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February 04, 2004

AWOL?....Josh Marshall wonders why the issue of George Bush's military service is getting traction this time around, when it didn't in 2000:

But there is something different here. And the difference is that the Democrats have decided to go on the offensive -- and this is a version of preemption that Dems may, and should, warm to. After Clark had some stumbles with the issue, Kerry has been hitting it for a couple weeks. And the recent round of coverage on it would never have emerged had Terry McAullife not forced it into the news cycle over the weekend.

He's right. But there's more to it than that. I know that all these points are painfully obvious, but can I make them anyway? Thanks.

  • Thank you, Michael Moore! Sure, "deserter" was deliberately inflammatory, but that's Moore's schtick, isn't it? And without the controversy about whether Moore had gone too far, this whole thing would have blown over almost immediately.

  • Back in 2000 a bit of youthful rebellion against military discipline wasn't that big a deal. After 9/11 and last year's flight-suited carrier landing, it is. George Bush's own actions have made this into a legitimate issue.

  • Dare I say it? Perhaps blogs have helped to keep this issue simmering along....

  • Finally, there's really only one question here, and it's the one that everyone should be banging on: why won't Bush release his full military record? What's he afraid of?

    All the speculation in the world isn't worth a bucket of warm spit. The battle cry should be, "Release your service record, Mr. Commander in Chief." And we should say it over and over and over and over until it's as famous as Willie Horton or Morning in America or Monica's blue dress.

There's no excuse for not releasing those records in full. Unless, of course, he has something to hide.

Posted by Kevin Drum at February 4, 2004 10:02 AM | TrackBack


Comments

"Release your service record, Mr. Commander in Chief."

"Release your service record, Mr. Commander in Chief."

"Release your service record, Mr. Commander in Chief."

Now I'm tired.

Posted by: nashvegasdawg at February 4, 2004 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

It is instructive to look at the White House defense in this matter. Essentially, because Bush received an honorable discharge ipso facto he must not have done anything wrong. It never, ever reaches the substance of the allegations that he failed to report to duty for extended periods, called AWOL when I was in the military. One has to believe that if they had a more persuasive defense they would trot it out. I can only conclude the substance of the allegations must be true. Below is an exerpt from yesterday's White House briefing:

Q Scott, can I ask you about, again, the National Guard thing? As you know, the President was committed to a six-year term, and what's at issue is the last two years. And the commander of the Alabama unit in which Bush was assigned in 1972 said that Lt. Bush never showed. That is absent without leave, otherwise known as AWOL, which is the charge that the Democrats are making. Can you be specific then about those last two years which are in question --

MR. McCLELLAN: Norah, we already have been specific. We were specific four years ago when this shameful accusation was made. I think you need to go back and look at the facts. The President was honorably discharged. He fulfilled his duties. It is really sad that people are now stooping to this level once again. And people should condemn this.

Q So where was he, then, in that period when his commander says he did not appear?

MR. McCLELLAN: This has already been previously addressed four years ago. Yet some people continue to stoop to the level that they are now stooping to --

Q You're not addressing the substance of the charge --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, we already have --

Q So the White House position is that the honorable discharge answers the question, that as far as the President's commanding officers were concerned, he preformed his duties honorably, and that's it?

MR. McCLELLAN: People that are discharged honorably are people that have fulfilled their duties. And we appreciate the service of all those people who are currently in the Guard and all those that were previously in the National Guard. We welcome all that they do to help make this country safer and better.

Posted by: dmh at February 4, 2004 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

I want to see Terry Mac quoted saying this every day from now until the election: "Release your military records, Mr. President. It's a character issue."

Posted by: praktike at February 4, 2004 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Would those military records include payroll records? Because Josh seems to think the answer will be found in the payroll records.

Follow the money.

You know another reason you forgot Kevin? The WH and the RNC are responding instead of just ignoring it. That is the worst possible strategy, because all the facts suggest Bush did go AWOL. All they have is Bush's word that he didn't. So, they are left banging on the table insisting that the issue has been settled (which it hasn't) and it is shameful to even bring it up.

Check out McClellan clowning around:

Q Well, the question actually was whether or not you're trying to find any eye-witnesses or any records to prove --

MR. McCLELLAN: Terry, this was addressed four years ago, and like I said, it was a shame that it came up then and it's a shame that some are bringing it up again.

Dana, did you have one?

Q The Democrats have been attacking the President for months on a lot of issues. Why this issue -- why is it that you're choosing to respond to this particular issue, where in the past you've --

MR. McCLELLAN: The reasons I said. It is really shameful that this was brought up four years ago, and it's shameful that some are trying to bring it up again. I think it is sad to see some stoop to this level, especially so early in an election year. The President, like many Americans, was proud to serve in the National Guard. The National Guard plays an important role in the security of America. And the President was proud of his service.

Q Scott, can I ask you about, again, the National Guard thing? As you know, the President was committed to a six-year term, and what's at issue is the last two years. And the commander of the Alabama unit in which Bush was assigned in 1972 said that Lt. Bush never showed. That is absent without leave, otherwise known as AWOL, which is the charge that the Democrats are making. Can you be specific then about those last two years which are in question --

MR. McCLELLAN: Norah, we already have been specific. We were specific four years ago when this shameful accusation was made. I think you need to go back and look at the facts. The President was honorably discharged. He fulfilled his duties. It is really sad that people are now stooping to this level once again. And people should condemn this.

Q So where was he, then, in that period when his commander says he did not appear?

MR. McCLELLAN: This has already been previously addressed four years ago. Yet some people continue to stoop to the level that they are now stooping to --

Q You're not addressing the substance of the charge --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, we already have --

Q So the White House position is that the honorable discharge answers the question, that as far as the President's commanding officers were concerned, he preformed his duties honorably, and that's it?

MR. McCLELLAN: People that are discharged honorably are people that have fulfilled their duties. And we appreciate the service of all those people who are currently in the Guard and all those that were previously in the National Guard. We welcome all that they do to help make this country safer and better.

You see? Bang on the table, Scott. As hard as you can. The worst thing possible for the WH is if this issue gains traction in the press as I'm sure the majority of Americans haven't even heard about it. And can you imagine if the press actually decided to do a little research?

I'd love to see the candidates pressing Bush to release his military payroll records. He never will of course, but you are right, it is important to keep asking.

The best case scenario? Imagine Bush's senior officer who says he never saw George in Alabama.. imagine him showing up at one of the presidential debates and flat out asking George where the hell he was. Now, that would be spectacular and the media couldn't possibly ignore it.

Posted by: manyoso at February 4, 2004 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Wanna bet that Charlie in California or Al in Allarepublicans will show up to say that it's irrelevant (and Not True!) that Bush went AWOL... but Kerry being a member of Veterans Against War is totally relevant?

"Release your service record, Mr. Commander in Chief."

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 4, 2004 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

How 'bout some props for filthy Canadian Peter Jennings? Had he not put the question regarding Moore's charges to Gen. Clark in that pre-New Hampshire debate, the AWOL issue would still be restricted to the blogosphere.

Or, to quote Wolf Blitzer when a Democratic strategist raised the AWOL issue in a panel discussion on CNN months ago, "Oh no no no no no. Let's move on."

Posted by: Irfo at February 4, 2004 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Surely the main reason that this is getting traction is, as Daily Howler would say, the story has changed. In 2000, Gore was the evasive and aloof liar, and Bush was the slightly inarticulate but essentially good natured man next door.
So Gore got pounded about tiny inconsistencies and made-up "lies", while Bush got away with not answering the cocaine or AWOL allegations even vaguely sufficiently, and his patently false budget-related comments passed without comment.

Now, however, Bush is vulnerable. He may still be getting an easier ride than he should, but it's now acceptable to question him in the press. Furthermore the AWOL story doesn't involve mathematics like the budget does, and the US press corp seems to have a pathological aversion to even basic analysis of figures.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow at February 4, 2004 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Clark and Kerry should be pounding this with all their might.

"Look, I'm proud to have served my country. I'm proud of the job I did while I was in the armed services. That's why I have fully released my service records - because I am proud of them and every veteran should be. The only reason to do otherwise is to cover up something embarrassing."

Posted by: apostropher at February 4, 2004 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Let me get this right...
Democrats on this board now think that a charge of avoiding service during the Vietnam War is a BAD thing?
Has the world turned upside down?

I'm trying to remember the Democrats' outrage when Clinton was proved to have dodged the draft, but it isn't coming to me that easily...

Is this a matter of principle, or a matter of partisanship?

I think the Democrats left principle behind a long time ago, and are left with nothing but partisanship. This hurt them badly in 2002, and will hurt them again in 2004.

Sorry to rain on your parade (now that you like military metaphors so much...).

Posted by: fw at February 4, 2004 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

All this attention now?

Maybe it's because he started a war and invaded a country on a false pretense. As a putative deserter in 2000, he hadn't sent over 500 U.S. soldiers to their death.

Posted by: dave at February 4, 2004 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

I've gone over the AWOL / deserter thing all before too, so I understand Scott's frustration. I think I'll leave it where I did before - if GWB's military records are incomplete, what exactly is there to release?!

Posted by: Charlie at February 4, 2004 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton wasn't running as a wartime president, wasn't basing his entire campaign around a decision to send others into battle. I don't care whether Bush avoided service or not; I would have done whatever it took to get out of it as well. The issue is that he has consistently lied about it, just as with so many other issues. I pound the idea that the man is a complete and total phony on every level.

Anyhow, it's the cover-up that gets you in the end.

Posted by: apostropher at February 4, 2004 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

"There's no excuse for not releasing those records in full. Unless, of course, he has something to hide."

You're talking about Howard Dean, right?

Posted by: tim at February 4, 2004 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

I hope this issue will continue to grow because it is such a character issue. Is George W. Bush the honest, straight-shooting man of integrity the Republicans want us to see, or an evasive, dishonest, dare I say slick poltician trying to cover up something embarrassing?

Whether or not he fulfilled his obligations is less important to me than whether he's willing to be honest about it now. Which is it, integrity or evasion?

Posted by: Gregg at February 4, 2004 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a link to the website of Martin Heldt, an Iowa farmer who a couple of years ago under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requested and got some of Bush's military records. It's good to see some real attention finally being paid to Bush's failure to account for his last year on the Guard.

http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/

It's not a stylish site or a professional job that Mr. Heldt has done. But he did what journalists should have been doing, and for that we owe him our thanks.

Posted by: David W. at February 4, 2004 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Has the world turned upside down?

It certainly has. I never expected to see Republicans saying that it was just fine for the Commander in Chief to have illegally evaded military service - during the Vietnam War or any other time.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 4, 2004 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

I'm trying to remember the Democrats' outrage when Clinton was proved to have dodged the draft, but it isn't coming to me that easily...

It hurt Clinton and it's going to hurt Bush. Most of the people who called Clinton a draft dodger were just banging on him because he's a Democrat and it wouldn't occur to them to apply the same label to a Republican even when it fits.

But for the tiny principled minority who take service to their country seriously, it'll be important. If you can't see that, I suppose that shows which kind you are.

Posted by: Laertes at February 4, 2004 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

Amen to Michael Moore.

Posted by: vachon at February 4, 2004 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

OOOOHHHH. I like that.

Our ADHD media could keep its focus on that, unlike the two-step problem of the Valerie Plame leak.

Imagine Dean's VT record flap. TIMES 10. Oh, baby.

And it would be a nice pushback to defend Lurch against the "voted against the death penalty for terrorists" line of attack that the GOP is brandishing.

Let's go with this. Moveon?

Posted by: Alejandro Andreotti at February 4, 2004 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

I was also very surprised to see the RNC and White House responding to it -- especially the RNC. They ducked the issue in 2000 and the media gave him a pass. I would have thought that they would have tried that again and simply been "above the fray," rather than trying to go on the offensive against Kerry and the DNC.

I don't think it was very smart on their part, although I'm personally delighted, because I think if they had anything more than "pounding on the table," they'd have used it long ago. Thanks to their own actions, it's now prominent.

To me, this actually seems to be part of a much larger pattern of George W Bush's life -- a lack of responsibility that derives from ignoring consequences and accountability. There always seems to have been someone there to pull his fat out of the fire or ease his way into something he hadn't made the effort to earn for himself.

Posted by: Ducktape at February 4, 2004 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

"What are you hiding, Mr. President?" should be a question asked at every news conference, every Democratic candidate's speeches, and every other opportunity. Not just his own military records, but the intelligence debacle, and the 9/11 investigation he's been stonewalling, and the Plame affair. "What are you hiding, Mr. President?"

Posted by: QrazyQat at February 4, 2004 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Jesurgislac, when the subject of Bush's failure to account for his last year of Guard service was discussed on the talk section of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune well over two years ago, the same tired excuses were repeated then about Clinton. Even when Martin Heldt provided us clear documentation that showed how Bush left his Guard post in Alabama and failed to appear as required, the denials from Bush's supporters just showed how partisan they truly were themselves.

Posted by: David W. at February 4, 2004 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Charlie -- From a political perspective, you may have hit it on the head. If Bush cannot release lost records, the issue never goes away.

Put it this way: if Bush wanted to prove his attendance in Alabama, he could do so, through testimony from friends, co-pilots, etc., just like he could easily identify the person that leaked the Plame story.

It is blatantly obvious that Bush is lying about his service in the Guard.

While we are at it, even if he did serve in Alabama, why isn't anyone making a fuss about his crapping out on his training to fly jets? He burned up a lot of taxpayer money getting that training, and then conveniently decided not to fly anymore when the Guard demanded physical examinations?

Posted by: 537 votes at February 4, 2004 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

Peter Jennings is the big reason this story has emerged. In a supposed gotcha moment against Clark Jennings pinned him with lefty-loony Michael Moore's endorsement. But now it's backfired.

Charlie,
What did you say before about the AWOL thing? I don't believe I've read it so could you sum it up again? Thanks.

Personally I couldn't care less about either Bush's service record or Kerry's, or Clinton's, or Quayle's, or Dole's, or whoever. What I care about is what the President plans to do with the military NOW, not what he did as a 20 year old kid.

Posted by: Elrod at February 4, 2004 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

The Democrats are barking up the wrong tree here.

This is an issue that mostly appeals to (a) elites, and (b) the Vietnam generation.

When I first met some wealthy residents of Washington, D.C., I was shocked when they referred to President and Mrs. Clinton as "the Clintons." This immediately made me understand that to to this D.C. power couple, President and Mrs. Clinton were just PEOPLE.

I was a college graduate at the time, but I was still shocked by their point of view. I didn't disapprove of it or anything; they were quite right, the Clintons were people just like you and me. But it was a totally alien perspective.

Most people who aren't members of the social, economic, and educational elites do not view George Bush in this way. They view him as the President of the United States.

This does not mean that most Americans worship the President or anything. Americans have fought and died for the right to criticize our leaders and are not about to tug at our forelocks and kowtow to them. But it does mean that the President is viewed as more of a symbol than a person. It also explains why I get furious when leftists refer to him as "Shrub" or "that smirking chimp." The Presidency is a symbol of our democracy and our Constitution and is entitled to respect.

Becuase George Bush has been President over three years now, the average voter no longer sees him as George Bush; they see him as the President of the United States. Issues about his "qualifiications" to be President are totally and completely irrelevant; he IS the President. A charge that he is not qualified is almost a contradiction in terms.

This is not to say that Bush's PERFORMANCE as president cannot be critiqued; it most certainly can -- and will be -- at the polls. But that's a horse of a very different hue from saying that Bush "should not be" President in the first place.

The only other group this appeals to is the Vietnam generation, many of whom are still trapepd in the summer of '68. A sizable percentage of that generation is still conflicted over their service or (more often) failure to serve, and Bush's national guard record reminds them of Vietnam. Heck, everything reminds them of Vietnam.

Also, many people believe that Bush has proven his ability to compat terrorism. I never thought much of Bush prior to 9/11, and in the weeks that followed doubted that he was up to the challenge that faced him. I still think that he acted shamefully on 9/11 when he flew to Shreveport and Omaha; he should have immediatley returned to the Oval Office, contingency plans be damned; he is the President and it is his job to lead from the front. But Bush's bold, visionary, and courageous approach won me over. He started leading from the front and proved that he was up to the task. What do I care about his credentials? He is getting the job done.

For each of these reasons, I think the Democrats are wasting their time on this issue. Most people will simply ignore it. No one cares about Bush's national guard service. It was 30 years ago, and he is the President. By focusing on this issue, the Democrats are wasting time that could be better spent on other issues.

But some people will think that it is a petty criticism and will be put off by it. The Presidency is entitled to respect; we should not be taking pettty little shots at the person who occupies the office.

Also, let's face it, isn't the pot calling the kettle black here? MICHAEL MOORE is criticizing the President for being a deserter? Come on. Moore is hardly a veteran.

I strongly suspect that a lot of 60's leftists still feel guilty about their failure to serve, and that this accounts for much of the vociferousness of their antiwar stance. While their opposition to the war was, in fact, sincere, deep down they many wonder whether they were cowards and whether they have done something dishonorable. It makes them feel better to take Bush down a notch. They may feel guilty, but at least Bush is equally guilty. I don't think this is the healthiest way to address this inner conflict, but it is what I suspect is happening.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 4, 2004 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

You know, I'm wondering if Jennings wasn't being sly.

His corporate masters would nail him for bringing up the issue as "news", but in condemning it as a horrible lie, he still planted the meme.

OUCH!!!!!! I think that I was in Rove's head for about 2 seconds. It's an ugly place.

Posted by: Matthew Saroff at February 4, 2004 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

I too think Jennings may have posed the question as a double-edged sword that would cut both Clark and Bush. I heard that Fox News wasn't at all happy with Jennings for bringing the subject up in the debate also.

Posted by: David W. at February 4, 2004 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Joe, your commentary is a simmering cauldron of fallacies, strawmen, and ad hominem sttacks.


In any event, the President is running for re-election (in case you missed it), his entire record is open to questioning.

Frankly, I don't care how that makes you feel.

Posted by: ChrisS at February 4, 2004 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

The Presidency is entitled to respect; we should not be taking pettty little shots at the person who occupies the office.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, they kind of cut down the tree behind them on this one after all their petty little shots at Clinton while he was President.

I mean, I appreciate the point you're making, Joe. 1972 was over 30 years ago, and Bush was a drunkard and a drug addict then - he's cleaned up since. There's no good reason to attack someone for a mistake they made during their youth, and that's the line I think the Republicans should take about it: Yes, Bush was AWOL. He did a shabby thing, he's sorry for it, but let's not dig up stuff from thirty years back.

Only problem is: if Bush is allowed to say he's sorry and let's draw a line under it, then all the other candidates are too. No raking into anyone's past.

As for the thing about not taking potshots at a sitting President - again, Joe, while you may have railed against Republicans generally for their shameful behavior during the Clinton years, you've got to admit that as far as disrespecting the President goes, the Republicans beat the Democrats hands down.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 4, 2004 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

The irony of this whole thing is that the AWOL thing is somehow a crucial "character issue." Man, if the American public hasn't spotted Bush's total lack of character by now, do you think this is going to make a difference? Bush has not once taken genuine responsibility for anything that has gone wrong in his administration. Bush has not once effectively dealt with a subordinate who has done something wrong or said something reprehensible. That's character, folks, and Bush doesn't have it. End of story.

Posted by: englishprofessor at February 4, 2004 10:55 AM | PERMALINK

Mr. Schmoe,
I've always wondered... just what makes one an "elite?" I have my suspicions, but I want to hear it from you.

Posted by: Hoyt Pollard at February 4, 2004 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

Joe Schmoe wrote: Also, let's face it, isn't the pot calling the kettle black here? MICHAEL MOORE is criticizing the President for being a deserter?

Joe, good point! This should be the death of Michael Moore's run for the presidency.

What?... Oh... Never mind...

Posted by: Alex R at February 4, 2004 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

Joe Schmoe:

Are you kidding me? The guy who sent a thousand Americans to die in a war whose merits are under heavy questioning having lied about his (connection-plummified) military service? On top of having lied about the arguments for the war? On top of having lied about the budget numbers?

And this is going to appeal just to the elites and the nam generation? I don't think so.

Posted by: Alejandro Andreotti at February 4, 2004 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

if the American public hasn't spotted Bush's total lack of character by now, do you think this is going to make a difference?

They are noticing. His approval rating is below 50% for the first time. I say keep throwing crap at the wall; it's beginning to stick. This issue alone won't sink him, no. But it's part of a larger pattern of disingenuousness and unaccountability that is easier to see every day. The biggest spending small-government conservative in history. The flight suit military leader who went AWOL. The devout Christian who can't quote scripture. The "CEO president" who drove every business he ever ran into the ground. The free trader who imposed steel tariffs. The good ol' boy from Andover, Harvard, and Yale (not that there's anything wrong with that). Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

He is not who he pretends to be, and people are realizing it. That is the crux of the biscuit.

Posted by: apostropher at February 4, 2004 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

When you claim to be restoring "honor and dignity to the White House", you open yourself up to the attack.

When you attack Max Cleland for being soft on national defense, you open yourself up to the attack.

When you take a fighter jet for a spin out to an aircraft carrier as a little PR stunt at the "end" of your war, you open yourself up to the attack.

Bush so deserves to be called on this.

Posted by: Royko at February 4, 2004 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

As to having to respect the President, let's quote Teddy Roosevelt, "Our loyalty is due entirely to the United States. It is due to the President only and exactly to the degree in which he efficiently serves the United States. It is our duty to support him when he serves the United States well. It is our duty to oppose him when he serves it badly."

As to why the big deal, Rove etc. made it a crime for Al Gore to have volunteered to serve and to actually have been in country in Viet Nam.

Additionally, this is a pattern with Bush.

Look at Arbusto, Harkin, the Arlington Texas Stadium deal, and this.

The pattern is the same.

He gets something that he does not rate but for his last name, screws up and breaks the rules, and gets bought out at a profit from people who want to buy into his name.

Clinton played the system to stay out of Nam.

If reports are accurate, GW Bush BROKE THE LAW, to get out of Nam.

At a minimum, he violated his oath when he refused a physical when they started pee testing.

Couple that with his personae of being Teddy Rooselvelt reborn on things military (interesting for a man who is phobic of horses), and it's a legitimate issue.

BTW, John Kerry and Wesley Clark have both released their military records, so the obvious question is, "What does he have to hide?"

Of course, this is also raised by his drivers license number being changed when he became governor, etc.

Posted by: Matthew Saroff at February 4, 2004 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

That's character, folks, and Bush doesn't have it. End of story.

Englishprofessor, sometimes you have to read the story again and again and again for it to begin to sink in to the public consciousness. The Republicans are quite good at that sort of thing, mind you, but there's no reason the Democrats can't be either as long as they're being honest while doing it. I remember the last-week revealation on the eve of the 2000 election about Bush's DUI arrest and how Bush's sheepish acknowledgment of it (and the lame excuse that he didn't want his kids to know, sheesh!) provides a glimpse into his character.

Posted by: David W. at February 4, 2004 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

537 votes:

"If Bush cannot release lost records, the issue never goes away."

Exactly what the Dems are hoping for - until Dean is their nominee of course (I'm still crossing my fingers ; )

Elrod:

"What did you say before about the AWOL thing? I don't believe I've read it so could you sum it up again? Thanks."

I'd have to look up which thread(s) we've discussed it, but it comes down to my argument above - in addition, he was obviously not charged with AWOL, etc. (unless you're going to claim that's why the records have not been released ; )

We also went through each element of AWOL and deserter, pointing out his possible defenses. I think there was a comparison to the other candidates (esp. Dean) and weighing whether this issue would stick with the electorate. I fully expect the records will be released if internal polling confirms a need to do so : )

Posted by: Charlie at February 4, 2004 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

In any event, to touch on something englishprofessor just wrote, this is just one more piece of evidence that the keyword for the 43rd President is "Secrecy."

The meat of everything that this guy has ever done has been buried behind closed doors... and sealed. Which, in my mind, is just fine for an ordinary citizen. Above all else though the government for the people should be open to the people.

Number of missiles and where they're pointed -
Secret
Names of Covert Agents - Secret
Who Cheney molded energy policy with - Hmm, I think that should be public knowledge

Posted by: ChrisS at February 4, 2004 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

MICHAEL MOORE is criticizing the President for being a deserter? Come on. Moore is hardly a veteran.

Chicken + Hawk = Chickenhawk.

Pacifist + Draft Dodger = Consistent to one's principles.

Feel free to bring up more thought problems you are facing, Joe.

Posted by: Troy at February 4, 2004 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

The Presidency is entitled to respect; we should not be taking pettty little shots at the person who occupies the office.

Hmmmm. . .apparently Joe slept through the 1990's.

P.S. How much lying and avoiding of responsibility does bush get to do until he loses that respect?

Posted by: David Perlman at February 4, 2004 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Man, if the American public hasn't spotted Bush's total lack of character by now, do you think this is going to make a difference?

Drip, drip, drip. That's how little things, taken together, become a tsunami.

Posted by: patriot at February 4, 2004 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

"Wanna bet that Charlie in California or Al in Allarepublicans will show up to say that it's irrelevant (and Not True!) that Bush went AWOL... but Kerry being a member of Veterans Against War is totally relevant?"

Nope. I'm just very happy that CalPundit is endorsing the use of "deliberately inflammatory" falsehoods.

I think we should do the same.

"Mr. Kerry, when did you stop molesting children?"

"Mr. Kerry, is it true that you fought for the Vietcong and killed some of our soldiers?"

"Mr. Kerry, why aloof, wishy-washy, arrogant, and French-looking?"

(Ooops, that last one is true.)

But, really, I'm going to have to keep this post in mind, when our side starts attacking Kerry with deliberately inflammatory falsehoods...

Posted by: Al at February 4, 2004 11:08 AM | PERMALINK

Let me get this right...
Democrats on this board now think that a charge of avoiding service during the Vietnam War is a BAD thing?

Remember "It's not the sex, it's the lying?"

Well, It's not the avoiding service that bugs me. It's the LYING . . .

Posted by: RoguePlanet at February 4, 2004 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

But my point is that he is not George W. Bush any more, 5'10" tall resident of Texas with a wife and two kids.

He is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. That is how the average voter sees him. His "qualifications," "fitness," or his pre-Presidency resume are no longe relevant.

It is perfectly acceptable -- and effective -- to say that the President is dishonest because he broke a "read my lips" pledge, is out of touch with ordinary Americans, is doing a bad job on the economy, etc.

It is pointless -- and counterproductive -- to say that the President should not be president in the first place. He has done the job for three years! Maybe you believe that he's done it badly, but the idea that he is incapable of doing it at all is ludicrous.

With regard to Clinton, I do believe that the right-wingers went too far, but I also think that Clinton himself is partly to blame. He too disgraced the office. The Presidency is a symbol of our democracy. The President should not be receiving oral sex while talking to the Secretary of Defense about troop deployments in Kosovo. By the same token, Bush's stunt on the aircraft carrier was a little inappropriate. A speech by the President to our troops should not be transformed into a cheap political photo-op. It is demeaning.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 4, 2004 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Nice leap of logic, Al.

You're brilliant, but one question what falsehoods are being posted by Kevin?

Posted by: ChrisS at February 4, 2004 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

I also think this is pretty much irrelevant. Bush is the incumbent, we know what we've got with him. The dems should focus on what he has done while in office, not what he did or didn't do 30 years ago. Their time and effort would be much better spent elsewhere.

Posted by: Justin (NC) at February 4, 2004 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

"There's no excuse for not releasing those records in full. Unless, of course, he has something to hide."

Nonsense. As always, there's the One Big Excuse:

"If we release the records... the terrorists win!"

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 4, 2004 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

ChrisS, the end (trolling) justifies the means (Al's fact-challenged rambling).

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 4, 2004 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

LOL

Posted by: Charlie at February 4, 2004 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

He has done the job for three years!

Allowed 9/11 to happen: Check!
Apparently failed to fully capture AQ in Tora Bora: Check!
Increased the deficit from $5.8T to $7.0T: Check!
Got 500+ servicmen and women killed over lies: Check!
Nominated bozos like Estrada and Pickering: Check!
Ashcroft meddling with Oregon's right to die and California's medical marijuana laws: Check!
Single-handedly destroyed his father's "New World Order": Check!

... and whatta job Bush's done! Can't wait for the next 4!

Posted by: Troy at February 4, 2004 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Bush hasn't come clean on the matter of his Guard service, any more than he's come clean about his drug use prior to 1974. I for one would prefer an answer that wasn't hedged with such a qualification.

Posted by: David W. at February 4, 2004 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Exactly what the Dems are hoping for - until Dean is their nominee of course (I'm still crossing my fingers ; )

Me too! Wouldn't it be great to have Dean for President? Sure, better ABB, but President Dean would be very cool. Glad we agree on one thing.

Plus, as was gone into earlier in his campaign, Dean has nothing to hide - he got a medical deferment from his draft board. That is hardly like going AWOL, is it? Now of course you can argue that all medical deferments are "really" a form of draft dodging... ah, how many medical deferments did Dick Cheney get?

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 4, 2004 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

I'm just very happy that CalPundit is endorsing the use of "deliberately inflammatory" falsehoods.

For it to be a falsehood doesn't it have to be not true?

Posted by: LowLife at February 4, 2004 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Troy=

That is one way of looking at it.

Another is

Draft dodger = coward who pretends to be a "pacificst" to deal with his own guilt, or becuase he does not want to come right out and admit that he is afraid.

I know several draft-dodgers, and I do not think that they are cowards. However, I do believe that they are conflicted, filled with self-doubt, and still feel a little bit guilty about their failure to serve. They deal with this by becoming even passionate4 about the righteousness of their views.

Hoyt-

That is a tough one. It is very hard to articulate a definition. It's related to education, social status, and wealth, but I believe that one can also be an "elite" without any of these things. In the end, it's a state of mind. I will try to define it later.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 4, 2004 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

And Joe, this idiot of yours can't even perform his duties as head of state, eg. addressing Parliament during the first presidential visit of state last year.

So no, he's not doing his job.

Posted by: Troy at February 4, 2004 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

The President should not be receiving oral sex while talking to the Secretary of Defense about troop deployments in Kosovo.

Um... I never could bring myself to read that piece of cheap porn, the Starr report, that thoroughly, Joe. Did it really go into that much detail? Yuk.

Isn't it interesting, though, that the Republicans got an independent prosecutor and a budget of millions... and managed to find out that Clinton got blowjobs.

Any bets what we'd find out about Bush if the Dems had an independent prosecutor and a budget of millions?

-Bush went AWOL in 1972. Why exactly did he never show up for the required medical exam and why was he never in trouble with the military for not fulfilling his expected flying hours? (We can skip this one if Bush is willing to acknowledge he was a drunkard but he's cleaned up now.)

-Harken Oil. June 1990. Who advised Bush that his shares were about to plummet and he should sell out immediately? And why, when this appears to be a clear case of insider dealing, was Bush never prosecuted? What were the results of the Securities and Exchange Commission investigation?

-With regard to September 11 - what did the President know, and when did he know it?

-Whose decision was it to fly all of Osama bin Laden's relatives out of the US before they could be questioned by the FBI?

-Who insisted on including provably-false information in the 2003 SOTU? (Aluminum tubes and forged Niger documents...)

-Who outed Valerie Plame?

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 4, 2004 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

Jerus, I read the Starr report from cover to cover. Good stuff!

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 4, 2004 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Um... I never could bring myself to read that piece of cheap porn, the Starr report, that thoroughly, Joe. Did it really go into that much detail? Yuk.

It went into enough detail to show how Starr deliberately used the information about Monica Lewinsky (so conveniently provided by Linda Tripp) in order to set up a perjury trap for Clinton.

Posted by: David W. at February 4, 2004 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Heh. Joe Schmoe on Bush: "The Presidency is entitled to respect; we should not be taking pettty little shots at the person who occupies the office."

Joe Schmoe on Clinton: "I read the Starr report from cover to cover. Good stuff!"

Sometimes you have to dig to prove that Republicans like Joe Schmoe are arrant hypocrites.

And sometimes they just make it so easy to point it out.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 4, 2004 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

"Thank you, Michael Moore! Sure, "deserter" was deliberately inflammatory, but that's Moore's schtick, isn't it?"

Y'know, I was only joking when I anticipated the fallout from Moore's accusation in the form of the ironic defense, "He's not a deserter, he was only AWOL!"

Didn't dream it would actually happen, though. For the record, Bush's NG record bubbled up last May during the "flight suit" episode. Funny how it didn't stick then, nor was it conclusively answered.

Posted by: Grumpy at February 4, 2004 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, come on, Jerus, I was only kidding. Lighten up.

Also, it is sometimes fun to read about sex without actually approving of it. For instance, while I admit to having watched the Paris Hilton video, I do not plan to break out the video camera the next time my wife and I have sex, and certainly do not plan to post the tape to the Internet. By the same token, if I saw my neighbors having sex through an open window, I would not stick around to watch. I would avert my eyes.

Is this hypocrisy? Maybe. I don't know. I am just having fun.

Also, for what it is worth, I met Ken Starr a few times. He taught a Federal Courts class at my law school, and I later worked at his law firm (though I never ran into him at work -- he was in the D.C. office.) Coincidentally, I once sat next to him on a Continental flight from Newark to Chicago.

Starr struck me as a really nice guy. He was extremely courteous, which is rare. Many high-powered lawyers are flaming assholes. Also, Starr was not a hack lawyer. He is a really gifted litigatior, a former Solicitor General (the person who argues appeals on behalf of the United States Government before the Supreme Court) and a former federal appeals judge.

Starr was politically reliable, no question about it, and he knew that his job was to bag the President. But he's a gifted lawyer, not some hack politician.

Also, Starr did seem like a genuinely decent guy. I was surprised, and saddened, by the fact that the Starr Report turned into a sordrid sex thing. Starr didn't seem to be the kind of moralistic prig who would issue somethig like that, or the kind of hack politician who would do it just to smear the President.

I have always suspected that Starr knew (or sincerely believed) that Clinton was guilty of something -- remember, he brought down half the state of Arkansas, it would be amazing if Clinton (or any politician) were clean as a whistle -- but was frustrated by his inability to prove it. So he settled for what he had -- the bogus perjury charges -- in order to pin something, anything on Clinton.

That said, while Starr's motives may be understandable, he did go way too far. Also, the tactics he used with witnesses were deplorable. In the end, he did not conduct himself with decorum and wound up looking like a petty, narrow-minded bureaurecrat on a political witch hunt. But I don't think that this is representative of the man or his career. Starr is a nice guy and a good lawyer. The Lewinsky witch hunt is a shameful mark on an otherwise distinguished record.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 4, 2004 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Mr. Drum, Mr. Vice President, members of the peanut gallery, distinguished lurkers and robot spiders: Every day, by custom and by boredom, we meet here to consider the state of the union. Today, we gather in this chamber deeply aware of decisive days that lie ahead.

The Boston Globe concluded in 2000, that George W Bush had probably skipped out on his military service for a period of time for close to a year -- enough time to subject a less well-connected person to severe discipline. He hasn't accounted for that time. He's given no evidence that he fulfilled his service.

Year after year George W Bush has gone to elaborate lengths to keep his service records out of the public record. But why? The only possible explanation, the only possible reason to do this is to obfuscate, to cover up and to mislead.

Before September 11th, many in the country believed being honest about your military service was not important. But events have shown that these people do believe it's important - but only when George W Bush is not the focus of their attention.

We Americans have faith in our leaders, but not blind faith. We do not know -- we do not claim to know all the ways a man can lie, cover up, obfuscate or deceive, yet we can trust we will uncover many of them in time, placing our confidence in the hard work of honest journalists, tireless bloggers to keep the stories alive and in the probing questions asked and answered during a live television debate.

May truth guide us now. And may honest critique continue unmolested in the United States of America.

(Applause.)

[oldie but goodie. lord forgive my whoring]

Posted by: ChrisL at February 4, 2004 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

One avenue of defense that the Bush folks seem to rely on is that Bush was "honorably discharged." This however does not mean that he wasn't AWOL it just means that the Army decided not to prosecute. This is very common in the military. Often a wrongdoer of some kind will be offered an opportunity to leave the service early with an honorable discharge in lieu of facing formal proceedings. Think a "nolo contendre" plea.
The fact that someone is honorably discharged does not imply that he did not carry out misdeeds. I would be curious to know whether Bush was released early from service which would indicate that his hon. discharge might be linked to being AWOL. While in the military I have seen this happen on several occasions for insubordination, sexual misconduct and cheating on tests etc.

Posted by: Apache at February 4, 2004 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

I won't push this too far...but NOBODY was willing to say anything mean about W until Dean changed the tone.

When GEP followed Dean and said "miserable failure" that was the beginning of the end of our mini-McCarthyism.

Kevin, your guy Clark lost a golden opportunity to come up with a Reaganesque way of winking at the "deserter" question without saying anything mean.

Posted by: lerxst at February 4, 2004 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

A-ha! But Michael Moore *IS* a veteran -- of the cruel, ruthless, bloody cola wars.

May G-d help us all...and our thirst.

Posted by: Jay Leno at February 4, 2004 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the whole New Coke campaign did get pretty nasty...

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 4, 2004 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, come on, Jerus, I was only kidding. Lighten up.

And your respect for the President? Just disappears when the President is a Democrat, does it?

Joe, you made a big point in this thread about how the President deserves respect. What makes you a hypocrite is that you patently don't believe that the President deserves respect when the President's a Democrat.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 4, 2004 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, clicked Post too fast!

So he settled for what he had -- the bogus perjury charges -- in order to pin something, anything on Clinton.

Right. So you'd be perfectly happy to have the equivalent of Ken Starr do the same to George W. Bush: no hypocritical complaints of "show respect to the President"?

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 4, 2004 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Joe wrote: "He is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. That is how the average voter sees him. His "qualifications," "fitness," or his pre-Presidency resume are no longe relevant."

This is how you feel. You have presented no information that this attitude is shared by your fellow citizens. When you have such information, feel free to stop by again. Until then, forgive me if I do not feel compelled to respond to any of the crap you posted.

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2004 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Joe,

You can't compare Clinton's draft-dodging to W's AWOL. W dodged the draft when he went into the Guard. No nonsense please about how "he served." He gamed the system, just like Clinton (Quayle, Cheney, DeLay, etc.), to avoid Vietnam.

But being AWOL is the next step. It means he didn't even live up to the obligations he assumed in exchange for not being drafted.

You say he wasn't AWOL? Let him show us the records.

Posted by: Bernard Yomtov at February 4, 2004 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Al wrote: "Nope. I'm just very happy that CalPundit is endorsing the use of "deliberately inflammatory" falsehoods."

But it's not a "falsehood," Al. There is not one thing that Kevin wrote that is false.

As to the overall AWOL issue itself, that is also not a "falsehood." The best you can say is that the charge is unproven. Of course, you will then have to explain just why Bush has refused to release the records that would disprove the charge.

"But, really, I'm going to have to keep this post in mind, when our side starts attacking Kerry with deliberately inflammatory falsehoods..."

Already happening, Al and things like this been going on for more than a year. I await your denunciation of these "deliberately inflammatory falsehoods" eagerly.

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2004 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Well, we can ask Bush to release those records all we want. But we know by now what to expect:

1.Bush will announce that he wants to get to the bottom of what happened to his service records.
2.He will establish a "bipartisan" "independent" commission that he controls to investigate the matter.
3.They will be instructed to report back after the election.

Posted by: DanM at February 4, 2004 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Paul-

I don't have any emperical evidence. My point is based entirely on subjective, antecdotal experience. But I know I am right. That is how people in the Midwest and south feel. Many blue-collar people in New Englaind and the West feel the same way. I don't have any statistics to cite whcih demonstrate this; I just know it. BTW, these very same voters rejected Howard Dean at the polls for similar reasons. They don't see things the way the elites do. They dislike Bush and think he has done a terible job, but they also think that the anger and Bush-bashing has gone too far.

Jerus-

Both Clinton AND the Republicans disgraced the office of the Presidency during the 1990's. Clinton disgraced himself by getting oral sex from a ninteen year-old girl who was not his wife while discussing troop deployments with the Secretary of Defense (BTW, you should ask someone in the military how they feel about that one). The Republicans disgraced the office by making this episode public and by impeaching hte President over it. This also endangered our Constitutional system, which incidentally s the thing that upset me the most. Ken Starr disgraced the office by acting like a puritanical Grand Inquisitor and publishing the Starr Report. Everyone was to balme.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 4, 2004 01:01 PM | PERMALINK

I never could bring myself to read that piece of cheap porn, the Starr report

It was, like the Hutton Report, a complete WHITEWASH of the Clinton's despicable behavior.

We know for a fact, of course, that Bill and Hillary killed Vince Foster. That Starr absolved them of the murder just proves that Starr's report was a complete WHITEWASH.

(PS - was this post "deliberately inflammatory"? Dunno! But if so, I'd expect Kevin to give it the thumbs up. Ain't that my "schtick"? Or is "schtick" good when pointed against Reps but bad when pointed against Dems?)

Posted by: Al at February 4, 2004 01:02 PM | PERMALINK

Or... maybe Bush's spokesman will announce that during the gaps in his service record, Bush was pursuing National Guard-related program activities!

Posted by: DanM at February 4, 2004 01:02 PM | PERMALINK

For it to be a falsehood doesn't it have to be not true?

Nope! You can just reply like Wesley Clark: "I've heard those charges. I don't know whether they're established or not."

Posted by: Al at February 4, 2004 01:05 PM | PERMALINK

I don't have any emperical evidence. My point is based entirely on subjective, antecdotal experience. But I know I am right. That is how people in the Midwest and south feel. Many blue-collar people in New Englaind and the West feel the same way. I don't have any statistics to cite whcih demonstrate this; I just know it.

Jesus H. Christ, Joe. Speaking as someone who actually born, raised, and still lives in the South, I'll thank you not to tell me how my neighbors and I feel. Because, to put it politely, you honestly don't have a clue.

Posted by: apostropher at February 4, 2004 01:12 PM | PERMALINK

Sure, apostropher. People from the Midwest and South just LOVE the peacenik left. Right.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 4, 2004 01:16 PM | PERMALINK

fw writes, "Let me get this right...
Democrats on this board now think that a charge of avoiding service during the Vietnam War is a BAD thing?
Has the world turned upside down?

"I'm trying to remember the Democrats' outrage when Clinton was proved to have dodged the draft, but it isn't coming to me that easily...

"Is this a matter of principle, or a matter of partisanship?"

No, I think avoiding service during Vietnam was a good thing, if you actually opposed the war. It's not so good when you APPROVE of the war and then try to get out of going. (Do I know for a fact that GWB approved of the Vietnam War? No. But c'mon, folks - was his father known for outspoken criticism of the war? Would GWB have joined a Guard unit if he was opposed to military service at the time?) I'd respect GWB a heckuva lot more if he'd burned his draft card and said "Fuck you, Tricky Dick - I ain't goin'!" Instead, he joined a Guard unit, thereby giving tacit approval to the war but doing everything he could (with daddy's help) to avoid actually hearing a shot fired in anger.

So Clinton's "draft dodging" doesn't bother me a bit because he opposed the war and didn't want to serve. It's never easy to be an objector.

The point, fw, is that Bush belongs to a party that asserts that avoiding military service is a bad thing. We know they assert this because they did it to Clinton. They try to wrap themselves in martial glory whenever they can. So it isn't his avoidance of service that bothers us - it's his (and his party's) abject hypocrisy.

It's not partisan. It's principle.

Posted by: Silence Dogood at February 4, 2004 01:16 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton disgraced himself by getting oral sex from a ninteen year-old girl who was not his wife while discussing troop deployments with the Secretary of Defense (BTW, you should ask someone in the military how they feel about that one).

Uh, Joe, I *was* in the military, active duty no less, and I've seen things worse than that. Hell, I've heard of things even worse than what I've witnessed. Barking up the wrong tree, dude, Tailhook? Air Force Academy Rapes? The military is chock full of sex scandals worse then getting a beejer.

Then again, everything done by a Republican can be dismissed because Clinton got a hummer.

You went to law school and you're posting arguments like this? I'd ask for a refund.

Posted by: ChrisS at February 4, 2004 01:18 PM | PERMALINK

Joe, please don't change the subject. This is the statement of yours to which Paul responded:

"He is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. That is how the average voter sees him. His "qualifications," "fitness," or his pre-Presidency resume are no longe relevant."

But after your statement that despite having no evidence, you "just know" how southerners view the president, and I call bullshit, now we're talking about the "peacenik left."

Mmmm-kay?

Posted by: apostropher at February 4, 2004 01:20 PM | PERMALINK

Some questions and points from reading the comments:

(1) Does anyone have any record of exactly how "this issue was addressed four years ago?".

(2) Are Bush supporters responding to this in any other way other than: (a) it's been addressed, and (b) you should be ashamed for bringing it up?

(3) The major issue here isn't his avoidance of service, it is the cover-up, as has been pointed out before. Clinton certainly was hurt by his draft avoidance, but I don't think he covered it up (although he may have spun it). The outrage is over the lies, not the initial act. And wasn't it the Republicans, or at least those attacking Clinton, that made such an issue over "the rule of law" and a President who lies? It's not the Democrats turning things upside down here. It is the ardent supporters of Bush on this and many other issues.

(4) On the issue of whether or now GW is "qualified" to be President and if that is a moot point - I don't agree with Joe Schmoe on this. I think it is a perfectly valid question. The Peter Principal applies to President's, too, and IMO it applied to GW as Governor.

(5) As to judging Bush on what he has done while in office: It appears that one of those is cover up this issue about his Guard attendance.

Posted by: KTB at February 4, 2004 01:30 PM | PERMALINK

An idea: I think there should at the very least be a blogger movement. Everyone that supports this viewpoint could put up a banner that says "Release your service record, Mr. Commander in Chief". SOme sort of consistent button.

Posted by: KTB at February 4, 2004 01:32 PM | PERMALINK

Why is it NO serviceman will come forth and tell us about training with George the Second? If I served with the President of the United States, I be telling the world, showing off photos and telling war stories. Didn't Bush have any friends during his service years? Just wondering.........

Posted by: Smick at February 4, 2004 01:43 PM | PERMALINK

Are Bush supporters responding to this in any other way other than: (a) it's been addressed, and (b) you should be ashamed for bringing it up?

Yeah! You missed my post calling Kerry a child molester!

Release the records, Mr. Kerry!! What there ARE NO RECORDS?!? Well, then it MUST BE TRUE!

Posted by: Al at February 4, 2004 01:43 PM | PERMALINK

Is the 1:43 pm post by "Al" actually by Al or is it by someone else impersonating Al and trying to discredit him further than he usually discredits himself.

I can't tell. Seriously.

Posted by: Jim E. at February 4, 2004 01:49 PM | PERMALINK

As an FYI, an Air National Guard member pointed out something interesting on the hamster (www.thehamstr.org):

Bush left after 6 years as a first lieutenant.

This is HIGHLY unusual. Normally, you make captain sometime in the last 1-1.5 years.

He screwed the pooch somehow, but it was allowed to slide because of who his daddy was.

Posted by: Matthew Saroff at February 4, 2004 01:51 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Schmoe:

"I don't have any emperical evidence . . ."

Sure you do - you, me, and every single person in my Bible study group - sure it's small, but I guarantee that there will be millions more on November 2nd ; )

KTB:

(1) http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=%22national+guard%22+%22governor+bush%22

(2) Yes, for starters: (c) most people already think GWB is fit to be POTUS, and (d) we believe him so the records are irrelevant.

(3) & (5) are the same - are you claiming that NOT releasing private records is the same thing as actively covering up illegal activity?

(4) Oh, so you did know above that Bush supporters are saying (c)?! Perhaps you can point out what you mean by the "Peter Principal"?

Posted by: Charlie at February 4, 2004 01:57 PM | PERMALINK

Al,Charlie & Joe: Proof that they provide internet hookups to mental institutions.

Posted by: Nurse Ratched at February 4, 2004 02:00 PM | PERMALINK

Joe wrote: "I don't have any emperical evidence. My point is based entirely on subjective, antecdotal experience. But I know I am right"

I think I'll just let this remarks stand all by itself.

(Free advice to Joe: read that comment again, slowly. And then read it again and again and again, until you finally get it.)

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2004 02:01 PM | PERMALINK

Paul, sorry, I still don't get it. Did I say something funny? Sure, my reasoning can be considered circular, but that is a tactic with a long and established history in political debates...

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 4, 2004 02:05 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Charlie: We believe Bush so the records are irrelevant (and the records may be INCOMPLETE anyways, a point I just made up)

Shorter Al: Democrats are partisan, which is why I always vote Republican

Shorter Joe Schmoe: I know I'm right because I'm right. Why are you laughing at me?

Posted by: Jim E. at February 4, 2004 02:15 PM | PERMALINK

LOL - well, Jim - even Darwin had to make up his theories at some point or another too!!!

Posted by: Charlie at February 4, 2004 02:17 PM | PERMALINK

I am waiting for dickhead McLellan to say,

"Mistakes were made"


That's when you know we have hit paydirt!

Posted by: Hank Essay at February 4, 2004 02:27 PM | PERMALINK

I think 20 comments is all my mind can handle.

thelrd in TEXAS

by the way who cares about Dean's "military" disability?

Posted by: Larry Davis at February 4, 2004 02:33 PM | PERMALINK

Both Clinton AND the Republicans disgraced the office of the Presidency during the 1990's.

Thanks for admitting that what the Republicans did during the 1990s was disgraceful.

Now can you move on and admit that going AWOL, insider trading, betraying a covert CIA agent, and lying to the country to persuade the US into war are all rather more serious disgraces to the Presidency than a blowjob ever could be?

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 4, 2004 02:51 PM | PERMALINK

Jerus-

AWOL and insider training are irrelevant. He's the Preisdnet now, the interviewing and resume review are over. It's time for a performance review. These are two different things. He might still get fired, but no one cares about his resume any more.

Betryaing a covert CIA agent? If he actually risked someone's life to get back at her husband for writing an op-ed, sure, that would be relevant. It took place during his Presidency. But I don't think it happened that way at all.

Lying to the country to persuade the US into war? You know what I think about that. I don't think he was lying about the weapons, he was probably only mistaken. If he lied about the cost and difficulty of the postwar occupation, it doesn't bother me in the least. The peacenik left is incapable of rational thought on this issue and one might as well lie to them. They'll scream "quagmire!" no matter what. Also, I'd rather have a liar who wants to fight than an honest appeaser.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 4, 2004 03:01 PM | PERMALINK

Sigh.. sorry to rain on the parade here, but any competent Bush consultant would counter the 'Reveal your records, Mr. Comander-in Chief' question by stating 'Sure: A major threat to America - the Taliban - has been removed, and Afghanistan is now a free country. Another major threat - Saddam - has been removed, and Iraq is now a free country. There have been no terrorist attacks on our soil since 9/11. This is my record.' I am sure most people here whould find those claims ridiculous, but we will be dealing with the manipulation of perception, rather than rational discussion of the facts. It is unclear to me how questions about service 30+ years ago are going to do anything about denting the image of GWB as an excellent C-in-C *since 9/11*, which he is planning to run on. Oh, and it's, like February 4th. THe election is in November. The whole question of Bush' record is going to blow over in a week or so, and if it persists beyond that, it's just going to bore people to hear about it. What they want to know about is what the Dem. party will do to save their job. Just my unscientific opinion.

Posted by: mara at February 4, 2004 03:04 PM | PERMALINK

Why does this matter now when it didn't in 2000?

For the same reason that John Kerry's and Wes Clark's military experience is more relevant than it would have been in previous years.

Obviously, you need more than that to run a presidential campaign, but Bush is vulnerable on the "honesty and integrity" issue and this could weaken him even more.

The fact that he might have had some "youthful indiscretion" is one thing; more important is how he's dealing with it now.

Posted by: rachelrachel at February 4, 2004 03:08 PM | PERMALINK

Original Schmoe,

Ms. Lewinsky was born in 1973. July. Wasn't 19 at any time she was involved with Clinton. Well over the age of consent (and very sexually experienced) when she came to the White House. Your implication that President C, however stupid, was despoiling innocence is wrong as are most of the rest of your facts.

Sorry.

Posted by: Michigoose at February 4, 2004 03:10 PM | PERMALINK

Joe wrote: "Paul, sorry, I still don't get it."

Sigh...yes, Joe, we know.

"For those of you who understand, no explanation is necessary. For those of you who do not, no explanation would suffice."

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2004 03:17 PM | PERMALINK

Al wrote: "Release the records, Mr. Kerry!! What there ARE NO RECORDS?!? Well, then it MUST BE TRUE!"

Nice try, Al. And nice troll, too, since I'm bothering to respond.

You see, Al, if we knew, for example, that Kerry had been arrested on some unspecified charge some time ago and that those records and the trial record had been locked away, then your analogy might make sense. Since this isn't the case, your analogy is just nonsense (not that this is a surprise, of course).

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2004 03:21 PM | PERMALINK

Another reason (just occurred to me) why this is a bigger deal in 2004 than in 2000. This was before Mr. Bush landed on the Abe Lincoln in his "Super Dave" outfit.

Posted by: rachelrachel at February 4, 2004 03:21 PM | PERMALINK

AWOL and insider training are irrelevant.

Then so was Whitewater, wasn't it?

And if Bush going AWOL is deemed irrelevant by you, are you going to squash Republicans who try to bring up anything that the Democrat candidate did before 1973?

He's the Preisdnet now, the interviewing and resume review are over. It's time for a performance review. These are two different things. He might still get fired, but no one cares about his resume any more.

They will when they find out he lied about it, hoping it would improve his chances of getting the job. That's a sacking offense in the real world, even if it was years after you applied for the job in the first place. ;-)

Betryaing a covert CIA agent? If he actually risked someone's life to get back at her husband for writing an op-ed, sure, that would be relevant. It took place during his Presidency. But I don't think it happened that way at all.

And you're at liberty to have faith: but I'd prefer an investigation to find the facts.

Lying to the country to persuade the US into war? You know what I think about that. I don't think he was lying about the weapons, he was probably only mistaken.

It's Reagan's Bind, as Slackivist points out in his blog. Either Bush was lying or he was incompetent. You prefer to believe he was incompetent: I'd prefer an investigation to establish the facts.

Also, I'd rather have a liar who wants to fight than an honest appeaser.

And yet you're supporting Bush, who is demonstrably a liar and an appeaser.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 4, 2004 03:24 PM | PERMALINK

Joe wrote: "Sure, apostropher. People from the Midwest and South just LOVE the peacenik left. Right."

Actually, they do, Joe. I don't have any emperical evidence. My point is based entirely on subjective, anecdotal experience. But I know I am right.

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2004 03:24 PM | PERMALINK

Jesurgislac wrote: "And if Bush going AWOL is deemed irrelevant by you, are you going to squash Republicans who try to bring up anything that the Democrat candidate did before 1973?"

Actually, Joe has that covered. Since the Democratic candidate isn't president yet, Joe will feel free to vilify him as much as he wants. Keep in mind that, to Joe, "the President is viewed as more of a symbol than a person" (although, oddly enough, that doesn't apply to Clinton, but hey, when has Joe ever been consistent?). Since the Democratic candidate isn't a "symbol," anything goes. Heads, I win; tails, you lose.

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2004 03:27 PM | PERMALINK

Still waiting for you to denounce the inflammatory falsehood issued against Kerry, Al, and still waiting for you to point to the inflammatory falsehood that Kevin wrote.

Al? Al? Anyone? Bueller?

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2004 03:32 PM | PERMALINK

Michgoose-

I am not suggesting that Clinton deflowered anyone's innocence. Actually, I am uncomfortable talking about this at all becuase it is totally irrelevant today. And Ms. Lewinsky was certainly a willnig participant.

The problems I have are twofold. First, President Clinton received oral sex in the Oval Office. That is undignified and inappropriate. Second, Ms. Lewinsky was obviously a troubled young girl, maybe not ninteen but in her early 20's, and Clinton took advantage of her.

I have never had a woman expose her thong underwear within a few minutes after meeting me at an office party. If this were to happen, I would know that the woman who did this had problems and for this reason would refrain from taking advantage of her. We've all met girls who are a little too forward, and most of us know that the decent thing to do is shy away from them.

That said, I have always been impressed with the way Ms. Lewinsky handled herself after being thrust into the public eye. She has exhibited class and decorum and is to be commended for that. I admire her.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 4, 2004 03:39 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Schmoe goes: ...Also, I'd rather have a liar who wants to fight than an honest appeaser.

Well, I'm a liar. You wanna fight? Punk?

Yours LBJ

Posted by: Lyin B. Johnson at February 4, 2004 04:14 PM | PERMALINK

"Issues about his "qualifiications" to be President are totally and completely irrelevant; he IS the President. A charge that he is not qualified is almost a contradiction in terms."

He has the job, therefore he is qualified? That's ridiculous.

Posted by: DL at February 4, 2004 04:16 PM | PERMALINK

Just for the record, Clinton didn't "dodge" the draft. He had a high draft number when his time came and so was never in a position to "dodge" anything, since he was never called to military service.

Posted by: Basharov at February 4, 2004 04:23 PM | PERMALINK

Gee. I just wandered over here on a link from d'KOS. You guys fight really rough. Over at kos land of the innocents one is considered a troll if there are no link and cites to prime sources.

If I knew how to link here I'd send you to yesterday's Atrios Eschaton with a post titled Another Email from a blogger saying that he was doing psychiatric residency in Carolina in '72 at a hush hush clean farm for the rich and powerful where a coked out and emaciated G.W. Bush appeared with a sad case of the tremors. Says Barbara would shake the building ripping him a new a**hole and telling him he was going to be left penniless if he didn't clean up. It would certainly explain where he was in '72, and make it hard to release the military records. If he wasn't in the Guard, didn't do enough in the Alabama campaign then where was he. The missing Guard appearance if revealed may be the least of the story.

But you folks seem to be having too good a time here to look into it.

Posted by: gogol at February 4, 2004 04:36 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that someone is honorably discharged does not imply that he did not carry out misdeeds.

Indeed. The soldiers who recently got into "trouble" for beating the shit out of handcuffed Iraqi prisoners, for example: their "punishment" was to be discharged -- yes, "honorably."

Posted by: SqueakyRat at February 4, 2004 04:48 PM | PERMALINK

gogol,
There are definitely some trolls on this comment board. But I gotta say, your post reeks of arrogance -- and I say that as a huge anti-Bush, pro-Atrios fan (my wife got me an "I Am Atrios!" hat for X-mas). ANyways, you have a lot of nerve bragging about primary sources and such when you refer us all to a bogus Atrios post that was intended to satarize NRO, not be taken at face value. Seriously, I suggest you run along to Atrios and figure out what he really meant by that post.

Posted by: Jim E. at February 4, 2004 04:52 PM | PERMALINK

Folks, Joe Schmoe has admitted to working at Kirkland and Ellis. There is no greater scum-bag law firm with more than 10 lawyers than K&E. Apply the appopriate discount rate to all of his comments.

Posted by: Anon at February 4, 2004 04:54 PM | PERMALINK

Still waiting for you to denounce the inflammatory falsehood issued against Kerry, Al, and still waiting for you to point to the inflammatory falsehood that Kevin wrote.

I don't know if what Kevin/Moore/McAwful says about Bush is false. I don't know if what I said about Kerry is false either. But, you see, I don't need any proof one way or another. As Kerry said about Bush: "I just don't even know what the facts are. But I think it's up to the president and the military to answer those questions." So I'm saying to Kerry: I just don't even know what the facts are (about Kerry's child molesting). But I think it's up to Kerry to answer those questions.

You see, once somebody accuses a Presidential candidate of something awful, according to you Dems, it is up to the candidate to refute it. So, Kerry, go ahead and refute it! And don't just say that there's no evidence that you're a child molester... we all know that absence of evidence MEANS THE CHARGE IS TRUE!

Posted by: Al at February 4, 2004 05:02 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, are you really that stupid Al? Do you really think this is just some arbitrary lie made up by a partisan, as your is? Sorry, there is a CREDIBLE question on the table. The records backing up Bush?s claim in his fantasy book ?A Charge To Keep,? are pretty thin. All we want is proof that he, in fact, kept flying for the TANG for years and that his special treatment didn?t extent to also letting him get away with being AWOL. The current state of his records, unlike those of every President before him, makes this a valid question. I will be glad for Kerry to release his entire police record ? and Bush too, but I don?t think you want that either. After all, we might find out just how it is he ended up doing community service that was (and is) completely out of character.

While I?m sure you love writing vicious lies about Kerry (since, unlike your draft dodger, he actually went to war ? even to the point of getting medals), all you are doing is demonstrating that you are unfit for decent conversation.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 4, 2004 05:55 PM | PERMALINK

O.K., how about this one then:

John Kerry married his current wife Teresa in 1995 after she inherited her fortune from her deceased husband, ketchup king John Heinz, who perished in a mysterious airplane crash in 1991. The records backing up Kerry annulment to his former wife of 12 years (not to mention however many BORN children - not aborted fetuses mind you) are pretty thin. All I want is proof that he, in fact, had nothing to do with said airplane crash and that special treatment was not given to him by the Catholic Church letting him get away with being annuled. The current state of his records, unlike those of every President before him, makes this a valid question. I will be glad for Bush to release his entire divorce records ? and Bush too, but I don?t think you want that either. After all, we might find out just how it is he did not kill Mr. Heinz which would be completely out of character for someone who personally killed many other men in Vietnam.

Is that also "unfit for decent conversation" or does it actually reveal what kind of character assassinations your side is indeed comfortable with?

Posted by: Charlie at February 4, 2004 06:05 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, I've been trying to figure out who these "elites" are that everybody is talking about, and I think I got it. I'm one of them, 'cause I don't like our Great Leader and his borrow-and-spend Big Government agenda. Being the son of a short order cook and a waitress, working my butt off getting a college education, and working my way to the top of my profession so that I'm in the top 10% income of taxpayers doesn't matter, the fact that I criticize our Great Leader makes me one of these "elites" that the Busheviks are always talking about.

Glad I got that cleared up!

As for lies, if Bush makes a claim (to have honorably served), but provides no evidence to back this up, he's the one who brought it into the argument -- not those of us who detest his backers' agenda of the looting of nations at gunpoint. Given his lack of veritude in other matters (where's the weapons of mass destruction, Mr. Bush? Where's the Niger uranium, Mr. Bush? Why did you lie about how much the Medicare drug benefit would cost, Mr. Bush?), his AWOL-ness must be viewed in the light of a general lack of character, rather than a youthful folly. I.e., as an additional nail in the coffin of his political career, rather than something that would have legs on its own. And that is why his AWOL-ness didn't matter in 2000, and does matter now -- in 2000, there was nothing else to demonstrate that Bush was a cad (and indeed I urged people to give Bush a chance at the time, stating that a moderate Republican wasn't a bad thing to have as President). But as part of a pattern of behavior that continues to this day... yes, I say it's a real issue.

-E

Posted by: BadTux at February 4, 2004 06:39 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking for myself, I would say that your post is indeed unfit for decent conversation.

Posted by: Jim E. at February 4, 2004 06:50 PM | PERMALINK

Er, my previous post should be addressed to Charlie, who I mistakenly believed to have been a polite individual.

Posted by: Jim E. at February 4, 2004 06:51 PM | PERMALINK

Chuckle, Charlie. Your examples are MUCH better than mine.

Posted by: Al at February 4, 2004 07:13 PM | PERMALINK

It figures Charlie is a creationist.

Posted by: M. at February 4, 2004 07:29 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie wrote: "Is that also "unfit for decent conversation" or does it actually reveal what kind of character assassinations your side is indeed comfortable with?"

Not at all, Charlie. You are absolutely free to run with that all you want. In fact, I'll help you publicize it. I'm thinking a New York Times ad. What do you think?

Oh, and Charlie? I'm still waiting for the Secret Service to call. Have you called them again to point out that I've threatened the president?

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2004 07:32 PM | PERMALINK

Al, you wrote: "But, really, I'm going to have to keep this post in mind, when our side starts attacking Kerry with deliberately inflammatory falsehoods..."

I pointed you to a link that documents an inflammatory falsehood about Kerry that "your side" is attacking Kerry with. Still waiting for you to denounce it, Al.

Your example still sucks, by the way, having absolutely nothing to do with reality or with the case against George Bush. When you're ready to return to the real world, please do let us know.

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2004 07:35 PM | PERMALINK

Jim E:

I did not intend to be arrogant and my 'rough' reference was an acknowledgement there are good minds on this blog who make sparks when not in agreement. I would take it as a compliment if I could do that.

As to the ANONYMOUS post on Atrios, there are certainly no citations;. by itself could be slander. The folks on this blog seem unusually bright and well informed and I am trying to gain understanding about what seems to be a 12 month empty slate for Bush around 1972.

The most famous man on earth has no record that I've ever heard of,for a whole year. There's no guy coming forward saying, 'Yup, George and I were on a secret special ops for a year, and if wasn't for GW we wouldn't have made it. Mission accomplished.' Or pictures with a girl in a convertible, or surging in the Gulf. Pictures lifting a cool one with the campaign treasurer of the candidate he was supposed to be working for in Alabama. Emptiness. It's eerie.

The White House press corps is asking where he was for the WHOLE YEAR. Nothing but "it's shameful" to ask that. Other than that, silence. I'm suggesting that even the potential slander on Atrios about Bush's whereabouts in '72 the only
report of his whereabouts for that 12 months in question. I'm further suggesting that bright spin meisters work for GWB and his records could be "explained." But if there was a larger problem that year, then it is safer to try and hide EVERYTHING.

Election campaigns involve meeting lots of people. A picture raising a banner with the campaign treasurer of the candidate in Alabama. Bush was famously gregarious. Pictures in a neat tavern, on the golf course, in a 60 foot fishing boat. Not necessarily from his album, but anyone's.Instead, nothing. This is not normal and no one is discussing this.

Posted by: gogol at February 4, 2004 07:36 PM | PERMALINK

Al wrote: "we all know that absence of evidence MEANS THE CHARGE IS TRUE!"

Nice try, Al. Too bad that there is evidence that George Bush was AWOL. It's not entirely conclusive, but there is evidence. Care to try again or do you just want to continue living in that fantasy world of yours?

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2004 07:37 PM | PERMALINK

Gogol wrote: "As to the ANONYMOUS post on Atrios, there are certainly no citations;. by itself could be slander."

Gogol, please read the rest of the page on Atrios' blog. The post has already been explained there and elsewhere. It was a direct satire of the complete lack of standards at the NRO blog. Satire is, by definition, not slander.

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2004 07:40 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Charlie, I say "bring it on". Let's appropriate another $100million or so (who will miss it?), fire up another special prosecutor, and get all the dirt on Kerry AND Bush and see what comes of it, eh? You up for that?

No? Your ilk brought it on yourselves with your long and abusive tradition of self righteous demagoguery starting (arbitrarily, to be sure, but you have to start somewhere)with Joe McCarthy, the "love it or leave it" John Wayne cant during the cold war, the unending specious, wholly fabricated attacks on PRESIDENT Clinton, and the shameful association of Senator Max Cleeland with OBL.

Frankly, you get what you deserve, and believe me, republicans deserve plenty.

Remember this, McCarthy had no honor and Nixon was a crook. Reagan was a nincompoop. Bush I, well what can I say but "read my lips", and Bush II is a lying AWOL SOB.

You can shout "bring 'em on" till the cows come home, but in your case Trotsky may indeed prove prescient (incredible, but hey even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then). You know that "dustbin of history" stuff.

"You're either with us or against us". Isn't that what your glorious leedur said. Well, you're about to find out. Roll up your sleeves and let the fur fly.

And Al. Too many caps bespeeks shrillness. Starting to lose it, are we?

Have a nice day. :)


Posted by: bobbyp at February 4, 2004 07:40 PM | PERMALINK

Bobbyp-

I hated it when the Republicans did it during the 90's.

I hate it now that the Democrats do it.

You seem to be operating on the notion that "turnabout is fair play. What's good for the goose is good for the gander."

Reagan was involed in Iran-Contra. If Kerry is elected, will the Democrats counter with a secret war of thier own? Turnabout is fair play, right?

Nixon was involved in Watergate. Will James Carville organize a squad of Cuban prostitutes to sleep with the delgates at the RNC? Hey, the Republicans did it, right?

Sometimes two wrongs don't make a right.

I am sick and tired of the politics of slander, investigation, and scandal. I voted straight D in 1998 for this reason. If you keep this up in 2004, I will vote straight R. Aren't you trying to bring about the OPPOSITE result?

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at February 4, 2004 08:46 PM | PERMALINK

Joe, nobody here thinks there's a chance in hell that you'll vote anything but Republican in 2004. Your comments about Democrats and your comments about Bush have made your views quite plain.

As for the rest of your comments, well, they're just plain nuts. I'd suggest a long period of rest.

Posted by: PaulB at February 4, 2004 08:55 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Joe Schmoe: Due to the postings of one anonymous Democrat on the comment thread of a left-of-center blog, I hereby threaten that I may, in fact, vote for Bush.

Posted by: Jim E. at February 4, 2004 09:05 PM | PERMALINK

"I hated it when the Republicans did it during the 90's." None of your many previous posts give any indication of this depth of feeling. Goodness.

"I hate it now that the Democrats do it." But Joe, you miss the point, the Republicans have not stopped doing it. And your distraught that some dems (me for instance)are finally responding in kind?

"Reagan was involed in Iran-Contra." True. Am I safe to assume you voted for his successor, who was in it up to his eyeballs?

"If Kerry is elected, will the Democrats counter with a secret war of thier own? Turnabout is fair play, right?" A war against whom? And why keep it a secret? Republicans love wars, don't they? Well, Lincoln was an exception, but when the last Reconstructionist left office, they took the real meaning of "republicanism" with them.

"Nixon was involved in Watergate." Involved! My God, man, he ordered it!

"Will James Carville organize a squad of Cuban prostitutes to sleep with the delgates at the RNC?" Sounds like a good idea to me, but the delegates would probably try to weasel out of paying, rapidly zip up, and flock to the floor to vote for platform planks extoling "family values".

"Hey, the Republicans did it, right?" They still are.

"Sometimes two wrongs don't make a right." Sometimes? Sounds suspiciously like moral relativism to me.

"I am sick and tired of the politics of slander, investigation, and scandal. I voted straight D in 1998 for this reason." Comes with the territory. And you voted for whom in '90, '92, '94, and '96?

"If you keep this up in 2004, I will vote straight R. Aren't you trying to bring about the OPPOSITE result?" Again, your posts tell the story. There is nothing in them to indicate there is anything one could say to convince you of any of the deeply held convictions of most democrats on the economy, civil rights, cultural issues, foreign policy...etc. I take your vote for GWB as a given, and I will ring a lot of door bells this fall to find others who share my position to rise up and throw the rascals out.

Cordially,

Posted by: bobbyp at February 4, 2004 09:35 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Schmoe: I am sick and tired of the politics of slander, investigation, and scandal. I voted straight D in 1998 for this reason. If you keep this up in 2004, I will vote straight R. Aren't you trying to bring about the OPPOSITE result?

Straight out, Joe: What would be required for you to vote Dem in 2004?

And, fwiw:

My point is based entirely on subjective, antecdotal experience. But I know I am right. That is how people in the Midwest and south feel.

Please don't presume to speak for the whole Midwest either.

Posted by: Anarch at February 4, 2004 09:36 PM | PERMALINK

You went to law school and you're posting arguments like this? I'd ask for a refund.

musta been those 70-hour weeks working at Wendy's that cut into Joe's education/learning.

Posted by: Troy at February 4, 2004 09:39 PM | PERMALINK

This is going to backfire, Kevin.

Posted by: Anthony VanWagner at February 4, 2004 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

I am sick and tired of the politics of slander, investigation, and scandal.

So vote Dean! ;-)

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 5, 2004 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

fw

I'm trying to remember the Democrats' outrage when Clinton was proved to have dodged the draft, but it isn't coming to me that easily...


aaah, the good old 'tu quoque' defence. Sorry buddy, won't work.
Release your service records, Mr AWOL!

Posted by: Coriolanus at February 5, 2004 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

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Posted by: debt reduction at July 31, 2004 08:13 PM | PERMALINK
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