Don't worry. It's just a Democratic operative anticipating the inevitable.
Saturday, October 30, 2004
Thursday, October 28, 2004
In the last days of a presidential campaign, the United States enters a wilderness of mirrors in which virtually all information reported in the media is wrong.
The opinion polls are inaccurate, the news is filled with unsubstantiated rumor, and voters relentlessly manipulated by national campaign organizations that exist for the sole purpose of manufacturing victory this week.
This is the moment the big fireworks come out. It’s a great time to relax and observe the swirl in all its chaotic splendor from a safe distance.
If you don’t stand back you could find yourself being driven mad by the sirens of punditry. To jump into the election confusion now is to imagine yourself as a judge in a vitally important beauty contest. Except that your task is not to determine which contestant is the most beautiful, but which one you think everyone else thinks is the most beautiful.
I’m satisfied to know that after years of unrelenting criticism, after mobilizing every possible form of opposition, after deploying all the talent, charm, fear, scorn, humiliation and hate, at their disposal, and after firing every doomsday device in their armamentarium at George W. Bush . . . the entrenched Left has failed to make a mark and the man still stands unbowed, unscathed, and unmoved.
Make no mistake. The last hours of the campaign will be a kaleidoscopic swirl of utter falsehoods. At the end of it Bush is very likely to emerge vindicated, legitimized, and with a mandate to pursue his policies with renewed vigor.
in that case there are three places I’d sure as hell not want to be next Wednesday – sitting in the morning staff meeting at MoveOn.org headquarters, presenting the President’s briefing in the Chambre de Situation at the Elysee Palace, and manning the barricades on the deserted streets of Falluja.
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Funny how Kerry "supporters" rarely have anything positive to say about their candidate.
In support of my candidate I would say that Bush recognizes that we are at war with Islamofascism . . . a war that predates his administration but that was joined in earnest as of 9/11.
Bush's strategy is to defeat the most dangerous foot soldiers of Islamofascism in the short term with military force and in the long term alter the conditions that permit radicalism to flourish by introducing basic human freedoms to a region of the world that has languished in medieval conditions for generations.
You may disagree with that strategy or Bush's execution of it but that is the response the Bush Administration offers.
What strategy does Kerry offer? I don't know and you don't either.
But you can still think for yourself. What is the proper response to an intolerant, illiberal, misogynist political movement using religion as a guise and seeking advantage through the deliberate targeting of civilians?
Do you try to understand their concerns? Do you negotiate? Do you try to meet them half way?
Our Israeli allies have been engaged in this same war for decades, what can we learn from their experience? Does their continued existence depend on diplomacy or military force?
If you think that the Islamofascist threat is a bogeyman manufactured in Texas then by all means vote for Kerry.
If you think the threat is real, wouldn't you at least want to vote for a candidate who recognizes the true nature of the threat?
Monday, October 25, 2004
The shock of The New York Times' surprise endorsement of John Kerry continues to reverberate throughout the newspaper's Letters page.
Naomi Drew, a reader in Lawrenceville, New Jersey was moved to weeping when she learned of the Times' bold and surprising stand:
Your words, "we look back on the last four years with hearts nearly breaking."Unfortunately for Ms. Drew, bi-polar mania is a serious emotional disorder that cannot be treated by partisan politics. Indeed, hyper-partisanship is merely a symptom.
My heart and the hearts of so many others have been broken each time we've heard of one more soldier dying in a senseless war, one more child left cruelly behind in the grip of poverty, one more assault on our precious environment.
But perhaps the greatest heartbreak is that in the minds of so Americans have been spun into a place beyond reason and the rancid foam of fear has clouded their clear sight. May the election of John Kerry restore us to sanity.
Drew articulates a common lament of the enlightened. If Bush is re-elected it's because common people have been frightened and manipulated. Of course, that the Democrats regularly compare Bush to Hitler and 9/11 to the Reichstag fire is merely a statement of fact . . . hardly a rancid cloud of fearfoam or whatever it is that's tormenting Naomi's private thoughts.
Sally G. McMillen of Davidson, NC agrees that the American people are our greatest hope, unless they vote for Bush, at which point they become a mind-numbed mass of morons. Sally conditions herself for the betrayal she knows is coming:
Today, the Bush Administration has created a disastrous situation on nearly every front -- political, diplomatic and economic -- and is doing everything possible to instill fear in our hearts and minds.Of course, if Administration officials really wanted to instill fear all they would have to do is broadcast this, or this, or this. Interestingly, these things actually happened so a fair amount of fear might actually be warranted.
Am I the only one who reads things like this and hears someone ranting that Nazis and the Klan have undermined the Constitution by exploiting our fears? I believe the clinical term for this is "projection."
David DeGraf of Mount Rainer, Maryland praises the Times for speaking truth to choirboys and expresses some concern that bovine citizens will stumble into the voting booth and mistakenly cast a ballot for the candidate of their choice.
If only all Americans were as lucid (as the Times! --ed), John Kerry would have this election in the bag. If Mr. Bush manages to be re-elected, it will be a sad day for the nation, for it means that the public is far more ignorant and susceptible to manipulation than ever before.And finally, Cecelia Martin Ford of the Naked City has had all she can stand with this democracy nonsense:
Those who vote for him (that would be President Bush - ed) in 2004 must take personal responsibility for our loss of basic civil liberties, the shame of Abu Ghraib and the bloodshed in Iraq.Not sure how Ms Martin Ford managed to slip that letter to the editor past the storm troopers guarding her and millions of other patriotic dissenters but no doubt heads will roll (see above).
The thing I love most about BushHate is how the sheer density of it seems to distort everything within its gravitational pull. Democracy must be defended against deluded voters. Fear mongers are ubiquitous and deadly!
Those who suffer with the fever can no longer comprehend that tens of millions of fellow Americans actually like George Bush and support his agenda. They must be ignorant, manipulated, fearful, or sadistic prison guards. Maybe all four!
I'm also fascinated by the profound defeatism of the Left. Even in their delirious throes they are sober enough to be getting their excuses in order even before the final results are in. In fact, the blame for Kerry's defeat is intrinsic to their criticism of Bush. They hate Bush because he has made them what they are.
These aren't hate letters. They're cries for help!
Not to worry. Relief is on the way.
Thursday, October 07, 2004
The adolescent Socialist government in Spain is demonstrating its immaturity by barring U.S. troops from the military parade that marks Spain’s Fiesta Nacional commemorating the day Columbus first spotted land in the Americas.
American soldiers have marched in the parade since 2001 when the government under Aznar invited them as homage to those who died on 9/11. In their place, French troops have been invited to march through Madrid on October 12.
The International Herald Tribune reports on the undiplomatic reasoning of Spain’s new Defense Minister, Jose Bono,
Bono said on Cadena Cope radio that Oct. 12 "is not the national holiday of the United States, and no one is under any obligation to see the flag of another country in the parade, though it is a friend and an ally for sure."
"This is in no way an insult nor a sign of contempt toward the United States," the minister said, adding that Spain was "no longer subordinated and kneeling" before Washington.
Last time I checked, Columbus Day was a holiday in the U.S. And certainly nothing insulting about that “kneeling before Washington” line.
For a government borne of appeasement, you’d think the minister of defense would be a little more conciliatory toward the most powerful military force on earth.
He must surely know that if American troops really wanted to march through the capital of Spain they could do so at any time.
Tuesday, October 05, 2004
The French Have Failed
Having failed to successfully negotiate, appease, and/or bribe the freedom fighters who kidnapped two French journalists months ago, the French government has fallen back on its greatest strength . . . denying reality and blaming others.
According to Le Monde, the Chirac government was involved in the “private” mission to win the release of Christian Chesnot and Georges Malbrunot. This mission failed spectacularly over the weekend after promising the imminent release of the hostages. Chirac et al now say the mission was a dangerous freelance effort with no connection at all to the government which is calling on all the goodwill it’s earned in the Islamic world over the years to get its two citizens back. This effort has also failed.
The Last of the Famous International Playboys has a detailed description of the unfolding scandal.
The significance of these twin failures is that the French public doesn’t understand why their people were kidnapped in the first place. After all, France is allied with the Iraqi insurgents. The French are overtly sympathetic to the cause of Islamofascism and their suburbs are teeming with angry disaffected Muslim immigrants who rage at the injustice inflicted on their desolate and scorched homelands.
In keeping with tradition, the French have tried to identify and imitate the people who hate them. – See Johnny Halliday and Marshal Petain. In the case of the Islamic world, the French have tried every form of flattery to gain their favor.
They have failed on all counts and now their isolation and powerlessness is on display for even French voters to see. And they don’t like it.
France’s is a secretive culture. They have much to conceal and the public seems not to mind as long as nothing appears to go wrong. Example: The mysterious bomb planters on the TGV routes last year. They’ve never been arrested nor have they planted any more bombs. To the French, that’s a problem solves and best forgotten.
This one’s not going to be so easy.
We're All Pro-War Now
John Kerry’s debate performance seems to have revived his prospects and made the campaign for president a race once again.
How did he do it? What did he say on Thursday that was different from everything he had been saying to little effect up until then?
Kerry appeared to be taking a harder line than Bush. Kerry said he would win the war in Iraq, level Falluja, kill Osama bin Laden, negotiate unilaterally with North Korea, expand the military and strike preemptively whenever and wherever he chooses.
Now suddenly he’s more popular and I’m all for it.
I suspect that of the 35% or so or Americans who say they are concerned about the war, half of those are concerned that the war isn’t being prosecuted with enough vigor. There is no significant anti-war movement in the United States. We want to win,
Kerry’s caveats negate most of the aggressive stances he took on Thursday evening but just hearing him talk tough was enough for his image to improve.
The good thing about this is that now Kerry is applying pressure to Bush from the right where he is the most disappointing. Falluja should have been the Islamofascists' last stand and it should have been months ago. Similarly, Sadr’s Mahdi Army should have been defeated once, decisively, and driven out of Najaf months ago. Instead, they back came from dead and may do so again. Hopefully, Bush will take notice and unleash the Marines rather than hold them back.
Kerry thinks Osama bin Laden should be the focus of our military efforts. I disagree.
No one has seen bin Laden's face in three years. I doubt he has one anymore. In any case he’s inconsequential. Capturing or killing Osama won’t conclude this war any more than capturing Gavrilo Princip would have ended World War I. Osama was just the trigger man for a conflict that had been growing and festering since the late 1960s. You could even say that Bobby Kennedy, murdered by a Palestinian, was one of the first casualties of this war.
Kerry’s insistence that the war in Iraq is somehow unrelated to the 9/11 attacks is, of course, bizarre. It takes a conscious and determined effort to believe nothing would justify the shattering of the Saddam short of a copy of Mohammad Atta’s travel voucher signed by Saddam himself.
The question is not what justifies the overthrow of a brutal fascist dictatorship but rather what justifies the existence of failed states like Saddam’s Iraq, or Kim’s North Korea, or Assad's Syria? Are these states legitimate by some definition? Or do they exist because we allow them to exist?
I’d like to hear some candidate articulate that view. Unfortunately, I don’t think Kerry could even conceive of it.
Friday, October 01, 2004
Talk Is Cheap
I like George Bush. I like all his certainty and odd facial expressions. I like what little swagger I get to see. I like that he sees the world of constantly changing set of challenges in a timeless and unchanging human context. There are actions and approaches that elevate humanity and others that drag it back toward barbarity.
John Kerry was fairly forthright about what he believes are elevating responses to barbarity. More consensus, more dialogue, more deliberation. That’s certainly an easy way to deal with difficult issues. But dialogue only provides a forum for changing behavior. It doesn’t provide the incentive. That’s why focusing on treaties rather than the reasons nations enter into treaties is myopic.
It’s been said that Kerry would rather have a broad coalition doing nothing than a small band of allies taking action. I saw plenty of validation of that during last night’s debate.
The morning after criticism of Bush is that he looked annoyed and impatient. The DNC even collected a reel of grimaces. I love the grimaces. I feel the same frustration. I think the visible annoyance Bush had with Kerry’s absurd proposals to enlist the French to fight in Iraq or convene a summit meeting of Islamic nations or impose sanctions on someone is widely reflected around the country.
In words and in body language Bush expressed his profound impatience with inaction, equivocation, and nuance. Kerry looked authoritative but his words were elliptical . . . filled with buts and exceptions. That plays well with his supporters who generally don’t want to be prosecuting a war under any circumstances. To them, Kerry was convincing.
To the rest Bush is a man just like them who didn’t want war but had war thrust on him. And now he means to finish it. No plan for the peace? There never is. No exit strategy? You only need an exit strategy if you plan to lose. As Bush said, this is a fight we cannot afford to lose. If that offends the enlightened, then don’t vote for him.
Look at that face. I know what he’s thinking. Talk is cheap and looks are superficial. Let’s stop talking and get something done
Is Kerry Learning Disabled?
I’m always fascinated by the popularly held conceit that Democrats are naturally smarter than Republicans.
This legend began in earnest during the Kennedy Administration partly in jealous response to rival Adlai Stevenson’s obvious intellectual edge over JFK who it turns out was a bit of a poser.
From then on every Democratic candidate for national office was portrayed as a fatbrain in comparison to his Republican counterpart. Hell, even Lyndon Johnson is a deep thinker according to DNC lore.
The myth continues mainly because it seems so important to democrats to promote it. Carter was an intellectual.
Dukakis, brilliant technocrat.
Clinton, flat out genius.
And now Kerry.
It literally goes without saying the Kerry is blindingly smart. But let me say the un-sayable. Kerry ain’t that bright.
He seems entirely devoid of emotional intelligence, that’s for sure. And I seriously doubt that is able to develop and articulate exceptional thoughts.
First of all, he hasn’t done anything notable in his 20 years in the Senate. Second, he is unable to capitalize on a deeply vulnerable rival candidate. And third, he went to Boston College Law School.
Let me explain that last bit. No offense to Boston College Law School. God knows they’d have never accepted me.
But Kerry applied to law school after Swiss boarding school, after Yale, after service in Vietnam, after the medals/decorations/whatever, after testifying before Congress, after running for Congress himself.
With a resume like that wouldn’t you think Harvard would accept him? Don’t you think a guy like Kerry would prefer to go to Harvard than BC? Don’t you think the only thing keeping him out of Harvard would be poor grades and an inability to gather and express coherent thoughts?
The Kerry campaign says he missed application deadlines for Harvard and Yale because his failed Congressional campaign ended in November. But applications are generally due in January. What was he doing between November and January that so occupied his time? The New York Times says he was building model boats:
In the aftermath of defeat, Mr. Kerry retreated, building model ships and planes and contemplating his options. He took some time off, then got a job as a New England regional coordinator for an arm of CARE, the relief organization.
"That was a sad thing," Father Drinan recalled. "Then he went to Boston College Law School after that. So we all said, 'Good, he's settled down.' "
The thing is, I can picture Kerry really enjoying building model ships and airplanes rather than actually thinking or reading.
I think Kerry is dumb. And I think he’d going to prove it tonight during the debate.