Tuesday, August 31, 2004
You want a man of accomplishment? They give you George W. Bush. He managed to get in Andover, Harvard and Yale with little effort and fewer brains. As Social Chair, he managed to take a bunch of eggheaded bookworms at the DKE house at Yale and showed them how to close a book on occasion and have some good clean fun. That’s leadership, by God. He showed it was possible to find some spots in West Texas that weren’t polluted underneath the surface with gooey, sticky oil flowing willy nilly. The man’s an environmentalist! He darn near killed the will to drill in Texas!
But his true greatness? One day in September of 2001 he grabbed a megaphone and showed real backbone. It sold McCain, and he’s a tough sonuvagun. It sold Dennis Miller and he made a career (purposefully past tense) being a damn cynic. That’s right. Kerry has his four months, but Bush, efficiency expert, has managed to base a whole lie on one day. Beat that, medal boy!
Monday, August 30, 2004
And I am proud to join you this evening in commending to all Americans the man who now represents your best wishes and mine for the future of our country, my friend, Governor George W. Bush, the next president of the United States….
It is easy to forget in politics where principle ends and selfishness begins. It takes leaders of courage and character to remember the difference.
Tomorrow, our party will nominate such a leader. George W. Bush believes in the greatness of America and the justice of our cause. He believes in the America of the immigrant's dream, the high lantern of freedom and hope to the world.
He will confidently defend our interests and values wherever they are threatened. I say to all Americans, Republican, Democrat or Independent, if you believe America deserves leaders with a purpose more ennobling than expediency and opportunism, then vote for Governor Bush.
If you believe patriotism is more than a sound bite and public service should be more than a photo-op then vote for Governor Bush.
My friend, Governor Bush, believes in an America that is so much more than the sum of its divided parts. He wants to give you back a government that serves all the people no matter the circumstances of their birth. And he wants to lead a Republican Party that is as big as the country we serve.
He wants nothing to divide us into separate nations. Not our color. Not our race. Not our wealth. Not our religion. Not our politics. He wants us to live for America, as one nation, and together profess the American Creed of self-evident truths.
I support him. I am grateful to him. And I am proud of him. He is a good man from a good family that has, in good times and bad, dedicated themselves t o America.
Okay, maybe the last line was sincere:
I have such faith in you, my fellow Americans. And I am haunted by the vision of what will be.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Bush Campaign Lawyer Quits Over Ties to Ads Group
CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - A top lawyer for President Bush's re-election campaign resigned on Wednesday after disclosing he has been providing legal advice to a group that accuses Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry of lying about his Vietnam War record.
Benjamin Ginsberg was the second person to quit the Bush campaign over ties to the group, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which has been attacking Kerry's record through television commercials and a book.
Likewise, Mike Russell, spokesman for the Swift Boat group, denied any coordination with the Bush campaign, and said Ginsberg had agreed to continue advising the group.
"I was at the nexus of making sure (coordination) didn't happen. To suggest otherwise is flat wrong," Ginsberg said.
Glad he cleared that up. He was at the nexus that didn't exist.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war in Vietnam, called an ad criticizing John Kerry's military service "dishonest and dishonorable" and urged the White House on Thursday to condemn it as well.
"It was the same kind of deal that was pulled on me," McCain said in an interview with The Associated Press, referring to his bitter Republican primary fight with President Bush.
The unmentioned villain in McCain’s recollection was none other than the same President Bush he endorsed at the 2000 Republican Convention and now campaigns with. Any reasonable person knows McCain can’t respect Bush and any political observer knows he tweaks him whenever he can. But he continues to play “good soldier” by campaigning with the Shrub and even letting the chimp hug him as if they pledged DKE together. Bush hasn’t condemned anything but the right of all 527s to air ads, honest or not—spotting the ethical issue has never been a Bush family strong suit. But McCain continues to boost up the ugly beast that eviscerated his chances for the Presidency in 2000. Why? Playing good soldier keeps him viable for 2008, or so he thinks. In fact, the Republican orthodoxy will have none of it, but the man is an admitted addict:
Some Republicans think the answer is more complex. "John wants to prove where his loyalties lie for anyone who questioned that," says Bill Dal Col, a Republican strategist who ran Steve Forbes' 2000 presidential campaign.
Others think McCain, who is 67 and has fought skin cancer, may want to run for president again.
"He's clearly looking downstream," says Scott Reed, a Republican strategist who managed Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign. "Being a good Republican who's very popular with independents and Democrats is an attractive package for a future run for national office. McCain's team is aggressively working to keep as many options on the table as possible."
McCain issues a standard disclaimer. "I'm running for re-election to the Senate and I don't have any ambitions beyond that," he says. But quoting his late friend Morris Udall, a former Arizona congressman and Democratic presidential candidate, he adds, "Presidential ambition is a disease which can only be cured by embalming fluid."
And so, McCain compromises his principles—again. His presidential hopes were not the only thing he lost in South Carolina. He sacrificed his integrity there, too:
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I believe the flag should be removed from your capitol. I should have done this earlier, when an honest answer could have affected me personally. I did not do so for one reason alone: I feared if I answered honestly, I could not win the South Carolina primary. So I chose to compromise my principles. I broke my promise to always tell the truth.
He’s compromising those principles once again. McCain is more honest than most politicians. Not many would have ever admitted so forthrightly what he did in South Carolina in 2000. But he’s far from pure when it comes to his “principles.” And at 67 he’s probably running out of chances to demonstrate true integrity.
Monday, August 23, 2004
As a veteran and one who felt this anger, I would like to talk about it. We are angry because we feel we have been used in the worst fashion by the administration of this country.
So many of those best men have returned as quadriplegics and amputees, and they lie forgotten in Veterans' Administration hospitals in this country which fly the flag which so many have chosen as their own personal symbol.
We found that the Iraqis, whom we had enthusiastically molded after our own image, were hard-put to take up the fight against the threat we were supposedly saving them from.
They wanted everything to do with the war, particularly with this foreign presence of the United States of America, to leave them alone in peace, and they practiced the art of survival by siding with whichever military force was present at a particular time, be it Iraqi insurgents, loyal baathists or American.
We found also that, all too often, American men were dying in those deserts for want of support from their allies. We saw first hand how monies from American taxes were used for a corrupt dictatorial regime.
We watched while America placed a cheapness on the lives of Arabs.
We listened while, month after month, we were told the back of the enemy was about to break.
We watched while men charged into insurgent strongholds because a general said that it has to be taken, and, after losing one platoon, or two platoons, they marched away to leave the area for reoccupation by the insurgents.
Now we are told that the men who fought there must watch quietly while American lives are lost so that we can exercise the incredible arrogance of "Iraqization" the Iraqis.
Each day, to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Iraq, someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn't have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can't say that we have made a mistake.
We are here to ask, and we are here to ask vehemently, where are the leaders of our country? Where is the leadership? We're here to ask where are Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and so many others? Where are they now that we, the men they sent off to war, have returned? These are the commanders who have deserted their troops. And there is no more serious crime in the laws of war. The Army says they never leave their wounded. The Marines say they never even leave their dead. These men have left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude.
We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this administration has wiped away their memories of us.
Who recognizes the original author?
Kerry needs to approach his 1971 Senate testimony in the same way. He was a returning soldier who had seen his friends maimed and killed for a war that was being administered very badly by the civilian leadership. He was driven by both passion and principle and he is driven by those same qualities today as he sees another generation of young people, many the same age as his own children, killed and maimed as an incompetent administration refuses to admit it has made a single mistake.
Contrary to those with a political agenda who want to distort his record of service with valor as well as his words in opposition to the war, Kerry never claimed to have seen soldiers engage in the worst of the atrocities he mentioned. But he had heard them testify that they had done so "at times."
Contrary to critics who say he slandered the vets he served with, he was chosen by many of them to speak for them in their opposition to how Washington politicians waged a war for more than ten years that they never had a feasible plan to win. His passion may have led to stronger language at times than he would use now as a more mature statesman than he used as a twenty-something Vet returning from Viet Nam, but his passion for the truth and for taking proper care of our troops in battle and our vets after they return burns just as strong.
Now, as then, John Kerry sees an administration that has stumbled badly and our nation's bravest young people are paying the price. Now, as then, John Kerry sees an administration that has acted arrogantly and has alienated much of the world. Now, as then, John Kerry is ready to fight based on principle and to insists that no one who joins our military will have their commitment to this country result in them being placed in harms way unless it is absolutely necessary.
Don't back away, don't apologize, don't cede the moral high ground, don't let them define your defining moment up till now.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
For example, on or around August 1st, John Kerry said the following:
"If the diplomacy that I believe can be put in place can work, I think we can significantly change the deployment of troops not just there but elsewhere in the world, in the Korean peninsula, perhaps, in Europe, perhaps."
On August 18th, the Bush administration Press Secretary, in response to Kerry's critique of the Bush redeployment, Scott McClellan recited that quote thusly:
"And I would point out that on August 1st, Senator Kerry said, and I quote, `I think we can significantly change the deployment of troops, not just there' -- he was referring to Iraq - `not just there, but elsewhere in the world. In the Korean Peninsula, perhaps, and Europe, perhaps, there are great possibilities open to us, but this administration has had very little imagination.' And then he went on. That was on `This Week' on August 1st.
The phrase he left out was a major qualifier, don't you think?
"If the diplomacy that I believe can be put in place can work, ..."
This is the kind of editing that conservatives accuse Michael Moore of doing when they call him a fraudulent propagandist along the lines of Leni Riefenstahl.
Then the conservative rags jump in on the action, as did Bill Kristol from the Weekly Standard:
"I will have significant, enormous reduction in the level of troops. . . . I think we can significantly change the deployment of troops, not just there but elsewhere in the world. In the Korean peninsula perhaps, in Europe perhaps. There are great possibilities open to us. But this administration has very little imagination."
Distorting through elipses. I've seen worse. Earlier this year Drudge used three little dots to excise over 20 paragraphs from John Kerry's 1971 Senate testimony. I'm sure they weren't important.
This "overlooked" phrase is at least consistent with Kerry's position that Bush has failed on the diplomatic front and that he would do better. One can disagree with his position, but it has consistently been his position. It would have taken up precious little space to include it, but it would have been harder to stick to the "flip-flop" meme that Republican orthodoxy demands.
Then the mainstream media follows suit like a well-behaved puppy.
The talking heads start flashing up the abbreviated quote and Kerry's surrogates just don't know what to do. Which is where Kerry's best chance is to stop the flip-flop in its infancy. He didn't create it, but by God, a good communications staff can blow it out of the water. Mischaracterized and out of context quotes need to be taken on right away before they take on a life of their own. Press releases, emails etc. need to immediately go out with clarifications of what was a said along with a tweak for those in the Bush administration for their distortions and dirty tricks. Counter meme with meme. If no one currently on staff is up to the task, I'm available and get by on very little sleep.
Monday, August 09, 2004
Kerry: Still Would Have Approved Force for Iraq
GRAND CANYON, Ariz. (Reuters) - Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry said on Monday he would have voted for the congressional resolution authorizing force against Iraq even if he had known then no weapons of mass destruction would be found.
Taking up a challenge from President Bush, whom he will face in the Nov. 2 election, the Massachusetts senator said: "I'll answer it directly. Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it is the right authority for a president to have but I would have used that authority effectively."
Yes, I know authority for force is not the same as a declaration of war, but without the threat, what would be the point? I've learned to love you John, but gimme a break.