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March 05, 2004

9/11 IMAGERY....You know, I've been trying to work up some outrage over the use of 9/11 imagery in the new Bush ads, but it's just not happening. I really don't see anything wrong with it.

Granted, there's a thin line between legitimate symbolism and outright exploitation, and if Bush ends up, say, laying a cornerstone for a new skyscraper at Ground Zero during the Republican convention, he will have gone way over the line. But alluding to 9/11 and trying to take credit for his response? That seems like pretty standard issue politics.

In fact, what I really wish is that Democrats weren't so queasy about this kind of stuff. Frankly, I'd like to see John Kerry run an ad using the same kind of imagery and hitting Bush hard on his foreign policy failures. After all, there's plenty to criticize in Bush's reaction to 9/11, and there's nothing wrong with Democrats using imagery that shows they're as serious about it as Bush is.

Posted by Kevin Drum at March 5, 2004 10:02 AM | TrackBack


Comments

Seriously, why are the democrats so afraid to talk about national security? I just finished a post outlining nine ways in which John Kerry's war on terror would be vastly superior to George Bush's. It's time Kerry started talking about some of them.

Posted by: Lionel Levine at March 5, 2004 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

That's not the point, Kevin. The point is to slow the mo that $10million in TV advertising can get you. and having family of victims speaking against it is awesome.

As is the horrible jobs report. Changes the focus of the media coverage. Those $10 mil now are effectively, what, half of that in terms of positive W momentum?

(Disclaimer: of course a bad job report is not good per se. Unless you buy into the lucky duckies theory.)

Posted by: Alejandro Andreotti at March 5, 2004 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

"Vote for me or 9.11 will happen AGAIN!" - GW Bush

Posted by: jack at March 5, 2004 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Good point, but I think part of the problem is that Bush is stonewalling the commission charged with determining exactly what happened, and then uses 9/11 as a political boon. Also, showing the firefighters is relevant to him how? Those guys were getting people out of the buildings while Bush got on AF1 and hid somewhere.

It's like Iraq: Bush acts as if he dressed up in black, parachuted into Iraq with a knife in his teeth, and nabbed Saddam by himself. I'm tired of this chickenhawk acting like The Great American Hero/War God.

So I'm not outraged that he references it, but the way he does it sure comes off as crass.

Posted by: Gaska at March 5, 2004 10:11 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, if Bush wants to remind people that he's responsible for the worst security failure in 50 years, if not ever, fine by me.

Posted by: Grumpy at March 5, 2004 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Poor Kevin, he's just too honest and decent a guy to be running a leftist blog.

Oh well, at least atrios doesn't permit honesty or decency to cause him to drift off-mesage.

Posted by: Frank at March 5, 2004 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

So it's ok to use 9/11 firefighter's caskets in campaign ads but it's not ok to see caskets of soldiers who died in Iraq on the news?

Posted by: bubba at March 5, 2004 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Hello. Although I agree somewhat with your statements regarding Bushs' use of 9/11 and media to promote his presidency---IN THEORY, what bugs me most about this is his blatant hypocricy AGAIN. He won't allow television to show us coffins of our dead soldiers because thats too "traumatic" yet he has no problem showing 9/11 images over and over and over and over. It's pure politics. If he really cared about not causing more pain to the families of tragedy he wouldn't use these images. He's a liar.

Posted by: EK at March 5, 2004 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

I wish the Democrats would do a commercial with the exact same images, superimposed with the headlines "Bush opposes creation of Department of Homeland Security," "Bush opposes creation of 9/11 Commission," "Bush opposes extension of 9/11 Commission deadline," "Bush refuses to testify before 9/11 Commission," "9/11 Commission rejects Bush offer of 1 hour of testimony," . . .

Juxtapose the image with the reality.

Posted by: Greg VA at March 5, 2004 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Trying to channel Machiavelli, my guess is that the point is not really to object to the content of the ads but rather to make the ads into an issue on their own, and thereby to defeat what I think was their purpose.

Of course, "no publicity is bad publicity," so making an issue of these ads actually adds to their reach. But I think it's worth it, because it changes the whole frame -- from gauzy patriotism to sleazy advertising -- for the FIRST ads of the Bush campaign.

First impressions are lasting. And now the entire Bush campaign has an odor of manipulation and exploitation. I think it was a good move.

Posted by: bleh at March 5, 2004 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

I get the impression it was the 9/11 families who got upset first at Dubya - who hasn't been to any military funerals from the victims of his dumbass war - using a picture of a dead fireman or police officer being carried from Ground Zero, not the Democrats as such.

The bastard is shameless.

Posted by: Susan Paxton at March 5, 2004 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

Here's what's wrong with Bush using 9/11 in this way:

- His repeated attempts to surreptitiously kill the 9/11 commission.

- His failure to respond to the people who, you know, actually did the deed.

- His cynical use of 9/11 to go after Iraq, something he, (OK, his puppet-masters), wanted to do all along.

- And looking head a bit, to a future we probably won't see: his outrage over Democrats doing what you (Kevin) suggest.

I think that Bush (and Giuliani) are going to be given some leeway on this issue because of their presence in New York on 9/11. That doesn't make their exploitation of 9/11 right, but they do have this edge.

Posted by: mr bill at March 5, 2004 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Re:honesty and decency

Is that how you would like dems to run the campaign? that's unilateral disarmament. It's plain stupid. Great plan for losing. Pick up a (very minimal) set of bedrock principles. anything else is game.

This is game.

Posted by: Alejandro Andreotti at March 5, 2004 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

The point of the ads is allegedly Bush's steady leadership in the wake of the attack -- but what about the first 24 hours when Bush was a freaked out chicken shit -- reading to eolementary school kids, flying around the country in fear, LYING about a threat to Air Force One, and then his first speech, which was not impressive and nothing he can be proud of. If the first hours of Bush's reaction is emphasized, he looks really bad. If he wants his leadership to be the issue, let's make it the issue.

Also his longer term reaction -- the cartoonish good versus evil claptrap -- was good leadership only for fearful, emotional dimwits.

Bring it on aWol!

Posted by: nine at March 5, 2004 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, remember how outraged Republicans were over how political the Wellstone funeral was....I fail to see the difference between the Bush commericals and a funeral turning into a political rally. If it was tasteless then, it is tasteless now. Besides, I seem to remember that the Bush people specifically said they would not use 9/11 in any advertising campaign. I guess now that they can't use his picture in his flight suit, 9/11 will have to do.

Posted by: Keith at March 5, 2004 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Standard issue politics?

You mean, like, they do this every time a terroist organization murders a few thousand Americans inside the US?

9/11 sure did change everything, didn't it?

Posted by: 16 at March 5, 2004 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Better to let the repugs sound off for a while and backtrack their own percieved weaknesses. We don't want to start the contest too early before we are ready.

Kerry needs to rest up for a while, regroup and begin planning a presidential rather than nomination campaign and also raise some needed cash.

Act I whent very well, act II needs to build on that success, let's not rush it this is too important.

Regards

p.s. I agree there's really no there there regarding 9/11 imagery and both sides are going to use it, but hey let the partisans have at it. Keeping AWOL on the back foot while we regroup can only benifit in the long run.

Posted by: postit at March 5, 2004 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

Taking a page out of the Republican book --give up nothing attack on everything. If CNN is going to use Ann Coulter as a pundit then they have said --no discussion this is all about who can stay on message and Democrats should not give up an inch to the Republicans. The Republican convention is in NY on 9/11 just what do you think is coming down the pike
Bushco is in trouble he is down 17 points in Cal and the groper made no public appearances with him on the recent trip.
Attack Republicans everyday on every issue

Posted by: ann at March 5, 2004 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Where da cats?

Posted by: Matt at March 5, 2004 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

Well I dislike Bush as much as most lefties, but I am not outraged by the 9/11 images. I pretty much expected it. Of course it is in poor taste, and it needs to be thrown back at him. But it is not really outrageous to me. The 9/11 families have every right to be outraged however.

But as a fair response, the Dems should ask, what was Bush doing on the morning of 9/11? When exactly did he realize America was under attack and what did he do about it? And what is he hiding from the 9/11 investigation?

And Dems should also point out lots of caskets have been created in Iraq.

So the Dems should spare the outrage (although I have not seen any Dem leaders showing outrage over this frankly), and instead simply ask some questions of Bush in return.

Posted by: Alex at March 5, 2004 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

There's also one other thing to remember..one of Bush's themes in 2000 was "honor and integrity", in fact, that's one of the hallmarks for the GOP nationwide.

None of these misleading rah-rah ads should be left unchallenged. Every single one should be critized and scandalized.

I think it's called the truth...

Posted by: Karmakin at March 5, 2004 10:21 AM | PERMALINK

The showing of them hauling out a flag covered body/partial body is slimey. If they wanted an accuarate portrayal of the events in his administration then they could put a few body bags from Iraq in there too.

The building they show looks like like WTC4 or WTC5 which did not have people killed in them (though parts did fall in during the explosions/collapses).

Still, another promise broken when in Jan 2002 Bush said he would not use Sept. 11 for political purposes.

I *loath* the GOP. Make me opine for the progressive days of Nixon!

Posted by: Doc at March 5, 2004 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

postit:

No. Attack always. Attack now. Attack yesterday. Attack preemptively. Don't give them any air.

I like the idea of asymmetric warfare here. Dems have a huge money deficit compared to BC'04. Dems should use low cost alternatives to keep the fire on W until they get closer to parity.

Posted by: Alejandro Andreotti at March 5, 2004 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

The fact is, the article Kevin referenced says nothing about Democrats being outraged. The 9/11 families can certainly feel outraged-- that is their right!
So where's the beef anyway?

Posted by: Alex at March 5, 2004 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Dems didn't used to be so fastidious. Kevin may be old enough to remember the notorious 1964 "daisy ad", which hinted (with the sublety of a fleet of Mack trucks) that Goldwater's finger was a bit light on the nuclear trigger.

(You can watch it here: http://www.ammi.org/cgi-bin/video/years.cgi?1964,0,300,x,,)

Outrageous, indefensible.

But, hey - are Republicans going to play fair? -do voters prefer shy, well-mannered candidates?

Posted by: Dave L at March 5, 2004 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Someone please show me a reference for Democrats being "squeamish" or "fastidious" over this ad!

Posted by: Alex at March 5, 2004 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

But alluding to 9/11 and trying to take credit for his response?

No. Using footage of corpses being lifted out in flag-draped coffins. There's a perfectly decent lump of footage from Bush's visit to the WTC site which he could use, if he weren't possibly embarrassed by the fact that Osama hasn't 'heard from him' in a while.

As others have said, there's no film of coffins returning from Iraq to be used in juxtaposition with that lovely 'Mission Accomplished' stunt or that lovely turkey moment.

Posted by: ahem at March 5, 2004 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

The best way to discuss these Bush 9/11 ads with the opposition is to say, "Fine, the biggest security lapse in our nation's history occurs on his watch, so why won't he cooperate with the independent 9/11 commission."

That's the issue with these ads, and they provide a great opportunity. It's all about the independent 9/11 commission. Keep hammering at that, over and over.

That's a much better argument than taking offense at the blood and gore. The Repubs are finding plenty of 9/11 survivors who like the ads. That's not the issue. The issue is the 9/11 commission.

Posted by: three dots at March 5, 2004 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

hey - are Republicans going to play fair?

I dunno. Ask Max Cleland what he thinks. Or John McCain's adopted daughter what she thinks.

Posted by: ahem at March 5, 2004 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

Shouldn't Kerry make a call out to George Bush to stop messing around, and go after bin Laden. Something along the lines of "George, for too long you have been following false leads in the war on terorism. We all know you the number one culprit was, and I think it is time you shifted resources back into bringing justice to Osama bin Laden."
It would be getting out in front of the story if he is caught ( I will be very suprised if he is not caught or killed by November), and he can take credit on the issue after Bush follows his lead.

Posted by: theCoach at March 5, 2004 10:29 AM | PERMALINK

I don't think there's anything wrong with the 9/11 ad. But I do think it would be good to score points by attacking Bush over it. Make people think twice when they watch it. Cynical? You bet. But this is politics and any way to puncture the message of the opponent is fine.

Posted by: Elrod at March 5, 2004 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

As I said in another thread, the problem with the ads is that Bush is spending millions to remind us of the 9/11 attacks and scare the population of the country for his political gain. OBL could not ask for more, and this is why, I believe, there haven't been more attacks since 9/11.

I don't know if I would give KR and his troupe this much credit, but I do wonder if they could have planned this: We'll keep Americans scared by publicizing the 9/11 attacks ad nauseum, and at the same time, Al Queda won't perpetrate any new attacks because there won't be any need to, as we will be keeping the fear from 9/11 alive for them.

Thus, we can say, "You are in danger and need to keep the war president in place to protect America", and "Look what a good job we are doing - there haven't been any more attacks."

Simply put, the ads show Bush is a traitor, as he is advancing the cause of the terrorists for his own political gain.

Posted by: GaryB at March 5, 2004 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

A Kerry ad to emphasize bush's handling of pre and post 911?

How about this one:

Uncle Sam is shown grinning--his two front teeth shining white--while standing proudly on a Clinton budget surplus.

A caption comes across the screen:

"In one of their first acts as President... bush and cheney disregarded Clinton's bipartisan commision on homeland security."

In the next scene a fist come plummenting from the sky and knocks Uncle Sam's two front teeth down his throat.

Blood, choking and anguish...

Fade out to the next scene:

...a snaggle-toothed Uncle Sam slumps in a multi-trillion dollar trench.

The caption reads: Despite spending your kid's future tax dollars like a couple of drunk sailor's your borders are not secure, containers are entering this country unchecked...etc. etc. and Uncle Sam is still afraid to smile...

You call that leadership?

Posted by: -pea- at March 5, 2004 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

The point is to slow the mo that $10million in TV advertising can get you.

Which is, no mo at all. "Positive" ads don't really help candidates who are already well known to voters. So the more of their ill-gotten $$$ they pump into this phase, the better. Little-remembered fact of the day: in 1996, "genius" Karl Rove ran the well funded but disastrous Phil Gramm campaign.

What does bother me about these ads (and many others, GOP and Dem) is that they're mostly populated by paid actors, but that's just my unreasonable idealism showing.

Posted by: penalcolony at March 5, 2004 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Obviously there has to be 9/11 imagery. But some images are wrong to use. The planes hitting, the towers falling, and BODIES BEING RECOVERED are all out of line. His commercial used a persons coffin being brought out, and that is wholly inappropriate.

Posted by: TMorgan at March 5, 2004 10:36 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin : Thank you for being a voice of moderation in a sea of loony left conspiracy nuts. Man, I thought the right wing loonies were scary until I started reading some of the manifestos on here. After reading some of these semi-literate posts, I am beginning to wonder what in the world Presdient Bush is not responsible for.

Posted by: JD at March 5, 2004 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Of course, undecided voters need to be reminded that another 9/11 has not happened because of GWB. That, and if the Dems keep making life easier for terrorist, the fact that 9/11 was neither the worst security failure in 50 years, nor ever should Kerry win, in our nation's history. I posted 3 other "greater security lapses" on the other thread yesterday - I have to go for the weekend though - have fun and I'll see you all Monday.

Posted by: Charlie at March 5, 2004 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Here're the reasons it's fair game:

- Bush said he'd get Osama dead or alive -- he didn't deliver
- Bush said his Iraq invasion was justified by 911 (al Qaeda) ties -- he was lying
- Bush said he'd fully support the 911 commission investigation -- he lied and continues to stonewall
- Bush said he'd ensure federal funds to restore the NY firefighters/police after 9/11 -- he was lying again
- Bush said he wouldn't exploit 911 for political gain -- now he's lying again with these campaign ads

How can you not be outraged?

Posted by: melior at March 5, 2004 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

The question is not only whether there is anything wrong with Bush using the images. The question is also whether there is anything wrong with the Democrats using survivors of 9-11 victims to drive home the point that Bush is playing politics with 9-11.

The answers are either no and no or yes and yes.

I agree that Kerry should also 'use that sort of thing', but he can't *afford* to do it yet. This way he gets free media to put Bush on the defensive while he raises money to run his own adds. I imagine that his strategy is something like this; Make sure that everyone knows that the choice to make 9-11 into a political football was Bushes, and then steal that football by showcasing the ways Bush has left us vulnerable to another attack.

Posted by: jon at March 5, 2004 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

It's all about the independent 9/11 commission. Why won't the president cooperate? When Bush puts himself next to images of 9/11, that's the question he raises.

A little jujitsu, folks. When they show Bush and 9/11, turn the question back on them.

Posted by: three dots at March 5, 2004 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

I agree that the use of the 9/11 images is in poor taste, and in contradiction (surprise, surprise!) of a promise Bush made. (Of course, all that flight suit footage is pretty much useless now, so I guess they had to go with *something*...)

But upthread commentators are right: It isn't so much Democrats that are outraged, it's the families of 9/11 victims (who are far from satisfied in getting their questions answered), firefighters, and others who, IMO, have exactly the right moral standing to call Bush on it.

And bully for them. Coupled with the lackluster jobs report, the revelations that the White House apparently scotched Pentagon plans to take out the guy who may have been responsible for the recent suicide bombing carnage in Iraq, the ongoing Plame investigation, and so much more, Bush's vaunted campaign machine continues to get off on the wrong foot.

Headlines like "Bush defends use of 9/11 images" are just what this country needs. Bush *should* have to defend his lousy performance in office. I completely agree that the Democrats need to keep the pressure up, but if some of that pressure comes from other groups justifiably outraged by Bush's actions, so much the better.

And it's a sheer pleasure to see the Rove team that wanted to be viewed as an inevitable force be revealed publicly as the gang that can't shoot straight.

That said, if the GOP wants to make Bush's performance WRT 9/11 a campaign issue, I say bring it on. Kerry and the Democrats can ask any number of uncomfortable questions -- like, why Bush continues to stonewall the 9/11 commission -- and better still, pledge to get answers once elected.

To be honest, though, it's exactly that prospect that worries me the most about this Administration. From the energy commission to the 9/11 panel to the Plame investigation and more, this Administration's modus operandi has been secrecy and stonewalling, not accountability. I'd imagine they regard the prospect of a Democratic president in 2005 as a serious threat. Watch for Bush to issue a bunch of pardons in January 2004, at the very least.

Posted by: Gregory at March 5, 2004 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Kerry should never--NEVER--mention Osama Bin Laden's name. Remember, Bush has 9 months to catch him (or produce him, if he's under wraps already), and if Kerry at any time says it's important to catch OBL, he cedes Bush the advantage. It's way too risky. Just keep pointing out all the problems with Afghanistan and Iraq. Make that the issue.

Posted by: englishprofessor at March 5, 2004 10:43 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin is right, you are pretending to be overly sensitive.

Over the top would have been an ad showing people jumping to their deaths with a voice over saying "Islamist terrorists forced these people to choose between jumping from a 200 story building and being incinerated. Next time they will have nuclear weapons. Do you think they will use them?"

Posted by: Sebastian Holsclaw at March 5, 2004 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmm. I had thought that Kevin had gone over the edge with the AWOL stuff, but I guess he's pulled himself back to the "reasonable" side. Probably much to some folks' disappointment.

Now, if I had recalled the Dems getting outraged at Clinton's political use of Oklahoma City, or the NAACP's political use of the James Byrd death, maybe they'd have a point. But...

In any case, I'll assume, now, that Kerry will not be showing any ads which allude to Vietnam - where over 50,000 Americans died. Right? *rolling eyes*

Posted by: Al at March 5, 2004 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Did Bill Clinton use pictures of the Oklahoma City bombing or WTC I in his '96 campaign? No, he would not have been so vulgar, insensitive, and tasteless.

Bush's use offends me because he did nothing to combat Al Qaeda pre 9/11, was grossly inadequate
on that day, stonewalls the 9/11 commission, and has shortchanged first responders.

Posted by: Bob H at March 5, 2004 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

Many of the families of those killed on 9-11 are already fed-up with Bush and this apparently is the last straw with them. And, Guiliani notwithstanding, I think this story has very long legs and I expect the ads to be edited with all references to 9-11 taken out. I emailed Bush thanking him for exploiting 9-11 for political gain and I'm glad I did and I did mean it. ABB

Posted by: Mary Alice at March 5, 2004 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

The problem with it is that Bush PROMISED he wouldn't turn 9/11 into a political issue and that is EXACTLY what he has done.

If the families are distressed over the ads, he should actually LISTEN TO AMERICANS and pull the ads.

So...we have the usual from this administration - LIES and CONDESCENSION TOWARD AVERAGE AMERICANS.

Posted by: jillian at March 5, 2004 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

Sebastian, If you don't want terrorists to have nuclear weapons, vote for Kerry.
Bush has the worst anti-proliferation record in decades.

Posted by: marky at March 5, 2004 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

An awful lot of you are saying that it's outrageous for Bush to use these images because of his horrible, hypocritical, cynical, failing policies on terrorism.

Which is fine. We should attack his failures. At the same time, he's going to try and play up his successes. That's normal politics.

That's not the question. The question is whether using 9/11 imagery is out of bounds while doing this. I don't think it is for either side. It's the seminal event of the past four years, and I think both sides have every right to use its emotional power to help them make their case. If they do it badly, or if they cross the line of good taste, they'll pay the price. But there's nothing wrong with the simple act of referring to it.

Posted by: Kevin Drum at March 5, 2004 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,
you don't suppose that Bush can copyright 9/11 images, do you?

Posted by: marky at March 5, 2004 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

As has been pointed out on other blogs,this campaign ad has done exactly what Karl(marx)Rove wanted.They wanted it to be somewhat controversial because now look at whats happening,the newsies are giving FREE air time to the nazi's and theres only one thing we can do...cry foul.Mark one up for their side.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

P.S. Does someone have a link to Bush promising not to use 9/11 images?

Posted by: Charlie at March 5, 2004 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

I'm with you Kevin. Much as I might want to, I just can't get all worked up over this (I do feel the flag-draped remains are a bit too far and is hypocritical since they won't show flag-draped caskets of servicemen killed in Iraq), but as a broader topic, 9/11 is fair game. And it should be.

Bush is allowed to trumpet what he feels are his greatest accomplishments / strengths, and use (within reason) footage to document it. This whole Presidency has been 9/11 and nothing but 9/11 ever since and it's foolish and counterproductive to whine about it now.

It's Kerry's task to take apart Bush's so-called "accomplisments" and "strengths" and show and explain how he will do a better job. If you can't demonstrate your ability to do a better job than Bush defending the country (and everything else) it doesn't matter what Bush does, you've already lost.

Stop bitching and start kicking ass!

Posted by: Mr Furious at March 5, 2004 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

I want an add like this.

Fade In: Bush, sitting in an elementary school in AZ, reading to kids. A running timestamp along the bottom.

Split Screen: Plane 2 Hitting Tower. People running. Bush sitting there.

Skip forward: Ambulances racing to scene. People running horrified. Bush sitting there.

Skip forward: Towers burning. People leaping. Bush sitting there.

Freeze on Bush, Towers falling.

Voice over: "Steady Leadership? You decide."

That's the Ad we need.

Posted by: Monkey at March 5, 2004 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

"You know, I've been trying to work up some outrage over the use of 9/11 imagery in the new Bush ads, but it's just not happening."

Yeah, well, maybe you weren't standing in front of your house that day, watching the ashes of your neighbors rain down on the street.

All very well to be cool and tactical about it, but my reaction is visceral, and I daresay the reaction of many of the relatives and firefighters is much the same.

Beyond that, I can't figure out where you're coming from. You say you wish Democrats "weren't so queasy about this kind of stuff." But what we've actually seen in the backlash to the ads hasn't been "queasiness." To the contrary, it's been a well-mobilized gut reaction--and it turns out that many Americans are broadly sympathetic to it.

With all due respect, from here it looks like you're the one being needlessly "queasy." Do you really think that having the firefighters and the relatives cry shame against the Bush ads is going to somehow check Democrats from being able to talk about terrorism? Leaving aside the fact that the relatives and first responders are entitled to their reaction no matter what Democratic tacticians think, I think your worry is farfetched. In fact, having this kind of strong, righteous, from-the-heart comeback to the Bush ads is good in more ways than one. It serves notice that we're not going to let these sons of bitches who've made us even more vulnerable to attacks claim ownership of this issue. And it gives voice to something that millions of Americans authentically feel--that 9/11 was a ghastly day and we're sick to the point of vomiting at the way its memory has been hijacked by scoundrels. If this doesn't strike you as good politics, I'm frankly stunned.

Posted by: Patrick Nielsen Hayden at March 5, 2004 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Did Bill Clinton use pictures of the Oklahoma City bombing or WTC I in his '96 campaign? No, he would not have been so vulgar, insensitive, and tasteless.

Clinton gave a speech and laid a wreath in Oklahoma City at the site of the bombing during his campaign. And Kerry has been shamelessly exploiting the Vietnam war for months. The stench of hypocrisy here is thick.

The people speaking out against this have been from a firefighters union that has already endorsed Kerry and from an activist anti-war group named Peaceful Tomorrows, hardly what you'd call neutral observers.

This is nothing but an absurd manufactured controversy obviously intended to try to take Bush's leadership and response to 9/11 - an area where he still scores high with voters - off the table. This, coupled with whining about Kerry's patriotism being attacked every time his Senate voting record is mentioned, is simply an attempt to keep the Bush campaign from saying anything positive on their behalf or anything negative against Kerry. It won't work.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at March 5, 2004 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

"I get the impression it was the 9/11 families who got upset first at Dubya"

The families who have been on TV and have been doing the complaining are members of a group of litigants who began the process of politicizing the 9/11 attacks. They seem to be suing everyone in sight in spite of the relief fund. Their activities may have caused some cancellation of donations a couple of years ago.

Here's the link to that story:
http://www.lt-smash.us/archives/002714.html#002714

" - who hasn't been to any military funerals from the victims of his dumbass war"

He has met with families, which is all that other presidents, including Clinton, have done.

"- using a picture of a dead fireman or police officer being carried from Ground Zero, not the Democrats as such."

The firefighters' union, which endorsed Kerry last September, started the complaining about the ad. Sounds coordinated to me. Probably a good move as long as the trail doesn't lead back to some Kerry staffer, like the thuggish behavior during the Iowa caucuses.

"The bastard is shameless."

I agree although we might disagree on which bastard.

Posted by: Mike K at March 5, 2004 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I wouldn't have such a problem with it if this president would show even the slightest interest in figuring out why 9/11 happened and what can be done to prevent it, and if he would honestly answer the legitimate questions surrounding the events and the investigation. But when a sitting president won't spend as much time with the commission investigating 9/11 as he did with Tim Russert, then it's hard for me to believe he sees the WTC attacks as anything more than a political tool at this point. But what does it say about this guy that he cannot point to anything positive that defines his presidency? Only an event over which he likely had no control whatsoever and his response to it.
Pretty pathetic on multiple levels.

Posted by: crockmeister at March 5, 2004 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Monkey-- exactly!

Posted by: Alex at March 5, 2004 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

alluding to 9/11 and trying to take credit for his response? That seems like pretty standard issue politics.

Here's one of the nice responses from 9-11 from May 14, 2002:

CONGRESSMAN NADLER BLASTS?
RNC ON 9/11 PHOTO SALE

Says photos of President on 9/11 is "one of the most morally reprehensible political tactics I have ever seen"

In response to today's news that the Republican National Committee is selling pictures -- for fundraising purposes -- of the President aboard Air Force One immediately following the 9/11 attacks, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), who represents the area where the World Trade Center once stood, released the following statement:

"On September 11, I watched in horror as America, and part of my district specifically, was attacked and destroyed.? The extreme sense of pain and loss I felt as a New Yorker and American doesn't even begin to match the pain that the families of the victims of that attack must have felt.

For the Republican Party to use this event and all the related sense of pain for financial gain is possibly one of the most morally reprehensible political tactics I have ever seen.

How noble of the RNC.

Posted by: Susie Dow at March 5, 2004 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

I would hope to start seeing some Kerry ads on television,like SOON.He cannot just lie down and take this like Gore did.

This pResident IS part of a criminal conspiracy and the Constitution and the country cannot be left to air dry on this,true Kerry is not the end all to be all but this HAS got to stop.Bush and co HAS broke the laws of this country andMUST be held accountable.Kerry has to go on the offensive and right now in order for the country to heal.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

I was talking to my wife about this last night, and she made a point which seems obvious, in retrospect: Who is going to be the most offended by Bush's political use of 9/11?

Probably people in the NY metro area, in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, where the emotional effects of 9/11 were the strongest.

Bush/Rove may just say: Well, who cares? They're not going to be voting for us anyway...

Posted by: Alex R at March 5, 2004 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

"Mr Furious" writes:

"This whole Presidency has been 9/11 and nothing but 9/11 ever since and it's foolish and counterproductive to whine about it now....Stop bitching and start kicking ass!"

Are you nuts? Having the Bush gang have to defend themselves against angry firefighters is "kicking ass."

Posted by: Patrick Nielsen Hayden at March 5, 2004 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Why haven't we brought up just exactly what our 'War President' was doing/NOT doing the morning of 9/11? Or, more precisely, what his 'Commander-in-Chief actions during the first 5 minutes, were, following being told that the country was under attack? For Christ's sake, the damn thing's on tape!

http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline/main/essayaninterestingday.html

Posted by: JeffR at March 5, 2004 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

I would agree with you kevin except:

a) bush under funds Homeland security
b) underfunds the state of NY
c) could have done something about 9/11 if he listened to R Clarke.
d) had not taken us into war using 9/11 as justifcation
e) points made in the the firefighters press release.

etc...

Posted by: me at March 5, 2004 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, perhaps the pictures seem less offensive to you because you aren't from New York City. I'm not either, but in October of 2001 I flew to NYC for a previously scheduled speaking engagement. Everyone was *so* grateful I hadn't cancelled (which hadn't even occurred to me). The loss of the towers and the people inside was completely personal to everyone with whom I spoke. My friends knew people who'd died. I stayed with a friend who lived across the street from a church that was still busy every day with memorials for fallen police officers and fire fighters. For a much larger swath of this country than one would think, according to the numbers, that casket isn't just a casket - it's Joe's or Fred's or Margaret's or my neighbor's daughters, my broker's, my college roommate's. Don't underestimate the number of people for whom those pictures are a kick in the stomach.

Posted by: Carol Ann at March 5, 2004 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

For me, its not the use of 9/11 -- as you said, its legitimate to point out Bush's actions afterwords, just as its legitimate to point out that Bush failed to prevent it, or that his actions afterwords have not been useful (Pick your side and use appropriately). What bothers me is the use of those specific images. The use of rubble under which the dead are buried and showing caskets removed from the scene are visceral exploitations of the grief the nation felt and the grief of the victim's friends and families. Its the same as using a dead body in a morgue or body bags form Iraq. Common respect for the dead and the living should prevent it.

Posted by: kevin at March 5, 2004 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Why is there outrage?

Because it's cheap. It's cheap to use the suffering of people whose victimization was irrelevent to politics for partisan gain.

There's also an implied "claim" that is cheap: one side will keep you safe, one side cares about America -- and the other side doesn't. That's utterly ridiculous.

But then again, with regards to things like tax policy, Iraq, economic statistics in general, science, etc, this administration plays it cheap. Up is down, blue is green, plus means minus, etc.

I have complete faith that Kerry can and will hit back hard, at a time of their choosing, on Bush's phony patriotic masturbation.

Posted by: Hypocrisy Fumigator at March 5, 2004 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Kevin,

Why don't you ask someone who lost a family member on that day what they think of it?

Why don't you try and get a picture of a flag-draped coffin carrying a dead soldier coming from Iraq?

Why don't you ask the 9-11 commission how much info they can get out of Bush in an hour?

If you are not insulted by the use of those images by Bush, you probably don't mind the hypocrisy of soldiers caskets or the 9-11 commission... Maybe you should have lunch with Kaus and discuss how liberal you both are.

Posted by: sid at March 5, 2004 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Randall, I don't think anyone would have any objection to video of Bush attending just one funeral of an American soldier killed in Iraq. Inept parallel.

Posted by: Mary Alice at March 5, 2004 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I'm usually runnin' with you on issues, but we part company on this one.

What's going on is what is known in the ad biz as "branding", the attempt to cause the consumer -- that's us -- to attach a subconscious emotional response to the product -- that's 43 -- which is being sold to us. (And Karl is all about the advertising -- remember Andy Card's famous line about how they were going to roll out the Iraq war in September, because that's the best month for ad campaigns?)

Now branding in politics has been around for awhile -- "Morning in America", blah blah blah -- but there are some events which are so searing, so profound that they cry out to be left out of the ad execs' hands. 9/11 is at the top of that list. What's so pernicious about this is that the whole point of branding is to cause the consumer to relate to the product only on the emotional level.

That is, of course, exactly what Karl wants -- pure gauzy emotion with no pesky questions about: Why the stonewalling on the 9/11 report; Why insisting on not releasing the 28 pages about the Saudis, Why go to war in Iraq if the enemy is in Pakistan, and so forth and so on.

Engage in the following thought experiment to see how the ceaseless commodization of politics in general and Karl in particular have corrupted the system: What would have happened if, say, in August '64 LBJ had started running ads about picking up the mantle from a fallen leader, complete with theme music and pictures of him being sworn in on Air Force One?

Posted by: fbg46 at March 5, 2004 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, and in case some of you forgot, Ground Zero is the resting place for many many people, he is using not only the attacks, but peoples graves in his commercials to show his "steady leadership" (Remember he didnt support a dept of homeland security, didnt support the commission...). I agree the Dems should fight back, but they can do so not using american graves as a backdrop. Maybe they can even get some firefighters from NY and not the ones from Crawford in their commercial.

Posted by: sid at March 5, 2004 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

The ads are all of a piece with holding the Repub convention in NYC as close as possible to Sept 11.

It's entirely consistent with everything the Bush gang has done regarding 9/11.

The watchwords are: keep reminding people of it, make sure that people think that it was an awful experience (which it surely was) and have them make the connection in their own minds that only Bush can be trusted to deal with aftermath.

Eventually, as time passes, we can hope that some people will get around to wondering, "If Bush has done such a great job on this, how it it that we don't feel safer?" In the meantime image is everything.

Until then, it's politics, and why should the Bush campaign care if some people's feelings get hurt as long as more people get turned on than get turned off?

And of course the Democrats should counter these ads by pointing out how prodigiously INeffective Bush has been with his "war on terror". That can easily be done without the sickening images of the WTC.

Posted by: Joe Betsin at March 5, 2004 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Kerry already used fake re-enactment films he took in Vietnam....and 57,000 Americans died there..not one bleat from the liberal press.

I didn't here anyone asking for the flag drapped coffins of the 57,000 who died...nor footage of Kerry proclaiming them war criminals, nor committers of atrocities.

As for soldiers dying, it is much more honorable in their eyes dying FOR something, like for their comrades who died in Khobar Tower and on the USS Cole that Clinton never gave them a chance to avenge.

And for the Pentagon...becasue The soldiers understand this war far more than you ever will.

Posted by: kesier at March 5, 2004 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

I have a problem when Bush promotes 9-11 politically, but doesn't cooperate w/ the 9-11 commission. How about full cooperation before wrapping yourself in the flag of the WTC.

Posted by: Gary at March 5, 2004 11:18 AM | PERMALINK

I don't remember all the outrage when Clinton used the Murray federal building in his campaign in 1996.

Posted by: kesier at March 5, 2004 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Meta-comment: it may be because of Calpundit's AWOL reporting that his comments have contracted a chronic freeper infection.

Posted by: bad Jim at March 5, 2004 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

What a bunch of hate-mongerers!!!

Nice to see your hate eating you alive. Will be even nicer when Bush wins a second term.

Posted by: Jason at March 5, 2004 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

9/11 = Bush's fault! (sure, and Pearl Harbor? FDR's fault!)

Really people, continue to scream about this and it will be easy to quietly note: "Gee, do ya think they'll ever get around to blaming the terrorists who did this...."

I respectfully submit that the Dems have neutered themselves. During a war, better strengthen the public's perception of your party as patriotic. Yet LA Times columnist Robert Scheer probably said outloud what many primary voting Dems believe "" I am very suspicious of any expression of patriotism.." (I am paraphrasing Mr. Scheer, but I think it is a fair characterization of his statements.)

And for the knee-jerks out there, whatever you do, don't forget to vote for the rich-boy, Yalie, skull-and-bones alumni for president.

Posted by: Californio at March 5, 2004 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

I can understand not getting worked up over *references* to 9/11 - Bush's "leadership" a "changed world" etc., (I've always expected him to exploit that -- and selectively leave out parts that don't jive with the "Bush as (successful) War President" theme). Security is a major issue issue. It's the ad's use of *images* of 9/11 that seems sleazy to me. He doesn't own those images and, as someone says, it's a clever attempt to "brand" them as his. It's slimey and he shouldn't be able to get away with it.

Posted by: Kevin_in_Boston at March 5, 2004 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

can't agree with Kevin on this one. 9/11 was a sacred and tragic event, particularly for those there, and those who lost love ones. You just do not use those images for self-promotion - its indecent.
----

Posted by: gak at March 5, 2004 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

I just thought I'd interject a first-hand account from downtown Manhattan. Kevin, like you, I didn't have a huge visceral reaction, but I think that's mainly because I've been expecting this for a while -- although the trial balloon about laying the cornerstone for the Freedom Tower during the convention seems to have popped, last week it was replaced by the even more extraordinary suggestion that Bush might give his acceptance speech from Ground Zero.

In any event, on to the important point: People in my building who were down here that day (I wasn't) are literally yelling about this. Umprompted. And cursing. And not just the hippies! :)

The emotion unleashed is real, and it doesn't reflect well on him. I think this is a sign of a broader tone-deafness on the part of the Administration political crew. And the fact that their response was to fight, rather than to quietly pull the ads, only compounds the problem.

They're off-balance. That doesn't mean it will stay that way, but it's kind of nice to see...

Posted by: Mike S. at March 5, 2004 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

This is the kind of TV ad the Democrats should run: Imagine seeing a drunk driver swerving all over the road, crashing into things with this as the voiceover:

"From foreign to economic to social policy, Bush's record is a lesson in the limits and perils of conviction. He's too confident to consult a map. He's too strong to heed warnings and too steady to turn the wheel when the road bends. He's too certain to admit error, even after plowing through ditches and telephone poles. He's too preoccupied with principle to understand that principle isn't enough. Watching the stars instead of the road, he has wrecked the budget and the war on terror. Now he's heading for the Constitution. It's time to pull him over and take away the keys."

Posted by: Malcs at March 5, 2004 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

the logic of waa....

'9/11 happened, therefore Bush is a good president.'

uhhhh? may i have another brick to smash into my head please.

Posted by: zoot at March 5, 2004 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Everyone will react differently. I don't think that's the point. What I find interesting is that when complaints were made by people directly connected with the tragedy, rather than apologizing and maybe even pulling the ads, Bush preferred to tell those people that their feelings were illegitemate.
It is, after all, an advertisement. Its worth will be determined not on whether or not it's tasteless but whether or not it's effective. Obviously for some, it has had the opposite effect of what was intended.

Posted by: beccab at March 5, 2004 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Al writes:

In any case, I'll assume, now, that Kerry will not be showing any ads which allude to Vietnam - where over 50,000 Americans died. Right? *rolling eyes*

Well, Mr. Rolling Eyes, your analogy is stupid, as usual. Kerry actually fought in that war. When the planes hit the towers, Bush went and hid. If Bush were one of the firefighters, the ads would be a lot more defensible. Besides, Bush's ads didn't "allude" to 9/11, they used it as a theme.

Posted by: Gaska at March 5, 2004 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

"Al writes:

In any case, I'll assume, now, that Kerry will not be showing any ads which allude to Vietnam - where over 50,000 Americans died. Right? *rolling eyes*


The fact is Kerry put his money where his mouth was and actually campaigned to end the Vietnam war.

So Al, once again you show how clueless you are.

Posted by: Alex at March 5, 2004 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

from the article:

"One, titled "Safer, Stronger," also features a one-second shot of firefighters removing the flag-draped remains of a victim from the twisted debris.
...
Bush officials defended the imagery as totally appropriate."

As Roger Ailes says, a "flag-draped coffin returning from Iraq would be even more appropriate."

Posted by: Alex at March 5, 2004 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Would those "Democrats" include the families of the victims?

I could give a damn what the politicos think, it's the outrage of those actually affected that matters, and Bush walked into the middle of it.

Here's a suggestion for Rove from Uggabugga
http://www.threetwoone.org/uggabugga/2004/bush-9-11-campaign.jpg

Posted by: Visualize Dead Thugs at March 5, 2004 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Never mind the 9/11 imagery. Where's the cat imagery? Where are the cute photos of Jasmine and Inkblot?

Change your mind back. Bring back catblogging Friday!

Posted by: Tom at March 5, 2004 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

I would love a spot from Kerry that starts out by showing the names of the 500+ soldiers that have died in Iraq. As they appear, a voice over says "Over 500 American soldiers have died fighting in Iraq. They have given their lives because their country asked them to. President Bush repays their patriotism by refusing to attend a single military burial or ceremony praising their sacrifice. John Kerry has been a soldier. He knows what it's like to be on the battlefield, and, as President, he would never disrespect the sacrifice and loyalty of those who have fought for their country by ignoring their due."

I hate Bush.

Posted by: TOTL at March 5, 2004 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

unka karl's smoke-filled back room:

'mmmmm...the scars appear to healing, better throw some more salt in there to keep 'em ooozing real nice.'

Posted by: above ground at March 5, 2004 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

My gut reaction to the ad was "Ewwwwwwwwww". It just seemed gross. Opportunistic. And I speak as someone who knew people on the plane that went into the Pentegon. Given Bush's behavior since, it seems especially wrong.

And, I for one, hope that Democrats use imagery that shows that they're more serious than Bush is about fighting terrorism. Not touching terrorists in order to further your case for a misguided war doesn't seem to be a way to show you're tough on terror.

Posted by: Baaaa at March 5, 2004 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

"""Well, Mr. Rolling Eyes, your analogy is stupid, as usual. Kerry actually fought in that war. """"

Yes, then Kerry ran...came back and called our soldiers war criminals, rapist, murderers, committers of atrocities.

Bush showed images of Ground zero and spoke of
fighting the war on terror -- LOGICAL AND ABOUT THE BIGGEST ISSUE OF OUR TIME.

Kerry showed images of him being a soldier in Vietnam..but that was a very small part of his actual relationship with Vietnam...HE ACTUALLY SPENT MOST OF HIS TIME LABELLING OUR SOLDIERS CRIMINALS..GIVING SPEECHES WITH PEOPLE LIKE HANOI JANE AND VOTING TO REMOVE THE AMERICA FLAG FROM VVAW MEETINGS.
kERRYS CONNECTION TO VIETNAM SOLDIERS IS illogical AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS POLICY POSITIONS...especially since he just voted to undercut our troops by voting against funding their efforts.

Posted by: KEISER at March 5, 2004 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, you know, Kerry can now run 9/11 ads later. Rove just inoculated him. Of course, they'll look a little different...

Posted by: John Isbell at March 5, 2004 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

KEISER

Why not just keep your cap lock on all the time?Your opinions just might become a little more valid.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

"Don't underestimate the number of people for whom those pictures are a kick in the stomach."

That would depend on the person. It is very hard to grapple with pictures from that day. I personally was lucky as 3 members of my family who normally work at or arrived at work at the Towers missed work or had their schedules change and one who escaped from Tower 2. People in my hometown didn't come home that day, my brother's friends lost parents etc. As painful and frightening that day was I can't imagine what those people who lost someone feel.

I don't have a problem with the widows/widowers being outraged at this that same way I couldn't be mad with someone who takes on a "kill 'em all" attitude if they had lost someone. That's just a hurt I can't understand without actually going through it.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

The site of the former World Trade center is now a cemetary. There are many bodies that were never recovered. That area will be the only place that loved ones can go and call a final resting place.

You don't do a campaign commercial in a cemetary. Period.

So yeah, there is for damn sure a 'there' there.

Posted by: Timothy Klein at March 5, 2004 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, then Kerry ran...came back and called our soldiers war criminals, rapist, murderers, committers of atrocities.

Completely untrue as anyone who has looked at what Kerry said, as opposed to taking thier talking points from the GOP, knows.

Bush showed images of Ground zero and spoke of fighting the war on terror

Yet he stonewalls the 9/11 comission at every turn, isn't that about fighting terror?

The rest of Kaiers post is utter bullshit as well, but most reading these comments know that so I wont waste my time.

Go hang with the freepers, much more on your level.

P.S. Using all caps doesn't make your false statements any more true, just makes you look even more unbalanced.

Posted by: David Perlman at March 5, 2004 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Good point

How many hundred billion did bush blow on that? 200 at least. The answer? Cut social security benefits and make the tax cuts permanent. Hello? No wonder the fucker wants to go to Mars. When people finally realize all the damage he has done, that's about the only place he will be able to hide.

Posted by: obe at March 5, 2004 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

"don't forget to vote for the rich-boy, Yalie, skull-and-bones alumni for president"

Which one, Bush or Kerry?

Posted by: Jason at March 5, 2004 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

1/2 of my post vanished. Oh well, no time to re-write it....

Posted by: obe at March 5, 2004 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

I think that Bush (and Giuliani) are going to be given some leeway on this issue because of their presence in New York on 9/11.

Scuse me, but Bush wasn't in NY on 9/11. He wasn't in NY on 9/12 either, or (I believe) 9/13. It took him several days to get to the city. As a New Yorker, I found that inexplicable.

These ads are offensive because he's using that corpse under a flag as another fake turkey - it's a PROP. It's "Mission Accomplished" and Thanksgiving in Baghdad all over again. It's President Codpiece parading around again. It's Morning/Afternoon/Evening in America again. It's selling a war as a new product again.

Phony, phony, phony. Cynical and manipulative.

Posted by: karen hughes at March 5, 2004 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Here's the outrage: Bush is using the 9/11 victims as tools to provoke feelings of nationalism. Not patriotism, nationalism. That is disgusting.

Posted by: DanM at March 5, 2004 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

This ad campaign will probably be somewhat successful. The spectre of 9/11 will be something that will haunt this country for years to come. I personally find using the image of the coffin to be suspect. It is similar to the selling of the photographs documenting Bush's actions on 9/11.

There is one thing though. For those that support Bush, why are you sure that he has been successful in the War on Terror? We somehow think that Bush has a better notion of how to fight this "war" than Kerry, but why? With respect to responding to the attacks, we have no evidence that he did anything unique. How many terrorist attacks on the US have been foiled due to his policies?

The US has done Al Quaeda a lot of harm, but I'm pretty convinced that anyone occupying the White House would have done much the same. They may not have cast it in some sort of good versus evil framework, but the results would have been the same. Given this belief, why should I vote for Bush in 2004?

Posted by: Roland at March 5, 2004 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

The fact is Kerry put his money where his mouth was and actually campaigned to end the Vietnam war.

And GWB has campaigned to end the war on terrorism. Of course, by "end", I don't mean "surrender" like the lefties do.

Posted by: Al at March 5, 2004 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

So much for the "outrage" from the some of the commenters here.

Quite a few seem to have no problem using the death of soldiers as a political backdrop...

So those who feel that way, which is it? Wrong to exploit death for political gain or only if it serves your own purpose?

Apologies to those who have had a reaction to the ad wihtout making such a case.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

MY CPAL LCKO IS NOT TO BE QUESTIONED. I use it only to identify importnat phrases to you liberal trolls who seem intenet on destroying the freedoms Bush ensures that you have. Without his leadership, MANY CITIES IN THE US WOULD ALREADY BE REDUCED TO CINDERS. With the appeaser kERRY in charge, we will be in constant danger from these devisl. He will probably appoint Cat Stevens to Secretary of State.

Posted by: KEISER at March 5, 2004 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

And GWB has campaigned to end the war on terrorism. Of course, by "end", I don't mean "surrender" like the lefties do.

I must have missed that plan. All the campaigning I have seen is for a never ending war on terror, why would Bush want to end the war on terror when it is the ONLY thing he has going for him.

Posted by: David Perlman at March 5, 2004 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

9/11 = distraction from:

** gushing lost jobs
** disaster in Iraq
** hatchet job on the constitution
** sell-off of the environment
** less safe than before
** plame-gate
** religious teaching instead of science
** ducking Vietnam; going AWOL
** shafting soldiers

keep'em distracted and hyperventilating; 'that's the ticket'.

Posted by: gak at March 5, 2004 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

[i]test[/i]

Posted by: hic at March 5, 2004 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Randall, I don't think anyone would have any objection to video of Bush attending just one funeral of an American soldier killed in Iraq. Inept parallel.

Who was even discussing this issue? Talk about inept parallels.

But let's examine your assertion anyway. Let's say Bush did attend a funeral and use this in an ad. Do you really believe no one would object? You've got to be joking. Anti-Bushies would scream to the high heavens that Bush was exploiting this soldier's death for political gain. For those who hate Bush anything he does to promote his candidacy is automatically seen as wrong or objectionable by its very nature.

Since Bush can never win with those people there's no reason to bother trying and they can be safely ignored. However most folks don't hate Bush and I seriously doubt many of them would find anything in his current ads they would find the least bit objectionable, including the very brief images from 9/11. This is just a manufactured controversy.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at March 5, 2004 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Roland:

"How many terrorist attacks on the US have been foiled due to his policies?"

Rather - how many have succeeded due to his policies?

Seems to me like, umm... none.

We may well never know how many attacks failed. If we advertize failed attacks, then whoever tries to attack knows what NOT to try next time. As it is, no news leaves them guessing what went wrong.

But sometimes, you WANT the news to leak. Look at that idiot Shoebomber - the news covered that to hell and gone (primarily because it was so stupid), but if he'd managed to succeed and blow up a plane, you think there wouldn't have been more attempts?

J.

Posted by: JLawson at March 5, 2004 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

"Which one, Bush or Kerry?"

Well since you put it that way.I'll take one who has a more principaled outlook.
One that doesnt want to cut everything and anything just to get a vote.

Cut taxes(for only the rich,Unless you want to count the hundred bucks you got for returns)
Cut spending to almost everyone in the country(except those who contributed to his campaign).
Cut the Firefighters and police funding he promised
Cut the long promised social security benefits.
Add taxes you dont know about
Add to the deficit we will be paying for the next couple generations.
Add to the amount of money we can borrow.
Add to the rolls of the homeless.
Add the numbers of mortaguage foreclosures.
Add to the number of bankruptcies.
Add to the number of dead on the military rolls
Add to the credibility deficit of this country.
Add to countries list of countries on our tax rolls.

I could go on,You might get my point but suffice it to say you know who should be voted in but you probably be stupid and figure I'm wrong on all counts and vote to keep ALL of us more and more impoverished.

WE report YOU cant decide(because your brainwashed by evil).

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

The soldiers understand this war far more than you ever will.

kesier has joined the Kerry campaign!

Posted by: flatulus at March 5, 2004 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

"The US has done Al Quaeda a lot of harm, but I'm pretty convinced that anyone occupying the White House would have done much the same."

I would tend to agree here. Except Kerry strikes me as very whichever way the wind blows type politician. Now considering the country's mood after 9/11 I think it likely Kerry would have done much of the same in regards to Afganistan but would he have declared a war on terror? I am not positive he would have but it's certainly possible.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Interview with the First Couple, Ladies Home Journal (Oct. '03)

Peggy Noonan (the interviewer): You were separated on September 11th. What was it like when you saw each other again?

Laura Bush: Well, we just hugged. I think there was a certain amount of security in being with each other than being apart.

George W. Bush: But the day ended on a relatively humorous note. The agents said, "you'll be sleeping downstairs. Washington's still a dangerous place." And I said no, I can't sleep down there, the bed didn't look comfortable. I was really tired, Laura was tired, we like our own bed. We like our own routine. You know, kind of a nester. I knew I had to deal with the issue the next day and provide strength and comfort to the country, and so I needed rest in order to be mentally prepared. So I told the agent we're going upstairs, and he reluctantly said okay. Laura wears contacts, and she was sound asleep. Barney was there. And the agent comes running up and says, "We're under attack. We need you downstairs," and so there we go. I'm in my running shorts and my T-shirt, and I'm barefooted. Got the dog in one hand, Laura had a cat, I'm holding Laura --

Laura Bush: I don't have my contacts in , and I'm in my fuzzy house slippers --

George W. Bush: And this guy's out of breath, and we're heading straight down to the basement because there's an incoming unidentified airplane, which is coming toward the White House. Then the guy says it's a friendly airplane. And we hustle all the way back up stairs and go to bed.

Mrs. Bush: [laughs] And we just lay there thinking about the way we must have looked.

Peggy Noonan (interviewer): So the day starts in tragedy and ends in Marx Brothers.

George W. Bush: That's right, we got a laugh out of it.

Posted by: Motoko at March 5, 2004 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

"This is just a manufactured controversy."

Yep manufactured by your President and his everloveable Karl(marx)Rove.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Randal,

Would you object to an ad that showed him sitting for 10 minutes listening to kids read a story about a goat while Americans were burning to death and other planes were headed to DC?

Because I wouldn't.

Posted by: Monkey at March 5, 2004 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

And GWB has campaigned to end the war on terrorism. Of course, by "end", I don't mean "surrender" like the lefties do.

By 'end', then, do you mean expanding the war into non-terror-related areas by going after Iraq before anything approaching a successful effort in Afghanistan was accomplished?

Or do you mean the way Bush and company keep insisting this is not going to be a short war, ala Orwell's "Oceana has always been at war" in 1984?

Posted by: Jeremy at March 5, 2004 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

Kerry needs to say something like this.

"Some people are criticizing the president for using images from 9/11 in his ads. I understand that the families and friends of those who died in the tragedy are especially upset.

"Nevertheless, I do not join with this criticism; I think the intelligence failures that led to 9/11 and the president's actions on that day should be front and center in the minds of everyone.

"I think showing the results of the Bush Administration's failure on this issue is entirely appropriate material for a campaign. I'm pleased -- if a little surprised -- that the president is using his campaign funds to publicize this great failure of national security.

"I plan to show more results of President Bush's failed policies and lack of leadership in my own ads as well."

Posted by: eyelessgame at March 5, 2004 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

oh, and fucking A, sid.

Posted by: flatulus at March 5, 2004 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, when you say 'In fact, what I really wish is that Democrats weren't so queasy about this kind of stuff. you're speaking for me; it's going to be damn hard for the Democrats to win until they can do that. Kerry did pieces of it at UCLA (I pick at him on the speech over at WoC), but when you compare it to Blair's latest (even if you don't agree w/Blair, the clear position he stakes out and the way he does it should be models), he falls pretty short.

Watching and waiting...

A.L.

Posted by: Armed Liberal at March 5, 2004 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

I would tend to agree here. Except Kerry strikes me as very whichever way the wind blows type politician. Now considering the country's mood after 9/11 I think it likely Kerry would have done much of the same in regards to Afganistan but would he have declared a war on terror? I am not positive he would have but it's certainly possible.

For the last time, you CANNOT declare war on a proper noun. Wars exist between states. Since "terror" is not a state, you cannot declare war on it.

Leaving aside the rather dubious benefit of raising criminal terrorists to the same level as "warriors" when it would probably be better (more effective) to treat them as criminals. Treating them like warriors raises their stature in Muslim countries, whereas treating them like criminals lowers it.

Posted by: Monkey at March 5, 2004 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

I got called a troll over at DKos for suggesting that Dems use the imagery with text referencing Bush's sorry record on fighting terrorism.

Lefties have been wrong footed on this one.

Posted by: decon at March 5, 2004 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

All of us leftist, Demorats, communists, socialists, et al. hereby surrender. We are too busy trying to ruin America to worry about international terrorism. Though, we do care about the "root causes", we assume that it is always the Republicans fault, and will blame them for anything and everything.

Posted by: Francoise at March 5, 2004 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

JLawson

I don't think this answers my question. I am not really interested in having failed attacks covered extensively in the press. My contention was that we have no idea whether his policies have contributed to the foiling of terrorist plots directed at the US. If there have been no serious plots directed at the US since 9/11, this would imply no successful plots as well.

You are claiming the fact that there have been no successful plots against the US implies that Bush's policies have succeeded. You are free to believe this if you wish. I would argue that this claim is on pretty shaky ground as we don't know how many attacks were foiled relative to how many were attempted. I would also argue that Bush did not do anything that any other President would have done in his stead. This is a hypothesis, but I don't think it is entirely unreasonable. My question is basically "Why are people convinced that Bush is the only one who can protect the US?"

Posted by: Roland at March 5, 2004 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

WHY WONT YOU PAY ANY ATTENTION TO ME??

Posted by: KEISER at March 5, 2004 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Decon,

A. Osama Bin Laden is loose.
B. Al Quada is still active.
C. The Saudi Government (funded 9/11) is still in power.
D. Iraq is in chaos, breeding terrorists.
E. Plame-gate blew the cover on a network of agents investigating WMD proliferation.

I could go on, but why? Your mind is made up, apparently.

Posted by: Monkey at March 5, 2004 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Has it occurred to you weenies that by feigning outrage over this ad, you have made it harder for yourselves to continue to exploit the war dead for political gain?

Posted by: gronk at March 5, 2004 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Ryan

You are probably correct. Kerry would have not declared what people widely regard as the Bush Doctrine. I would ask though, with the exception of Afghanistan, where has this doctrine been implemented? You might contend that it was implemented in Iraq. I would disagree, as no substantive evidence has surfaced linking Hussein's regime to Al Quaeda. In any event, what is the likelihood of invading another nation in the next few years? I would argue rather low. The commitment to Iraq seems serious and long term. Other than actions which the right often labels derisively as "law enforcement," I just don't see Bush, or anyone else, enforcing this doctrine. He may have declared "war on terror," but what does this phrase mean?

Posted by: Roland at March 5, 2004 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

I for one am grateful that Bush is running these ads. Now the GOP can't object when the Dems run ads reminding voters exactly what Bush did to protect our national security before 9/11 (that is, make sure no terrorists were hiding in piles of brush on his ranch or on various fairways and greens).

p.s. C'mon, just ONE little pic of Inkblot . . .

Posted by: RoguePlanet at March 5, 2004 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

gronk : not only had they not thought of that, even if they had, they would have simply dismissed the thought. their hypocrisy knows no bounds, and their visceral hatred of President Bush drives their every thought. The can be no reasoned debate with them.

Posted by: JD at March 5, 2004 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

I have to go for the weekend though - have fun and I'll see you all Monday.

Good riddance, Chuckie. Take Al with you.

Posted by: S&P at March 5, 2004 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Gronk

This is an unfair statement. I have yet to see any ad issued by the DNC or affiliates which shows American soldier's caskets being offloaded from aircraft. Although I am a leftist, I would find this ad over the top myself. When such an ad exists, you would have a point. That is, if you are pointing out hypocrisy.

Posted by: Roland at March 5, 2004 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, it's a VISCERAL thing. It's appalling that Bush is plunking down a podium in the ashes of downtown Manhattan. I was living in Brooklyn, and on September 11, I smelled the WTC burning before I ever saw it on goddam TV. Did you know that the fucking thing smouldered well into November? I know, because every day when I went over the Manhattan Bridge, I saw the smoke coming up. And you know, every time there's an announcement that the trains have been delayed due to a "police investigation" you bet your ass I'm like "dang, I really wish we'd put a nickel's worth of energy into catching the guy who did this."

Sorry to be such an asshole but I don't live in the suburbs. I live in Manhattan. I work a block from Times Square, and my brother works in the Empire State Building. We like a blustering blowhard prancing around in a flightsuit as much as anybody else, but what we NEED are fucking solutions, because, see we're the ones who are gonna die if these guys don't get caught.

So, it bothers me that TWICE, this administration has failed to correctly perceive the threat to Amercian security, and it has to date cost us the lives of 3,000 civilians and 500 soldiers. And do we know who the hell sent that anthrax through the mail? Not a goddam clue.

The Bush Administraion doesn't know how to fight terrorism. And they have been indifferent to their ignorance! They haven't fired anybody, they've resisted the institutional changes that are self-evidently necessary, they're stonewalling the investigation, and they've allowed their political needs to trump security needs in the grossest ways (I'm looking at you, Zarquawi). They have, by every measure, failed in the war on terror--we remain as vulnerable today as we were in 2001. We have not adjusted appropriately to the fact that a theoretical threat has become a real one.

Big difference between Dems and Republicans seems to be that the Repubs talk tough, while the Dems use a big stick. Because, the last time a Dem was in office and a terrorist blew up a building, that terrorist got caught and that terrorist got dead.

Listen, maybe if it weren't my ass on the line then I could settle for tough talk and total incompetence. But since it's my ass on the line, I'd like a little less talk and a little more action.

Posted by: theorajones at March 5, 2004 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Cut taxes(for only the rich,Unless you want to count the hundred bucks you got for returns)"

Uhhhh my marginal tax rates went down as did everyone elses. If you refer to capital gains, you have a better point.

"Cut spending to almost everyone in the country(except those who contributed to his campaign)."

Hmmmmmm cut spending and that's how we have a trillion dollar deficit?

"Cut the Firefighters and police funding he promised"

Agreed here.

"Cut the long promised social security benefits."

When did that happen? Or is this something he will do? BTW, before he backed down Mr. Fiscal Conservative agreed that benefits may have to be cut and the retirement age raised. This is somethign likely to happen since we don't have enough workers paying into the system. Will SS become insolvent? Hell no....it's too big a goodie.

"Add taxes you dont know about"

Link?
"Add to the deficit we will be paying for the next couple generations."

So is the Kerry plan to raise taxes to cover this deficit AND fund programs he wants to deliver?

"Add to the amount of money we can borrow."

One of the things, I agreed with Clinton about was paying down the national debt.

"Add to the rolls of the homeless.
Add the numbers of mortaguage foreclosures.
Add to the number of bankruptcies."

And this has nothing with the credit fueled dot boom?

"Add to the number of dead on the military rolls"

In a military engagement this is expected.

"Add to the credibility deficit of this country."

So?

"Add to countries list of countries on our tax rolls."

So you're against foreign aid?

This doesn't sway me one way or the other though I doubt that was its intent

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

would he have declared a war on terror?

see, it's the declaration of this 'war' that's important. then you can suck up to the pakistani proliferators and saudi financiers of terrorism to your chimpy heart's content.

Posted by: flatulus at March 5, 2004 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

I have two main objections to the ad:

1) the hypocrisy well described by others here, and

2) Delusion. Again. This guy has used 9/11 as an excuse to do one dumb-ass thing after another for three years. Enough already. I'm sick of the world seeing us as a frightened, vindictive, paranoid bully.

Posted by: Robert E at March 5, 2004 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

Roland, many surrogates are exploiting the war dead. Including blogs.

The most popular way is by lying about the reasons for the war. And by lying about why those servicemen died. And by denying the importance of the task which those servicemen undertook.

Posted by: gronk at March 5, 2004 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Here are some questions to consider:

1. Was Bill Clinton's use of the Oklahoma City bombing to attack conservatives and talk radio "politicizing" a tragedy?

2. How about the awful James Byrd ad run by the NAACP against George W. Bush? Was reenacting Mr. Byrd's 1998 dragging death for the camera a politicization of his murder? Was that fair?

3. Is an ad that says, "So when George W. Bush refused to support hate-crimes legislation it was like my father was killed all over again" politicizing a tragedy?

4. How about using church arsons as a political issue? Is suggesting that "when you don't vote another church burns" politicizing a human tragedy?

I am not saying Clinton or other people were wrong in doing this but rather I am saying is that ALL politicians regardless of political affilitaions do this if they feel it will be to their benifit. i.e to get elected or relected.

That ladies & gentlemen is called politics.


Posted by: Dan at March 5, 2004 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

The Dems are kind of naked on national security at the moment, so they are looking at minor points they can trump as their strengths on national security:

1. Border security is great but anyone who thinks in a free, open economy that borders will ever be secure is naive. I'm in California and they can't even stop undocumented immigration. A program of engaging the rogue organizations and supporting states is necessary to reduce the risk of terrorism.

2. Iraq has had great benefits. Someone with great potential to do harm and a clear hatred of America was taken down. The willingness to act has strengthened America's diplomatic hand: leading to the current Saudi confrontation of local militants, Libya's disarming (40,000lbs of mustard gas + uranium enrichment) and the wind-up
of the Pakistan-based nuclear proliferation effort.

3. Acting with allies is good. Giving France and Russia veto power over US actions isn't. Given that the illegal weapons that have been found originated in Russia and substantial Iraqi oil money was directed to French lobbyists, acting only with allies is effectively promising never to act.

4. The Russia thing is less of the threat than the Islamic proliferation network which Bush just finished off.

5. Camera's can go to Military Funerals. They just aren't allowed to film the unloading of casulties in base at the point of entry to the US, before the next of kin see the bodies. Bush has to balance his role as a president in a war of propaganda with compassion when deciding to attend funerals.

6. The fact is that Kerry speaks the same talk as Clinton. Under Clinton,an Al-Qaeda victory (Black Hawk Down, USS Cole Bombing ) seemed to be followed by a greater attack. Under Bush the attacks seem to be decreasing, third world countries seem less willing to support terrorism. Kerry is finesse his position well to avoid looking like a dove. However, given his previous record and his skill at adjusting his positions how can anyone be sure he'll stick to what he's saying now? I would have preferred Dean to Kerry because while he's largely anti-war, he seems less like a professional politican.


Posted by: researcher at March 5, 2004 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

"You are probably correct. Kerry would have not declared what people widely regard as the Bush Doctrine. I would ask though, with the exception of Afghanistan, where has this doctrine been implemented? You might contend that it was implemented in Iraq. I would disagree, as no substantive evidence has surfaced linking Hussein's regime to Al Quaeda."

That depends, Saddam was in fact supporting terrorists maybe not Al Queda specifically. Even now I'm a little pissed that apparently there was a terrorist camp operating in Iraq that we didn't hit because we preparing the invasion. The Bush Doctrine basically was the throw a scare into others considering state support of terrorism. Shock and awe and all that jazz.

"In any event, what is the likelihood of invading another nation in the next few years?"

Unlikely, though Syria could be a destination ia a few years.

"I would argue rather low. The commitment to Iraq seems serious and long term. "

Agreed.

"Other than actions which the right often labels derisively as "law enforcement," I just don't see Bush, or anyone else, enforcing this doctrine."

If we are going to be the world's policeman it is time for another branch of the service specifically trained for this duty.

"He may have declared "war on terror," but what does this phrase mean?"

It is elusive isn't it? The typical rheotic from a politican getting "tough" with a perceived problem? War on Drugs, Poverty, Illiteracy, Racsim, etc. The devil is always in the details.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

"And do we know who the hell sent that anthrax through the mail? Not a goddam clue."


Maybe they have

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Dan, right you are. And it's bad politics to release an ad that forces Karen Hughes to spend the day defending it. It's bad politics to make powerful enemies (the 9/11 families), particularly ones who are in a position to sully your pristine convention photo ops. And in a related area, it's bad politics, heck, it's nearly insensate, to think you can take every opportunity to state that 9/11 changed you and this country forever while simultaneously stating that, sorry, but it's only worth an hour of your time.

Posted by: Harley at March 5, 2004 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Welcome to the world of realpolitik, Kevin. The GOP has turned campaigns into knife-fights.... and the Dems have every reason to slice and dice to their hearts content now.

The whole point here is to use Shrub's ad against him....shrub wanted the "leadership for 9-11" meme to come out of these commercials... and the Dems need to establish "exploitation of 9-11" as the meme.

So, even if you don't mind the exploitation of 9-11 by bush, you need to stop saying "use the image of 9-11" and start saying "exploit the image of 9-11."

thank you...

_______________

shameless plug...read my latest article regarding the AWOL documents at
http://tinyurl.com/2cm77

here is a hint...the "50 point standard" that the White House used to say that Bush "fulfilled his duty" was applicable ONLY to those with 20 years of military service....

Posted by: paul lukasiak at March 5, 2004 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

I for one am grateful that Bush is running these ads. Now the GOP can't object when the Dems run ads reminding voters exactly what Bush did to protect our national security before 9/11...

Bush was in office for eight months prior to 9/11 compared to the previous eight years of Clinton. Al Qaeda didn't spring into existence on the day that Bush was inaugurated. The growth of al Qaeda, the training of thousands of terrorists in Afghani training camps, the Khobar Towers bombings, attacks on American embassies in Africa, the Cole bombing, retreat from Somalia, the first WTC bombing - not to mention the bulk of the planning and training for 9/11 - all happened on Clinton's watch.

Reminding voters about national security prior to 9/11 isn't a path that the Democrats want to go down, especially since Kerry seems to want to return to Clintonian policies.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at March 5, 2004 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

For the last time, you CANNOT declare war on a proper noun. Wars exist between states. Since "terror" is not a state, you cannot declare war on it.

I respectfully suggest a rephrasing along the lines of "you cannot declare war on an abstraction", mostly because, strictly speaking, "terror" is not a proper noun.

Although this is going to be a tricky point to make to people who are long inured to rhetoric about wars on plants.

Posted by: xf at March 5, 2004 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

One important item --
The Bush administration has forbidden the media from taking photos of coffins returning from Iraq -- but it is OK for their adds to show these remains from 9-11??
That is hypocritical --

Posted by: S.Vanja at March 5, 2004 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

"For the last time, you CANNOT declare war on a proper noun. Wars exist between states. Since "terror" is not a state, you cannot declare war on it."

Semantics...agreed it's a vague term used by politicians but "War on _____" has been part of the American political dialogue at least since Johnson.

"Leaving aside the rather dubious benefit of raising criminal terrorists to the same level as "warriors" when it would probably be better (more effective) to treat them as criminals."

Why?

"Treating them like warriors raises their stature in Muslim countries, whereas treating them like criminals lowers it."

Based on what? Al Queda rakes in its money in arms and drug trafficking and that hasn't effected their "status". It doesn't matter what they are called or elevated to criminal or warrior if they simply make the case they are fighting the Great Satan. Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman & Ramzi Ahmed Yousef didn't exactly lose their "street cred" when they were convicted for the 93 bombing.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

Paul,

Do you know if Guard members would have had to notify their COs if they were leaving the country to, say, travel on "business" to Guatemala?

Posted by: Monkey at March 5, 2004 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Here is the add Bush should have used
video of first tower burning

Bush walking into class room reading to kids

Plane hitting second building

Card walking in and telling Bush

Bush sitting there reading to kids for twenty minutes

That is decisive leadership!

Posted by: chef at March 5, 2004 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Al Queda rakes in its money in arms and drug trafficking and that hasn't effected their "status".

Really, I thought we put a stop to that when we Liberated Afghanistan? Oh? It's worse than ever? Gosh!

Yes, politicians have stupidly used the phrase "War on Blank" for decades. Does that make it wise? No, it makes it stupid.

Question for you: What is Victory in the War on Terror?

Is it the eradication of terrorism?
Is it "no attacks for N years?"

Because both of those are impossible goals. Terrorism is a tactic, not a movement, not a monolithic entity. It's a tactic used for political ends. You can't EVER erradicate it...it's impossible.

So basically you're saying you support a state of perpetual war against a vague and ill-defined foe, with no clear victory conditions.

Is that true? Is that the case? Be honest.

Because what you're talking about is a never ending state of war with whomever we declare are terrorists.

A war that never, ever ends.

I'm not so sure America is willing to sign onto that. At least, I was never asked about it.

Posted by: Monkey at March 5, 2004 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

"Why don't you ask someone who lost a family member on that day what they think of it?"

And if that family member says "I love Bush kill all them damn Arabs for taking away my loved one." would that be acceptable? As I said before I begrudge no family member whatever reaction they have.

"Why don't you try and get a picture of a flag-draped coffin carrying a dead soldier coming from Iraq?"

In other words, I'm a big hypocrite who would exploit death for political gain.

"Why don't you ask the 9-11 commission how much info they can get out of Bush in an hour?"

Hey agreement!

" Maybe you should have lunch with Kaus and discuss how liberal you both are."

Probably because you wouldn't know a "liberal" if he/she sat on your face. Liberal has many definition. You can select from demonization of the right or the theft of the term by the far left. Kevin is a liberal defined by neither of those.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

You'd think all of those pro-Bush 9/11 family groups would have been defending the president about this. They've been so very silent.

What's that? There aren't any? Oh, never mind.

Posted by: Kevin K. at March 5, 2004 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Border security is great but anyone who thinks in a free, open economy that borders will ever be secure is naive."

Granted,this is why its imperative we find a REAL solution to those that would harm us.And I'm not talking blowing them to kingdom come.


"Iraq has had great benefits. Someone with great potential to do harm and a clear hatred of America was taken down."

Iraq right now has more money flowing into it than many necessary programs here in the motherland.A clear hatred of this country by Iraq has been and continues to be fostered by our own governments.Iraq had no quarrels with us untill we invaded them after allowing them,through diplomatic words,that it was ok to invade Kuwait.


"Acting with allies is good. Giving France and Russia veto power over US actions isn't. Given that the illegal weapons that have been found originated in Russia and substantial Iraqi oil money was directed to French lobbyists"

France and Russia had inside knowledge that Iraq had no weapons and wanted to end the sanctions programs.Now I dont advocate the proliferation of ANY weapons but since the U.S. does this FOR PROFIT why cant Russia?

"Camera's can go to Military Funerals. They just aren't allowed to film the unloading of casulties in base at the point of entry to the US, before the next of kin see the bodies."

This is done as a purely political antipropoganda device.This administration learned for the mistakes of previous administrations in that if they were to allow this to happen,support of the war would rapidly decline.Another way our civil liberties have diminished,limiting the press from actually reporting on the truth.


"However, given his previous record and his skill at adjusting his positions how can anyone be sure he'll stick to what he's saying now?"

I agree to a small point in that like GWB,broke ALL campaign promises,will he too?But I disagree,GWB has no inclanation to change his mind on anything even when proven to be wrong,lets hope that Kerry will be man enough to change his position when circumstances dictate.


As far as the Dems being naked on national security,What makes you think we are any safer now than at any time in the past?Just what has W done to make us safer or more secure?Other than to make air travel more communist like.The directions we go now go alot further that "winning the WOT".You might consider this when you look at the ads being passed off as fear the pResident portrays as strength.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

The reason you're not buying into the outrage is because you weren't one of the families involved. What you are buying into is the Republican spin that the outrage isn't genuine, but the result of some nefarious Democratic plot.

Posted by: tex at March 5, 2004 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I think you hit the nail on the head-- hard to believe that the Dems could get so upset about this, keeping it in the news and getting the ads a lot of free air time, and clips of responses by such as Guiliani. Now, everybody is talking about 9/11, not the jobs report, and it looks like the next few days are going to be dominated by Martha Stewart coverage, not anything Kerry does or says, while the Bush ads run on all the cable sports channels over hte weekend. To the extent that Kerry hqas talked about how he would make us safer from terrorism, I don't agree with him, BUT that is not to say that he has no case to make at all. I think whatever strategy is chosen is going to be less than perfect, and people I respect say that Bush is focused to much on what is going on abroad and hasn't done enough to focus on policing the borders, ports, etc., spending on first responders, and other domestic shortcomings. Again, I disagree, but I don't dismiss hwat they say out of hand. It is totally unrealistic for any of the Dems to think that Bush isn't going to take every opportunity to promote his approach, nd if they thought they were going to go through this campaign without having to deal with visuals such as the ones the ads use, then they were out of touch with reality. It is time to see whether or not Kerry has the guts to advocate his own views, or whether he is going to join the gutless whiners.

Posted by: Dan at March 5, 2004 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

The growth of al Qaeda, the training of thousands of terrorists in Afghani training camps, the Khobar Towers bombings, attacks on American embassies in Africa, the Cole bombing, retreat from Somalia, the first WTC bombing - not to mention the bulk of the planning and training for 9/11 - all happened on Clinton's watch.

Well, if we're going to turn back the clock, then you have to look at the funding of the mujahedin during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, which all happened, not on Reagan's watch, but with Reagan's explicit approval.

Posted by: ahem at March 5, 2004 12:51 PM | PERMALINK


Rather - how many have succeeded due to his policies?

Seems to me like, umm... none.

gotta call you on that one, pal.

Before you get away with that, you have to show why Clinton and Gore have utterly no problem with giving the NCTA as much time and access as they need, and it's Bush and Rice who're stonewalling.

Especially because the whole thing happened on their watch.

Jesus. I would think that this much would all be obvious by now, even to the clueless elephants.

Posted by: xf at March 5, 2004 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

"...all happened on Clinton's watch."

Sure, they waited under Clinton's watch, but knew they could only freely pounce under Bush's.

Posted by: ch2 at March 5, 2004 12:54 PM | PERMALINK

Ok I got a sense of what the posters feel about what has happened. Now, what will happen?

I think that if the contoversy doesn't die down (or isn't eclipsed by martha's conviction) by Monday, the campaign will pull it down. In such a tight race this thing can not be allowed to abcess.

Posted by: Keith G at March 5, 2004 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

President Bush once said in jest, "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier ... just so long as I'm the dictator."

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

"or isn't eclipsed by martha's conviction"

GUILTY!!!

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 01:00 PM | PERMALINK

"Really, I thought we put a stop to that when we Liberated Afghanistan? Oh? It's worse than ever? Gosh!"

Nice try with the subject change. But as you state below War on ____ are neverending wars and that would include the War on Drugs.

"Yes, politicians have stupidly used the phrase "War on Blank" for decades. Does that make it wise? No, it makes it stupid."

Never said it's wise...just acceptable rhetoric.

"Question for you: What is Victory in the War on Terror?

Is it the eradication of terrorism?
Is it "no attacks for N years?"

Neither and both.

"Because both of those are impossible goals."

Exactly.

"Terrorism is a tactic, not a movement, not a monolithic entity. It's a tactic used for political ends. You can't EVER erradicate it...it's impossible."

Agreed....but you can make the consequences harsh.

"So basically you're saying you support a state of perpetual war against a vague and ill-defined foe, with no clear victory conditions."

That is what has been happening since 1993...where the hell have you been?

"Is that true? Is that the case? Be honest."

Support or not support doesn't matter. It is what exists.

"Because what you're talking about is a never ending state of war with whomever we declare are terrorists."

Not really, I have high confidence in the American ability to ignore what is not a pressing problem. If terror organizations are squashed and attacks don't happen, this war will fade.

A war that never, ever ends.

"I'm not so sure America is willing to sign onto that. At least, I was never asked about it."

Asked about it in terms of voting for it? No. Told that this would be a long haul deal? Yes. I think the administration has taken great pains to point that out.

"Our war on terror is well begun, but it is only begun. This campaign may not be finished on our watch -- yet it must be and it will be waged on our watch. " Bush 2002 SOTU

Now that doesn't make the concept of neverending war right but the war is likely not to be neverending.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 01:00 PM | PERMALINK

time for the Friday bad news dump.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 01:01 PM | PERMALINK

>Saddam was in fact supporting terrorists maybe not Al Queda specifically. Even now I'm a little pissed that apparently there was a terrorist camp operating in Iraq that we didn't hit because we preparing the invasion.

Camp was in the northern Iraq no-fly zone, not under Saddam's control.

Be more than a little pissed.

Posted by: snoey at March 5, 2004 01:02 PM | PERMALINK

Gronk

A couple of things strike me odd about this reasoning. The first is that I have seen no evidence of any ads which Kerry has been responsible for using caskets of dead American soldiers for political gain. If he were to employ such a tactic, I would find it objectionable and offensive. It would no doubt be offensive to the loved ones of those who have been lost in Iraq. I might think the war in Iraq to be a bad idea, but there must be some common ground of decency between the citizens of this nation.

You also seem to be justifying the ad Bush is running by citing surrogates who use the Iraq war as a way to discredit him. If you find this tactic objectionable when the other side uses it, why don't you find the Bush ad objectionable for the same reason?

Iraq was a policy decision. Its wisdom is something that should be debated, particularly in an election year. Bush's other policies should also be debated. You can't have it both ways though.

Posted by: Roland at March 5, 2004 01:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Here's one reason Dems, and others, have a very legitimate gripe over the use of this imagery.

The most important thing is for you to recognize that YOUR reaction to these images is largely irrelevant.

I think that if there are groups whose sentiments on the use of the 9/11 imagery MUST be taken pretty much on face value, and who pretty much have the final say on whether that imagery is appropriate, it SURELY should be the families of the victims, and the firefighters whose brothers responded to the attacks. If, as appears to be the case, they come out in good numbers against the use of that imagery, how can that NOT be respected as valid and decisive?

If the Republicans insist on using these images OVER THE OBJECTIONS OF THESE GROUPS, why should Democrats NOT rightly denounce that use as political? Can the Republicans really claim that it is more important that they be able to employ these images for a political ad than that the sensibilities of survivors' families and firefighters be respected? If not, then why can't the Democrats call them on it as exploiting 9/11 for political gain?

Posted by: frankly0 at March 5, 2004 01:06 PM | PERMALINK

The "war on terror" is simply put, a war on dangerous nations, nations whose conditions are ripe for breeding terrorists.

The problem is, there are dozens of dangerous nations. Saudi Arabi. Korea. Haiti. Pakistan. Zimbabwe. And on, and on, and on. They all contain the conditions that breed terror.

So what's the strategy for this "war on terror"? To attack all the dangerous nations? Obviously, that's impossible. It seems like our strategy was to pick one dangerous nation at random and attack it. Okay, we got rid of one dictator. But what's the long-term strategy? How does eliminating one dictator, in the long run, get rid of the threat: hundreds of dangerous nations, all over the globe?

Posted by: Josh Yelon at March 5, 2004 01:06 PM | PERMALINK

Josh Yelon

I think this is a good point. Ever since the Cold War ended with the USSR, we have been casting about. What strikes me as problematic is that the US will have enemies as long as the US is a nation. Sometimes we will be involved in hot wars, sometimes cold wars. Terrorism is simply the tactic used by non-nation actors who wish to confront the US. No matter how many Saddams we rid the world of, it will exist in some form.

Posted by: Roland at March 5, 2004 01:14 PM | PERMALINK

And GWB has campaigned to end the war on terrorism. Of course, by "end", I don't mean "surrender" like the lefties do.
Right, by freaking out and attacking the wrong country. That's great.

You're right, the left is against that.

And the difference, Ryan, between 9/11 bodies and dead soldiers is that one is a group of mostly civilians killed by the enemy, the other are American fighters sent to die in the wrong country.

One is an outrage, the other is part of a leader's accountability.

One brain-dead accusation of hypocrisy after another. I'm liking the way this election is shaping up. All the right can do is bitch about "they're doing it, too!" while making asses of themselves.

Keep it up.

Posted by: Visualize Dead Thugs at March 5, 2004 01:15 PM | PERMALINK

There is no long term strategy.

Bush uses the War on Terror as a means to a political end...which is to get elected, and then use the spoils of war to reward his powerful friends. Same as it ever was.

Anyone who believes that the War in Iraq has made the US a safer place needs to have his head examined.

Posted by: Monkey at March 5, 2004 01:16 PM | PERMALINK

Sure, they waited under Clinton's watch, but knew they could only freely pounce under Bush's.

That's just nutty. Do you think al Qaeda spent all that time planning and training for 9/11 but would have called it off if Gore had been elected?

Posted by: Randal Robinson at March 5, 2004 01:19 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Theres a large difference between Pres. Bush talking about his actions during 9/11 and showcasing deadbodies on television. If a member of my family died in a horrific attack, I'd hate for any politician to trivialize it for political gain.

Posted by: James at March 5, 2004 01:20 PM | PERMALINK

What strikes me as problematic is that the US will have enemies as long as the US is a nation.

But we shouldn't ever ask WHY this is, because then we're vicious liberal traitors.

They just HATE us, right? Pure, blind, unreasoning hate.

Of course, they SAY they have reasons, but they just lie, right?

Boggle.

Posted by: Monkey at March 5, 2004 01:20 PM | PERMALINK

What is even more horrific is how liberals politicize abortion...the taking of a human life, literally millions of them..and Liberals love to talk about that in their campaigns.

When is the media going to be horrified that
liberals politicize the death of so many children??

Posted by: keiser at March 5, 2004 01:25 PM | PERMALINK

In one sense there is nothing surprising or unusually scandalous about Bush/Cheney using 9/11 images in their campaign. What IS a cause for outrage, however, is the way that the administration took advantage of a national tragedy and the patriotic sentiment it evoked to push forward a divisive, ideologically driven agenda that has been disastrous for the country.

It may well be that 9/11 has "changed everything," and that we are at a crucial juncture in our nation's history. All the more reason to lament the fact that the vision and stature of George W. Bush fall tragically short of those who have led us through such difficult times in the past.

Posted by: flatpossum at March 5, 2004 01:26 PM | PERMALINK

The problem is not the showing of the images. The problem is Bush jacking off the families and NYC and the 9/11 commission and the firemen for 2 1/2 years. If Bush had been honest all along, few would be critizing the ads.

You reap what you sew...

Posted by: Big Red at March 5, 2004 01:26 PM | PERMALINK

Researcher

I will agree that we have done a lot to harm Al Quaeda. You are evidently claiming that Al Quaeda was the responsibility of Clinton to deal with. I would argue that it was the responsibilty of the US. Prior to 9/11, how many citizens were oblivious to the identity of OBL? How many could point to Afghanistan or the Sudan on a map? How many in the party of opposition at the time called for robust action against bin Laden? In answer to all of these, I would argue very few. There is obviously a fair amount of blame to go around. I would argue that to the vast majority of citizens, this was not an important issue. Wihtout something of the magnitude of 9/11, Clinton would have never been able to marshal the support needed for military action.

Posted by: Roland at March 5, 2004 01:27 PM | PERMALINK

"Do you think al Qaeda spent all that time planning and training for 9/11 but would have called it off if Gore had been elected?"

No I think it would have been thwarted.The Clinton admin had evidence this was comming and set up this pResident to stop it and they did NOTHING.This pResident was warned of the "imminent" and "gathering" threat of an attack by his own people and did nothing to even try to stop it.No looking for those already in country,No stopping them from boarding aircraft,No fighter jets to shoot down the enemy.Or did they shoot down fl 93 and couldnt handle the publics reaction?I dont know it would be nice to know if they did try and stop it.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 01:30 PM | PERMALINK

smalfish

I think we would be well served by asking this question. In the case of bin Laden, I suspect he hates the US for much the same reason that Falwell and company hate homosexuals: the blind adherance to an ancient and ludicrous doctrine.

However, in both cases one must ask why does the message resonate so well with the followers. In the case of bin Laden, I suspect that it is because a fair number of his followers have no stake whatsoever in the society in which they live. Someone comes along with some simple answers, and you have a convert. A fair number also resent the US because of its asymmetrical support for Israel and its continued presence in their holy land. Without a rcipe to deal with these types of problems, any war on terror is doomed to fail. In the case of Falwell, I have no idea why people in a scientifically advanced nation believe his word.

Posted by: Roland at March 5, 2004 01:34 PM | PERMALINK

"Posted by keiser at March 5, 2004 01:25 PM | PERMALINK"

YOU MORON!Just what does you idiotic post have to do with this discussion.No better than OBL in that you like to hijack.GO AWAY AND ABORT YOURSELF!

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 01:34 PM | PERMALINK

The point has been missed. This is ADVERTISING. Not "discussing the issues" as the neocons like to refer to it. It is not any more acceptable than Pepsi using those same images to sell their product... imagine it, a dust-covered, exhausted firefighter cracking open a can and downing a Pepsi at Ground Zero, lonely flag crackling in the background...

They're selling Bush, in this case. It is reprehensible, and people don't realize it because this cad has been pushing the boundaries of decency and taste since he stole office.

Posted by: la dolce vita at March 5, 2004 01:35 PM | PERMALINK

"And the difference, Ryan, between 9/11 bodies and dead soldiers is that one is a group of mostly civilians killed by the enemy, the other are American fighters sent to die in the wrong country. "

Which is your opinion.

"One is an outrage, the other is part of a leader's accountability. "

Again your opinion.

"One brain-dead accusation of hypocrisy after another."

What's braindead about saying those commenters who are "outraged" at the usage of a couple of seconds of 9/11 footage then wish to use soldiers coffins is hypocritical? It is, both are exploiting death for the purposes of politics.

"I'm liking the way this election is shaping up. All the right can do is bitch about "they're doing it, too!" while making asses of themselves. "

Actually the entire context of the soldier's coffins seems to be legitamized by "they do it too" doctrine.

"Keep it up."

Gladly.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 01:36 PM | PERMALINK

NOW THIS WOULD BE A MORE RELEASITIC AD:

Show the WTC in 1993 being blown up: Cut to Clinton receiving BJ in oval office. Cut to Kerry saying he opposes death penalty for terrorists that kill americans.

Show the Khobar Towers blown up: Cut to Clinton sodomizing Monica with a cigar, then cut to Kerry
voting to cut Intelligence and Defense

Show the USS Cole blown up: Then cut to Clinton
finishing maturbating himself in a tissue in the little sink off the oval office, then cut to Kerry saying he opposed attacking terrorists unless it is 'proportional'.

Then cut to Sept 11th and say: Had enough of the Children and Liberal fools running the show.
Let's Roll!

Posted by: keiser at March 5, 2004 01:36 PM | PERMALINK

"In the case of Falwell, I have no idea why people in a scientifically advanced nation believe his word."

The blind leading the blind.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 01:36 PM | PERMALINK

The clowns who complain that 9/11 was as much Clinton's responsibility as Bush's ignore two things: first, that Bush was in office for eight months and had been on vacation more than any other President over that period, and second that Clinton handed over plans for both going after Al Queda and a Homeland Security department ? plans that were shelved until after Bush's wake up call. If Clinton had done nothing, then the apologists for the Republican failures might have a point. But the only way to claim that is to ignore the facts. Then again, we are talking about Republicans ? whose devotion to the facts is on par with the fidelity of a $2 whore aboard a battleship.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at March 5, 2004 01:37 PM | PERMALINK

"What's braindead about saying those commenters who are "outraged" at the usage of a couple of seconds of 9/11 footage then wish to use soldiers coffins is hypocritical?"


What "commentator would you be refering to?Would it be Britt?Wolf?Larry?WHO??

GAWD!The ignorance is bliss line is being overused here.
SMARTER VOTERS PLEASE!

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 01:41 PM | PERMALINK

I GOT 2 DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: KEISER at March 5, 2004 01:43 PM | PERMALINK

You might feel differently if any of your friends had burned to death that day. And if you suspected that these clowns had some warning that something was up and they were too incompetent to act.

Oh wait. That would be me.

Okay, I'm pissed- how dare he talk about leadership when he completely dropped the ball? So yes, we have a right to be pissed.

Posted by: four legs good at March 5, 2004 01:44 PM | PERMALINK

And Kerry has been shamelessly exploiting the Vietnam war for months. The stench of hypocrisy here is thick.

It sure is, but it's coming from someone who can say that kerry has "shamelessly exploited" Vietnam and then pretend that criticism of Bush's 9/11 ads is hypocritical.

He actually served there, (unlike the chicken hawks); I don't believe the Preznit was in the World Trade Center that day.

Posted by: 16 at March 5, 2004 01:46 PM | PERMALINK

NOW THIS WOULD BE A MORE RELEASITIC [sic] AD:

Show millions unemployed: Cut to Keiser fellating Bush, which apparently is his job, since he has nothing better to do all day than troll here with his 4th-grade spelling and vocabulary.

Show Pakistan selling nuclear weapons: Cut to Cheney sodomizing Keiser with a cigar- purchased from Halliburton via a non-bid government contract, of course. It tastes good!

Show all the anthrax and ricin letters going to Congress: Then cut to keiser finishing maturbating [sic] himself in a tissue [sic] in the little sink off his mom's basement apartment to a picture of Bush. It's so exciting when terrorists can use the Postal Service for biological weapons without getting caught for three years! Steady leadership for troubled times!

Then cut to Sept 11th and say: Had enough of the people who talk tough and do nothing?

Let's Roll!

Posted by: Trollbegone at March 5, 2004 01:48 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone read

THIS?

Posted by: MattB at March 5, 2004 01:51 PM | PERMALINK

The clowns who complain that 9/11 was as much Clinton's responsibility as Bush's ignore two things: first, that Bush was in office for eight months and had been on vacation more than any other President over that period, and second that Clinton handed over plans for both going after Al Queda and a Homeland Security department ? plans that were shelved until after Bush's wake up call. If Clinton had done nothing, then the apologists for the Republican failures might have a point. But the only way to claim that is to ignore the facts.

Those aren't facts, that's a dream palace that Democrats have constructed to convince themselves that 9/11 wouldn't have happened on their watch.

The Clinton administration did virtually nothing to halt the growth of al Qaeda and there were numerous terrorist attacks during their eight years which they failed to prevent or forcefully respond to. The majority of the planning and training for 9/11 took place while Clinton was in office and there's no evidence his administration knew anything about it or acted on it if they did.

So after eight years of utter failure we are now supposed to believe that the Clinton administration left this brilliant anti-terrorist strategy on Bush's desk on their way out the door? Yeah, right.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at March 5, 2004 01:53 PM | PERMALINK

"What "commentator would you be refering to?Would it be Britt?Wolf?Larry?WHO??"

Huh? I was referring to people in this thread.

"GAWD!The ignorance is bliss line is being overused here.
SMARTER VOTERS PLEASE!"

Agreed.....okay that was just mean, you probably just made a mistake.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 01:53 PM | PERMALINK

I'm glad the reich hasn't forgotten who the real enemy is:
over on townhall, Coulter is comparing Christianity to 'other religions whose tenets are more along the lines of "kill everyone who doesn't smell bad and doesn't answer to the name Mohammed"'.

I think this is a great theme and am hoping townhall is performing its usual function of petri dish of talking points to the reich.

On the other hand, I'm not sure this will play with the base, since she also claims Christ's message wasn't important, and can be distilled down to someone driving a Volvo with a bumper sticker that says "be nice to people." Doesn't matter what he said, just watch him die again and again and know that it happened becuase you suck.

Damn! A great meme shot to shit. Oh well, just keep 'em talking.

Posted by: Visualize Dead Thugs at March 5, 2004 01:53 PM | PERMALINK

I love how liberals simply want to re-write history....the FACT is Kerry fighting in Vitenam was not his 'response' to Vietnam...HIS RESPONSE WAS TO CALL AMIERCA A WAR CRIMINAL, TO CLAIM AMERCIA WAS ENGAGED IN GENOCIDE and to attack the soldiers serving their as war criminals and rapist, and murderers.
Now you want to sanitize that whole history of Kerry, you want to jump from 1968 to 2001 and forget all about 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974 and all of his soft on terroistm votes prior to 9/11

Posted by: kesier at March 5, 2004 01:54 PM | PERMALINK

Whether these ads constitute "standard-issue politics" or not, the point is that Bush has tried to use 9/11 to PREVENT standard-issue politics from taking place. These ads are wrong, wrong, wrong.

Posted by: Pericles at March 5, 2004 01:57 PM | PERMALINK

Those aren't facts, that's a dream palace that Democrats have constructed to convince themselves that 9/11 wouldn't have happened on their watch.
Actually, there are four facts in that sentence, though I can understand why you need to hide from them.

Posted by: Visualize Dead Thugs at March 5, 2004 01:59 PM | PERMALINK

Is that Keiser, or someone having fun with his dumb ass?

Wrong again, whatever it is. Please read something, like the back of a tube of toothpaste or something.

Posted by: Visualize Dead Thugs at March 5, 2004 02:00 PM | PERMALINK

It's the sanitizing of it, the sweet music, the high production values, that flag draped over a coffin. Bush is trying to hijack 9-11, but only after cleansing it of all its horror. This is the thing that sickens me: turning 9-11 into a Family Channel telemovie.

Whoever was President he or she should have responded forcefully to 9-11. It happened to be Bush. He had no choice in the matter. This "opportunity" has fallen into his lap, but he's treating it as if it's his event alone. Once again he's trying to claim credit and profit from luck - good and bad all in one.

Add into that his inept handling, under-funding of Homeland Security, stalling of the 9-11 commission and diversion in Iraq and you have a man who has no shame. A thief.

9-11 belongs first to the dead, then the relatives and friends, then the firemen and police, then New York and then America. Bush is at the distant end of a long queue of ownership. Once again he has jumped the queue, as he did with the National Guard and almost every other significant event or phase of his life.

He was the wrong man in the right place but now he's trying to con you all into thinking he was the only one who could have dealt with it.

Reject those commercials for the atrocious, dangerous and disrespectful garbage they really are.

Posted by: Aussie Bob at March 5, 2004 02:02 PM | PERMALINK

Simply put to Keiser:

were you there in 67 to 72?

I'm afarid not.

even simpler put to keiser:

why are you here?

Posted by: Nixon at March 5, 2004 02:03 PM | PERMALINK

Poor Roland, trying to have a serious discussion. Does he not realise that the reason people come to this blog is to *avoid* serious discussion?

It's a big, scary world out there. Leftists come to lefty blogs to be comforted and to avoid challenging opinions.

Posted by: a at March 5, 2004 02:03 PM | PERMALINK

Oh BTW, when will the righteous anger of GWB be focused on the ongoing terrorism that has been plaguing our fair land for at least two decades. That is Operation Rescue and their ilk who support bombings, shootings, and other forms of extortive behavior?

Posted by: Keith G at March 5, 2004 02:04 PM | PERMALINK

WHY IS EVERYONE CALLING ME NAMES??

Posted by: KEISER at March 5, 2004 02:07 PM | PERMALINK

"Leftists come to lefty blogs to be comforted and to avoid challenging opinions"

Commies(commonly known as wingnuts)come here to see why they are so blind.

Posted by: KEISER at March 5, 2004 02:10 PM | PERMALINK

I hate you!I love to diddle my hero George.

Posted by: kesier at March 5, 2004 02:11 PM | PERMALINK

"Oh BTW, when will the righteous anger of GWB be focused on the ongoing terrorism that has been plaguing our fair land for at least two decades. That is Operation Rescue and their ilk who support bombings, shootings, and other forms of extortive behavior?"

You maust have been disappointed at failed tactics of Planned Parenthood to impose the odious RICO laws against them.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 02:12 PM | PERMALINK

""""Simply put to Keiser:

were you there in 67 to 72?"""""

Was I where?? Where Kerry was bad mouthing America, taking down our flag and calling veterans war criminals, baby killers, etc.

No, you see I was proudly saying the pledge of allegiance to a standing American flag (Right side up of course, not like Kerry slam at Iwo Jima Marines) in K through 5.

Posted by: kesier at March 5, 2004 02:17 PM | PERMALINK

The Clinton administration did virtually nothing to halt the growth of al Qaeda and there were numerous terrorist attacks during their eight years which they failed to prevent or forcefully respond to.

So describe the robust measures taken by Bush upon taking office. Explain how Bush's actions were more robust than Clinton's, prior to 9/11. Bush didn't do virtually nothing, Bush did exactly nothing.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at March 5, 2004 02:17 PM | PERMALINK

Remember it was the French (!) who said after 9/11
"Today we are all Americans".

For weeks after 9/11 I saw huge pine stands aflame (although they weren't). Planes flew over the school where I teach and all the adults looked out the windows. 9/11 was HORRIBLE for all Americans, not just Republican-Americans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GWB leadership? - a lot of us were just glad that he had other people around who might not be so narrow in their thinking. Well, that turned out to be a false hope, didn't it?

Posted by: c at March 5, 2004 02:18 PM | PERMALINK

What was keiser's point? Without the capitals his illogical opinions allude me.

Posted by: spazz at March 5, 2004 02:18 PM | PERMALINK

Whew.. they're back. should of refreshed... I feel so much better now.

Posted by: spazz at March 5, 2004 02:20 PM | PERMALINK

"So describe the robust measures taken by Bush upon taking office. Explain how Bush's actions were more robust than Clinton's, prior to 9/11. Bush didn't do virtually nothing, Bush did exactly nothing."

Actually both men did quite a bit. I find it silly to say Clinton did nothing. I disagree with assertions that criminal prosecution is the end all be all and Clinton felt the same way. Did Clinton make it a national priority in the manne Bush did? No, we hadn't had something as devastating as 9/11 happen so he would be hard pressed to do that politically. .

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 02:21 PM | PERMALINK

"""Whoever was President he or she should have responded forcefully to 9-11"""

Now this is funny, the same guys blew up the WTC in 1993, tried to collapse one tower into the other and were hopeing to kill 40,000 Americans...I don't remember the forceful response of the Clinton/Gore/Kerry team. I remember Clinton refused to even go to the WTC, getting only as close as New Jersey. I remember Kerry was actively attempting to gut our military and intelligence..so he wasn't planning any forceful response.

AND ONE OTHER NOTE, FOR LIBERALS WHO SOOOO COMPLAIN ABOUT REPUBLICANS STEALING DEMOCRATS MEMOS, YOU SURE DO LOVE TO STEAL MY SCREEN NAME.....TROLLS!

Posted by: keiser at March 5, 2004 02:21 PM | PERMALINK

I just wish someone would buy a 5 minute chunk of time on the air and show Bush's real-time reaction to the news of 9/11.

For anyone who hasn't seen this video yet, it's truly mind-numbing. Bush is visiting a school, listening to children read outloud. An aid whispers into Bush's ear that we are under attack, that planes have crashed into buildings. And Bush...sits there. Calmly. For five effing minutes. Just listening to them read. Then he does some Q & A--with the students! Asking things like "How many of you read more than you watch TV?"

Please, I implore you...let's vote this guy out.

Posted by: Uncle Mike at March 5, 2004 02:27 PM | PERMALINK

Bush, fighting "terrorism"
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2004_02_29.html#002642

I'm still working on the laugh-track.

Posted by: Visualize Dead Thugs at March 5, 2004 02:27 PM | PERMALINK

"No, you see I was proudly saying the pledge of allegiance to a standing American flag (Right side up of course"

Maybe you fail to realize that the flag upside down is NOT a sign of unpatriotism,YOU fail to realize the ramifications of the flag inversion.It signifies the party flying it (in this case the whole nation)is in dire straits.While you were making doody in your drawers there were people who cared what the flag means,as apparently you know nothing about.

Posted by: kesier at March 5, 2004 02:27 PM | PERMALINK

Uh, Keiser, those responsible for the 1993 bombing were found, tried, and convicted within 13 months.

I'm afraid we're going to have to disallow your "memory" as a reference...

Posted by: Visualize Dead Thugs at March 5, 2004 02:28 PM | PERMALINK

"An aid whispers into Bush's ear that we are under attack, that planes have crashed into buildings. And Bush...sits there."

And then he says "What a bad pilot"

Posted by: kesier at March 5, 2004 02:28 PM | PERMALINK

"Clinton's National Security Advisor Sandy Berger remembered how little help the previous Bush administration had provided to his team. Believing that the nation's security should transcend political bitterness, Berger arranged ten briefings for his successor, Condoleezza Rice, and her deputy, Stephen Hadley. Berger made a special point of attending the briefing on terrorism. He told Dr. Rice, ?I believe that the Bush administration will spend more time on terrorism in general, and on al Qaeda specifically, than any other subject.''

"Which brings me to a lie. When Time asked about the conversation, Rice declined to comment, but through a spokeswoman said she recalled no briefing at which Berger was present" Perhaps so, Dr. Rice. But might I direct our mutual friends, my readers, to a certain December 30, 2001, New York Times article? Perhaps you know the one, Condi? Shall I quote it? "As he prepared to leave office last January, Mr. Berger met with his successor, Condoleezza Rice, and gave her a warning. According to both of them, he said that terrorism-and particularly Mr. bin Laden's brand of it-would consume far more of her time than she had ever imagined.''

After Berger left, Rice stayed around to listen to counterterrorism bulldog Richard Clarke, who laid out the whole anti-al Qaeda plan. Rice was so impressed with Clarke that she immediately asked him to stay on as head of counterterrorism. In early February, Clarke repeated the briefing for Vice President Dick Cheney. But, according to Time, there was some question about how seriously the Bush team took Clarke's warnings. Outgoing Clinton officials felt that "the Bush team thought the Clintonites had become obsessed with terrorism."

"The Bushies had an entirely different set of obsessions. Missile defense, for example. The missile defense obsession proved prescient when terrorists fired a slow-moving intercontinental ballistic missile into the World Trade Center. If only Clarke had put his focus on missile defense instead of obsessing on Osama bin Laden.

"While all the Bushies focused on their pet projects, Clarke was blowing a gasket. He had a plan, and no one was paying attention. It didn't help that the plan had been hatched under Clinton. Clinton-hating was to the Bush White House what terrorism- fighting was to the Clinton White House.

"Meanwhile, on February 15, 2001, a commission led by former senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman issued its third and final report on national security. The Hart-Rudman report warned that "mass-casualty terrorism directed against the U.S. homeland was of serious and growing concern'' and said that America was woefully unprepared for a "catastrophic'' domestic terrorist attack and urged the creation of a new federal agency: "A National Homeland Security Agency with responsibility for planning, coordinating, and integrating various U.S. government activities involved in homeland security? that would include the Customs Service, the Border Patrol, the Coast Guard, and more than a dozen other government departments and agencies.

"The Hart-Rudman Commission had studied every aspect of national security over a period of years and had come to a unanimous conclusion: "This commission believes that the security of the American homeland from the threats of the new century should be the primary national security mission of the U.S. government."

"The report generated a great deal of media attention and even a bill in Congress to establish a National Homeland Security Agency. But over at the White House, the Justice Department, and the Pentagon, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Attorney General Ashcroft, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld decided that the best course of action was not to implement the recommendations of the Hart-Rudman report, but instead to launch a sweeping initiative dubbed "Operation Ignore."

"The holdovers from the Clinton era - Clarke and CIA Director George Tenet-were going nuts. Bush administration insiders would later say they never felt that the two men had been fully on board with Operation Ignore. Tenet was getting reports of more and more chatter about possible terrorist activity. Through June and July, according to one source quoted in the Washington Post, Tenet worked himself nearly frantic'' with concern. In mid-July, "George briefed Condi that there was going to be a major attack," an official told Time.

"Bush spent 42 percent of his first seven months in office either at Camp David, at the Bush compound in Kennebunkport, or at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. As he told a $1,000-a-plate crowd at a fund-raiser in June, Washington, D.C., is a great place to work, but Texas is a great place to relax." That's why on August 3, after signing off on a plan to cut funding for programs guarding unsecured or "loose? nukes in the former Soviet Union, he bade farewell to the Washington grind and headed to Crawford for the longest presidential vacation in thirty-two years.

"Now, on August 6, CIA Director Tenet delivered a report to President Bush entitled, "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.'' The report warned that al Qaeda might be planning to hijack airplanes. But the President was resolute: Operation Ignore must proceed as planned. He did nothing to follow up on the memo.

"Actually, that's not entirely fair. The President did follow up, a little bit. Sitting in his golf cart the next day, Bush told some reporters, "I'm working on a lot of issues, national security matters.'' Then, Bush rode off to hit the links, before dealing with a stubborn landscaping issue by clearing some brush on his property. The next day, he followed up again, telling the press, I've got a lot of national security concerns that we're working on Iraq, Macedonia, very worrisome right now."

"But Iraq and Macedonia weren't the only things on Bush's mind. "One of the interesting things to do is drink coffee and watch Barney chase armadillos," he told reporters on a tour of the ranch later in his vacation. "The armadillos are out, and they love to root in our flower bed. It's good that Barney routs them out of their rooting.''

"Among those left to swelter in the D.C. heat that August was one Thomas J. Pickard. No fly-fishing for him. In his role as acting FBI director, Pickard had been privy to a top-secret, comprehensive review of counterterrorism programs in the FBI. The assessment called for a dramatic increase in funding. Alarmed by the report and by the mounting terrorist threat, Pickard met with Attorney General John Ashcroft to request $58 million from the Justice Department to hire hundreds of new field agents, translators, and intelligence analysts to improve the Bureau's capacity to detect foreign terror threats. On September 10, he received the final Operation Ignore communique: an official letter from Ashcroft turning him down flat. (To give Pickard credit for adopting a professional attitude, he did not call Ashcroft the next day to say, "I told you so.'')

"On September 9, as the plan cooled its heels, Congress proposed a boost of $600 million for antiterror programs. The money was to come from Rumsfeld's beloved missile defense program, the eventual price tag of which was estimated by the Congressional Budget Office at between $158 billion and $238 billion. Congress's proposal to shift $0.6 billion over to counterterror programs incurred Rummy's ire, and he threatened a presidential veto. Operation Ignore was in its 207th day.

"On Operation Ignore Day 208, Ashcroft sent his Justice Department budget request to Bush. It included spending increases in sixty-eight different programs. Out of these sixty-eight programs, less than half dealt with terrorism. Way less than half. In fact, none of them dealt with terrorism. Ashcroft passed around a memo listing his seven top priorities. Again, terrorism didn't make the list."

Posted by: MattB at March 5, 2004 02:30 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with Kevin. Using the imagery isn't necessarily bad, it is how it is used and what the commercial's imply.

Posted by: Steve at March 5, 2004 02:31 PM | PERMALINK

"""Explain how Bush's actions were more robust than Clinton's, prior to 9/11"""""

Ohh how soon we forget. After Bush won the election, the Democrats immediate began to contest the election delaying the transition for weeks. Then they sabotaged the whitehouse computers, damaging federal property and leaving this in a mess.
Then the Democrats in the Senate slow rolled Bushs nominees to get back at Bush for winning Florida so Bush baring had most of his people
confirmed prior to Sept 11th.

Even though the Democrats did all they could to sabotage Bush, he already had the Pentagon working on contingency plans for Iraq and Osama Bin Laden and Afghanistan. He already had requested increases in Defense and intelligence. he had already requested daily CIA briefings from tenant.


Your also forgetting he was mostly dealing with the recssion you democrats handed him on your way out.

game set match....you lose.

Posted by: kesier at March 5, 2004 02:31 PM | PERMALINK

"""Uh, Keiser, those responsible for the 1993 bombing were found, tried, and convicted within 13 months."""

Fool, those responsible were sitting in pakistan and Afghanistan....Sheikh Khalid Muhommand, Zawahiri and osama.....IF THEY HAD BEEN CAPTURED TRIED AND CONVICTED THEN 9/11 WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED.
So much for a law enforcement solution.

Posted by: keiser at March 5, 2004 02:33 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

As a longtime fan of your blog, but infrequent commenter, I am loath to offer criticism when I so rarely write in to praise your many thought-provoking posts. Nevertheless, I was so shocked and disappointed by the seeming callousness of this post that I couldn't let it pass without comment. As a resident of the DC area, I have friends who were deeply traumatized by these attacks and others who lost loved ones that terrible day. National security generally, and even Sept 11 itself should certainly be issues in the campaign, but this is not a matter of mere "issue politics." Perhaps I am overreacting because I have not seen the ads, but I don't think anyone should use these events, or the images associated with them, as political theater. The negative effects of Rove's politicization of this event can be seen in the tone of many of the comments on this thread. I suppose I'm disappointed in all of us, really--this tragedy provided a sort of appeal to our better nature, but we chose to ignore it.

Posted by: crumudgeon at March 5, 2004 02:33 PM | PERMALINK

"Uh, Keiser, those responsible for the 1993 bombing were found, tried, and convicted within 13 months. "

Quibbling here.....but Yousef wasn't convicted untill 1998. 9 people including the blind cleric were convicted in 95 though 4 of the men appealed because of bad representation.

BTW, funny(not ha-ha) link on whatreallyhappened that I came across regarding 93

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/POLITICS/OK/wtcbomb.html

Damn FBI!

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 02:34 PM | PERMALINK

How soon we forget indeed. What did Bush do in August of 2001?

Posted by: Lori Thantos at March 5, 2004 02:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Then they sabotaged the whitehouse computers, damaging federal property and leaving this in a mess."

O c'mon this is so overblown. There was some minor vandalism in a practical joke sense. The damage wasn't a big deal.

And for those who claim nothing happened, I personnally know two people who were staffed at the WH who had "a little fun" before they left.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 02:37 PM | PERMALINK

Ryan, the New York Post ran a headline: BUSH KNEW. That doesn't make it any truer than the conspiracy mongering you just engaged in.

But thank you for pointing out that Keister was lying in his post. No one has suggested that there were no pranks in Clinton's departure, but then again, Clinton's team didn't whine to the press about how the outgoing Bush team had done similar damage upon their exit.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at March 5, 2004 02:40 PM | PERMALINK

"Operation Ignore"

I do believe its still in place,extended to the voting public.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 02:43 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think the Bush Team has gone far enough in linking the image of a strong, steady leader--they should show George at Ground Zero, show him leaping into the sky and tackling enemy aircraft, have him running through airports to tackle bad guys trying to steal white babies. C'mon--he's a Super Hero! Rove and Company could even show caskets containing the remains of our war dead--we could cut to Bush fighting his way out of the White House to go pay his respects to our military heroes--then being tackled by staff who plead with him to take his nap--he could wipe a tear from his eye, shake his head in a deep and knowing way, then off to the sofa for much needed Zs.

Bush is entitled to do whatever he wants with the dust of 9/11--he should build a castle with the stuff.

+++

Posted by: MJS at March 5, 2004 02:46 PM | PERMALINK

I finally watched the ads. I did not find the 9/11 imagery offensive at all. I thought the ads were hokey, but then again political ads usually are either hokey or insidious. The "challenges" ad was actually quite interesting and even risky. He's essentially reminding viewers of the troubles of his presidency. Of course he would like viewers to think that he just inherited all this mayhem and that he's shown a lot of leadership in addressing it. But many viewers might see the negative images (the stock ticker, job losses, etc.) and associate the mayhem itself with the Bush presidency, rather than his supposed response to it. It's a risky strategy from a marketing standpoint. The 9/11 bit was rather subtle, in my opinion. If the widows and firefighters are genuinely outraged then it is their right to protest. But I didn't feel personally insulted by it. Just my honest opinion.

Posted by: Elrod at March 5, 2004 02:47 PM | PERMALINK

232 Comments?!?

Calpundit: Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded.

Posted by: TomF at March 5, 2004 02:47 PM | PERMALINK

I'm a fifteen year old boy. Quit picking on me.

Posted by: keiser at March 5, 2004 02:48 PM | PERMALINK

What makes this repugnent is that all I have heard from the right wing pundits is how morally wrong it is to use 9-11 and the battle against terrorism for political purposes. This argument began long ago and had me confused from the start. Usually any argument hides some degree of logic on both sides, but the right wing argument didn't. I did not find democrats using these things for political gains, I found them using Bush's ineptitude facing these things for political gain.

I now see why any hint of the battle against terrorism or 9-11 had them so outraged. They wanted to shame democrats into not mentioning these things so that they could use them first. Sure democrats were able to allude to the shortcomings in speech but in our society folks are suseptible to the suggestion of media and the right wingers simply wanted to be first on this front.

The hilarity of their position comes to me each time they mention how succesful we have been in this battle against terrorism. They trumpet that there has not been one completed terrorist act on American soil since 9-11. I want someone to ask how many attacks since 9-11 they have thwarted? They can't point to any besides their weak attempts when they were cancelling flights and momentarily chalked that up as a win in the battle and a thwarted attack. BS! That is a win for terror, anytime the terrorists make us change the way we live, they win. While the attacks that day were tragic, they were miniscule in relation to what the rest of the world faces from terrorists.

America was founded on the principles of freedom and liberty. I know that inherently that with each liberty and freedom we have we lose some degree of safety. I think you go after OBL with all the strength that we can muster but when you look at the freedoms and liberties that we had prior to that day and the relative safety that we had in relation to the rest of the world, I really don't think we were doing all that bad. Sure I had a knee jerk reaction of fear, I was in Tower one for a month prior to 9-11 and had just left Friday before that day, but as I settled down and held my daughter tight I realized that every time we cede freedom out of fear, they win. It doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things if the terrorists die, the threat of attack will always face us if we are free, the only true way to mitigate the overall threat from terrorists is to make this nation a protective bubble in which we no longer have any of the freedoms that the terrorists despise us for. That isn't the way this country was founded and it isn't the way I want to live. Reclaim the 1600 PA Avenue from this sham of an administration that uses the same propaganda and fear techniques that they ousted Saddam for using and that is quickly shoving religous tyranny down our throats. Fight for democracy and bring regime change to the United States.

Posted by: Randy at March 5, 2004 02:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Ryan, the New York Post ran a headline: BUSH KNEW. That doesn't make it any truer than the conspiracy mongering you just engaged in."

Just a trip down memory lane......not seeking to engage in conspiracy.

"But thank you for pointing out that Keister was lying in his post. No one has suggested that there were no pranks in Clinton's departure,"

Gotta stop hanging out on DU so I can get more sane Dem views on the matter.

"but then again, Clinton's team didn't whine to the press about how the outgoing Bush team had done similar damage upon their exit."

At the time they were likely too busy setting up, to even bother.

Here's a cool frontline thing on the transition in 92

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/clinton/chapters/2.html

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 02:50 PM | PERMALINK

THankfully,here in texas Bush doesnt think he needs to run his ads.As a blessing I havent seen a single one in full,other than the media showing them for him.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 02:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Calpundit: Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded."

Yogi rules!

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 02:51 PM | PERMALINK

Great post Mattb, but you never get to the punchline...If Bill Clinton and Sandy berger were all fired up about Osama? why not take action??? Why pass secret plans to the next adminstration?
I heard all the speeches Clinotn gave when he was leaving office, I never heard him warn the Nation about osama bin laden???

Seems like most of what you wrote were Democrat (unnamed official) self serving leaks to the New York Times in an attempt to save Clintons sorry legacy.

We knew osama was the biggest threat to America for seven years but we didn't managed to do anything about it...go figure.

In addition, given EVERYTHING I hear today about Iraq...how could anyone possibly believe that osama bin laden was an immenent threat? If Iraq wasn't? Clinton told us Iraq had WMD, not Osama...Clinton said Iraq was violating UN mandates, not Osama....Clinton was all over Iraq,,,,not osama.

Nice try dude, but the legacy of clinton is written in the blood of those who died on 911.

Posted by: kesier at March 5, 2004 02:53 PM | PERMALINK

"THankfully,here in texas Bush doesnt think he needs to run his ads.As a blessing I havent seen a single one in full,other than the media showing them for him."

You should move to here in CA. I still have some "personal" messages from the Govenator on my answering machine for the unintentional comedy value.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 02:53 PM | PERMALINK

Follow-up to my last post with a question.

What value do political ads really serve? I see three:
1) Introduce the candidate to the voters. This is completely unnecessary in Bush's case and virtually unnecessary in Kerry's case.
2) Attack the opponent. Much harder to do now that you have to personally endorse the message. This killed Gephardt and Dean in Iowa.
3) Provide a theme for the future. Bush's theme is "steady leadership in times of change". It's pretty corny, but not too bad. As I said in the last post, though, it's fairly risky. Reagan and Clinton could talk in genuinely optimistic terms about the future of the country - in 1984 and 1996 the country was much better off on foreign and domestic policy fronts than four years before. But it's hard to make that claim in 2004. The foreign policy front is very unstable and the jobs picture is miserable. So Bush's optimism and "steady leadership" look either contrived or even beside the point. Then again it's a tough sell. The last three years were not America's finest.

Posted by: Elrod at March 5, 2004 02:55 PM | PERMALINK

When Kerry testified before a Senate committee and listed atrocities committed by American soldiers in Vietnam, he was NOT "accusing" the soldiers of committing these crimes. He was describing acts that the soldiers THEMSELVES said they committed, at the "Winter Soldier" conference of Vietnam veterans which took place a few weeks before his testimony, which Kerry had attended. The soldiers gave first-hand, personal accounts of killing and torturing Vietnamese civilians, killing dogs and farm animals for fun, destroying crops, poisoning water supplies, burning villages, playing games with calling in mortar attacks on civilian homes, etc. Their testimony is on tape. I have heard the tape (on Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now program). Kerry was simply repeating what they said they themselves had done. His testimony is FAR less shocking than the recorded, first-hand testimony of the men who committed these acts.

Posted by: dougpercival at March 5, 2004 02:56 PM | PERMALINK

Ahh gentle Elrod,A quiet voice of reason in an otherwise stormy thread.Thank you.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 02:57 PM | PERMALINK

Bush? In August of 2001 he was deeply involved in some more of the 2700 or so hours he spent on presidential vacation up to 9/11/01.

Posted by: Who Knew? at March 5, 2004 03:01 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks smallfish:)

Really, I'm more interested in the horse race aspect of this than I am in getting outraged over the ad itself (or getting outraged at those who are outraged). How will these ads play out? By complaining about them the 9/11 widows now give Americans another lens to view the ads. Other than that, though, I don't see much interesting to it.

Posted by: Elrod at March 5, 2004 03:02 PM | PERMALINK

As the U.S. edges closer to war with Iraq, some are wondering whether the conflict could have been avoided. As the CBC Reality Check team found, the current course of events has been carefully planned by a powerful group of men, beginning even before George Bush assumed the U.S. presidency.

George W. Bush, presidential candidate, said on Oct. 11, 2000.

"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.'"

One of Bush's more recent speeches is somewhat different: "The world has a clear interest in the spread of democratic values, because stable and free nations do not breed the ideologies of murder... By the resolve and purpose of America, and of our friends and allies, we will make this an age of progress and liberty."

So, what happened? After the terrorist attacks on September 11, Bush had to rethink. But for many of those around him, there was no need to. Long before Sept. 11, influential neo-conservatives wanted to see America as an enlightened ruler, unchallenged, astride the world. Long before Bush was elected president, they got together and they wrote down a manifesto.

The document was effectively a charter of the Project for a New American Century, a neo-conservative think tank in Washington.

Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says, "In essence it's a call for an American empire, for what they call Pax Americana ... it's basically saying that the United States has to take responsibility and to enforce peace around the world and enforce what they call American principles and American interests."

The founding members included:

Vice-President Dick Cheney
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Paul Wolfowitz of the Defence Department
Richard Perle, head of the defence advisory board
Louis Libby, Cheney's chief of staff
John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control
and Elliot Cohen of the defence policy board.

Much of what these men wanted is coming true: They urged that the U.S. abandon the anti-ballistic missile treaty. It has. They wanted establishment of more permanent U.S. military bases abroad. That is happening in the Philippines and in Georgia, and will likely happen in Iraq. They urged regime change as a goal of foreign wars, and not just in Iraq. They wanted the U.S. as a global "constabulary" ? their word ? unburdened by the United Nations or world opinion, preventing any challenge to U.S. dominance.

But, they wrote a year before Sept. 11, such aspirations are unlikely to be realized without "a catastrophic and catalyzing event. . .like a new Pearl Harbor."

William Kristol, a leading neo-conservative and director of the Project for a New American Century, believes such goals are good and right, and he's delighted with all this success, but says there is more to do.

"We haven't persuaded the Bush administration of everything? I think we need to spend more on defence, I think they need to re-think their policy toward Saudi Arabia, I think the administration kicked the can down the road on North Korea, but that remains a threat?"

It's America as Gary Cooper in High Noon, say the critics. Standing tall, all alone, building a new American empire in a new American century.

"Kristol has used the term 'benevolent global hegemony,' which to me says empire, but I suppose if you put the word benevolent in front of it, it makes it OK," Bookman says.

It's been a long time in the making. And wise people will not underestimate the determination of its proponents.

"The point of view from here is a really attractive agenda of governing. We never thought of ourselves as simply intellectual thought experiments," Kristol says.

http://www.deeperwants.com/cul1/homeworlds/journal/archives/001322.html

Posted by: MattB at March 5, 2004 03:02 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody explain how "benevolent global empire" is different from the 4 C's of late 19th century Britain (Christianity, Crown, Civilization and Commerce). But MattB, we know all this...

Posted by: Elrod at March 5, 2004 03:04 PM | PERMALINK

Ok all you wignuts and disbelievers that Bush is disaster in waiting.The waiting is over it's here right now.corprate america is destroying free speech

Where else would it start but in california?Bush has show how corporate america can RAPE armerica and its right to be free of tyranny.We've all known for years that corporations are not nice entities,now we have proof.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 03:08 PM | PERMALINK

Free speech? Um, sorry to tell you, but that was outlawed by McCain-Feingold.

Posted by: Al at March 5, 2004 03:11 PM | PERMALINK

It would be fun to see an ad featuring FDNY veterans speaking out against the budget cuts they've endured and denouncing the Republicans' political use of September 11 imagery. That would certainly make a nice riposte.

Posted by: bad Jim at March 5, 2004 03:12 PM | PERMALINK

Al,DID YOU read??

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 03:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Undermining democracy can be lucrative for some corporations, but costly for the rest of us. In the case of Wal-Mart, its legendary low wages don't impact only workers -- many employees end up requiring public assistance despite having jobs, while better-paying competitors are driven out of business. According to a recent University of Southern California study, the spread of Wal-Mart supercenters in southern California could result in $1.4 billion in wage and benefit losses annually"

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 03:14 PM | PERMALINK

Great post Mattb, but you never get to the punchline...If Bill Clinton and Sandy berger were all fired up about Osama? why not take action??? Why pass secret plans to the next adminstration?
I heard all the speeches Clinotn gave when he was leaving office, I never heard him warn the Nation about osama bin laden??? ...kEISER

Let's see, Bosnia was allegedly a 'wag the dog' thing to distract us from Monica with no true humanitarian value, right Keiser? So I'm sure in the midst of the recount, all you right wing nutjobs (or at least the ones not kicking in doors in FL) would have obviously supported missile strikes into Afghanistan while your idiot-in-chief-to-be was handing out Cabinet positions... Sure, you would have welcomed news of an impending Afghan war, you would have believed Clinton on matters of Nat'l Security, right? Or would you have stubbornly turned it into some smear of 'electioneering' or national security sabotage? How secure would it have been to start a war during the transition? Please, your alleged vast DoD experience needs to be rbought to bear on this.

Posted by: random at March 5, 2004 03:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Let's see, Bosnia was allegedly a 'wag the dog' thing to distract us from Monica with no true humanitarian value, right Keiser?"

At least get your strawmen right.

Bosnia was a war without direct American interest. We participated at the behest of NATO and because of the carnage we had ignored in earlier Yugo problems. No wag the dog about it. Quite a few GOpers got their digs in at Clinton which I thought was stupid at the time. "support the troops not the Prez" and all that jazz.

Now Wag the Dog was Desert Fox and more specifically the cruise missle attacks in Sudan and Afganistan. Which is funny as hell to hear from the right since "wag the dog" the movie was based on the book American Hero which proposes the theory that Bush I started the Gulf War beased on a secret re-election plan given to him by Lee Atwater.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 03:23 PM | PERMALINK

Among the unexpected penalties of the Bush 9/11 exploitation has been the re-emergence of Karen Hughes, arising from the Austin suburbs with a sagebrush twang, K-mart coiffure and a grimace from the scrapbook poses of Lee Atwater

It's not that these people are so silly and stupid (though Bush's reading just three books in three years makes a pretty convincing case); it's their total absence of style.

Posted by: Sam Spade at March 5, 2004 03:25 PM | PERMALINK

So the liberals answer to why Clinton didn't do anything to stop Bin laden from killing thousands of Americans is because Republicans would have called him names......SAD

And the second answer is because we were in a recount? What about 1994? 1995? 1996? 1997? 1998? 1999? 2000?

Posted by: kesier at March 5, 2004 03:25 PM | PERMALINK

I see that Bush is a uniter, not a divider. Same thing for his disciples.

Posted by: Spinning Tops at March 5, 2004 03:33 PM | PERMALINK

So the Republican nutjob answer to the question of why Bush didn't do anything, at all, about terrorism through eight months in office ? even though he had time for a full month off ? was that the transition was too hard on him? SAD.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at March 5, 2004 03:35 PM | PERMALINK

"What about 1994? 1995? 1996? 1997? 1998? 1999? 2000?"

2001,2002,2003?what about 2004,2005,2006,2007,2008,2009?

BinLaden is a mystical figure,get Osama,you get another in his place and another ect adinfinitum.He probably a;ready has his replacement in place and we dont even know who it is OR where HE is.Getting osama is another ploy to lead the public on a wild goose chase to allow corporate america to get its fingers into every local city hall in the nation.And get every "liberal" judge out and the religious fanatic ACTIVIST judges in.Like Howard says "this country will be a religious state within 20 years".I guess we should just give up now and let the terrorists win because THATS what they're after,not you nor me but ALL of the heathens to convert to islam/christianity.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 03:42 PM | PERMALINK

"Like Howard says "this country will be a religious state within 20 years"."

Howard also believes anal ring toss is not degrading.....c'mon smalfish you can do better than citing a man whose career has been built by playing up the "underdog" card. Though I gotta give Howard credit, he turned fart jokes and victimhood into a $20M a year career.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 03:52 PM | PERMALINK

I have NEVER been a Howard Stern fan,I'm not into his kind of humor.That being said YOU HAVE to listen to his recent messages beacuse they have alot of validity.Heres what he has to say about the administration

Now Howard HAS been a rupub and if HE's sasying bad things about this admin you know that things are going bad.And you have to admit he has a VARY large following and hopefully they will listen to his advice and hopefully YOU will too.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 03:58 PM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't it be nice to see an Kerry ad outlining the progress of Air Force One on 911? They circled Sarasota, then onward to Louisiana and Nebraska before finally getting back to Washington 10 hours or so after the attacks. Now that's leadership.

911 imagery can cut both ways.

Posted by: Dave at March 5, 2004 04:04 PM | PERMALINK


I don't find the commercials offensive but I do find them ineffective. There's so much water under the bridge. So many rotten things that this administration and the republican leadership in general(think Tom Delay) have done with the power they were given a little too trustingly.
Want a list? Happy to oblige but it will not be all inclusive. NOT ENOUGH TIME!

1. GW's use of US military personnel and equipment to stage what was essentially a photo-op for his re-election campaign. Otherwise known as his "top-gun" moment. Given his real record of "service" during Vietnam, I found this highly offensive and cynical.
2. Their treatment of Max Cleland.
3. Stonewalling the 9/11 commission while trying to pretend cooperation, for the cameras only.
4. Putting names on legislation that remind one of the phrase "Deuschteland ober alis".
5. Patriot Act II, the sequel. Enough said.
6. Valerie Palme. Enough said.
7. Dividing the nation at a time when we need to be unified.
8. Putting the country on the path to becoming an Argentina del Norte at a time when we need to be financially strong.

And the list goes on.........

Posted by: annabanna at March 5, 2004 04:08 PM | PERMALINK

I bet Roosevelt used WWII in his 1944 campaign. If they had TV then, he would have been all over the tube "standing tall" in response to Nazis and Japan. And there would have been nothing wrong with it.

Posted by: Kevin Murphy at March 5, 2004 04:24 PM | PERMALINK

"I bet Roosevelt used WWII in his 1944 campaign."

Somehow I seriously doubt that he would have.I think politicians then had a little more moral fortitude than any now alive.and certainly more than those in the W/H

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 04:27 PM | PERMALINK

The differences between Bush and Roosevelt being far to extreme and numerous to inflict on Mr. Drum's blog, there is no point in a full rebuttal of Mr. Murphy, but just remember, by the time the election of '44 rolled around, we were clearly nearing the end of the WWII. Where is Bush's evidence that we are nearly done with the "War on Terror?"

Posted by: Lori Thantos at March 5, 2004 04:31 PM | PERMALINK

"I have NEVER been a Howard Stern fan,I'm not into his kind of humor.That being said YOU HAVE to listen to his recent messages beacuse they have alot of validity.Heres what he has to say about the administration"

I know what Howard has been saying...it's going to rachtet up even more in the coming weeks.

"Now Howard HAS been a rupub and if HE's sasying bad things about this admin you know that things are going bad.And you have to admit he has a VARY large following and hopefully they will listen to his advice and hopefully YOU will too"

See this is what truly scares me about this country. Howard a seemingly smart man does a 180 after reading Franken's book. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book. But how firm is the ground you stand on when one book causes a 180?

Is Howard just gullible or this more calculated on Howard's part? After all, CC had fired Bubba the love sponge a week before he started his anti-Bush rants and there were fines in the pipe from the FCC.. And to boot his large audience would vote for Bush if he liked Bush....ZERO thought process involved. That scares me.

Even more, say this drama calms down and Osama's captured in Sept/Oct.....will Howard once again become King of the Kick their Ass brigade?

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 04:44 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin;

Given your vantage point from 2500 miles away, you can be forgiven for your ambivalence about Bush's use of 9/11 images for political purposes. But as someone who lives 40 miles from NYC who had a clear view of the burning towers, and whose brother worked a block away from the WTC and ran for his life on that terrible day, it seems so overtly political as to be highly offensive. In the context of "Bush's leadership" in fighting terrorists (a joke) it becomes a major slap in the face.

Bush will be greeted with scorn and anger when he brings his Lie Machine to NYC for the Republican convention later this year to exploit 9/11 again, I guarantee. He is happy to poke at a still-open wound if he thinks it will benefit his re-election. Leadership? LMFAO! Its power-mongering pure and simple.

Posted by: Vesicle Trafficker at March 5, 2004 04:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Somehow I seriously doubt that he would have.I think politicians then had a little more moral fortitude than any now alive.and certainly more than those in the W/H"

Why would you doubt that? Roosevelt had been egging for war since the shooting had started a full 2 years before we started fighting. Why wouldn't he campaign on his being CiC?


Found this campaign button on a google search

http://www.msys.net/cress/ballots2/win_the.jpg

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 04:55 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Kevin, I guess you can't get worked up over whether Bush gets reelected or not.

Why did you spend so much time on the AWOL story?

You're getting so even handed its boring.

Posted by: AlanS at March 5, 2004 05:02 PM | PERMALINK

"After all, there's plenty to criticize in Bush's reaction to 9/11"

And plenty to criticize about Bush's conduct leading up to 9/11 and on the day of 9/11, as well. The blackest day in American history happened on his watch, let us not forget. Much or all of it could have been prevented. To me, that's what makes the ads unacceptable.

And now they are talking about having his acceptance speech at ground zero?

Posted by: Richard Joseph at March 5, 2004 05:02 PM | PERMALINK

More evidence that Kerry's multilateralism sucks.
France has no interest in democracy anymore. You want France to decide how the US defends itself? Kerry would react to 9/11 the same way Clinton reacted to the USS Cole. Ignore the problem and depend on his liberal allies to cover his rear.

Mideast - AFP

Chirac backs Mubarak in opposing US plan for Arab democracy
Fri Mar 5, 4:37 PM ET Add Mideast - AFP to My Yahoo!

PARIS (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac backed Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak (news - web sites) in his opposition to a US initiative for political and economic reform in the Middle East, saying the plan amounted to "interference".


Posted by: Researcher at March 5, 2004 05:42 PM | PERMALINK

A better image in the '44 campaign was the Liberation of Paris in August 1944. Roosevelt didn't need to beat the war drums to win the election. He just needed to remind Americans that victory was in sight. Same with Lincoln in November 1864. Once Atlanta fell on September 1 people really began to see the light at the end of tunnel. Sure the Battle of the Bulge was ahead in December 1945. And the Siege of Petersburg would last until April 1865. But the message was clear: America was about to win. Comparable 9/11 imagery would be Lincoln campaigning on the bombing of Fort Sumter. That worked in the spring of 1861 as he rallied millions of troops for the Union army. But by the Congressional elections of 1862 it was old news: the impending Emancipation Proclamation was much bigger. Same with 1942. By that point the US was fully engaged with Japan - Pearl Harbor was helpful in the 1942 Congressional elections (as 9/11 was for Bush in the 2002 Congressional elections), but by 1944 it was old news.

This is the real risk of relying too much on 9/11 (not to mention it raises the questions of what Bush was doing the first 8 months of his Presidency, something that Republicans bizarrely think is off limits). Even Andrew Sullivan pointed this out. If Bush's campaign is going to be all about how you felt on 9/11 then he is going to lose. Too many things have happened since then, much of it in RESPONSE to 9/11. Bush can certainly reach to his post-9/11 moment (90% approval rate) but he must do much more than that. He has to show where he will lead the nation in the war on terror moving forward. Otherwise he becomes irrelevant.

Posted by: Elrod at March 5, 2004 05:43 PM | PERMALINK

Elrod,

I completely agree in regards to reliance on 9/11 and its effectiveness(or lack there of).

I didn't mean to imply FDR was doing the Mission Accomplished thing. He was basically running on both the New Deal and the so far successful efforts in the war. The perception(civilian and military alike)was end seemed very close before the delay of the Bulge. Interestingly this was his closest election.

Posted by: Ryan at March 5, 2004 05:48 PM | PERMALINK

Researcher,
France is dead wrong on this. But so are you. Multilateralism does not mean yielding to France on every decision, or even to the UN in every single case. It just means not gratuitously pissing off the world and making a good faith effort to build an international coalition (like Bush I did). Sure, many governments decided to back the US in the war in Iraq. Now how many people within those countries supported this action? Other than Israel I'd say miserably few. Why? Because Bush insulted the whole world by his rhetoric and his conduct (and especially Rumsfeld's shameful conduct) in the war leadup. And if you think this has no consequences then wait until the next time a US president tries to call up a coalition of the willing.

Posted by: Elrod at March 5, 2004 05:49 PM | PERMALINK

Ryan,
We're in agreement. A big reason it was so close was because people had doubts about a fourth term on general principle. Another problem was burgeoning domestic troubles. After establishment of the Fair Employment Practices Commission, terrible race riots in LA, Detroit and Harlem in 1943, and an ugly Philadelphia Hate Strike by transit workers in 1944, many white racial conservatives (both North and South) were getting tired of the Roosevelt Coalition. And this was before Truman's early civil rights initiatives and integration of the military, which all lead to the Dixiecrat walkout in 1948.

Posted by: Elrod at March 5, 2004 05:55 PM | PERMALINK

Kesier or Keiser or however the hell you spell your name,
You mentioned you wanted to see Kerry put his money where his mouth was and start introducing bills in the Senate that would strenthen the military and back his plan in the war on terror. Well here's a start. It only deals with providing more military hardware but it's something.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/3/5/215147/3254

Posted by: Elrod at March 5, 2004 05:58 PM | PERMALINK

The disgusting thing about Bush's ad is that he tries to equate himself with the firefighters/rescue workers. "They took it personally....I take it personally." What he really means is, "They risked their lives; I hid on Air Force One all day until Dickie told me it was safe to come home."

The Democrats have to attack, attack and attack Bush's slippery "message" ads or the Bu$h dollar advantage will have Kerry buried before the conventions even take place.

Posted by: AKC at March 5, 2004 06:01 PM | PERMALINK

Wouldn't it be nice to see an Kerry ad outlining the progress of Air Force One on 911? They circled Sarasota, then onward to Louisiana and Nebraska before finally getting back to Washington 10 hours or so after the attacks. Now that's leadership.

Sorry, but this stuff is strictly amateur hour. If you guys think that the Democratic party can score big points by doing commercials based on Bush's immediate reaction on that very day then, hey, knock yourselves out. No one gives a damn about that stuff. Bush wasn't going to win the war against terrorism in the first few hours of 9/11 and if the Democrats were actually stupid enough to run the ads some of you are suggesting (and they aren't) they would be laughing stocks.

For the geniuses who think this kind of stuff is brilliant political strategy...don't give up your day jobs.

Posted by: Randal Robinson at March 5, 2004 07:13 PM | PERMALINK

Folks, this guy Bush is a sociopath. Other people and their problems are only an abstraction for him. He lies with impunity because it's all about getting his ass off the hot seat. He kills with impunity because it costs him nothing. This is a guy who blew up frogs as a youth - animal torture by youths is a primary indicator of a sociopathic personality. If you need any confirmation, remember Tucker Carlson's account of his "Please don't kill me" mocking parody of Karla Faye Tucker, complete with smirk. And as if being sociopathic isn't bad enough, he's too stupid to realize that he's abnormal.

Posted by: Curtis P, Jones at March 5, 2004 07:16 PM | PERMALINK

Roland:

Don't know if you're still around, but you asked: "My question is basically "Why are people convinced that Bush is the only one who can protect the US?"

My response is - we've got two choices for President. Convince me that Kerry understand the problem, can and will protect the US, and won't weathervane to the course of least resistance if 'world opinion' should go against his decisions and policies.

I'm sorry to say I don't get that feeling from his record or listening to him.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at March 5, 2004 07:36 PM | PERMALINK

The problem I see it is that no matter what happens on Nov 2 The majority in congress holds the keys to which direction our society goes in a sick kind of sense.I mean,to go back to the Stern thing,is that the fcc,Epa CDC and so on and congressional policies will not change for quite some time.Even with a new president.We are ALL SCREWED.This President has made a huge mess of things.Believe it or not wingers,you too will feel the effects of the zany policies the MADMAN has installed.We will go to court on some stupid traffic violation and find ourselves in a trouble we did not expect,with or with out a new president.These ads show a small portion of whats to be found in the comming 2nd term.Time to find a rock to hide under should dubya win/steal.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 07:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Roland:

Don't know if you're still around, but you asked: "My question is basically "Why are people convinced that Bush is the only one who can protect the US?"

My response is - we've got two choices for President. Convince me that Kerry understand the problem, can and will protect the US, and won't weathervane to the course of least resistance if 'world opinion' should go against his decisions and policies.

I'm sorry to say I don't get that feeling from his record or listening to him.

J."

Why, J, are you convinced that a man who opposes, at all cost, any legitimate inquiry into the causes of 9/11 is more likely to protect you? And why, J, are you convinced that a man who wages a costly, entanglling war against a 4th tier enemy is more likely to protect you?

That Kerry would have been more eager to get European allies behind us before waging war in Iraq does not imply that Kerry will wait for a 'permission slip' before taking action that he believes necessary to protect the country. From where I sit, the manner in which the administration waged war has substantially weakened us. Our troops and resources are vastly over-comitted; our credibility is tarnished; and we've demonstrated to our enemies that having the biggest, baddest weapons doesn't necessarily mean we have the means to accomplish our goals. Those imply weakness to me. Our personnel and equipment are depleted (to say nothing of our finances); our ability to get allies on board is diminished; and instead of discouraging our enemies, we may have emboldened them. Sometimes, discretion really is the better part of valor.

"I'm a war president," says Bush. What an unbelievably self-aggrandizing thing to say. On my angrier days, I see a trigger-happy megalomaniac bent on ensuring his place in history based on his war-time leadership - and if that means waging unnecessary wars to do so, then so be it. I think it's really dangerous for the president to have visions of history books dancing through his head. His view of his place in history starts to serve his view of world events. That's dangerous, J.

On my calmer days, I see a really confused man. That's dangerous too.


Posted by: jboa at March 5, 2004 08:15 PM | PERMALINK

JLawson, you get that feeling from the coward of Connecticut? The guy who said he would get bin Laden "Dead or Alive" in the aftermath of his failure to protect the American people, but (when the wind changed) decided that Hussein, a petty tyrant limited to his backwater nation, was a bigger threat? And what level of anti-terrorism is sufficient? Assuming, arguendo, that Iraq is not a distraction from the war on terror, is terrorism really such a threat to this nation that we should be spending more than $500 per American man, woman, and child to protect us from it? That works out to $53 Million per victim of 9/11. And that ONLY counts Iraq. Give me a number. Tell me how much money is enough. Do you believe that the price of a single human life is $53 Million, or is it something more?

Posted by: Lori Thantos at March 5, 2004 08:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Bush was in office for eight months prior to 9/11 compared to the previous eight years of Clinton."

The only true and relevant thing you wrote. I love when right wing morons mention Khobal towers and the Cole. Those were OVERSEAS, jackass!
And before the 2000 Millenium celebration, Clinton went television to worn us to watch for potential terrorist activites, and then the heightened vigilance led to the foiling of a devastating attack ON U.S. soil! My God, you're deluded. I guess you were too busy masturbating that during the impeachment proceedings in 1998 and missed that Clinton spoke before the UN about the increasing dangers of international terrorism. And what were your GOP heros saying then?!? 'Clinton's just trying to dustract us from Monica!' Republicans are indeed worthless hypocritical scum. You're not worthy of shining Clinton's shoes, chickenhawk.

Posted by: Chimp's a hoppin'? at March 5, 2004 08:38 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the conversations on this board have certainly made it clear why I (in your opinions) shouldn't vote for Bush. Naturally, I reserve the right to my own opinion, which may or may not (and I'm rather sure it doesn't) match yours.

In all honesty, I think you've got way too much emotion tied up in this. You toss out words like coward and megalomaniac - then I start wondering whether you're approaching the argument from a point where your belief is overwhelming the actuality.

That you're sincere in your beliefs I do not question. That you're right - I do. And the invective, considering how I phrased my question, makes me wonder if you think you can convince me that Bush is bad simply by insulting him.

So how is Kerry better? And don't just go "Well, he's not Bush." Give me reasons, backed up with the same vigor you use to bash Bush.

By the way, I was posting on this site a while back during the 'AWOL' flap - and I will admit that I was struck by the utter cluelessness of a lot of people on how the military does things, either Reserve or Active, and what the situation was in the military at the time. I don't mean to be insulting, but with one or two exceptions the posters did NOT know, and did NOT care to know.

I'm going to admit that the virtually complete lack of knowledge on that one subject, the off-the wall theories tossed out, and the sheer resistance put up to anyone who didn't immediately fall in with your theories and who actually worked in the field of personnel support in the military and reserves, doesn't particularly impress me with your open-mindedness and evaluative thinking. If you will willingly ignore that - then why should I think you wouldn't willingly ignore things about Kerry?

Of course, you're all preaching to each other's choirs here, so I guess I shouldn't expect much.

Yet I do.

Again. WHY should I vote for Kerry? What can I realistically expect from him? I don't see anything that would cause me to vote for him at this point over Bush. Tell me why I should.

J.

Posted by: JLawson at March 5, 2004 09:15 PM | PERMALINK

"I start wondering whether you're approaching the argument from a point where your belief is overwhelming the actuality"

J. You make some VERY valid questions,and yes some of what gets thrown out here is way on the extreme side.But then again this is not a "mainstream outlet".That being said,I,nor anyone else cannot give you ANY quantified answers to the validity of what Kerry will or wont do to protect this country.But can you actually question weather the man will not take into account whats right to protect this country.If,for instance,Kerry found OBL to be at a certain place would he go after him.The anser I and millions like me believe without a shadow of a doubt he would.In another scenario he found that N.Korea was primed and ready to launch,would he unilaterally attack without the approval of other nations?I BELIEVE that he would take the necessary steps to provide our security.I do believe however he would make the intellegence available to ALL and I believe he would not hold back information just to go to war for some politically motivated justification.I think with the military experience Kerry has he understands the consequences MUCH better than Bush does.Kerry has a closer touch to reality than GWB does and that alone makes him more trustworthy of haveing his finger near the button.I believe he WOULD NEVER use it tho and as for bush I cannot say that he would never use it.To me that is the rub of the matter.

Posted by: smalfish at March 5, 2004 09:35 PM | PERMALINK

I was posting on this site a while back during the 'AWOL' flap - and I will admit that I was struck by the utter cluelessness of a lot of people on how the military does things, either Reserve or Active, and what the situation was in the military at the time.

Funny. At that same time I was stuck by the amazingly pompous self-righteousness and wilful blindness of right wing eejits who popped by here to defend W's indefensible wartime record.

Too emotional and little girlish, the lot of them.

Posted by: Thersites at March 5, 2004 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

As others have intelligently suggested above, THIS is the 9-11 ad the Democrats need to use:
http://www.thememoryhole.org/911/bush-911.htm

And Michael Moore better damn well run the entire thing in FAHRENHEIT 911.

Posted by: Chris Crosby at March 5, 2004 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

"""".....does not imply that Kerry will wait for a 'permission slip' before taking action that he believes necessary to protect the country......""""

Well how about the words from Kerry's own mouth?

KERRY QUOTE: I?m an internationalist,? ?I?d like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations.?
Kerry also said he wanted ?to almost eliminate CIA activity."

I think we should believe Kerry from the words from his own mouth and not dome troll.

Posted by: keiser at March 6, 2004 03:51 AM | PERMALINK

Chimps hopping mad,, convinced that Clinton had repeatedly warned us all that terrorists were going to slaughter us in our beds.....well Chimp, How about a real quote from say Sandy Berger, Clintons National security advisor who you all claim had a secret plan...

Here is Berger in 2001, prior to 9/11.

Mr. Berger, is terrorism on the increase in the world, in the United States?

BERGER: The statistics of actual terrorist incidents, I don't think necessarily reflect that. But there's no question in my mind that the terrorist threat is greater than it has been, if not in the United States, then globally.

IF NOT IN THE UNITED STATES??

IF NOT IN THE UNITED STATES???

But I thought the Clinton adminstration just knew we were going to be attacked...why was Berger saying he didn't expect an attack on the United States????

Posted by: keiser at March 6, 2004 03:57 AM | PERMALINK

Another good one...OCT 16 2000 interview with Madeliene Albright:

MS. ROBERTS: Finally, Secretary Cheney, the vice presidential candidate, says our intelligence is not as good now as it was during the Bush Administration, and that we would -- we should have known this was coming.

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: I think that our intelligence has been very well-coordinated and is very good. I don't have any doubt that we have done everything we can. I believe we -- this was not something that we knew was going to happen, but we obviously are on alert all the time. But I think that I'm very proud of our intelligence.""""

WE HAVE DONE EVERYTHING WE CAN??? You cut intelligence fool....
Albright was very proud of our intelligence??????

Posted by: keiser at March 6, 2004 04:13 AM | PERMALINK

And if you think Kerry wants to Kill Bin Laden..think again:

Kerry voted at least three times to exempt terrorists from the death penalty. In a debate with former governor William Weld, his opponent in the 1996 Senate race, Kerry scorned the idea of executing terrorists. "Your policy," he told Weld, "would amount to a terrorist protection policy. Mine would put them in jail."

Posted by: keiser at March 6, 2004 04:15 AM | PERMALINK

Keiser:

I don't frequent the comments section of Calpundit too often. It may be that you're the village idiot around here, and that I'd be better off just ignoring you; I wouldn't know.

Thank you for your little cut and paste spasm. If anything, it demonstates to me a certain, shall we say - discomfort - over having the issue of national security rightfully being taken away from the GOP. I could address each of your quotes in turn: the use of acontextual 30 year old quotes from Kerry about the U.N.; the weird take you have on the Berger quote - which means something altogether different than you seem to think; etc. Politicians say a lot of things in a lot of different situations. We could construct a damning portrait of just about any public figure of high stature by piecing together select quotations naked of their context. If that's the best you can do, you're in trouble.

Let's challenge you to face - not some loosely constructed quotations - and instead some cold hard facts: Dick Cheney and other high level members of the administration allowed themselves (and by extension - the rest of us) to be taken into a war against a non-threatening enemy on the fraudulent stories of self-serving exiles. This - perhaps the greatest grift in human history - occurred at a time when America confronted real and dangerous enemies located in different places and motivated by a different ideology.

Oh, and how about the fact that because of a failure to commit sufficient resources to the battle of Tora Bora, we allowed bin laden to escape over the mountains into Pakistan.

Or, the fact that, as Sy Hersh has recently reported, we passed up numerous opportunities to go after Zarqawi (a known dangerous terrorist in Iraq) because it would have undermined the case for war.

Or, Keiser, and here I would like to really challenge you (and the rest of the conservatives out there) to think hard: why won't the president cooperate with the independent 9-11 comission? I have never ever once in any location anywhere seen anybody mount a defense of the administration's recalcitrance. Why? Because it is the grossest, vilest act of political selfishness, so beyond the scope of comprehension as to be untouchable. It sells your security, Keiser, to the basest politcal motivations. How does that taste in your mouth? I choke on it.

Keiser, thank you again for your little spasm. I take great comfort in it.

Best regards.

Posted by: jboa at March 6, 2004 06:15 AM | PERMALINK

I'm think these ads are terrible. The families and firefighters that were directly impacted don't like them . . . that's good enuf for me. What, all this hullaboo about these ads is supposed to distract me from more important issues like the economy? Hmmmmm. All I know is this ad thing about 9/11 makes me think poorly of our President. Don't you know the average voter is so tired of these kind of politics? Now I have to go look for a job, and get to the local foodbank.

Posted by: AverageVoter at March 6, 2004 06:21 AM | PERMALINK

It is, to this observer outside the USA, both ironic and offensive that GWB should use 9/11 for political ads but at the same time hinder the work of the 9/11 commission. People from many nations lost their lives that fateful day, not just Americans. A true leader would make it his business to tell the world what happened. But that would mean owning up to what the administration knew in advance, wouldn't it?
More and more I come back to the thesis that GWB is 'as thick as two planks'. That's not a crime but it doesn't instil confidence.

Posted by: JB at March 6, 2004 06:29 AM | PERMALINK

The fact that firefighters and families are upset by this means something to me. I know, I know, they are really Dem partisans.

Whatever.

So, here's a solution:

Why not cut the offending 1/2 second of footage altogether? You know, the one showing the flag-draped stretcher being carried out of the rubble by the firefighters.

Simply replace it with pictures of POTUS standing atop the rubble, bullhorn in hand, arm around the firefighter. Or use the picture of the three firefighters raising the flag at Ground Zero. They'd all sign a release, I'm sure.

Or, best of all, show the pic of POTUS on Air Force One, looking out the window. That's already been used for a POTUS' fundraiser anyway.

I'd be OK with any of those solutions.

Posted by: Ara Rubyan at March 6, 2004 07:32 AM | PERMALINK

""""why won't the president cooperate with the independent 9-11 comission""""

The President has cooperated more than any other President has cooperated with any Congressional forum. Clinton refused repeatedly to provide any information to dozens of investigations.

The 9/11 commission is not a group of sainted non-partisans, the Democrats appointed highly partisan members to the Commission and it is a creation of Congress and therfore the President...Just like Prseident Clinton before him attempts to make sure the separation of Powers is maintained.

If Democrats actually wanted bipartisanship why did they appoint a former top Clinotn aid and Democrat Congressmen??

Why did the Democrats Jamie S. Gorelick, a top aid to Janet Reno, who's job it was to arrest terrorists? Doesn't Gorlick have a conflict of interest? Doesn't Roemer, since he was voting for all of Clintons defense and intelligence budget cuts???

Why was Richard Ben-Veniste appointed by the Democrats? He defended Clinton, he defended MacAulliffe, he defended the illegal Teamster connections to the Democrats Party. He certainly has a huge conflict of interest.

The Commission mandate from Congress is to find out what went wrong and make recommendations in changes to how the government operates...since essentially our government was operating at the time as Bill Clinotn left it after 8 years most of the blame will fall to him.

It is not the Commissions job to ask people to testify in public or private....NO SITTING NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR HAS EVER TESTIFIED IN PUBLIC. The commissions job is to write a report...not entertain the public, if public testimony is so important, why hasn't eveyone else testified in public?

Maybe your reading too much partisan news from the likes of CNN, NBC, etc.
They keep telling you Democrats are ready to testify at a moments notice..OK, where are these testimonies??? What are we waiting for...why wasn't Berger testimony done last week? last Month? last year? Hmmmmm

Why haven't Clinton, Gore, Berger, Albright, Cohen testified???

The Democrats had also originally appointed Max Cleland to the Commission...oh yeah..there's a non-partisan who doesn't have it out for Bush kicking his ass.

The Commission would have ben fine if Democrats were interested in government and not scoring political points in there never ending campaign war room..they simply don't have time anymore to actually govern all of the people.

Posted by: keiser at March 6, 2004 07:57 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, I didn't realize the Democrats were so underhanded when dealing with the death of 3,000 Americans.

I guess they haven't changed since Roosevelt kicked off his 1944 campaign from the deck of a
destroyer in remembrance of Pearl Harbor...how many Americans died there????

And the Democrats used them as political fodder.

Disgusting.

Posted by: Amy at March 6, 2004 08:01 AM | PERMALINK

Now why did the Democrats stack the deck:

Lee hamilton, defended Clinton in the scandal of letting Iran supply weapons to the Bosnian Muslims. Supported Clintons defense and inteligence cuts.

Gorelick, worked for Clinton, defended Clinton.

Ben-Vineste: Worked for Democrats defending Clinton in the Whitewater inquiry, defended Terrir McAulliffe.

Max Cleland: Defended Clinton, voted for Clintons defense and intelligence cuts.

Roemer: Defended Clinton, voted for Clinton defense and intelligence cuts.

I SEE A PATERN IN THE NON-PARTISAN COMMISSION..A LOT OF PARTISAN DEMOCRATS.

I think alot of you didn't even know who was on the commission did you???

I SEE ALOT OF COMMISSION MEMBERS NEEDING TO COVER THEIR ASSES FOR SUPPORTING CLINTONS DEFENSE AND INTELLIGENCE CUTS.

Posted by: kesier at March 6, 2004 08:17 AM | PERMALINK

Keiser:

I don't frequent the comments section of Calpundit too often. It may be that you're the village idiot around here,...

No, he's relatively new around here (at least in my observation).

Al is the village idiot.

Posted by: Thlayli at March 6, 2004 09:27 AM | PERMALINK

::::Keiser:
I don't frequent the comments section of Calpundit too often. It may be that you're the village idiot around here,..."""

Actually yes I am an idiot...lucky for Calpundit, I doubled the IQ upon my arrival..You should have seen it before I arrived.

Posted by: keiser at March 6, 2004 09:30 AM | PERMALINK

Why should you feel disgusted at the use of 9/11 imagery in Bush's campaign ads?

-- Because he treated the smoking ruins and the firefighters as a photo-op and then quickly refused to release the money he promised to the city (remember how the NY Congressional delegation was accused of being "money-grubbing" for asking for the relief money the city was promised by the president?).

-- Because he exploited the images of the cops and firefighters and EMTs who died responding to the attack but has failed to provide even barely adequate funding for the realistic threat posed to major cities, while one-stoplight towns get Homeland Security funds.

-- Because he stonewalled on creating both the Homeland Security Department and the 9/11 Commission until it was politically expedient to do so, whereupon he claimed credit.

-- And yet the administration called for an investigation of Janet Jackson's nipple in a matter of hours.

-- Because he refuses to explain what he knew, when he knew it, and has deigned to grant selected members of the 9/11 Commission a single hour of his time to discuss the biggest mass killing on American soil, which happened on his watch.

-- Because he's already exploited the tragedy to start a phony war to get his hands on Iraq's oil, diverting resources from the search for the quite possibly responsible parties.

That's why.

Posted by: mambotaxi at March 6, 2004 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

JLawson

I think you are avoiding this question by asking another question. I will answer anyway.

I think Bush's actions in Afghanistan were laudable and correct. He also tried to make it clear that we were not at war with all Muslims. His fairly religious rhetoric confused the issue somewhat, but he did make what I believe to be an earnest attempt.

However, it is not so clear that the US under Bush has done very much to alleviate the chaos in Afghanistan. This chaos is the principle reason why Al Quaeda was successful in obtainig converts and a refuge.

There is another issue: Iraq. I believe that a credible case can be made for invasion and occupation based on the human rights record of Hussein or perhaps the argument that Hussein was a destabilzing force in the region. However, in my mind and in the minds of many Americans, the principle reason to take on Iraq lay in Iraq's alleged capability to do us harm with weapons already in her possession. Bush and his advisors assured Americans and the world that these weapons existed and represented a grave danger to both us and our allies.

These claims have proven false. While I believe that Bush and his advisors believed what they were saying, one must ask the question: why did they believe this? I will not accept "Everyone thought there were weapons" as a valid counterargument. The responsibility of making war on Iraq for these reasons lies solely with this White House. There is not yet a good explanation for this situation, nor do I anticipate one in the near future.

Finally, based on the above information, one can conclude either that Bush was a liar who decieved the American people or that his analysis of intelligence was shoddy. By his I mean of course his advisors. Given that the US might face a threat from a nation that actually possesses these weapons, I cannot in good conscience vote for Bush in favor of Kerry. Bush's claims seem too unbelievable at present. I don't think the issue is international credibility. It is credibility within the borders of the US. If the US faced an actual threat that required the use of force, would the American people believe his claims? Should they believe his claims?

Posted by: Roland at March 6, 2004 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Roland admits he hasn't been listening and mambotaxi goes off the deep end in the fever swamps of hatred.

Roland, please go read Bushs speech to the United Nations in Sept 2002. It was his main speech on why Saddam had to be removed prior to the Congressional vote for War in Oct 2002. I think you will find the Bush outlined FOUR reason....the fourth and lowest priority was Saddams WMD..it was the media, the UN and the liberals who have made WMD sptockpiles the MAIN reason.

Mambo,,, get a grip...maybe seek counseling....let go of the hate..its messing with your mind man. No one is going to hurt you..its just youtr mind playing tricks on you...get help..as soon as you can..keep in touch..let us know how your progressing.

Posted by: kesier at March 6, 2004 02:01 PM | PERMALINK

Democrat 9-11 talking points disbuted by actual victims:

9-11 Victims' Families Release Letter Supporting Bush as He Faces Criticism Over Campaign Ads
The Associated Press
Published: Mar 6, 2004
NEW YORK (AP) - More than a dozen families who lost relatives in the Sept. 11 attacks released a letter Saturday declaring their support for President Bush and his use of images of the destroyed World Trade Center in campaign ads.
"There is no better testament to the leadership of President Bush than Sept. 11," the letter states. "In choosing our next leader we must not forget that day if we are to have a meaningful conversation."

The "Open Letter to America," signed by 22 people who lost loved ones in the trade center, comes as other victims' families asked that the ads be pulled from the airwaves. The spots also show firefighters carrying a flag-draped stretcher.

In the November election we will have a clear choice laid before the American people," the letter reads. "President Bush is rightly offering us that choice and the images of Sept. 11, although painful, are fundamental to that choice. The images in President Bush's campaign television ads are respectful of the memories of Sept. 11."

Jimmy Boyle, former president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, said he came up with the letter after hearing that the president was being criticized for the ads.

"I don't think he's taking advantage of Sept. 11 and I feel that he's given us the leadership that we need," said Boyle, who said he will be voting for a Republican president for the first time in November.

Posted by: kesier at March 6, 2004 02:07 PM | PERMALINK

News hits...Kerry funded group that attacked Bush over 9-11...Kerry caught funding outside Group to attack Bush. Investigation clearly required.

This just in Kerry set up 9-11 group against Bush:

The Kerry/Theresa Heinz Foundation Bankrolled Group Protesting Bush 9/11 Ads

The group Peaceful Tomorrows, which bills itself as an independent group of 9/11 victim families and whose members have led the charge to force the Bush re-election campaign to yank ads citing the Twin Towers attacks, has direct financial ties to the Heinz Foundation, the charitable trust administered by the wife of Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry.

On its Web site, Peaceful Tomorrows identifies itself as "a project of the Tides Center, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization."

A December 2003 report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review detailed the financial relationship between the Tides Center and the charitable foundation controlled by Mrs. Heinz Kerry:

"Known as the Tides Center for Pennsylvania, formerly the Tides Center for Western Pennsylvania, it is a creation of the Tides Foundation and Center, headquartered in San Francisco, and two Pennsylvania-based foundations ? the Vira Heinz Endowment and the Howard Heinz Endowment ? chaired by Teresa Heinz Kerry."

According to the Tribune-Review, Mrs. Heinz Kerry funneled millions of dollars into the parent group of Peaceful Tomorrows:

"Between 1995 and 2001, $4.3 million of that money came from the Howard Heinz Endowment.


SO THEY GET MILLIONS TO BAD MOUTH OUR PRESIDENT,,AND THEY CALL BUSH USING 9/11 FOR PARTISAN PURPOSES. WHAT SCUM!

We knew Kerry would use his wife's money..we just didn't think it would be this early.

Posted by: Keiser at March 6, 2004 02:23 PM | PERMALINK

JLawson, you failed to answer my question and demand that I answer yours?

As a reminder:

Do you believe that the price of a single human life is $53 Million, or is it something more?

It is a simple question. How severe is the threat of terrorism? There are other questions like: how can you claim Bush is better on terrorism than doing nothing when he stirred up a hornets' nest of terror with his unprovoked invasion of Iraq? The fact remains that you have claimed that your support of Bush is because he is better on terrorism than Kerry would be. But given that terrorism is an exceedingly unlikely event, you would be better off basing your vote on who would be more likely to increase your chances of winning the lottery.

Oh, and stop whining because I'm willing to remind you that Bush's actions have been cowardly and you don't want to think about that. It's beneath you. Do I think I'm going to persuade you? Of course not, you've already created an imaginary, brave, resourceful, and competent Bush and built a straw man of Kerry. You can't be convinced by facts; your mind is made up.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at March 6, 2004 02:29 PM | PERMALINK

The truth is that in an ideal world I wouldn't support Kerry either. Because American's are too stupid to believe that terrorism is a rather minor issue (one that we should spend out of proportion to its importance, but certainly not at a rate of $100 B/yr), Kerry is going to pander to that. Because Americans are too stupid to understand that we don't actually need to outspend nearly the entire world on our military, Kerry is going to pander to that. In fact, Kerry will do all of the stupid Republican things that Bush is, but he won't engage in the kind of reckless militarism that gets hundreds of our soldiers and thousands of foreigners killed for entertainment. Kerry will recognize the importance of paying our debts. No system can forever run at a deficit. Bush's "management" of our economy has done nothing to create jobs, nothing to promote the economic well being of ordinary Americans, and has only helped the stock market, to the benefit of the few, through massive borrowing.

The short version: Kerry will protect the nation better than Bush has and he will protect our economy, environment, and liberties better than Bush has. These are the facts. As I said, they are unconvincing to those unwilling to accept them.

Posted by: Lori Thantos at March 6, 2004 02:39 PM | PERMALINK

Keiser

I am giving Bush the benefit of the doubt on this issue. There were many "reasons" given for the invasion and subsequent occupation. I am surprised to say that I find the humanitarian case compelling. However, in his speech prior to the war, Bush did not equivocate as to the primary reason for the war: it was to prevent a madman from using WMD. This speech followed the State of the Union speech, which echoed these concerns. Since both speeches were given more recently than the speech you cite, I must regard them as more factual. You seem to suggest that the possibility of WMD had very much to do with the invasion of Iraq. You suggest that establishing a democracy, confronting terrorists, and ridding the world of a notorious villian were the real reasons. I find this line of reasoning very disingenuous. The certainty with which these claims were made was often cited as a reason unto itself. Not by the liberal media or punditry as you would believe, but by luminaries no no less than Cheney or Rumsfeld.

The threat of WMD in Iraq, specifically a nuclear weapons program, was a spectre raised again and again by this White House. Your arguments do not rebut this obvious fact. Nor do they speak to why this mistake was made. They also don't explain why someone would think that Bush was relaying accurate information in his speeches following these revelations.

Posted by: Roland at March 6, 2004 02:55 PM | PERMALINK

Mambo,,, get a grip...maybe seek counseling....let go of the hate..its messing with your mind man. No one is going to hurt you..its just youtr mind playing tricks on you...get help..as soon as you can..keep in touch..let us know how your progressing.

Kesier, you're projecting.

I didn't use the word "hate" once. Not even "dislike" or "disappointment" or "betrayal." I'm sure you can't back up your charge of me being hateful and needing therapy based on the single post I've posted here.

If it makes you feel good to take the comments of someone who posted a factual accounting of the reasons why Bush isn't entitled to use images of 9/11 in his campaign ads and interpret them as hate, wank away. But don't expect me to feel intimidated or take you at all seriously.

Posted by: mambotaxi at March 6, 2004 06:30 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and Kesier, you may want to learn the difference between "you're" and "your" in your little screeds.

Posted by: mambotaxi at March 6, 2004 06:32 PM | PERMALINK

Look at it this way. Suppose that a massive wave of tornadoes swepty through the heartland while you were president. You delt with the situation in a decisive way, rebuilt the area, and so on. I think you'd want to show some ads featuring this episode, including some shots of funnels to remind veiwers of what happened. There really isn't anything wrong with it per se. I heard that the Democrats were offered the use of NYC as a convention site, but decided otherwise.

What bothers me is Bush's obstruction (or attempts) of the investigation process. It's funny how Rush was picking on those victems who complained - he quoted them talking about the stonewalling, the President continuing to read after being told of the first plane strike (note that air controllers know very soon when a plane has strayed from its flight path - why no escorts sent up, etc.), but Rush didn't even address those issues, but just harped on the media/appropriateness angle.

Posted by: Neil at March 6, 2004 06:40 PM | PERMALINK

Ohhh, mambo..off your meds again. There is no sense responding to ridicuolous rants on your part, because people reading them, if they have half a mind, don't need me to explain how stupid they are.

YOU'RE basic problem with Bush is that he keeps kicking your guys butts all over the field.
Gee, how does the lazy, stupid, idiot Bush keep beating us????

Posted by: kesier at March 7, 2004 03:28 AM | PERMALINK

Roland,

Bushs case for overthrowing Saddam was very simple and it wasn't base on 'stockpiles' of WMD. It was based on the fact that we were going to now confront terrorist supporting states who have WMD programs beacsue we can't afford to wait for another Sept 11th morning to find out were under attack.

With Saddam, we had a history and we had 17 UN resolution and he continued to defy the world, continued his WMD programs and continued sponsoring terrorism. In addition, Iraq was the lynch pin in Osama Bin Ladens war against the United States.
Bush has been fighting this war strategically, while all the news and commentary have been about tactical activities.
Look at the big picture facing us on Sept 12th 2001 and look at the big picture today...Bush has made tremendous strides in bringing down terror states and their WMD programs. He's done it with less casualities than one day of fighting in WWII.

Posted by: keiser at March 7, 2004 03:33 AM | PERMALINK

Sayeth Keiser:

"With Saddam, we had a history and we had 17 UN resolution and he continued to defy the world, continued his WMD programs and continued sponsoring terrorism. In addition, Iraq was the lynch pin in Osama Bin Ladens war against the United States.
Bush has been fighting this war strategically, while all the news and commentary have been about tactical activities.
Look at the big picture facing us on Sept 12th 2001 and look at the big picture today...Bush has made tremendous strides in bringing down terror states and their WMD programs. He's done it with less casualities than one day of fighting in WWII."

Do you really think he (and the rest of them) actually believe this stuff still or are they simply afraid of admitting the truth to themselves?

Keiser, you were sold a bill of goods. Keiser, they lied to you. Repeatedly. The can of whoopass we tore open on the Iraqis had asymptotically close to nothing to do with the fight against al queda.

I mean, Keiser, I feel for you, bro. It must be hard admitting that your hero wears no clothes. But he's naked as a Vietnam-evading, alcohol abusing, insider trading, flim-flam artist.

Though I should admit that when I say, "I feel for you, bro," such sentiment is tinged with some genuine glee that you guys have picked such a ridiculous (though, admittedly, incredibly well connected and financed) person to be at the top of your ticket.

But, Keiser, I don't like to kick a man when he's down. So, I'll stop.

Posted by: laughing all the way to the W.H. at March 7, 2004 04:24 AM | PERMALINK

Laughing coughs up more hairballs...

I THINK THIS IS THE BEST RATIONALE BUSH HAS FOR GOING TO WAR AGAINST SADDAM..CASE PRETTY MUCH CLOSED, I DON'T SEE HOW THE KERRY LOVING TROLLS CAN ARGUE WITH PURE LOGIC AND SMARTS!!!!!

""With respect to Saddam Hussein and the threat he presents, we must ask ourselves a simple question: Why? Why is Saddam Hussein pursuing weapons that most nations have agreed to limit or give up? Why is Saddam Hussein guilty of breaking his own cease-fire agreement with the international community? Why is Saddam Hussein attempting to develop nuclear weapons when most nations don't even try and responsible nations that have them attempt to limit their potential for disaster? Why does Saddam Hussein threaten and provoke? Why does he develop missiles that exceed allowable limits? Why did Saddam Hussein lie and deceive the inspection team previously? Why did Saddam Hussein not account for all the weapons of mass destruction which UNSCOM (U.N. Special Commission) identified? Why is he seeking to develop unmanned airborne vehicles for delivery of biological agents? Does he do all those things and more because he wants to live by international standards of behavior? Because he respects international law? Because he is a nice guy the world should trust?

It would be naive to the point of grave danger not to believe that left to his own devices, Saddam Hussein will provoke, misjudge, or stumble into a future, more dangerous confrontation with the civilized world. He has as much as promised it."""

Posted by: kesier at March 7, 2004 09:27 AM | PERMALINK

this "Berger warned Rice" thing is so unfair. It's based on only Berger's testimony. Why doesn't anyone include Rice's rebuttal to the 9/11 Commission?"

Oh, that's right. She refuses to testify.

Posted by: flatulus at March 7, 2004 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

big question is why would the firefighters union support kerry when it's bush who makes us safe? stupid pasta-cooking, dalmation-loving COMMIES!

Posted by: keyser at March 7, 2004 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

i didn't mean dalmation-loving in a Santorum way. Although I wqouldn't be surprised. Life-risking Traitors!

Posted by: keyser at March 7, 2004 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

if we're so safe, why has New York been on Orange Alert since 2001? I confess I don't know what the rest of the country is at the moment.

I worked for NYC government at the time of 9/11, downtown. My office was two blocks from the WTC and I spent 8 months in a temporary office. I wasn't there that morning because, as it happens, my telephone was being installed that day, but my office was hit by chunks of aircraft debris and some of my colleagues have been haunted by running out and seeing jet engines on the sidewalk. And they were evacuated well before the collapse -- I have other friends who were caught in the blast and really thought they were going to die.

Two and a half years later, and the cops and firefighters still wear special black badges commemorating that day and many still get emotional talking about the colleagues they lost. And a lot of these guys are pretty conservative politically, especially the cops (my job entailed working with the NYPD and the Corrections Department). I've been seeing stories that dismiss the firefighters, for example, as Democrats because they belong to a union, but that's not necessarily the case. And it must be remembered that Bush played funding games with a Republican governor (who bent over backwards to keep McCain off the primary ballot in 2000) and mayor.

I guess one other thing that sickens me is that the Bush ad exploits the image of a flag-draped coffin of a 9/11 victim (most likely a firefighter) but won't show a single flag-draped coffin of an American soldier or Marine arriving at Andrews.

Posted by: mambotaxi at March 7, 2004 06:34 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone should support the President Bush and that's final! Just admitted he has been doing the things the right way! People just talk with jelousy! I hope he gets re-elected again!

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