September 02, 2004

The Zell Miller Speech

The polarization during this election season makes me lonely. There are few centrists left. Most have hitched their wagons to one partisan train or another. Hardly any honest dialogue remains.

When I see other people of a moderate persuasion writing sentences like these by Matthew Yglesias I feel a horrible sinking feeling that makes me want to stop blogging until mid-November. (I won't stop, but I do wish I could hit a fast-forward button.)

Here is Matt on the speech by Democrat-in-name-only Zell Miller at the Republican National Convention:

I don't believe I've ever heard a more disgusting speech delivered in the English language. The fact that I couldn't see a single person on the floor who seemed to feel anything less than the utmost enthusiasm for that lunacy was, well, a bit disturbing.
Come on, Matt. I have my own problems with the speech (see below) but it wasnít anywhere near the worst ever. Have you not heard any of the hysterial speeches at anti-war rallies lately? Donít tell me you have forgotten about those. Want some more recent examples from the left? Hereís one for you:
U.S. Rep. Major Owens, a New York Democrat, warned a crowd of feminist protesters that the Bush administration is taking America "into a snake pit of fascism."

Owens also said the Bush administration "spits on democracy" and is leading the country down a path reminiscent of "Nazi Germany."

And here is another:
A featured performer at a National Organization for Women rally accused President Bush of having "savagely raped " women "over and over" by allegedly stealing the 2000 presidential election.

Poet Molly Birnbaum read aloud to a crowd of feminists gathered in New York's Central Park on Wednesday night, as part of a NOW event dubbed "Code Red: Stop the Bush Agenda Rally."

"Imagine a way to erase that night four years ago when you (President Bush) savagely raped every pandemic woman over and over with each vote you got, a thrust with each state you stole," Birnbaum said from the podium. (If something is pandemic, it affects many people or a number of countries.)

Those speeches, Matt, were in English.

Itís not just the left that can be nasty. Some of the speeches at the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston were a lot more disgusting than anything Zell Miller said yesterday. Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan prevented me from being a Republican for a decade all by themselves. I felt vaguely like a Democrat then, but I had no real party affiliation one way or another until I heard those two screwjobs declare war on their own country to roaring applause. I'm a bit older than Matt. Perhaps he doesn't remember what it was like to be a non-Republican twelve years ago. It was, at least for me, one heck of a serious no-brainer.

Today it is much less so. Like Zell Miller, I've been seriously torqued at the Democratic Party. But I'm no Zell Miller. I really don't get him. Why isn't he a Republican? He seems to me a lot more right-wing than other Republicans like Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Arnold Schwartzenegger. Granted they are all liberal Republicans, but they are still Republicans.

I donít want to pick apart every sentence Zell Miller uttered. I do agree with some of what he said. He gave John Kerry one heck of a shellacking on military spending, for example. But in other areas he completely let himself go.

That's the most dangerous outsourcing of all. This politician [John Kerry] wants to be leader of the free world.

Free for how long?

Please. Who, exactly, is going to make the world unfree? France? Donít make me laugh. Al Qaeda? Even if they nuke New York City they wonít be able to enslave the United States.

One of the strangest things about Zell Miller's speech is his trouble with the English language.

Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator.

And nothing makes this Marine madder than someone calling American troops occupiers rather than liberators.

Get a grip, Miller.

Of course the American and British militaries liberated Iraq. Removing a totalitarian regime cannot plausibly be called anything but liberation unless another similar regime is installed in its place. But let's not kid ourselves. There are plenty of people in Fallujah who don't feel liberated. They sang in their Saddamite chains. It's horrible, but it's true. Keeping them out of power required a military occupation. You can't spin that away, and there isn't any point in trying to do so. Occupations are sometimes necessary. Getting prickly and defensive about it prevents any serious discussion of the subject.

Keeping Shi'ite religious goons like Moqtada al-Sadr out of power similarly requires an occupation, even though the insurgents in question recognize that they have been liberated from the secular tyranny that predated that occupation. Liberation and occupation are not necessarily exclusive. What the American soldiers are not is colonists. They aren't moving their families to Baghdad.

President Roosevelt, in his speech that summer [of 1940], told America "all private plans, all private lives, have been in a sense repealed by an overriding public danger."
Franklin Roosevelt is by far my favorite president of the 20th Century. But the man wasn't Moses, and I'm not going to praise everything he said just because he was the one who said it.

My private life has not been and will not be repealed. Don't any Republicans find that quote creepy? That's the kind of crazy talk that makes up Kim Jong Il's lunatic North Korean "juche" ideology.

I won't be misunderstood here. Obviously FDR was not a totalitarian Stalinist. He certainly wouldn't be my favorite president since Lincoln had that been the case. And Zell Miller is no Stalinist, either, nor anything like it. But come on. It would be scarcely possible for Miller or anyone else to find a worse quote from FDR to apply to the modern era. It really does bring to mind Christopher Hitchens' description of life in North Korea where everyhing that is not absolutely prohibited is absolutely compulsory. Because thatís what you get when all private plans and private lives are repealed. I know very well that Pyongyang isnít what Roosevelt or Miller had in mind, but that is what those words point to. Recycling them does make me wonder about Zell Millerís instincts. I just canít imagine favorably quoting something like that. I would have to become a very different person in order to do so.

But don't waste your breath telling that to the leaders of my party today. In their warped way of thinking America is the problem, not the solution. [Emphasis added.]
Whoa there, Jackson. John Kerry is not Noam Chomsky. And John Edwards is no Michael Moore.

There are plenty of people on the left who think America is the problem, that America is eeeevil, that America is the new fascist police state. I've beaten them over the head with a rhetorical club on this blog for almost two years now. They are the most irritating people in the entire country, in part because plenty of them live in my neighborhood and I have to put up with their bullshit on a regular basis. I've also taken aim at mainstream liberals who refuse to call them out on the carpet. I expect a blowhard like Rush Limbaugh to make no distinction between a mainstream Democrat and a radical wingnut, but no one, and I mean no one, who is a Democrat himself has any excuse for not getting this right. If "the leaders of the Democratic Party" were as Zell Miller described them, Ralph Nader would be out of a job and Noam Chomsky would be a senator instead of a crank on the margins at Z Magazine.

Millerís argument with Chris Matthews on Hardball was similarly offputting. (Click here to see the video.)

He makes some good points, but he's still a bully and a loose cannon. Chris Matthews is not generally known for amiability or grace under pressure, but I think he handled Zell Miller's steamrolling admirably. Miller canít hold down a conversation with somebody who disagrees with him even when that person is ignoring the insults and the bullying. Matthews even professed admiration for Zell Miller, yet Miller still couldnít resist threats of physical violence. He seems to have been knocked clean off his rocker by hatred for his own party. He's been seized by Bush-hatred inverted.

He ought to be my kind of Democrat since weíre both alienated from the party for some of the same reasons. But he's becoming a hallucinatory right-winger, incapable of grasping straightforward objective reality. It is painful for me to watch. The Democrats are a bit nuts right now, but it simply won't do to match their craziness and hysteria with more of the same.

Zell Miller might have made me more likely to vote for George W. Bush by presenting a reasonable case. Instead Iíll be stuck cobbling together my own ďliberal case for BushĒ and seeing if it holds up enough for me to run with it. What Miller is doing is acting as a kind of anti-role model for me. Note to self. Don't be like Zell.


UPDATE: Matthew Yglesias responds. And for the record, Matt, I do not think you are deranged. You're on my blogroll, after all.

UPDATE: When Laura Bush was asked what she thought of Zell Miller's speech she said ďI donít know that we share that point of view.Ē

Posted by Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 03:55 PM
Comments

"And John Edwards is no Michael Moore."

Seems to me I recall Kerry and Edwards enthusiastically praising Farenheit 911, and I seem to have recalled Michael Moore at a place of honor next to Jimmy Carter at the Boston Convention. Lay down with dogds and you wake up with . . .

Posted by: Robert Avery at September 2, 2004 04:11 PM

"And John Edwards is no Michael Moore."

Seems to me I recall Kerry and Edwards enthusiastic praise of Farenheit 911, and I seem to recall Michael Moore at a place of honor next to Jimmy Carter at the Boston Convention. Lay down with dogs, and you wake uop with . . .

Posted by: Robert Avery at September 2, 2004 04:14 PM

Robert Avery: Seems to me I recall Kerry and Edwards enthusiastically praising Farenheit 911

That would be news to me. And Michael Moore was not given a place of honor next to Carter. The Carters personally invited him themselves after the DNC refused to let Moore speak at the convention. Moore was snubbed by Kerry and Edwards.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 04:35 PM

Michael,
Hilary was snubbed, Moore was strategically not invited.

Posted by: steve at September 2, 2004 04:46 PM

I listened to Zell and my impression is more like this blogger's: http://dbsoxblog.blogspot.com/ -Kerry's magic.

Posted by: marek at September 2, 2004 05:05 PM

Seems to me I recall Kerry and Edwards enthusiastic praise of Farenheit 911

That would be quite a trick since Kerry hasn't seen the film and claims that he has no plans to see it.

Lay down with dogds and you wake up with . . .

Fleads?

Posted by: 5000! at September 2, 2004 05:18 PM

My wife and I were thrilled. We felt like the wretches in a fairy tale when the evil witches spell is broken and the sun shines in.

Were some pieces over the top, or possibley 'rough hits'? Maybe, I'm not qualified to judge.
But the speech taken as a whole --
to a liberal hawk bemuddled by Vietnam,
to a veteran,
to a non-apologetic lover of America (warts and all),
-- rang every fiber of my being and had us whooping once the initial shock of it sank in.

A good collection of views: dalythoughts

The inestimable Allah http://www.allahpundit.com/ (pbuh) nails the counter argument to Sullivans complaining about Zell's taking the Democrats to task for blaming America.

Where on earth would Miller have gotten that idea?

Posted by: jdwill at September 2, 2004 05:38 PM

As a left-leaning independant, I can't stand over-the-top leftist rhetoric either, but come on -- Democrats coddle their lunatics for the same reason the Republicans coddle their's. In a two party system, every vote counts.

Democracy works when everyone out there has someone pleading their case, even the crazies. Two parties aren't enough to capture all the varieties of opionion. We desperately need to restore and codify the defacto third party that was liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats in years past. These legislators banded together and acted as a check on the excesses of their respective parties. Right now reason is getting shouted down from both sides.

(Michael, thank you for you site. It is nice to read opposing view points that don't set out to just insult mine.)

Posted by: sivert at September 2, 2004 05:49 PM

MJT,

I'm sure it will come as no surprise, but I LOVED Zell! He said everything that had to be said about John Kerry and this Democratic party. Not only that, he said it with the PASSION his subject demanded.

The Democrats are smearing Zell, and playing semantic games with what he said. But they won't listen to his message regardless of how he states it. This Democratic party cannot be trusted with national security. They are too far gone, and they will pay a price for that. Maybe not this election cycle, but certainly by the next one.

Posted by: HA at September 2, 2004 06:42 PM

Now why do you have to be so gosh darn reasonable?

BTW, MY has a clever response up.

Posted by: praktike at September 2, 2004 06:43 PM

"But I'm no Zell Miller. I really don't get him. Why isn't he a Republican?"

That's the final shove, is it not? In my experience, liberals would rather lose a fellow Democrat to the Republican party than entertain dissent within the ranks.

I can't answer for Zell Miller, but my husband and I are changing our registration to Republican after a combined 70 years in the Democratic party and even longer family traditions of the same.

Might as well go voluntarily, before we are pushed out by our old friends and colleagues.

Posted by: Anne Lieberman at September 2, 2004 06:44 PM
Anne Lieberman wrote:
I can't answer for Zell Miller, but my husband and I are changing our registration to Republican after a combined 70 years in the Democratic party and even longer family traditions of the same.
Welcome! Posted by: Thorley Winston at September 2, 2004 06:51 PM

I've seen a lot of comments about the "occupiers/liberators" contrast today. In fact I think one interview actually called him out on it, noting that GWB had used the O-word in the recent past.

My personal opinion, for what it's worth, which probably ain't much, is that Miller had a very specific usage of it in mind. It wasn't so much the word as the way it was used. I think Miller meant to slam the people who use "occupiers" as shorthand for "fascist/colonialist oppressors".

Off the top of my head (and I offer my apologies in advance if this isn't an appropriate comparison, but it's the first that comes to mind), it occurs to me that, say, Jesse Jackson might react quite differently to Al Sharpton and Zell Miller if both of them decided to call him "my nigga". In other words, I think what rankled Miller was not merely the word but also the context.

Of course I don't claim that Miller thought it out to that level of detail... if he had, he might have qualified it. (But then again he might not have, if he trusted that the people he most wanted to reach would get his message.)

Posted by: Guy T. at September 2, 2004 07:05 PM

Hey, kids, it's the Michael Totten song:

"Anything you can do, I can do better/
If the right wing is nauseating,
the left wing is worse."

Posted by: tomatotomatoe at September 2, 2004 07:07 PM

Anne,

can you please tell me why, after 70 combined years as Democrats, your household is switching to the GOP. Please indulge me.

Posted by: David at September 2, 2004 07:07 PM

Sorry to hear that you feel left (no pun) out as the sole centrist. Is centrism the new version of the old George Carlin joke about driving on the freeway. Everyone driving slower than you is an ***hole and everyone driving faster is a lunatic?

Please don't take this harshly, I enjoy your writing, it is thought provoking and I often find myself in agreement. But, this is an election not an encounter group, you're supposed to take sides.

Posted by: ThomasD at September 2, 2004 07:16 PM

So much for the "Jacksonian" meme that was so hot amongst the "centrist" nitwits...people like Totten don't even understand the history and heritage of the (old) Democratic Party, southern virtues of loyalty, etc.

At least Totten gets that conservatives with southern accents are not automatically bigots (see I give Totten some credit).

How to begin with nitwits like Totten and Sullivan?

Luckily, most "centrists" are not this dense. Or else American would be in deep, deep shit.

Posted by: Mike at September 2, 2004 07:20 PM

Michael,
I remember 1992 well enough, and I don't
think the Buchanan held a candle to this one.
And the other examples you give are not from
political leaders at a convention.
I am a historian and personally do not like
it when people use the terms fascism and Hitler
easily. The GOP is not the Nazi party and
Bush is not Hitler.
But unlike 1992, this attack came from the
top of the GOP. They were not throwing Zell a
bone, like Buchanan in 1992.
But perhaps more disturbing was the utter
disregard for the truth in the speeches. I mean
this wasn't even lying... it was something more
disturbing. They didn't even really try to be
believable. There are plenty of honest and
hard hitting ways to attack Kerry, but come on,
I am not sure Zell spoke one single truthful
word. This is not the GOP that I know.
And the tone was worst of all. More than
the text, the tone was hateful. All the more odd
because I don't really think Zell means a word of
it (and I felt the same way in 1992 when he
attacked Bush).
And what about the crowd reaction? Even
the Fox News people were complaining that the
convention goers were screaming obscenties at
them.
Combine this with Denny Hastert's comments
about Soros getting his money from drug
cartels (and earlier comments by GOPUSA calling
Soros a "Shylock" and tying him to international
banking conspiracies) and it does give me the
creeps.
Add to this comments by the Chief Justice
of the Supreme court supporting internment of the
Japanese in WWII, similar comments by Bush's
pointman for civil rights a few years ago, and
that Malkin book.
I am not one to say this lightly... you
would never hear me say "I'm going to Canada."
I love this country deeply and am very patriotic.
But, if I was muslim and arab I would seriously
consider moving at this point for fear of
backlash if there is another terrorist attack.
My point here really is that we are not
talking about fringes here. We are talking about
the leaders of the Republican party. This is not
the party of Reagan or Nixon or Ford.
Perhaps Zell didn't really frighten you,
but I was literally shaken by his speech, and
similarly by other speeches mentioning "internal
enemies." And in my own field (history) the
administration has already tried to use the
funding crisis to purge professors. They
threatened our international studies program
because of the use Edward Said's orientalism
by some professors. I am no Said (the man)
fan, but come on... he is analyzing Flaubert
and 19th century French depictions of the
harem. He is probably in the bibliographies
of half of the Conservative books. These
were not "radical" scholars at all. I mean
they are not even mainly studying the middle
east... they are using it in critiques of
British colonial attitudes to India at the
turn of the century. (Part of the reason I
bring this up, is that one of the earlier
speakers is intimately involved in this attempted
purge).

Posted by: Cornfields at September 2, 2004 07:20 PM

Oh, a minor observation regarding the Matthews Miller melee.

The bully is the guy who pushes around the little guy but can't stand up to the big guy. that makes Matthews the bully. Zell Miller is just a brute.

Posted by: ThomasD at September 2, 2004 07:22 PM

Cornfields is correct. This wasn't a speech by the GOP. It was the speech of Jackson (both Andrew and Scoop) and Truman.

The OLD Democratic Party. The Majority Party of Americans, not the mob controlled by the Leftist Vanguard.

Posted by: Neo-Neocon at September 2, 2004 07:24 PM
Robert Avery: "I seem to have recalled Michael Moore at a place of honor next to Jimmy Carter at the Boston Convention. Lay down with dogds and you wake up with . . ." M.J.T.: "Michael Moore was not given a place of honor next to Carter. The Carters personally invited him themselves after the DNC refused to let Moore speak at the convention. Moore was snubbed by Kerry and Edwards."

Have you forgotten that DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe endorsed Moore's Fahernheit 911:

“I think anyone who sees this movie will come out en masse to make sure John Kerry is elected president this November,” McAuliffe said after the premiere. “Credit to Michael Moore for taking the time to put this together.”

See PoliBlog and Byron York.

Posted by: MDP at September 2, 2004 07:33 PM

Ooops, Dubya just supported democracy and the Constitution versus unelected judges trying to use their undemocratic authority to change the law and Constitution.

He is against Gay Marriage by Any Means Necessary! Expect Sully and Totten to denounce Bush as a Nazi homophobe for supporting democracy and the Constitution!

Like clockwork...

Posted by: Neo-neocon at September 2, 2004 07:40 PM

Call me old fashioned, but I like my Constitution
just the way it is thank you. In the last 3 years
this administration has pushed for 3 different
ammendments to the Constitution... An entire
century's worth! That isn't conservatism.
It's radicalism and opportunism.

As for previous comments concerning Truman...
Neither George W. Bush nor Zell Miller have
anything at all in common with Truman. Truman
was midwestern conservative Democrat. He was
hardly populist. He did more for internationalism
than most any president in the 20th century.
And we wouldn't have cottened to the swagger and
bombast of this administration (nor would any
midwestern politician in the second half of the
twentieth century... Republican or Democrat).

Posted by: Cornfields at September 2, 2004 07:52 PM

No way I can agree with you on this issue. I thought Zell's speech was right on the money,and I am sorry that you refuse to bite the bullet completely and recognise that the Democratic Party is beyond hope of internal repair and needs to be replaced by a new variant.
I have said this before in other posts so why beat that poor horse any more,but Zell Miller told it like it was to a party that has truly lost its way.
'I JUST TOLD THE TRUTH AND THEY THOUGHT IT WAS HELL'----Truman

Posted by: dougf at September 2, 2004 07:56 PM

1) What about the 13th and 14th? Only a a few years apart, how evil! The Constitutional process allows ammendments. Judges making up law is not constitutional.

2) There were many conservatives in the Democratic Party in the past. Truman had their support. The Democrats used to be the Centrists Majority Party of conservatives, liberals, populiststs, working people, etc. Now it is a party on the Left. It was the party of the Future. No longer. The second great Neocon migration begins soon...

Posted by: Neo-neocon at September 2, 2004 07:58 PM

"This new century will be Liberty's century"

- Yes, this is the spirit of America. The spirit of the Old Democrats, the party of Jackson and Truman. Hope in America, hope in Liberty. Fuck it, I am done with the Dems. The future is with this guy on stage, warts and all.

Count me as an official neo-neocon.

Posted by: Neo-neocon at September 2, 2004 08:10 PM

Neo,
If you are going to channel Truman,
then please don't swear in public that way.
He certainly wouldn't approve. Nor does it
say much your decency or values, if we are
talking about Old Democrats. My mother
hadn't even heard that word spoken in public
until she was in her 20s. In fact, they would
strung up the man who uttered it in public.
If you want real old fashioned values, then
start living it or go home.

Posted by: Cornfields at September 2, 2004 08:17 PM

Anne Lieberman: In my experience, liberals would rather lose a fellow Democrat to the Republican party than entertain dissent within the ranks.

Oh, I hear you on that one. I've already been shoved out for far lesser offenses than speaking at the Republican convention.

I was not trying to kick Zell Miller out of the party. It is not my place to do any such thing. I just seriously wonder why he isn't a Republican. I drifted toward the right myself, and if I had gone as far as he has I would simply switch my voter registration and be done with it. There's nothing wrong with changing parties. It happens.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 08:21 PM

Oh well Cornfields, have fun at the old folks home.

I consider myself Liberal Conservative 2.0, expanding liberty in the 21st Century. Go vote for the guy who supported the conquest of S. Vietnam and the concentration camps if you want to.

Posted by: Neo-neocon at September 2, 2004 08:23 PM

Totten still doesn't get Zell, he rather besmirch his values. What about UNDERSTANDING dude?

Posted by: Neo-neocon at September 2, 2004 08:25 PM

Mike: How to begin with nitwits like Totten and Sullivan?

You can start by not being a troll who doesn't do anything but hurl insults. Consider yourself warned. Trolls get banned around here.

Aside from that, feel free to argue with me all you want. You may be right, but not when you call me a nitwit because I'm not a Republican.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 08:26 PM

I didn't say you were a nitwit for not being a Republican. Zell Miller is not a Republican and he is not a nitwit.

Ban me if you want, it's your bag. I still notice you called the speakers "hucksters" without even reading what they said.

Posted by: Mike, the neo-neocon at September 2, 2004 08:33 PM

Neo-neocon: Totten still doesn't get Zell, he rather besmirch his values. What about UNDERSTANDING dude?

When did I besmirch his values? I argued with what he said. Can you argue with what I said?

I think I understand Zell Miller very well. I am an ex-Democrat for the exact same reason he chose to speak at that convention.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 08:33 PM

I do argue with what you say. Zell is being Zell, he is loyal to the Democratic Pary even if he disagrees. Loyalty is a common virtue in the South. He may disagree with its leadership, but he will still "face his maker as a Democrat." You write him off as a "right-winger" is if idealogy is how the American system works...

He is a lot like my Grandpa, another new Bush voter (and still a registered Democrat)...

But not like me.

Posted by: Mike, etc at September 2, 2004 08:37 PM

Perhaps the difference you feel between
1992 and now, is that in 1992 you felt the
barbs aimed at you, but now the slings and
arrows are headed elsewhere?

Posted by: Cornfields at September 2, 2004 08:38 PM

Speaking of snubs and spin, it appears that Zell isn't quite as popular in GOP circles as he was about 24 hours ago.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5897622/

Sorry, I've never learned how to do HTML linking, etc.

Posted by: elmer at September 2, 2004 08:41 PM

CF: It isn't about barbs. It's about America and what is best for America. I understnad the sentiment of Old Southern Dems like Zell Miller. I understand the sentiment of the GOP and Rudy and Arnie and McCain. I don't know what the hell happened to the Dems (not the rank and file, but the Powers That Be).

Posted by: Mike, the neo--neocon at September 2, 2004 08:42 PM

Hmm elmer, I asked my Grandpa (a registered Dem) what he thinks and he disagrees. I look around the blogsphere (discounting the rabit Anti-Bush Haters) and don't see it. Talk radio, nope. Cable news, nope.

But you post a link from MSNBC...it MUST be true!

Posted by: Mike, etc at September 2, 2004 08:45 PM

Cornfields: Perhaps the difference you feel between 1992 and now, is that in 1992 you felt the barbs aimed at you, but now the slings and
arrows are headed elsewhere?

That is a good point. To add to that point, I have felt a barrage of arrows aimed at me from inside my own party, the Democrats. I have fired plenty of arrows myself in a leftward direction, so I'm not exactly complaining. Just explaining.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 08:46 PM

But Rudy and Arnie and McCain have
very little to do with the GOP in
power... they might be the GOP you
dream about, but they are a fringe
minority in the leadership.

Rudy and Arnie are pro-choice and
more tolerant of gay people than even
some conservative democrats.

Posted by: Cornfields at September 2, 2004 08:47 PM

I am a pre-1968 sort of Democrat myself...
give me Adlai Stevenson or Humphrey or in
some ways even LBJ. I like Bill Bradley as
well.

Posted by: Cornfields at September 2, 2004 08:52 PM

CF: Do you understand how the Two-Party system works? It is about coalitions and alliances, platforms are a process. This should be common sense, Civics 101.

The Future of the GOP is Arnie, Rudy -- libertarian, neocon and "Jacksonian" centrists. The GOP is moving toward the Center. Zell is a centrist - if you dislike that you are against the "Jacksonian Center" which make up 60+% of Americans. Not a progressive, but an ally!

The Dems "future" is apparently Carter and McGovern and a guy who was a war criminal and anti-war hippie and voted against our troops!

Bush talks about Liberty for all human beings - Kerry says in response "all hat, no cattle."

What bullshit. Truman is rolling in his grave!

Posted by: Mike, etc at September 2, 2004 08:56 PM

CF: Wake up and realize the Old Days are over. I admire Zell for his loyalty, but he is the Past. The Dems are the Left. The GOP is the Center and the Right. I place my bets on the "Great AMERICAN Jacksonian Center" over any idealogy!

Liberty and Justice for all. Too bad I try to THINK and UNDERSTAND instead of going with the "pundits" like Sullivan...

Posted by: Mike, etc at September 2, 2004 08:58 PM

Mike, if your comments are indicative of the
the GOP center, then I rest my case.

As for Jacksonian centrism, or whatever you call
it, it sounds good, but what does it mean?
There is nothing Jacksonian at all about the
GOP at the moment, at least on the national
level. I suppose you could count a certain
populist crassness in Bush's public persona
(similarly reflected in your use of profanity),
as a similarity. But really... Jacksonian
economics were diametrically opposed to current
republican fiscal policies.

Posted by: Cornfields at September 2, 2004 09:03 PM

Personally, I saw the split as being Arnold's speech before Zell. It was the litmus test:

Hated it: lefty blog

Laughed, didn't take it seriously: center blog

Loved it: righty blog

Zell was a little more negative, but Arnold was much more positive and still pissed off the left.

Posted by: Pierce Wetter at September 2, 2004 09:06 PM

Cornfields,

Mike is referring to the Jacksonian foreign policy tradition as explained by Walter Russell Meade.

I wrote an article about it here.

Mike is right. Bush is a Jacksonian. I am not. I am a hawkish Wilsonian.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 09:09 PM

I didn't see Arnold... So I have no
particular opinion there, except that
he should retire the "girly man" joke.

Really if the Republicans are going to be
conservative, old-fashioned etc. couldn't
they avoid such crudity?

Why is it that FOX is both the most conservative
station and the one leading the media deeper into
the gutter?

Posted by: Cornfields at September 2, 2004 09:10 PM

CF: I am a registered Independant, so I am afraid you might have to think after all.

Let's put on our thinking caps...Premise: Most Americans are mostly fiscally conservative and socially liberal and hawks in national defense. Rudy - CHECK. Arnie - CHECK, Bush - CHECK, the libertarian GOP - CHECK, the neocons - CHECK.

Many southerners are socially conservative and hawks, Zell - CHECK. Throw in a few paleocons (at least those who are not marching with the Leftist anti-war Naderites) and you have the Center and Right, i.e, the majority.

I maintain the above reflects the SENTIMENTS of the Jacksonian American Center. The specifics of Jacksonian "economics" are irrelevent.

If you want to talk ideals, we have a guy talking about Liberty for all, and a guy who mocks that as "all hat, not cattle." Harry Truman would puke. Being a hard talking man, he would say it is FUCKED over a few beers.

PS: If you are a social authoritarian and economic authoritarian, I rest my case about the current shitty state of today's Democratic Party - i.e. Not the Party of Americans.

Posted by: Mike at September 2, 2004 09:15 PM

Michael,

I will have to read the article more closely,
but on the face, it seems silly to compare
Bush's foreign policy to the 1830s...
"Jacksonian" perhaps but not Jackson. After
all, Bush's foreign policy as (in part)
shaped by Rice is fundamentally state to state.
This is much more turn of the century. After all,
the nation states as such did not really exist
in the same way until the second half of the
19th century. The change is fundamental
from 1830 to 1900, much less between 1830 and
2004. I guess you can define Jacksonian any
way you like, but...

Posted by: Cornfields at September 2, 2004 09:17 PM

Hawkish Wilsonians, i.e. Neocons, have big pull in the GOP. So do Hamiltonians, Jacksonians and Jeffersonians.

Oh there are a couple of above in the Dems, but mostly they are Marxonians, Chomskites, Mooreheads and Robspirerians. A shame. The end of a fine American institution.

Posted by: Mike at September 2, 2004 09:18 PM

My apologies Michael. I guess I confused John Kerry's quoting from Farenheit 911 (the George Bush sat there reading My Pet Goat theme) with praise of the film. It was Tom Daschle who hugged Moore in praise of the film.

And my congratulations to 5000. Fleads is the correct answer.

Posted by: Robert Avery at September 2, 2004 09:19 PM

I'm also a registered Democrat but will be crossing over for this election...I wanted to like and respect John Kerry. I tried very hard too, but I can't in good conscience vote for him. I loathe everything about the man..

I look at my father's medals and purple heart from a life threatening injury while fighting in infantry during WWII, and, I wonder how much longer before Kerry takes the respect away we have for our Military men, dead or injured, while fighting for everything we consider just "a way of life."

I live in Ohio, very close in fact, to where John Kerry is holding a midnight rally on this very night when President Bush accepted his nomination at the RNC..Kerry is running scared and I think he should be very scared.

Also, is the fact that I think his wife is an over bearing loudmouth who absolutely wears the pants in his family making him look weak and desperate to me..

Michael Moore alone would have turned me away from the Democrats. But, I must not be the only one fed up with him..Go look at his site for his schedule for interviews and media clips for September. Totally empty, he has had his few minutes and soon we will not be bothered by him. Neither sides can really stand him.

And, I thought Zell Miller was awesome!

Posted by: Cathy at September 2, 2004 09:20 PM

CF: It is about sentiments and is admitted to be and abstract theory. But you are soooooo much smarter than Mean and others, so maybe you can write a book on the subject????

Posted by: Mike at September 2, 2004 09:20 PM

I have to say that Hawkish Wilsonians
sound rather scary to me... idealism +
a strong willingness to go to war over it.

As a European historian, I am very uncomfortable
with any isms or ians or ideologies

Posted by: Cornfields at September 2, 2004 09:24 PM

Cathy,
My relatives have died in US wars from
the Mexican American on... including Pearl Harbor.
I was never the age to be called to fight.

I will take a candidate who volunteers for service
any day, over one who uses family connections
to get into the guard. This is not a partisan
issue. Lloyd Bentsen's son was in the same unit
on the Texas National Guard... along with members
of the Dallas Cowboys. I believe that Kerry
earned the right to protest the war. His
comments have been distorted and were aimed at
the leadership and not at the regular troops.
These leaders were Democrats and Republicans.

Posted by: Cornfields at September 2, 2004 09:28 PM

Cornfields,

Heck, don't read my article about the Jacksonians. Read the one by Walter Russell Mead. His is better and a lot more detailed. Mine simply uses his as a jumpoff platform for something else.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 09:31 PM

I will thanks Michael, no disrespect intended.
I will take a look.

Posted by: Cornfields at September 2, 2004 09:32 PM

UPDATE: When Laura Bush was asked what she thought of Zell Miller's speech she said “I don’t know that we share that point of view.” -MJT

What else was she going to say? What a dense question to even ask.

Posted by: dougf at September 2, 2004 09:37 PM

As a European historian, I am very uncomfortable
with any isms or ians or ideologies---Cornfields.

Not nuanced enough for your tastes?

Posted by: dougf at September 2, 2004 09:40 PM

Cornfields: no disrespect intended.

None taken.

By the way, which country do you live in? You mentioned Europe. Or did you mean you are a historian of Europe?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 09:46 PM

All I've got to say about this is simply...

Zell Miller is a Democrat. But he speaks at the Republican National Convention, delivers the most hard-right-extreme message I've maybe ever heard on primetime convention tv, and then wholeheartedly endorses George Bush for President. Then, immediately following the speech, NBC cuts to Tom Brokaw asking John McCain for his thoughts. John McCain is a Republican, yet, in that moment, he pretty much takes issue with everything Miller says...from Miller's left.

Political theater doesn't get any more fucked up than this.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at September 2, 2004 09:46 PM

What's a centrist?

Cornfields, aimed at the leadership and not the troops?

Here ya go:

http://4rwws.blogspot.com/2004_08_29_4rwws_archive.html#109401031508268084

Best Regards, all.

Tim

Posted by: Tim at September 2, 2004 09:47 PM

Grant,

Indeed! It's whacked. I should have loved Zell's speech. I just couldn't.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 09:47 PM

Michael:

Why Zell Miller hasn't switched parties reminds me of an English writer -- whose name I can't remember but both of us would recognize if I could -- explaining his lapsed Catholicism to a friend who encouraged him to become an Anglican:

"I may have lost my faith, but I haven't lost my mind".

--furious

Posted by: furious_a at September 2, 2004 09:51 PM

MJT-

Why in the world would you take Matt Yglesias seriously in matters such as this? Of course he found Miller disgusting...the career track requires it. Why infer content were there is none?

And with all due respect, I think you miss what Miller was doing and why...possibly because you are young enough to be of the wrong generation. Zell Miller is an extremely sophisticated politician, and while I have no doubt that he is angry with his party, you can rest assured that his tone and tenor were completely calculated for the audience he was talking to...Reagan Democrats.

Zell Miller's invocation of FDR was deliberate, and was calculated to remind a certain type of Democrat of exactly the same thing Ronald Reagan reminded them of when he would quote John F. Kennedy...that the Democratic Party has mutated into something they can no longer identify with.

Miller didn't just wake up one morning and decide to have lunch with Karl Rove for funzies. He wants to demonstrate to the Democratic Party leadership that it is within his power (and the power of other conservative Democrats) to wreck the candidacy of any Democrat who fails to represent his (their) interests.

Zell Miller is staking out territory for the post-November Disaster struggle to control the DNC and the Democratic Party machinery. Miller knows he'll never get it himself, but what he's saying is that not only doesn't John and John cut it, but Hillary and Bill don't cut it, either.

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at September 2, 2004 09:58 PM

Cornfields wrote: "I have to say that Hawkish Wilsonians sound rather scary to me... idealism + a strong willingness to go to war over it.

"As a European historian, I am very uncomfortable with any isms or ians or ideologies."

Once again I'm reminded of a quote from a Sacramento Bee article from 2003 entitled French puzzle over why U.S. got so angry:

"What is a little disconcerting for the French is an American president who seems to be principled," said Jean Duchesne, an English literature professor at Condorcet College in Paris. "The idea that politics should be based on principles is unimaginable because principles lead to ideology, and ideology is dangerous."

Et tu, Brute? In other words, you're willing to do nothing until it's far too late to do anything. Helluva philosophy. No wonder Bush - hell, America - makes you nervous.

And EUropeans wonder why America consistently outperforms Europe economically, produces the overwhelming majority of popular culture (film, books, etc.), technology, and so forth, while Europe depends on the U.S. to provide a military shield. (As James Lileks put it, the American things that Europe has chosen to embrace are McDonalds and Baywatch. That says far more about Europe than it does about America, and nothing good.) Then Europe uses that "peace dividend" to prop up a socialist welfare state.

Repeat after me: All ideologies are not bad. The American ideology is FREEDOM AND LIBERTY FOR ALL PEOPLE. And in that, I am very much a Jacksonian. Earn it yourself.

Posted by: Kevin Baker at September 2, 2004 10:00 PM

Dennis the Peasant: Zell Miller's invocation of FDR was deliberate, and was calculated to remind a certain type of Democrat of exactly the same thing Ronald Reagan reminded them of when he would quote John F. Kennedy...that the Democratic Party has mutated into something they can no longer identify with.

If Zell Miller wants to sound like the old left (something I heartily approve of in principle), "Fascism Means War" is a lot better than "your private life has been cancelled." I can hardly believe I have to argue this point with small-government conservatives. A Democrat wants to cancel your private life and you give him a cookie. That's just totally bizarre to me.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 10:06 PM

Michael, Zell Miller criticized "the leaders of my party today. In their warped way of thinking America is the problem, not the solution." You answered that "John Edwards is no Michael Moore". Fair enough, but isn't DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe a Democratic party leader? And didn't he explicitly endorse Moore's lunatic film?

I agree with a lot of your analysis of the speech, but I don't think you adequately answered Miller's "party leaders" criticism. Edwards may not be a Michael Moore Democrat, but the party chairman is. Isn't that noteworthy?

Posted by: MDP at September 2, 2004 10:07 PM

And lose the pictures. With dial-up it takes five minutes to get your site to load. I love you for your mind, not your camera.

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at September 2, 2004 10:07 PM

"I expect a blowhard like Rush Limbaugh to make no distinction between a mainstream Democrat and a radical wingnut, but no one, and I mean no one, who is a Democrat himself has any excuse for not getting this right."

Not that I would accuse you of not attempting to do so--your rhetorical labors are, well, laborious--but you seem to make many apologies for a Republican party that fails to police its end of the debate. Swift Boat Veterans? Zell Miller? Limbaugh himself?

As I said, your disapproval of Miller's off-the-hook invective is clear. Why, then, do you make excuses for Bush/Cheney and a Republican Nat'l Committee who OBVIOUSLY did not "get this right"? Why, then, do you still intend to support a candidate/party willing to be represented by this kind of dishonest rhetoric?

Posted by: pk at September 2, 2004 10:08 PM

Michael...
Yep, you're a hawkish Wilsonian just like me.

And Some Last Words on Miller...
If you're a Democratic Party strategist, right about now you have to be thinking, "God am I glad they chose Zell Miller to give that speech." The thing we all see and remember about it is just how ridiculous and rhetorically fascistic it sounded. But the substance, buried and obscured under all that hatred, is actually the most damning of a potential Kerry Presidency. He voted against damn near every modern weapon system now used by our military, over a 20-year span. He voted against the first Gulf War. He voted against the final 87-billion-dollars for our troops in Iraq.

Not a single one of those three positions has any merit, whatsoever. They're utterly indefensible. Zell Miller ended up looking like a raving lunatic on live TV. That's what people are going to remember, not the things he said. Had anyone else been picked to hammer home the substance of that speech, it probably would have guaranteed George Bush another 4 years.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at September 2, 2004 10:10 PM

Grant,

Just curious... Which one of these mooks do you plan to vote for? I will not hold it against you or anyone else if you go a different way from me.

PK: Why, then, do you make excuses for Bush/Cheney and a Republican Nat'l Committee who OBVIOUSLY did not "get this right"?

When did I do that?

Anyway, I don't expect the right to understand the left any more than I expect the left to understand the right. Very little effort is ever made.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 10:15 PM

Far be it for me to suggest you're being obtuse, but I would suggest that you are being obtuse. The FDR quote may not have been the perfect quote, but what I took it to mean is that we must come to the realization that to win the War on Terror, we must understand that the determination to do so must override all other considerations. I didn't take the quote literally because I didn't think it was meant to be taken literally.

And just for clarification...no Republican I know would give Zell Miller a cookie for cancelling our private lives. But he is getting cookies for bitch-slapping John Kerry and Chris Matthews on the same night. If he had been able to kick Michael Moore in the nuts it would have been the evening of a lifetime.

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at September 2, 2004 10:17 PM

Uuuugh!...

Everyone please stop comparing Zell Miller to Old-School Pre-Vietnam Liberal Democrats. There is a HUGE difference in ideology between the likes of Scoop Jackson or Harry Truman or John Kennedy, and that of Zell Miller.

Scoop and Truman and Kennedy were hawkish, yes, but they weren't effing ridiculous and overly nationalistic about it. And they didn't view democratic dissent as tantamount to treason: There's a big difference!

There's tough and smart and then there's tough and dumb. There's strong and wise and there's strong and closeminded. Zell Miller sounded more like Joseph McCarthy than any Old Liberal Dem that I know of.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at September 2, 2004 10:20 PM

Grant-

You're funny.

John Kerry didn't spend midnight in Springfield, Ohio because Zell Miller got it all wrong. As an Ohioan, I can assure you that nobody goes to Springfield for the hell of it.

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at September 2, 2004 10:21 PM

Michael: I don't mean you've literally made excuses for the Bush GOP for tolerating the more reactionary voices on their wing--the excuses are merely latent, given that you still hope to persuade yourself to vote Bush.

But you're mighty free with the blanket condemnations of Democrats who tolerate lefty radicals.

And, Grant--you know, Kerry actually did vote for the version of the $87 billion bill that Bush threatened to veto because it required him to give back some of his tax cut. Since Bush threatened to veto a version of that bill, does that mean HE was willing to withhold body armor from our troops? Or was he just playing the Capitol Hill game, just like Kerry was?

Posted by: pk at September 2, 2004 10:22 PM

Dennis,

Hey, I would have loved to see Zell Miller kick Michael Moore in the nuts. A good Michael Moore nut-kicking just can't happen often enough.

I moved the pictures, by the way. You're the second person to ask.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 10:22 PM

MJT-

Thanks.

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at September 2, 2004 10:26 PM

PK: you're mighty free with the blanket condemnations of Democrats who tolerate lefty radicals.

True. The reason? I'm still technically a registered Democrat. I care more about them than I care about the Republicans. The Republicans have never been my party, and Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and Michael Savage are their problem not mine.

I also see more conservatives willing to call bullshit on Ann Coulter than I see liberals willing to do the same to Michael Moore. Although there are some liberals who can't stand him and will publicly thrash him, and for that I am grateful.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 10:30 PM

Michael: This is why Miller is still a Democrat (from Washington Times article http://washingtontimes.com/national/20031103_123316-8169r.htm ). When asked by Tim Russert why he didn't change his affiliation to the Republican Party, Zell said:
"It's kind of like living in this old house. You lived in it all of your life. It's getting kind of run-down, and it's drafty. The commodes won't flush. And last week, a family moved in down in the basement, and you don't know even who they are
or where they came from. And I would be comfortable, probably, in some other house much more than where I am. But I have been here all these years. I haven't got many more years to live in it. It's home. It's always been home. Now, I know that doesn't make sense to everybody that is just so tied up with political parties. But it makes sense to me, and it makes sense to my family, and it makes sense to my neighbors. And that's all that matters with me."

What a guy.

Posted by: blogaddict at September 2, 2004 10:31 PM

Blogaddict,

That's a pretty good answer, actually. Thanks. I can relate to that to an extent, even though I'm nowhere near as old as Zell Miller.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 10:34 PM

I wonder how much -- what percentage -- of the revulsion some have to Zell Miller is an aesthetic one, based on his accent in particular but also on the way he looks. I reminded me of Bob Euell, the Snopes-like character in "To Kill a Mockingbird."

How much of the hatred for GWB, also, is an aesthetic response?

Posted by: miklos rosza at September 2, 2004 10:42 PM

I'll be voting for Kerry, Michael. Read the Andrew Sullivan article "Nice Convention, Shame About the Candidate" for my general thoughts. Here are some of them...

"It's strange to say this but John Kerry is the weak link in what has become a very strong campaign."

"Those voters worried about the war can be reassured that the Democrats at least now talk the talk. Perhaps, in office, these voters tell themselves, the pressure not to look weak will be intense and so Kerry could live up to his promises. In other words, the Democrats have played their strongest, smartest card with a fundamentally weak candidate."

"In some ways, the party has drifted domestically back to a place between Clinton's centrism and the Democratic liberalism of the 1970s, while sounding far more war-like than in decades. But this foreign policy hawkishness and soft domestic liberalism is an old formula. It worked for the Democrats for many decades between FDR and LBJ, until Vietnam derailed it."

"The Democrats have found the right stance in general, but they have not found the right general for the stance. It's hard to believe that will not matter in the end."

So, yeah, to sum all that up: If this is where the Democratic Party is trying to return, to moderately liberal domestic policy and a tough-interventionist foreign policy, I'll do anything and everything in my power to help hasten the day. The dream of such a return is the very reason I still consider myself a Democrat. I love John Edwards. He seems closer to this than anyone. I love Obama. I love Hillary Clinton even, who seems to be heading in the same direction these past couple of years. I can stomach John Kerry who, in my opinion, is a mediocre candidate at best.

Events shape the office of the Presidency. I want a Democrat there in these tough times so Democrats will get tough again. Maybe some would say that's gambling with national security, but I don't think so. Bush has fucked up enough in the War on Terror on his own, choosing to be too soft when he ought to be hard and too hard when he ought to be soft. And I pretty much despise everything else about the guy, politically, and, well, Republicans in general too for that matter. Fiscal sanity has gone off the rails under GWB and the 2004 Republican Party Platform calls for 3 Constitutional Amendments. The Republicans are drunk with power, Michael, and it has just got to stop. Any Party calling for 3 Amendments to the Constitution at the same time doesn't take the Constitution very seriously at all.

Let Kerry win the Presidency. He'll still have to deal with an equally divided Senate and House, maybe even a Republican-controlled Senate and House. I'm a big fan of divided government. It seems to bring out the best of both sides when all is said and done.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at September 2, 2004 10:46 PM

Haven't we been conditioned to hear a Southern accent as sounding stupid? Hey, in France Parisians think the same of those from Provence and Marseille.

And I like the photos. First time I've ever wanted to go to Utah. I hope you'll leave them accessible via a link.

Posted by: miklos rosza at September 2, 2004 10:47 PM

"I also see more conservatives willing to call bullshit on Ann Coulter...."

Do you? What about the Swifties? Not calling you disingenuous, just saying I haven't seen it.

"I'm still technically a registered Democrat. I care more about them than I care about the Republicans. The Republicans have never been my party, and Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter and Michael Savage are their problem not mine."

So I guess you ARE still a liberal, as this is exactly why we liberals are seen as critical of America: Because America is our problem. It's like our parents taught us--"You take care of yourself and don't worry what those other kids do."

I realize it all gets complicated when you're talking about weapons and terrorists and such, but, you see my point. I'm not some crazy protester in the streets. I'm a husband, father, homeowner, who mows his grass and pays his bills and follows the Yankees.

I'm just not blind to the occasional duplicitousness of American foreign policy which results in resentment around the world and occasionally roils people who turn out to be, well, evil and ruthless. Who must be crushed without mercy, of course--but that doesn't absolve us from doing right by the people who haven't yet been driven to distraction by the inequities and repression we tolerate in nations that are our allies.

You know what I'm SAYING?! I'm not saying America is the source of all evil in the world. I'm just saying we have to police ourselves like any other entity.

And the reason I don't support George W. Bush or the Republican Party is because they don't believe America has ever or CAN ever do anything wrong. And the message of this week has been that George W. Bush is America, and vice versa.

But when it comes to Bush's record on the environment, the economy, and, yes, the War on Terror--well, it's clear to me that he can be very, very wrong.

Posted by: pk at September 2, 2004 10:49 PM

Grant, you really ought to get a blog. I'm not saying that to push you out of my comments section, you know. I would just really love to read it. Idiots will call you a Bush shill even though you're voting for Kerry, but it will be worth it.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 10:51 PM

Pk,

Yeah, I hear what you're saying. I do know where you're coming from, believe it or not.

So I guess you ARE still a liberal, as this is exactly why we liberals are seen as critical of America: Because America is our problem.

That's a good answer. A really good answer, at least one that I personally can understand.

I wouldn't say I'm still a liberal these days, but I haven't cut the thread either. I still like many things about Democratic Party liberalism. But I think the neocons get foreign policy right. And I also think they're basically right about America and that liberals (or should I say "leftists") have simply lost it. I live in a neighborhood where people think we're Amerikkka, and I just can't take it any more.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 2, 2004 10:57 PM

Dennis...

Yes, I know Kerry voted for the 87 Billion before he voted against it. It sounds nutty but it's actually true and Kerry's proposal for where that 87 Billion ought to of come from was way more coherent than Bush's. One wanted to hand the tab to those who could afford it. The other wanted to pretend the tab just doesn't exist and let my generation pay for it later. I wholeheartedly think Kerry's idea was better.

But he still shouldn't have voted against it. Maybe that's how partisan politics works. Hell, who am I kidding, I know that's how partisan politics works. But funding for our troops shouldn't take a backseat to partisan politics. As soon as Kerry saw that it was either going to be Bush's plan or no plan for the 87 billion, he should have voted for it. To do otherwise is to essentially deny funding to our troops just because it isn't being handed out the way you want it to be. It's a little like Kerry's stance on the War in Iraq...he supports the War in idealistic theory, but not in Bush-led fact. I can identify with that a little, because Bush has really fucked everything up over there and I myself pine for what could have been. But, for a guy who's been around the Senate for so long, he should know that you never get to vote for or against a bill you totally 100% support or don't support. Even if getting the 87 billion to our troops meant acquiring it in a really crappy way and sticking me and my future children with the bill, it's still worth getting the 87 billion to the troops. The fact that Kerry thought otherwise or thought politics more important says alot.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at September 2, 2004 11:01 PM

'John Kerry didn't spend midnight in Springfield, Ohio because Zell Miller got it all wrong. As an Ohioan, I can assure you that nobody goes to Springfield for the hell of it' --Dennis the Pheasant
And here I was going to go into a long involved rebuttal to Grant's delusions but you nailed it for me. Incidentally Kerry's efforts in Springfield were PATHETIC. REALLY REALLY REALLY PATHETIC.
This election is over.

Posted by: dougf at September 2, 2004 11:08 PM

Grant,

So what do you think Kerry would do if faced with the mullahs of Iran announcing they have a nuclear bomb? Go to the UN and ask for sanctions? (That might use up about a year.) Do you think he'd have Madelyn Albright in his cabinet? Do you think he'd send Jimmy Carter to North Korea again? Would Arafat be welcome at the White House again? What makes you think Kerry would do anything but just keep passing the buck?

And have you ever seen a transcript of Edwards channeling the unborn child in his biggest court case? I used to sort of like him until I read that. He's a shyster.

Sullivan (who I once helped out researching Susan Sontag) has become as partisan as Susan Estrich, so that he spins everything to justify his already-arrived-at conclusion. He wries well, but it's sheer spin.

Posted by: miklos rosza at September 2, 2004 11:10 PM

DENNIS/MICHAEL/ETC...

The 87 billion and the vote against the first Gulf War and all the votes against our modern military equipment really really mess with me.

If I actually thought Kerry would have that much control over the office and the direction of the country, I wouldn't vote for the guy because of these three things alone. They're that damning. President Kerry, however, won't shortchange our military the way he did in the Senate. President Kerry won't sit idly by as the next Iraq, whoever that is, steamrolls into a neighboring country. And President Kerry sure as hell won't let our military hardware go to shit under his watch. Why? How do I know? Because it'll be his ass if does! Politicians are single-minded-seekers-of-reelection. As Senator from Massachusetts, Kerry could afford to make stupid judgments like these and not think twice about them. As President, he won't have that luxury.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at September 2, 2004 11:16 PM

The vote against the 87 billion was because Howard Dean was leading in the polls before the primaries. At the primary debates you got boo'd if you were not sufficiently anti-war. The only guy who would risk saying anything unpopular was Lieberman.

Posted by: miklos rosza at September 2, 2004 11:23 PM

MIKLOS...

You know, you're right in your criticisms of Kerry. But what would Bush do about Iran acquiring nukes? What has he done thus far?!

The way I see it, we probably ought to be conducting pin-point strikes on that country TODAY, to wipe out any facilities making nukes. Or at least threatening to do that. The threat of violence is often times as effective, if not more effective than the violence itself. But both Kerry AND Bush have publicly taken that option off the table. So, really, tell me again why Bush would be any better?

And don't even get me started on Al-Sadr. Or the fact that Bush opted not to storm Tora Bora when we invaded Afghanistan. It might be a bit of a stretch with the Tora Bora example, but I see no justifiable reason why Osama Bin Laden and Al-Sadr are still alive. Bush has failed in the War on Terror in soooo many ways.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at September 2, 2004 11:24 PM

At this point in Iraq we have to work with Allawi and Sistani -- so that whereas it might seem from here obvious we should have gone into the mosque we had to let them veto the action, even if they're wrong. It's their country. (And going in would have been a mess, as there were large numbers of women and children present as human shields). Matbe Allawi hasn't been tough enough. But even if the country devolves a little for a year or two, perhaps unofficially separating into well or badly-run little nation states (as in the days of Babylon and Ur!), that might not be the worst thing. As long as there's some wiggle room for reform, and I think there will be. Too many Iraqis have heard too much propaganda about the wonders of democracy. I don't think it's unreasonable that they fuck up for a while before they get it right. The mujahadeen will become mafias (just like the Provos and IRA and Corsican separatists).

As for Iran, I don't see how Bush can do much before (and unless) he's re-elected. But then we'll be right next door. (I would imagine that there've been Special Forces on Persian soil for some time.)

So I hope for the best. Maybe I'm totally naive.

Posted by: miklos rosza at September 2, 2004 11:42 PM

Michael, you cannot compare Zell Miller to Rudy or Arnold. He's from Georgia, not New York or Caleefornia. Just as Republicans in the Northeast like Rudy or Olympia Snowe, or Lincoln Chafee tend to be pretty liberal Republicans, Democrats in the South tend to be pretty conservative.

And you deceive yourself if you think Miller's more conservative than McCain. Miller's been in the Senate for three years, and his career rating is 65 (from the American Conservative Union), which I would classify as center-right nationally, probably centrist in Georgia. In 2002 his rating was 47, in 2003 it was 75.

McCain has been around forever of course. His career rating is 84, but he has voted a tad more liberally lately with a 78 in 2002 (31 points higher than Miller) and a 75 in 2003 (exactly the same as Miller).

If you look at the Americans for Democratic Action ratings the last two years, Miller grades out as a little less liberal than McCain, but it's close. And, as in the ACU ratings, Miller was quite a bit more liberal in 2002 than in 2003, while McCain made the opposite transition.

Posted by: Brainster at September 3, 2004 12:44 AM

"How much of the hatred for GWB, also, is an aesthetic response?"

I know a classic stereotype NYC Jewish liberal who is just about ready to vote for Bush (vote for a Republican for the first time) except for how he says "nuclear" and his "gentleman's C" from Harvard.

PS I loved Zell's speech. Ditto all the comments from liberals voting Bush this year.

Posted by: Yehudit at September 3, 2004 02:52 AM

"As for Iran, I don't see how Bush can do much before (and unless) he's re-elected. But then we'll be right next door. (I would imagine that there've been Special Forces on Persian soil for some time.)"

I think if Bush doesn't get re-elected, he will take action against Iran before he leaves office.

Posted by: Yehudit at September 3, 2004 02:54 AM

I can't help but admire the chutzpah of the lefties on this thread who are whining about Zell's speech. Didn't any of you whiners see Al Sharpton's speech at the Democrat's convention?

The most remarkable think about Sharpton's speech as that a mob of Democratic delegates didn't immediately march out into the streets and start burning down Jewish owned stores in an orgiastic frenzy of anti-Semitism. That is, after all, the usual response to a Sharpton speech.

Posted by: HA at September 3, 2004 03:34 AM

"He seems to me a lot more right-wing than other Republicans like Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Arnold Schwartzenegger."

Righteous anger was all that was on display. And Zell came off well against Matthews in my estimation.

(view here http://video.msn.com/video/p.htm?t=1&i=77ff0b06-ef9a-42a8-b329-9afcf270061f)

I'm truly puzzled at the unsettled reaction of those who label themselves as liberal hawks. I think it says more about them than it does about Miller. I suspect that the older, rural white man in America had better look around and get his lobby together based on the crowd reaction at the Matthews show and what I'm seeing here.

"The Dems had the label of America Haters coming". Where on earth would Miller have gotten that idea?

Posted by: jdwill at September 3, 2004 04:28 AM

Brent Bozo's Christian, no, Conservative, no, Cyber News Service is hardly a reliable source.

Posted by: raj at September 3, 2004 04:57 AM

Mike, here is my "diagnosis" as to why you are having such trouble settling on a candidate.

You are bright, articulate, politically well informed and quite idealistic. You are faced with a choice between two men who have long public histories so you can't use the "insufficient information" excuse as to the candidates. Given the preceding facts, the only possible reason for your wobbly indecision is that you haven't matured to the point where you really know yourself all that well.

You think you know your "core" values but, when faced with a fundamental decision as straightforward as determining which of two men most closely mirrors your own values, you are weaving all over the landscape like a drunk driver. In a bright and well-informed individual this can only reflect a deep uncertaintiy about which social values you truly hold dear. This is not a criticism, just a rather obvious conclusion from a review of your recent political ramblings. In most people this manifestation corrects itself with the pasage of time.

Posted by: solarity at September 3, 2004 05:53 AM

MJT:

While I share your disgust at Zell's bitter and hateful rant, there are plenty of more-centrist types in both parties.

On the Republican side, I'd name Ahnuld, Rudy, and McCain among the politicians I most respect and admire. Granted, they don't have much influence at the national level, since the Bush / DeLay / Hastert / Frist southern moralist conservatives are mostly running the show, but there are always a lot of voices.

Posted by: Oberon at September 3, 2004 06:46 AM

Michael -

In answer to your question in your original post, "Zig-Zag" Zell Miller hasn't switched party affiliations a) because he's a lame duck we (by "we" I mean thinking people) will be rid of in a few months anyway, and b) because as a Democrat, he commands attention. If he became a Republican, he'd be just another sub-Delay thug screeching to the redneck choir.

The guy's a complete waterhead hack. He was pro-segregation, never going anywhere without mentioning his close personal friend and mentor Lester Maddox, when that was the winning side to be on. Then, when black people became valued consitituents in Georgia, he became the black man's best Southern buddy. Then, when he came to the Senate, he sucked up to the leadership and called John Kerry a hero. Now, he thinks Bush is the horse to ride, so he's Mister Pro-War. None of what the man says can be taken seriously - he's an utterly spent whore.

Posted by: pdf at September 3, 2004 06:53 AM

If Zell Miller had spoken before MoveOn.Org and turned his righteous anger on the Bush Administration, the left would hale his old time populist fervor and his speech, like Robert Byrd's tirades, would be posted at CommonDreams.Org between a Bill Moyers editorial and the latest Guardian dispatch.

Posted by: Zacek at September 3, 2004 07:06 AM

Zacek -- you're right. But instead he gave the Keynote address at the Republican National Convention.

Are you trying to make the point that the Republican mainstream is as "out there" as a group of left-wing Californians?

Posted by: Oberon at September 3, 2004 07:22 AM

****If Zell Miller had spoken before MoveOn.Org and turned his righteous anger on the Bush Administration, the left would hale his old time populist fervor . . .****

Truer words have seldom been spoken. I would like to see where ANY well known liberal has publicly criticized a liberal colleague for "over the top" criticism of a repub. Not real sure that it has ever happened.

Posted by: trevor at September 3, 2004 07:27 AM

pdf, "He's a waterhead hack and completely spent whore."

To anger the Democrats to such lowlevel name calling I would say his speech must have been 100% effective!

Posted by: Cathy at September 3, 2004 07:35 AM

I liked Miller's speech. Good to see some righteous anger...I think he told some straight-out lies about Kerry, but this is major-league politics, so no holds are barred. Kerry is a big boy and can fight back.

I just wish the GOP could do away with the religious-right. They alone will probably keep me from voting GOP this November. It's like I want to buy the Republican car because of its powerful engine and great design, but I'd have to get used to the upside-down nails covering the driver's seat.

Posted by: Mike Silverman at September 3, 2004 08:01 AM

Oh well. I guess we'll see if Hillary does any better in 2008.

Posted by: TmjUtah at September 3, 2004 08:21 AM

Oberon: no, that wasn't the point I was trying to make. My point was strictly: if the boot were on the other foot, how would this be viewed? If you want to read equivalency into what I said, go ahead, but that does not reflect what I thought as I typed nor what I meant to infer. BTW where do you get California out of that? Moyers is a Texan, Byrd from WVa, the Guardian English. I did not have California on my mind either.

Posted by: Ray Zacek at September 3, 2004 08:46 AM

Mike Silverman,

Agreed! If the Republicans would stick to economics and defense, I think I'd vote for them... but they're unfortunately split between Old Republican ideals, and Right-Wing Christian Zealotry. Not something I could vote for.

Alas...

Posted by: Ratatosk at September 3, 2004 09:06 AM

"If I actually thought Kerry would have that much control over the office and the direction of the country, I wouldn't vote for the guy because ..."

ABB defined.

Posted by: jdwill at September 3, 2004 09:13 AM

What only real students of american political history understand is that the passionate nature of Zell's speech is totally representative of virtually all such presidential candidate type speeches throughout the 19th century. Those folks had no fear of speaking their political beliefs with intensity and passion. The audiences expected it. What is it about modern political histrionics that makes such passion controversial?

Posted by: trevor at September 3, 2004 09:20 AM

Given Kerry's rebuttal speech to Bush, as you still convinced about the "Kerry is no Noam Chomskey" point? He pulled out the "Cheney didn't serve" line, AND the "Cheney works for Halliburton and oil" line. And that was in the first 3 minutes or so.

Posted by: Phelps at September 3, 2004 09:20 AM

Two responses to Grant:

"And don't even get me started on Al-Sadr. Or the fact that Bush opted not to storm Tora Bora when we invaded Afghanistan. It might be a bit of a stretch with the Tora Bora example, but I see no justifiable reason why Osama Bin Laden and Al-Sadr are still alive."

Grant, with all due respect, this sounds like hindsight from someone who is not privy to the decision making processes down in the trenches. Responsibilty was delegate from Bush to DoD to the Central command (i.e. Tommy Franks). There have been huge mistakes made in any war and to lay the blame Osama's escape from Tora Bora on President Bush is simplistic. It's akin to blaming FDR for every misstep, every failure in WWII, and there were many which cost tens of thousands of lives. With respect to Al-Sadr, the military had been tracking him since April of 2003 and anticipated much of his antics. Contrast that with the mainstream press, which barely recognize him as a political threat until a year later.

"They're utterly indefensible. Zell Miller ended up looking like a raving lunatic on live TV. That's what people are going to remember, not the things he said. Had anyone else been picked to hammer home the substance of that speech, it probably would have guaranteed George Bush another 4 years."

I agree with you. I have somewhat deliberately avoided watching either convention and have relied on reading the text of some speeches. From hallway conversations and what I've heard from reasonable people on radio (yes, they exist) the tone and manner of Miller distracted people from the content of the speech which was partisan but certainly not irrational.

Posted by: bob at September 3, 2004 09:26 AM

Trevor: Zell's speech made Matt Yglesias and Matt Welch squirm in their seats and that's how they define controversy. Of course, these are guys who were probably terrified to play Dodge Ball in school.

Posted by: Deuce at September 3, 2004 09:28 AM

Wow, I just heard that Bill Clinton was rushed to columbian Presbyterian Hosp. with chest pains..Didn't catch the details though, got in right at the end of the news break. Anyone else have more info?

Posted by: Cathy at September 3, 2004 09:39 AM

Grant-

I've never mentioned the 87 billion vote thingee at this sight. So what's with the lectures?

PDF-

You seem unacquainted with the concept of irony. Or the concept of self-parody. Take the time to understand them...it will kept the laughter to a minimum the next time you post.

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at September 3, 2004 09:57 AM

Trevor: I would like to see where ANY well known liberal has publicly criticized a liberal colleague for "over the top" criticism of a repub.

I do it all the time. I did it in this very post. (See above.) But I don't know if I'm well-known or liberal enough to count.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 3, 2004 10:33 AM

I listened to the speech on the radio - I sat up straight for it - I was awed by Zell Miller's delivery - so much of both conventions is scripted polished platitudes - it was refreshing to hear someone all riled up and spitt'n mad. (Had I viewed his delivery, the image of an embittered angry man would have diminished its appeal to me.)

As for the Chris Matthew's interview which I viewed by downloading rather than live, occasionally each would let the mask slip and flash us a smile - a great deal of the interview was feigned indignation - and given Chris' modus operandi is to harangue his guests, he well deserved the take down.

Posted by: lydia at September 3, 2004 10:40 AM

Ahh, Mike, you can't take poets seriously!

Posted by: wil at September 3, 2004 11:00 AM

Sounds like Bubba had better lay off the junk food. Triple by-pass surgery?

Either that or Bush's speech was better than I thought.

Posted by: Eric Blair at September 3, 2004 12:43 PM

Despite all the angry spewing in Kerry's direction, Miller said some things that I have been waiting to hear from any spokeperson of any party. He spoke for me - that this election is personal for me. It is about the safety of my wife and two children. No dems seem interested in protecting them.

Our enemy still wants them dead and is still trying very hard to accomplish it. Should they succeed, they would tape it so they could give it to Al Jeezara, so that all those poor oppressed pals in Gaza City could watch it and have a reason to party and dance in the streets.

Nuanced and sophisticated arguments won't defeat the enemy. So, excuse me for excusing Miller's venom. I understand it because I feel it too.

Posted by: Doug Purdie at September 3, 2004 12:46 PM

jdwill,

A good bit of research there. Praise of Moore isn't exactly the official party line, but it sure seems like a lot of party officials are praising him.

Posted by: Doug Purdie at September 3, 2004 12:53 PM

Trevor said:
What only real students of american political history understand is that the passionate nature of Zell's speech is totally representative of virtually all such presidential candidate type speeches throughout the 19th century. Those folks had no fear of speaking their political beliefs with intensity and passion. The audiences expected it. What is it about modern political histrionics that makes such passion controversial?

I will hazard that it's the whole post modern thing--"everything is relative, and gosh, how could he believe enough say such things? Its just rhetoric, it doesn't mean anything, blah blah blah.

When Cuomo got all fired up at the 1984 Democratic convention everybody thought it was great--well, all the Democrats that is, but nobody remembers what he said now, and nobody is really going to remember what Miller said past November.

Posted by: Eric Blair at September 3, 2004 12:59 PM

Couple of things: Miller hasn't met with the Democratic caucus for years. He is still a Democrat since if he was a republican he would be irrelevant. Miller's speech was something like this: 'George Bush intentionally ignored the pre-9/11 terrorist warnings because his presidency was going in the toliet. This man hates America.'
Does anyone on this board think democrats want to arm our troops with spitballs? By the way wasn't it the current administration that sent over guard units with unarmored HumVees and without body armor. Let's blame John Kerry though since he voted against the B1.

Posted by: Salt at September 3, 2004 01:04 PM

Removing the Zell Miller controversy from the 'enlightened'to the REAL,I offer you the latest TIME poll just released today.The results do NOT reflect the President's speech on Friday.
BUSH---- 52%
Kerry----41%
Looks like a BOUNCE to me.Now if I had to point at ONE thing that might account for that what would that event be?
I would be willing to bet big money that it was MILLER's impassioned and JUSTIFIABLE speech that has moved these numbers. I think if true that speaks volumes as to the legitimacy of his approach and the objective need for someone to take the Democrats to the woodshed for a well deserved tune up.
Give em Zell !!!

Posted by: dougf at September 3, 2004 01:28 PM

A humiliating defeat will bring the Democrats back to their senses. Call it tough love. They are a fissured party and the self-serving elitists who run the works are out of touch with the majority of Americans. McAuliffe should have been sent packing after the 2002 mid term elections.

Posted by: Zacek at September 3, 2004 01:39 PM

Zell's cathartic revival sermon--and that's really what it was--is one more illustration of an insight I saw somewhere, that Kerry is running as an incumbent and Bush is running as a challenger. The current "conservative" majority party wants to shake things up (in ways that sometimes scare me), while the old "progressive" vanguard wants to return to a status quo ante (which, to my mind, is even more scary in these times). Leading Democrats are now the rearguard of a commentariat in retreat. It's time to regroup, find new leaders, and attack from a different flank. Having a little respect for one's opponents would be a very good place to start.

Posted by: Another ex-dem at September 3, 2004 03:56 PM

Michael, if you think Zell, born and raised a Democrat should change parties, why shouldn't Kerry stop going to Catholic Church? In fact, Catholics have always been against abortion; the Dems changed, in Zell's (and my) lifetime.

They also changed from opposing evil dictators to opposing US gov't, because of Kerry's (1971) Lie that American soldiers "personally rape, cut of ears, cut off heads ... [act like} Genghis Khan". Styen points out the John Kerry, more than any other single person, is responsible for the US leaving SE Asia.

Zell's anger at "occupation" really comes from Kerry's VVAW New Soldier crap.

Let's talke ISSUES. What military programs did Kerry vote against; what did he vote for? I think he has one of the most anti-military voting records -- and Zell spelled out some of it.

Matt thinks articulating the voting record is hate speech. How can anybody take Kerry's supporters seriously?

Posted by: Tom Grey at September 3, 2004 04:15 PM

Anne Lieberman wrote:

I can't answer for Zell Miller, but my husband and I are changing our registration to Republican after a combined 70 years in the Democratic party and even longer family traditions of the same.

Welcome!

Posted by Thorley Winston at September 2, 2004 06:51 PM

On the contrary, if Zell Miller rocks your world, good riddance, I say.

It's been long and painful and electorally costly for us, but it seems that the last of the Dixiecrats have now migrated to where they Rightly belong. We'll do fine, eventually at least, without ye, and be all the better for it in the long run (if, in the long run, we are not all dead).

Posted by: Legion at September 3, 2004 06:37 PM

Legion,

If you think every disgruntled Democrat is a Dixiecrat you have one heck of a bubble that needs bursting.

I'm a GenX life-long lefty type who listens to NPR, wears sandals, sips lattes, and lives in a hip urban Pacific Northwest neighborhood. And I am no longer a Democrat. I'm still technically registered, but that is, as I indicated, a mere technicality.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 3, 2004 07:01 PM

Michael,

Going back to the first comments to this post and And John Edwards is no Michael Moore. , I think you underestimate to what extent Chomsky, Michael Moore and their ilk influence the Democrats, setting the tone and talking points.

Examples abound; the other day Kerry was using Moore's seven minutes/My Pet Goat talking point. Yesterday, during his midnight rally, he got a Moore triple, talking about being misled about the war, about Bush letting the saudis set the oil price, and about Halliburton.

In other recent memory we also have Kennedy talking about the war being a fraud cooked up in Texas, Gore talking about how Bush betrayed us, McAuliffe about how great F911 is, Albright about Bush having OBL on ice for an October surprise and so on.

This, I think, was the point Zell tried to drive home in his criticism of the D leadership.

Posted by: Fredrik Nyman at September 3, 2004 07:26 PM

Late to the party, but:

John Kerry is not Noam Chomsky. And John Edwards is no Michael Moore.

I just want one of them to say that.

And to the person equating Totten with Sullivan, Totten hasn't sold his soul for a foregone conclusion. Sullivan has.

Michael, keep calling them like you see them. Too bad the "mainstream" press can't seem to do likewise.

Posted by: Mark Poling at September 3, 2004 08:16 PM

I'm a GenX life-long lefty type who listens to NPR, wears sandals, sips lattes, and lives in a hip urban Pacific Northwest neighborhood.

Eewwww....

I'd love to donate to finding a cure, but can't find an address on the website. Please post it. I have a pair of Land's End urban hiking shoes, a Vive La Reagan Revolucion t-shirt, a South Park: The Third Season DVD, a The Who: Live At Leeds CD and a can of Maxwell House with your name on it. I suppose you drive some sort of farty little hybrid, but that's your problem. You'll have to find your own Mercedes...I'm a Republican and charity only goes so far.

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at September 3, 2004 09:54 PM

Yep, thanks guys for illustrating one of my strongest held beliefs about politics. That the largest (and only getting larger) driving force determining party identification is cultural values. It's not race or economics. It used to be economics back in the days of the New Deal Coalition. But differing cultural values drove that unity to its breaking point.

Dennis, your reaction speaks volumes. I, like Michael, am surrounded by a very culturally liberal environment. When I challenge the political beliefs widely held in this environment, being a person OF this environment, I usually end up taking alot of crap for it. I imagine the same could be said for a Christian fundamentalist living in the rural midwest who drives a pickup and listens to country music and just happens to agree with the Democrats every once in a while. I don't know if I really have any kind of point in saying all of this. Maybe, I'm just rambling and need some sleep, but I don't think this trend of ever-increasing cultural polarity is a good thing. I guess that's all I wanted to say. And to say that, maybe you ought to try wearing sandals sometime. They're really comfortable. And drink a latte, for Christ's sake! Better yet, try Chai. It tastes great. You do that and I'll buy a Ford F-150, someday.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at September 3, 2004 10:51 PM

Dennis the Peasant: I have a pair of Land's End urban hiking shoes, a Vive La Reagan Revolucion t-shirt, a South Park: The Third Season DVD, a The Who: Live At Leeds CD and a can of Maxwell House with your name on it. I suppose you drive some sort of farty little hybrid, but that's your problem. You'll have to find your own Mercedes...I'm a Republican and charity only goes so far.

That, my friend, is hilarious.

I will have you know that I do not drink Maxwell House. (For the love of God.) And I drive a black convertible.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 4, 2004 12:10 AM

"John Kerry is not Noam Chomsky and Edwards is not Michel Moore"

Really? Then meditate the following Spanish saying: "Tell me who travels with you and I will tell who are you".

Kerry and Edwards have accepted Chomsky and Michael Moore as fellow travelers.

Posted by: JFM at September 4, 2004 09:08 AM

Fellow travelers?!

When did Noam Chomsky go campaigning with John Kerry? Seriously, man, I've never seen the two together. Show me an example.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at September 4, 2004 12:29 PM

Grant,

they travel with Michael Moore, and Moore just parrots Chomsky.

Posted by: David at September 4, 2004 04:38 PM

My (probably too late) answer to David's question much earlier in this thread, as to why my husband and I are switching over to the Republican party after 70 combined years of voting Democrat, turned out to be too long to post here as a comment.

So I put it on my own blog, where nothing is ever too late and no one ever complains (I disabled the comments) -- if David or anyone one else is still curious, my "short" answer is at
http://zioneocon.blogspot.com/2004/09/too-long-after-all-to-post-as-comment.html

Posted by: Anne Lieberman at September 4, 2004 08:25 PM

Anne,

awesome. My journey mirrors yours. I've been a faithful Liberal all my life, but I became a christian shortly before the second intifada, and the scales began to fall from my eyes when I started paying attention to how the Left was treating Israel and conservative christians. It opened my eyes to conservative thinking generally, and Liberal "tolerance" was exposed to me as a complete farce; and their hyperbole towards Israel opened my eyes to their irrationality. This "tolerance" is a frightful thing when they turn it on those they disagree with. I feel so stupid when I think back to the days when I towed the Liberal party line without question.

Posted by: David at September 5, 2004 07:44 AM

Anne,

My journey mirrors yours. I made mine in '80.

Cambodia. Re-ed camps. Boat people were enough for me. And Kerry's lies in '71.

Posted by: M. Simon at September 5, 2004 01:06 PM
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