Contact
Archives
Search
Blogs
Newspaper Blogs
English-Language
Press
Polls

December 13, 2003

POLITICAL SMEARS....I'm less worried than a lot of people about the Democratic candidates taking potshots at each other. After all, this happens in every election cycle, people always warn that it does nothing except weaken the entire party (whichever party it happens to be), and in the end it rarely seems to matter much. Carter, Reagan, and Clinton all had bruising primary battles and won, and I'm sure this year's candidate will survive the primaries as well.

Still, enough's enough: linking Howard Dean to Osama bin Laden isn't criticism, it's political porn. I hope every Democratic candidate loudly and unequivocally denounces this kind of crap and makes it clear that it has no place in the campaign. Today would be a good time to start, and I hope my candidate, Wes Clark, is the first out of the gate.

Posted by Kevin Drum at December 13, 2003 09:38 AM | TrackBack


Comments

Just a little basic research: The ad was done by "Americans for Jobs, Health Care and
Progressive Values, The Honorable Edward F. Feighan, President." The issues page is currently nothing more a long litany of pro-gun rights positions by Dean.

Feighan (ex-Congressman, D-OH) was just named chairman and CEO of Columbus-based ProCentury Corp., parent company Century Insurance Group.

Feighan also served as campaign Communications Director for Clinton (someone else with "no foreign policy experience", as well as GW Bush), and one of his administrative assistants during his congressional stine (1983-1993) was a young George Stephanopoulos.

Either the plot thickens, or it sickens.

Posted by: Norbizness at December 13, 2003 09:50 AM | PERMALINK

One would think Mr. Bush was spending his money already, except I don't think even he would be as blatant. I wonder which 'Progressive Values' these guys represent?

Posted by: Chris at December 13, 2003 09:56 AM | PERMALINK

I heard somewhere else on the net that Feighan has a history of collaboration with Republicans. I'll report back when I find out more.

This is no different than the Max Cleland--Osama bin Laden ad. This Feighan is our Ralph Reed or Saxby Chambliss. And the idea that John Kerry and Dick Gephardt are associated with the ad immediately disqualifies them as candidates.

Posted by: Marshall at December 13, 2003 09:58 AM | PERMALINK

This is absurd. Jeebus. Who needs Nader? Next, Lieb et al will be endorsing Bush as the leading "Anyone But Dean."

Bush doesn't need Rove. He has the Dems.

(What amazes me is that Bush was totally w/o foreign policy experience, was only concerned with Operation Ignore, has screwed the pooch on every foreign policy decision since the invasion of Afg, and yet the Dem establishment who enabled Bush want us to think that Dean is a danger. Have they no sense of shame? Or Irony?)

Just once, I'd like for those who undermine the Dems to suffer the consequences like the poor and the children in poverty / bad schools.

Posted by: MattB at December 13, 2003 09:59 AM | PERMALINK

Sometimes I give up on the Dems. The response of non-Dean Dems to the Gore endorsement was also disgusting.

I like Kucinich on the issues (but he's doomed), I like Kerry's attitude sometimes (kiss of death there), and ultimately I'm neutral between Clark and Dean. But I think that everyone should be ABB by now, which means not providing ammunition for the other side.

Awhile back I suggested the Safire rule: if it's something that Safire might say, don't say it. Expand that a little (add a George Will rule) and it seems to me you have a pretty good Dem code of conduct. (Lieberman would have to drop out, of course).

Posted by: Zizka at December 13, 2003 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

I'm putting the provenance of the ad aside, since as a right wing nut I don't really care, I think my inner political junkie is suffering more from the flu than the rest of me.

The attack ad is nasty, but basically fair, saying that Bin LAden is out there, and that wussy Dean can't handle him.

I'd say that the ad is not facially illegitimate.


Posted by: john bragg at December 13, 2003 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

I can see this is going to be "How Many Degrees of Seperation Between Edward F. Feighan and The Democratic Candidates" day.

Let the games begin!

PS I agree with Kevin, I hope Clark gets the message out pronto.

Posted by: Dennis at December 13, 2003 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Well, Dennis Kucinich beat Feighan for Cleveland mayor in the seventies, so I think he wins the degree contest :-)

Posted by: Jon Meltzer at December 13, 2003 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

The attack ad is nasty, but basically fair, saying that Bin LAden is out there, and that wussy Dean can't handle him.

How, pray tell, is Dean wussy? He supported GWI, Afghanistan, and even favors sticking it out in Iraq (I happen to disagree with him on all 3, but that's for another discussion). Seems to be pretty tough, at least according to mainstream thought, and he brings a real drive to work within the community of nations to the table as well.

Posted by: NTodd at December 13, 2003 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Trolling, John Bragg sez:

The attack ad is nasty, but basically fair, saying that Bin LAden is out there, and that wussy Dean can't handle him.

NTodd has already dismantled the "wussy" angle. It seems to me that the ad (and Bragg's critique) would be much more accurate if one substituted the name "George W. Bush" for "Howard Dean".

Posted by: N in Seattle at December 13, 2003 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

And they call themselves Democrats. . . .

The more desperate they get, the more the "Republican Wing of the Democratic Party' shows it's true colors.

Posted by: Night Owl at December 13, 2003 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

The ad is unethical and dumb. Dean's quotes below show he is far more vulnerable to fair criticisms that can be made.

Howard Dean. Sept. 29, 2002, on Face the Nation Dean spoke about the UN Security Council saying "And then we should have given them a deadline, saying, 'If you don't do this, say, within 60 days, we will reserve our right as Americans to defend ourselves and we will go into Iraq."

And February 20, 2003, from Salon.com' Jake Tapper"

"He gets a deluge of phone calls from reporters asking him to clarify his position. Which is -- "as I've said about eight times today," he says, annoyed -- that Saddam must be disarmed, but with a multilateral force under the auspices of the United Nations. If the U.N. in the end chooses not to enforce its own resolutions, then the U.S. should give Saddam 30 to 60 days to disarm, and if he doesn't, unilateral action is a regrettable, but unavoidable, choice."

Posted by: poputonian at December 13, 2003 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

There is more evidence actually linking the Bushes to the bin Laden family. This is disgusting Newspeak, just a beginning of the tidal wave of it we'll be trying to swim through for the next 11 months.

Posted by: Melanie at December 13, 2003 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

"and I hope my candidate, Wes Clark, is the first out of the gate."

Well he is on his way to The Hague where HIS foreign policy experience is being muzzled by the Bushies.

Clark attacks Bush and war criminals not Dems.

Posted by: BOHICA at December 13, 2003 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

In the late 1980s, George Stephanopolis worked as legislative director on Ed Feighan's Congressional Staff. I think it was George's first political job out of college. Feighan was a Democratic Congressman from Ohio of little particular note.

Posted by: Ben Brackley at December 13, 2003 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

bin laden is out there, and wussy george bush hasn't gotten him yet, over two years after 9/11.

Exhibit A: not putting enough American troops in Tora Bora, thus allowing OBL to slip away...

Posted by: praktike at December 13, 2003 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Don't elect Dean!
Bush is the one to get OBL!
Ignore that the rest of us [Dems] stood by and let Bush endlessly fork American policy.
Ignore Operation: Ignore!

Posted by: MattB at December 13, 2003 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

Did anyone else notice that the group putting out this ad is one of Mickey Kaus's unicorporated 527 groups, therefore the new Campaign Finance Laws don't apply to them?

Just wondering.

Posted by: MattJ at December 13, 2003 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Before one of Tacitus' boys, or Holsclaw, or some other person who's opinion here I haven't come to respect yet, points it out, this ad, while sleazy to the point of making me queasy, is little different than Dean's intimation of Bush's foreknowledge of 9/11. As I scoffed at all my conservative friends (and their ideological trainers on talk radio and Fox) for their calls on Dems to denounce Dean, I have to say that denouncing this ad--and, especially, insisting that others do the same--is time and effort diverted from demonstrating the real foreign-policy and political wisdom of Dean's opposition to the war.

This ad is just a taste of the slime-deluge to come. And sure, coming from fellow travellers, it is depressing (though telling). But responding with outrage at anything done in the political arena just strikes me as embarrassing unless you can achieve an end by it, and then it's arguably only mock-outrage.

This is Dean's vulnerability, the issue of defense. Rove's gonna be on it like a bat on an open wound. But Dean is the only candidate who has consistently expressed what many national security experts at the time believed, and what has been pretty much borne out by events, that the invasion of Iraq was wrong next move in the war on terror, and that the American people were deceived into it. That's how you respond to this ad, and it's fine by me that the Dean people are this early made to do it.

Posted by: Bloggerhead at December 13, 2003 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum writes:

“I'm less worried than a lot of people about the Democratic candidates taking potshots at each other.... in the end it rarely seems to matter much.”

Perhaps.

Check out Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball for a worthwhile rundown of “competitive” versus “divisive” nomination fights:

http://www.centerforpolitics.org/crystalball/pres_competition.htm

Let's hope the Dems recognize the difference.

Posted by: MetalGorilla at December 13, 2003 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

On second thought: Although the ad is below the belt, the ad does not LINK Dean to bin Laden, it just says Dean is not well equipped to deal with terrorists. I don't think any of the candidates are obligated to speak out against the ad, but it might be smart for them to do so...

Posted by: Dennis at December 13, 2003 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

This is going to be something Dean rebuts again and again in the general election. He has to batter away at it directly. So anything that gives him a heads up now is probably good training.

The other Dems are just as ego-driven as Dean is, so they won't relent until the voters crush them. We don't have the party discipline that the R's do. But that's okay with me also. I just want the eventual candidate to go head-to-head with that loathsome little fellow and his minions. Can't wait.

Posted by: karen hughes at December 13, 2003 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

BTW: Why does the long list of liberal blogs on Dean's page include Instapundit?

Posted by: fyreflye at December 13, 2003 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

From the AP:

A new ad questioning Howard Dean's national security credentials is backed by a group that includes former supporters of rivals Dick Gephardt and John Kerry. [...] The Gephardt and Kerry campaigns say they had nothing to do with Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values or its ads.

The group, which says it is not affiliated with any candidate, includes treasurer David Jones, who has been a fund-raiser for Gephardt, and spokesman Robert Gibbs, who last month resigned as chief spokesman for Kerry's campaign.

The group announced Friday that former Ohio Rep. Edward Feighan was taking over as its president in place of Tim Raftis, who was no longer with the organization. There was no explanation issued for the departure of Raftis, a former campaign manager for Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin's unsuccessful presidential bid in 1992. [...] The group has said it would comply with campaign finance laws that say the group doesn't have to disclose its donors until February.

Posted by: Jim Gilliam at December 13, 2003 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

well, the DFA (as I like to call 'em) hint strongly that it bears coincident resemblance to Gep/Kerry attack positions.
http://blog.deanforamerica.com/archives/002665.html

as for Dean's vulnerability, I doubt it sticks. as someone (Yglesias?) has written, he just comes across as a guy who would have no problem bombing the shit out of something if he felt it warranted. Dukakis was vulnerable not because he, a champion boxer in the Navy, was weak, but because he came across as too reasoned in person.

Posted by: wcw at December 13, 2003 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

It's a shame. There are 300 million Americans. Say half of them are of voting age. 101 million people voted in the last election.

Democrats could be spending this time mobilizing moderate undecided voters, or tracking down the young or non-voters and turning them over to vote for a candidate. I would certainly think that this president has done enough awful things to make a previously apathetic citizen into a roiling mass of voting indignation. But instead, we're spending time, money, and effort on attempts to take each other down.

Bradley put up a good fight, but it was doubtful that the Dems wouldn't put up a vice president coming off a term with a record peacetime economy. Gore still lost (electorally). Now Dems don't have anywhere near that sort of coherence. What makes us think that squabbling will alter the formula? How do you convince a voter with the pitch "Hey, you should definitely vote in 2004, my guy, Kerry, he's awesome, he'll really stick it to Bush, he's blah blah blah. Oh, except if he doesn't get the nomination, umm, then vote for whoever got that."

This is why Gore's endorsement makes sense. Lieberman has little chance, and Gore's shifted away from L's positions anyway. This isn't about loyalty. This is about beating the enemy, GWB. Whatever needs to be done, should be done.
(just got done reading a bunch of political cartoons, sorry for the thread jack to Gore endorsement.)

Posted by: TOTL at December 13, 2003 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Norbizness:

“We live in a very dangerous world. And there are those who wake up every morning determined to destroy western civilization. Americans want a President who can face the dangers ahead. But Howard Dean has no military or foreign policy experience. And Howard Dean just cannot compete with George Bush on foreign policy. It’s time for Democrats to think about that… and think about it now.”

Clark need to understand that he is nothing more than a pawn - and leave the Clinton camp and his silence on issue at The Hague.

I do think Clark is a nice guy but I don't think he can put two an two togather in political sense or understand how truly ugly politics can get. I don't think he's going to like his keeper when he finds out how bad he is being used.

I hope he is the first out of gate too but not in presidental sense-he simply doesn't have enough political experience to see what is going on here.

Posted by: Cheryl at December 13, 2003 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

"Before one of Tacitus' boys, or Holsclaw, or some other person who's opinion here I haven't come to respect yet, points it out, this ad, while sleazy to the point of making me queasy, is little different than Dean's intimation of Bush's foreknowledge of 9/11."

ARGH! I wanted to be the one to point out that there's little (actually, no) difference between this ad and Dean saying that Bush had foreknowledge of 9/11!

Posted by: Al at December 13, 2003 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a Clark supporter (so I obviously disagree with Cheryl above), but when I read about the ads I went to BFA right away and donated to the Dean campaign.

And if anything is going to stop this kind of nonsense it's just that--the more anyone tries to take Dean on, the stronger he gets. I bet his campaign will raise a half million bucks in reaction to that ad alone. The Dem establishment doesn't get that he's like the Hulk; the angrier he gets, the stronger he gets.

Still looking for SNL to do a skit along those lines. A la Sharpton, it would be especially funny if Dean came on to do it himself.

Posted by: ccobb at December 13, 2003 12:29 PM | PERMALINK

I have been reading this site since it posted the Texas Republican Platform. I printed out 78 pages of comment.

I am a sociologist who has not really practiced in 30 years. I am currently taking Social Crisis in a community college to get a feel for what is happening and how fast it is happening.

While I was not a Bush voter, I voted for Gore with great disappointment. I was totally naive about the abrupt takeover of mainstream media.

The people on this site seem younger and hipper as a whole and more laid back cynical. I am watching to see if that works.

I have now been watching Survivor since Hatch. I did not watch the first but the more people talked about it, the more relevant it became to me.

Having just read the survivor thread, I see a bunch of you making the personality connections between the players and the politicians. We have developed media archetypes.

In essence, my grandmother was right, "Monkey see, Monkey do." We are choosing the patterns for the people we are to become. Clinton with a blow job scared everybody to death. They didn't know that oral sex was the hottest thing in middle school already and that our teen girls think a goodnight kiss is more intimate that oral sex.

Now we have a president who is an Enron house of cards CEO the image or fake financial statement is everything.

The last post on Survivor says the jury wants to vote for the perceived most evil so they can say I did not win because I would not stoop to this level.

Is that now the American way? Evil triumphs because it is better than luck or having to earn it? We are not taught by these reality shows which really are role models for the young and naive that do not have the critical powess to discriminate that you vote out the strong, the smart, and the endearing first. So what do we expect for a president with those considerations?

Posted by: Yoduuuh at December 13, 2003 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

That ad makes me sick.

Posted by: four legs good at December 13, 2003 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Clark need to understand that he is nothing more than a pawn - and leave the Clinton camp and his silence on issue at The Hague.

I do think Clark is a nice guy but I don't think he can put two an two togather in political sense or understand how truly ugly politics can get. I don't think he's going to like his keeper when he finds out how bad he is being used.

I hope he is the first out of gate too but not in presidental sense-he simply doesn't have enough political experience to see what is going on here.

Cheryl, par for the course with you, you've belched forth another stream of brain burpage. I'd ask where in the hell that came from, but I'm pretty sure you're the last person who would be able to answer me.

Posted by: Kevin K. at December 13, 2003 01:03 PM | PERMALINK

Bloogerhead-

"But Dean is the only candidate who has consistently expressed what many national security experts at the time believed, and what has been pretty much borne out by events, that the invasion of Iraq was wrong next move in the war on terror"

national security experts= General Clark

"The President and his national security team must deploy imagination, leverage, and patience in crafting UN engagement. In the near term, time is on our side, and we should endeavor to use the UN if at all possible. This may require a period of time for inspections or even the development of a more intrusive inspection program, if necessary backed by force. This is foremost an effort to gain world-wide legitimacy for US concerns and possible later action, but it may also impede Saddam’s weapons programs and further constrain his freedom of action. Yes, there is a risk that inspections would fail to provide the evidence of his weapons programs, but the difficulties of dealing with this outcome are more than offset by opportunity to gain allies
and support in the campaign against Saddam."

HOUSE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
SEPTEMBER 26, 2002

http://armedservices.house.gov/openingstatementsandpressreleases/107thcongress/02-09-26clark.html

Posted by: BOHICA at December 13, 2003 01:04 PM | PERMALINK

Dean did not say that Bush had prior knowledge of 9/11. He was talking about the 9/11 investigation, saying that the administration's stonewalling gives rise to goofy conspiracy theories, and cited the Saudi tip-off as an example.

Posted by: hamletta at December 13, 2003 01:12 PM | PERMALINK

Gephardt and Kerry have really stunned me with their negative campaigning. I respected both men in the past, but ... wow.

Posted by: Aaron Gillies at December 13, 2003 01:13 PM | PERMALINK

Dean did not say Bush had foreknowledge of 9/11. He said that the Admin's refusal to hand over the documents requested by the Keane (9/11) Commission fueled suspicions that he had something to hide. Then he said that one of the more interesting theories he had seen on the internet ws that the Saudis tipped the Admin off. [Putting together the redacted 28 pages about the Saudis and the withheld briefing memo that Condi gave Bush ion mid or late August.] Dean said that he did not believe these theories, but that this is what happens when the Admin withholds documents that could clear it up.

More to the point, who is it that let Bin Laden slip out of Afghanistan? Whose security services and military can't find him now? Or know where he is but can't persuade the folks who are sheltering him, be they Saudi princes or Pakistani generals, to give him up? It is Bush who tried to find Bin Laden by moving his special ops from an area where he probably was and invading a country where he most certainly is NOT, and who alienated countries whose cooperation will be needed to ferret out terrorists.

Posted by: Mimikatz at December 13, 2003 01:15 PM | PERMALINK

Dammit, I can't get more on this story without going to blogforamerica. Maybe google. A commenter at Oliver Willis mentioned something about ex-staffers. OK, google it is.
This will very likely make me switch to Clark. I absolutely condemn putting OBL's face in an anti-Dean ad, in any context.
I've now read the thread:

"From the AP:
A new ad questioning Howard Dean's national security credentials is backed by a group that includes former supporters of rivals Dick Gephardt and John Kerry. [...] The Gephardt and Kerry campaigns say they had nothing to do with Americans for Jobs, Healthcare and Progressive Values or its ads."

If this were my blog, I'd add that. The same goes for Matt Yglesias and Oliver Willis, to name two, and, I'm certain, Kos, who I've stopped reading. Also blogforamerica, everyone's source. We'll see who does.
I would, because I prefer my smears to be factual.

Posted by: John Isbell at December 13, 2003 01:22 PM | PERMALINK

My objection against the ad is that it was used against a Democrat. I don't object to Dean's anti-Bush ad because it was used against Bush.

The people who are saying that "Dean is just as bad" here are missing the point (and showing great but not unexpected stupidity). For people who want Bush defeated (i.e. the non-trolls here) the anti-Dean ad was wrong and the anti-Bush ad was OK.

The 2004 campaign is sure to be dirty. I can live with that -- I have no choice. But the Dem primary doesn't have to be.

Posted by: Zizka at December 13, 2003 01:40 PM | PERMALINK

You know what the difference between lying about Dean and asking valid questions of Bush’s knowledge and competence is? If you don’t you should be prohibited from voting, for the good of the nation.

By the way, what is this nonsense about Dean’s foreign policy experience being less than Bush’s? Let’s be honest, zero is still greater than any negative number. Invading two nations and getting our military bogged down without accomplishing anything on terrorism? Sounds like a negative to me. Alienating us from the rest of the world community? Not exactly a positive. In fact, can anyone name a significant foreign policy success by Bush? Oh, and what’s weaker on terrorism than putting the issue on the back burner for months and presiding over the worst attack in our history?

Posted by: Lori Thantos at December 13, 2003 01:43 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't seen the add, but it does not seem that incendiary from what I have read about it here.

But it does seem incredibly stupid. Unless you are comparing Bush to one of the Spice Girls, anyone is going to compare favorably to Bush on the foreign policy front. It is just annoying to see Democrats/Liberals (if indeed the group really is) spouting Republican talking points. Bush has a big enough war chest -- it is down right asinine for anyone Left of Lieberman to be helping them out.

If you are even a little bit liberal or progessive, then you should realize that American liberalism is facing its biggest threat in its history. If we can't rise above petty in-fighting, then we deserve to die as a movement.

Posted by: Timothy Klein at December 13, 2003 01:53 PM | PERMALINK

Get used to groups popping up with the sole purpose of running specific ads, all the time denying that what they are doing is coordinated with specific campaigns. This is the idiocy legislated by campaign finance reform and now blessed by the Supreme Court. It is the Orwellian 'Newspeak' which has now replaced consititutional freedom of speech.

Be glad, because at least what you are seeing is free speech continuing, instead of being suppressed by a political class' effort to entrench itself even more securely.

Democracy looks likely to go on, even if the Democratic Party currently looks more like road kill than anything else.

Posted by: JK at December 13, 2003 01:55 PM | PERMALINK

That ad is crap and is sleazy. How about Dean’s ‘interesting theory’ about Bush and 9/11? That showed Deans true colors. I don't care how you try and spin what he said he’s as sleazy as they come,

Posted by: Matthew at December 13, 2003 01:58 PM | PERMALINK

How about Dean’s ‘interesting theory’ about Bush and 9/11?

How 'bout it? An expensive ad that is repeated over and over again, versus an off-the-cuff comment on an NPR interview show: which propagates a meme more? And which hits closer to home? I am curious to hear what Bush knew before 9/11, but alas, he won't let anybody get near the truth.

Thanks for playing.

Posted by: NTodd at December 13, 2003 02:09 PM | PERMALINK

Forgive me, but the whole comparison of this attack ad to Dean's comment about 9/11 theories reminds me of Pulp Fiction. You know, the debate between Jules and Vincent about whether a foot massage was in the same ballpark, or even the same league, as a more overt sexual act? I won't quote it here, to spare the collective sensibilities, but I think you get the idea: one is a pretty innocent thing, the other is about somebody getting screwed.

Posted by: NTodd at December 13, 2003 02:14 PM | PERMALINK

Nice. Just made a $50 donation to Dean.

The Americans for Jobs, Health Care, and Progressive Values can stick that in their pipes and smoke it.

Posted by: sidereal at December 13, 2003 02:15 PM | PERMALINK

When I say I prefer my smears factual, I refer to the claim that Kerry and Gephardt ran this ad, which I've seen at several blogs citing blogforamerica. Stating that a former Kerry staffer and a former Gephardt staffer are tied to the group that ran it would be a simple fact, but would do far less to trash Gephardt and Kerry, energize Dean supporters and bring in more cash for the Dean campaign. That's politics, or one way to play it.

Posted by: John Isbell at December 13, 2003 02:17 PM | PERMALINK

John Isbell: DFA has posted the Kerry-Gephardt denials on the front of the blog:

http://blog.deanforamerica.com/archives/002672.html

Could it be from Clark's campaign? My instinct says no, but on the other hand he does employ Chris Lehane, past whom I would not put anything as he undermines campaign after campaign for profit.

Posted by: V from VJ at December 13, 2003 02:20 PM | PERMALINK

"I'd say that the ad is not facially illegitimate. "
Well, Kevin did`say it was political porn.

As for the Dean smear, what Dean was trying to say was that when the 9/11 commission is stonewalled, lots of bizarre theories start floating around (i.e. Bush knew about 9/11). To prevent this theory from spreading, Bush should be more cooperative with the commision. There is no comparison between what Dean said and the smear ad. And I'm a Clark fan.

Posted by: sym at December 13, 2003 02:22 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, V from VJ, I actually feel as if you have just removed a thorn from my chest. Thank you. I have to email Atrios now, we've been emailing about this.
Blogforamerica just made me very happy.

Posted by: John Isbell at December 13, 2003 02:53 PM | PERMALINK

Could it be from Clark's campaign?

C'mon, V from VJ, that's highly inappropriate and using Lehane as "proof" is ridiculous. The Clark campaign has been pretty fair to Dean. Gimme a break.

Posted by: Kevin K. at December 13, 2003 03:02 PM | PERMALINK

It gonna be a long war. Seems even Dean will keep us there . We are going to turn a Republican travesty into a Democratic one, with the best of intentions. Yep, we are going to teach Iraqis about democracy.

According to the Kucinich website, quoting Dean literature: Dean will keep our troups in Iraq for 18-24 months or longer. Check out Kucinich.us for the details.

Meanwhile, here is the Kucinich position. Clearly stated:

"We must bring our troops home. We must get the UN in and get the US out of Iraq. And there must be no draft. Only a new US policy will cause the UN to become involved. I have already called for such a new policy. My plan calls for the US to go to the UN with a new resolution.

"The resolution, which will bring our troops home, has the following provisions:

* The US will turn over to the UN the responsibility for the oil assets of Iraq. The UN will manage those assets on behalf of the Iraqi people until the Iraqi people achieve self governance.

* The US will rescind all plans for the privatization of the Iraqi economy.

* The US will turn over to the UN the contracting process.

* The UN will agree to create a peacekeeping force from its member nations, which will replace the US troops in Iraq.

* The US will commit monetary support for the UN efforts in Iraq.

* The US will commit to rebuild what the US destroyed in Iraq, including reparations to families of innocent civilians killed.

"Our US troops are targets. There is a way out for our troops. The way is international cooperation with the UN. There is no need to continue the US occupation of Iraq. And there should be no draft.

"My candidacy, and my candidacy alone, is a vehicle by which the debate changes in New Hampshire. People who want to get the US out of Iraq quickly now have someone to vote for. Only a Democrat who is pledged to immediately end the occupation will be well positioned to challenge an administration whose lies led to the occupation of Iraq.

"If the people of New Hampshire and the US want to vote to bring our troops home immediately. If the people want to get out of Iraq. If they want to get the UN in and the US out of Iraq, I'm the one who will do it." --Kucinich

Posted by: deeejaaay at December 13, 2003 03:12 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, I see we're back to playing "How Many Degrees of Seperation".

This ad is going to backfire on all the candidates except Dean... oh wait, wonder if some Dean staffer is behind it all :)

Posted by: Dennis at December 13, 2003 03:25 PM | PERMALINK

The Gephardt and Kerry campaigns have to deny any association with the Regressive Values group and ad, that's the law for a 527. It's clear that a number of people who think Gephardt and Kerry would be better than Howard Dean made these ads; you can tell that from the officers. Who put up the money won't be clear until February.

Posted by: Andrew Lazarus at December 13, 2003 03:48 PM | PERMALINK

Y'all really oughta check out the recent American Research Group poll of NH voters ... voters who have been familiar with Dean for many years.

Bush: 57 Dean: 30. That's right: a 27 point spread. Dean gets 0% of Republicans and only 67% of Democrats in a head-to-head match.

Gut-check time, folks.

Posted by: Tonto at December 13, 2003 05:27 PM | PERMALINK

Why do people still insist that the UN is willing or able to do anything resembling serious peacekeeping?

They were unwilling to help depose the Taliban in Afghanistan, and now that the Taliban has been deposed by US heavy lifting, they are unwilling to contribute materially to security there. Yak all you want about the advisibility of the Iraq war, but I'd be amazed if you can find someone who thinks that deposing the Taliban was a bad idea.

I anticipate a reply "but the US moved unilaterally into Afghanistan!@!" .. If that's the real reason why the UN isn't contributing to the stabilization and democratization of Afghanistan.. why do we (and this includes, apparently, Kucinich) insist on this myth that the UN has the legitimacy, political will or ABILITY to do anything at all wrt global security and peacekeeping?

My theory is that most people who think the UN will come and save the day have an unrealistic picture of the UN. Remember, this is a body where the most repressive dictatorship has the same representation as a modern democracy. Why would an large group of invidual dictatorships suddenly gain moral purity when assembled into a "multilateral" body?

=darwin

Posted by: darwin at December 13, 2003 05:38 PM | PERMALINK

Unless you are comparing Bush to one of the Spice Girls, anyone is going to compare favorably to Bush on the foreign policy front.

I dunno. Spice World alone made $55 million overseas, and that doesn't even begin to touch the scope of their merchandising empire. Bush's foreign take appears to be in the vicinity of -$200 billion. Tough call, that.

Posted by: Anarch at December 13, 2003 05:39 PM | PERMALINK

Y'all really oughta check out the recent American Research Group poll of NH voters ... voters who have been familiar with Dean for many years...Gut-check time, folks.

Uh, hello. NH is a very conservative state. We Vermonters go there for booze because they have no liquor taxes--they don't even have income tax. Small wonder Dean gets his ass kicked there. Do you really think that's indicative of some wider Electoral College significance?

Bush won NH's 4 EC votes in 2000, so why is Dean's likely loss any bigger a deal than Gore's, or any of the other Dem's probable defeat? Further, can you really say 11 months out, when there are still 9 candidates vying for the nomination, that this really means anything?

Gut check? Try reality check.

Posted by: NTodd at December 13, 2003 05:51 PM | PERMALINK

Nice try, NTodd, but you know perfectly well that NH voters are open to statewide Democratic candidates. I'm calling bullshit.

Posted by: Tonto at December 13, 2003 06:02 PM | PERMALINK

So, did any candidates condemn the ad, or did they just deny any involvement on their part?

Is there any doubt that it came from campaigns opposed to Dean? Who else would bother? Who else would spend the money? Who else would it benefit?

Don't be stupid. Make them disclose their relationships with the people who put this piece of drek on the air. Let the Democratic electorate decide if it was a good idea.

Posted by: James E. Powell at December 13, 2003 06:04 PM | PERMALINK

How 'bout it? An expensive ad that is repeated over and over again, versus an off-the-cuff comment on an NPR interview show

So it’s OK to make a sleaze ball remark if it’s off the cuff and on NPR. But it’s wrong to pay for a sleaze ball ad on TV. I wonder how you people on the far left rationalize that you’re shilling for a guy that’s been a NRA lackey?

BTW when is Dean going to release the sealed records from when he was governor like he promised? What does he have to hide? I’ve heard a few interesting theories on why he won’t release them. The most interesting one is…

Posted by: Matthew at December 13, 2003 06:08 PM | PERMALINK

"you know perfectly well that NH voters are open to statewide Democratic candidates"

An open Dem primary with Republican votes, currently led by Dean, would never (yet) necessarily equate into a General Election result for Dean in NH....

How many Republican votes for Dean in the primary (for a Dean lead)? and how many of all available Republican voters (to which Dean/Bush is more equivalent). They are two completely different groups of voters, both in propensity and size.

Posted by: One Father For Dean at December 13, 2003 06:20 PM | PERMALINK

One Father -

I didn't mean to suggest an open primary, merely that NH voters have repeatedly demonstrated their willingness to elect Democrats to statewide office. NH is not a knee-jerk Republican state, though I certainly agree it's not VT ... which, after all, has the only 100% Socialist delegation in the U.S House of Representatives!

Posted by: Tonto at December 13, 2003 06:29 PM | PERMALINK

"So it’s OK to make a sleaze ball remark if it’s off the cuff and on NPR. But it’s wrong to pay for a sleaze ball ad on TV."

So maybe there's a deal to be made (unlikely): re-introduce the unsealing (FOIA access) of Presidential records back to Reagan/Bush (http://www.rcfp.org/news/mag/25-4/foi-reaganp.html), unseal Bush II's TX records (instead of shuffling them between one locale and another), come clean on the Cheney Energy Policy records, and provide all records requested by the 9-11 commission (I'm sure I'm missing some somewhere)...in exchange for Dean's Gubentatorial records.

I think that'd be about fair...

Posted by: One Father For Dean at December 13, 2003 06:31 PM | PERMALINK

Nice try, NTodd, but you know perfectly well that NH voters are open to statewide Democratic candidates. I'm calling bullshit.

Go ahead, call bullshit. Gore lost in 2000, and NH *is* inherently conservative.

Drawing a national lesson from our small states is silly. For example, look at us in Vermont: a House totally dominated by the GOP; a Senate run by Dems, with 4 Progressives (ersatz socialists); a Dem US Sentaor; an Independent (formerly GOP) Senator; an Indepedent Rep (another socialist). What the heck does that tell you about Dean's chances for winning the requisite EC votes? Nothing.

Posted by: NTodd at December 13, 2003 06:32 PM | PERMALINK

As proud former VT-er (ok, flatlander of 4 years), agreed - NH is not knee-jerk anything, except maybe Independent...

Posted by: One Father For Dean at December 13, 2003 06:38 PM | PERMALINK

So it’s OK to make a sleaze ball remark if it’s off the cuff and on NPR. But it’s wrong to pay for a sleaze ball ad on TV.

First, you clearly ignored the context of Dean's remark, which was an answer to a specific question. Second, my point was that a visual ad that reaches lots of people versus a single comment in a long interview for an outlet from which a distinct minority of Americans get there news ain't in the same league.

I wonder how you people on the far left rationalize that you’re shilling for a guy that’s been a NRA lackey?

I'm shilling for a guy who believes firmly in state's rights. As a Vermonter, I know quite well Dean's position on guns.

BTW when is Dean going to release the sealed records from when he was governor like he promised? What does he have to hide?

Tempest in a teacup. WaPo:

One hundred forty-six boxes of Dean's correspondence -- an estimated 500,000 pages -- are housed in a storage facility in Middlesex, Vt., alongside records from various state agencies. They represent nearly half of the documents from his 11-year tenure as governor, with the rest available for public viewing at the state archives in Montpelier. The sealed documents will become available on Jan. 10, 2013.

Most federal officials seal records for at least 12 years, while in some states, such as New Jersey, governors have sealed theirs for 20 years or more. But in Vermont, which has only had an executive privilege doctrine since 1990, the two governors who directly preceded Dean sealed theirs for six years and 71/2 years, respectively.

I'll note that the length of the seals for our previous governors was arbitrarily based on their tenures in office. Given that Dean was our Gov. for 11 years, a 10 year seal is not at all extraordinary.

I'll further note that Dean is allowing the Judicial Watch suit to run its course. In the meantime, you can learn all about Dean from his public record. Just go up to Montpelier and do the same thing all the oppo research folks are doing.

Speaking of sealed records, has Cheney provided us with info about his energy commission stuff yet?

Posted by: NTodd at December 13, 2003 06:39 PM | PERMALINK

a distinct minority of Americans get there news

Where they get "their news", of course. Duh.

Posted by: NTodd at December 13, 2003 06:41 PM | PERMALINK

NTodd -

I agree (however much it may pain me as a Native Vermonter) that VT is far more Liberal than NH. After all, VT is the only state whose delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives is 100% Socialist!

But I maintain my core point: Democrats have been and can be elected to statewide office in NH. Maybe not Liberal Democrats, but I'm not willing to conflate those two dimensions ... Liberal and Democrat. More pointedly, Clark or Edwards could probably win NH in the general election. Not Dean.

By next Spring, the rest of the country will have been as exposed to Dean as NH and VT have already been. VT may be out of the U.S. mainstream (damn, that hurts), but NH is decidedly not.

Posted by: Tonto at December 13, 2003 06:51 PM | PERMALINK

VT may be out of the U.S. mainstream (damn, that hurts), but NH is decidedly not.

I'm not convinced NH is in the mainstream. Why do you think there is such hue and cry about their primary influencing the nomination races? It's a wicked small population and doesn't accurately reflect anything about the nation as a whole. I'd put more stock in the nationwide polls (with all the usual caveats Kos inserts), than a poll from a teeny state 11 months out.

The point is well-taken that NH sometimes votes for Dems. But what makes you say that Clark or Edwards (are you serious?!) can do any better? Dean has a proven centrist/fiscal conservative track record. What do the other candidates have going for them? Do you have polling data to back up your assertion?

VT is the only state whose delegation in the U.S. House of Representatives is 100% Socialist!

Just thought I'd make an aside about this. There's an old joke in the Burlington area (for non-Vermonters, Bernie Sanders was the mayor for years): the reason Bernie's in Congress is we keep electing him to make sure he stays away Vermont.

Posted by: NTodd at December 13, 2003 06:59 PM | PERMALINK

NTodd -

Clark or Edwards could win 90% of the Democratic votes and a significant piece (way over 0%!)of Republicans. And an even bigger share of Independents, I'd wager. Maybe enough to win, depending on economic and national security developments. (Earlier, I said "probably win" ... overstatement on my part. Sorry.)

No way Dean comes close to that outcome,unless things go to hell in a handbasket next year for the country.

I'd also wager that the NH results next year will be fairly close to the national results ... within 7 points.

Posted by: Tonto at December 13, 2003 07:12 PM | PERMALINK

First, you clearly ignored the context of Dean's remark, which was an answer to a specific question.

Ntodd - Anyone who heard that remark knows Dean was trying to plant a seed. Widen the context even more and include the run up to the question and you can see that. I heard it and I know what he meant to do. He backtracked after he said it which seems to be common practice for him. Dean followers should accept that Dean struggles with impulse control and his mouth gets him into trouble. This leaves me with serious doubts about whether Howard Dean is the right person for the nomination. Consider the following:

1993
About welfare recipients, Dean said: "Those recipients don't have any self-esteem. If they did, they'd be working." Dean apologized the next day, saying, "Those remarks really stepped over the line."

In October of 2000 in a Rutland, VT newspaper, Dean in referring to his comment from 1993 said, "What I meant [by the 1993 comment] was being on welfare can be really, really hard and the transition to work from welfare helps people feel fulfilled in their lives."

Uh-huh. Seven years later. Reshaping the past.

2003
"White folks in the South who drive pickup trucks with Confederate flag decals on the back ought to be voting with us…"

At least this time he didn’t wait seven years. A few days later he said, "I regret the pain that I may have caused either to African-American or Southern white voters."

Why did Dean back away from the flag remark? Because he got advice from Jimmy Carter who told him that's what he should do. Carter told him that his comment would have been just as effective if he had said ‘southern whites in pickup trucks’ and not said anything about the confederate flag. Carter advised Dean to move away from that comment. Obviously, Carter gets it [Dean doesn’t] and acting on Carter’s advice, Dean said he regretted what he had said. Carter told this story on NPR and also on cable news.

I know Dean is not a racist, and I don't think he is as bigoted as some of him comments might make him appear, although he certainly is a blueblood. But giving him all the benefit of the doubt, he is in some serious need of sensitivity training. And we already have an insensitive oaf in the Oval Office now. Do we really need for four more years of that mentality?

Posted by: poputonian at December 13, 2003 07:12 PM | PERMALINK

Then there’s the matter of Dean's stance on the Iraq war. In fact, Al Gore summarized it for us: "[H]e [Dean] was the only major candidate who made the correct judgment about the Iraq war. And he had the insight and courage to say and do the right thing. And that’s important, because those judgments, that basic common sense is what you want in a President."

But what really was the Dean’s judgment and common sense? What did he say that was so right?

Sept. 29, 2002, Face the Nation. Speaking about the UN Security Council Dean said

"And then we should have given them a deadline, saying, 'If you don't do this, say, within 60 days, we will reserve our right as Americans to defend ourselves and we will go into Iraq."

Dean’s intent seems clear to me.

On February 20, 2003, from Salon.com Jake Tapper wrote:

"He [Dean] gets a deluge of phone calls from reporters asking him to clarify his position. Which is -- "as I've said about eight times today," he says, annoyed -- that Saddam must be disarmed, but with a multilateral force under the auspices of the United Nations. If the U.N. in the end chooses not to enforce its own resolutions, then the U.S. should give Saddam 30 to 60 days to disarm, and if he doesn't, unilateral action is a regrettable, but unavoidable, choice."

So not only was Dean for the war, he was for a unilateral invasion of Iraq. Dean sounds pretty much like the Democratic Congressmen he criticizes, except he didn’t have to vote on the record so his comments are more obscure, and he can reshape his words when it is convenient to do so. Someone who is for Dean please tell me how these comments can be interpreted to mean Dean was against the war at the time it was unfolding.

Posted by: poputonian at December 13, 2003 07:21 PM | PERMALINK

Clark or Edwards could win 90% of the Democratic votes and a significant piece (way over 0%!)of Republicans.

You cite a poll about Dean and extrapolate from that, but then speculate what Clark or Edwards can garner without any current data? Not compelling.

Anyone who heard that remark knows Dean was trying to plant a seed.

That's not anywhere comparable to an explicit ad that clearly tries to do more than plant a seed.

he is in some serious need of sensitivity training. And we already have an insensitive oaf in the Oval Office now.

Okay, so he needs some sensitivity training. He's always been blunt, and sometimes when he makes legitimate points, he phrases things awkwardly. He's still infinitely more sensitive than the current WH occupant, and more thoughtful.

Personally, I reject any of the criticism about the flag crap, but whatever.

Posted by: NTodd at December 13, 2003 07:24 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin K: Work on your reading comprehension. I said my instinct is that it is *not* Clark; my only doubt that it might be comes from the clueless hacks that Clark chose to run his campaign.

The other reason I immediately think of Clark is that the ad makes its biggest point about MILITARY SERVICE.

Who do you think they mean when they say you should drop Dean for someone with MILITARY SERVICE?

Kerry's already denied he approved the ad (though of course he hasn't criticized it). So, that leaves what other candidates known for their MILITARY SERVICE?

Oh, and I give fairness points to BFA for posting the Kerry-Gephardt denials. Somehow I don't sense that same even-handedness from the Kerry blog.

Posted by: V from VJ at December 13, 2003 07:38 PM | PERMALINK

That's not anywhere comparable to an explicit ad that clearly tries to do more than plant a seed.

Agreed. It doesn't compare to the ad.

Posted by: poputonian at December 13, 2003 07:44 PM | PERMALINK

Stop the bullshit about the NH poll!

If anyone of you actually tried to get to the specifics of the poll, you would have found out that:

Of the 450 interviews, 170 were among registered Republicans, 120 were among registered Democrats, and 160 were among undeclared voters. The interviews were conducted December 7 through 10, 2003

So a) more reg. Republicans and b) more than a third "undeclared", where you don't know how they lean.

So this was a skewed attack poll to rubbish Dean, as can be seen by the fact that only a Dean matchup was polled for.

Posted by: Felix Deutsch at December 13, 2003 07:44 PM | PERMALINK

NTodd -

I thought I was being clear, perhaps not: I'm just guessing how well Clark or Edwards would do in NH head-to-head with Bush next November. Most certainly far better than Dean did in that ARG poll. Surely you don't dispute that!

Speaking of the ARG poll: given that Dean has had ample opportunity to make his case in NH, given that NH has repeatedly elected Democrats to statewide office, and given that other aspects of ARG's NH polling (e.g. Bush's approval rating) are more or less in line with numerous national polls, how do you account for Dean's disastrous showing?

Posted by: Tonto at December 13, 2003 07:47 PM | PERMALINK

He's still infinitely more sensitive than the current WH occupant, and more thoughtful.

I agree with this too, and that is why if Dean in the nominee, he'll get my vote. But I seriously question if he is the best we can do.

Posted by: poputonian at December 13, 2003 07:47 PM | PERMALINK

So, German Cat ...

Are you saying that the ARG sample is seriously unrepresentative of NH voters?

Posted by: Tonto at December 13, 2003 07:50 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, here's the poll data, and a dKos thread were it is nicely debunked (too many reg. Rs in the sample, etc).

Posted by: Felix Deutsch at December 13, 2003 07:52 PM | PERMALINK

OT, my apologies but it caught my eye

NTodd,
RE: Uh, hello. NH is a very conservative state. We Vermonters go there for booze because they have no liquor taxes--they don't even have income tax. Small wonder Dean gets his ass kicked there. Do you really think that's indicative of some wider Electoral College significance?

I'd ask you to consider that jingoism spread through this land at a breakneck pace after 9/11 and it hasn't let up much since. Whether we as Democrats like it or not, the language of conservatism is most closely associated with jingo. A lot of people will be persuaded to support Republicans because their pitch just "sounds right" to them. So, yes, I think a "conservative" state, next door to Vermont, should be a pretty good litmus test for Dean's electability. I'm not bad-mouthing Dean but he should be a shoo-in for Democrats and disenchanted middle-of-the-roaders in the state. The fact that he's not able to carry even 75% Democrats (in a head-to-head against Bush, of all goddamn people) or even 1% of moderate Republicans… From a strictly objective standpoint that’s a pretty serious problem, man. It may not be a clear deal breaker but it’s a significant red flag.
I tend to think that a lot of people don't take polling as seriously as they do casting an actual vote but, theoretically, this would work in Dean's favor here--that they would throw casual support to him in a poll that may not be forthcoming during the election. I don’t know how other Dems would do, but this poll is really only important because we’re talking about the current front-runner.

If I were working for Dean’s campaign, I wouldn’t waste time spinning this one, I’d be about fixing it; something’s wrong (maybe ‘just off’ but still wrong).

Back to the topic at hand: I haven’t seen the ad, but from the way it’s being described it sounds repugnant. As a Clark supporter I can tell you that there’s no way in hell Clark would sign on to some sickening ploy like this. For all the Lehane haters: I think Lehane would immediately lose his job if Clark found out he did this on the down low, and I’d be the first to jeer him out the door.

Posted by: Kimberley at December 13, 2003 07:56 PM | PERMALINK

Tonto--

Yes. According to 2000 voting data, there are more undeclareds in NH than Rs, and more of each than Ds by a considerable degree.

Other polls have shown that Dean does very good with Independents.

Furthermore, they polled reg. voters, not "likely" voters like in most other polls.

Posted by: Felix Deutsch at December 13, 2003 07:57 PM | PERMALINK

Felix -

No time to wade through Kos tonight. But 27 points is a whole lotta skew! Doesn't pass my personal ho-ho test.

Gotta go. Take care, all.

Posted by: Tonto at December 13, 2003 08:00 PM | PERMALINK

So not only was Dean for the war, he was for a unilateral invasion of Iraq. Dean sounds pretty much like the Democratic Congressmen he criticizes, except he didn’t have to vote on the record so his comments are more obscure, and he can reshape his words when it is convenient to do so. Someone who is for Dean please tell me how these comments can be interpreted to mean Dean was against the war at the time it was unfolding


Which way was the wind blowing?

Posted by: MJ at December 13, 2003 08:17 PM | PERMALINK

V from VJ,
I just wanted to tell you that I find your innuendo poisonous and wholly unwarranted. For all I know you’re the nicest guy in the world but that trial balloon you keep trying to float here is a dirty play. It’s at least as dirty as the ad you profess to have found so objectionable.

Unbelievable...

Posted by: Kimberley at December 13, 2003 08:25 PM | PERMALINK

V from VJ: "Oh, and I give fairness points to BFA for posting the Kerry-Gephardt denials. Somehow I don't sense that same even-handedness from the Kerry blog."
Is there something specific you have in mind? You could tell us what (as with your Clark remarks). The obvious parallel (since you say "the same") would be if the Kerry blog had accused Dean, without actual evidence, of something despicable enough to make supporters dump him, then posted a denial from Dean a day or so later (and after a stream of donations).
Has this occurred? I don't read the Kerry blog.

Posted by: John Isbell at December 13, 2003 08:44 PM | PERMALINK

Which way was the wind blowing?

Amen.

Posted by: poputonian at December 13, 2003 09:09 PM | PERMALINK

Text of the ad (this is from Dean's site):

We live in a very dangerous world. And there are those who wake up every morning determined to destroy western civilization. Americans want a President who can face the dangers ahead. But Howard Dean has no military or foreign policy experience. And Howard Dean just cannot compete with George Bush on foreign policy. It’s time for Democrats to think about that… and think about it now.

There's nothing in this ad that "links" Dean to Osama or any other such nonsense; nobody is suggesting that Dean and Osama are somehow in cahoots. Kevin is distorting the intent of the ad.

Nor is Dean's spin on the ad accurate; it doesn't attack the good doctor's "commitment to defend America," but rather his experience.

The ad is substantive, factually accurate, and reflects concerns that many Democrats (as well as other Americans) have about Dean. It is completely above the belt.

The only debatable assertion here is whether Dean can compete with Bush on foreign policy. The ad says that he can't, and I agree.

Whether or not you think the deserves it, Bush gets high marks from the people for his handling of the war on terror. And Dean has no relevant experience.

The good doctor always gets upset when people tell the truth about him.

Posted by: rachelrachel at December 13, 2003 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin K: Work on your reading comprehension. I said my instinct is that it is *not* Clark; my only doubt that it might be comes from the clueless hacks that Clark chose to run his campaign.

The other reason I immediately think of Clark is that the ad makes its biggest point about MILITARY SERVICE.

Who do you think they mean when they say you should drop Dean for someone with MILITARY SERVICE?

Kerry's already denied he approved the ad (though of course he hasn't criticized it). So, that leaves what other candidates known for their MILITARY SERVICE?

Heh. "Reading comprehension," what a hoot. So let me see how I do this time. You start by saying, "I said my instinct is that it is *not* Clark." And then you go on to list reasons (read: MILITARY SERVICE and Clark's "clueless hacks") as to why it very well could be Clark behind the ads. So when I "comprehend" what you wrote I come to the conclusion that you don't think Clark is behind the ad, but since he hasn't denied doing it, even though there are no visible connections to him in the group that made the ad, he probably did it because of his MILITARY SERVICE. Do I pass? Or am I misreading "So, that leaves what other candidates known for their MILITARY SERVICE?," Captain Innuendo?

p.s. Have you met Cheryl? Something tells me you two would get along swimmingly.

Posted by: Kevin K. at December 13, 2003 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see, the last Democrat we elected with "no foriegn policy experience" became one of the most beloved U.S. Presidents in the world (and would, as long as I'm dreaming, make an excellent secretary of State). The last Republican we elected with "no foreign policy experience" needed less than two years to erase our standing. Oops I take that back. Bush did have plenty of foreign policy experience with Saudi oil men. That worked out great, didn't it?

Dean wins the nomination, puts Clark on the ticket, unifies the two fighting wings of the party, and quells Americans' fears on foreign policy. It couldn't be that simple, obviously, but simple sells, right?

Posted by: Furious|T| at December 14, 2003 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

As entertaining as it is to see all you democrat weasels acting outraged over this attack on Dean and pretending that it is completely different from Deans conspiracy mongering about 9/11, it is rather risible.

"The most interesting theory that I've heard so far -- which is nothing more than a theory, it can't be proved -- is that he was warned ahead of time by the Saudis."

On a similar note the most intersting theory I have heard about Dean, which is nothing more than a theory, it can't be proved, is that he sacrifices goats to Lucifer every thursday morning.

Still it's good to see the Democrats consolidating their well deserved reputation as the nastiest, whiniest excuse for a serious political party in the Western world.

Posted by: Gracho at December 14, 2003 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

Saying that the ad "links" Dean to OBL is quite a stretch. "Linking" the two, in the ordinary use of the term, obviously implies that there is some cooperation or at least sympathy between the two.

Instead the ad raises the question of whether Dean has the background to assure Americans that he can deal with OBL with strength and competence.

Now I know that is supposed to be a no-no topic, because it is divisive among Democrats, but it's worthwhile to remember that Dean of course was more than eager to ask why voters should vote for a candidate that was Bush-lite, when they could vote for the real thing (not exactly encouraging the general electorate to vote for Dean's opponents).

Yet let's suppose that the ad DOES go beyond the bounds. How then CAN Dean's opponents talk about the obvious deficiency in Dean's foreign policy experience, and the impact that has on his suitability to be the Democratic candidate or President?

The reality is, no matter how one tries to frame such a discussion, legions of Dean supporters will descend upon you and shout you down. ANY criticism of Dean, particularly as regards his electability, is declare off limits.

The irony of this is that getting the best candidate to oppose Bush should be job one for any good Democrat, yet discussing it seems to be the one great taboo we must all avoid. We are, I guess, obliged never to bring up the topic, pretend that that elephant is not in the room. If we are in consequence saddled with a candidate with little or no hope of winning, we are further obliged to work our butts off to get him elected, clap our hands for our pixie showing that we believe, ignore what we so obviously know about his chances, and go down in defeat with a smile never leaving our faces.

Somehow, though, I don't think that is how I myself am going to handle it.

Posted by: frankly0 at December 14, 2003 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

Dean's electibility is irrelevant

After all it is an unquestionable article of faith that ANY Democratic candidate will beat Bush, since it is also an unquestionable article of faith that Bush is just a loose cannon cowboy, who's too stupid to make his own decisions, and a puppet of moneyed special interests. Right?

It doesn't really matter what Deans real policy positions were once, it only matters that his positions now match "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party". For Dean is the vehicle, the instrument by which the Party will purge itself of "Republican light" influences such as Lieberman. Just like Goldwater was the instrument by which the Republican Party purged itself of "Rockefeller Republicans". Howard Dean is the Goldwater of the Democratic Party.

Of course Dean will get smashed as badly as Goldwater was, but look on the bright side. The Republicans took back the House, the Senate, and the Presidency from the Democrats after the Goldwater debacle eventually. Of course, it did take almost forty years for the Republicans to do it.

See you in 2040!

Posted by: Brad at December 14, 2003 03:44 AM | PERMALINK

OK, people don't like me saying the word 'Clark'. Let me ask you, then, Kevin K and Kimberley:

Who does the ad seem designed to benefit?

Simple question.

To me the answer is: candidates who are known for their military service. Where have I gone wrong?

Posted by: V from VJ at December 14, 2003 04:59 AM | PERMALINK

Okay, so [Dean] needs some sensitivity training. He's always been blunt, and sometimes when he makes legitimate points, he phrases things awkwardly.

In other words, Dean means four more years of "bring 'em on" type statements, another hot head cowboy.

Posted by: vindex at December 14, 2003 06:04 AM | PERMALINK

The fact that he's not able to carry even 75% Democrats (in a head-to-head against Bush, of all goddamn people) or even 1% of moderate Republicans… From a strictly objective standpoint that’s a pretty serious problem, man. It may not be a clear deal breaker but it’s a significant red flag.

But look: we're ELEVEN MONTHS away from the general election, and there are still 9 Dem candidates. You can't examine this poll in a vacuum.

For perspective, Dean takes over 40 percent of Dems in NH when competing against all the other candidates--that's pretty damn amazing in such a crowded field. While this ARG poll is asking about Bush vs. Dean, people still have other Dems in their heads because the party (I distance myself because I'm an Indy) hasn't even come close to selecting its nominee. Polling is about psychology, and I'm sure that has something to do with the level of Dem support in NH. I would expect these numbers to change as the primary race becomes more certain.

NH is an extremely anti-tax state (that's why I brought up the liquor stuff earlier--I always stop at the store off I-93 on my way home from trips to MA). Dean's message of repealing the Bush tax cuts will not resonate in NH, at least this early in the game. But if you look at national trends, Americans are totally willing to give up the tax cuts to preserve important services.

I would suspect all the Dems would have similar difficulties in NH if there were a poll conducted that showed them going head-to-head with Bush right now. But we don't know because this poll only looked at Dean. Everything is pure speculation, and clearly spinnable. One wonders why this poll was conducted in this way, but for spin (I'm honestly quite surprised by the reputable ARG in this case).

Dean polls as well as any other Dem candidate nationally. All the Dems are going to have a problem against the incumbent, particularly with the economy (possibly) improving (I'm ignoring the effect of Saddam's capture for now).

Bottom-line: to draw lessons about electability from a single poll about a single candidate in a single state without any primary votes having even been cast and 11 months before the general election is total folly.

The real question should be: how can the Dem candidates differentiate themselves without resorting to stupid attacks that only muddy the message and give the GOP talking points, and how does the eventual nominee communicate the party's message effectively to reach non-Dem voters? It's not a gut check regarding Dean--it's a gut check about your entire party.

Posted by: NTodd at December 14, 2003 06:06 AM | PERMALINK

In other words, Dean means four more years of "bring 'em on" type statements, another hot head cowboy.

Absolutely not.

Look at the flag flap: he'd been using that line on the stump FOR MONTHS. It was not a hot-headed statement, but an expression of an important point that the Dems needed to hear. Only when he became frontrunner did the members of his own party, desperate to knock him down, make a stink.

Dean is substantially more thoughtful and articulate than Bush. Period.

Posted by: NTodd at December 14, 2003 06:09 AM | PERMALINK

V from VJ,
Don’t lay this back off on me with some dramatic oversimplification. I don't have problem with legitimate criticism of Clark—much less “saying the word 'Clark'.”

Given the way that 527's are structured, as I understand it, there’s no reliable way to connect those who fund these “issue ads” to any campaign anymore, so casting your aspersions on other official campaigns is next to pointless, divisive and highly offensive.

Who do I think this ad most benefits? That’s a no-brainer—The Republican Party and its candidate, Bush.

Is this the text of the ad you found objectionable enough to launch uncalled-for smears on Clark and his campaign staff?

“We live in a very dangerous world. And there are those who wake up every morning determined to destroy western civilization. Americans want a President who can face the dangers ahead. But Howard Dean has no military or foreign policy experience. And Howard Dean just cannot compete with George Bush on foreign policy. It’s time for Democrats to think about that… and think about it now.”

“[T]here are those who wake up every morning determined to destroy western civilization.”
C’mon man, who talks like that? Democrats, specifically speaking, Clark, no, not by a long shot. Republicans frame things that way. Republicans also have a lot to gain by intensifying doubt and infighting among Democrats; either way they benefit from the result.

We’re getting a taste of that Rove propaganda, I’d say. But the fact remains, we may never know who all paid for the ad or why. I can understand why you’d hate the ad, but that does not entitle you to run around suggesting that Clark had anything in the world to do with it. Your boy got a bloody nose; that sucks. But there’s a whole lot more where that came from, for both of our candidates. We’re just going to have to steel our nerve and muddle through it without tearing each other apart first.

Regardless, with all due respect to you and Dean, I don’t want my candidate responding to groundless slurs made by Dean’s supporters every time you folks get your noses bent out of shape. Your candidate is not the center of the Democratic universe. Having other candidates and their official campaign staffers refuse to obliquely legitimize Dean’s “inevitable nominee” status by allowing you to dictate discourse—especially when you have zero evidence to support your insinuations—isn’t sinister disrespect. It’s just good strategy, I’m sorry to say. A private call to Dean may be warranted, but I absolutely would not advise Clark to respond to every blow Dean takes on the chin.

Posted by: Kimberley at December 14, 2003 06:35 AM | PERMALINK

NTodd,
I hear you. I still think it shouldn't be blown off that easily but Dean's campaign isn't my first concern in this race; I'll leave that to you all.

Take care all, I'm off to bed.

Posted by: Kimberley at December 14, 2003 06:52 AM | PERMALINK

Dean is substantially more thoughtful and articulate than Bush. Period.

And Clark is substantially more thoughtful and articulate than Dean. Period. End of sentence.

Posted by: poputonian at December 14, 2003 06:57 AM | PERMALINK

In defense of Dean's statement on the Diane Rehm show, Dean's underlying point was that the resistance of the Bush Administration to the 9/11 investigation leads to all sorts of conspiracy theories about the reasons for this resistance. Dean was merely pointing out one among many theories which Bush's resistance to a real investigation has spawned.

If supporters of Bush are upset about the circulation of such theories, they should put real pressure on the Bush Administration to fully cooperate with and adequately fund the 9/11 investigation. Until it does, it seems to me that speculation about their motives is to be expected.

Posted by: Ben Brackley at December 14, 2003 09:41 AM | PERMALINK

The Dean Blog for America site imputes that the new ad campaign put out by an independent group that this somehow the responsibility of the Kerry campaign because a disgruntled ex Kerry staffer, Robert Gibbs , is now the new group's press seretary and you bloggers are so in their sway
that you uncritially accepted this unwarranted assertion. You do this without evidence, without scrutiny, without any outreach to the Kerry campaign to check its veracity and without simple logical tests (like how is Kerry responsible for the the career driven choices and actions of a disaffeted ex staffer?)

Kerry has denied any involvement with the group or the ad (by the way that is the definition of a 527 - no communication between it and a candidate.) Therefore I think you bloggers should post that and and rescind your condemnations.

You assert theat Dean was smeared but by your uncritical acceptance you you have let the Dean people smear Kerry. I think he deserves an apology.

Posted by: Debra at December 14, 2003 05:40 PM | PERMALINK

Debra,
This ad has been a serious strain on all of us. I agree that Kerry went out of his way to allay the fears Dean's campaign and its supporters. Kerry probably is entitled to an apology, but I doubt he'll get it. It isn’t that Dean or his camp are too arrogant to do it, it’s just that those suspicions will take a while to shake off, by which time, an apology will seem offbeat. It's a shame but that's the way things work.
As I said earlier, upthread, I think this may very well have been a Republican funded hit job. The last time we saw an ad like this, it came from Ed Gillespie's camp. This one was more vague in terms of origin, but nearly identical in thrust (albeit, aimed directly at Dean) especially the visual element. The RNC indicated in mid-November that they were going to attack Dems in essentially this way, so this doesn't come as any big surprise to any of us. It's as filthy as it gets, but it isn't a big shocker.
So here's how I think we should all handle these ads from now on, throw them back onto the true opposition. Let's make the murkiness of 527's work for us all here. The Republican Party can't refute it, so let's just blow these ads off as Republican funded from now on, with something along the lines of:
"No Democrat strives to make the public fearful; that's a Republican ploy. They want to degrade the competition before of us is nominated to challenge their candidate in the national election. This just prove how afraid they are of legitimate competition with Democrats. So be it. We know the score and so do the American people. My fellow candidates and I have discussed this issue at length. We are in accord; we have not, nor will we employ such tactics in the competition with each other for the Democratic Party's nomination. Should any more of these ads pop up, you know where they came from—and so do we."

Just suggestions to keep us from diminishing the strength of our eventual nominee (whoever it may be) while our candidates compete in the primaries.

Posted by: Kimberley at December 14, 2003 07:03 PM | PERMALINK

If the ad helps to knock Dean out of competition and we get a more plausible candidate, then it helps the Dems.

It's the Deanies who are always saying that the primaries are a good test for who can win in the general election. If Dean can't deal with this other than crying "no fair!" maybe it's a sign that he's not ready for prime time.

Posted by: rachelrachel at December 14, 2003 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly, whoever developed this ad continues to play the game of "ain't it awful." That game never suggests how anything better could be done -- or how anyone else might do a better job than the person being critiqued.

I agree that this ad is political porn. AND, like too much of the "traditional Democratic" message, these days, it places its entire focus on "ain't it awful."

Posted by: MS at December 15, 2003 04:06 PM | PERMALINK

Re: "ARGH! I wanted to be the one to point out that there's little (actually, no) difference between this ad and Dean saying that Bush had foreknowledge of 9/11! "

Except Dean never said that. He said that because of Bush's unwillingness to cooperate w/ the investigation it leads to these sorts of things. In fact it was more a call for the openness that we deserve in this process.

Arrggh. I tire of people taking things totally out of context. It is like accusing Gore of claiming to have invented the internet. He never did. Yet that idea persists.

Let this one die and let us focus on more real and important things.

Posted by: Michael at December 18, 2003 06:46 PM | PERMALINK

Oops
I see that others have dealt better with this absurd notion of Dean's supposed conspiracy theory.
Apologies for that.

Yet it cannot be said enough.

I just wish we could get some apologies from those who make egregious misstatements. Not only in these blogs. These are essentially harmless. But in the main press and the media at large. There is so much sh**t coming down the line.
I dispair of our collective intelligence.

Posted by: Michael at December 18, 2003 06:50 PM | PERMALINK

The truth is outhere

Posted by: Reddy Lokesh at January 20, 2004 07:39 PM | PERMALINK
Navigation
Contribute to Calpundit



Advertising
Powered by
Movable Type 2.63

Site Meter