Archive for September 19th, 2004

Blood and Gore Missing From Campaign

2

According
to the Boston
Globe
, last season’s loser to the George Bush juggernaut,
Al Gore,
is enjoying a bit of a renaissance. In fact, they describe him as a
"fire-breathing Bush basher," and go on to say:

"Speaking with a freedom and passion less frequently seen in his own
political campaigns, Gore is happily making speeches, raking in money,
and generally
raising hell these days for John F. Kerry and the Democratic Party.
In his spare time, he is also teaching at three universities and raising
money for himself through various business ventures."

We’re not sure what campaign they have been watching, but we were
unaware that Gore was playing such an active and central role. In
fact, the only time we have read anything about him since his obligatory
gig
at the convention was when he got hit with a $141
ticket for speeding
in Oregon. Kerry is avoiding Gore like
Marion Barry avoids crack ‘hoes these days. and the reason is clear.  While
America will always root for the underdog, they hate to look at a loser. Reminds
them of their own pathetic failings and the hopelessness of life in general.

The Globe article goes on with some insightful commentary, delivered
by none other than another of the Dowbrigade’s many alter egos:

"There’s a lot of emotion that’s wrapped up in the outcome of 2000,
which I think he can use constructively in 2004," said Michael
Feldman, a Democratic consultant and former Gore adviser.

Actually, we can’t agree with ourself on this one. Al Gore, in our opinion,
is a pathetic excuse for a presidential candidate, an uninspiring milksop
who couldn’t hang with the laughingstock of the Yale class of ’68 when
the game got rough and the fur started to fly.

Think back.  The world was a different place in 2000. There
was no War on Terror, there was no Department of Homeland Security, we
were at peace, George didn’t have any of the "leadership" and "War-time
President" issues to play on the fear and patriotism of unsuspecting
voters. Gore had a ten point lead at Labor Day, and he still let the
election get yanked out from under him. He deserves his place on the
dustbin of history, and with that he’s getting off lightly.

We were hoping that John Kerry was no Al Gore, but the similarities
are starting to get spooky. Stiff and aloof compares badly with Bush’s
goofy populism. When are the Democrats going to wise up to the reality
that their only chance to win is to nominate slick showmen with surgically
excised scruples, great politicians like Kennedy and Clinton, neither
of whom was afraid to steal an election here or there? Until they do,
the Bush brand of Compassionate Fascism seems fated to seep into every
corner of the American experience.

article from the Boston Globe

All’s Fair in Love and Politics

1

A great
many books will eventually be written about the 2004 electoral campaign.  If
the true facts are ever unearthed (and they almost always come out sooner
or later), the tome on the dirty tricks and subterfuges this time should be a classic,
and an extremely large volume.

As a long-time fan of political infighting and elegant, underhanded
conniving, we must say we have been impressed with the quality and creativity
of the trickery unleashed thus far, the best of which unfortunately cannot be analyzed
because it has yet to be discovered, and probably never will be. Sadly,
for fans of tight races, almost all of the best moves have been on one
side.

One of the neatest tricks was actually nonpartisan, and occurred early,
during the heat of the primary season. According to Howard Dean, it was
the same thing he found most liberating in his campaign – his ability
to ignore the traditional sources of campaign funding thanks to millions of small contributions – that ultimately
doomed his effort. Unwilling to swallow a candidate they had no control
over, the media magnates pulled a marvelously simple yet effective hack.

They took a tape of a hoarse Dean yelling to be heard in the middle of a raucous,
screaming crowd, and isolated the track coming just from HIS microphone.
filtering out all of the background roar, and making Dean sound like
a dangerous maniac screaming in an empty hall.  They then took this filtered tape loop and
played it over and over and over again on all available media outlets. End of Dean candidacy.

Then there was the masterful Republican maneuvering of Kerry into the minefield
of Vietnam.  They knew that his service was a matter of honor to
the Senator, and if challenged on that record would be unable to resist
being sucked in to a petty and diversionary squabble over the particulars
of 30-year-old paperwork.

They did this knowing full well that they had the graying but still
gung ho Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth waiting 30 years in ambush
to avenge the sense that their service was worse than unnecessary. And
sure enough, they burst from cover with guns blazing to question everything
from Kerry’s whereabouts on New Year’s Eve 1973 to the source of his
wounds. This was a textbook diversionary operation, and muddied the water
sufficiently that it became immaterial what really happened. Meanwhile,
the Democrats didn’t even have time to wonder where George Bush had been
on New Year’s Eve, 1968.

But the slickest move so far, at least of those partially exposed, has
been the Bush Guard Document Dustup.  In a move so dastardly and
evil that Democrats are reportedly on the verge of picking up their chips
and going home in the face of insurmountable Republican ingenuity, political
insiders are hinting that Republicans may have leaked the Rather documents
themselves.

What, they ask, would the Republicans do if they knew that these documents
existed and were afraid they would fall into the hands of the Democrats,
or already had and the Dems were waiting for the most opportune moment
to unveil them? What if they took the memos, and copied them over on
computers into a format easily detectable as fake, and then slipped them
to their old nemesis Dan? Well, maybe not easily detectable,
because that would be a giveaway, but open to convincing debunking by
experts. Not only would it defuse the content of those memos, but it
would simultaneously throw into doubt all of the other evidence of Bush’s
corner cutting in the National Guard, and embarrass Dan Rather to boot.  Brilliant!

The joke is that most of the voters already believe that George
Bush got help from his Dad to get into the Guard, and slipped out early
after absorbing a million dollars of flying lessons from Uncle Sam.  And
they don’t care.  They probably would have done the same themselves.
But the continual stream of documents pointing out example after example
of Bush’s lies and contradictions might gradually wear down Bush’s trustworthiness
factor, which could be dangerous to the cause. No worries about that
now!

The sad fact is that Kerry seems totally unprepared to fight back on
this level. With the flagging economy and the daily building disaster
in Iraq, Bush has left himself open to a series of devastating counter-attacks,
on jobs, on energy policy and its connection to the war, on the money
for the war and where it went, on the Bush family relation with the Saudis,
on the continued activities of Bin Laden, and a dozen other topics.

But Kerry seems to be paralyzed by the fear that if he makes any bold
moves or even says anything strong or categorical, it will backfire
on him and he will end up losing more support than he gains. We certainly
hopes he wises up and has a dirty few tricks of his own up his sleeve.  If
not, this race will be over long before election day.

All’s fair in love and politics, John. This is no time to be honorable.

Pull yourself together, man.  Get up off the floor and do something
sleazy and unexpected. We’re counting on you to make this a horse race,
not a Texas stampede.