This ad, which isn't authorized by his campaign but should be, shows why he is such a formidable candidate.
I find it hard sometimes to fathom the hatred the left seems to hold for him. It isn't just the bitter taste of defeat at his hands, or seething resentment over his visionary efforts to reshape the global strategic landscape.
There is something more, something deeper.
I think a key element is the "AWOL" fiasco. Here you had a bunch of people with little understanding of the military (or its Guard component) trying to tell people who did understand them what to think.
In essence, they were hoping to alienate the strong support for President Bush that the vast majority of military members (and veterans) feel. When that didn't happen, the left was enraged.
They simply couldn't accept that fact that for most of us, George W. Bush is the real deal. He is a man of integrity who honorably served his country. What they were hoping was to cause the same disillusionment that they felt when Bill Clinton betrayed them.
It didn't happen, because there was no betrayal.
This drives the left to distraction.
To put it another way, each faction in our divided America lives by a code. For conservatives, the Code is simple and ancient: honor your family, your country and your God.
For "red" America, hard work and rugged individualism aren't cliches foisted on an unthinking populace by a manipulative Texas oil-seeking cabal; they are time-tested rules to live by.
People who violate this code are punished. Witness Trent Lott and George H.W. Bush. Betray "red" America, and you taste the fate of traitors everywhere. Honor and the Code demand it.
For "blue" America, rules aren't as important as intentions. There is no Code, only a lust for power. This is why they were willing to surround Clinton with a wall of their own bodies to prevent him from being impeached. His betrayal of their movement and lies were not nearly as important as the prospect of defeat.
This "win at all costs" mentality leads to strange bedfellows. We have already seen "women's rights activists" defend the Taliban. "Human rights" advocates are still shilling for Saddam, lamenting his fall and trying to protect the mullahs.
And of course "anti-war" leftists of every stripe chant the siren song of honorable defeat, surrender in slow motion. They do this because in their fevered minds, radical Islam is less dangerous than a Republican Congress.
The debris in New York City and corpses from Bali to Madrid prove them wrong, but they don't care.
They are still hiding behind the towel. They hope to convince "red" America that George W. Bush has violated the Code not because the Code has any meaning to them, but because it confers a tactical advantage.
This is why their charges that Bush was AWOL or failed to stop 9/11 ring hollow.
We know the Code. We live the Code. They don't, and never will.