Friday, September 03, 2004

GOP 2008

Allow me a moment to comment on something I heard a lot about during this week's Republican National Convention.

John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Chuck Hagel, George Pataki, and Mitt Romney.

At the moment, those are the Republicans being discussed as possible candidates for President in 2008. It's an interesting mix of moderates, mavericks, and even liberals (for the GOP, anyway).

So what's the problem?

Notice the distinct lack of Bush Republicans.

Sure, other possible candidates being discussed are hardcore conservatives like Bill Frist and Rick Santorum. But no one -- within the party or without -- seems to feel too good about their chances. Could this be a sign that many within the party secretly don't feel very good about Dubya's chances this year, either?

PS - Going to the woods for Labor Day weekend. No computer, no blog. See you all Monday-ish. In the meantime, send me a dollar or two so I can keep this damn thing going. Oh yeah, and the DNC as well. And while you're at it Steve Brozak, too.

I'm not asking too much, right? Nah...

posted by Scott | 9/03/2004 | |

Creepy Daddy Bush

"It struck me as I was speaking to people in Bangor, Maine, that this president sees America as we think about a 10-year-old child," [White House Chief of Staff Andrew] Card said. "I know as a parent I would sacrifice all for my children."

It's been pretty obvious for quite some time now that the religious-right/neocon confluence currently at the head of the GOP is overly paternalistic. But did anyone really understand the extent to which the Republicans themselves acknowledged and even embraced this image?

The Kerry campaign called the comment "condescending," but it goes further than that. It belies the fundamental lack of respect for the American people I've long suspected the Bush Republicans of harboring. The American people, this thinking goes, are not strong enough nor smart enough to make decisions or even think for themselves. Don't question Bush, because father knows best. Misbehave and Uncle Ashcroft is going to spank you. Ugh!

Wake up people -- this administration thinks you're too stupid to see through this garbage.

posted by Scott | 9/03/2004 | |

President Clinton Hospitalized

Oh man, this cannot be good.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former President Bill Clinton has checked into a New York hospital and will undergo heart bypass surgery, U.S. networks reported on Friday.

ABC and CBS television reported that Clinton, 58, had checked into New York Presbyterian Hospital for quadruple heart bypass surgery.

A Democratic Party official told Reuters that Clinton had checked into the hospital with "chest pains." The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, could not confirm that Clinton would undergo bypass surgery.
I'm stunned right now. Clinton loses all of that weight, retires from the most high-stress job in the world, and NOW has a heart attack? Man, I hope he's okay.

Everybody pray or keep your fingers crossed or chant or meditate or whatever it is that you do for the Big Dog's health.

posted by Scott | 9/03/2004 | |

Pie In The Sky

The President was long on promises and short on proof last night as he offered up a lot of general policy proposals, no way to pay for them, and no evidence from the last four years to indicate he would follow through on them.

That, one could say, is politics.

But it's not just the audacity of Bush's claims that offends. There was also a fair bit of hypocrisy to boot, as pointed out on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Bush did not put a price tag on his own proposals or say how they would be paid for. Ironically, he accused Kerry of offering $2 trillion in new federal spending, which is exactly the same price tag which economists have given to the costs of Bush's Social Security reform proposal.
So while Bush blasts Kerry for proposing $2 trillion in new spending, he neglects to inform voters that only one of his proposals alone will cost $2 trillion. One wonders how much the entire bill will come out to be if that's just one item.

And unlike Kerry, Bush does not promise any sort of checks on spending, such as a pay-as-you-go policy for new programs and initiatives. All of this has fiscal conservatives like Andrew Sullivan calling Bush out on his laundry list of empty promises.

Bush's astonishing achievement is to make the case for all this new spending, at a time of chronic debt (created in large part by his profligate party), while pegging his opponent as the "tax-and-spend" candidate. The chutzpah is amazing. At this point, however, it isn't just chutzpah. It's deception. To propose all this knowing full well that we cannot even begin to afford it is irresponsible in the deepest degree.
If I had to sum up right now why I think George W. Bush is going to lose this election, I wouldn't point to Iraq or jobs or economic growth or Osama bin Laden, though those are all areas in which the President has some trouble. Rather, I'd like to think that it's everything all thrown together -- a unified theory of the failed Bush presidency, if you will.

It's the dishonesty, stupid.

posted by Scott | 9/03/2004 | |

Zogby Ridiculousness

Okay, so let me get this straight... The Zogby results were released before Bush even gave his speech, so the premise that this tells us anything about what kind of bounce Bush did or did not get from the convention is just stupid. People of all political stripes could agree to that.

That said, why the hell are the squawking heads claiming that this is some great victory for Bush? Clearly the Bush campaign has done a very good job of managing expectations. As I heard Chris Matthews say on 'Hardball' tonight, this was a big jump for Bush from the last Zogby poll. What I didn't hear him say is that this puts him right back where he was in early July, still 4 points below 50%. Kerry -- in the middle of the GOP convention -- is right on his tail at 44%. And since the margin of error is +/- 3.2... you guessed it, Kerry may not be down at all.

Like I said earlier, I have little respect for the results of a convention poll that comes out before the convention has ended. But to the extent that I do have any respect for it at all, it's not the Chicken Little scenario the SCLM has made it out to be.

My favorite bit of analysis?

While the President has improved his numbers, he still has a negative re-elect, job performance, and wrong direction.
Yikes! What Zogby is really saying is that 'while things aren't so bad for Bush, they're still pretty bad.'

Another key thing to remember is that this convention was balls-to-the-wall negativity. Everyone and their mother attacked John Kerry. Kerry had next to zero response. If his numbers didn't go down during that barrage, I would have been floored.

Certainly keep watching those polls. But for pete's sake, people -- they are not gospel.

posted by Scott | 9/03/2004 | |

The Damned Lies Of The GOP

This piece from the front page of today's Washington Post lays the smackdown on damn near everything the GOP said about John Kerry at their little anger mismanagement shindig in NYC.

I'm tempted to just cut and paste the whole thing here, but that would be lazy and somewhat unethical, if not flat out illegal. So here's what you're going to get...

Kerry did not cast a series of votes against weapons systems, as Sen. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) suggested...
Both Cheney and Miller faulted Kerry for voting against body armor for troops in Iraq. But much of the funding for body armor was added to the bill by House Democrats, not the administration, and Kerry's vote against the entire bill was rooted in a dispute with the administration over how to pay for $20 billion earmarked for reconstruction of Iraq.
While Cheney said Kerry opposed Reagan's "major defense initiatives," the campaign does not cite any votes against such defense programs while Reagan was president...
Six years later, Kerry took part in a complex and serious debate in Congress over how to restructure the military after the Cold War.

Cheney, at the time defense secretary, had scolded Congress for keeping alive such programs as the F-14 and F-16 jet fighters that he wanted to eliminate. Miller said in his speech that Kerry had foolishly opposed both the weapons systems and would have left the military armed with "spitballs." During that same debate, President George H.W. Bush, the current president's father, proposed shutting down production of the B-2 bomber -- another weapons system cited by Miller -- and pledged to cut defense spending by 30 percent in eight years.
Kerry's vote last year against the administration's $87 billion proposal to fund troops in Iraq and pay for Iraqi reconstruction has also been the focus of Republican attacks. "He voted against body armor, ammunition, fuel, spare parts, armored vehicles, extra pay for hardship duty and support for military families," Cheney said.

Kerry actually supported all those things, but as part of a different version of the bill opposed by the administration. At the time, many Republicans were uncomfortable with the administration's plans and the White House had to threaten a veto against the congressional version to bring reluctant lawmakers in line.
Okay, that was a lot. Can you believe I actually left some of the GOP lies out?!?!

The Republicans think we're going to roll over in November, that honest people are not going to challenge their disgusting lies, and that they somehow deserve the presidency because of 9/11.

They are sorely wrong on all accounts.

posted by Scott | 9/03/2004 | |

Thursday, September 02, 2004

First Impressions

Well, Bush's speech was full of empty platitudes. Before that, George Pataki's speech was utter nonsense and the man clearly has a problem with the truth.

Well, damnit, here comes the cavalry, not a moment too soon...

From Kos, excerpts from Kerry's midnight speech in Springfield, Ohio.

Let me tell you what I think makes someone unfit for duty. Misleading our nation into war in Iraq makes you unfit to lead this nation. Doing nothing while this nation loses millions of jobs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting 45 million Americans go without healthcare makes you unfit to lead this nation. Letting the Saudi Royal Family control our energy costs makes you unfit to lead this nation. Handing out billions of government contracts to Halliburton while you're still on their payroll makes you unfit. That's the record of George Bush and Dick Cheney. And it's not going to change. I believe it's time to move America in a new direction; I believe it's time to set a new course for America.
Just seeing these guys on TV already has me feeling better. Go get 'em, guys.

posted by Scott | 9/02/2004 | |

Right Wing Hate Fest

I can't even begin to describe how nauseated I was by tonight's spectacle. Basically the theme, which was supposed to be "A Land of Opportunity," turned into "Democrats Hate America, Obey Your Master." I'm not sure what the transition point was, but I'm pretty sure Mitt Romney had something to do with it.

I'll update this in the morning, but I'll leave you with two observations from others.

First up, Atrios makes me feel a lot better about the evening:


The Democratic Party is smarter than I thought. Who knew that they'd spent the last two years inserting Zell Miller as a deep mole into the Republican Party so that he could bring the whole operation down from the inside.

Zell Miller, proud Democrat, we salute you.

-Atrios 11:37 PM
And then, with a totally different perspective, Andrew Sullivan rightly blasts Miller's speech:

Remember who this man is: once a proud supporter of racial segregation, a man who lambasted LBJ for selling his soul to the negroes. His speech tonight was in this vein, a classic Dixiecrat speech, jammed with bald lies, straw men, and hateful rhetoric.
The man's speech was not merely crude; it added whole universes to the word crude.
We'll have to see how this all plays out on tomorrow morning's news shows.

posted by Scott | 9/02/2004 | |

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Lies Of Rudy Giuliani

The Washington Post has an incredible rundown of the verifiably false statements Giuliani made during his convention address Monday night. In my earlier post on Giuliani's speech, I chose to focus on one particularly disingenuous statement that really bothered me as a former resident of Rudy's NYC. I guess that comment riled me up so much, I didn't even notice how much of the rest of his speech was flat-out false.

I'm not going to repost the whole article, but this is one of the clearest, most concise knock-downs of one of the worst GOP lies about John Kerry I have seen in months.

Giuliani: "I quote John Kerry: 'I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.' "

The context: The administration's request for the funding was controversial, even among Republicans, and various attempts were made to split off $67 billion for the troops from the $20 billion for reconstruction, or to turn the $20 billion grant into a loan, or to fund some of the spending by raising taxes on incomes greater than $312,000. Kerry voted for a different version of the bill, just as Bush had vowed to veto a version that originally passed in the Senate that would have converted half of the Iraq rebuilding plan into a loan.
Somehow, though, I still doubt we've seen the end of that claim from GOP hacks.

posted by Scott | 9/01/2004 | |

When Is A Swiftee Not A Swiftee?

Well, I guess when you're Swift boat vet Bob Anderson of Columbus, Montana.

Much has been made of the 300 signatories of the Swift Vets' letter attacking John Kerry. GOP operatives have been saying for some time now that having so many veterans who served near Kerry in Vietnam sign the letter is a sure sign that there's something to the Swift Vets' story. You know -- where there's smoke, there's fire.

But a growing number of Swiftees whose names appear on that letter are coming out and demanding that their names be removed. It turns out they never signed the letter in the first place. Bob Anderson is one of them. "It's kind of like stealing my identity," he says of finding out that his name was fraudulently used to further the Swift Vets' cause.

"After reading the letter," Anderson said, "it kind of got under my skin. I had never come across a situation where someone used my name without my support or approval. It's not a very comforting feeling."

What's worse, he said, he disagrees with the letter.

"Had they asked me to use my name, I wouldn't have allowed them to," he said.
And Anderson is not alone. Bob Wedge of Nevada, who lost his leg in action on a Swift boat in 1969, has also found out that his name was being used by the Swift Vets without his permission.

"I don't agree with it and want no part of it and especially don't want my name on it."

Both men have tried to contact the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth to have their names removed from the list. Neither have had any success.

"I can't seem to get a response when I reply to their e-mail," Wedge said.

"They come back undeliverable."
One wonders how many other veterans' names were used without their permission to further this fraud against John Kerry.

(Credit to Ralph at dKos)

posted by Scott | 9/01/2004 | |

A Word About Laura Bush

Let me just say that I have nothing against Laura Bush. She seems like a very bright woman; a closeted moderate who loves her conservative Republican husband very much.

And the American people also seem to hold Mrs. Bush in high esteem. Some Republican activists have said that her appeal lies in the fact that she's not Hillary. But what exactly does that mean?

I think I found an answer hiding in some comments about Laura's speech at The National Review:

Laura Bush doing really well, though I think going on a bit too long. Seems very ordinary and unpolished -- which of course is how you want her to seem. Just right: a housewife from West Texas. But enough already, Laura.
Posted at 10:44 PM

So glad she kept that short. Whenever she goes on you worry.
Posted at 10:41 PM
So there you have it. Laura Bush is apparently so likeable because she knows when to can it. Unlike Hillary, Laura is "just right: a housewife from West Texas."

But God forbid she speaks too long at her husband's nominating convention! Then it's "enough already, Laura."

That such blatant 'women should know their place' sexism still manages to survive in this day and age is mind boggling. That it finds a welcoming place in the Republican Party is far less so.

posted by Scott | 9/01/2004 | |

Convention Wrap Up: The Twins

Whose freakin' side are these chicks on, man?

The slightly-less-than-dynamic duo were apparently in the house to soften the image of their father, which I suppose they did, but their appearance was not really the success Rove & Co. might have been hoping for.

Now before anyone gets all mad at me for going after Presidential kids, let me remind you that you set the new rule that anything that comes up at a convention is open to debate. Besides, why would I go after them when they did such a great job of making the Republican Party look so stiff and out of touch?

Here's Jenna's opening:

It's great to be here. We love Arnold. Isn't he awesome?

Thanks to him, if one of us ever decides to marry a Democrat, nobody can complain, except maybe our grandmother, Barbara. And if she doesn't like it, we would definitely hear about it.

We already know she doesn't like some of our clothes, our music, or most of the TV shows we watch.

Gammie, we love you dearly, but you're just not very hip.

She thinks "Sex and the City" is something married people do, but never talk about.

We spent the last four years trying to stay out of the spotlight. Sometimes, we did a little better job than others.

We kept trying to explain to my dad that when we are young and irresponsible, well, we're young and irresponsible.

First, they call out Barbara Bush -- the matriarch of the Republican Party and their own grandmother -- for being an old fuddy-duddy. Watching the video, this generated some clear discomfort among delegates in the hall.

And then they remind everyone that while John Kerry was in Vietnam, their dad was busy at home being "young and irresponsible." Us Democrats could seriously not have wished for more.

Barbara (the young one) was up next and hit it out of the park:

Jenna and I are really not very political, but we love our dad too much to stand back and watch from the sidelines.

We realized that this would be his last campaign, and we wanted to be a part of it.

Besides, since we've graduated from college, we're looking around for something to do for the next few years.

Kind of like dad.
Too funny. Essentially, Barbara is admitting that they really don't support their dad's candidacy, but they're campaigning for him as a favor to him. That's a cute sentiment coming from two daughters to their dad, but as an expression of confidence in this supposedly great President... not so much.

Plus, she basically implies that the job market is too crummy for she and her sister to do anything else but campaign. Beautiful! And "kind of like dad"? I'm positive that didn't come out the way she meant it to, but what she's saying here is that Kerry's going to win, so her dad is going to be looking for a job as well. Did she not realize which convention she was at?

Can it get any better? You wouldn't think so, but it did.

Two great cuts from Barbara:

When your dad's a Republican and you go to Yale, you learn to stand up for yourself.
Not "when you're a Republican," but "when your dad's a Republican"! Barbara has hinted to a number of people that she is anything but a Republican and I'd say this is the closest we're going to come to a public admission in the near future.

And we had a hamster, too. Let's just say ours didn't make it.
It's seriously like a Kerry endorsement. At the Democratic convention, for those of you who don't remember, Alexandra Kerry told a childhood story of their pet hamster getting knocked into the water and their father going to an almost ridiculous extent to save it. John Kerry saving Licorice the hamster was a cute little story that was mocked endlessly by Republicans. But it's a story that says something about Kerry -- that he's someone who will do his damnedest to give even the least among us a fighting chance.

But Bush? "Let's just say ours didn't make it." I'm pretty sure this is just a joke, but Barbara is implying that if there were an actual hamster, her father would have seen it fall into the water, shrug and say, "screw it."

The speech was an unmitigated disaster. But don't just take my word for it. Here's some of the posters at The Corner, the blog of the right-wing National Review

OMG!! [Jonah Goldberg]
The twins are, like, totally freaking me out. Like I'm totally having a dawson moment.
Posted at 10:28 PM
The girls must go. The girls must go. I can't take it. Bring back Arnold!!!
Posted at 10:30 PM
These women are definitely impersonators because this the scariest, weirdest, strangest thing I've ever heard at a convention. Did anyone vet this?
Posted at 10:31 PM

Finally, it's Jenna who delivers what seems to be the theme of the twins' speech.

You know all those times when you're growing up and your parents embarrass you? Well, this is payback time on live TV.
Mission accomplished, girls. Mission accomplished.

posted by Scott | 9/01/2004 | |

Convention Wrap Up: Arnold

I have to be honest... I can't bring myself to watch the convention. I try, but the absurdity and inanity of some of the crap being said has me turning it off within seconds. Even my wife is ready to punt the TV out the window. So I'm relying on transcripts, web videos, and others commentary on the events. It's not perfect, but it's the best you're going to get from me.

But onto the Governator.

Someone should tell the giant Aryan from Austria that standing in front of a giant flag and egotistically soaking in the adulation of the masses makes him look like a Nazi. Before any of you Republicans who are currently freaking out send me any e-mail, I'm not saying that Schwarzenegger is a fascist. In fact, most Republicans -- who are obviously far to the left of Nazis -- are to Arnold's right. But the fact is hard to ignore and it's something he should probably be aware of.

Okay, friendly notice over.

What the hell was with Arnold's bullshit 'True Lies' comment about the Democrats at the opening of his speech? Could you imagine if any Democrat at the convention in Boston had begun his speech with a charge -- not backed up by anything but "knowing" laughter from the crowd -- that the Republicans were liars? The entire convention would have been branded a sad exercise in anger and venom by the mainstream media.

Oh wait... that happened anyway.

The rest of Schwarzenegger's speech was little more than inarguable platitudes about how bad communism was and how great America is. Uh... yeah. We know, Arnold. That's why we all live here.

And the part about the greatness of Richard Nixon was choice, as well. Just what the American people need to hear in the context of re-electing George W. Bush.

posted by Scott | 9/01/2004 | |

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

GOP Delegates Ignoring NYC Laws

From this morning's 'Convention Alert' e-mail from National Journal:


"It would have been easier to go to a more Republican city, but it's not a bad thing to have disagreements. The other thing protesters need to remember is that we're Republicans. We pack."

-- Colorado Delegate Kendal Unruh, dismissing concerns about unpleasant run-ins with convention interlopers.
So this leads me to wonder... I've heard all sorts of stories about the NYPD cracking down on protesters, but what about the delegates? After all, in order to carry concealed weapons in New York City, one must have a special permit. Something tells me that these pistol packin' delegates didn't bother applying for permits, but who knows. Either way, I can't imagine the NYPD would be handing out concealed weapons permits to anyone going anywhere near the GOP convention.

And in a side note, this is actually the first time I've seen an actual threat of violence made by anyone -- protester, delegate, police officer -- at the GOP convention.

It sounds like it isn't just the anarchists we need to worry about this week.

posted by Scott | 8/31/2004 | |

Giuliani Is Nuts

Rudy Giuliani on what was going through his head on the morning of September 11:

And I will always remember that moment as we escaped the building we were trapped in at 75 Barclay Street and realized that things outside might be even worse than they were inside the building.
At the time, we believed we would be attacked many more times that day and in the days that followed. Spontaneously, I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and said to Bernie, "Thank God George Bush is our President."
Now, I can't claim to know what Giuliani was thinking on 9/11, but I find this more than a little hard to believe.

There were a number of things that I thought on 9/11, being about 20 miles away from Ground Zero. As the cellphone systems went down and all other communication channels were incredibly clogged, all I thought about was my family. I thought about my father, who I believed to be out of the office -- possibly in New York -- for meetings. I thought of my uncle, who lives in New York. I thought of my friends from high school who I'd been out of touch with for years, but who I knew worked downtown. I thought of my girlfriend, who wasn't anywhere near New York, but she was also not anywhere near me. It wasn't until much later in the afternoon that I thought about politics.

Say Rudy is telling the truth, that he really did feel the need to thank God that Bush was President. I never thought of Rudy as a foolish Bush-as-superhero worshipper, but if that's what he wants me to think, then I'll accept it.

But my question is why?

Since about 9:15 AM on 9/11/01, political operatives within the GOP have wanted the American people to be consumed with this very thought -- Thank God Bush was President. The implication is that Al Gore, who was the preferred Presidential choice of a majority of voters, would somehow have botched 9/11.

But how?

What would Gore have done any differently than Bush on 9/11? Would he have sat in that school in Florida for ten minutes rather than just seven? On September 11, the fact of the matter is that Bush didn't do anything of any great import. I'm not saying there's much he could have done, but for Giuliani to pretend that Bush immediately suited up and flew to Afghanistan with a Bowie knife and a compass is pretty damn disingenuous.

There is actually a good bit of evidence to suggest that Gore would have been the President better equipped to deal with 9/11. If for no other reason, Gore would have inherited much of the Clinton administration foreign policy and defense apparatus. This was an experienced team that did not need to learn on the job. Again, I'm not faulting Bush for this. The same logic I employed above also says that a dictator would have been even more able to respond to 9/11 effectively. It's not a statement of preference, necessarily (though it's clear what my preference is). It's an honest and objective (as much so as possible) analysis of the facts.

But let's get a little subjective here, while we're at it.

One of the saddest realities of the Clinton-to-Bush transition is that Richard Clarke's 2000 plan to attack al Qaeda "became a victim of the transition process, turf wars and time spent on the pet policies of new top officials," according to TIME Magazine. Clarke's program included plans to retrofit unmanned Predator drones with Hellfire missiles to be used as assassination weapons against top al Qaeda figures in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

The Clinton administration offered up this plan to the new Bush team, but it was rejected as not a priority. Had Al Gore demanded a full recount in Florida in November of 2000 and won the subsequent election, the Clarke proposals -- "everything we've done since 9/11," according to a senior Bush official -- would have been put in place.

So Bush's and Gore's immediate responses to 9/11 would not have been vastly different. There is a possibility that behind-the-scenes implementation of the Clarke plan prior to 9/11 might have impacted the events of the day, but I don't choose to go there. But in the aftermath of 9/11, I would like to believe that Gore -- at the very least fearful of being criticized as a weak liberal -- would have mobilized the much larger anti-al Qaeda infrastructure set up by the Clinton/Gore and Gore/Lieberman administrations.

The Bush administration's invasion of Afghanistan was damn impressive as a rapid response to a shocking act of war. However, the difference between Bush's and Gore's responses would likely have been the difference between the student who scores an 80% on a test by making educated guesses and the student who scores a 98% thanks to hours of intense studying. Luck is good. Careful planning is better.

So tell me again, Rudy... why are we thanking God, again?

posted by Scott | 8/31/2004 | |

Monday, August 30, 2004

Tin Man Defeats Scarecrow! A Parable For November?

This has to be one of the strangest poll questions ever asked by a serious polling organization in an election year. In order to divine the subconscious preferences of undecided voters, the Zogby/Williams Identity Poll, pollsters asked them not to choose between John Kerry and George W. Bush, but between two movie characters.

The survey probed at the persuadables' underlying values with cultural questions. For example, if the election were a choice between two characters from the movie "The Wizard of Oz," 48.7 percent would vote for the Tin Man, described as "all brains and no heart," and 13.3 percent would vote for the Scarecrow, described as "all heart and no brains."
As Zogby himself says, the implication is obvious -- these voters will choose Kerry over Bush. There are other numbers to suggest the same. While only 20.3% of the undecided voters identify themselves as conservative, 55.8% say they are either moderate or liberal. Pro-choice respondents outnumber pro-life by 43.5% to 36.8%. Only 38% favor a ban on gay marriage, whereas 54.8% would like to see either gay marriages or civil unions. Geographically, 64.7% of undecideds live in the Democratic-leaning East Coast and Great Lakes regions.

However, there are more than a few numbers that help explain why this group is still undecided. On gun control, 49.8% say they are pro-gun and 32.4% are not. Only 13.1% had seen 'Fahrenheit 9/11' while 27.4% had seen 'The Passion of the Christ'. A whopping 46.5% believe that Bush shares their values, while only 11.8% feel that Kerry does. In terms of foreign policy, only 28.2% believe that strengthening American alliances around the world is of greater importance than defending the country "at all costs". The worst numbers for Kerry are on likability. A majority of 76.4% claim to have an unfavorable opinion of Kerry and 51.6% flat out do not like him.

This polling data is more remarkable as a measure of success and failure of political propaganda than as a portrait of undecided voters. This block of voters is clearly with Kerry on most issues. However, they claim not to share his values, which leads them to think that they do not like him. This suggests a massive success on the part of the Bush campaign to make Kerry seem foreign to most Americans. It also represents an equally large failure on the part of the Kerry campaign and the Democrats to counter that view.

While the Kerry campaign may have thought they were going to win in November based on both the failures of the Bush administration and bread-and-butter issues of concern to the American people, it's clear that they vastly underestimated the Bush campaign's propaganda machine. By all logical measures, Kerry should win in November in a landslide. But this is not the age of logic. This is the age of soundbite media and attack machine politics. Sadly, the message we're getting from this poll is 'less substance, more attack'.

posted by Scott | 8/30/2004 | |

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Dueling Protest Headcounts!

I'm tempted to make some sort of sweeping statement about media bias here, but I think it's really just a matter of stupidity.

So if you listen to The Washington Post, there were over 200,000 protesters in New York today. However, the AP and ABC News would have us believe that the numbers were only around half of that at 100,000. According to the AP report, an NYC official put the count at 120,000 and protest organizers say the number was closer to 500,000.

So who's right? Who cares!

The fact of the matter is that these protests -- so far all but peaceful -- are a sign that people are fed up with the Bush administration and willing to take to the streets en masse to speak out. While there are fringe groups in the streets of Manhattan with questionable aims and the willingness to follow through on them, most of the protesters in New York today are regular people who have simply had enough.

But that's not what you're going to hear from the GOP. You're going to hear that all of the protesters -- the anarchists, the nutjobs, the freaks -- are Kerry supporters. Quite frankly, that's nonsense. If everyone on the left supported John Kerry, there would be no Green Party candidate, no Communist Party candidate, no Peace and Freedom Party candidate, and no candidates for the Socialist, Socialist Equality, Socialist Workers, or Workers' World parties.

According to Newsday, the GOP is going to be running ads in NYC papers this week that read:

Many of Sen. Kerry's supporters in the government employee unions and radical environmental movement, and abortion activists and anti-war protesters who support him, will be out in full force.
What the morons don't seem to realize is that most of New York City and the surrounding areas -- Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey -- are solid Kerry territory. So Team W is basically going to call us radical and extreme while they set up shop right in the heart of our city.

Man, the GOP sure does know how to win the hearts and minds!

posted by Scott | 8/29/2004 | |
social security
There Is No Crisis: Protecting the Integrity of Social Security
Amazon Honor System Click Here to Donate Learn More
reading room