Murtha, McCain), but more importantly to service veterans as a whole.
Not unlike the Clinton 'triangulation' strategy, the approach has been to attack an opponent's greatest perceived strength in order to diminish his overall credibility. To no one's surprise, surrogates carry out the attacks, leaving President Bush and other Republican leaders to benefit from the results while publicly distancing themselves from the actual remarks.
Webb suggests that this may come back to haunt the Rethuglican party in the long run. One can only hope.