Order Hugh Hewitt's new book from Amazon.com today.
Thursday, September 30, 2004
With close to 30,000 visitors
in the last hour, I am overwhelmed by e-mail of three
types. First, from the lefties:" You stupid,
%$#@* fool,etc. Kerry killed Bush. The forces
of the left are on the march. We must leave Iraq!
We must buy off Kim Jong Il! We need the approval
of the French!"
Bush-supporters: "Most of the MSM talking heads
are saying Kerry won on points!" True, and
some of them are even Bush supporters. Which is
why I watch the debates alone, which leads to a very
different conclusion than my days of debate watching
in television studios with their pressure of the collective
voice pushes you towards "don't be wrong."
So you overanalyze and over-react. MSM talking
points thought that Kerry might pull a Gore, which would
have finished him off. He didn't. He executed
an excellent retreat to the left side of his party,
and secured 45% in the general election. Ho-hum.
The same folks that declared his Boston salute a brilliant
bit of theater are now saying he's back in the race.
Wrong in July, and wrong in September. Why?
group three notes: "America will never
elect a man who believes in (1)"global
tests," or (2)that we can't be trusted with 'bunker-busters.'"
Kerry trotted out vintage nuclear freeze thinking tonight,
arguing that the United States' development of a new
generation of nukes is a bad thing. No, it is
not, because we are a good and responsible country.
End of debate, because Kerry's distrust of our weaponry
is really a distrust of our national purpose.
As the president kept saying, it is about the core of
the candidates, and at Bush's core is a certainty about
America's purpose in the world and its essential goodness.
At Kerry's core, despite many protestations to the contrary,
is a deep suspicion of America with its nukes, its weapons,
its preemption and its resolve to go it alone if necessary.
of other parts of Kerry's presentation that will melt
tomorrow like a chalk sketch in a thunderstorm.
Selling nuke fuel to Iran? "Outsourcing"
Tora Bora? Here's my favorite e-mail of the night:
Kerry’s comment stating that
President Bush “outsourced” the fighting
in Tora Bora was a direct slap in the face of all Special
Operations soldiers. The whole Afghan campaign is a
classic “Unconventional Warfare” scenario.
A UW mission is one where teams of Green Berets enter
a denied area (Afghanistan) and train a rebel force
to overthrow a rogue government. Our Special Forces
soldiers in Afghanistan accomplished in weeks, what
Alexander the Great and the Soviet Union could not accomplish
in years. John Kerry is an idiot.
Former SOTA Team Leader
Forces Group (Airborne)."
pull a pratfall, which is a very good thing for the
GOP. Bush will be re-elected and Kerry soundly defeated
on the basis of their ideas about American power and
the conduct of the war. No excuses about the left's
candidate's inability to get the message down. Kerry
got it down, and he delivered it, and it will be rejected.
Bush's message, by contrast, will be accepted, confirmed,
embraced. The strongest nation in the world is
also the best nation in the world, and its voters will
not trade in a president certain of that fact for one
interested in passing the tests laid down for us by
Chirac or Shroeder, or distrustful of our stewardship
of nuclear weapons.
So don't turn
off the talking heads. Study them and make notes
on the necessity of ignoring the herd. You came
to the right place. Would I like the president
to deliver a better comeback? Four years ago I
would have said yes. Now I am not so sure. I like
him to get the big stuff right. And he has for
nearly four years, and he did again tonight.
many compliments on the format I used are appreciated.
Lynne the WebZena designed it, and the kudos go to her.
I just filled in the blanks. Question: Worth doing again?
Overall: Bush gets a big win,
by hitting all his messages over and over again. He
wins on substance. Biggest mistake by Kerry: "The
Global Test." Sorry, the American voters
aren't interested in passing any global tests. Bush
stresses steadfastness and resolve. Kerry firmed
up the hard-left vote, but you can't win on this.
poorly, but came on strong.
UPDATE: The FoxNews panel agrees:
"Global Test" is the takeaway. On substance,
Kerry wants appeasement of North Korea and Iran, globalization
of conflict resolution, and a summit. Bush wants
to take the war to the terrorists. Kerry wants
thinks Kerry supporters are heartened. I agree.
But so are Bush supporters. Kristol: "The
core of the Bush claim is 9/11, and the world changed,
and the Democrats want to go back to 9/10."
is simple, says Barnes: Your children will be safer.
Fred's right. Bush knew what he had to do which
is speak the truth about the war and the nature of the
underway everywhere, but tomorrow and for 30+ days I'll
be playing the global test clip, because it was the
window into Kerry's soul, and Bush immediately rejected
it because Bush wants nothing of it. As I wrote
below: Game, set, match.
believe you could do a better job in preventing
11 changed how America must look at the world."
Taliban gone. Elections coming. In Iraq,
we saw a threat, and after 9/11 we realized
we must act before threats fully materialize.
Libya, A.Q. Khan. "Pursuing a strategy
of freedom around the world.
can make America safer than President Bush has
made us." Better plans here and there.
Go after the finances. Reach out to the Muslim
world. "I know I can do a better job
in Iraq." Summit. Better job of training
Iraqi forces. Didn't answer question. C
|Election of Sen. Kerry increase
the chances of 9/11-like attacks?
deflection. "It isn't going to happen." 10,000,000
registered to vote in Afghanistan
also have to be smart, Jim. And smart means
not taking your eye off the target."
of a few generals. Weak response.
bin Laden escaped. Blaming Bush for outsourcing
|Cheap shot. Biased question.
Kerry got a straightforward question. Bush got one
Kerry could have drafted.
|Mistakes Bush made?
Kerry declared Saddam was a grave threat.
Nice comeback, "I agree with him" on
Kerry's 2003 statement
who's been in combat" Talking points.
Says Afghanistan is going bad
|Another biased question,
leading Kerry to where he wants to go.
||Split screen briefly
|"What about Senator
Kerry's point?" Bin Laden v. Saddam
got the capacity to do both."
nature of war. Staying power. Praises Allawi.
was not even close to the center of the war on
terror until the president invaded it."
|Another biased question,
one that Kerry would want. Lehrer is four
||Both Kerry and Bush look
voted to authorize the use of force."
I don't see how you can lead this country if you
say wrong war, wrong place...what message does
have to be steadfast and resolved, and I am.
We can't leave. But that doesn't mean it was a
mistake to take the focus off Osama."
|"As president, what
would you do, differently to increase the Homeland
Security of the U.S.?"
hope he gets to how he;s going to pay for all
these promises. My administration has tripled
the amount of money that we have spent on Homeland
Security." Facts. 3.1 billion
for fire and police. But the best way to
protect this homeland is to be on the offense.
We have to be right 100% of the time, the enemy
has to get it right once."
on delivery. Good content
kind of mixed message does it send to ...police
there, not here, firemen there, not one nickle
into tunnels, bridges, subways, bridges.
Containers not inspected. Cargohold not
x-rayed. More important to this president
to give tax cuts to wealthiest Americas..."
nice set of charges.
|Unbelievable. Does Kerry
get any fast balls tonight?
||Of course we are doing everything
to protect America. I wake up every morning
thinking about how to do that. It is hard work.
You'd better have a president who chases these terrorists
down and bring 'em to justice."
||FBI changed its culture?
There are 100,000 hours of tape unlistened to. test
is not more money, it is everything possible.
Didn't need that tax cut.
|Criteria for bringing troops
want to do so because we have achieved an objective.
When our generals on the ground and Ambassador
Negroponte tells me the Iraqis are ready to defend
Kerry's six month promise.
"This is a vital mission..."
message to the troops is also thank you, but it
is also "Help is on the way."
The troops deserve better than they are getting.
Story of "we need you. You gotta help us
Bush 41. "That's exactly where we find
ourselves today. The only building that
was guarded was the oil ministry." Moore's
know what its like to go out on one of those missions..."
|Shades of Vietnam, Jim.
Why don't you ask him if he thinks about Lyndon
is on the way: Wrong war wrong place. Wrong time.
Not a message a Commander in Chief gives.
$87 billion. Flip flop. That's not
what a Commander in Chief does.
made a mistake in invading Iraq.
|You spoke to Congress...How
do you ask a man to die for a mistake?
totally absurd." Nails Kerry on blasting
our allies. "Join us in a grand diversion."
convictions keep changing because of politics
isn't a mistake."
He just said it was a mistake.
|Finally, a good question,
tough. And Kerry whiffs.
||Both candidates still speaking
well and making their points.
|To Bush:What was the miscalculation
victory allowed Baathists to lay down arms and
slip away. I am a realist and an optimist, but
we cannot win if we send mixed signals to our
troops, our friends, and the Iraqi citizens."
|Tough but fair question for
|To Kerry: You have accused
the president of lying. Give us examples.
opponent just said that Osama used the invasion
of Iraq...Osama doesn't get to decide how we defend...Uses
Kerry's own words. I wasn't misleading. And uses
Kerry's word agains and again.
is misleading is to say that you can lead and
succeed if you keep changing your positions.
Not how Commander in Chiefs act.
Kerry cannot answer this.
cannot change positions on this war on terror
if you change positions.
on the Osama explanation.
have never used the harshest word, I'll tell you
The coalition wasn't big enough
UN was cut short
worked with these leaders longer than the president
|Tough question for Kerry
|To Bush: Has the war in Iraq
been worth the 1,052 lives lost in Iraq
hardest part of the job is to know I committed
the troops to the mission, and then to comfort
the loved ones who lost a son or a daughter or
a husband and a wife." "I told
her after we prayed and teared up and laughed
some that I thought her husbands sacrifice was
noble and worthy, because I understand the stakes
of this war on terror."
Was it worth it? Every life is precious,
that's what distinguishes us from the enemy. But
I think it is worth it.
has made the "wrong war" comment half
a dozen times. He knows this is the doom for the
understand what the president is talking about
because I understand what it means to lose people
in combat ...Vietnam again...It is vital for us
not to confuse the war with the warriors. That
happened before [who did that JFK, in 1971?]
Pottery Barn rule? Yeah, Powell said that
years ago. But this isn't the Pottery Barn
|Tough but fair. The
number is just drama from a moderator who isn't
supposed to hunt for drama.
|To Kerry: Specifics, time-lines,
for ending major US military involvement in Iraq
100,000 [Iraqi] troops trained. Now my opponent
says he is trying to change the dynamics on the
ground. Alklawi was here. My opponent questioned
his credibility. You can't change the dynamics
on the ground when you do that. nailed the Lockhart"puppet"
slam. Very strong.
is very well prepared and confident.
for Kerry: "I didn't say six months, I said
six months if..."
Heading to the right of the President as RogerLSimon
suggested on my show tonight? Shouldn't
have backed off. Bush needs to answer that.
start, good finish. B-
|Fair question, needs a follow
|Another pre-emptive war?
would hope never to have to do so again.
But by speaking clearly, sending messages that
are clear...Look at Libya...Libya understood.
But there's a solemn duty to protect...
answer to your question, he just said "The
enemy attacked us. Saddam didn't attack us.
Al Qaeda attacked us. We had him cornered,
we didn't use the best trained troops in the world,
they outsourced the job..."
the fever swamps view; a disaster for mosy of
||To think that another round
of resolutions would have caused Saddam to disarm
||35 to 40 countries had a
greater capability of making weapons than Saddam
Hussein. And while he's gotten diverted, NK, Iran
|To Kerry Pre-emptive war?
he mean, passes a global test? You take preemptive
action in order to protect the American people."
Game, set match.
always has the right. "But if and when you
do it Jim, you have to do it in a way that passes
the global test..."
global test? Prove to the world that you
did it for legit reasons?
Major disaster. UN John surfaces.
|NK/Iran: Diplomacy and sanctions
certainly hope so. Explains five party process.
Firmness on Iran.
should have given Iran the fuel?
the North Korean dynamic, which won't last through
tomorrow as it
a tissue of lies.
||The minute we have bilateral
talks. The breach of the agreement was the
highly enriched uranium. We have already sanctioned
||Kerry wants bilateral talks
on Iran by noting the sanctions were there long
before he got there. Good reply to the bad move
by Kerry.I agree it is genocide, and Colin Powell
so stated. Offers some troops. Takes
same position as Kerry.
to Iran. Bad form. Wants more cooperation.
There again he kind of slid by the question. Yes
it is a genocide. We can do this through
the African Union provided we give them the logistical
door draft taking palce today..."
fever swamp stuff
|Good question. Neutral.
name the subject and back away.
||Cameras have been solid throughout.
|To Bush: Are there underlying
character issues that you believe are serious enough
doesn't take the bait. Starts with many
compliments. But comes back to changing
positions on Iraq. "You cannot lead if you
send mixed messages. Mixed messages send
the wrong signals to our troops, to our allies,
to the Iraqi citizens. I admire his service, but
I just know how this world works, and in the councils
of government there must be certainty from the
appreciate the personal comments the president
just made. Gracious back. Nice moment.
issue of certainty..it is one thing to be certain,
but don't be certain and be wrong. Take new facts
and change and get the policy right. he's not
acknowledging stem cell research global warming
||"That's a loaded question.."
said Bush. He's right
if you need to shift tactics, but I won't do is
change my core values because of politic or because
of pressure. You cannot wilt under that
have no intention of wilting...my position has
|If you are electeded, what's
the single most serious threat
have increased funding for dealing with nuke proliferation.
I agree that weapons of mass destruction in the
hands of a terrorist network is the biggest threat.
We began the proliferation security initiative.
60 nations involved. Effective. We busted
A.Q. Khan. A proliferator. Libya disarmed.
with missile defenses. We have a robust r&d
program. Implementing it quickly. Kerry opposes
Nukes in hands of terrorist enemy
mistake to have bilateral talks with NK. China
no longer involved. Must have China's leverage,
proliferation. Unsecured nuclear material
in Russia. Wrote a book about this. Is Kerry
saying he foresaw the war against the terrorists?
Too great a reach. Demands more money.
Then on to North Korea. Blasts bunker busting
nuclear weapons. It doesn't make sense? Again,
the freeze is back! The US can't be trusted?
I am going to shut that program down. It is the
freeze. How stupid can you be?
difference between us is North Korea's got more
weapons, Iran is moving there. I am going to do
it in 4 years
|To Bush: Did you misjudge
ok to change democratic processes. Need checks
and balances. He's sending a signal to US
that perhaps he doesn't believe in checks and
balamnces I have told them that. He's also an
ally in the war on terror. That's the nature of
the enemy which is what Putin understand. "I
have a good relations with Vlaidmir, and that's
important. I have told him my opinion, and I look
forward to discussing it with him. Very important
for the president to remidn him of the great benefits
of democracy.I will continue working with him
over the next four years."
He used the word truth again.
am a pretty calm guy. I don't take it personally.
I don't hold it against him that he said "grave
threat" and I don't go around the country
saying he didn't tell the truth.
watched that transition up close and personal,
one of the first senators to go down into the
KGB and see reams of files andsee names in them.
I regret what's happened in these last months.
Mr. Putin now controls all the televisions tatsions.
His oppsoition is being jailed. We always have
to stand up for democracy.
to China: Just because the president says it can't
be done, doesn't mean it can't be done.
We can have thos ebilateral talks and still get
Kerry shifts away from WMD. "incredible mess
in Iraq," it is not what the American people
thought they were getting
America shows uncertainty or weakness in this
decade, the world will drift towards tragedy.
That will not happen if I am president."
Stay on offense. We will fight the terroists around
the world so we do not have t fight them at home.
No veto on American foreign policy.
both love this country very much. But we have
a different set of conmvictions about making us
stronger at home and respected at home. You want
to know who can get your kids in Iraq home and
get the job done. To other [parents: Let
me look you in the eye and say to you I defended
this country as a young man and I will defend
it as president. I am not talking about leaving.
I am talking about winning. A plan to win the
war on terror. Re-warmed acceptance speech from
Go to The
Belmont Club and read it first, then continue.
Peter Beinart is editor of The
New Republic, its TRB
columnist, and a frequent and welcome guest
on my radio program. His most recent TRB, "Speech
Impediment," (from the October 11th issue,
and available here thanks to Peter) is not up to usual
standards of argument, and represents a shrill, illogical,
and hyper-partisan attempt to silence critics of John
Kerry's vacillation on Iraq.
The first paragraph:
"This column should not be necessary. A more decent
president would not accuse his opponent of assisting
terrorists and harming American troops merely because
he criticizes U.S. policy. A more decent conservative
movement would call such accusations anti-democratic,
rather than mindlessly parroting them, as National
Review Online's Jed Babbin did this week. But the
president is who he is. And so are his supporters. And
so, in response to John Kerry's increased criticism
of U.S. policy in Iraq, Bush and his surrogates have
essentially accused Democrats of helping insurgents
kill American troops."
Additional excerpts from Beinart's column:
"Bush's argument is stupid and repugnant. It's
stupid because it involves unsupported assumptions about
how Iraqi insurgents think....Maybe hearing Kerry call
for a new strategy makes them fear America will fight
the war more effectively --which disheartens them."
"The stupidity doesn't end there. Bush surrogates
also say Kerry's criticisms demoralize American troops.
But once again, the argument could just as easily go
the other way. Perhaps American troops, who are
watching attacks multiply and comrades die, find Bush's
happy talk demoralizing... .A poll by the publisher
of Army Times found that only 56 percent of
active-duty troops support Bush's handling of the war.
How can American troops feel demoralized by the Kerry's
Iraq criticisms when large numbers of them appear to
feel the same way.
"But the biggest problem with the president's
latest talking point isn't that it's dumb; it's that
it's anti-democratic. When Bush says Kerry's Iraq criticism
emboldens America's enemies, he's essentially saying
that --for the good of the country-- Kerry should shut
I have to start with an excellent source on war and
national will: General Vo Nguyen Giap:
Was your Têt offensive in 1968 a failure?
far as we're concerned, there's no such thing as a purely
military strategy. So it would be wrong to speak of
Têt in purely military terms. The offensive was three
things at the same time: military, political, and diplomatic.
The goal of the war was de-escalation. We were looking
to de-escalate the war. Thus, it would have been impossible
to separate our political strategy from our military
strategy. The truth is that we saw things in their entirety
and knew that in the end, we had to de-escalate the
war. At that point, the goal of the offensive was to
try to de-escalate the war.
Q: And did
the de-escalation succeed?
Giap: Your objective in war can either
be to wipe out the enemy altogether or to leave their
forces partly intact but their will to fight destroyed.
It was the American policy to try and escalate the war.
Our goal in the '68 offensive was to force them to de-escalate,
to break the American will to remain in the wa r....
We did this by confronting them with repeated military,
as well as political and diplomatic victories. By bringing
the war to practically all the occupied towns, we aimed
to show the Americans and the American people that it
would be impossible for them to continue with the war.
Essentially, that's how we did it."
Once any observer admits that part of war is the effort
to destroy the enemy's will to fight, then we have to
assume the enemy in Iraq wants to destroy America's
will to fight in Iraq. If the enemy sees no progress
in that regards, the enemy becomes dispirited, more
prone to quit. But if the enemy sees a vigorous
anti-war movement develop in the United States, sees
masterful anti-American propaganda gain audience and
respectability (Michael Moore at the DNC) and then sees
a candidate announce his hope that American troops will
be withdrawn from Iraq within his first term, then the
enemy takes hope --courage-- and resolves to fight on,
to kill and maim and do so again and again in the hope
of further eroding the will of the enemy.
Thus Kerry has encouraged the insurgency to shoulder
on. It is not "anti-democratic" to point
out that "B" follows "A".
Neither Bush nor Bush supporters have asked Kerry "to
shut-up." On the contrary, I want him to
be given a cable channel all to himself: 24/7 Kerry.
A strong majority of Americans reject John Kerry's defeatism,
his pessimism, his instinct to "cut and run,"
and that's why he's losing.
Beinart's real complaint is that Bush is winning on
the very issue that Beinart believes he should be losing
on -the conduct of the war-- and that Bush's arguments
about the effect of Kerry's campaign and of the campaign
of his supporters in the fever swamp are heard and
believed by a strong majority of the electorate.
This majority believes that Kerry's rhetoric
is destructive of troop morale on the ground in Iraq,
and does deserve blasting.
The hyperpartisan Beinart can't seem to understand
that the Army Times' poll isn't on point. What
is on point are the reactions of the troops in Iraq
--their morale is what matters. For evidence of what
that morale is, Beinart should talk to them, as I did
with Colonel Geoff Cooper, USMC, just returned from
the theater. Or read the e-mails at TheGreenSide.
Or any of the many e-mails posted at this site over
the past months.
Peter's went through the looking glass with this line:
"Maybe hearing Kerry call for a new strategy makes
them fear America will fight the war more effectively
--which disheartens them." I read it
to OpinionJournal's Claudia Rosett, who responded "That
would require terrorists dumber than they are."
In short, Peter is making an absurd argument, one so
preposterous as to stun readers with its sheer chutzpah.
But the effect is fleeting. It is followed by
laughter. And then by sadness. Walter
Lippman would have seen right through Kerry to the
defeatism he embodied, and denounced it. So too
would have FDR and Truman and the real JFK. That
the editor of the magazine that ought to be carrying
that legacy forward is instead devotes his space to
neoMcCarthyism --the charge of "anti-democratic"
is nothing but McCarthyism-- aimed at silencing criticism
of a candidate who deserves to be criticized is surprising,
unfortunate and troubling.
It is a war, not a political game. Which is why
Kerry, and his partisan fans at The New Republic, The
New York Times, CBS, and many other bastions of old
media, are losing. They can't be trusted to see even
the obvious things of 2004, much less distant horizons
and far-away challenges of 2005.
My WeeklyStandard.com column,
Notice: Jim Lehrer and the rest of old media should
know they have to play it straight tonight,"
argues that Jim Lehrer and MSM are as much on trial
tonight as John Kerry is. This campaign has been
harder on old media than it has been on Kerry, and it
has been pretty tough on Kerry. The old rules
are gone, and the new rules poorly understood. Best
to play it straight, Jim.
has some pretty funny photos. (Scroll, man, scroll!)
Steve Levy goes Valley Girl at Instapundit:
I would really love is if when someone who writes on
dead trees criticizes something on computer screens,
the knee jerk reaction isn't "No wonder he's griping,
he's just a terrified/embittered/envious old media guy."
"Please?" I repeat: Are there no editors
at Newsweek? The reason the blogosphere routinely
kicks the old media around like a tin can is that many
of them are lawyers who have been obliged for decades
to write to standards of argument enforced by judges
with attachments to logic. Make an argument, Mr.
Levy. Name names and make points. Just don't
sigh and pout and expect to be taken seriously.
It isn't worth our time. Nick
Coleman gets a hall pass for exposure to wind chill
factors below -50 degrees. You don't. (Note to
Paul Pioneer Press publisher: Hire Ed
and you will see a circulation spike that you can only
dream of. What are you waiting for? You don't
want to sell papers?)
Memo to Rick
Brady: You have to post, or you're toast.
Check out A
Better Future: A college kid gives me hope for 2040.
E-mailer Wally Waltner sent me to this excellent
article on blogs. Thanks, Wally.
September 29, 2004
It is "Secure the Senate" day on the program,
and Virginia's Senator George Allen, who is quarterbacking
the national effort, encouraged
donations to all of the campaigns linked here.
He also pointed to the strong surge being put on by
Army Ranger Tim Michels in Wisconsin. Michels is
closing the gap on hyper-liberal Russ Feingold, and
you can help keep the heat on by donating here.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a columnist, Nick
Coleman, who, while hardly read at all, does amuse the
bloggers of the Northern Alliance. They make much sport
of him. Evidently he has noticed, and just as
evidently, someone left the bottle out at the Strib.
goes on a rant about bloggers today, which includes
these priceless graphs:
have the credentials of real journalists? No. Bloggers
are hobby hacks, the Internet version of the sad loners
who used to listen to police radios in their bachelor
apartments and think they were involved in the world.
know about anything that happened before they sat down
to share their every thought with the moon. Like graffiti
artists, they tag the public square -- without editors,
correction policies or community standards. And so their
tripe is often as vicious as it is vacuous."
I've got fifteen years as a broadcast journalist, ten
of those with PBS, and I can say without hesitation
that every member of the Northern Alliance of Blogs
is far better credentialed and professional than Mr.
Coleman and most print journalists who have turned four
year degrees and years of being willing to work for
extremely low pay into a "calling" and an
attitude of privilege and arrogance that would always
be amusing were it not so often tragic. As it
is with Mr. Coleman's palpable bitterness. Hat-tip
I missed this last night: We
are going to get hearings into Rathergate and related
matters. Put some subpoenas out now, Congressman
Barton, so the files don't get cleansed.
out this "balanced" CBS story. Moore's
Disease -advanced stage.
here to donate to John Thune for Senate in South Dakota.
here to donate to Lisa Murkowski for Senate in Alaska.
here to contribute to Mel Martinez for Senate in Florida.
here to contribute to Tom Coburn for Senate in Oklahoma.
here to contribute to Richard Burr for Senate in North
here to contribute to Jim DeMint for Senate in South
here to contribute to Pete Coors for Senate in Colorado.
here to contribute to George Nethercutt for Senate in
here to donate for Bill Jones for Senate in California.
$20, $50 or $100 per candidate and spread the Democrats
thin. Take the 90 minutes it will require. The
servers are secure, and the time is now to get the donations
in to close strong. If you need motivation, think about
the Democrats trying to suppress the ballots of the
military serving overseas in Florida in December 2000,
or of the filibuster judicial nominees, or of the relentless
obstructionism of Tom Daschle, Pat Leahy, Ted Kennedy
and Hillary. Dig deep and then dig deeper.
What CBS must consider a Gang
of Four --Powerline,
have been digging again on the CBS side of the road
and have unearthed another huge fraud. CBS is being
exposed as a serial killer of the truth, and the more
people dig, the more horror stories they find.
Now it turns out that CBS actively peddled the already
widely lampooned "the draft is coming, the draft
is coming" hoax. Read about it and then go
to the affiliates and demand the obviously out-of-control
Dan Rather and his obviously over-the-edge partisan
colleagues step down now.
actually be rooting for more CBS pratfalls as a sort
of decoy for the bloggers. If they are chasing
after the Rather story, they won't be as focused on
Kerry's ongoing collapse, right? Except for RogerLSimon,
not to mention thousands of Freepers,
of the Web and RealClearPolitics.
And 1,000 other blogs looking for a chance to make some
news. Oh. Did I mention WeeklyStandard.com,
and the online editions of the New
York Post and Washington
Secure the Senate day. All
the necessary links here. Dig deep.
The Ballad of Dan Rather
(Sung to the tune from the Beverly Hillbillies)
Come and listen to my story 'bout a man named Dan,
The documents were fake and he didn't give a damn;
He put 'em on the air, an' he thought he'd done the
But up from the web come a howlin' mob.
Blogs, that is.
Well, the first thing you know ol' Dan's a-runnin' fast;
Made a false report an' it bit him in the ass;
He said 'dog-gonnit, I done thought I'd get away!'
But it turned out to be his a-reckonin' day.
Busted, that is.
Mud in the eye.
Well, now it's time to say goodbye to Dan and all his
And they would like to shoot you folks for turnin' them
You're all invited back next week to watch the Evening
And see which correspondent's picked to fill Dan's empty
Y'all come back, now, hear?
nice, Bud. Will comeone record and forward an
Kurtz is slipping on old media ice. Talk
radio and the blogs had Oompa-LoompaGate yesterday,
but Howard writes this morning: " I wonder if
talk radio will start buzzing about TanScam"
this morning. Gotta read before your write,
My WorldNetDaily column is titled "Endgame"
and contains all the links to all the U.S. Senate races
that need your financial help as we enter the last month
of campaigning. Please visit it and donate as
much as you can towards keeping the Senate in responsible
hands and increasing the Republican advantage in that
body so that the filibusters of judicial nominees can
be broken and the obstruction of crucial legislation
Al Gore has an op-ed in the
New York Times titled "How
to Debate George Bush." Really.
It is right next to Al Franken's "Building a Radio
Empire," Phil Donahue's "Comebacks on Television,"
and Martha Stewart's "Timing the Market."
I haven't read Gore's piece yet --I don't know if I
can, actually, as certain levels of absurdity should
be avoided-- but I hope it includes:
made up like a saloon girl with small pox;
and sigh like a second grader in time-out;
up travel adventures to disaster sites with FEMA directors;
the president in a way as to alarm the Secret Service;
go passive as though you'd been hit by a dart gun containing
a paralyzing agent.
up anything with "dingle" in the title.
pretty good starters.
George Soros, the shadowy currency trader who hates
George W. Bush is complying
with McCain-Feingold and giving a few more million to
the anti-Bush fever swamp. Let's hope the
527s getting the big bucks remain as competent as they
have been throughout the campaign to date. I also
have to believe that the American electorate isn't so
keen on a billionaire's attempt at buying an election.
Senator Lightweight had to
campaign in New Jersey yesterday --35 days before
an election. That was surely in the Kerry plan
coming out of the convention.
No coverage that I can find in the New York Times of
underscoring that the gatekeepers-without-gates aren't
interested in the stories that interest the electorate.
wants to try and talk tough on terrorism while slamming
the Iraq battles that kill terrorists, which would
be hard enough given his record of dithering on the
issue, but it is practically impossible when the country
is tittering at the sunset glow that has appeared overnight
on your face. The old media will cover silly stories
like the Crawford, Texas paper endorsing Kerry --which
won't even move votes in Crawford-- but studiously ignore
the story that swept
through American homes and offices yesterday, cementing
opinions about Kerry's vanity, inauthenticity, and general
Hate Drudge like you hate a hurricane headed towards
Florida, but he makes the weather. Not covering
storm is just another admission of stubborn elitism
leading to irrelevance. Especially when appearance
has actually been a major factor in presidential debates
from Nixon's sweat in 1960 to Gore's pancake in 2000.
And when Drudge gets picked up by Best
of the Web, story penetration is complete.
Boston Globe provides this helpful paragraph:
meanwhile, campaign senior adviser Michael McCurry and
other aides spent yesterday going over a set of post-debate
talking points with senators, governors, and Democratic
foreign policy advisers who will speak to reporters
at the Miami debate site and in local media markets
tomorrow night and Friday morning."
In other words,
Kerry knew he had won before he knew that he had lost
of posturing used to work when viewers had a choice
of one of four networks, and then one of three morning
shows. The numbers will be huge for FoxNews tomorrow
night, and then the blogs and talk radio and cable-land
punditry will decide the spin, not Peter Jennings and
an expected Kerry win, the dynamics of this race aren't
going to change. It is about the war and how it
will be fought, or not fought in Kerry's case.
"[T]he map is closing in on them," said
Bush-Cheney senior strategist Matthew Dowd yesterday:
Dowd, chief political strategist for the Bush campaign,
was heartened by a new batch of national polls that
showed the president ahead by four to six points as
he heads into the debate. He also noted that Mr. Bush
continued to chase the Kerry campaign out of states
that once were considered battlegrounds.
in almost every place, better than we were doing in
2000,' he said. 'It's why the Kerry campaign has decided
they've written off Missouri, they've written off Arizona,
they've written off Louisiana.'
'As of today,
they've pulled ads in North Carolina,' he added. 'And
so the map is closing in on them, which makes it harder.'"
From the Wall
Street Journal this morning (subscription required):
-- The U.S. economy grew more rapidly this spring than
an earlier report suggested, as businesses bulked up
their stockpiles and the level of imports flowing into
the country turned out to be lower than previously estimated.
Department said Wednesday that gross domestic product
increased during the April-to-June quarter at a 3.3%
annual rate, revised upward from an earlier estimated
2.8% advance. That was stronger than the average 3.0%
revised reading expected by economists polled by DowJonesNewswires
And this, from KerrySpot,
in its entirety, so you won't miss it:
WAS LATE, KERRY SAID, REFERRING TO NOON
08:52 AM ]
good news is John Kerry did an interview on Good Morning
America, and he was asked about his "I voted for it
before I voted against it" comment.
responded, "No, it wasn’t classic at all. It 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."
it happens! No big deal. Everybody has made a comment
that doesn't make sense late at night... except...
did vote for his $87 billion, before I voted against
it,’ he told a group of veterans at a noontime
appearance at Marshall University.
He went on to explain that he preliminarily backed the
request, so long as it was financed not by deficit spending
but with a tax surcharge on the wealthy that Bush opposed.”
Bush spokesman Steve Schmidt suggested, maybe his watch
was on Paris time."
a Gomer Kerry has turned out to be.
September 28, 2004
campaign officials are blaming "a right wing smear
job" for the outbreak of Oompa-Loompa parallels
to John Kerry's Clockwork Orange moment. I admit to
having played the Oompa Loompa song a few times today,
but only after being prompted by the non-partisan Late
Late Show. New lyrics available from BlogsofWar.
An e-mailer suggests it is just Kerry turning colors
for the fall. Another writes that Kerry just wants
to declare "Ich bin ein Pumpkiner."
A third says its a play for the Great Pumpkin vote.
And finally, one suggests it is just nature's pumpkin
Blooms and grows in July.
Turns Orange in September.
Carved up in October.
If President Bush showed up looking like a jack-o-lantern
tomorrow, would it make the front pages? Do you think
Kerry's hue and cry will? Visit PumpkinPapers
for a good look at the "new" John Kerry.
Be sure to visit the WashingtonPost.com's
"best blogs" voting and cast ballots for
The Corner in all categories, except in the category
of "Best Political Dirt," where I urge a vote
'04 Campaign Manager Ken Mehlman on The Big Story with
John Gibson today, on why John Kerry is trailing in
the polls: "Weakness, vacillation, and pessimism
are the last things people want to see."
Pretty simple, really.
Be sure to read Michael
Murphy's analysis of the inevitable "Kerry is surging"
story. You can't fall off the floor, so Kerry
will indeed tick up, but he can't recover from his disastrous
foray into "always sound retreat" land.
The House of Representatives
votes on Thursday whether to send a Marriage Protection
Amendment to the states for consideration. The
Congressmen on the fence are listed here. Call
and urge one or more of them to defend marriage and
vote yes on the amendment.
In the mess of a Newsweek column
by Steve Levy, commented on below
and here by RogerLSimon,
there is one attempted insult hurled by Levy which I
neglected to comment upon in my rush last night: that
bloggers are often "fiercely partisan."
In this charge Levy joins folks like Andrew
Sullivan and Peter
Beinart who have been tossing the term "partisan"
around like a rotten egg for many months. Time
for some clarity: Partisanship is the bedrock of the
American republic and has been since at least Jefferson's
presidency. The fellow from Monticello was America's
first brass-knuckled partisan, looking for opportunities
to impeach Marshall and cheering the treason trial of
Burr. Since then all the greats have been partisans
--Lincoln, TR, FDR. "partisan" means
playing to win in elections.
A small slice
of "above-the-fray" posers trot out the term
as a sort of sneer at the participants in the process
that picks the winners or as a inflated currency spent
on their own reputations. Carville and Begala
are partisans which is why they kick Tucker Carlson
around the stage every single Crossfire. The criticism
of Rather has been that he's really a partisan pretending
to be a ballet dancer, er, "objective" reporter.
I suspect Lehrer of partisanship, but camouflaged much
better than Brokaw's or Jennings'.
It is right to complain when partisans lie, but not
when they aim to persuade. Hackery is the domain
of the liar, which is why Begala is so often a hack.
Partisans wrestle for advantage, which is why I talk
about the GWOT and not the lack of subway services in
east Los Angeles. That doesn't make me a liar
about the lack of public transit for an undeserved portion
of a great metropolis, but it makes me a smart competitor
in politics in a year when the consequences of the election
are so stunningly high.
Keep an eye
out for the folks slinging around the word "partisan."
It is often a giveaway of hackery of the worst sort
--shorthand for an admission of incompetence in the
art of argument coupled with an arrogance that say's
the speaker doesn't feel the need to persuade, just
Osama shows up in the ads, as
described in this Howard Kurtz WaPo piece:
"Over the weekend, the conservative
527 group Progress for America Voter Fund released a
commercial showing disturbing images of bin Laden, Sept.
11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and terrorist attacks in Russia,
Spain and at the World Trade Center. 'Would you trust
Kerry against the fanatic killers?' it asked.
National Committee responded yesterday with an ad in
the same two states -- Iowa and Wisconsin -- that shows
the president saying of bin Laden, six days after the
Sept. 11 attacks, 'wanted, dead or alive.' Six months
later, Bush is seen saying, 'I don't know where he is,'
followed by 2004 headlines about bin Laden planning
Fine by me.
Both ads hit on the key issue --who will conduct the
more aggressive war on terror. Kerry wants to
persuade America he's going to find Osama? Fine.
That's like Jayson Blair applying to write for the Wall
What's really interesting is that
the DNC is using Osama's mug. Such use was what
has fueled a thousand faux outrages over the attacks
on poor Max Cleland's "patriotism" in 2002.
It has always been nonsense, of course, as anyone who
saw the Chambliss ad knows. Osama's picture is
a grabber --an instant signifier that we are talking
terrorism and the candidate's record in supporting or
opposing aggressive war versus passive war or "law
enforcement" technique. Not only is the DNC
ad incredibly stupid --Kerry cannot win on this ground,
anywhere, ever-- but it also gives the perfect comeback
for the next round of Max Cleland sputterings:
The DNC used Osama in 2004 and the GOP didn't complain
about attacks on "Bush's patriotism."
Here we are,
35 days before the election, and all anyone and everyone
is talking about is the war on terror. Given the
fact that there are enemy terrorists in the field scheming
to kill us in as great a number as possible, that's
appropriate. But it is also a wonderful thing
for the GOP generally and Bush specifically. On
every other issue, Kerry has a better chance of changing
voters' minds than on the qualifications to lead the
I think I'll play Teddy Kennedy's speech from George
Washington University on Sunday again on today's show.
He's the man behind Kerry, and he's for retreat.
So's Kerry. So's Michael Moore. So's Howard
Dean. So's Pat Leahy. So's Tom Daschle.
Patty Murray thinks Osama is a road builder. Barbara
Boxer can't be trusted to spell Al Qaeda correctly.
Madeline Albright wants to book a flight to Pyongyang
to pick up where she left off. Sandy Berger wants
back in the National Archives. Jamie Gorelick
wants the wall back. MoveOn.org is waiting to
staff the new Kerry Administration. Sara
Lister for SecDef?
Sara Lister, don't you? Assistant Secretary for
Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs for three years
under Clinton. She was forced to resign in 1997, after
she launched an attack the United States Marine Corps:
are extremists. Wherever you have extremists, you've
got some risks of total disconnection with society.
And that's a little dangerous....The Marine Corps is
-- you know they have all these checkerboard fancy uniforms
and stuff, but the Army is sort of muddy boots on the
Does Sara Lister get to come back
The GWOT is getting
more complicated, not less, and it isn't the fault
of the United States. We aren't breeding terrorists
in Iraq, the military is killing them. And the
Boston Globe provides the perfect contrast for understanding
this campaign. Bush's surrogate is Rudy. Kerry's
the Bush campaign staged a counterattack to Kerry's
criticisms over Iraq. Former New York City mayor Rudolph
W. Giuliani was dispatched to this rural town in southwestern
Wisconsin, where Kerry is preparing for the debate,
to make the oft-heard Republican argument that Kerry
has changed his position on Iraq -- nine times in the
last two years, by Giuliani's count.
During a 30-minute
news conference with political reporters who cover Kerry,
Giuliani portrayed the Democrat as a phony whose views
have changed with his poll ratings -- prowar when he
was tied or ahead of Bush, "antiwar" now that he is
mocked Kerry for having mixed up the names of Red Sox
players David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez earlier this summer.
'Some of these things give you a pretty good idea of
who's real and who isn't,' Giuliani said. 'I know President
Bush, and he may not be a champion debater, like John
Kerry, but he sure is real.'
compared Kerry unfavorably with two other senators,
Republican John S. McCain and Democrat Edward M. Kennedy,
saying those men showed far greater consistency than
Kerry in their views on the war.
'John Kerry has
changed his position more often than just about any
American politician on very important matters of war
and peace,' Giuliani said. 'And that's the damaging
part -- the truth ultimately ends up being the most
damaging thing in politics.'
in an interview with MSNBC, Kennedy -- a close Kerry
ally and adviser -- accused Vice President Dick Cheney
of 'McCarthyism of the first order' when Cheney suggested
that the nation would be at greater risk of a terrorist
attack if Kerry is elected president. During a speech
at George Washington University, too, Kennedy sought
to link the turmoil in Iraq with Al Qaeda's interest
in obtaining a nuclear weapon.
'A mushroom cloud
over any American city is the ultimate nightmare, and
the risk is all too real,' Kennedy said. 'The war in
Iraq has made the mushroom cloud more likely -- not
less likely -- and it should never have happened.'
The Bush campaign
hit back swiftly. 'Having Ted Kennedy argue that we
are now more vulnerable to nuclear attack just shows
how far John Kerry is willing to take his political
opportunism and scare tactics,' campaign spokesman Brian
Jones said in a statement."
If you missed KerrySpot's
"secret plan" scorecard from yesterday,
go read it.
Over at RealClearPolitics,
the first five columns are on Iraq, by David Ignatius,
David Brooks, Christopher Hitchens, Richard Cohen,
and John Podhoretz. (Note to bean-counters at
old media HQ --you might want to buy RCP and rebrand
it as your own. It is read by everyone in
the business.) Here's a quote from each.
Try and match to the author.
A. " But
if the security situation is worse than it was six months
ago, the political situation is so dramatically improved
that it's almost a miracle. In almost every respect,
the transition to Iraqi sovereignty has gone better
and has had greater success than anyone could have predicted
half a year ago."
simply astounding that in the United States, the home
of the greatest and most effective democratic revolution,
so many people have come to regard democracy as a luxury-brand
vehicle, suited only for the culturally upscale, when
it's really a sturdy truck, effective in conditions
both rough and smooth."
this solicitude for the welfare of the troops is both
touching and a bit late in coming. It would have been
the better part of prudence not to have gone to war
in the first place. Barring that, it would have been
prudent to wait until our traditional allies were as
convinced as we were that Iraq was bristling with weapons
of mass destruction."
it takes an outsider -- a Frenchman, even -- to help
Americans see the war on terrorism in perspective. Saturated
in terrorism alerts and images of violence from Iraq,
Americans may miss the essential fact that the terrorists
are losing. And because we see this as a war against
America, rather than one within Islam, we may miss the
will it take to convince these people that this is not
a year, or a time, to be dicking around? Americans are
patrolling a front line in Afghanistan, where it would
be impossible with 10 times the troop strength to protect
all potential voters on Oct. 9 from Taliban/al-Qaida
murder and sabotage. We are invited to believe that
these hard-pressed soldiers of ours take time off to
keep Osama Bin Laden in a secret cave, ready to uncork
him when they get a call from Karl Rove? For shame."
(B)Brooks; (C)Cohen; (D)Ignatius and (E)Hitchins.
It is a pretty easy test because of the distinctive
voices and style of the optimists and the dreary defeatism
of Cohen and the almost hilarious "through they
eyes of a Frenchman" writing of Ignatius.
(Mr. I: Most Americans know the terrorists are losing.
But they also know they remain deadly. Get out more.)
The polarization in punditry reflects the polarization
in politics generally, and the good news is that the
writing talent is on the side of the folks who want
to press the war forward.
also points to Brendan
Miniter's upbeat assessment of the U.S. military's condition
after three years of war in OpinionJournal.
Read it all. Send it to your center-left friends
taken in by the "secret plan for a draft"
Hobbes brings notice of attempted voter fraud in Nashville
(and a nice plug for the
book, thank you Mr. Hobbes). When are the
prosecutors going to get serious with
this stuff and make an example out of higher-ups
in an organization promoting fraud?
Finally, read The
Belmont Club on Iran's nuclear ambition. It
will be good to get past the election so that the country
and the world can focus on this most dangerous threat.
I don't know who Steven Levy is, and have never seen
a column by him before. But he
has one in Newsweek today that Instapundit
pointed me towards. Here's a howler of a
have been true to their promise to 'fact-check Big Media's
a--,' their motives are often fiercely partisan. Name-calling
and intolerance of opposing points of view have reached
epidemic levels on Web logs. And when it comes to hammering
away on a noisy subject that ultimately distracts from
more important issues, the Blogosphere can make cable
television look like a 1950s debating society. Judging
by its dominance in the blog world (I'm talking about
the civic sector here, not the countless blogs on other
topics or people's personal lives), you'd think that
Rathergate was bigger than Watergate, Iraq and Britney's
putative wedding combined."
That is just
plain stupid. Rathergate was a big story, but no serious
blogger compares it to the GWOT --that means global
war on terrorism, Mr. Levy. So right away we know we
are dealing with a straw-man builder and not a serious
analyst. A give-away he confirms in the next graph:
there are indeed constructive, thoughtful Web-log commentators
online. But they don't draw crowds like Glenn Reynolds."
yeah, I guess that nanotechnology stuff is really rabid
partisanship run wild. Oh, that's not what's bothering
him? "[Reynolds] relentlessly flogged the question
of whether John Kerry's boat was actually in Cambodian
waters on Christmas Eve, 1968, as the candidate claimed."
This is unglued
on two fronts. "Relentlessly" would
be, well, relentless, right? But you go find the
most recent post by Glenn on the subject. I couldn't
do so. More to the point, Levy is apparently ok
with a serial fantasizer as Commander-in-Chief.
That's his choice. But it is a legitimate, and
apparently majoritarian point of view, to be disturbed
by "seared, seared" memories that didn't occur.
Levy's belief in the superiority of his own point of
view --as opposed to an argument as to why his point
of view is superior-- is another giveaway of an elitist
--in attitude if not accomplishment-- uncomfortable
with the hard business of persuasion. Authoritarian
hierarchies are so much easier to deal with.
book 'We the Media,' San Jose Mercury News columnist
Dan Gillmor claimed that blogs could enable 'the rise
of the citizen journalist.' Bloggers, he said, had the
power to mitigate the tyranny of media giants who no
longer serve the needs of the people. But when I called
Gillmor last week to ask what he thought of the invectives,
partisanship and fixation on ultimately trivial issues
in the face of a crucial election, there was a long
silence before he said, 'I'm not going to disagree.'"
Look, maybe Gillmor just didn't want to deal with a
bonehead, and if the question was put that way --"invectives,
partisanship and fixation on ultimately trivial issues"--
why bother answering? Levy didn't call to get an opinion.
He called for the columnist's equivalent of comfort
food. Geez, don't they have editors at Newsweek? "Hey,
Levy," a real editor might have asked, "why
don't you call someone who will hand you your head on
a plate? Try those Powerline guys. They made short
work of arrogance in suspenders when Boyd
tried this tripe."
There's no bitterness in
the conclusion that "the Blogosphere is looking
more and more like a nation of ankle-biters," is
Nelson, who I was pleased to blog alongside of at
both the DNC and RNC, posted a comment of mine from
the DNC last night on a thread at A
Small Victory, which I am glad he overheard and
at the DNC Hewitt and I were entertaining some MSM reporter
types up in Bloggers’ Roost when Hugh so succinctly
summarized the tenor Klam projects:
“How do you explain the way the mainstream press
is treating bloggers?”
Hewitt: “I understand jealousy.”
I laughed off my chair.
Alan on September 26, 2004 08:54 PM"
Too many MSM-types
like Levy are sounding aggrieved these days not to finger
envy as the culprit. And maybe ruin. Like
old Russian nobility floating around Europe after 1917,
everything is gone, including their prospects of a cushy
life spent reviewing the work of the serfs.
the marketplace of ideas, Steve, and the ideas you don't
like aren't delegitimized because you think them inferior
to other ideas you do like. Rathergate was a media-establishment-shaking
expose of fraud and corruption that even CBS now recognizes
as well as other MSM, even if you don't. The Swift Boat
Vets brought to light a string of misrepresentations
so damning that Kerry hasn't held an on-camera interview
with a journalist since August 1 for fear the magic
hat will be brought up. Get a clue, because it
is embarrassing to have to watch another MSM scribbler
whine about tone and partisanship when in fact the sound
that comes through is a complaint that your guy is tanking.
A final point.
In a column complaining about snarkiness, what's with
the "ankle-biter stuff"? It is lame
as invective, but it is invective nonetheless. Are we
to think that invective, like accuracy, is reserved
for the old elites? Inaccuracy, hypocrisy and jealousy,
all in one column. Levy gets a hat trick, though
not of the sort any center-right blogger would like
Bush's interview with Bill O'Reilly tonight was a great
exchange. O'Reilly asked pointed questions --tough
questions. The president answered them with confidence
with Kerry who has not sat for an extended interview,
or even a short interview, on camera with a journalist
since August 1. Kerry cannot do so because he
cannot answerer the questions without colliding with
himself. So its Letterman, Dr. Phil and Jon Stewart.
Some Commander-in-Chief, who won't even risk a meeting
with Bill O'Reilly.
habit of soliciting one more point of view prompted
one close adviser to say he had learned to wait until
the last minute before weighing in: Mr. Kerry, he said,
is apt to be most influenced by the last person who
has his ear. His aides rejoiced earlier this year when
Mr. Kerry yielded his cell phone to an aide, a move
they hoped would limit his seeking out contrary opinions."
New York Times on John Kerry.
The last person to talk to Kerry will usually be Theresa
or Teddy Kennedy. Really. So
be sure to read what Teddy had to say at George Washington
University yesterday. Kerry's collapse must
be across the board to allow the aging lion of the incoherent
left to come out and growl. Kennedy is Kerry's
mentor. Kennedy will be the decisive voice on
foreign affairs. America is fully warned as to what
that means by reading through the remarks Kennedy gave
Finally, look at this chart from the WashingtonPost/ABC
|If the 2004 presidential election
were being held today, would you vote for George
W. Bush and Dick Cheney, the Republicans, John Kerry
and John Edwards, the Democrats, or Ralph Nader
and Peter Camejo, the independents? (registered
|Responses by Age Group
|Bush and Cheney
|Kerry and Edwards
|Nader and Camejo
|(VOL) Would not vote
at the favorable/unfavorable rating for Kerry. Overall:
Favorable 37%. Unfavorable 42%.
both of these numbers with Michael Barone on the program
tonight. Barone could not think of a candidate with
this sort of unfavorable number who went on to win.
And he noted the president's spectacular turn-around
in the 18-30 year old demographic. Why such a
high unfavorable number, I asked. Barone directed the
audience to the old Ed Koch reply to why people didn't
like Bella Abzug: "Because they know her."
Ouch. True, but ouch.
about the turnaround among the young --which is close
to a 30 point swing over a couple of months: That age
group can smell a fraud 3,000 miles away. they are cynical
as possible about marketing and ploys etc. They
have taken the measure of John Kerry and judged him
a poser. Bush by contrast, like him or not, is
we debated with Assemblyman John Campbell whether or
not his tie was exceptional or ugly as dirt. We report
and you decide on the usually dapper John Campbell.
You can Email me
with your comments. If you are interested in sending
John your ugliest tie as a replacement for this one,
you can do so via Assemblyman John Campbell, The State
Capitol, Sacramento, California.
I ask you not to go to Lileks until you have got to
the bottom of the post, or you will never return.
It is like dessert. Don't eat dessert first.
have the latest polls. RealClearPolitics
does the averages. ElectionProjection
puts the Electoral College split at Bush 295, Kerry
Electoral College Breakdown has Bush at 291, Kerry
238. Kerry's cratering in the Iowa
Add it all up and there is tremendous pressure on Kerry
to break Bush's momentum at the first debate Thursday
night. Which means a stunt of some sort.
Taegan's Political Wire asked James Fallows to give
advice to Jim Lehrer. Fallows
responds with weak tea that includes a predictable
slam at Bush. Fallows has PBS perfect pitch, and
that's we'll get from Lehrer on Thursday night --weak
tea, but slanted Kerry. When Kerry tries a stunt
and Lehrer let's it pass or abets it, watch the blogosphere
turn on Lehrer and the PBS brand he carries. As
I wrote yesterday, this is the first debate to be blogged,
and Lehrer could be next week's Dan Rather with any
sort of performance that smacks of a Kerry bias.
The vulnerability of the PBS "network" to
internet activism is huge, given the overwhelming importance
of a handful of stations that must be responsive to
public outrage because of the ever-present fundraising
spinning of debate expectations is fun to watch,
but despite McAuliffe's clownishness, Kerry has a clear
expectations hurdle to clear after four years of fever
swamp attacks on the president's intelligence.
listens to the Northern
Alliance. Do you think Jim Lehrer has a clue
as to what either of those terms means? Advice
to Lehrer: Ask the candidates what they think
of the milblogs reporting from Iraq. Michael
Novak provides a cheat sheet, and my WeeklyStandard
piece from March provides some history. (Michael
Novak's willingness to
blog at The Corner demonstrates again why he is
among the nation's leading brains. Like Michael
Kristol and Fred
Barnes, he's another big player from old media who
figured out the power of the new media and dove in.
Broder is still out there grumbling about the Swift
Boat Vets and ignoring Christmas-not-in-Cambodia.
Maybe there's a role for him in Left
"Best I can
tell, the only two people in America who think things
are going well [in Iraq] are George Bush and Dick Cheney,"
That's from this
Washington Post story on Kerry-Edwards decision
to go after the president's carrier landing. Edwards
hasn't been talking to the troops who have just returned,
as I did on air with USMC Colonel Geoff Cooper last
week. Cooper wouldn't talk politics, of
course, but he's quite proud of the work his Marines
did in Iraq. So are the overwhelming majority
of Americans who served in Iraq, both in its liberation
and now in its reconstruction. And their families.
And their friends. And their admirers. The
president is right to stick to his guns, and Kerry-Edwards
are trapped again in denigrating a great achievement,
just as Kerry denigrated Allawi last week.
But Kerry is in desperate political condition.
He can't be a "responsible"opponent because
he had to feed the fever swamp left at NYU last week.
So this is where he is today, via the New
arriving in Wisconsin on Sunday for four days of debate
preparation, declared that Mr. Bush had misled the nation
about the severity of the situation in Iraq. 'He owes
the American people the truth and he owes the troops
the truth,' he said.
A senior Kerry
adviser, Joe Lockhart, laid out what Democrats said
would most likely be another major theme for Mr. Kerry
leading up to the debate, as he accused Mr. Bush of
'using the war on terror as a political tool and a political
weapon' in seeking to silence dissent."
Kerry seems fated to try this stuff out on Thursday
night, and while Michael Moore will cheer, the wide
center of the political spectrum will conclude --rightly--
that Kerry's off the balance beam, a conclusion they
have been moving toward for quite some time.
It doesn't help to have Kerry supporters provide money
quotes like "'I voted for Nader, and I wound up with
an imperialist nightmare,' said Skip Clarke, a 32-year-old
computer programmer," in
a Los Angeles Times story on Oregon slipping away from
Read the Boston
Globe's story on the Kerry campaign that begins
with these two paragraphs:
of a Democratic presidential campaign in disarray remained
so widespread Wednesday morning that Senator John F.
Kerry got unsolicited advice from a woman attending
a town hall meeting on Social Security: Beef up your
rapid-response team, the retired lawyer suggested.
prompted laughter, including from the candidate himself.
But the Kerry campaign was already undergoing a transformation."
Thus begins the long-anticipated "He's
turned it around" campaign from friendlies in the
media, which will morph into "Kerry's a strong
closer" after the first and second debate.
The storyline is already set. In a hilarious quote
from perennial loser Mark Green, the talking point is
turned his boat into the ambush of Iraq today,' Mark
Green, the Democrats' mayoral candidate in New York
in 2001, said after Monday's speech at New York University,
evoking the image of Kerry steering his Vietnam War
swift boat into enemy gunfire. 'History's verdict is
in on this war, but the public hasn't heard that because
of all the static and noise from the Republicans.'"
It is still
all about Vietnam for Kerry and his surrogates!
Will Kerry dare bring up Vietnam in the debate Thursday
night? Please God. It will be a Saturday
Night Live moment without Saturday Night Live: the candidate
as caricature all on his own.
Don't miss The
Fourth Rail and The
Belmont Club on the implications of the strike on
the Hamas leader in Damascus. The GWOT goes on
even as Senator John Forbes Ditherer harangues the academic
Finally, would someone send me a pointer to Wall Street
analysts' assessment of the stock price future of old
media, newspaper-heavy publicly traded companies.
Are these analysts factoring in the blogosphere's impact
on subscriptions? If not, why not? My
guess is that the National Journal's wildly expensive
Hotline is doomed to either drastically lower its
price point or fold given the availability of free blogs
with faster, more comprehensive coverage, and while
newspapers will lumber on, my e-mail over the weekend
carried many tales of dropped subscriptions and fundamentally
altered paper-buying habits. The best analysts
will have studied this,and I'd like to see where they
think it heads.
has spun off ProfessorBainbridgeonWine,
which is a shrewd blog-ad move for sure, if only he'd
put them up. The color scheme is sure to repel
What next? Will Instapundit
on Hummels and PeepsSequinShop,
of course. I am considering HewittTravelAdventures.
Speaking of Lileks, savor this from today's
I did want to say something about that silly
NYT piece about blogging. All I needed to know I learned
from the cover. Doing a story on blogging and putting
Wonkette on the cover is like using Janine Garafalo
to illustrate a story about the power of talk radio.
Sure, Limbaugh has better numbers, but what’s more compelling?
A story about someone who attracts 20 million uninteresting
people, or someone who attracts 100,000 people who are
Just Like Us?"
Heh. But that's not the best part. Read
it all, and picture the poor reader whom it accurately
describes. And imagine the response --secret,
of course-- among the editors of the magazine, all of
whom will have read this by noon. I hope Jim Lehrer
reads it, as it is another warning. They'll pretend
they haven't, or if they have, that they don't care.
Heh again. The talent's on the other side.
E.B. White's gone and Tina Brown's still around.
aren't coming. They are already inside the penthouse.
And they are laughing.