July 27, 2004

Left Schism

One benefit of a John Kerry victory over George W. Bush is that liberals and radical leftists will no longer have a common "enemy." They will stop pretending for tactical reasons they have anything meaningful in common.

KerryBushHitler.jpg

I'm still waiting for the liberals to kick these jerks in the ass. But it's not going to happen with George W. in power. That by itself isn't reason enough to vote for John Kerry, but it is one variable in the equation.

Hat tip: Centerfield.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at July 27, 2004 02:03 PM
Comments

The very fact that Kerry and the rest of the Dems are willing to make common cause with the fruitcake fringe in an all-out war against Bush and the war on islamic fascism is more than reason enough to disqualify the donkey party from deserving the reigns of power.

The fact that you might reward their misbehavior with a vote is most upsetting.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 27, 2004 02:35 PM

Matthew,

The GOP make common cause with people like Pat Robertson who once said the following about what will happen after the "Christian revolution" in this country.

The silly so-called intellectuals of academia will find themselves considered first irrelevant and then expendable when the real power begins to operate.

I may not be an academic, but I am something of an intellectual. I use my mind and write words for a living, so I think I qualify. That man is my enemy, a real enemy. He has declared war on people like me and my friends many times in public. He also said America deserved the terror attacks on September 11. The fact that he and his "flock" are members in good standing of the Republican Party disqualifies that party in my opinion. The trouble is I might end up voting for that party anyway, in which case I will have to make a public apology for doing so. I'm in a bad spot here, and damned no matter which way I jump.

I didn't become a centrist because I felt like it, but because I was forced into it.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 27, 2004 02:46 PM

Michael,

If Pat Robertson sits next to George Bush Senior and Barbara Bush at the Republican convention I will concede your point (You did see Michael Moore sitting with the Carters yesterday, didn't you?) In point of fact I suspect Robertson will not even attend the convention.

I'm not going to defend the Republicans and the theocratic segment of the party. It's indefensible. But in foreign policy matters American politics was supposed to stop at the water's edge. The Democrats have made a mockery of this during wartime. They must be punished for endangering our citizens in this way.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 27, 2004 02:59 PM

"I'm still waiting for the liberals to kick these jerks in the ass. But it's not going to happen with George W. in power."--

I guess that about sums up the real unease I have with your position on this.Any movement or idea that MERITS respect would have ALREADY deep-sixed these FASCISTS. Please stop inventing excuses for the Kennedys,Gores,Pelosis,Naders,Deans,the NYT,etc,etc,etc.
A morally bankrupt idea can never cease being morally bankrupt through the normal course of events.It is regrettably exactly the same as a bankrupt company.Either it fails completely and its useful parts are devoured by its competitors or it enters a protected period wherein it restuctures(rethinks) to better its chances of survival and become a viable alternative once more.
The 'liberal' movement is bankrupt(certainly in foreign policy) and needs to change.It CANNOT do so under the same old,same old. I believe that at heart you understand that.Either I am a 'digital brownshirt'or I am not. It really is not a nuanced situation. The dementia is not a function of GWB;it is a function of the demented.
Hatred of GWB is neither a reason nor an excuse for the actions of the 'liberal-left'today.It is simply a 'tell'.As I said previously this is a VERY highly problematic line of argument upon which to base ANY decision.

ps--- In regard to comments on another thread. It is NOT a truism that the progress and even course of a war cannot depend on the selection of a particular leader at a particular time.Therefore it is in fact a valid argument that a specific leader is NEEDED at an historical moment.Churchill was needed instead of Chamberlain at the start of the war,AND Churchill was needed instead of Chamberlain DURING the war.Not forever(a straw man) of course, but until the 'neccessity of war' is ingrained in the system.
It is not at all invalid to say that GWB is REQUIRED at this moment in time.It may not be true but it is a valid point of view.

Posted by: dougf at July 27, 2004 03:07 PM

your recommendation that the dems make a big deal about people carrying signs like the one you cite in the photo is silly. they are not part of the convention, why waste time on them?

Posted by: rparks at July 27, 2004 03:53 PM

Liberals don't need the presidency to save themselves from their radical wing. That's-- excuse me for saying this, I greatly respect your writing-- total crap.

The problem is that, with the exception of a few voices in the wilderness (yours is a notable example), mainstream liberals have chosen to appease their radical wing. Surprise, surprise, appeasement doesn't work. Look at some of our college campuses to see how the radical left's ideas have metastisized and are now spreading into mainstream liberalism.

Conservatives can't fix this-- it's not our party, not our philosophy. We were infected by the same ideas in the 20's and 30's, and lost power for a generation. We almost had a resurgence with Pat Buchanan in '92, but all conservatives (social, economic, libertarian) came together and fought it off.

Michael, I'm totally preaching to the choir. What can you do? Nothing you aren't already doing, night and day. The problem is that you're still so outnumbered.

Read the Bill O'Reilly vs Michael Moore debate transcript. I don't have any great respect for either man, but that's the conservative-liberal debate in a nutshell.

If Kerry wins, don't fool yourself: he won't be as radical as the protestors, but he'll disengage from the war on terror. He'll decry terrorism and totalitarianism, while categorically ruling out any means that might put a stop to it.

Posted by: Rob at July 27, 2004 03:58 PM

I suggest they are not the fringe, but rather that it is these that are the heart and soul of the Democrats. It's the only logical reason why the DNC can't seem to cut these idiots loose. The only time, in fact they've been able to get them to shut up at all is when they're trying to sell themselves as 'conservative' as they have been at this convention.

Even there, little bits of it leak out, such as during the speeches of Carter and Gore last night.

Posted by: Bithead at July 27, 2004 04:10 PM

Bithead: I suggest they are not the fringe, but rather that it is these that are the heart and soul of the Democrats

I dunno. Kerry=Bush=Hitler doesn't sound like the heart and soul of the Democrats to me. My wife is a Democrat. "Just a normal Democrat," she says. She has nothing in common with those kind of idiots, and finds them as annoying as I do. (She was also as happy as I was to see Saddam's regime demolished and the bastard later yanked out of a hole in the ground.) But she's not a writer or an activist, so you wouldn't really know people like her even exist.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 27, 2004 04:47 PM

IMHO, Kerry MUST disassociate himself from the radical Left. He may have disagreed with the President's decision to fight the Iraq War (although you couldn't tell by looking at his voting record), but the fact is that we are at War now. You can debate how we got there, but you can't debate that we are there.

A Kerry victory would be damaging to the war effort given that he has refused to distance himself from the war's opponents. In order for him to be considered for the presidency, he must send a loud and clear message to our enemies that he will prosecute this war vigorously if he wins. He must let them know right now that they will gain no succor from his victory.

If he does not do this, he is disqualified from the presidency in my opinion. It is not too late, but Kerry is fast running out of time for his Sister Souljah moment with the anti-war Left.

In addition, I note that the Dem. party in general, in its hatred of the President, has politicized the war. I believe that it would (1) damage the war effort and (2) make it very difficult for future Presidents to conduct foreign policy if the Dems. are rewarded for their conduct.

Posted by: Ben at July 27, 2004 04:59 PM

The very fact that Kerry and the rest of the Dems are willing to make common cause with the fruitcake fringe in an all-out war against Bush and the war on islamic fascism is more than reason enough to disqualify the donkey party from deserving the reigns of power.

Uhh, these people are protesting the Democrats, not making common cause with them.

Posted by: Randy Paul at July 27, 2004 05:41 PM

Randy,

Is that why their standard-bearer (Michael Moore) got the biggest cheers of the night, and primo seating (next to the Carters!) at the convention?

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 27, 2004 05:52 PM

Although to be fair, Mr. Carter himself certainly qualifies for the fruitcake fringe after his efforts to sabotage both Bush administrations in gulf wars I and II.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 27, 2004 05:55 PM

The only time, in fact they've been able to get them to shut up at all is when they're trying to sell themselves as 'conservative' as they have been at this convention.

I'm a lifelong Democrat and these people don't speak for me. I come from a family of lifelong Democrats. One of them (my mom's uncle who she said was far more liberal than me) gave his life for his country during WWII. My mom's cousin (also a Democrat) worked for USAID representing his country in such locations as Burma, Swaziland, Yemen (where he was shot in the foot), Liberia (where he was taken hostage for a day), Tanzania, Botswana and Egypt (where he got hepatitis) all while serving his country.

My folks were also fairly liberal Democrats, but that didn't stop my Dad from serving his country working as a civilian employee of the US Army Missile Command for 37 years. Dad passed away two years ago, but I'm sure that he would be supporting Kerry. He had nothing but contempt for Bush (both of them) and Reagan.

I don't believe for a moment that those who share my beliefs are the only ones who love their country and believe in its ideals. I also don't believe that those whose views I don't agree with are evil anti-Americans. I also don't buy the notion that during wartime anyone's right to peacefully dissent ends regardless of who's in the White House. Perhaps some of you who disagree with me can afford me the same courtesy.

Someone who holds up a sign saying Kerry=Bush=Hitler doesn't speak for me and it certainly doesn't speak for my party.

Posted by: Randy Paul at July 27, 2004 06:23 PM

Is that why their standard-bearer (Michael Moore) got the biggest cheers of the night, and primo seating (next to the Carters!) at the convention?

Do you really believe that Michael Moore believes that Kerry equals Bush?

I think it's a safe bet that Bill Clinton got the biggest cheers of the night.

As for Michael Moore being a player in the Democratic Party, I suggest that you read this.

Posted by: Randy Paul at July 27, 2004 06:36 PM

I, for one, am very pleased that Michael Moore was not invited to the convention by the party. He would cause them considerable damage, not only from a PR perspective but in a karmic sense as well. He has compared the people cutting off "infidel" heads in Iraq to those who fought the American Revolution. He is a championship asshole.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 27, 2004 06:43 PM

They are crazy, but the swarthy guy with the backpack nuke is cute

Posted by: jeff at July 27, 2004 06:44 PM

MJT,

One benefit of a John Kerry victory over George W. Bush is that liberals and radical leftists will no longer have a common "enemy."

What happens in 2008 when the so-called "liberals" need the "radical leftists" to get re-elected? Are the "liberals" gonna "kick these jerks in the ass" for the next four years and expect to win the next election? Dream on, Michael.

And who is running the Democratic asylum anyway? Is it the "liberals" who are using the "radicals" to get elected, or the other way around? You may not like to admit it, but the "radicals" are running this show. And if Kerry wins, the "radicals" will have the clout to set the agenda for the next 4 years. It is the "liberals" who will be getting their asses kicked, as they have been all along.

Posted by: HA at July 27, 2004 06:47 PM

Michael,

Moore was given a standing ovation by the crowd when he walked in. Half of the Democrats on Capital Hill took the day off and went to a special showing of F-911. He was sitting with Jimmy and Rose Carter at the convention.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 27, 2004 07:07 PM

Matthew,

Points taken. All the same, please read Randy Paul's link.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 27, 2004 07:20 PM

Michael,

I read it.

Frankly, I think it's pretty clear the Dems are trying to clean up their image at the convention -- as are the Republicans of course by highlighting Arnold, Rudy, etc. instead of the likes of Santorum.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 27, 2004 07:32 PM

WTF are you talking about? These people are not on "our side." They are picketing Kerry's convention, they are comparing him to Hitler. Again, how are these people on our side?

Posted by: andrew at July 27, 2004 08:02 PM

I'd like to note that any assistance we are getting from the radical left is because they moved over to our side under the ABB baner. Democrats did not seek out the ANSWER or archists crowd, they came to us with their vote. And, we all know that no politician, Democrat or Republican, is going to say to a voter "please don't support me."

Posted by: andrew at July 27, 2004 09:05 PM

Face it folks. The reason these freaks came to the side of the Dems is that, like most Dems, they are collectivists, statists. ANSWER and these other groups are about a lot more than being against the war in Iraq. ANSWER is made of mostly of socialists, anarchists and outright communists.

Are Democrats communists ? Of course not. But the fact that these people have more in common with Democrats than Republicans does say something.

Republicans have their nutcases too, but I am afraid it is a fact that anti-Americanism these days is almost exclusively the playground of the radical Left.

Most Democrats are good people, and patriots, but just misguided, IMHO. But Democrats beware ! Watch out for these people carrying signs saying "capitalist pig". They are NOT good company.

Its time for some soul-searching.

Posted by: freeguy at July 27, 2004 09:28 PM

Michael - I still don't understand why you are so obsessed with the left fringe. Nor do I understand why any particular group has a special obligation to condemn them, as you always imply.

Why, for example, are moderates who think the war was a mistake but agree generally in using military force when that's the most effective way to stop terrorist responsible for left-nuts who oppose the war for completely different reasons, and with whom they have nothing else in common?

It makes exactly as much as sense as if I held you, as a supporter of the invasion, responsible for the views of the right wing nut-jobs who love the war because they like killing Arabs, or fundies who think that it's part of a holy war that will end with the Apocalypse.

And if find it difficult to believe that anyone will seriously be persuaded to vote Democrat because it will make the Dems more likely to spend time attacking an already marginal and irrelevant group.

Posted by: Mork at July 27, 2004 09:42 PM

Freeguy-

"But Democrats beware ! Watch out for these people carrying signs saying "capitalist pig". They are NOT good company."

They are protesting our convention and comparing our presidential nominee to Hitler! These people are not on our team.

Posted by: andrew at July 27, 2004 10:46 PM

Mork, I don't hold you responsible for those idiots. Like I said in my post, liberals and radical leftists have nothing meaningful in common except that they both hate Bush. You did read that sentence, didn't you?

Still, Michael Moore can compare the people running around Iraq cutting off heads to those who fought the American Revolution, and liberals flock to his movie and give him prizes. Thank Heaven some liberal intellectuals (like Marc Cooper, for instance) are smart enough to call bullshit on him, but they're in the minority and that bothers me.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 27, 2004 10:51 PM

The Left is Kerry's problem. He needs to deal with them. Nobody else can do it for him. Bush does not have the same problem because the anti-American nuts on the Right are already marginalized, for the most part. The Radical Left is not, and only Kerry can marginalize them. It is not "fair" that Kerry has this problem, but life is not fair.

Posted by: Ben at July 27, 2004 10:53 PM

Let's see - people like Sean Hannity and Dennis Miller run fundraisers with Bush, Limbaugh and Coulter march out as his footsoldiers, but the Dems have to exorcise some loons with a sign?

Posted by: Oliver Willis at July 27, 2004 11:23 PM

Ben,

I agree with you that the Loony Left is a bigger problem overall than the Religious Right, but unfortunately I do not think the wing nuts on the Right are entirely marginalized.

I guess this is a bit off-topi, but the religious right is still a huge force in the Republican Party. Being gay, I have never endorsed most of their agenda, but I must admit that they used to be a net plus in terms of the raw political calculus. However, I feel that will not be the case much longer.

Sometimes I get the feeling in my gut that we may be on the verge of a political earthquake in this country that will leave both parties reeling. And maybe that is exactly what we need. Most politically -aware people I know under age 50 are socially liberal, economically "conservative", and hawkish.

The Republicans cannot tell the Bible-wavers to take a hike, and the Democrats cannot tell the Loony Left to do same, because, unfortunately, both groups are too important the their respective base vote.

I hope to see the day I can vote for a president who is a free-trading, anti-big-government, socially-tolerant hawk.

I am not holding my breath. Instead, unfortunately I will be holding my nose this November and voting for the most "unrepublican" Republican president we have had in a long time. For now, national security trumps everything else.

Posted by: freeguy at July 27, 2004 11:25 PM

Oliver: Let's see - people like Sean Hannity and Dennis Miller run fundraisers with Bush, Limbaugh and Coulter march out as his footsoldiers, but the Dems have to exorcise some loons with a sign?

I've beaten up on Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and Sean Hannity plenty of times myself. And I note the reactions in my comments when I do so. Those who give me a bunch of crap for it get taken less seriously in the future as a result. It goes both ways, Oliver. If you stick up for the Bush=Hitler crowd, you lose credibility. Sorry. That's just the way these things work.

You should note Andrew's reaction above. We're talking about people here who say John Kerry is Hitler. They are not your friends. They are idiots, and they are our common enemies. Yes, enemies because they also want to overthrow the government. It should be obvious to you that the two of us have more in common with each other than we do with them. I said so, using different language, in my post. So why get so defensive about it? You've taken on these idiots on your own blog in the (now distant) past, so I know you know where I'm coming from.

You just - apparently - closed ranks in order to beat Bush. And I'm telling you, man, it's counterproductive.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 27, 2004 11:40 PM

You just - apparently - closed ranks in order to beat Bush. And I'm telling you, man, it's counterproductive.

Bullshit, again, Michael. You are the one who wants to conflate mainstream Dems with the nutty fringe. At least, you, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. It's cheap hackwork, but you seem to be addicted to it.

Still, Michael Moore can compare the people running around Iraq cutting off heads to those who fought the American Revolution, and liberals flock to his movie and give him prizes.

Have you seen the movie yet? You ought to. I don't hold a candle for Moore at all. I find him personally unlikable, I think his books are shit and Bowling for Columbine was garbage.

But I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 last weekend, and after I'd got over feeling ashamed all over again at being fooled into supporting the Iraq war in the first place, my next reaction was to get pissed off at those who suggest that what he is doing is somehow illegitimate. Sure, there are some tendentious connections, but for the most part the movie is nothing more sinister than a passionate and opinionated polemic for a particular point of view. Frankly, I doubt the good faith of anyone who has seen the movie and suggests that it's something other than a valid piece of political art. It reminded me of nothing so much as than the work of a cinematic Christopher Hitchens.

Posted by: Mork at July 28, 2004 12:52 AM

Mork,

Have you seen "The Trials of Henry Kissinger?" That's a movie that really is made from a Christopher Hitchens book. And it's great. It's really great. I think you'd like it, and I doubt you would call it political art. It is far better than merely that.

As far as the left-wing nutjobs go, they bother a lot of people. They just do. That's how it is. The right-wing nutjobs bother people, too, including me. If the Democrats can't respect that, they will suffer for it. Choose your friends. Me or them. Not both.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 28, 2004 01:03 AM

Have you seen "The Trials of Henry Kissinger?"

I've read the book. Frankly, I found it disappointing, because Hitchens only bothered to acquire a very superficial understanding of the law around war crimes, treated the worst and most trivial of Kissinger's crimes with the same breathless outrage, and rather over-larded the case with unecessary rhetoric.

But I am a fan of Hitchens. When you want passionate polemic and a complete refusal to buy anyone's party line but his own, he's your man. But if you want honesty, fairness and sober judgment (no pun intended), he's not.

Same for Michael Moore.

But you can't argue that one is a legitimate voice because he happens to suit your current point of view, but the other is not because he doesn't.

If the Democrats can't respect that, they will suffer for it. Choose your friends. Me or them. Not both.

This is getting frustrating. I am criticizing you for insisting on baselessly lumping in Democrats with the left wing fringe and your response to that - three times now - is simply to repeat yourself without addressing the substance of the charge.

Can you not even perceive what you are doing to the extent necessary to defend it? When people can't even bring themselves to acknowledge something, it usually means that it serves an important psychological need for them.

Perhaps it is this: you understand why Bush cannot be re-elected, but to say so now would feel like an admission of previous error. But if the Dems were to make some great display of beating up on another set of your enemies, then you'd be able to cross the bridge without it feeling like a retreat.

Posted by: Mork at July 28, 2004 01:51 AM

Mork,

The nut-jobs I'm worried about are not out in the street. They are inside the convention hall. They are up on the podium like Jimmy Carter, Al Gore, Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy, Teresa Heinz-Kerry and of course John Kerry. The DLC wing of the party is dead.

Posted by: HA at July 28, 2004 03:41 AM

I agree, I don't give a hoot about the 1% of leftwing nutjobs who are picketing the democrats.

I'm worried about the nutjobs who are John Kerry's BASE.

BTW, anyone who goes to see a Riefenstahlesque lying propaganda film like F911 and buys into it -- is not ready for the hefty responsibility of voting in an election.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 28, 2004 05:14 AM

The Democrats are making a mistake by embracing Michael Moore, who probably has contempt for most of the mainstream Democrats. I agree that it us unfortunate that the Dems have not disassociated themselves from the lunatic fringe, but how large is the fringe anyway? The true nuts are probably not going to vote anyway. You can hardly call them Democrats. In fact, as someone pointed out, they hate the Democrats as much as the Republicans.

It's unfair to lump Jimmy Carter, for example, with the guy holding the Bush/Kerry equals Hitler banner. I have problems with the way he has interjected himself into foreign policy, both under Clinton and Bush and he is certainly more liberal than many. He may well have been an incompetent president but he is hardly a radical. Same for Kennedy, etc.

I disagree that the DLC wing of the party is dead. Check out what is likely to be the platform--other than health care,you are not going to see any calls for huge social spending. They are calling for reducing the deficit. You may not agree with the policy, but it's hardly radical left. Moreover, why shouldn't the Dems present a different package from the GOP? Why do they have to be a carbon copy? What's wrong with them presenting an alternative? These people have a different view of how to deal with our problems. I thought that was called democracy.

Posted by: MWS at July 28, 2004 07:20 AM

MWS,

Why was Michael Moore a guest of Carter at the convention? Why did half the Dems in congress take the day off work to go watch a special showing of F911?

Answering these questions sheds a very troubling light upon the Democrats in positions of power in the party.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 28, 2004 10:31 AM

Mork: Perhaps it is this: you understand why Bush cannot be re-elected, but to say so now would feel like an admission of previous error.

No. I didn't vote for Bush the first time, so it would be no big deal to give him a pass this time as well. It would be a relief, actually. I never wanted to be a supporter of his. I certainly don't wish we left Saddam Hussein in power, only to let Iraq be later handed over to the Uday and Qusay regime. No. I feel I made no previous error. My concern is about where we go next.

Bush lost a lot of political capital, and yet I'm worried Kerry doesn't have the stomach for the job. If I could I would vote for Tony Blair or John McCain for president without a moment's hesitation. But they aren't options. Instead I have to pick between two candidates I dislike, and when I vote for one of them I will also be voting "for" the baggage each will drag into the office and I find both the left-wing baggage and the right-wing baggage offensive and disconcerting for different reasons. I don't trust either Bush or Kerry enough to tell their bases to go to Hell as both Blair and McCain surely would.

Michael Moore compares Al Qaeda in Iraq to the American Revolution. And plenty of liberals love him. Why? Because they both hate Bush. That's the only reason, but in any case that's an example of the left-fringe creeping into the mainstream. I don't see how you can deny that. Arguing with you about this is like arguing with a secular conservative who just can't understand why I don't like Pat Robertson. Well, just TRY to think about it without getting partisan and defensive. You ought to be able to see where I'm coming from, and it's weird that you can't.

Oh, and comparing Hitchens to Moore is silly. I've read one of Moore's books. It was like reading a comic book. Hitchens is a professor, and is a more learned man than anyone else I can think of who works in the media. Ever read his literature reviews in The Atlantic? He's no slouch.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 28, 2004 10:52 AM

Matthew,

Any intelligent politican should have seen the opening of F9/11. It is the first try at an entirely new political weapon. One may not like Moore, his message, his presentation. But we cannot deny that it seems to be having an impact on the political system, certianly it has proven via box office numbers that its appealing to many voters. A politican that remains uninformed about such a powerful vehicle is a fool.

As for why he was a guest of Carters?

Hrmmm, perhaps because he's the first to sucessfully use this new political weapon. He is very popular right now with many Americans. What sort of fools would the democrats be, to not take every advantage they can get to win this election?

Doing something because its a smart political move isn't always tasteful, it isn't always idealistic, in fact from what I've seen it rarely is.

Ratatosk

Posted by: Ratatosk at July 28, 2004 11:56 AM

Tosk,

I suspect the whole attempt of Hollywood, the Dems, and the media to vilify Bush, to slant the news against him, and to create propaganda films against him like F911, the Manchurian Candidate, and Day after Tomorrow (with the absurd caricature of Dick Cheney as the anti-hero) is going to lead to a re-election of George Bush by surprising numbers.

I think the basic American people have a sense of fair play and that the Dems, the mainstream media (with approval levels in the toilet) and Hollywood's obvious finger on the scale will lead to a backlash at the voting booth.

I could be wrong -- we will see on November 2. But to my way of thinking, one of the biggest reasons to re-elect Bush is the array of scheming liars, flim-flam artists, bloviators, pointed-head schemers and ne'er do wells (foreign and domestic) determined to throw him out and install a weathervane in his place.

I'm not a fan of the Republicans but I absolutely want to punish the Democrats for their flagrant quest for political power that cares nothing for American success abroad and is willing to provide aid and comfort for the enemy during wartime.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 28, 2004 12:10 PM

One more comment.

Out of all the people I know, only one has seen F911. This is a woman who has failed at her marriage, career and every relationship she has had. A woman who believed (long before F911) that Bush "knew" and that the CIA flew the planes into the buildings. I suspect that the average moderate person knows someone like this and hearing them praise F911 and Moore and frothing at the mouth about Bush is likely to lead them to pull the Bush lever in November.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 28, 2004 12:18 PM

Tosk --

What new political tactic are you referencing? The Big Lie? That's already been tried.

Posted by: Ben at July 28, 2004 12:19 PM

matthew,

Do you base that on anything at all? Most of the polls I've seen show Bush and Kerry about tied, with Bush steadily losing support in the War effort. This vast Left-wing Media conspiracy stuff has yet to resonate with anyone I know. the only time I hear people talking about it is when I happen upon Fox News or one of the Political Blogs.

I sometimes wonder if the Blog craze isn't contributing to a closed-circle logic loop. I will see some idea get posted on Blog A, then I see a dozen or so posts that repeat (sometimes using the exact prhasing) the same idea. Sometimes, those ideas don't seem to exist outside the blog, but the blog community takes them as face-value facts.

Vote for Bush, but don't be so sure that most of America think that the left wing is trying to scam their way into office.

Posted by: Ratatosk at July 28, 2004 12:20 PM

Tosk,

I suspect when Bush starts unveiling the real Kerry in earnest, and when people start paying attention, that Kerry is going to be in a world of hurt.

The real campaign only begins in September.

And I think the media is pretty clearly in trouble -- with respect levels dipping to 25% or lower than used car salesmen. The left-wing bias is pretty well proven -- look at the latest Yale study which shows how slanted it actually is.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 28, 2004 12:26 PM

I'm with Tosk that this election could go either way. But I wonder, Tosk, why you think it's smart to use a political weapon that middle-of-the-road people find offensive and obnoxious. You don't win elections that way. You might win despite using that tactic, but you won't win because of it. The Democratic Party establishment understands this, which is the reason Michael Moore was not invited to the convention - he was there as an observer, not a participant.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 28, 2004 12:27 PM

Michael,

F 9/11 seems to have at least solidified the vote (if not changed it) for a number of people I know. Most of their reviews went something like:

"Well, he obviously was slanted and a lot of it was crap... but, point X really hit home with me...."

The weapon has been used, not with the official support of the Democratic Party, just with the release of the movie. The weapon is out, used and done. To not take advantage of the results is silly. I have yet to hear anyone come out of the theatre and say "I was gonna vote against Bush, but Moore is such a shit, I'm voting republican", but I have heard many people say after they saw it "I'm definately voting against Bush."

I think that there will be moore and moore of these (could- not- resist- pun) in the future. Its the next evolution of political propaganda and I doubt it will go away.

One may not always like the tools they get handed (and Mike Moore is a Tool), but sometimes you have to use a spanner wrench as a hammer.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Posted by: Ratatosk at July 28, 2004 12:38 PM

Matthew,

Instead of smear, err unveiling Kerry, I wish Bush would concentrate on telling us why we should vote for him. Is it too much to ask him to base his reelection on his past four years? Or is the best way to win, simply bashing the other guy?

(Not that I think the dems are any better)

Posted by: Ratatosk at July 28, 2004 12:40 PM

Tosk,

I think Bush will tell us why to vote for him at the convention:

1) He is willing to make the tough decisions about national security for the future (IE democratization of the ME)

2) Social Security reform into an investment vehicle (an unbelievably important and truly wonderful thing for the working poor and lower middle class that will make them into wealth-building investors).

And, of course, his team will skewer Kerry as the political chameleon he is and his dishonest repositioning on Iraq. Which Kerry so richly deserves. You see the 11 minute video of Kerry contradicting himself on Iraq yet?

BTW I forgot to respond to your point about the media left wing conspiracy. It isn't a conspiracy, it's a very large and very pervasive bias in politics and world-view.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 28, 2004 01:26 PM

Tosk --

It's interesting that you criticize Bush in advance for a smear that hasn't happened yet and demand that he tell us why we should vote for him, while supporting Kerry, who has yet to articulate any reason to vote for him that's not a smear against Bush (or at least that doesn't boil down to "I'm not Bush").

Posted by: Ben at July 28, 2004 01:35 PM

Ben,

I've seen a lot of Kerry smear ads, but perhaps they were by political groups and not official Bush ads... though I thought for sure that at least one had the "I'm George Bush" taglines. I'll try to keep a list of them when they pop on tv. Of course, it may be that I'm just seeing more since I'm in Ohio. Sometimes battleground state life sucks ;-)

As for my support of Kerry... I think I've stated several times that he's not much better. The only reason I'm probably going to vote for him is that I think we'll see improvement on the homefront. I want states to have the right to choose their own laws about medical marijuana, gay marriage, or whatever the next hot topic is. I want to see the USAPATRIOT act seriously reformed if not simply done away with. I want to see scientists able to continue their research in stem cell therapy, unhindered by the federal government (Regans speech last night was good). I want an America where even the most vile human has his rights, where even Osama Bin Laden can't be held indefinately without charge. four more years of Bush doesn't seem to be the best way to achieve this. (Though if Bush acted more like a small government Republican, most of those issues would go away.)

And I don't think that Bush or Kerry will drasticly change forign policy. If Kerry dares to relax our War on Terror, another attack will spell his doom.

Matthew,

If he sticks to positive ads, it would greatly improve my opinion of him. If he spends most of his time with "But Kerry said..." then I'll just count him in with the rest of the politicans.

Posted by: Ratatosk at July 28, 2004 01:47 PM

Tosk,

It is perfectly legal to do embryonic stem cell research in America. You can even get federal funds for it today if you use one of the approved lines of stem cells (not that I think the federal government has any business putting scientists on welfare).

The issue is, of course, over federal funding for embryonic stem cell research -- research which does, of course, involve destroying human life (whether embryonic life deserves protection or not is as you know hotly debated). Personally I am pro choice but I don't see anything good about making pro-life people pay for experiments on human embryoes that are in some sense dead human beings.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 28, 2004 02:13 PM

Matthew,

There are lots of things that Americans pay for which they don't approve of. Unfortunately, thats what a democracy is about Rule by The People, not by Presidential edict or the wishes of a loud few.

If Bush had brought a federal ban before Congress or the People and it passed... then I'd be upset with my congressman or just disgusted with the american people.

But that's not what happened.

Posted by: Ratatosk at July 28, 2004 02:28 PM

Tosk --

What smear ads have you seen? I, too, live in a battleground state, and I haven't seen a single smear ad against Kerry.

Posted by: Ben at July 28, 2004 04:46 PM

Tosk,

Every administration makes choices -- such as Clinton's decision to put millions of acres of western federal land off use to ranchers who ranched it for generations. Bush's decision not to hand out federal $ for research on aborted babies is one of those sorts of decisions that every administration makes.

As for living in a democracy, well actually this country was supposed to be a constitutional republic with strict limits on the federal government -- basically limiting its power to national defence and a few other specific areas. Unfortunately the Supreme Court and other branches of government prefer to allow the federal government to meddle in practically every sphere of life, taxing, regulating, and subsidizing many sectors of the economy into a mess (think health care and higher education for starters). I'd hope that eventually another Reagan will arise and this time have more success at driving back the federal government into a more reasonable sphere of action.

I certainly don't believe in the federal government handing out money to researchers of any stripe, excepting work on defense projects. The universities and businesses and private citizens of this country have more than enough money to fund basic scientific research. This idea that everyone needs to get the feds to rob Peter to pay Paul is a form of insanity.

Back in the world we live in today, I have to deal with the political leaders I have to choose from. I hold my nose and vote for the lesser evil who will at least use the federal government to defend my country against its greatest danger, Islamic Fascism. I'm a libertarian but I won't be voting for the Libertarian party who has decided that national defense means burying the bodies quickly after the nuke goes off in Manhattan.

Posted by: Matthew Cromer at July 28, 2004 05:12 PM

Who the heck are you saying embraces the loony lefties? Not me. I'm a proud Democrat, proud to support folks like Clinton, Gore, and Kerry. So don't say I support people I don't.

Posted by: Oliver at July 28, 2004 07:35 PM

You are apparently not as smart as you think you are. You have failed to understand what Pat Robertson said. I'm not going to waste my time explaining it to you. You probably wouldn't get it anyway.
Just know this...........Pat Robertson isn't calling anyone Hitler....and you're statement about him saying we deserved it - because of the 8 years of Clinton negligence and because we are nearly a whole nation of secular humanists and agnostics and atheists. Yeah, I'd say we deserved it for those reasons too......we should have been better Americans, better people, and we shouldn't have allowed ourselves and our society to turn so far away from God.
Of course, you wouldn't know anyting about that, now would you?

owl

Posted by: Owl at July 28, 2004 08:01 PM

Owl,

I'm an atheist. And an American. You are a disgrace, and you will not post here again. No one says Americans deserved September 11 on my Web site.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 28, 2004 10:57 PM

Oliver: Who the heck are you saying embraces the loony lefties? Not me.

Then just silently agree with me when I criticize them and leave it at that.

I know, Oliver, that you don't really embrace them. I've read your blog long enough. You agree with me about them. It's just that, even though you agree with me, you criticize me when I criticize them. Since you know they're nuts, when I say they're nuts, don't give me a bunch of crap about it. If you and every other liberal joined me in giving them the finger, things would be very different for those of us in the center. The Democratic Party would be more popular and more electable than it currently is. Maybe you don't believe me, but I can't imagine you'll find a centrist who disagrees with me about this.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 28, 2004 11:03 PM

Still, Michael Moore can compare the people running around Iraq cutting off heads to those who fought the American Revolution, and liberals flock to his movie and give him prizes.

--you just make this stuff up. i'm surprised you don't claim that mrs. lipscomb also supports cutting off of heads.

Posted by: rparks at July 29, 2004 06:52 AM

Just got to this site for the first time in a week or so...don't have time to read all the comments in response, but seriously, Michael, why do you get so lathered up about nut jobs, of either wing? You act as if people carrying Kerry=Bush=Hitler signs are taken seriously by anyone but themselves. They are doing is practicing their constitutional right to make idiotic political statements. If you want to ban them from your blog, that's your right. But if "liberals", conservatives, or anyone tries to "kick these jerks in the ass" as you recommend
-- you'll first have to get past me and hopefully a whole bunch of other people who don't agree with them on anything but their right to speak ignorance to power. With as much contempt as you evidently have for their views, why are you further publicizing them? Leave them alone.

Posted by: Markus Rose at July 29, 2004 01:55 PM

Markus,

I meant "kick them in the ass" figuratively, not literally.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at July 29, 2004 02:16 PM

Markus,

Well said!

Posted by: Ratatosk at July 29, 2004 02:26 PM
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