Saturday, February 14, 2004
...on why John Kerry will nosedive like a sinking battleship this election. Short version: Kerry looks good now to curious Yanks when compared with Screaming Howard and General Ripper. In the long run, he doesn't look as good. I'm not sure about the shredding charge that he mentions, but there are enough weaknesses in the Kerry pantry cabinet to keep the Bush agitprop shop working night and day.
Meantime, in Crunchland...
...Ray Fair, an economist at Yale, continues to predict nothing less than a Bush landslide this November. I would love to believe this to be true, and have my suspicions that it might given my hunch that John Forbes Kerry is all John and no Johnson, especially on the subject of national security. However, I do recall that there were several economic models published up in the Northeast back in 2000 that predicted that Al Gore would beat George W. Bush like a rented mule in November of that year.
Thanks be to a Merciful Father in Heaven, Al Gore's predicted victory did not happen.
...by Ray Malone. Read the whole damn thing. It confirms to me what has been happening in the polls ever since the DNC and the Kerry operation decided to go negative on Bush this early. Once you're done reading, go over to Andrew Sullivan's page and tell him that John Forbes Kerry is no JFK.
Friday, February 13, 2004
...for Joe Conason, Salon's designated partisan toady, to accuse Matt Drudge from bottom feeding from the "GOP Smear Machine" to do in John F. Kerry, Model Citizen-Sailor.
Unfortunately, when you click on the link, you find that you have to pay real money to those cheap bastards at Salon, but the first paragraph should give you an inkling of the Democratic Party's talking points for the next couple of days.
When they were a free online rag, they "balanced" their trendy-left reporting with columns by Paglia and Horowitz. Paglia was an outraged liberal lesbian feminist who wasn't taken in by Clinton and felt betrayed by the rest of the women's movement during the Monica Affair. Horowitz was the wayward son of radical parents who became a leading conservative intellectual and polemicist in his middle age. Salon.com had such high standards that they gave Paglia and Horowitz the Bum's Rush, became a "premium" service (the online magazine version of a pay-by-month porn site), got delisted off the freaking NASDAQ, and were forced to depend on liberal sugar daddies to keep them afloat.
At any rate, none of that matters now that campaign season is underway. Online sites like Salon will be doing what they do best-carrying water for John Kerry or some other Golden Boy, all the while pretending to be "objectively" reporting the news.
In light of Conason's screed, let me recall what someone once said something about the free press in America:
"The American people have a Free Press; unfortunately, they are overcharged."
Thursday, February 12, 2004
Looks like John Forbes Kerry may have a skeleton or two in his closet to go with his medals.
Matt Drudge picked up a leaked email and published the results on his webpage. Apparently, Wesley Clark leaked some of this to some press people. Where Wes got it from is beyond me. We'll have to see if anything comes of this over the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours.
Andrew Sullivan is having a freaking meltdown. I, for one, am offended at Andrew's eagerness to blame the Bush shop for this story. Earth to Andrew: this is not Karl Rove's style. He fully intends to run the President on the issues. The President has made up his seven point deficit in Gallup in less than a week, and that was after the "disastrous" interview with Russert. So far, I think Bush is doing a lot better than the chattering classes in D.C. suppose. All the AWOL scandal did was piss off the Republican base and show that the combination of an oily Terry McAuliffe and a disingenuous John Kerry is a symphony of political stupidity, while each man alone is a mere recital of confusing noise by a beginning key banger on the political piano of life.
Bush and Rove watched the Republican Party have a huge Viking Funeral in 1998 over the Lewinsky Scandal. They are not stupid people.
A couple of things. This story may, repeat, may have its origins in a blonde woman who sought out job assistance from Kerry in 1998. That is all we really know about this. There was something on Limbaugh today about letters Kerry may have sent this woman, but I'm not sure how important even that is. The woman herself is said to be a reporter for the Associated Press.
Bush has probably already sent down firm instructions to all White House personnel not to comment on this story. I strongly suspect he has got on the horn with Republicans on the Hill and told them to stay on the Reservation, as well. He wants nothing to do with this garbage. This is an internal Democratic Party food fight. 'Tis best to leave it that way.
Personally, I don't think that there's much to this, unless John Kerry decided to have the blonde play "ride the pony". Even then, the bar is set real low in the Democratic Party these days. The only way a Democrat can lose during a scandal is if he violates the Cardinal Rule of Southern Politics:
Don't get caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.
It's different for our guys. If Bush played "hide the salami" with an intern, he'd be ridden out of town on a rail. Republicans would not wait until the press came after him. We'd throw Bush over the side so fast it would make your head spin. When you get to a certain level in politics in our party (the Senate, the Cabinet, or one of the two Constitutional Offices), you're expected to keep your Johnson either in your wife or in your pants. Democrats are allowed to violate these rules because, well, because they are Democrats and they do stupid things from time to time. Clinton was a political genius. That didn't keep him from being self-indulgently stupid.
In the long run, it's the issues of war and economy (no Andrew, not Gay Marriage) that will decide this election. In each case, I expect Bush to be in fine shape come November.
And come December, I expect John Kerry to be back in the Senate where he can do no harm.
Read the whole thing. Please.
Tuesday, February 10, 2004
At least by my lights. Scott McClellan gave the press Bush's pay stubs from 1972 and 1973. Byron York has a good review of the goings on here.
Now all we need is for Joe Wilson's wife to do another spread in Vanity Fair; then we can declare this jumped up excuse for a scandal to be officially bogus.
Meantime, Andrew Sullivan is going after Bush on spending again. Praiseworthy, but only just. Andrew fails to recognize that no one ever lost an election because they spent too much, especially as an economy is coming out of a recession. Sullivan is all agog over Kerry's standing among moderates on spending. What Andrew isn't taking into account is that Kerry is tabula rasa for the electorate. They project onto him what they would like him to be. The reality of John Kerry is probably quite different, and quite disappointing.
When John Kerry says that he's going to raise taxes on the wealthy, he does not say that he is going to control spending. Nope, he says that he is going to "invest" in "health care" or "education" or "infrastructure". That's code for doling out the swag to the interest groups.
I wish Sullivan would quit pounding on Bush so much to recognize that he's being carjacked by a con man.
Roger L. Simon has Kerry figured out, what's taking Andrew so long? Bush's support of the FMA and his opposition to gay marriage probably have p'od Sullivan beyond measure.
Oh, I forgot to mention. I love Andrew Sullivan's blog. Don't get me wrong; I do. However, while Sullivan has been heralding the collapse of Bush and his Administration, Kerry has dumped 7 points in a week in Gallup. The guy is a two-bit phony; trust me on this. The electorate will figure this out. Bush is steady Eddie. Kerry is not. An example? The AWOL scandal mentioned above.
Think the AWOL meme might have pissed off Bush's base? I do. To tell you what kind of geniuses are running the Kerry campaign, they trotted out Terry McAuliffe, one of the oiliest, most corrupt individuals on the planet, to question both Bush's service to his country and the President's integrity. Now that Bush has released his Air Guard pay stubs, the Democrats will probably roll out poor old Max Cleland to say that it ain't good enough. Then Kerry will try something else to see if it sticks. He knows that he just dropped 7 points after his pliant friends in the media have been pounding Bush mercilessly. It ain't Happy Days on Beacon Hill, that's for damn sure.
Again, this is a fox and hedgehog election. Bet on the hedgehog.
Monday, February 09, 2004
Conservatives tend to be pessimists. It comes with having to stand athwart history, yelling "stop" (hat tip:NRO and having to convince other undergraduates that the French Revolution was not such a neat idea, after all. Everybody loved the Jacobins. I was rather fond of the White Terror. Anyway, our sour outlook on politics also comes from having spineless jellyfish like Orrin Hatch as leaders in the Senate. I'll get into that sorry turn of events in a later post.
Anyway, Tabin saw what I saw; that Bush was speaking past Tim Russert and to the audience. Russert might as well have been Boy George for all that it mattered. Sure, Bush stumbled a few times, but that's Bush. When Bush did want to make a point, he did so in a way that framed the issue in his terms. Tim didn't understand that no one cares what Wolfowitz said in an interview six months ago. Bush knows that all too well.
Naturally, Sullivan panicked. Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ!
Don't get me wrong. I love Andrew. He's a moderate-to-right pro-war Conservative who fucking gets it in spades: it's the war, stupid!. He's also a serious deficit hawk, but he forgets that we have been told that the economy is going to collapse due to big deficits since Roosevelt's time. I don't know what it is about that guy, but he seems to forget that this campaign has nine months to go. Forty-eight hours is an eternity, whether one is in politics or whether one is stuck in an elevator with Viggo Mortensen. Andrew Sullivan must have pronounced George W. Bush to be DOA at least sixteen times since Saddam was given the heave-ho from the Spider Hole. Now he is in awe of Kerry.
Oh well, I try to put it all in some perspective. Sort of like Tabin does so well in his article.
It's funny. No one listens to me. I'm just some keyboard jockey with a high opinion of his own opinions. And yet, after two months of pummeling, Bush is still between 49 and 54 percent, depending on which push-poll you trust. Even after Kerry came after him hammer-and-tongs about Bush's service in that Alabama Air Guard, Bush still remains where he has been since New Year's: a tad over fifty percent and sitting on 200 million dollars. Steady, boring, just-plain George. And his wife, and two kids, and Barney the dog.
Kerry was a fool, by the way. Kerry played the media's game: Michael Moore opened up his mouth, Wesley Clark followed up, and Kerry decided that it would be a neat idea to bring Bush's service "out in the open", without it looking like Kerry was questioning Bush's service. All Kerry has done is to telegraph to Karl Rove John Kerry's own fears: his own record on national security, the Central Intelligence Agency's budget, his inconsistent stand on Saddam and the War, and his record as the Contributions King. Kerry told Rove everything that Rove needed to know.
And if I'm correct, we're about to find out that there's far less to John Kerry than meets the eye, and far more about John Kerry's past that he'd rather not talk about. This is another fox and hedgehog election. More on that later.
Correction: in the post below, first paragraph, it's supposed to be "Smirking Chimp", not "summarizing Chimp". I have yet to see a chimp summarize anything of value or meaning.
However, I have heard it said that if one puts ten thousand monkeys in a large room with typewriters and an infinite amount of time and paper, you eventually end up with Twelfth Night.
Sunday, February 08, 2004
Oh, and did I mention that she was quite the expert on figure skating? If not, it was an oversight. If I recall correctly, she claimed to have seen Tonya Harding perform the triple axel at the 1991 Nationals. Anyway, I digress.
The point was that she was a liberal Jewish woman, with all the stuff that came with that demographic. We're talking the base Democratic vote, here. Then something happened that set off every conceivable alarm of defense that the Jews had ever known. September 11th, 2001, came and went.
All of a sudden, a nameless fear awakened a sleeping world. This time, the hatred and the anger didn't take the form of an Austrian demagogue and his "black-suited Praetorians" (hat tip: Arthur Koestler). No, this time the danger was both more widespread and promised to be more protracted. Fascist Islam was on the march. It had two enemies: America...and the Jew.
For in the mind of the Islamic fascist, the Jew was the fount of all that was wicked and unclean in the world, the personification of the evil that came with the kafir. For centuries, since Islam's conquest had been turned back in Europe, the Jews had been tolerated in Islamic civilization. They were a vibrant part of a civilization that had past its Golden Age, but had not yet descended into tyranny and moral squalor. The tolerance of Islam for the Jews that lived among them vanished with the establishment of the State of Israel.
Following the defeats in 1948, 1957, and 1967, the humiliation and anger only grew among Arabs of all ages, especially the middle classes. They had placed such great hopes in the likes of Nasser and the Iraqi generals. The Heroes had feet of clay.
The Arabs would not turn in and confront their own shortcomings. Rather, they would round on the Jew and his patron, the American. Especially the Jew. He was "the Other", and the price of the continued existence of the Jew in the Arab world was unbearable humiliation. So, the Islamic ummah sent their young men out to kill the innocent, the aged, the young, and the helpless. As long as they were Jews, of course. Or Americans. Or both.
When the fascists came calling on September 11th, my friend was shocked to her inner soul. And the Great Fear of the Jewish people: the extermination of the Jews as a people, became possible once more. Bin Laden's objectives were clear: drive America from the Middle East, establish the Islamic Caliphate from Morocco to the Straits of Malacca, then turn on little Israel and make what was Palestine "Jew free". Or as the Germans called it, Judenrein.
I'm a Christian. I've never had to come to terms with the fact that significant numbers of my people were executed en masse simply because an accident of birth made them Jews. This is a real fear, not paranoia, no matter what they say in The Guardian. I have no doubt that bin Laden, were he able to attack with tactical nuclear weapons, would use them against Haifa or Tel Aviv. My friend knows this, as well. So, the fear turned my friend to the Right, and to the presidency of George W. Bush.
I wish it could be different. I wish that fear wasn't such a driving force. But it is, and fear can be a healthy tonic for ignorance or appeasement. She sent me a letter in which she despaired of the hagiographic coverage that attended the ongoing coronation of John Kerry. I wrote her back a missive in which I remarked that there was a time and tide for all things, and the John Kerry was in his clover right now, so to speak. These trying times of a hostile press and an opponent in full flower would pass.
I remain convinced that at the end of the day, the people will remain with steady, unremarkable George W. Bush rather than drop the Pilot and take on a man whose sense of self-importance is only equaled by his inability to grasp the central issue of our time. More on this, but later.