Thursday, September 30, 2004

Debate #1: Tactically, a draw; strategically, Bush wins

Not much to say tonight. Some server gremlin knocked the confounded sidebar on my main page all the way down below my posts, I've been over the HTML code with a fine-tooth comb, and I can't figure out the problem. I've sent Bloggerspot tech support two SOSs with no reply. Hope this gremlin isn't communicable.

[UPDATE: It's fixed. You see, I had a plan to do fix it smarter, more effectively, and more sensitively. But I can't tell you what it was, and besides, you don't need to know about it until after I'm President of the United States...]

Now to lesser issues, like tonight's debate. My gut feeling going in was that Kerry would help himself by being the more eloquent speaker and debater, but that unless Bush made a major gaffe, he wouldn't get the boost he needed to get back into the race.

That gut feeling was pretty much borne out. Kerry scored well in a technical debating sense, but of course, that's not what presidential debates are about. He was articulate but still came across as a haughty know-it-all, with his repeated boasts that "I will do it better and smarter," etc. He was also unable to refrain from shiftiness and vagueness ("I have a plan..."), as well as inserting several Vietnam references. And he flip-flopped again within the space of a few minutes, calling OIF a "mistake" in one answer and then "not a mistake" in the next, as well as qualifying his "I'll withdraw within six months" line. Just reinforced my impression that these things are ingrained in his psyche beyond the reach of any coaching to root out of him.

Obviously was trying to reinforce his base with tiresome shots at "tax cuts for the wealthy," "guarding the oil ministry" during the post-war looting in Baghdad, Halliburton, etc. He even disinterred "Yellowcake-gate." That'll guarantee that his listless followers will be reinvigorated, at least in the near term.

Didn't help himself by arguing that there were "35 or 40" bigger threats than Saddam and then arguing that the best policy for dealing with Iran and North Korea is more Clinton-style appeasement. But this - "But if and when you do [go to war], Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes the global test..." - was a full-blown gaffe. There you go - the "permission slip from the UN to defend America." Won't knock him down much in the polls only because he isn't very far from bottoming out as it is. But, to the degree that it was possible for him to lift himself up by this encounter, that pretty much finished it.

Bush, as the incumbent and frontrunner, didn't have to score a knockout. He just needed to hold his own. And he did, though not much more than that. He focused on emphasizing his broad governing principles (centered around staying on the offensive against the Islamists - which at least deflected Kerry's homeland security arguments, if not refuted them) as opposed to getting drawn into a wonking contest, which was wise. Didn't touch on Kerry's weak Senate record, probably, I'm guessing, because the Bushies thought that would be seen as obsessing on the past rather than concentrating on the present and future. Did repeatedly hammer away at Kerry's irresolution, inconsistency, and "mixed messages." I liked how he pointed out that we can fight more than one enemy (bin Laden, Saddam) at a time. Showed some righteously indignant (Zellian...?) fire in landing on Kerry's denigration of our allies in Iraq, including Prime Minister Allawi, with both feet. Ditto the "wrong war, wrong place, wrong time" line. Smacked the "out of touch" slam with anecdote about consoling loved ones of soldiers killed in action, and turned the tables by linking it to Kerry's anti-war agitating. And he absolutely pounced on Kerry's "global test" belly-flop: "What's he mean, passes a global test? You take preemptive action in order to protect the American people."

The President didn't come across as "commanding" as Kerry did, but again, his greater stature as the sitting Chief Executive compensates for that. And his job tonight wasn't to get himself over, but simply to keep himself there. By making his case capably, if not melifluously, and avoiding any significant missteps, I would say, yes, "Mission accomplished."

I agree with Jim Geraghty's assessment, and that of one of his readers:

"No bounce for either side out of this. This evening's comments just reinforced the messages that came out of each party's the coming polls, Bush retains his lead, outside the margin of error, in the mid-to-high single digits.

"UPDATE: Kerry Spot reader Keith offers this observation that I agree with: As much as some of us political geeks may have enjoyed tonight, because there was nothing shocking or surprising, there's no way that much of the public is going to watch two more 90-minute sessions of this. They'll catch a few minutes, but so far the debate has just confirmed what they already knew."

And what they already knew, and had reinforced tonight, is what has George W. Bush on the brink of a second term.

MY UPDATE: Looks like my (and Geraghty's) instincts that last night's debate wouldn't have much impact either way on the race was (Kerry)spot-on, according to Gallup's findings:

***Demonstrated he is tough enough for the job: Bush 54%, Kerry 37%
***Likable: Bush 48%, Kerry 41%
***Believable: Bush 48%, Kerry 45%
***Agreed with you more on the issues you care about: Bush 49%, Kerry 46%
***Had a good understanding of the issues: Bush 41%, Kerry 41%
***On Iraq: (pre-debate) Bush 54%, Kerry 40%; (post-debate): Bush 54%, Kerry 43%
***Handling the responsibilities of Commander-in-Chief: (pre-debate) Bush 55%, Kerry 42%; (post-debate) Bush 54%, Kerry 44%

The one area where Kerry was the clear winner was...

***Expressed himself more clearly: Kerry 60%, Bush 32%

Conclusion? Kerry is the better debater, Bush is the better President.

Two other thoughts about the remaining debates:

1) Bush may have felt the pressure of being the favorite last night because the subject matter was his strongest suit. Since Kerry is presumed to be stronger on domestic issues, and Big Media is whirling into its "Kerry comeback" spin, the President will return to his accustomed role of debate underdog, where he always most excels.

2) One of the remaining two debates is in "townhall meeting" format, and that is Dubya's best setting, and the stiff, aloof Kerry's worst.

So "," Senator. Your time, and chances, are slip-slidin' away.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Household income growth fastest in three years

According to the Commerce Department:

"U.S. personal incomes rose 1.5% in the second quarter of 2004, the fastest pace of growth in more than three years, as income gains sped up in 33 states, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday.

"All 50 U.S. states reported increases in personal income, and real earnings for all eight U.S. regions climbed above the level set in the first quarter of 2001, the previous peak in the national business cycle, the government reported.

"'We do see an improving picture here,' said Mark Vitner, an economist at Wachovia Securities. 'I think the recovery has strengthened and broadened.'"

I just thought everybody should know that, seeing as how the scales would only fall from Big Media's eyes if their candidate emerged victorious, after which they'd instantly hail the "Kerry recovery."

I lived through that same garbage twelve years ago. Almost made me take up bulemia as a hobby.

Hopefully this little public service will help get me that testimonial gig with the National Esophagus Institute...

Kerry should try to turn debate into a fistfight

If RCP's John McIntyre is right about this, tomorrow night's first head-to-head match between the POTUS and his hapless, effete challenger should be very entertaining indeed.

"At this stage Kerry only has one choice left, and that is to try and destroy the President's internals.

"The Bush campaign has done a masterful job of tarring Kerry as a serial flip-flopper. Furthermore, Kerry himself has been all over the place on the central issue of Iraq, leaving him no room to debate on the issues. Kerry's only hope is to bring Bush's numbers down into the toilet with his."

Hasn't the far left been trying to do this for the past year and a half? And now Kerry has to do it in the space of an hour and a half? Yikes.

"If I were the Kerry people, I would focus on two clips of video. The first is Bush's debate with McCain in 2000 where McCain's dressing down and interruptions caused Bush to visibly lose his cool. Kerry should take the tactic of Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men and try and goad President Bush into losing his temper. The only way Kerry can win this debate, is to make President Bush lose it."

Thing is, if that's the debate that I remember, Bush losing his cool helped him rather than hurt him, since McCain came off looking like an asshole.

"Obviously this is an extremely high risk strategy. It is also quite likely that this type of tactic will backfire and leave John Kerry looking like a complete jerk, instead of the President. But Kerry is in so much trouble right now that if he truly wants to be President he has to roll the dice, play to win, and forget about the possible consequences."

And as we know, "rolling the dice" is not in John Kerry's psychological makeup. He's a calculator, a conniver, a mental paralytic who compulsively thinks through every possible permutation of a decision before finally making it, and then indulges in endless introspective second-guessing and hand-wringing and back-tracking and finger-pointing when it goes kerflooey. Which makes it very fortunate for him that he didn't choose a career as a chess player instead, or he'd never have lived through his first game.

Kerry is what Kerry is. He's not a gambler, and he's not capable of playing one on TV.

Which is why his making the attempt would be "must see TV"...

"I suspect the Bush campaign is well aware this tactic is a potential vulnerability for the President - which is why they negotiated so many rules into the debate format so as to forbid tactics that might lead to the President losing his temper. Kerry should throw caution to the wind and break the rules."

In short, Kerry's only chance tomorrow night is to do the very thing that cost Al Gore the debates, and the election, four years ago, only on maximum overdrive. And no matter how Dubya reacts to it (short of grabbing Brah-man's ChiComm rifle and going postal), Dubya wins.

And this is on top of what Dick Morris has been saying about Kerry alienating part of his base no matter what he says about Iraq, and perhaps all of it if he tries yet another straddle.

"All President Bush has to do is ignore Kerry and stick to what he has been saying on the campaign trail. Let Kerry win with the armchair pundits and the professional debate scorers. As long as Bush keeps his cool and sticks to his message, he's the winner on Election Day."

And then the "he coulda been a contendah" jokes can begin.

Now we remember why Kerry hasn't been doing interviews...

If you are prone to woofing your cookies after a few turns on the merry-go-round, you may want to skip this post.

I'll give Diane Sawyer credit where credit is due. She conducted a fairly tough interview with John Kerry on Good Morning America this morning, which is part & parcel of why it became his latest embarrassment in a campaign strewn with them. Remove formatting from selection

~ ~ ~

DIANE SAWYER: Was the war in Iraq worth it?

JOHN KERRY: We should not have gone to war knowing the information that we know today.

JAS: But we didn’t go to war knowing the information we know now. How could we? We didn’t know it yet, numbnuts. You seem to think that clairvoyance is a prerequisite for the presidency, even though you yourself didn’t display this trait by voting to authorize the war. Christ, where was this soothsaying ability two months ago when the Swiftboat Vets kneecapped you?

DS: So it was not worth it.

JK: We should not — it depends on the outcome ultimately — and that depends on the leadership…

JAS: Yes or no, Senator, was it worth it? Everything you've said for the past three weeks has said, "No, it wasn't." Yet when confronted with the simplest, most basic distillation of your Iraq angle, you can't give a straight, much less binary, answer. The President wouldn't have any trouble answering that question. Perhaps that's why he's been kicking your ass.

And what's this "depends on the outcome" business? Doesn't a successful outcome inherently depend upon our willingness and determination to see the mission through? Yet you've already written the whole thing off as a failure and are bellowing that we should get out. The latter would make the former a self-fulfilled prophecy. Just exactly how is that "leadership"?

JK: …And we need better leadership to get the job done successfully, but I would not have gone to war knowing that there was no imminent threat — there were no weapons of mass destruction — there was no connection of Al Qaeda — to Saddam Hussein! The president misled the American people — plain and simple. Bottom line.

JAS: You knew then there was no “imminent threat” because the President never said there was one – though your own running mate did. And you voted to authorize war.

Saddam shipped his WMDs, along with his nuclear scientists, to Syria in January 2003. This happened as a result of the President taking a multi-lateralist approach to building an alliance for “disarming” Saddam.

There was a connection to al Qaeda – does the name Abu Musab Zarqawi ring a bell?

No less than the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded in its report this summer that the President did not “mislead” the American people. And by your own rhetoric, he couldn’t possibly have done so unless he was clairvoyant and a cartoon villain of the caliber of Snidely Whiplash.

DS: So if it turns out okay, it was worth it?

JK: No.

JAS: Oh? I thought you said it “depended upon the outcome.” So do you not care about the outcome?

DS: But right now it wasn’t [ … ? … ]–

JK: It was a mistake to do what he did, but we have to succeed now that we’ve done what he’s — I mean look — we have to succeed…

JAS: It was a "mistake" to remove the dictator you claim you're glad we removed, and you say we have to succeed now by bringing in phantom allies who have already said they won't help us, and withdrawing from Iraq, which would guarantee our failure. Got it.

JK: But was it worth — as you asked the question — $200 billion and taking the focus off of Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda? That’s the question…

JAS: See what happens when you take so many different positions that you lose track of which one you’re supposed to take at any given moment? Or was the above simply another “inarticulate moment”?

“$200 billion and taking the focus off of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda” is not the question, Senator. The cost reference is a pathetic red herring, and “the focus” hasn’t been taken off of al Qaeda because this conflict is bigger than just pursuing a single terrorist group. Such groups’ state sponsors need to be taken out as well. Saddam Hussein was one of them. Syria and Iran are the other two in that region, and you want to foolishly appease them. Just exactly how does that make America safer?

JK:…The test of the presidency was whether or not you should have gone to war to get rid of him. I think, had the inspectors continued, had we done other things — there were plenty of ways to keep the pressure on Saddam Hussein.

JAS: Name one. (He never did - as usual.) Twelve years of inspections “and other things” kept no appreciable “pressure” on Saddam, and simply wasted billions of American tax dollars by compelling us to maintain substantial forces in Saudi Arabia (one of bin Laden’s bones of contention) to interdict Iraqi airspace. And as your good friend and colleague John McCain pointed out in his GOP convention speech, the UN sanction regime was collapsing.

So tell us again, Senator: how would leaving Saddam Hussein in power have made America safer?

DS: But no way to get rid of him.

JK: Oh, sure there were. Oh, yes there were. Absolutely.

DS: So you’re saying that today, even if Saddam Hussein were in power today it would be a better thing — you would prefer that . . .

JK: No, I would not prefer that. And Diane — don’t twist here.

JAS: But Senator, you now claim that Operation Iraqi Freedom was "the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time." And war was the only means of getting rid of Saddam. Ergo, you are saying that it would be a better thing for Saddam to still be in power.

And aside from that, what have you got against Chubby Checker?

JK: You have to protect our troops and you have to have an election.

JAS: You voted against "protecting our troops" a year ago, remember? And just last week you were dismissing the planned January elections in Iraq as "unrealistic" for no other reason than that President Bush and Prime Minister Allawi were touting them. Do you really expect voters to believe that you essentially endorse the Bush Iraq policy but it's been "wrong every step of the way" because George W. Bush was running it? "Where's the beef," Senator?

JK: My goal is to get our troops out of Iraq in my first term and I have no plan for long-term basing or for long-term presence.

JAS: What about Syria, Mr. Kerry? And Iran? Oh, that's right, you're going to buy them off by giving them bleeping nuclear fuel. Sorry, my mistake...

JK: This Administration has never denied that, as a matter of fact. I do.

JAS: "This Administration" has never denied that you look like Mr. Sweet Potatohead, either. So what?

JK: Well, first of all I've never said that I expect France or Germany to put troops on the ground...

JAS: Other than for the past eight months. Maybe withdrawn American troops were going to be replaced by Darth Tyrannus' droid army? Do you have a secret deal with Chancellor Palpatine you'd like to share with us?

JK:…but there are plenty of things that they can do & it depends on the relationships.

JAS: No it doesn't, Mr. Kerry. They hate George Bush, but they hate him as much because of the country he leads as him personally. They' wouldn't be so overjoyed to have you as his replacement that they'd pull a foreign policy about-face overnight and take over a mission you've done your self-serving best to smear with PR feces just because you asked them to with your pinky stuck out at right angles to your bone china teacup. They've already said this, repeatedly. Haven't you been paying attention?

JK: Secondly, I'd never expect them to say that now while a sitting president is there. No diplomat in no country and no government's going to do that.

JAS: Nod-nod, wink-wink. "The world will transform itself into paradise, and will be at America's beck and call once John 'God' Kerry is sitting on the throne."

By the way, you dribbled Grey Poupon on your tie. No, really. Look for yourself...

JK: I'm not attacking [Prime Minister Allawi]. Not attacking him at all. I - he's a strong man - I hope he's successful. I'm going to help him be successful. I'm simply telling the truth about what is happening in Iraq, Diane.

JAS: Can't backpedal fast enough, can you, Senator? You could have simply apologized, you know. But you can never admit your mistakes, even as you castigate the President for refusing to admit the errors you promiscuously attribute to him. Are you going to try to claim that Joe Lockhart's "Alawi is Bush's Charlie McCarthy" slur wasn't an attack? Or that it wasn't a more overt echo of your own?

JK: See, what the Republicans do - and they love to do — and they're very good at it and they've spent millions of dollars doing it, is just find a little [flip-flopping] sentence here and find a little sentence there and take it out of context. That's why I look forward to this debate.

JAS: Seen this video yet, Senator? It's over eleven minutes long. Even your rambling run-on sentences aren't that windy.

JK: [The infamous “I actually voted for the $87 billion before I voted against it” gaffe] just was a very inarticulate way of saying something and I had one of those inarticulate moments late in the evening when I was dead tired in the primaries and I didn't say something very clearly. But it reflects the truth of the position, which is, I fought to have the wealthiest people in America share the burden of paying for that war. It was a protest. Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted, and that's what I did.

JAS: So your roaringly hypocritical classism was so overarchingly important that it took precedence over protecting our troops in harm's way? Your priorities are grotesquely misaligned.

You know, your colleague Joe Biden says that the reason you voted against the Iraq/Afghanistan emergency appropriation was because at the time, Howard Dean was handing your head to you. And you cast that "nay" vote after pledging in an earlier interview that you would vote for it. So tell us, Senator, just how far down your list may "protection of the troops" be found?

Oh, and when you had that "inarticulate moment," it was in the middle of the day. Which wouldn't matter in and of itself if you would simply admit that both the comment and that vote were mistakes. As long as you remain in servitude to that towering ego of yours, you'll continue to be the lightning rod of national lampoonery.

JK: [The guys I windsurf] with are 'regular folks - they're carpenters and electrician's guys who work on the island. If [the Bushies] want to have fun with it, that's fine.

JAS: They're "having fun with it" because of transparently phony dodges like that one, and because you appear to be the only person in America who doesn't realize either the transparency or the phoniness.

JK: What matters is, are the American people doing better under George Bush, and they're not.

JAS: Better than what? Bush inherited a burgeoning recession and a growing Islamist terrorist threat. Today it's been over three years since we've been attacked, we've taken two nations away from the enemy, and the economy is growing faster than it has in twenty years.

As Ronald Reagan said at the end of his White House tenure, "Not bad; not too bad at all."

~ ~ ~

Can you imagine what Tim Russert or Brit Hume would do to this guy? And if they get the chance, wouldn't NBC or Fox be out of their minds not to put it on pay-per-view?

Guess who's calling for a draft?

Hint: it isn't George W. Bush.

"On a page that has been pulled from the official John Kerry site, but stored forever in the Web Archives of the Wayback Machine, details for these plans are clearly outlined. Here's just a sample:

"...John Kerry believes that in these times, we need to bolster these efforts with a nationwide commitment to national service. Whether it is a Summer of Service for our teenagers, helping young people serve their country in return for college, or the Older Americans in Service program, John Kerry's plan will call on every American of every age and every background to serve. John Kerry will set a goal of one million Americans a year in national service within the next decade.

"John Kerry Outlines Plan to Require Service for High School Students

"...As part of his 100 day plan to change America, John Kerry will propose a comprehensive service plan that includes requiring mandatory service for high school students and four years of college tuition in exchange for two years of national service.

"...A Kerry administration will offer Americans the chance to earn the equivalent of their state's four-year public college tuition in exchange for two years of service. If service members decide not to go to college, their award can be used for job training or to help start a business. John Kerry will set a national goal of half a million young people serving their nation every year within ten years.

"As President, John Kerry will defend and strengthen vital programs such as Medicare and Social Security, but he also believes on calling on America's seniors to give their time, experience, and expertise to an America that needs their help. As President, John Kerry would create the Retired Not Tired Program. ... Alternatively, seniors will be able to use these funds to defray their own health care costs. John Kerry plans to engage 100,000 seniors a year in service in the next decade.

"As President, John Kerry will ensure that every high school student in America performs community service as a requirement for graduation
[my emphasis]. This service will be a rite of passage for our nation’s youth and will help foster a lifetime of service. States would design service programs that meet their community and educational needs.

"John Kerry believes we must create a new Community Defense Service to be guided by our nation’s first responders. This service would be comprised of hundreds of thousands of Americans in neighborhoods all over the country.

"Thirteen to seventeen year olds are too old for child care and too young for many summer jobs. John Kerry believes we should tap their energy and idealism through a summer of service learning. Supervised by AmeriCorps members, these young people could help out in nursing homes, clean up local areas, or teach seniors computer skills. In turn, they would receive a $500 grant to apply to their college or vocational educations down the road."

Judging by the above, it would seem that Kerry wants to draft everybody for every purpose under the sun except for military service.

Now the merits of all this "indentured service-tude," or lack thereof, could certainly be reasonably debated. But judging by the pulling of this material from his campaign website, Kerry himself doesn't appear to think so. And given the day-glo obvious reason for said pulling, it simply reinforces the reality that reasonable debate is something this man and the creatures that are driving him toward the cliff abandoned a long, long time ago.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Can't we deport Jimmy Carter to Cuba?

Three cheers and a high-five to the New York Post for tearing Mr. Peanut a new asshole for his detestably hypocritical smearing of the government of the state of Florida as failing to meet the "basic international requirements" for fair elections in the November vote, and Secretary of State Glenda Hood as "biased" and operating a "suspicious process," not even a month after signing off on the Venezualan presidential recall election that Castroite strongman Hugo Chavez blatantly stole. I'm doubtless not speaking only for myself when I say that I've had just about enough of that mouthy old bastard.

"It is unconscionable," Carter added, "to perpetuate fraudulent or biased electoral practices in any nation."

He might try looking in the mirror.

Unless, of course, his definition of "free and fair" elections is elections that elect left-wing extremists.

Can't we even put Carter on a raft, and shove it toward Cuba? Pretty please?

Scratch that - after November 2nd, Kerry can ferry Carter there on his cig boat. He'll certainly have the spare time.

What outsourcing our foreign policy to Paris would look like

Just read it:

"France said Monday that it would take part in a proposed international conference on Iraq only if the agenda included a possible U.S. troop withdrawal, thus complicating the planning for a meeting that has drawn mixed reactions."

But that's just the appetizer - er, hors d' oeuvers - get a load of this:

"Paris also wants representatives of Iraq's insurgent groups to be invited to a conference in October or November, a call that would seem difficult for the Bush Administration to accept."

But not a Kerry administration.

This ought to be the next Bush campaign ad: John Kerry sitting across another round table in Paris from Abu Musab Zarqawi, flamboyantly gesticulating with his bloody beheading machete. Maybe Kerry could bring his ChiComm rifle along for a Nobel peace prize photo-op.

And for dessert:

"The proposed conference aims partly to enlist the help of neighboring countries like Iran and Syria to block any cross-border attempts at destabilizing Iraq or interfering with elections."

Iran and Syria? Iran and Syria?!? The two enemy powers responsible for sending thousands of "irregular" fighters streaming into Iraq? What would the French presume to offer them for their "assistance"? Syria already has Saddam's WMDs in addition to its own, as well as the nuclear know-how harvested from Saddam's nuclear scientists, and the latter are being shipped to Iran, which is a matter of months away from churning out its nuclear arsenal, and now possesses missiles with the range to reach at least part of Europe itself.

This sounds like Munich, September 1938 writ horrifyingly large. Kerry would be Neville Chamberlain, the French would be...the French, Iraq would be Czechoslovakia, and Israel...well, Israel would not, could not afford to assume the role of Poland, which was dismembered within the ensuing year. Given this scenario, it wouldn't matter if there was doubt about whether they could take out all of Iran's nuclear facilities - they would have no choice but to make the attempt.

Everybody needs to view the Bush "Peace and Security" ad spot. Repeatedly. As many times as it takes to convince every last voter that the foreign policy direction John Kerry advocates is a recipe for Armageddon.


There has been no more egregious example of John Kerry's political penis envy of President Bush than his repeated mocking invocations of what Dubya said once with regard to the terrorists in Iraq: "Bring it on!"(Actually, Bush said "Bring them on," all of which shows that the man who could be Syracuse University's next mascot can't even ridicule competently.) This while all Mr. French had to do was sit back and let the hordes of left-wing fanatic 527s defame and libel Mr. Bush at will.

Kerry kept it whipped out until somebody, in the persons of the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, actually started taking aim at the two walnut-sized objects immediately to the rear. And then, all of a sudden, the package shriveled, Kedwards' collective voice shot up a couple of octaves, and suddenly they were shrieking, "Make it stop!"

Then the Bush campaign finally joined the fray for real, took apart Kerry on the senate record he didn't want to talk about, and has been decimating Lurch with one haymaker ad after another. And after wasting money on a counter-ad last week whining about the "juvenile tone" of the Bush windsurfing spot, the Bushies obliged them by following it up with two more ads: "Searching," which is a fun-sized version of the "Kerry on Iraq" documentary, and "Peace and Security," which echoes Zell Miller's keynote speech reiterating Kerry's long history of anti-Intelligence and anti-defense votes and stances.

Now le gigolo américain is bleating, "Je donne vers le haut!"

"Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry appealed for an end to the TV advertising war that has marked his election battle against President George W. Bush. Kerry said the avalanche of negative television spots and attacks being shown on US screens was scaring off voters."

Yeah - scaring voters away from him. On the pathos scale, this is about two steps above, "Yes, sir, may I have another?"

"'I'm calling them "misleadisments,"' Kerry said of the adverts."

Hey - Lurch tried to make a funny! Maybe the blogosphere should take bets on how long it will take for him to blame that one on his staff.

"'It's all scare tactics ... because (Bush) has no record to run on.'"

Uh-huh - apart from the record he placed before the American people in New York City, and the second-term agenda that he put forth atop it You know, the one that has vaulted him to his current mid-to-high single-digit lead in the polls. You can't beat something with nothing, and that's one of Kerry's biggest problems right now.

But Kerry didn't stop there. He never does. The man is an unwitting masochist, and sadist to all who bear the misfortune of being within earshot of him:

"Kerry said America's middle classes had suffered from the huge tax cuts that Bush had presided over..."

Oh, yeah, my savings account found them to be just excruciating...

"'He doesn't care, he's out of touch,' said Kerry."

Sayeth the boy-toy of a billionheiress. Why does he think the windsurfing ad was so effective? Because he didn't fall off his board?

Too bad politics doesn't have a mercy rule. If diarrhea of the mouth was alcohol consumed, his staff would have confiscated his car keys by this time.

"Kerry also launched a new attack Bush's campaign in Iraq..."

As Ronald Reagan once said about Dems raising taxes, "Isn't that novel?"

"...a topic where Republicans have accused him of continually changing position."

Kind of like accusing the sun of rising every morning...

"'I've been right on Iraq all along," said Kerry.."

He was right until about May of last year. Just check out the aforementioned "Kerry on Iraq" video.

"I said yes, we ought to hold him (Saddam Hussein) accountable, but let's do it the right way, and I showed what it was, step by step."

Flip by flop. These gyrations didn't start until Howard Dean steamrolled him last fall. He drifted away from it after Dean self-combusted in order to hide his seditious pacifism behind his Vietnam studmuffin gimmick. Now he's drifted back to it in the wake of the ass-kicking he took from the SwiftVets because his base is hemorrhaging.

"And step-by-step the president chose the wrong way."

IOW, the President went into Iraq at all, since every "step" Kerry has suggested that isn't an aping of what the President is already doing - basically a bazillion variations on building a "grand alliance" of the three countries that were Saddam's biggest backers - would have delayed action indefinitely, providing the time the dictator and his UN friends needed to completely unravel the sanctions regime and restart his WMD programs. As John Kerry himself pointed out on numerous occasions back in the pre-Dean days when he was laying the groundwork for creating the appearance of national security sanity.

The more I think about it, the more his travails seem to trace back to the Dean phenomenon.

Maybe Dr. Demented was the Clintons' secret weapon.

Talk about insidious.

Another sign that John Kerry is doomed

The Dole comparisons have started:

"So how many Kerry Spot readers were pulling for Bob Dole in 1996? More than a few, I bet. At the National Review party at Kate's house a week or so back, there was some discussions of parallels between Dole that year and Kerry this year. Longtime member of the Senate, party loyalist, war record, has his own idiosyncratic style that doesn’t quite hit the right note with the voters. The base doesn’t quite love him, but they see him as vastly better than the incumbent. He beats a weird assortment of weaker rivals in the primary.

"And, as Jay Nordlinger pointed out, Clinton 'absolutely shellacked our guy.'

"But I ask readers to recall Dole to think of their own farfetched scenarios that they concocted in 1996, keeping hope alive that somehow, Bob Dole was going to shock the world and win the presidency. I had wondered at the time if the Electoral College vote might be much closer than anyone expected. (Clinton won 379-159, to show you how far off my thoughts were at the time.)

"Another one of the big hopes of the Republicans that year was that there was a big, silent wave of Republican voters who weren’t answering their phones, who weren’t showing up in the opinion polls, but who were going to turn out in Election Day.

"Anyway, I thought of all that as I read the headline to today’s edition of ABC News The Note: 'Faith in the Ground Game is the Last Refuge of the (Still) Optimistic Democrat.'"

I can definitely relate. Here are a couple of quotes from my blog of 8/10/96:

"On Monday, August 5th, Bill Clinton, heretofore unopposed for re-election, was suddenly and abruptly confronted with a challenger. His name? Bob Dole.

"Oh, yeah, Dole has been a presidential hopeful for the past year and a half, but only now has he become a serious candidate by making tax cuts the vehicle that will carry him to victory - if he stays behind the wheel.

"The Dole plan demolishes Dick Morris’ 'triangulation' strategy. This is the process whereby Mr. Bill prowls around the provinces pontificating on school uniforms and teen curfews and all other manner of minutia he has no direct control over, but which makes him sound, if not fashionably conservative, then certainly anything but the outlandish liberal he really is. He has succeeded spectacularly in this regard because Bob Dole has spent the past four months in a state of perpetual capsize, aimlessly wandering from one blunder to another like a blind man being led through a minefield by a seeing-eye dog with a sick sense of humor. For Triangulation to work, Clinton’s Republican opponent must embrace the mushy middle precisely because moderate positions (insofar as there is any such thing) can be manageably stolen. In embracing across-the-board tax rate reduction, Bob Dole has taken a position that Bill Clinton cannot usurp without igniting a rebellion from his liberal base. Because Dole did it first, any attempt by Mr. Bill to present a 'responsible' alternative can be dismissed as pandering me-tooism. In the highly unlikely event that Clinton got into a tax-cut bidding war, his hypocrisy would become deafening even as the debate moved farther and farther in Dole’s direction. And if he does nothing, Bubba is flushed out as the big government tax-raiser he really is.

"Tax cutting virtually sells itself. This issue has propelled pols as disparate as Ronald Reagan on one side and Jack Kennedy on the other. It even helped make Rockefeller Republican Christine Todd-Whitman governor of New Jersey, where she previously couldn’t get elected dogcatcher.

"If Bob Dole can manage to stifle that irrepressible urge of his to backpedal at the first sign of resistance, he’ll be home free."

Bob Dole lost 49%-41%. Tax cutting doesn't sell itself. And in order to sell anything, you have to have an at least competent salesperson. The Dole debacle proved conclusively that it is the candidate that matters more than his/her ideas. The former is the vehicle for the latter, and if you're stuck with a broken-down old beater, it won't matter if you're hauling solid platinum, you're not going to get from point A to point B.

But at least Senator Dole was trying to offer a positive alternative to Clinton - a reason to vote for him. Senator Kerry doesn't even do that much. To this day he has no clearly grasped, easily understood, saleable platform to put forward to compete with that of the President. He is today what he has been for the past eight months: Anybody But Bush. And that just isn't enough.

Politically speaking, I don't envy Lurch his future. Because his party, fanatically loathe to ever admit that perhaps they and their ideas are what keep shooting them down in election after election, is going to hang its 2004 defeat squarely around his scrawny, Botoxed neck.

But then, nobody on that side of the aisle will be paying much attention, what with Hillary Clinton's four-year gala processional already well underway.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Meanwhile, back at the war...


"Iran added a 'strategic missile' to its military arsenal after a successful test, and the defense minister said Saturday his country was ready to confront any external threat."


"Syria's 'President' Bashir al-Asad is in secret negotiations with Iran to secure a safe haven for a group of Iraqi nuclear scientists who were sent to Damascus before last year's war to overthrow Saddam Hussein.

"Western intelligence officials believe that President Asad is desperate to get the Iraqi scientists out of his country before their presence prompts America to target Syria as part of the war on terrorism."

Iraqi nuclear scientists were sent to ~!#$ing Syria before Operation Iraqi Freedom? Golly gee, who knew? Goodness gracious, I just don't know what to make of that.

Gee whiz, you don't think maybe they rode to %^&*ing Damascus atop the $%^&ing trucks carrying Saddam's ^%$#ing WMD arsenal, do you?

Nah, can't be. These people don't exist, just like Saddam's WMD. Michael Moore said so.

Besides, we don't dare try to stop Syria's and Iran's WMD programs (which don't exist, either) like we did Iraq's (which didn't exist), or we'll get nuked (with warheads that don't exist). Ted Kennedy said so.

And Joe Lockhart thinks George Bush lives in a fantasy world?

Cripes, they need to pass a breathalizer around that fever swamp like it was a bong.


Iraqi Justice

"'Saddam will be executed, the Iraqi people demand it,' so confessed an Iraqi official travelling with visiting interim prime minister Iyad Allawi." So reported Stewart Stogel today.

Sounds good to me. Also helps explain why John Kerry dissed Mr. Allawi last week. Just look at this additional quote from Mr. Stogel's piece:

"During an arraignment on July 1, Saddam told the presiding judge his overthrow and subsequent capture by Coalition forces was illegal and as such, any prospective trial would have no legal standing.

"Ironically, none other than U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan recently told the BBC the U.S.-U.K. invasion of Iraq in 2003 was (in his opinion) 'illegal.'"

Nothing "ironic" about it, actually, as the "Oil-for-Food" scam has defeaningly illustrated

And John Kerry, like Bill Clinton before him, knows from whom he is to take his orders.

Who knows, if Kofi "asked" him "nicely" enough, maybe Kerry would even restore Saddam to power.

After all, the "niceties" would go into the same "blind" trust, anyway, right?

More Hari-Kerry

Deborah Orin in the New York Post:

"Democrat John Kerry has lost his lead with under-30 voters because the iPod generation is getting more optimistic that the country is headed in the right direction, a new Newsweek poll found."

"President Bush and Kerry are now in a dead heat among the youngest voters with Kerry getting 45% and Bush 44% — a big switch from last month, when Kerry had a 9-point lead of 50% to 41% among under-30s, the GENext voter poll found. Its error margin is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

"Democrats had been hoping for a big boost from younger voters with music stars like Wyclef Jean, Mary J. Blige, Bruce Springsteen, the Dixie Chicks, Dave Matthews and Pearl Jam lining up for Kerry."

Correction - they lined up against Bush, not for Kerry. That young adults are deserting the Julian Kaye wannabe in droves is an indication either of the lack of stroke said musicians have with that demographic, or that said demographic has little in common with a man who'd sooner spend the evening at the opera than he would thrashing around a mosh pit.

I just love this next tidbit:

"Meanwhile, Kerry yesterday claimed Bush 'let Osama bin Laden slip away' — just days after his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, took the opposite tack and hinted Bush has a sneaky plan to produce bin Laden just before the November election."

Sounds like there's not much "pillow talk" going on in the royal boudoir.

"Kerry yesterday accused Bush of diverting troops from Afghanistan to Iraq, adding: 'All you have to do is ask General Tommy Franks' — just days after Franks, who's pro-Bush, said that Kerry claim was false. 'That's absolutely incorrect. You know, hey, my name's Tommy Franks and I don't lie,' Franks said this week."

Master[de]bator, indeed.

The Master[De]bator

As to the nuts and bolts of the Coral Gables, FL debate itself, DJ Drummond has the tale of the tape, why Dems still don't get the point of presidential debates, and why gratuitously fretful pachyderms have nothing to worry about.

Meanwhile, Jay Nordlinger sees this clash as an opportunity for Bush:

"George W. Bush needs to stick it to Kerry in that first debate — not merely play defense. He needs to find a way of saying, 'What kind of democrats are you Democrats? I mean, don't you hope we succeed? Does the Taliban out, and Karzai et al. in, and Saddam Hussein out, and Allawi et al. in, embarrass you? Sure, Kofi Annan and the thugocracies of the U.N. are against us. But where do you stand? Does our relative unpopularity at the U.N. embarrass you?'

"Get 'im, W. This is no time to act overly 'presidential.' Your job is to shame these people — a job for which they have given you plenty of material."

Confrontation isn't really Dubya's style, IMO. But if he can do the above with a wink and a smirk, I won't be complaining.

The Undiscoverable Candidate

Can you believe the Kerry campaign is actually secreting the same spin that Thursday's first presidential debate with George W. Bush is yet another chance for John Kerry to "introduce himself to the American people"? Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, this is like the dork who goes stag to the junior prom and "introduces" himself to every girl in the gym and gets shot down each and every time in turn.

Yep, John Kerry is the Jon Arbuckle of American politics. And like Garfield's hapless owner, he's running out of "girls" to rope onto the dance floor to do the electoral polka.

How long has this man been the "presumptive" Democrat nominee? Over six months? He's had all that time, plus the Dem convention, to "introduce himself." How could he possibly still be "unknown" to the American people?

The answer, of course, is that he isn't unknown. Over the course of the summer, and especially in August, after the Dem convention, the undecided public took a close look at Lurch, found a great deal wanting, and overwhelmingly said "thanks, but no thanks."

What did they see when they took this close look? A disingenuous, conniving political tap-dancer so overwhelmingly convinced of his own mental mastery that he's proven incapable of sufficient introspection to realize that he has all the actual political skill, much less interpersonal warmth, of a nauseous gila monster. That's what the whole Swiftboat Vet furor was really about, after all. His convention "introduction" was exposed as a blatant, calculated fraud that could withstand what passed for scrutiny in the People's Republic of Taxachusetts, but not remotely on the national stage. And the reflexively hamfisted way he reacted to it, the faux wounded pride, the attempted smearing and bullying, the relentless ducking and dodging without ever actually addressing questions so fundamental to his credibility that had, well, more credibility than he displayed in trying to evade them, all combined to create a picture that didn't inspire people who were evaluating the man's personal character in what is, after all, a months-long interview for the job that, in this day and age, is primarily that of the nation's protector.

The wonder is not that the President gained a five or six point bounce from the GOP convention; it is that, given what a clay pigeon Kerry had made of himself, the bounce wasn't twice that big or more, "50-50 nation" be damned.

And now, a month further along, his campaign mired in chaos, overmanaged and overhandled, so many cooks stirring the pot that there's no room in it for the soup, and the candidate himself almost a wallflower-like bystander to it all, John Kerry will be running yet another persona up the PR flagpole: Howard Dean.

When you start seeing wistfully crestfallen lib columns like this one, is it any wonder, given who and what this man is?

Or, put another way, "Anybody but Bush" has now been surpassed by "Anybody but Kerry" - in the minds of his own base.

It's the ultimate measure of the Boston Balker that he's willing to oblige them.

And that message will drown out anything he says on Thursday.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Why are conservatives allergic to victory?

I tuned in Sean Hannity's radio program today, and the first thing he did out of the chute was to launch into a near-panic over how John Kerry is saying so many outrageous things this week, and how "people will believe it!" and "it's gonna work!"

Striking me as roughly the equivalent of shoutingly warning all within earshot that the town drunk getting loaded again was going to turn the entire county into full-blown alcoholics, I promptly turned Hannity off.

This followed my normal morning websurfing through the usual circuit of news/op-ed sites. One of my normal stops is, which always has good material available for perusal. Except today.

Right on top of their main page is a pic of a beaming President Bush giving a thumbs-up sign overlaid by the big, quivering capital letters, "OVERCONFIDENT?"

I didn't get very far into the David Hogsberg piece before my blood pressure started going up even higher than usual.

"So, can Bush lose? Sure, and here's how...Overconfidence.

"The Bush Campaign may let up if it thinks the election is locked up, especially on terrorism. That could give Kerry an opening to focus on the Iraq 'quagmire' in the upcoming weeks. Add more bombings and deaths in Iraq - a likely occurrence - and the issue could shift to Kerry's advantage.

"Overconfidence may also cause Bush to be complacent about the debates. If he actually performs down to expectations - an idea the Bush Campaign will try to promote - and comes off as bumbling and unsure, while Kerry looks in command, Bush could suddenly find himself behind in the polls."

Understand that this follows five paragraphs giving chapter and verse on how the Kerry campaign might as well be riding around in a hearse. Distilled, the gist is, "Yeah, the election is in the bag, but if Bush's brain dissolves and dribbles out his ears, or he goes blind at a campaign rally and kisses Dick Cheney instead of Laura, or he forgets to put his pants on before the first debate and wears the boxer shorts with the cowboys and Indians on them, Kerry can still win!" It almost seems as though Hogsberg is trying to talk himself into putting the champagne back on ice by deliberately binging on near-inconceivable pessimistic hypotheticals.

His very next sentence is this: "Right now overconfidence is not a problem." And he knows it is never going to be. George W. Bush runs one of the steadiest, canniest, most tightly disciplined campaign shops in the annals of American politics. I don't think he, or they, are psychologically capable of overconfidence.

The confidence of Republicans in general is a lot less healthy.

For 'Pubbies, the New Deal era didn't really end until Ronald Reagan came to the rescue in 1980 (Two brief bienniums in control of Congress were just burps in the political ether, and Dwight Eisenhower could have gotten elected president on the OWL {Out With Logic - see Washington state political history, circa 1976} party ticket). His ascendancy, growing from the seeds planted by Barry Goldwater sixteen years before, in turn planted the seeds of the Gingrich "revolution" that followed fourteen years later. In 2000 the transition reached its pennultimate phase with the election of George W. Bush.

But to this day, many on the right continue to distrust their own success.

I will never forget how dismayingly many pachyderms were willing to throw in the towel in the Florida 2K uprising, rationalizing that Bush should let Gore steal the election because "everything was going to go wrong in the next four years anyway" and "Gore will make it even worse" and "he'll get the blame for it" and "we can come back in 2004 and clean up." Much the same way as I recall with equal vividity the inferiority complex inflicted upon most GOPers by Bill Clinton's seemingly effortless success at breaking practically ever law on the books, getting away with more and worse scandals than Nixon or Warren Harding ever dreamed of, and reaping skyrocketing approval numbers as his reward.

When the Dems whipped out the DUI story on the last weekend before Election Day, and the mid-single-digits Bush lead started evaporating like a loogie hitting a lava stream, all of the above started flashing before GOP eyes anew. And, having grown too accustomed to defeat, many of us actually seemed to welcome it.

But Bush fought back. Bush didn't let the other side steal his victory. He showed the mettle then that he's displayed since in the war against Islamism. And thank God for it.

So now things are looking good. Bush is up mid-to-high single digits in the polls, his Electoral College total is in the low 300s. His opponent is a pathetic, pedantic bore who's already plunged into emergency/panic mode, a naked admission that he's lost the issue arguments and has nothing serious to say.

And for a lot of us, it's just too good to be true. We just know something's gonna go wrong. It has to, because it always does. Even the best, most confident right-wing pundits out there always include a bet-hedging paragraph. Because, as we're all supposed to imbibe like mother's milk, "the race isn't over."

Well, no bleep, Sherlock. At least mathematically. I would characterize the campaign as an NBA game where the home team, after having come out flat and been tied or a little down throughout the first half, finally goes on a modest run in the third quarter, and is ahead by seven to ten points about mid-way through the fourth quarter. Now, as any basketball fan knows, a modest lead with six minutes left to go is hardly a guarantee of victory. Heck, in the NBA a modest lead with two minutes to go isn't a guarantee. But the odds of winning are unquestionably better for the home team than the visitors, and with each tick of the clock those odds tilt further in the home team's favor.

To carry the hoops analogy a little further, the road team - i.e. Kerry - is not very good offensively, and to win it has to keep the game close. If they fall significantly behind, it's proportionately more likely that they won't be able to come back.

Or leave the gym and just look at the big picture. John Kerry had the campaign table all set for him by the far-left. They battered Dubya for ten solid months without any opposition or response from the Bush White House. After Kerry won Iowa and became the "presumptive" nominee, he should have been up by double-digits. And, failing that, the horrid spring Bush had should have propelled Kerry to that big a lead in turn.

But it didn't. And the reason why it didn't is because he never offered up a reason for people to vote for him as opposed to against Bush besides "I served in Vietnam."

Fast-forward to the last week of August in New York City. The President and his party gave Americans a number of powerful reasons to vote for him as opposed to against the Boston Balker. That is why he got the convention bounce Lurch didn't, and why he's held on to the bulk of it ever since.

This is not to say that GDub is any kind of political savant or tactical genius. In truth, his campaign has been passive, plodding, and pedestrian. He strictly adhered to the obsolete notion that there's a time to campaign, and a time to govern, and the former is to be abbreviated, period. Had he been facing a Bill Clinton, by the time he got to MSG he'd have been so far behind there wouldn't have been much of a point even going through with the convention.

But he's not facing a Bill Clinton. He's facing one of the worst candidates in modern American political history. As the old saying goes, you don't pick your opponents, and most two-termers have benefitted from lackluster opposition. Kerry is the bottom of that barrel, and what Bush is doing - as well as the backdrop of events in which he is doing it - is more than enough to win.

I know all about Kerry's supposed reputation as a "strong closer." But that was in Massachusetts, where a Democrat being a "strong" closer is like being the most powerful hockey team in Haiti. The fact is, Bush's supremacy on national security, including Iraq, was always impregnable, and even if it had ever made sense for Kerry to challenge it, he'd have had to deploy a coherent counter-message and then stick to it. To throw caution to the wind and morph back into the quisling he once was with not even six weeks to go, far from a dramatic masterstroke, is simply a sad confirmation of what most voters suspected all along. Which, of course, is why even Dems dumped Howard Dean in the first place.

Lunging back to domestic issues would be pretty much the same story - if Kerry had started with that, picked two or three issues, and hammered them home, he might have made some headway. But he didn't, and trying to sell Americans on the notion that their country is a morose Dickensian landscape of soup kitchens and rag-clad waifs living in refrigerator cartons in the midst of a thirteen-trillion dollar economy growing at the fastest clip in twenty years would just make him look even sillier than he does already.

What John Kerry has done is, in essence, to go home. Return to his roots. Where it all began - as a turncoat trying to bring down his own country in order to take it over.

All the while, George W. Bush is where he's always been. Strong. Steady. Moderately right of center. I guess it's an easy thing of which to lose sight when tieing one's eyeball-stalks in knots trying to keep up with all the enemies buzzing, flitting, and lunging crazily all around him.

And when you forget who Dubya is, and start expecting him to do the same thing.

It seems he's the only one who is keeping his eyes on the prize.

And that is part & parcel of why he's going to win it - his supporters' underconfidence notwithstanding.

Somebody's becoming "unhinged from reality," and it's not the President

"During Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi's Rose Garden appearance Thursday, President Bush referred to public-opinion polls in Iraq to make a point about how things are going," writes James Robbins on NRO today. "'I saw a poll that said the right track/wrong track in Iraq was better than here in America,' he said, prompting Kerry spokesman Joe Lockhart to claim that the President had become 'unhinged from reality.'

"I found Lockhart's comment odd. It strikes me that polling data are a better reflection of conditions on the ground in Iraq than, say, Democratic talking points. Lately I have been looking over the results of two Iraq polls released in July and August, conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the Independent Institute for Administrative and Civil Society Studies (IIACCS). They are scientifically conducted polls with large sample sizes and low margins of error. The results are extremely detailed, and fascinating reading."

Indeed, they are. Also the remainder of the Robbins piece.

Somebody needs to ask Lockhart what he and his boss (Kerry, that is...) know that 25 million Iraqis do not.

Bush's momentum extends to Capitol Hill

I recall a cable television regulation bill that came before the then-Democrat Congress in the fall of 1992, or right smack in the middle of the presidential election campaign. President George Bush41 opposed it, threatened to veto it if passed. The Democrats passed it. Bush41 vetoed it. And the Dems then successfully overrode his veto.

That little legislative episode was symptomatic of the tenor and trends of that campaign. Pappy was drifting toward ignominious defeat at the hands of a "fat, lecherous hillbilly," and whatever clout he enjoyed after the (premature) end of the Gulf War had long since decisively evaporated.

Fast forward to the present, and the substantially superior prospects of his son as manifested by congressional machinations.

"Legislation extending three popular middle-class tax cuts for the rest of the decade sailed through Congress by lopsided votes in both the House and Senate, giving President Bush a major legislative victory on his signature economic issue, tax relief.

"Many Democrats complained during debate Thursday that the majority Republicans who control Congress should have offset the lost revenue to keep the nation's soaring deficits from getting worse. But in the end large numbers of Democrats supported the package, something that Republican tax-cut proponents had counted on occurring with a congressional election only 40 days away."

Yes, Republicans control, at least nominally, this Congress, and were Dems in charge they would never have allowed any tax cut legislation to see the light of day. But that control is due in large measure to the tireless campaigning and strategizing Bush43 did in the 2002 mid-term campaign, bucking history for a party in power by gaining seats in both houses, in stark contrast to Bush41, whose foolish betrayal of his anti-tax pledge split the GOP in the 1990 mid-terms, costing them two senate seats and nine house seats - and ultimately his own job.

The fact that most Dems caved indicates at the very least that they're looking after their own interests more than those of their party's presidential nominee. It seems to me that if Kerry had the "big mo" going for him, the "donks" would have put up a much stiffer fight, possibly including yet another Senate filibuster.

Spiking legislation the White House so clearly wanted in the campaign homestretch would have been a bigger broadside to the President than an entire file cabinet full of faked memos.

But it didn't happen, because for John Kerry's down-the-ticket brethren, self-preservation came first.

They say that "lonely are the brave."

I think that applies to vain losers as well.

Does Kerry want Iraqi elections - and more allies - or doesn't he?

John Kerry at New York University, four days ago:

"The President must take immediate, urgent, essential steps to guarantee that the promised election can be held next year. Credible elections are key to producing an Iraqi government that enjoys the support of the Iraqi people, and an assembly that could write a constitution and yields a viable power-sharing agreement."

John Kerry, yesterday, in his belittlement of Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi:

"'The prime minister and the President are here obviously to put their best face on the policy, but the fact is that the CIA estimates, the reporting, the ground operations and the troops all tell a different story,' Kerry said.

"Allawi told a joint meeting of Congress that democratic elections will take place in Iraq in January as scheduled, but Kerry said that was unrealistic.

"'The United States and the Iraqis have retreated from whole areas of Iraq,' Kerry told reporters outside a Columbus firehouse. 'There are no-go zones in Iraq today. You can't hold an election in a no-go zone.'" [My emphases]

What happened between these two utterances? Well, goodness, that isn't even much of a rhetorical question, is it? Prime Minister Allawi's address to a joint session of Congress, of course, which was so powerful and eloquent that it elicited repeated standing ovations from Republicans and almost all the assembled Democrats as well (doubtless an "inauthentic" response from the latter, but an indication of the prevailing political winds, another bad sign for Kerry). There in the House rostrum stood a man who is attempting a task - building his country into a democracy - that no American has faced in over two centuries, with the added handicap of foreign subversion that has, among other things, resulted in at least three attempts on his life. He completely stomped into chunky salsa the new "Iraq is Vietnam" riff to which the once and current anti-war agitator has turned in his rising desperation, displaying all the courage and selflessness of which John Kerry has proven himself so totally bereft.

So the once, current, and future junior senator from Massachusetts ran to the nearest press microphones within thirty minutes of Mr. Allawi's address and, in essence, called the Iraqi Prime Minister and American ally a liar and a Bush "puppet," an expression of abject contempt more explicitly echoed subsequently by his campaign surrogates.

(Remember the last time Kerry did this? Right after the President's acceptance speech at the GOP convention. Which ought to give you an idea of how effective and moving Mr. Allawi's words really were.)

This was a disgrace. John Kerry is a disgrace. Next thing you know he'll be droning on about the new Iraqi government "cutting off limbs, cutting off heads, blowing up bodies, razing the countryside in a manner reminiscent of Saddam Hussein," etc.

But it's nothing new. With John Kerry nothing is EVER new, because he's already said it before. Six months ago he was denouncing our Coalition allies in Iraq as "coerced and bribed" - a particularly despicable insult given that it was Kerry's "allies," France, Germany, and Russia (he didn't always think so highly of them, though...), who were on Saddam's payroll - and just this week he had his kid sister down in Australia trying to do al Qaeda's dirty work for them by running down another ally, Prime Minister John Howard, and trying to get him thrown out of office. Now he pisses in the face of the leader of the country we just liberated who came to our capital to express his gratitude to America for Iraqi freedom. And he doesn't even have the balls to do it in person, but does so from a thousand miles away.

What a coward.

And, once more, hypocrite. On Monday Kerry insisted that holding Iraqi elections on schedule was imperative; yesterday he blew them off as "unrealistic." He all but called Allawi delusional for acknowledging previously that Syria and Iran are invading his country with "insurgent" forces and then declaring in his speech his determination to hold the elections despite this resistance.

And this is from the same man that just this morning, for the umpteenth time, declared, "As president, I will fight a tougher, smarter, more effective war on terror," and yet calls the central front in that war a "quagmire" from which he wants to cut & run as soon as possible.

So, to sum all of this up, from his own recent words, John Kerry wants to fight a "tougher, smarter, more effective war on terror" by fleeing from the terrorists, and he wants to build up our alliances by kicking all their members that he doesn't like square in the groin and replacing them with rivals who will never join us and want to see us fail as badly as Kerry himself does.

I recall Al Gore saying four years ago that he would "do anything to win." In his case, "anything" included a bloodless coup attempt in which the Constitution itself was no obstacle.

By willfully and knowingly undermining his own country's national security and that of our allies, and thereby endangering the lives of American soldiers and civilians just to get into position to sue his own way to the White House, John Kerry has done Fat Albert one "better."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

<***AHEM***> NATO Allies OK Increase in Iraq Training

John Kerry's latest Iraq gambit is blown away by the first paragraph of this AP wire story.

"NATO allies agreed Wednesday to expand the alliance's training mission for Iraqi armed forces after allaying French concerns which had delayed the plans for a week."

It's late. I'll get to Spinchter-Mouth's "alliance-building" slander of Iraqi PM Allawi tomorrow.

Except to say that Lurch can kiss my big, fat American ass.

Violence for the sake of violence

There aren't words to describe how detestably vile this story is:

"A candlelight vigil to commemorate the death of the 1,000 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq turned ugly last week when anti-war protesters began heckling the family of a GI who was among those killed.According to NBC's Dallas affiliate, one North Texas family - whose relative, Chad Drake, was killed outside Baghdad on September 6 - were among the mourners at Dallas City Hall Plaza, at an event organized by the Dallas Peace Center.

"A family friend told NBC's News 5 that at one point during the ceremony, several peaceniks began hurling verbal abuse toward Drake's family after they learned Drake had fought in the war.

"The friend, who witnessed the abuse, said Drake's mother was 'harassed and yelled at, booed and hissed, [and] told her son died for nothing.'

"Mrs. Drake reportedly left the event in tears. Afterward, Drake's sister told NBC News 5 that the family thought some of the crowd was blatantly hostile to those who had sacrificed their lives while serving their country."

I don't know whether the "pacifists" were the majority or minority of the crowd, and I've never been one to endorse confrontation for its own sake, but it's a wonder that incidents like this don't become violent more often.

And, in all candor, it's also a shame. Because bastards like this need to be, shall we say, "put in their place."

Preferably with words.

But there are times when a punch in the nose is the only honorable response.


Such as this one:

"A local soldier and his family have received an outpouring of support from across the country since NBC 4 first aired a story about being beaten at a local concert, NBC 4's Nancy Burton reported.

"Foster Barton, 19, of Grove City, said that hearing from so many people makes him realize he and his fellow soldiers have a lot of support, and that one single act of violence should not take away from that.

"Barton was home on leave from Iraq recovering from knee surgery when he said he was attacked in the Germain Amphitheatre parking lot after a Toby Keith concert.

"Barton said his attacker beat him up because he was wearing an Operation Iraqi Freedom T-shirt. Barton was beaten so badly that he was knocked unconscious.

"Barton has already won a Purple Heart for his efforts in Iraq. He was wounded and nearly lost his leg when his Humvee was attacked, and was home on leave when the alleged attack after the concert occurred."

And this is how he's rewarded - and by a "peace"nik, no less. Makes me wish there was a draft, just so scum like Mr. Barton's attacker could be conscripted, dragged over to Iraq, and posted on guard duty in central Fallujah.

"Barton said the sooner doctors tell him he can go back to Iraq, the better."

I don't doubt it. He'll probably be a lot safer over there.


Speaking of vile and detestable, here's what "America's sweetheart" whipped out yesterday morning:

"America's morning TV sweetheart, Katie Couric, wasted no time on Wednesday trying to turn the beheading of Americans in Iraq into political ammunition - asking the brother of executed hostage Jack Hensley if he still supported the war.

"'Well, how do you feel about the war in Iraq at this point?' the Today host asked Ty Hensley, after having him describe the devastating impact of his brother's murder just hours before."

No, I don't think Hensley should have socked Katie with a stiff right-cross. And he did a manful job of maintaining his composure while nonetheless telling her that yes, he still supported the war.

But again, I'm not so sure that the Zell Miller approach wasn't a helluva lot more appropriate.

As a matter of fact, I think I'll surf over and watch his speech again. I could use some more fist-pumping.

How the Bushies "stole" feminism

Remember Naomi Wolf, the feminazi who counseled Al Gore on campaign fashion ("Earth tones, alpha male," etc.) in the 2000 presidential race? She writes a mortified piece today on how the President has managed to neutralize the "gender gap" this time around. 'Tis quite amusing.

She claims the "guru/genius/mastermind" of the Bush campaign isn't Karl Rove, but Karen Hughes. She says that Laura Bush and Lynne Cheney are being used masterfully to "soften" their husband's "hard edges" while also reinforcing their "forceful decisiveness," which is very appealing to "security moms." And she grudgingly raves about the GOP's "color-coordination."

OTOH, Wolf castigates Teraaaaaaaayza for her "me-me-me"-ism which exacerbates the way her (inherited) wealth makes her gigolo hubby look all the more like an out-of-touch, emasculated panzy. "By publicly shining the light on herself rather than her husband, she opened a symbolic breach in Kerry’s archetypal armor. Listen to what the Republicans are hitting Kerry with: Indecisive. Effete. French. They are all but calling this tall, accomplished war hero gay."

Well, look at his reaction to the Bush "Windsurfing" ad. Look at his reflexive bullying of the Swiftboat Vets when they came out with their first ad. Look at how he got goaded by the President into saying that he'd still vote for the Iraq war resolution even in hindsight. Look at how he blames his Secret Service agent when he falls flat on his face, or his speechwriters when he says something stupid, or the engineer of his campaign train when he forgets to make a middle-of-the-night campaign stop in the middle of Kansas.

And look at how he overembellished his Vietnam war exploits.

Kerry looks like a man so insecure about his masculinity, and a great deal else, that he becomes a puppet on a string at the tiniest slight.

A "girly-man," indeed.

Wolf also calls Liz Edwards fat - "she is even the size of the average American woman" - but there's only so much laughter a man can take.

A perfect example of why Kerry will never win

If you haven't yet seen the latest Bush ad, poking fun at Kerry's flip-flopping using footage of him windsurfing as the visual device, click here.

This is, quite simply, a hilarious spot because its premise - that Lurch is a political windsock - is absolutely, self-evidently, and almost painfully true. It's also a hoot because the windsurfing theme is also so typically Kerry - a rich man's pasttime that most "ordinary" Americans haven't the time or money to pursue.

But what makes it slam-dunkingly effective is that it takes relentless aim at one of the Boston Balker's biggest achilles heels: his towering hauteur. This is a man who takes himself so agonizingly seriously, thinks so highly of himself, his intellect, his overarchingly supreme judgment, and the sense of absolute entitlement with which it all marinates his psyche, that he has apparently never learned the need for even the surface artifice of self-deprecation, or the basic, minimum grace and poise to take needling in stride. He's like the whiney kid on the playground that gets teased by everybody else precisely because they all know they can always get a rise out of him.

Want proof? Here it is.

"The Kerry campaign reacted angrily to the ad, charging that its 'lighthearted' approach was inappropriate in the middle of a war.

"'This is a shameful advertisement that shows a disturbing disregard for those fighting and sacrificing in Iraq,' said Kerry spokesman Mike McCurry, who demanded that the President repudiate it."

But the ad had nothing at all to do with "those fighting and sacrificing in Iraq." It had everything to do with Kerry's inability to make up his mind about it, or anything else.

"Edwards offered a similar critique during an appearance in Miami, Florida.

"'Today George Bush is laughing again. Over 1,000 Americans have lost their lives. Americans are being beheaded. Iraq is a mess, and they think this is a joke,'"

No, they don't think any of that is a joke. They think John Kerry is a joke, particularly on national security, and more and more Americans are reaching the same conclusion.

"Edwards said. 'It is clear they have no idea how to protect our troops, but they will do anything to protect their jobs."

It's not the job of a president to "protect our troops." It's the job of our troops to protect us. This is what Kerry doesn't understand, and why he's becoming a national laughingstock.

The Bushies' bland, understated, dignified, matter-of-fact riposte to all this huffing & puffing was just classic:

"Bush campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel defended the ad, saying that 'what's disturbing is John Kerry's various shifting positions on the war on Iraq. What the ad spells out is that it's important to have a leader whose word we can believe not only on the day they say it but the next day as well. There is no weather vane on top of the White House. This country needs leaders who stand for something when the times are good and when the times are bad."

If it had been me, I would have let the ad speak for itself. This is like having to explain the punchline of an obvious witticism to the one dunderhead in the room who's too dense to "get it."

But, as usual, Kerry just couldn't leave it well enough alone. Not by barreling to the nearest microphone to whine about it, but by quickly whipping out a whiney counter-ad instead:

"The Kerry campaign released a new spot, denouncing the windsurfing commercial as 'a juvenile and tasteless attack ad.'"

I've lost count of the number of times in this campaign that I thought these people couldn't get any more incompetent, and then have proven me wrong. This is literally unbelievable. With their resources limited by the acceptance of public funding, and the number of battleground states for them shrinking, and their candidate sinking in the polls, the Kerryites actually bought air time to bitch about the tone of an opposition advertisement.

Leave aside the flip-flopping and the public relations stupidity of inviting TV crews to film Brah-man doing what only missed the narration of Robin Leach - can this guy really be this easy to manipulate?

But of course - look at how easily the Islamist "insurgents" are manipulating him.

And that's the point of the ad.

Proving that sometimes, humor is the best way of illustrating the deadly serious.

Leveling the politicoreligious playing field

This Christian Science Monitor story is beyond rich:

"More than 130 members of the US House of Representatives want to amend the law that prohibits partisan activity - such as political rallies, fundraisers, distribution of political literature, and direct endorsements from the pulpit - by pastors and houses of worship. They hope to do this by inserting a provision into a bill that is already before a House-Senate conference committee - thus avoiding public debate or votes in either body.

"Supporters say the provision is needed to restore free speech to religious leaders. Barring political endorsements from the pulpit curtails the First Amendment rights of pastors, they say.

"But opponents argue that it would turn houses of worship into campaign vehicles and possibly reshape the America's religious and political landscapes in harmful ways. They worry that political endorsements could divide churches, lead to reconfiguring memberships along political lines, adulterate their spiritual purpose and prophetic role as societal consciences, and even perhaps turn their coffers into unregulated channels for campaign financing."

Turning houses of worship into campaign vehicles - like Democrats have been doing to black churches for years. Between politicking "reverends" like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and Dem politicos from Bill Clinton and Al Gore to John Kerry regularly delivering race-baiting stump speeches from black pulpits, this law that 130 House conservatives want to change has been hanging in carbonized tatters for my entire freaking lifetime, entirely from one direction. All they seek to do is make it a two-way street.

And we know how fiercely protective liberals are of their myriad hypocrisies, and how much they want to keep and hold the social right down, don't we?

Certainly enough to insult the public's intelligence with these chickenbleep excuses.

Here's hoping that on passing the Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act, "turning the other cheek" takes the form of a few well-placed head butts.

Florida Supremes as arrogant and macabre as ever

The SCOF gave Terri Schiavo's scumbag husband his long-sought deathwish yesterday. But just look at the attitude they copped in their majority opinion:

"It is without question an invasion of the authority of the judicial branch for the Legislature to pass a law that allows the executive branch to interfere with the final judicial determination in a case. That is precisely what occurred here," wrote Democrat Chief Justice Barbara Pariente.

That's the most breathtakingly brazen declaration of judicial supremacism over the legislative and executive branches I've seen yet. And in the cause of legalized euthanasia (and, in Mrs. Schiavo's case, prolonged physical torture), no less.

Well does the Newsmax story ask,

"Feminist groups have been curiously silent about the notorious case. Do the so-called National Organization for Women and similar groups think it's OK for men to kill women who are inconvenient?"

Perhaps it's the wrong "bitches" who are dying too soon.

Wasn't federalizing airport security supposed to make us SAFER?

According to USA Today:

"Undercover investigators were able to sneak explosives and weapons past security screeners at 15 airports nationwide, according to a government report on aviation security.

"The government watchdog for the Department of Homeland Security, Clark Kent Ervin, delivered the results of the tests in a classified report to members of Congress. 'The performance was poor,' said Ervin, the department's inspector general, in releasing a less detailed version Wednesday.

"The tests were done during the second half of 2003. But they highlight ongoing vulnerabilities in the nation's aviation security system, particularly in detecting explosives such as those that Russian authorities say were used to bring down two airliners last month."

Didn't the federal government take over airport security screening from the private sector three years ago on precisely the premise that the latter was "negligent" and "didn't take it seriously" enough? And weren't there a few lonely, isolated voices in the wilderness - mine among them - who predicted that far from being a solution, this so-called "fix" would only degrade airport security further by replacing "cost-cutting subcontractors" with bored, diffident, incompetent public sector drones?

If I had a buck for every time I've said "See, I told you so," I could make an offer on one of John Kerry's...well, I was going to say "Gulfstream jets," but "custom-made, lighter-than-goose-down, bazillion-speed bicycles" is probably closer to the truth.

Besides, I could use the exercise.

Does anybody remember President McGovern?

Dick Morris looks at John Kerry's suicidal embrace of Deania and just shakes his head:

"Stung by criticism that his campaign lacks direction and focus, Senator John Kerry has chosen to base his candidacy on an all-out assault on President Bush's record in Iraq — indeed, opted to move to the left decisively and attack the war head-on.

"Liberals will cheer Kerry's new-found decisiveness, but it opens the way for Bush to deal him a counterstroke that can all but end this election and finish off Kerry for good.

"Kerry's right flank is now gapingly vulnerable to a Bush attack. According to Scott Rasmussen's tracking polls, 30% to 40% of Kerry's voters disagree with his new leftward tilt on Iraq...Bush can now move in and peel off Kerry's moderate supporters.

"John Kerry has zigged when he should have zagged. He has chosen to fight over terror and Iraq when he should have stayed on domestic issues. He has tacked left when he should have stayed in the center on foreign issues and attacked on matters closer to home."

I'll say it again: that was precisely my publicly-offered advice to the Democrats a full year ago.

Good thing they're not bowled over by my vast influence, huh?

Of course, one can ask just how much domestic traction Kerry could have gained in the midst of a burgeoning economic boom. Given the economic "plan" he's offered, it's difficult to see how he could have ever gone to town on it. His health care "plan" is a statist fraud. His education "plan" is as redundant as it is invisible.

That's not to say that Morris, or I, was wrong about emphasizing domestic issues. Just that doing so successfully quite evidently requires a far better quality of candidate than the Democrats have fielded.You could even conclude, and many doubtless will afterwards, that this is one of those years, with the inevitable primacy of national security, in which any Democrat would have had a forelornly uphill struggle, regardless of the strategy employed.

But John Kerry has made his task even more, and needlessly, difficult by approaching the campaign as if he didn't need a strategy beyond his hoary old Massachusetts senate re-election template. Now that he's found out differently, and just at the ultimate moment of crisis and typical indecision, in came the Clinton cavalry with what might be dubbed "Operation Custer" - a botched smear attempt (Rathergate), a snarling, relentless attack pose against Bush (which won't make him any more personable and for which he's highly ill-suited), and the wholesale embrace of Howard Dean dementia (which I could have sworn Dems dumped Dean for Kerry to avoid).

It brings to mind the old joke about Little Big Horn: Why was the ground all white after Custer's last stand? Because the Indians kept coming and coming and coming...

In this case, the "Indians" are in Kerry's own camp.

And there's absolutely nothing about that picture that's remotely pretty...

GOP looking to nail Kerry on Rathergate

Looks like the usually supine pachyderms have had some recent spine implants. Take a gander at what RNC chairman Ed Gillespie had to say today:

"Many questions still remain. Was a crime committed? I believe so. Obviously, forgery is involved. But the Texas Legal Code also says it is a third-degree felony if one 'makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent that it be taken as a genuine governmental record' or 'makes, presents, or uses a governmental record with knowledge of its falsity.'

"Did the Kerry campaign know about the existence of the documents in question in advance of the CBS report? A chronology of events indicates they did.

"Bill Burkett says he made multiple contacts with the Kerry campaign in August, sending an e-mail newsletter on August 21 saying he talked to Kerry campaign seniors on Friday, August 20. The Kerry campaign told him they wanted to 'counterattack,' and he says he 'gave them the information to do it with.'

"Bill Burkett says he contacted the Democratic National Committee and laid out a rationale for using what he termed 'down and dirty tactics against President Bush.'

"We know that the Kerry campaign devised a strategy to attack the President’s National Guard service that began the same night the Republican National Convention ended, with Senator Kerry attacking the president’s Guard service on the night of September 2.

"Two days before the 60 Minutes report aired, Howard Wolfson, a strategist dispatched to the DNC by the Kerry campaign, joined the DNC to head up 'Operation Fortunate Son.'

"On Wednesday, September 8th, the day of the report, the DNC officially launched 'Operation Fortunate Son' and 'Texans For Truth,' funded by a Kerry supporter, announced an advertising campaign.

"On Thursday, the day after the 60 Minutes report, the DNC distributed an ad that had clearly been prepared in anticipation of the CBS News report, and cited the documents at a DNC press conference where Senator Tom Harkin called the President a 'liar.'

"One might argue that these steps were taken without advance knowledge of the existence of the documents and this is all coincidence, but that strains credibility.

"CBS has apologized for airing the story based on discredited documents, but has not issued a retraction. One of its producers contacted the Kerry campaign to encourage them to talk to one of her sources who could be helpful to the campaign. Whether this was done as part of an agreement with the source to go public or as a friendly tip, it is entirely inappropriate. Yet CBS News allows to continue in a news-gathering and reporting capacity a journalist who, according to yesterday’s Associated Press 'makes no secret of her liberal beliefs' and has unquestionably provided opposition research to one of the presidential campaigns.

"This demonstrates a serious lack of judgment separate and apart from the lack of judgment demonstrated in running a report based on discredited documents. Did this producer’s own political viewpoint cloud her judgment? Is CBS News’ decision to neither suspend nor release the producer in question a result of judgment clouded by Viacom and CBS owner Sumner Redstone's role as a Kerry fund-raiser or Viacom President Tom Freston’s public support of John Kerry for president?

"Other questions that should be answered:

"1. We know that CBS put the Kerry campaign in touch with Burkett, but who put Burkett in touch with CBS in the first place? Was it someone at the Kerry campaign, or the DNC?

"2. Who were the seniors other than [former] Senator Cleland that Burkett spoke to at the Kerry campaign on August 20? Lockhart wasn't a part of the Kerry campaign on August 20, and neither were McCurry, Begala, Carville or Greenberg. So, who spoke with Burkett on August 20, and to whom did he provide the information for a 'counterattack'?

"3. Did the Kerry campaign or the DNC know about the documents before the CBS story broke? If so, from whom did they learn of them?

"The centerpiece of the Kerry campaign’s 'character-based critique,' Boston-speak for character assassination, is based on a discredited news report that was based on the criminal activity of someone who mocked up and forged documents. What’s that say for the character of the Kerry campaign?

"CBS should act now to assure its viewers that it understands the gravity of its producers’ actions, and the Kerry campaign and the DNC should answer these questions, abandon its character assassination campaign and focus on the issues relevant to the American people in this election."

As Artie Johnson used to say on Laugh-In, verrrrrrrrrry interesting.

Of course, neither CBS nor the Dems will comply with Gillespie's recommendations. Which guarantees that Rathergate will be a millstone around John Kerry's neck for the remainder of the campaign that will not only hamper him but neuter any further smear forays.

Remember at the beginning of Rathergate when I said (last post on Thursday, 9/9):

"The question being most asked is where CBS got those forged docs. Anybody want to bet that if this can be traced back far enough, it was the Clinton machine that set this caper in motion to either embarrass Kerry and/or make it that much more difficult to credibly 'get' George W. Bush?"

One thing I remember vividly about the Clinton machine: they didn't make mistakes.

And I hardly think they've just "spontaneously" lost their touch now.