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February 07, 2004

BUSH, BARNES, AND THE NATIONAL GUARD....Since the whole Bush AWOL thing has popped back onto the radar screen lately, I thought everyone might enjoy a trip into the memory hole. This is from 1999:

In a written statement under oath presented on Monday, Ben Barnes, a former speaker of the Texas state legislature, said that in 1968 he asked the head of the Texan Air National Guard, General James Rose, to give the young Mr Bush a place on a pilot-training programme, automatically excusing him from the draft.

....In his deposition, Mr Barnes said he had been asked to intervene by a Bush family friend, Sid Adger, but he did not know whether George Bush Sr, then a congressman, knew about the request. The former president said recently that he was "almost positive" that he had never discussed the matter with Adger, who died three years ago, and never asked for help. Rose died in 1993.

Ben Barnes was one of the most powerful politicians in Texas in the 60s and 70s — "the next LBJ" — until an unfortunate scandal derailed his career (although fret not for Barnes: his consolation prize was becoming a garden variety Texas tycoon and political fixit man). Sid Adger was an oil magnate and friend of the Bush family.

So did George W. Bush get some high-level help getting into the Texas Air Guard? Of course he did, and it came from higher up than Adger, who didn't just wake up one morning and decide to call Barnes for no reason. Somebody asked him to. Hell, even the official denials from the Bush camp are obviously just pro forma.

But the thing is that no one cares. Sure he got special treatment, but so did lots of other folks and that was 35 years ago anyway. It's just not that big a deal.

However, what is a big deal is that it makes it rather more plausible that Bush continued to receive special treatment throughout his career in the Guard and for many years after. More on that later.

Posted by Kevin Drum at February 7, 2004 04:23 PM | TrackBack


Comments

Can GWB do anything on his own?

His father got him into Yale and Harvard. Senior got his son out of Vietnam. on and on and on

Posted by: andrew at February 7, 2004 04:32 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin --

I've long thought that the AWOL issue is not just about Bush's behavior towards his military service, but yet another example of his father's help, and his life of privilege, that extends to nearly every aspect of his life.

When things get tough for GW Bush, a gusher of favors and cronyism come from his father and his friends to try and wash all his troubles away.

So, I'd cast his Guard service not just as GWB not appearing for service, but as him getting daddy's help to get into the NG and stay out of battle, and daddy's help to not be punished for things that others would have had to face up to.

The help of daddy and his friends extends to this very day: what do you bet the Silberman and other Republican fixers on the "blame the CIA commission" Bush just created are friends of George Herbert Walker Bush?

I'd say it's very likely. It's about the only trick that George W. Bush knows.

K


Posted by: Keith at February 7, 2004 04:39 PM | PERMALINK

HUGE turnout in Washington state today. In my precinct, a crowd literally filled a basketball arena. The chairperson said that maybe 50 people turned out in 2000 caucus. I am talking at least 600 people today.

Everybody I talked to said job one is getting rid of Bush, not pushing a particular candidate. I've never been to ANY gathering of Democrats that had the same agenda(beating Bush) going in. It was AWESOME BABY! For the first time, I honestly think BUSHIE IS GOING BYE BYE in november.

Posted by: busdrivermike at February 7, 2004 04:42 PM | PERMALINK

The article is quite interesting.

But this quote by g w bush is most telling:

"I don't know if Ben Barnes did or not, but he was not asked by me or my dad," he said. "I can just tell you, from my perspective, I never asked for, I don't believe I received special treatment."

Followed by this:

But records published in the US press show that Mr Bush won a pilot's slot in the National Guard in front of thousands of others, despite scoring only 25% in his aptitude test: the lowest acceptable grade. He was sworn in on the day he applied.

bush really really believes he is a self-made man.

He really does.

And that my friends, is scarier then anything that every happened on Elm Street.

Posted by: -pea- at February 7, 2004 04:50 PM | PERMALINK

This article was posted in Brad DeLong's comments after Brad picked up your post, Kevin. It details a rather juicy Texas-sized scandal involving Barnes and GWB.

Posted by: Linkmeister at February 7, 2004 05:13 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

You're beatin' this poor dead pony carcass so hard, even the maggots have been scared away.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 7, 2004 05:15 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, my money is on Mama Barbara for a lot of this. I'm sure that it was Poppy who arranged Yale and Harvard. But he's a lot more of a man than the chimp.

There comes a point that a father will tell his ne'er do well son to grow up, get some balls, and start taking responsibility for his own life.

Mothers, on the other hand, will always take care of their baby when he comes crying to her that he's gotten himself into a mess. And I'm sure Barbara knew Adger and the other fixers who have greased the way so that Shrub could be somebody without having to put out any effort for it.

GHWB, for all his faults, also was a lot more of a statesman, a hell of a lot smarter and better educated, and seemed to care a lot more about trying to do the right thing during his tenure in office. I certainly don't think he always did, but I think he tried to within his own frame of reference.

Barbara, on the other hand, cares -only- about the advance of her family -- Poppy and the boys.

Two observations on this point:

Bush Sr awards Teddy Kennedy a medal for service to his country.

Meanwhile, Mama Bush says that the Democratic candidates are all "a pretty sorry bunch" for no other reason than that they're running against her son.

Posted by: Ducktape at February 7, 2004 05:16 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I just jingled Paypal for another $20 to you. I don't know how you come up with this stuff, but please, keep it up.

Posted by: poputonian at February 7, 2004 05:21 PM | PERMALINK

It's sad but true that Bush believes his own bullshit. It's even more sad that at least half of America believes it. And yet sadder still that even more people are willing to look at the constant failing-upward that is Bush's biography and just shrug their shoulders as if it makes no difference.

A man's life is his character laid out for others to see. To look at it and ignore it is to truly believe that the clothes make the emperor.

Posted by: Derelict at February 7, 2004 05:26 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, too bad W. didn't go from banging one rich widow to the next. Then you'd be all for him. Blah.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 7, 2004 05:37 PM | PERMALINK

Right wing, open your eyes. You've been reading too much Ann Coulter. Kerry had his own wealth; he married within his own social class, like most people do.

Posted by: poputonian at February 7, 2004 05:49 PM | PERMALINK

I've written about this on my weblog a couple days ago, too.

If the Repubs want to bring up the issue of special interest influence in the 80s or 90s, then they better look in Bush's closet again. There's some ugly stuff there.

Posted by: Tuna at February 7, 2004 05:50 PM | PERMALINK

John Kerry doesn't take any special interest money, that's why Robert Torricelli is raising money for him. Laugh.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 7, 2004 06:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kerry was born with a silver spoon in his mouth just like W.

Trying to play the "daddy pulled strings for him" card doesn't wash. Might have worked if you had nominated a normal human being, like Richard Gephardt.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 7, 2004 06:05 PM | PERMALINK

Boring.Booooooooooooooooooooring. Fucking Boring.

Posted by: You actually support Clark? What a maroon. at February 7, 2004 06:14 PM | PERMALINK

I like this right-wing veg guy. He's kicking your asses here in the "I hate Bush" echo chamber. You losers get used to this: Bush is going to win again. So go fuck yourselves.

Posted by: Jones at February 7, 2004 06:17 PM | PERMALINK

I can't stop laughing. Pick whichever courageous Democrat you want, Kerry or Clark. They both risked their lives so you could sit around and blog like pompous fools. Clark was shot three or four times, Kerry injured three times; Clark came home on a stretcher. Clark rose from nowhere to be first in his class at West Point. Meanwhile, W was enjoying special handling. Keep it coming ... we're enjoying the laughs.

Posted by: poputonian at February 7, 2004 06:26 PM | PERMALINK

Linkmeister: Actually, Palast has some stuff that's even more interesting than that.

Right-wing: I'm sure y'all would like this to be a dead pony, but I have a feeling she's good for one more ride around the block. Let's find out.

Posted by: Kevin Drum at February 7, 2004 06:35 PM | PERMALINK

This is good stuff, Kevin, keep it coming.

But I'm curious about what bush said about his NG service during the 2000 election or more recently, and how that compares to what theyr'e agreeing to now is the explanation.

Did he lie about his service or not? I think this is certainly a potentially fruitful line of inquiry.

Posted by: Vesicle Trafficker at February 7, 2004 06:49 PM | PERMALINK

Jones, it's really good that you think the vegetable is kicking ass.

Posted by: Jeff Boatright at February 7, 2004 06:50 PM | PERMALINK

>Kevin: but I have a feeling she's good for one more ride around the block. Let's find out

I've packed my saddle for a long ride.

Posted by: Martin Heldt at February 7, 2004 07:00 PM | PERMALINK

Like the family soldier said in Godfather II, the one who voliated omreta at the congressional hearing: "The family had a lot of buffers."

Do Americans prefer royalty?

Posted by: mkultra at February 7, 2004 07:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ask the citizens of California about Bush's loyalty to his buddies at Enron...

Ask the citizens of Texas about Bush's loyalty to Ben Barnes and his lucrative contract with the Texas Lottery Commission that kept cash out of education...

Ask the citizens of New York about Bush's loyalty to the bin Laden family. Seen any of them in the US after 9/11?

What has Dick Cheney's loyalty to Halliburton cost America?

It's time to look back over Bush's record again, because we have to see who else he might owe a favors. It is clearly in our best interest to watch those people very carefully.

Posted by: Tuna at February 7, 2004 07:09 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter Right-Wing Vegetarian:

Does it matter if Bush exists solely through his family ties, using them to get out of Vietnam, to get his businesses bailed out, and to get elected President?

Hell no!

Does it matter who John Kerry chooses to marry?

Hell yes!

Shorter Jones:

I'm Right-Wing Vegetarian, but I don't want to look stupid, so I'll post under a different name!

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 7, 2004 07:21 PM | PERMALINK

But the thing is that no one cares. Sure he got special treatment, but so did lots of other folks and that was 35 years ago anyway. It's just not that big a deal.

I don't remember it being 'no big deal' on Clinton's lack of service (through less incestous means). It seems to me it's a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for GWB, and a "Crucify the Bastards" policy for many others.

It's nonsense.

And the freeper-type trolls around here are getting bad. It's going to take some amazing discipline to ignore them, but in reality I fear the forums here are on the slide to undreadability. Sigh. That's a bummer.

Posted by: Timothy Klein at February 7, 2004 07:27 PM | PERMALINK

We got along just fine with a genuine draft dodger in the White House, what's the problem with a guy with an honorable discharge from the National Guard?

Poputonian, funny that during the Vietnam war the military (I was one of them) were not fighting for "us", according to the Left; we were furthering the aims of the military industrial complex or something. "Hubris" was involved. According to John Kerry's own Vietnam Veterans Against the War, were were busy torching the huts of innocent villagers and bayonetting babies. But now, it turns out, we were led by Clark and Kerry in fending off a VC/NVA invasion of San Francisco. When did the Left change its mind?

Posted by: Person of Choler at February 7, 2004 07:44 PM | PERMALINK

This whole Barnes - Adger thing is just another example of what Kevin Phillips and Ron Suskind are talking about. Atrios has Paul Krugman's upcoming piece in the NYRB. It's a "must read".

Posted by: PAUL at February 7, 2004 07:50 PM | PERMALINK

In his deposition, Mr Barnes said

Mr Barnes was being deposed was there some legal proceeding going on that we should be aware of. Who was actually deposing Barnes?

Posted by: Timmy the Wonder Dog at February 7, 2004 07:50 PM | PERMALINK

We got along just fine with a genuine draft dodger in the White House

Clinton was never drafted. You would have to be to be considered a 'draft dodger' in my book.

It is an extremely important distinction. Were I ever to be drafted, I would go, almost no matter how badly concieved the war was. With a clusterf*ck like Vietnam, though, I would not been eager to serve.

But again, Clinton had his lack of service harped upon quite a bit. I sure did miss that about GWB's AWOL period before the 2000 election. Damn that liberal media.

Posted by: Timothy Klein at February 7, 2004 07:51 PM | PERMALINK

People of the United States please come to your senses. As a Canadian I can't vote for the titular head of the planet earth, hell I can't even donate money to any candidates campaign but I can beg all of you to wise up and get back to what made America great ... big ideas, innovation, a sense of community and a respect for other cultures. You have to do something soon or the corruption of your system will doom us all.

Posted by: Concerned Canuck at February 7, 2004 08:00 PM | PERMALINK

I am not a troll, I just happen to enjoy having these exchanges with liberals. Unfortunately, both the Democratic Underground and Free Republic ban dissent, so blogs seem to be the only place left where left and right can talk to each other.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 7, 2004 08:02 PM | PERMALINK

Slick Willie was drafted. He used his wealthy Uncle Raymond (rumored to be a bagman for the Dixie mafia) to get out of it by getting him in the ROTC. Once he got in the ROTC, Clinton wrote a letter to Col. Holmes and told him and the ROTC to go pound sand.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 7, 2004 08:04 PM | PERMALINK

Tim, that's a pretty good point.

I guess that would be a different matter, calling a Clinton a draft dodger, if he had actually been drafted. But given that he wasn't, it's kind of mystifying why people keep bringing it up.

Posted by: scarshapedstar at February 7, 2004 08:07 PM | PERMALINK

How does getting shot make Kerry or Clark "courageous". I've never understood how killing others and getting wounded in the process makes someone courageous. Charles Manson killed a lot of people. Did that make him courageous? Jeffrey Dahmer and Timothy McVeigh were also veterans. McVeigh was a decorated veteran. Like them too? Corporal Adolf Hitler?

No, you want courageous... how about someone who raises golden retriever pups for two years, and then turns the pup they've grown attached to to a blind person. That takes courage.

You blood thirsty war mongering liberals make me want to puke.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 7, 2004 08:10 PM | PERMALINK

Since we are digging up chestnuts:

"I am angry that so many of the sons of the powerful and well-placed... managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units...Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to their country."

Colin Powell’s autobiography, My American Journey, p. 148.

http://www.awolbush.com/

Posted by: 537 votes at February 7, 2004 08:18 PM | PERMALINK

Great post. Keep it up. This story should have had legs in 2000 when the Globe ran it. I am a veteran and I was pissed about the ChickenHawk in chief then. The buzz is all over the air this weekend about AWOL bush. I signed up for google news alerts on "AWOL BUSH" and have been pleased at all the links flowing in. DC talk radio is now discussing as a matter of fact the GW was missing for a year and trying to decide if it will be an issue. Mainstream acceptance of the fact that chimpy was AWOL. Can't wait to see him compared to Kerry at debate time. THats why Kerry is doing so well in the primaries - Dems want to see Kerry ("I know what an aircraft carries is") compared to the craven, chickenhawk, Awol pretender.

Posted by: farmerjack at February 7, 2004 08:35 PM | PERMALINK

Person:

This really isn't about Vietnam; it's about duty and responsibility. Kerry had everything, yet went to do his duty. Clark had nothing, and went to do his duty.

Flyboy is another story. Failing to show up for guard duty is what reflects on his character. Drinking, snorting, and playing for a year; being bailed out by privilege and influence; and of couirse, the denial that continues today ... these are the things at issue.

Posted by: poputonian at February 7, 2004 08:38 PM | PERMALINK

If Kerry took his duty so seriously, then why did he bug out after only four months of shootin' women and children?

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 7, 2004 08:42 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know the answer for sure, but maybe it was the weight of three purple stars.

Posted by: poputonian at February 7, 2004 08:46 PM | PERMALINK

I admit not religiously keeping up with every comment thread associated with AWOL Bush, but I seem to recall three different right-wing morons ***DEMANDING*** citations, proof, that someone pulled strings to get Bush into the Guard.

It took about five minutes to find a reference to Barnes' deposition, and I posted it at the time. Big surprise, all three moron trolls ignored it (at least in that thread ... maybe they admitted they were wrong and changed their tune later ... ha ha, oh my, that was a good laugh).

This should've been properly covered in 2000. Trying to sweep it under the rug as "not important" or "old news" worked back then, when the mainstream lazy corporate media (which conservatives learned how to exploit to our collective dismay) was pretty much the primary information source.

Times have changed. For the better.

Posted by: Observer at February 7, 2004 08:47 PM | PERMALINK

*hearts

Posted by: poputonian at February 7, 2004 08:48 PM | PERMALINK

Mr Barnes was being deposed was there some legal proceeding going on that we should be aware of. Who was actually deposing Barnes?

Timmy,

Barnes gave a deposition in a lawsuit between an ex-Texas Lottery Commission employee and GTech. The employee claimed he was fired because he wanted the Lottery commission to re-bid a contract that was awarded to GTech. Barnes was a lobbyist for GTech, and became one of the highest paid lobbyists in Texas history.

Long story short, the employee claimed that GTech got the Lottery contract because Barnes knew how Bush got into the national guard, which was a big issue in Bush's governor race. Bush gave Barnes special treatment, assigned his personal lawyer to direct the Lottery commission and make sure that no other contract could bid the Lottery contract. This employee went to court, and Barnes gave a deposition. GTech eventually settled out of court with the employee for $300,000.

There's a little more on it here

Posted by: Tuna at February 7, 2004 08:57 PM | PERMALINK

This is a Big issue for veterans. I changed parties in 2000 to vote for John McCain in the PA primary because I felt so strongly about Chimpy's wimp service record back then (especially when he allowed his proxies to besmirch JM's patriotism and service to win the SC primary). It was all over by the time I got to vote, but I cast my first republican vote for John anyway. I am back home with the Dem's (of course I voted for Gore) and started out with Dean, but really like Kerry now as I can't wait for the debates and questions about prior service.

I'm a veteran and I care.

Posted by: FarmerJack at February 7, 2004 08:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well strings may have been pulled -- but they didn't have to have been.

GWB scored in the 25th percentile (a minimum pass) on the pilot (read mechanical aptitude) part of the test, but he scored in the 90th percentile on the leadership part. Moreover he passed the pilot physical which many cannot.

GWB had one other big thing going, the TNG was short 45 pilots and he was willing to spend a year on active duty to be trained (something that few were). Thus whether his Daddy ws a big wig or not, he would have gained a slot. Thus though the TNG had over applications in some positions, if Joe Smith had applied, gotten GW's grades on the tests and been willing to go on active duty for a year to train as a pilot he would have been given a slot.

Folks, there might be something in his service in Alabama. You could miss weekends in the Air guard and make them up later, but they were supposed to be made up in the same quarter you missed them, but the way he got into the TNG is a dry hole.

Posted by: John at February 7, 2004 09:07 PM | PERMALINK

If Dubya scored just in the 25%tile on the pilot section of the AFOQT (Air Force Office Qualification Test), it is unbelievable that he got into a U.S. Air Force training program. That means that 75% of the other candidates taking the test scored higher than he did! He certainly did jump over a lot of other better-qualified applicants if that was his score! He took a slot someone else should have had. I scored in the 30%tile myself just a couple of years before he did but I never aspired to be a pilot because my eyesight was nowhere close to 20-20. That guy has always had things handed to him, hasn't he?

Posted by: Michael at February 7, 2004 09:19 PM | PERMALINK

Slick Willie was drafted. He used his wealthy Uncle Raymond (rumored to be a bagman for the Dixie mafia) to get out of it by getting him in the ROTC. Once he got in the ROTC, Clinton wrote a letter to Col. Holmes and told him and the ROTC to go pound sand.

No. Wrong. Clinton was not drafted. He did back out of the ROTC thing -- because he was not going to be drafted, so he did not need to do it to avoid Vietnam.

This is not a matter of opinion -- it is a matter of fact. Avoiding the draft is perfectly legal -- by the definition employed by Clinton-bashers GWB is a draft-dodger. Draft dodging means breaking the law to avoid a draft lottery that was going to send you to Vietnam.

GWB took the usual politically-connected or rich person's way out -- he found a way into the Guard. But then failed to do his duty. I currently have a friend in the guard -- somehow, I think he would end up in jail if he disappeared for a quarter or two as Bush did.

Posted by: Timothy Klein at February 7, 2004 09:35 PM | PERMALINK

"she's good for one more ride around the block"

Heh, right. Lets get out a fresh pony and talk about Kerry's awesome talents that got him to where he is today. Silver spoon, Yale, marry a multi-millionaire.

Do you know who I am? Out of my way plebian.

Posted by: Reg at February 7, 2004 09:36 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you guys see anything weird about ripping into Bush for his privileged upbringing at the same time nominating a candidate with at least equivalent silver spoon credentials? I mean come on. Do you think Lurch really ended up where he is today because of merit?

Posted by: Reg at February 7, 2004 09:38 PM | PERMALINK

Don't you guys see anything weird about ripping into Bush for his privileged upbringing at the same time nominating a candidate with at least equivalent silver spoon credentials? I mean come on. Do you think Lurch really ended up where he is today because of merit?

Not in the least. As your oh-so-insightful comments show, this will be the Republican tack anyway. If it is daming to Kerry, it is damning to Bush. And I give a 100% assurance that the Right Wing will make damn sure they pin it on Kerry as a damning trait.

If you want to have a rational debate about who we should elect, well, it's time to start acting like it.

Posted by: Timothy Klein at February 7, 2004 09:50 PM | PERMALINK

Kerry doesn't do much for me, but his war service is the real deal, unlike W's cushy stateside flyboy gig he didn't even bother finishing out.

With Whistle-Ass, it's a pattern see -- his "ownership" of the Texas Rangers was a farce too, 2% ownership, mostly with borrowed money no less.

The slime trail of W

Posted by: Troy at February 7, 2004 09:52 PM | PERMALINK

Do you think Lurch really ended up where he is today because of merit?

Yup. Lurch really did go to Vietnam and earn all those medals. He ran for, won and re-won office in a state where most people's reaction to his his daddy's name was zip.

Has his life been easier for having family money? Whose wouldn't be? But unlike Bush, there's no indication that he used family connections to dodge work, responsibility or reality.

Posted by: Molly, NYC at February 7, 2004 09:58 PM | PERMALINK

It's not just that he got special treatment, but what he did with it. Avoiding vietnam was not enough for GWB, he had to wiggle out of even the cush NG slot arranged for him, and arrogantly blew off a year of service like the arrogant ass hole he is. And then he got more special treatment to get out of that mess, and to hide the mess (at taxpayer expense). And now he lies about it and is getting even more special treatment by Pravda (US press), which till now has refused to hold him accountable.

No wonder the POS dresses up in flight suits. He's trying to compensate for what he is not.

We need a GWB affirmative action archive where all of the special treatment accorded the miserable failure is outlined and documented. Let's take him down!

Posted by: obe at February 7, 2004 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

It's not just that he got special treatment, but what he did with it. Avoiding Vietnam was not enough for William Jefferson Clinton, he had to wiggle out of even the cush ROTC slot arranged for him

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 7, 2004 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

This is the very core of what I find most frustrating about Shrub.

The only consistant thread throughout this man's life is that he gets favors and special treatment at each and every turn. Only gets into schools because of his social postition, gets out of Vietnam because of his social position, can go AWOL for 18 months and get away with it because of his social position, gets bailed out of every failed venture because of his social position, gets the presidency over far more qualified, impressive people because of his social position...but THEN he does things like try to abolish affirmative action programs saying people shouldn't get "special treatment".

I really, really hope the Dems don't blow this. There is a lot of BS loaded and ready to fire from Rove & company.

Posted by: ScottSF at February 7, 2004 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

Let's not leave out the point that the president has been less than forthcoming on the details of his National Guard service ... how about oddly vague ... would you believe, outright mistaken?

Of course, it's been said that if you remember 1972 you weren't really there. That's our Bush!

Posted by: bad Jim at February 7, 2004 10:51 PM | PERMALINK

I really strongly feel that Bush will not be re elected.

The shit is beginning to stick.

People are just tired of all this spinning.

People are tired of the widespread corruption and conflcit of interest,

Christ i could exceed the character limit just naming the problems that are starting to pile up and like papercuts, they are really hurting his re-election.

The AWOL thing, I must say, researched in part by bloggers and kept alive by bloggers.

Posted by: Maccabee at February 7, 2004 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

he had to wiggle out of even the cush ROTC slot arranged for him

But unlike WhistleAss, WJC wasn't a warmonger that got 529 (and counting!) US servicepeople killed over lies.

Posted by: Troy at February 7, 2004 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Hey, I thought you guys and gals might be interested.

Noam Chomsky vs. Richard Perle from 1988.

http://www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php?id=8409

Cheers

Posted by: Sean at February 7, 2004 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

"If you want to have a rational debate about who we should elect"

...then why the hell is every post on this site about vietnam service?

I'm getting the feeling that the left is focusing on who served their country better during vietnam because this is the only arena in which Lurch definately has the edge on Bush.

I'm just listening to what I learned growing up. Character doesn't matter and all indiscretions can be forgiven. Lets focus on real issues, and maybe I'll try to be serious.


Posted by: Reg at February 7, 2004 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Yep.. they voted for a lying rapist draft dodger twice, and now they want to give us lectures on voting for candidates who have character.

What a crock of shit. Don't they realize how full of shit and hypocritical they are?

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 7, 2004 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

You fucktards are going to be convinced that Bush is going to lose up until the time that the networks all call the race the moment the polls close. They you will claim Diebold stole the election. Whatever.

You need to get out of your Starbucks and posh little eateries and talk to some real people who actually work for a living. Then you might realize that you are deluding yourselves.

If not, you can just be like the woman who said after McGovern's loss "I can't believe it. I don't know anyone who voted for Nixon!"

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 7, 2004 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Then you might realize that you are deluding yourselves.

And for the first time, more voters in this poll's two years of tracking the question said they would definitely vote against Bush than said they would definitely vote for him.

Somebody's in La-La land, and it ain't us.

Posted by: Troy at February 7, 2004 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Polls, anyone?

We have a presidential commission investigating why our intelligence was so bad that we went to war to avert a non-existent threat.

Another commission is due to report on why we ignored the terrorist threat - the very threat the outgoing administration had warned was the most pressing threat we faced.

As for the budget, the deficit - which planet do you guys come from, anyway?

No, okay, let me guess: you're unhinged by the prospect of gay marriage, aren't you?

Posted by: bad Jim at February 7, 2004 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

Awww, how cute the little right wing vegetable is. Point out the flaws in his elitist draft dodger and suddenly he is all foulmouthed and angry. Of course, I would be angry too if my party was fronted by a cowardly son of a Bush whose warmongering has resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocents, including hundreds of American soldiers doing a job he was protected from.

Hint to RWV – Clinton isn’t in office and attempting to clear Bush using lies about Clinton just makes you look as desperate and weak as you are.

Reg: nice try, but in leadership, service to country, integrity, honesty, concern for the common man, and intelligence there isn’t a single Democratic candidate that doesn’t wipe the floor with Bush.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at February 7, 2004 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

So your comeback is a freakin' poll? Laugh!

You mean the polls that showed Presidents Mondale, Dukakis and Dole winning? Or the ones that had Dean wrapping up the nomination just a month ago?

Put aside your lame polls and try to do some actual objective analysis of what is going to happen over the next nine months. Not wishful thinking and not the politics of the moment. Look at historical trends, economic indicators and add in an "X factor"... the fact that Bush is a lucky man. Things go his way. You think that will change, but you've always thought that and you've always been wrong.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 7, 2004 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

"No, okay, let me guess: you're unhinged by the prospect of gay marriage, aren't you?"

No, I couldn't give a crap if Bruce and Steve want to spend the rest of their life slamming each other. If it makes them happy, it makes me happy.

However, I also believe that Bruce and Steve should have to achieve marital bliss via the legislature and not the courthouse.

In truth, I really believe that the state doesn't even belong in the marriage business. If you want to get married, fine. Go to your pastor and do it. Leave the government out of it.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 7, 2004 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Put aside your lame polls

(the squeaking sound of goalposts moving out the stadium)

hey pal, you're the one who asserted:

"you fucktards are going to be convinced that Bush is going to lose"

I just provided some real-world backing for our belief.

Posted by: Troy at February 7, 2004 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

...then why the hell is every post on this site about Vietnam service?

Hmm, perhaps because that is the subject of this thread?

I really don't care about draft avoidance -- which is what GWB and Clinton did. The GWB AWOL period is somewhat interesting to me, not because it is surprising or I because it convinced me not to vote for Bush, but because of the complete and utter silence it received from the media in 2000. It is at least equal to anything Clinton did during the Vietnam time-frame -- which received 13,000 news stories, compared to GWB's 45.

BUT -- and this is the big but, to most Republicans I talked to during the Clinton years, those Vietnam issues sure as hell seemed to matter to them. So my question (which is blindingly obvious), is why is GWB the patron saint of all things military, when he is as much of weasel as any connected somebody during the Vietnam era? And was he really AWOL?

And Right Wing Veg: you claimed to not be a troll. Well, start acting like it. Calling Clinton a rapist and the posters here fucktards is extremely troll-like behavior.

But I am going to vote for someone other than GWB because of his record as a president -- he has not done one damn thing right since he was elected. He could have personally saved 2000 GIs in Vietnam, while he himself was pumped full of lead, and it still would not have any bearing on the complete and utter failure that his presidency is now.

But if you dislike all this 'gotcha' politics, write your Republican leaders and ask them to knock it off. In the past, Democrats have tried to play the nice-guy part (Dukakis), and gotten destroyed for it by letting the Right Wing Slime machine run rough-shod over them. Not any more. The gloves are off. If you want to investigate every step Clinton took for the last 30 years -- expect the same treatment of your guys.

Posted by: Timothy Klein at February 7, 2004 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

However, I also believe that Bruce and Steve should have to achieve marital bliss via the legislature and not the courthouse.

Kinky. I can't quite picture it. Do you have a link? I've heard of people getting a thrill in churches or graveyards, but courts?

Posted by: bad Jim at February 7, 2004 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

while he himself was pumped full of lead, and it still would not have any bearing on the complete and utter failure that his presidency is now.

:) ah, it's good to keep perspective.

Posted by: Troy at February 7, 2004 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

Troy,

since you love polls so much, here's a new one:
http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/02/07/elec04.prez.poll/

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 8, 2004 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

Dukakis playing "nice guy" is just an Urban legend. There are websites which host old campaign ads, and Dukakis was running some pretty vicious ones himself.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 8, 2004 12:03 AM | PERMALINK

Reasonably interesting:

In a hypothetical matchup against Bush, Kerry trailed 50 percent to 48 among likely voters with a 4.1 percentage-point margin of error. For Kerry, it was big improvement from a month ago, when he trailed Bush 54-40 in a similar comparison.

Thing is, vast swaths of the south are not needed for a Kerry victory. OH, PA, WV, AZ, NV, MO are the critical states. The bible belt and midwest can vote 100% Bush for all I care (they voted 57% and 60%+ Bush, respectively, in 2000).

Posted by: Troy at February 8, 2004 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

It was a Dukakis staffer who was running around with rumors that Bush 41 was having an affair. Dukakis staffers also ran around to the media trying to sell a story about some ex-con who claimed that he sold cocaine to Danny Quayle.

The Dukakis campaign was plenty vicious, just like a yapping Yorkshire Terrier... they just weren't very good at it!

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 8, 2004 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

I'm just listening to what I learned growing up. Character doesn't matter and all indiscretions can be forgiven. Lets focus on real issues, and maybe I'll try to be serious.

I think my ironometer finally broke.

Or to put it another way: Reg, where were you in 1992 and 1996?

Posted by: Anarch at February 8, 2004 12:07 AM | PERMALINK

RWV: ever watched the video of Bush getting the news about September 11? Talk about the deer-in-the-headlights stare!

But he was back in the White House that evening and still made it to bed pretty early. I heard he was rousted again by another threat and had to hustle down to the basement in his pajamas.

It's a hard job being president, I'm sure. That's probably why he takes so many vacations.

Posted by: bad Jim at February 8, 2004 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

There is more at stake than just the presidency. If Kerry writes off the South, then you can kiss about five open Democrat senate seats good bye.

The "ignore the South" strategy also overlooks the fact that some states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Mexico, are all becoming increasingly Republican. Especially so for Minnesota.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 8, 2004 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

Just saw something about the rumours of 41 having an affair. Actually, i kid you not, Linda Tripp was the source of those rumors. She was actually a holdover from Bush in the Clinton admin.
Look it up on google and you can find the story.

Posted by: Marky at February 8, 2004 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

I don't see any Gore state (or NH) going red in this year. FL, maybe, given Jeb.

What I do see is the close states of 2000:

MO 49%
OH 49%
TN 49%
AZ 48%
NV 48%
WV 48%
AR 47%
CO 47%
VA 47%
LA 46%

up for grabs (99EV). Dems are rightly fired up, and independents are SO not voting Bush (2-1 in that poll above) this time around.

Posted by: Troy at February 8, 2004 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Hmm.. "rightwingvegetarian" seems to have his panties tie in knots, as they say on the right side of the aisle:)

Posted by: Marky at February 8, 2004 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Dukakis playing "nice guy" is just an Urban legend. There are websites which host old campaign ads, and Dukakis was running some pretty vicious ones himself.

That's possible with Dukakis -- he is at the very beginning of my political memory. And I just pulled him out of a hat, anyway. But then again, I'm not saying you're right, either. ;-)

Posted by: Timothy Klein at February 8, 2004 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

On Topic (sort of) Hey Veg, sorry buddy, but the reason we are going to win has nothing to do with polls, it's that our side is more motivated than your side.

Off Topic (definitely) I hate to do this, but I just came from Atrios's site, where Haloscan is having one of its periodic spasms. Yep, no comments, so I have to spout here or I am gonna explode all over the monitor. I just have to say that, with the combination of a complete waste of valuable printspace and intellect, and an out of control ego. Thomas Friedman has produced the worst column that I have ever read, yes the column that had the previous honor was some bitchy thing in the Chicago Tribune in 1980,(maybe 81' I don't remember exactly) a few days after John Lennon's death. The lizard who wrote it stated that he was glad that he was dead, and derided him as the pied piper who led a generation astray (He was, he did, and thank God for that.) And yes, I am a political liberal and have read Cal and Anne and Michael and Charles and anyone of a number of right wingers who have made my blood boil. (Because they were right sometimes.)

Well Freidman has written the most schizophrenic column I have ever read on the war on Iraq. 95% of the column is spent laying out a sad story of our "forgotten troops" and laying the blame squarely on the Bush administration for failed resolve and seriousness, no WMD, no cooperation with allies. Well, I'm thinking, right Tom, so now you are coming to this realization one fucking goddamn year and a half after the wheels started spinning on this whole goddamn sordid war cut out of whole cloth preemptive death affair you overpaid piece of shit.

But of course, Tom takes it one step further, after killing far too many trees to state the obvious, Tom takes his own entrails and wraps them securely around his own neck and in the shortest paragraph in the whole sordid tome, and as an afterthought, states something to the effect that, The anti-war movement was (is?) wrong, because this is, afterall, a war of civilizations.

Well Tom, after reading the columnist from Western Civilization who most needs to be dick punched, I'm kinda nervous about the home team.

Posted by: Another Bruce at February 8, 2004 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Reg: Don't you guys see anything weird about ripping into Bush for his privileged upbringing at the same time nominating a candidate with at least equivalent silver spoon credentials? I mean come on. Do you think Lurch really ended up where he is today because of merit?

Over on Tacitus's site, Bird Dog helpfully posted a timeline comparing Kerry to Bush. It's helpful, because it demonstrates how much Bird Dog had to leave out of Bush's life in order to make him look even like Kerry's equal. (To name but a few: the AWOL year, the year Bush stopped taking illegal drugs (1974, according to GWB himself), the insider trading scandard with Harken Oil and three other SEC investigations, the Texas involvement in the Florida election theft... and of course the stolen 2000 election itself.)

I'd actually prefer Dean: I think he'd make a better President. But there are two important things about November: One, any of the Democrat candidates would make a better President than George W. Bush, and Two, line them up side by side and even a Republican loyalist like Bird Dog can see that Kerry is a better choice than Bush and he'd better start censoring Bush's life.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 8, 2004 01:00 AM | PERMALINK

My browsing life has become much more pleasant having stopped being assaulted with the crap that Tactitus's rightwing posters fling from his site.

b-d, macallan, that other guy (moe?), plus the cretinous Timmy haunting the comments like some idiot. Tactitus wants reasoned dialogue, he can come here.

Posted by: Troy at February 8, 2004 01:11 AM | PERMALINK

Think they're worried?

Bush has two commissions reporting on where we went wrong.

An old joke: an outgoing executive presented his replacement with three envelopes consecutively numbered, advising him to open them only when no other choice was available.

The first, consulted when the shit first hit the fan, sounds familiar:

1) blame everything on me

After a couple-few years, we're up to our elbows in the second instance of epistolary advice:

2) form a committee to study the problem

And, I pray, just on the verge of recommending the final words of advice:

3) prepare three envelopes.

Posted by: bad Jim at February 8, 2004 01:25 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think A·Dubya·O·L has any alternative. He will have to release his military records.

Posted by: Physh at February 8, 2004 01:53 AM | PERMALINK

W. will release his military records around the same time Clinton releases his medical records... i.e., never.

Posted by: Right-Wing Vegetarian at February 8, 2004 02:10 AM | PERMALINK

I'm voting Democrat in 2004 for security, prosperity and responsible leadership. Register to vote. Register your family. Register your friends.

The Bush troll brigade can go eat a crap sandwich, hold the bread. Please keep on talking about Clinton, though--remind people that there was time not long ago of prosperity, pretty good policy and the right-wing crazies weren't in charge.

It's worth saying again: Register to vote and register as many likeminded people that you can. Bush's reign of dangerous incompetence, dishonesty and basic corruption will end in 10 months if YOU do your part.

And if a Repuglican makes you mad online (for example, by being an abusive schmuck on Kevin's blog) send a couple bucks to a Democrat trying to beat one of these shitheads where it counts: at the polls.

Posted by: Tim B. at February 8, 2004 02:35 AM | PERMALINK

W. will release his military records around the same time Clinton releases his medical records... i.e., never.

As usual, a strong response.

Posted by: bad Jim at February 8, 2004 02:44 AM | PERMALINK

This Houston Chronicle article describes Ben Barnes as "a supporter of Democratic front-runner John Kerry." That could have some interesting repercussions.

Posted by: penalcolony at February 8, 2004 04:53 AM | PERMALINK

RWV - and why do you think that Bush doesn't want to release his military records? What do you think he's hiding? Is it just the 18 months he was AWOL, or something worse?

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 8, 2004 06:05 AM | PERMALINK

No one doubts that Kerry acted more valiantly than GWB during the Vietnam days.
What people on this board need to remember, though, is that we are not going to elect a president based on behaviour of 30+ years ago.
We will elect a president for the next four years, and it is on that measure that Bush will swamp Kerry.
The idea of President Kerry kissing Chirac's ass is a nauseating one.
Do you think Kerry has the guts to tell Tony Blair, John Howard and Jose Aznar to their faces that they were part of a fraudulent coalition.
Of course not. He doesn't have the guts to follow up his words with actions. That is why he is going to lose (pretty badly, too, in my estimation).
Bush, for better or worse, follows up words with deeds. People will respect him for that and recognize that he has leadership qualities that Kerry just doesn't have (and you can bring out as many vets as you want who said he was a great leader on a river boat, but that just doesn't measure up to the leadership qualities we need now).

Posted by: fw at February 8, 2004 06:14 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, your posts on this are working like some kind of toxic flypaper. The wacko blue-bottles come in, get stuck and then seem to disintegrate. Heart-attacks or seizures or something. Is Charlie from the previous post still alive? Did he survive? Now it looks like you've lost the right-wing veggie.

For this topic you need to put up a warning that defenders of the wimp's military performance better take a few aspirin before jumping in.

Also -- just curious -- can something that eats the shit of carnivores really be called a veg?

Posted by: Karlsfini at February 8, 2004 06:34 AM | PERMALINK

A couple comments. First, to the poster who suggested 25% on a pilot aptitude score was good enough to get Bush into flight school based on a high leadership score--baloney. Run that hogwash past any Naval aviator or other military pilot. Military flight school training is one of the most desired (most commercial pilots are ex-military), most competitive , and most keenly contested schooling in the service.

Second, this entire AWOL issue isn't about trying to get Bush's honorable discharge rescinded. It's just part of a larger pattern that is George Bush's life. He is repeatedly handed undeserved and unearned opportunities, based on his family name. He then proceeds to fail miserably or screw up these opportunities. Then, he walks away as his daddy's friends mop up the mess and shower him with money.

Posted by: JadeGold at February 8, 2004 06:36 AM | PERMALINK

fw -- be careful, you're in over your head. Fools haven't done well on this post. There have been casualties.

Posted by: Karlsfini at February 8, 2004 06:42 AM | PERMALINK

Politically, as always, we need to focus on "The Coverup". It matters less what Bush did or didn't do 30+ years ago but what he has said about it since, especially since 2000. In the 2000 election campaign, Bush could have apologized and put it behind him but he chose instead to pretend his service was exemplary (check out that silly book "A Charge to Keep").

This is the kind of "stupid lie that doesn't really matter" that the SCLM loves.

If you don't believe me take the word of an expert:

Now basically that was the whole story of the Hiss case. It is not the issue that will harm you; it is the cover-up that is damaging." - Richard Nixon speaking to John Erlichman, July 19, 1972.

Posted by: Mark S. at February 8, 2004 06:46 AM | PERMALINK

karlsfini --

what are you talking about?

Posted by: fw at February 8, 2004 06:59 AM | PERMALINK

fw: Do you think Kerry has the guts to tell Tony Blair, John Howard and Jose Aznar...

Three wimps. Now Putin...

But telling any of them off probably isn't our highest national priority.

Bush, for better or worse, follows up words with deeds...

If you mean that Bush does what he says, then I worry you may be in over your head here... I just don't want to see you walk into a propeller.

I have to be away from the computer for about 2 hours -- not church, believe me -- but will be back as soon as I can.

Posted by: Karlsfini at February 8, 2004 07:18 AM | PERMALINK

I think the diminishing quality of right-wing posts here is another sign that Bush is beginning to lose support among conservatives. The thoughtful ones appear to be bailing out. Their dilemma now is their impression that none of the Democrats will fight the "war on terror" as well as Bush. As far as I can tell, they believe that as long as we're killing some arabs somewhere, the "war on terror" is being fought effectively.

Posted by: Paul at February 8, 2004 07:44 AM | PERMALINK

fw writes: "No one doubts that Kerry acted more valiantly than GWB during the Vietnam days."

Actually, quite a few right-wingers doubt this. Head over to Tacitus' blog for more on this. The latest meme is that Kerry was a wimp and a coward because he chose to take advantage of his three "minor" injuries to leave the service. You've even got a couple of them over there saying that, even if the AWOL story is true, Bush's and Kerry's performance during the Vietnam War was about the same.

"What people on this board need to remember, though, is that we are not going to elect a president based on behaviour of 30+ years ago."

I don't think very many of us here forget this. We aren't advocating non-stop coverage of this issue, nor are we forgetting the past few years. But finally seeing this given adequate coverage after seeing it buried in 2000 is definitely worth it, as is the fun of seeing Bush put on the defensive and a little dent put in that "Bush is a straight-shooter" meme.

"We will elect a president for the next four years, and it is on that measure that Bush will swamp Kerry."

Will he? The recent polls do not seem to indicate this. And yes, I know that the Bush campaign has not yet swung into full gear and that early polls like this, when few voters are really paying attention, are worthless, but the reality is that neither candidate is going to "swamp" the other candidate unless something changes dramatically in the next few months.

There are only about a dozen states that are truly up for grabs this year. The rest are pretty solidly either Democratic or Republican. Absent a stunning faux pas or breakthrough of some kind, this has all the earmarks of another nailbiter.

As for Bush's record, it is decidedly a mixed bag. There are quite a few vulnerabilities in that record. It remains to be seen whether the Democratic candidate has the skill to exploit those vulnerabilities.

"The idea of President Kerry kissing Chirac's ass is a nauseating one."

Then don't think about it. The chances of this happening are nil. Advocating international collaboration and cooperation is not the same thing as advocating international butt-kissing. What we are advocating is what candidate George W. Bush said in 2000: "If we're an arrogant nation, they'll resent us. If we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us."

"Do you think Kerry has the guts to tell Tony Blair, John Howard and Jose Aznar to their faces that they were part of a fraudulent coalition."

Of course not. Not only is it not true, it would be stupidly undiplomatic for Kerry to say anything like this (just as it was stupidly undiplomatic for Rumsfeld to talk about "Old Europe," along with other idiocies).

"He doesn't have the guts to follow up his words with actions."

The record doesn't support you on this assertion.

"That is why he is going to lose (pretty badly, too, in my estimation)."

He may lose, but it won't be by much unless something changes dramatically between now and November. The country is too polarized for either side to "lose pretty badly."

"Bush, for better or worse, follows up words with deeds."

Does he? The record doesn't support this, I'm afraid. He screwed up the rebuilding of Afghanistan, including failing to allocate any money for it in his budget. He has screwed up the rebuilding of Iraq, including giving way on just about every pre-war promise he made about Iraq. He has abandoned his principles in quite a few cases (tariff, Medicare, spending, etc.). He certainly talks tough, but when you look at the record, it just doesn't hold up.

"People will respect him for that and recognize that he has leadership qualities that Kerry just doesn't have"

Now that's just laughable.

Posted by: PaulB at February 8, 2004 07:46 AM | PERMALINK

Paul B --

Good responses to my earlier post.
A couple of rejoinders:
1. you say that it would be undiplomatic to tell Blair, Howard and Aznar to their face that they were part of a fraudulent coalition. Well, Kerry has accused Bush of going to war with such a coalition, which consisted primarily of the UK, Australia and Spain. If he is to make the accusation here at home, he should have the guts to make it abroad as well, or else he should recant his (in my mind absurd) claim that the coalition that supported the US in the Iraq endeaveour was in some way fraudulent. He should have to either back up his statement with some evidence or back off.

2. regarding Kerry's perceived inability to follow up words with actions:
He was in favor of Saddam being kicked out of Kuwait, but voted AGAINST that war.
He tells us now that he didn't want the US to go to war in Iraq last year, but he voted FOR that one.
Once at war, he claims to be mostly interested in the welfare of the troops, yet he votes AGAINST the money to make their task easier.

Words = one thing
Votes = another

That is the unfortunate pattern of most senators, which is why so few of them get elected President. I don't see anything special about Kerry (charisma, vision, etc.) that would make him overcome all this baggage.

Kennedy was by all accounts a special campaigner and motivator (all before my time, I'm afraid), and thus could overcome his senatorial record.
Do you really think that Kerry is in that league?
I don't see it.

3. I agree that the race will not be a blowout by Reagan standards, but in this divisive environment, a 53-46-1 result is pretty decisive.
It should also lead to a 40 state victory by Bush.

Who knows, I may be wrong, but I think this thread is getting a little carried away with the prospects of a President Kerry.

Anyway, nine months is an eternity in politics, so I'll caveat all my predictions with that thouoght.

Posted by: fw at February 8, 2004 08:35 AM | PERMALINK

It should also lead to a 40 state victory by Bush.

In your dreams, FW. In your dreams. Bush couldn't win the last election - what makes you think he's going to win this one?

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 8, 2004 08:51 AM | PERMALINK

Jesurgislac --

Look its silly to argue about exactly what will happen because we don't know.

All I can do is look at the candidates, their history,their personalities, the current political environment, and make a guess.

Your guess may be different from mine, that's OK.

I may make a different guess next week, or next month, but that makes no difference whatsoever.

All that matters is what the final results are in November. The rest is just opinions being bandied back and forth, and there is no reason to get particularly hot and bothered by one that is contrary to yours.


Posted by: fw at February 8, 2004 09:04 AM | PERMALINK

fw.

1. Blair, Howard and Aznar are tools, and 80%+ of their respective populations know it. You may recall Bush's address to the Australian Parliament. Kerrey will be in office long after Blair and Aznar depart the scene (dunno about Howard).

2. War is not the only policy response available. It is possible to be FOR removing Saddam from Kuwait without having to vote FOR an authorization for war.

3. 53-46-1

As 2000 showed, the popular vote doesn't mean squate. I don't know where you think the 3 rubes in 100 will come to switch their 2000 votes from (R) to (D), but I do know that independents are NOT voting for Bush this time. Even my mom isn't voting for him, and she is strongly anti-abortion, and bought the 'god's-gift-to-america' post 9/11 bs about Bush.

I think it is entirely possible that Kerry will exceed Clinton's EV (as Perot showed in 1992 if you lose the independents you are FUCKED), but to the extent JOBS come back to Clinton levels the playfield will be leveled.

OBL is a non-issue ("thanks George, 'bout time"), and AQ terror is also (if it happens, "way to go George", if it doesn't, "we'll have had 3 years of bullshit airport security measures for nothing).

Posted by: Troy at February 8, 2004 09:18 AM | PERMALINK

fw, my point about the popular vote can be amplified by analyzing 2000. Caucus turnouts in Iowa and Washington (10x 2000's numbers) show the Dem base is MOTIVATED to throw W out on ass, so I think it's safe to assume every Gore/Nader state (except FL) will stay blue this year.

Then we can look at this list of close states:

MO 49%
OH 49%
TN 49%
AZ 48%
NV 48%
WV 48%
AR 47%
CO 47%
VA 47%
LA 46%

The (D) needs 1 big one from this list, or 2 small states like NV and WV. Barring divine intercession for W, I don't see how even pervasive rigged Diebold vote counting could keep all these states (R) this time around.

Though I am undoubtedly misunderestimating the wallop Bush's campaign warchest will fund. My hope is that the electorate is waking up and won't be fooled by the flim-flam.

Posted by: Troy at February 8, 2004 09:28 AM | PERMALINK

Also note there is not one bible belt or midwest state in that list. Useful polls should concentrate on the above swing states.

Posted by: Troy at February 8, 2004 09:32 AM | PERMALINK

Troy,

You're right. If Kerry wins all of Gore's states plus one or two from your list above he wins. That is stating the obvious.
Similarly, if Bush wins either PA or MI (and don't think that Kerry's envirnomental votes won't hurt him in Michigan), its all over anyway.

As I said before, who knows how its going to turn out. Just don't get too excited about a President Kerry too soon.
While Bush's price in the futures market has been dropping a bit in the past ten days, he is still a 2-1 favorite to be reelected. Keep that in mind before you send Theresa to measure the White House for drapes.

Posted by: fw at February 8, 2004 09:48 AM | PERMALINK

Look its silly to argue about exactly what will happen because we don't know.

Sure, FW. Your guess is that the man who lost the election last time, who loses against every Democratic candidate except Dean in the polls, and who presided over the worst security failure in American history, is somehow going to scrape victory this time. Your guess? Your hopeful fantasy.

Posted by: Jesurgislac at February 8, 2004 09:54 AM | PERMALINK

now that this site has comment permalinks I just wanted to flesh out my argument for future recollection. Since I had seen and made judgement on the available information that Bush was a fraud and his administration a clownshow somewhat early (sometime between Afghanistan and Iraq), it's refreshing that more & more of the country is waking up and smelling odour of this presidency.

In 2000 I was not vehemently anti-Bush, nor anti-Republican (I voted for a (R) senator candidate against Feinstein). How W and his enabling (R) cohorts have trashed my country these past 3+ years animates my animosity.

Posted by: Troy at February 8, 2004 09:57 AM | PERMALINK

Two points, Troy:

Kerrey will be in office long after Blair and Aznar depart the scene (dunno about Howard).

I assume you mean presumptive President John Kerry, not ex-Senator Bob Kerrey? Common enough typo but I always like to be sure :)

so I think it's safe to assume every Gore/Nader state (except FL) will stay blue this year.

I wouldn't be too sure about Wisconsin. Gore did win here in 2000, but a) only by the narrowest of margins (Florida-close, IIRC), and b) pretty much every liberal in the state already voted in 2000 so I doubt you'll get much more turnout from previously unregistered Dems. [Also, c) there were enough voting irregularities that I wouldn't even be willing to swear that Gore really did win the state :/ ] I'm guessing that, whoever the Dem nominee, WI is going to be put in play relatively early and therefore shouldn't be counted as a lock.

Posted by: Anarch at February 8, 2004 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

WI is going to be put in play relatively early and therefore shouldn't be counted as a lock

Bush is polling 38% vs generic dem 54%, with Kerry having 45% support.

http://www.dcpoliticalreport.com/2004/WIPoll.htm

If the sitting president loses the independents, they're screwed. Just ask Poppy.

I do think polls are mostly meaningless, but it's always better to have a poll on your side than not. The economy (jobs) and Iraq can still go either way (better for Bush or ... not) between now and November, but their trends this past year have not been conducive to a Bush re-election.

Plus some big 9/11 shoes are still going to drop with eg. the Clarke book on what Bush knew and when. How 9/11 turned Bush into a hero has been mind-boggling to me; if it had happened on Gore's watch Gore would have been impeached by now.

Posted by: Troy at February 8, 2004 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

FW wrote: "WIf he is to make the accusation here at home, he should have the guts to make it abroad as well"

There are two answers to this:

1. Kerry's comments were directed at Bush. Bush's claims about the "coalition" he developed were highly misleading. Kerry is simply pointing that out.

2. Every national leader out there knows about the reality of politics. Political rhetoric prior to an election is always given a lot of leeway. Blair, et. al, aren't going to care one whit about Kerry's comments. And if Kerry is elected, he isn't going to bother repeating them anymore than Bush will continue to talk about Kerry's record if Bush should be re-elected.

"regarding Kerry's perceived inability to follow up words with actions:"

I'm not going to bother responding to your comments because, even assuming that your analysis of Kerry's record is precisely correct, he still doesn't come out any worse than Bush. So, just as you ignored my comments about Bush, I'll ignore your comments about Kerry. They both have exploitable weaknesses.

"Do you really think that Kerry is in that league? I don't see it."

It doesn't really matter. The election will hinge on Bush's record far more than it does on Kerry's (absent a true smoking gun, of course). That's just the nature of a presidential election where an incumbent is running.

"I agree that the race will not be a blowout by Reagan standards, but in this divisive environment, a 53-46-1 result is pretty decisive.
It should also lead to a 40 state victory by Bush.
"

Sigh...first of all, you're ignoring the other polls that show Kerry a clean winner over Bush. Second, you're ignoring the fact that polls this early in the campaign season are virtually meaningless. Third, you're ignoring the fact that where those votes are actually located matters. As we've already seen, a candidate can win the popular vote and lose the election.

I repeat: there are few states that are truly up for grabs. There is no way that either candidate is going to win 40 states, absent any cataclysmic occurrence.

Posted by: PaulB at February 8, 2004 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

FW: "Kerry doesn't have the guts to follow up his words with actions... Bush, for better or worse, follows up words with deeds. People will respect him for that."

Sigh. Okay, I'll bite...

"I don’t think nation-building missions are worthwhile."
Source: Presidential Debate at Wake Forest University Oct 11, 2000

“We're working hard to make sure your job is easier, that the port is safer. The Customs Service is working with overseas ports and shippers to improve its knowledge of container shipments, assessing risk so that we have a better feel of who we ought to look at, what we ought to worry about.”-- 6/24/02 (Bush’s 2003 and 2004 budgets provide nothing for port security grants. In August, he vetoed all $39 million for the Container Security Initiative that he specifically touted.)

"Governor Bush will work with Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, consumer and environmental groups and industry to develop legislation that will … Establish mandatory reduction targets for emissions of four main pollutants: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury and carbon dioxide." [Sept. 9, 2000]. Less than two months after taking office, President Bush reversed himself, writing in a letter to several Senators, “I do not believe . . . that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide.”

The Bush Administration called the tax cut package, which was passed in May 2003 and took effect in July 2003, its "Jobs and Growth Plan." The president's economics staff projected that the plan would result in the creation of 5.5 million jobs by the end of 2004—306,000 new jobs each month, starting in July 2003... The administration projected that a total of 2,142,000 jobs would be created in the first seven months after the tax cuts took effect. In fact, only 296,000 jobs were created over that period for a cumulative shortfall of 1,846,000 jobs. [source: www.jobwatch.org]

“I want to thank the Boys & Girls Clubs across the country…The Boys & Girls Club have got a grand history of helping children understand the future is bright for them, as well as any other child in America.”-- 1/30/03 (Bush’s 2002 budget proposed eliminating all federal funding for the Boys and Girls Club of America.)

Q: Let’s suppose that the projected surpluses in your tax plan fail to materialize in full or in part. What part of your tax package gets dropped first?
A: I refuse to accept the premise that surpluses are going to decline if I’m the president. I think they’re going to increase, because my plan will increase productivity by cutting marginal rates. [Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999]

"First and foremost, we've got to make sure we fully fund LIHEAP [the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program], which is a way to help low-income folks, particularly here in the East, pay their high fuel bills." He then sliced $300 million out of that program.

“A secure and efficient border is key to our economic security.”-- 9/9/02 (Bush promised more INS/Border Patrol staff and facilities, but provided no funding. He vetoed $6.25 million for promised pay upgrades for Border Patrol agents, and his 2004 Budget slashes “Border and Transportation Security” by $284 million.)

"I’m not sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say this is the way it’s got to be... I think one way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American is for us to go around the world saying, we do it this way, so should you. I think the United States must be humble." Source: Presidential Debate at Wake Forest University Oct 11, 2000

"I ask the Congress to commit $15 billion over the next five years, including nearly $10 billion in new money, to turn the tide against AIDS in the most afflicted nations of Africa and the Caribbean." (SOTU, 2003)

That'll do for starters.

Patrick Meighan

Posted by: Patrick Meighan at February 8, 2004 01:59 PM | PERMALINK

Karlsfini:

"Is Charlie from the previous post still alive? Did he survive?"

Thanks for your concern. I usually don't have computer access over the weekends (important stuff like church, family, my birthday - stuff like that). Again, it truly touches me that you were so genuinely concerned.

Posted by: Charlie at February 9, 2004 09:05 AM | PERMALINK

yes i know, i spelled democrat weird. That was on purpose. George Bush sucks! Look what he did to our fucking economy! He didn't even win the fucking popular vote! Gore was pretty cool I guess, now I'm for Kerry or *god forbid* Dean. Did George Bush get help? Most likely. Should you people care who John Kerry marries? Unless it's George Bush himself (nothing against gays, I have gay friends, but that would be very weird, no?), NO! Free will dudes. Soooo in conclusion, should we have Georgette Bushy and DickHead Inchains serve another round? NOPE.

Posted by: StarStruckDemikrattie at February 11, 2004 04:45 PM | PERMALINK

hi

Posted by: penis enlargement at August 8, 2004 09:10 AM | PERMALINK
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