September 03, 2004

Bush Gets a Bounce

A press release from Time magazine detailing their latest poll shows George W. Bush got a sizeable bounce from his convention.

New York For the first time since the Presidential race became a two person contest last spring, there is a clear leader, the latest TIME poll shows. If the 2004 election for President were held today, 52% of likely voters surveyed would vote for President George W. Bush, 41% would vote for Democratic nominee John Kerry, and 3% would vote for Ralph Nader, according to a new TIME poll conducted from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. Poll results are available on TIME.com and will appear in the upcoming issue of TIME magazine, on newsstands Monday, Sept. 6.
John Kerry polls slightly better than Bush on health care and "understanding the needs of people." Kerry and Bush are virtually tied on the economy. What seems to push Bush over the top is that he beats Kerry by more than 20 percentage points on the issue of terrorism.

More polls using a different methodology are sure to be forthcoming. Bush's lead could shrink or even grow.

John Kerry got a negligible bounce from his own convention, probably because he annoyed the hell out of damn near everybody who hadn't already decided to vote for him.

For the first time in many months I'm willing to predict the winner. I shouldn't even need to say who it is.

Can I make an old complaint still one more time? Why, oh why, did the Democrats have to pick Kerry? I voted for Kerry in the primary, too, but it wasn't my fault. By the time the primary election rolled around in my state the only choices remaining were John Kerry, Dennis Kucinich, and Lyndon effing LaRouche. Do those of you who had early primaries have any idea how irritating those choices were? Next time, think ahead a little more. You could have gone with Edwards or Lieberman and neutralized Bush's national security advantage. That's what you should have done if you wanted "anybody but Bush." This whopping convention bounce is the punishment for making that decision.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at September 3, 2004 01:53 PM
Comments

Michael,

But maybe in four years we will be able to have a discussion with Democrats without being labled "Traitors to the Revolution!" Kerry embraced protest politics, and was embraced in turn. In a happy world, we will see this co-dependancy die ugly now, rather than plague us for another thirty-five years.

Protest politics have made the Republican Party look like a beacon of political diversity. For that alone, Kerry and the ABB squad deserve the ignominy they are about to receive.

Posted by: Patrick Lasswell at September 3, 2004 02:14 PM

Sep 3rd, 2004: M. Totten calls election for Bush. Gutsy, though early.

One thing I like about this blog is that I know that even if you he is wrong, the author won't throw a massive hissy fit the way certain people will (you know who you are, but you probably aren't reading this blog) if he is proven correct. Hell, I want Bush to win, can't stand Kerry, but I won't be cast into the pit of despair if Kerry wins. He's an ok peace leader who might do ok if elected.

Posted by: Sebastian at September 3, 2004 02:27 PM

It is amazing that Bush gets high marks on fighting terrorism.

Bush intentionally took the focus off fighting Al Qaeda and Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in order to invade Iraq. He squandered the chance to destroy the organization that did 9/11. He barely even mentions Osama by name.

Can anybody name who's in charge of Bush's counter-terror efforts? (Trick question -- last I heard, five of his counter-terror leaders have quit in disgust.)

Read recognized experts on terrorism that are not in the administration, and 9 out of 10 will say he's royally screwing it up.

Maybe invading Iraq was the right thing to do, but it was only vaguely connected to anti-terrorism (except on Fox, where "WAR ON TERROR" appears every time Iraq is mentioned.)

Bush's "War On Terror" is a triumph of image over reality.

Posted by: Oberon at September 3, 2004 02:43 PM

Kerry looked good and sane after Howard Deans' implosion. He wasn't intensely fact checked until after he had the nomination locked up. And he was a good candidate on paper; socially liberal and supportive of Iraq II and Afghanistan.

Running for president is brutally difficult. You just cannot know in advance who will crumble under the pressure.

Posted by: DeanT at September 3, 2004 02:50 PM

Sebastian,

Michael Totten isn't a political genius for predicting a Bush win. The Kerry campaign smells defeat already. His desperation performance before the Vets reeked of it; even the NYTimes called him out on his blatant lies during that speech. Methinks the rats are jumping ship as we speak.

As for all the anti-Bush haters and seethers, they've behaved so abominably over the last two years that I personally will enjoy to see them throw a hissy fit in November.

But Michael is absolutely right about the Dem choice. It was pathetic. Heck, there's a 50/50 that even I might have voted for Lieberman.

Posted by: David at September 3, 2004 02:51 PM

Oberon: It is amazing that Bush gets high marks on fighting terrorism.

Well, just take a look at who he is running against. Bush is not being graded on his own terms. He gets high marks in relation to Kerry. Most people think Kerry would make even more mistakes.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 3, 2004 02:52 PM

Yeah, I guess Kerry's anti-terror plan -- "I fought in Viet Nam" -- isn't very impressive.

Posted by: Oberon at September 3, 2004 02:55 PM

But maybe in four years we will be able to have a discussion with Democrats without being labled "Traitors to the Revolution!"

These sort of comments always strike me as bizarre. I'd say the Democratic Party is SLIGHTLY less owned by big business interests than the Republicans. Categorize the trial lawyers as a business, and maybe they're more owned. (I'm a corporate lawyer, not a trial lawyer.)

Sure, Paul Krugman is calling for a single-payer health care system like Canada, but that's not exactly the Revolution -- and he's arguing it would make U.S. business more competitive.

Posted by: Oberon at September 3, 2004 03:03 PM

You could have gone with Edwards or Lieberman and neutralized Bush's national security advantage. --- MJT

I agree on the Lieberman part but whatever makes you believe that the lightweight lawyer has a clue about how to fight the WOT.
The reason I support GWB is that I believe in the idea of a'transformational'foreign policy as outlined in last night's speech.In my mind its either that or simply going straight to living out the Randy Newman 'drop the big one'line.
What about Edwards leads you to believe that he has any clear plan to wage war as it must be waged to defeat this vicious enemy? He is really just the prettiest face for a moribund political force.

Posted by: dougf at September 3, 2004 03:10 PM

Look, I'm a Bush guy, but this ain't over. It's hard to see over the next 60 days where W gets good news.

Iraq? The next big GOOD thing will be the elections in January 2005, no help.

Bin Laden? Dead already, can't prove it. No help.

The economy? Will keep chugging along fine, but we're not gonna see even 4% growth in the third quarter or job growth like we saw in the spring. No help.

So the media will chip away, kerry will chip away and every time something bad happens in Iraq it'll hurt. This is still gonna be a razor close election.

Hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: spc67 at September 3, 2004 03:14 PM

Before you start the inaugural parade, note that Zogby is still registering a statistical tie:

President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney have taken a two point lead over Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and North Carolina Senator John Edwards (46%-44%), according to a new Zogby America poll. The telephone poll of 1001 likely voters was conducted from Monday through Thursday (August 30-September 2, 2004)

http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=857

Posted by: sivert at September 3, 2004 03:17 PM

Dougf,

Edwards wrote a Washington Post op-ed before the Iraq war about overthrowing Saddam Hussein. It was deadly serious and he convinced me in my gut that I could trust him on this. That article displayed absolutely none of Kerry's weird waffling and hesitation. I can't find the link, though, sorry.

Also, when Larry King asked him recently if he would take pre-emption off the table he said "No, No," as if King were some kind of a lunatic for even asking.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 3, 2004 03:18 PM

Edwards may still have a promising future. Unfortunately, he's not in the primary decision maker slot.

Posted by: bkw at September 3, 2004 03:45 PM

Maybe Kerry is the best they could come up with. Maybe the Democratic Party is dying.
Maybe the post-Viet Nam syndrome (America bad, all anti-Americans good) is killing it.
Maybe there are no ideas left in the Democratic Party, so they are left with nothing but hatred of Republicans.
Maybe the little pretend world of so many Dems has been destroyed by 9/11 and they will never recover.
Maybe it only goes downhill from here for the Dems.

Posted by: thedragonflies at September 3, 2004 03:59 PM

"Why, oh why, did the Democrats have to pick Kerry? I voted for Kerry in the primary, too, but it wasn't my fault."

I hate to be this rude on your site, but that's one of the dumbest things I've read recently.

Posted by: kc at September 3, 2004 04:10 PM

" You could have gone with Edwards or Lieberman and neutralized Bush's national security advantage"

Wait. You think EDWARDS would have "neutralized Bush's nat'l security advantage?" I take back my last post. THIS is the dumbest thing I've read recently.

Come on. The Bush machine would have been all OVER Edwards. The "Boy Wonder." No experience. No foreign policy experience. Blah blah.

Lieberman? The guy the GOP'ers were derisively calling "Loserman" four years ago? You think they wouldn't have slimed him to hell and back too?

Get real.

Posted by: kc at September 3, 2004 04:13 PM

The Swifties are sinking Kerry; Bush on Edwards would have been just smear.

The Winter Soldier site was up in Jan. May 4 the Swifties had a decent Open Letter to Kerry. No media.

The press was blinded by Bush-hate into accepting, never really supporting, or questioning, Kerry. Kerry's Cambodia Lie should have been fact checked in 1986 by Reagan's folks.

There's a good chance the Dems will, somewhat correctly, blame the press. But the real problem is that the anti-Bush folk really don't agree on what the right policies were. See the Rasmussen breakdown of support; on many issues like "was it good to invade Iraq?" Reps are 70-80 in support. Dems are split.

Iraq is splitting the Dems ... like the EU is splitting the Tory party in England.

Posted by: Tom Grey at September 3, 2004 04:35 PM

KC: I hate to be this rude on your site, but that's one of the dumbest things I've read recently.

You just couldn't read to the next sentence, could you? I voted for Kerry in the primary only because Edwards and Lieberman were not on my ballot. It was Kerry or Kucinich or LaRouche.

You now have two options. You can learn to read entire paragraphs before insulting their author or you can joined my banned list. Your call. Trolls are not welcome in my comments section, pal.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 3, 2004 04:40 PM

The guy the GOP'ers were derisively calling "Loserman" four years ago? You think they wouldn't have slimed him to hell and back too?

Get real.

Slimed him? Hell I might have voted for him.

Posted by: spc67 at September 3, 2004 04:48 PM

KC wrote:

"Why, oh why, did the Democrats have to pick Kerry? I voted for Kerry in the primary, too, but it wasn't my fault." I hate to be this rude on your site, but that's one of the dumbest things I've read recently."

MJT wrote: "Do those of you who had early primaries have any idea how irritating those choices were? Next time, think ahead a little more."

Mike didnt spell it out exactly... but I think he was saying that by the time we got to vote in Oregon much of the weeding out had already occured and we only had Freak, Weak, and Kerry to vote on.

Posted by: sean at September 3, 2004 05:01 PM

Lieberman would have been such a poor candidate that the GOP wouldn't have needed to slime him.

I'm sure they would have anyway. The GOP plays tough politics, and if they don't, there will always be right-wing crazies who will.

Posted by: Oberon at September 3, 2004 05:04 PM

TomGrey: "The press was blinded by Bush-hate..."

Exactly what flavor of Kool-Aid do you drink? Even Bush doesn't claim the press is "blinded by Bush-hate"

Posted by: Tarz at September 3, 2004 05:07 PM

Yeah, I guess Kerry's anti-terror plan -- "I fought in Viet Nam" -- isn't very impressive.

Especially when it is doubling as his economic plan.

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at September 3, 2004 05:17 PM

Good to see the Democratic Party move in the brainpower today.

Susan Estrich is calling on the troops to win it for John Kerry, fair play and the memory of Michael Dukakis. Just what Kerry needs at this moment, to be saddled with Mike Dukakis comparisons.

Next she's going to want to put the John and Mike in a tank. What harm could that do? Shows everyone Kerry's strong on defense...

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at September 3, 2004 05:23 PM

Tarz,

I don't know whether Bush has accused the press of "Bush hate", but Bush knows they aren't friendly to him. The folks at the NYTimes have already admitted that they were forced to cover the swiftboats story because of all the coverage it got on cable. If it weren't for Fox, the story would have been deepsixed. Don't make me google it.

Posted by: David at September 3, 2004 05:23 PM

Are you perhaps referring to the Swift Boat Veterans Who Hate Kerry? The guys who have been contradicted by all official records, their own earlier statements, and dozens of eyewitnesses?

Led by a guy who claims he was not in Cambodia but is on tape saying to Nixon that was in Cambodia in Swift Boat? Whose book was written by a guy who called the Pope a "boy-buggerer"?

The 240 guys of whom only a fraction actually claim to have seen the incidents they question?

The guys who ran an ad that McCain called dishonest?

You're right - if it weren't for Fox, their lies and smears would have been ignored. As they deserved.

Posted by: Tarz at September 3, 2004 05:39 PM

Tarz,

I'm not going to defend the swiftboat guys (and neither has Bush by the way). By defending them against your slander I'd be allowing you to change the subject, and I don't feel like letting you change the subject.

Shall we stick to the issue of the NYTimes, and how they report on certain stories only because they're forced to do so by the alternative media (because they'd rather get Kerry elected)?

Posted by: David at September 3, 2004 05:49 PM

David brings up a very good point. And the Republican convention also appears to underscore it--Fox Cable beat out the big three networks.

Heh.

Posted by: Eric Blair at September 3, 2004 06:01 PM

With all due respect, anyone who tries to predict this race now is, well, (let me be nice) not thinking things through very well.

I have spent too many decades as a political junkie, making fearless predictions, and reading the fearless predictions of others, and seeing so many turn out wrong, that I can come to no other conclusion.

The Time poll is silly to begin with. Why would you take a poll in the middle of a convention? When all attention is one one candidate, when everyone is hearing that candidate praised to high heaven everynight in prime time? This is not any realistic measure of the trends in the campaing. Hell it isnt really even a good measure of any bounce. Let the convention come to an end, let people swallow and assimilate it over the weekend, then poll it on tuesday or wednesday. They you can get a measure of any potentially long-lasting bump in the dynamics.

And look to the full range of polls.
Maybe the 11 points is real, and maybe it is a fundamental shift. Or maybe next week we will be back mucking around within the margin of error.

Painful lesson from my own past: dont let your enthusiasms cloud your analytical ability. (Guess this doesnt apply to MJT - why he thinks the race is now predictable I havent a clue).

Posted by: Tano at September 3, 2004 06:07 PM

David:

The NYTimes has certainly gone downhill in quality of reporting.

For example, the NYTimes unquestioningly reported the White House line on Iraq's alleged WMDs; Judith Miller was the White House's favorite conduit for leaks and inside information (I assume you will admit that significant WMDs were not found, since David Kay admitted the same).

And more recently, they have peddled anti-Kerry misinformation, such as printing the quote "And who among us does not like NASCAR?" from Kerry, even thought the line was invented by a comedian.

However, the NYTimes errors aside, you need to remember the NYTimes has an editorial side (you know, the side which printed 84 editorials about the Whitewater faux-scandal) which is about opinion, and the reporting side, in which reporters try to be fair and objective.

But you, as a right-winger, know that right-wingers don't try to report news fairly and objectively, so you assume no one else would try either.

Anyway, have a nice Labor Day (unless that's too Commie for you to observe). I've off to dinner. See ya.

Posted by: Tarz at September 3, 2004 06:18 PM

Tano,

If I'm wrong about my election prediction it's okay. I will certainly live through the experience. Thanks for the words of caution, though! I'm not going to place any money on it.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 3, 2004 06:29 PM

As I have stated before :

WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE VIETNAM GENERATION DIES OFF BEFORE THERE IS ANY HOPE FOR THE DEMOCRATS TO REGAIN THE TRUST OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ON NATIONAL SECURITY.

What is wrong with today's Democrats ? It is a story too long for this forum, but its genesis can be traced to 2 events : Chicago 1968, and McGovern 1972.

Clinton was twice elected because:
1. The cold war was over ( no percieved threat ).
2. He was a MODERATE Democrat ( especially on economic issues.
3. Ross Perot.

The Democrats cannot help themselves. The activists are the ones who nominate presidental candidates, and the activists are a bunch of NPR-listening, sandal-wearing, latte-sipping Lefties who think America is a global bully and free trade and captialism is a cancer on the planet.

Democrats are in a trap of their own making. If they appeal too much to middle America they alienate their base. If they appeal too much to their base the alienate middle America.

Bottom line : The Democrats today , like all of the Left, is philosophically bankrupt. Utterly spent. No ideas. Therefore, all that is left for them to do is to cling to power. But their power is tied to the old paradigms of the past century : big labor, big centralized government, social engineering, etc.

Kerry's problem is really a reflection of the problems of the Democrat Party. The Democrats are in big big trouble. Even if Kerry is able to squeek out a win, which is unlikely, these problems will not go away.

Only a civil war within the Democrat Party, or a near-collapse of the party will possibly solve this dilemma.

Republicans have come to reflect the ESSENCE of America. People can feel it, even if they do not always completely understand it. This is because Republicans believe DEEPLY in a set of ideas. And it always comes through during campaigns.

Posted by: freeguy at September 3, 2004 06:33 PM

Iwas going to leave a comment but freeguy seems to have covered my points pretty well.
You should feel lucky Michael, if the Dems had nominated someone you could vote for you would have ended up sharing your vote with a group that is partly controlled by the most intolerant, anti-american people I have have seen in many years.
The reaction of many of them to your wavering should have opened your eyes but I guess you are just too much of a dreamer.

Posted by: Starhawk at September 3, 2004 06:45 PM

"Republicans have come to reflect the ESSENCE of America."

Pretty remarkable statement about a party that has not won the popular vote for the presidency since 1988.

Posted by: Tano at September 3, 2004 06:47 PM

Freeguy: a bunch of NPR-listening, sandal-wearing, latte-sipping Lefties who think America is a global bully and free trade and captialism is a cancer on the planet.

Slow down. I listen to NPR. I am wearing sandals as I type this. I drink at least two lattes a day. But I don't think America is a bully (unless fascist dictators count as victims) and hardly anyone actually thinks capitalism is a cancer. Some people do gripe about the rough edges of capitalism, which is reasonable, but less than one percent actually want to replace it with a command economy.

I totally agree that 1968 still haunts the party, which pisses me off since I wasn't even born until 1970. 1968 has nothing to do with me or my ideas. No one my age ever sits around the coffeeshop and talks about Mayor Daley, LBJ, and all the rest of it.

History swung on its hinges in 1968. And it happened again in 2001. The scream you hear from certain quarters (but not all) of the left comes from the knowledge that 1968 has been topped.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 3, 2004 06:57 PM

It would seem to me that the problem with primary voting is that Iowa and New Hampshire get first pick - then the field gets whittled down from there. However, a candidate that has broad appeal in other states may never get there.

This problem was supposed to have been eliminated by the use of "Super Tuesday's". BUt, Iowa and H.H. still have too much power over the process. ... IMHO

Posted by: TAS at September 3, 2004 06:59 PM

Star,

I will add a few things. If only all - or even a plurality - of Democrats were as sane and smart and cool as Michael. Of course I do not say this as a Democrat, but I bet most of the visitors to this forum will agree. I am actually more of a Libertarian but vote Republican as the lesser evil.

I do agree that a transformation is taking shape. The Republican Party, I believe, in the next few decades will become a socially-tolerant, more libertarian party, which is exactly where I want it to go. Will the Democrats become isolationist and traditionalists ? Don't laugh. I think it could actually happen. Maybe both parties will collapse.

I disagree with much of Bush's domestic agenda, especially his big spending. And I hate this ridiculous federal marriage amendment, which is merely a bone thrown to the religious right. I am not opposed to the FMA because I am gay, but because that sort of crap has no business in the constitution.

I detested Hillary's health care "plan", but Bill had the right idea about where the Dems needed to go as a party on domestic issues. DEMOCRATS, LISTEN TO CLINTON ! Clinton was not anti-business.

I will vote for Bush not because I love all or even most of his domestic agenda, but because I know the man has character, he is completely genuine, and he has shown that he is deadly serious about prosecuting the war on terror.

9/11 really did change everything. Apparently the base of the Democrat Party does not understand that. If you do not believe me, just ask the fans of Michael Moore, or the freaks who were protesting in the streets of NYC this week.

Posted by: freeguy at September 3, 2004 07:02 PM

Michael,

My comments about the NPR-listeners was a bit over the top but was only for "effect" . Believe it or not I listen to NPR too. I think TON is a great program, and I listen to Fresh Air most days. If only it was not publicly funded .

Posted by: freeguy at September 3, 2004 07:05 PM

It's not just Viet Nam for the Democrats, it's the whole 1960s decade. They've been pretty free of original ideas ever since.

As for the Republican, they seem to be stuck in the 1920s.

Bush made a great point last night -- we need solutions for the problems of the 21st century.

I sincerely hope that whichever party first manages to update its core ideologies to address the problems of the 21st century will establish a new generational alignment and end the 50/50 logjam in national politics.

Posted by: Oberon at September 3, 2004 07:07 PM

"My comments about the NPR-listeners was a bit over the top but was only for "effect" "

Not meaning to be nasty or anything, but why is it that so many people, I guess including you, seem to think that hurling cliched rants has any "effect" other than to make people think less of you?

Posted by: Tano at September 3, 2004 07:16 PM

> Can I make an old complaint still one more time?
> Why, oh why, did the Democrats have to pick Kerry?

Actually this line is the scariest in this whole election. When I hear that the Dems selected Kerry since he was the most electable in the whole bunch, now in retrospect that I know more about the man, I am dismayed how low the Dems have sunk. This is the best they could produce? In my opinion, Gephardt, Graham (quit early), or Lieberman would have been far more respectable. The Dems managed to select Kerry, and he chose Edwards, the two man who was the worst of the main contenders (I don't consider Al Sharpton or Carol Moseley Braun as serious). While I wasn't a fan of Gephardt (unions), and I don't think that Lieberman had any chance at all, but at least those two man had spine. At least they didn't politicize the war. Both said, although harshly criticized Bush for the conduct, that the was was a necessary evil.

Other. I think (hope) that post-election there will be a civil war within the Democratic Party and it will be respectable again. I hope that they will offer a reasonable alternative on defence instead of the flip-flopping now, so the very basic job of the government, the defence of the country, won't be an election issue. If the civil war happens, and the sane forces win, then it will be good for the Democrats, the country, the world, and, on the long run, also for the Republicans. But right now, I agree with Michael's statement (read a while ago) that this is pretty much a one-issue election and the homeland security trumps everything. And in that field, the clear choice is Bush.

Vilmos

Posted by: Vilmos Soti at September 3, 2004 07:22 PM

Vilmos,
I disagree with the notion that the defense of the country should not be an election issue. Elections are the mechanism of democracy - the mechanism through which the people give the marching orders to their leaders. In this country, the people get to decide. The more important the issue, the more important it is that the people get to make the fundamental choices as to the direction the country goes.

If we accept that the defense of the country is the fundamental issue of this time, then I dont think that the choice is as obvious as you make it out to be. Aside from any moral arguments about the Iraq war, there is certainly a very open question as to whether it has been a wise policy decision to view that situation as part of a larger war on terrorism. Was that the best, or even a good way to defuse the jihadist threat? Has it accomplished anything in that regard, or made matters worse? Is the promise of some future stable democracy there, emanating good things that will infect the neighborhood, a wise vision, or a foolish fantasy?

Strong opinions abound on all sides, and only god (if s/he exists) would know for sure. But in a democracy, we the people get to choose, for better or for worse, so the issue MUST be debated with vigor, and with all points of view given consideration.

Posted by: Tano at September 3, 2004 07:33 PM

Hey, all is not lost.

Four more years of Bush and Syria, Iran, and possibly even North Korea will have joined the nascent democracy club.

In the interim, I'm sure there will be principled and resolute Democrats willing to reach across the aisle in vocal and sincere support of freeing millions of people and securing the safety and freedom of the civilized world. Right?

crickets

Yah. Sure. If Kerry truly implodes, the vacuum will translate into house and senate seats - ESPECIALLY if the advice of sages like Susan Estrich ("You aren't MEAN enough!!!") is followed. I've maintained that Kerry was a safe loser since he supplanted Dean; now with Clinton off the brake there's nobody to manage the terminal stages of this election to prevent the base from shattering itself in a self-indulgent orgy of frustration.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Have a fine weekend.

Posted by: TmjUtah at September 3, 2004 07:41 PM

Actually Vilmos, a civil war within the Democratic party is the last thing I want to see. As a moderate Democrat, I am afraid that the party will swing to far to the left and push the moderates out. The reason I see this happening is that Kerry is being run as a moderate, and if he loses, more than likely his being a moderate will be blamed.

Posted by: Dave at September 3, 2004 07:51 PM

Tano,

What you say about the polls not being fair when they were taken during a time when the RNC was going on and Bush has been getting all that attention, MAKES PERFECT SENSE!

Although, then one would have to wonder why we didn't see an increase for Kerry during the week of the DNC?

You can't have it all ways!

Posted by: Cathy at September 3, 2004 08:03 PM

Tano sez:

Republicans have come to reflect the ESSENCE of America."

Pretty remarkable statement about a party that has not won the popular vote for the presidency since 1988.

Kind of interesting comment, considering that since WWII, the only Democrats to win with a majority were LBJ in 1964 and Carter in 1976 (with %50.6). While in the same time period, you'll note that both Reagan and Ike won both terms with majorities. Nixon won his second term with a majority and Bush Sr. won his term with a majority as well.

Posted by: Bravo Romeo Delta at September 3, 2004 08:32 PM

I do agree that a transformation is taking shape. The Republican Party, I believe, in the next few decades will become a socially-tolerant, more libertarian party, which is exactly where I want it to go.

I don't see this. In fact, I see the opposite: Bush has almost completely abandoned fiscal conservatism (aside from aspects of it like tax cuts, which ring incoherent and irresponsible when stacked against his spending proclivities) and the tenets of small-government conservatism. His only apparent nod to conservatism is his socially conservative pandering to the Christianist wing of the GOP.

Make no mistake--if Bush gets re-elected, you're looking at the future of the GOP. The degree to which the GOP has rallied around Bush, supporting him with an unwavering fervor that I haven't seen since Reagan, tells me one of two things: either Republicans are being dishonest about how much they believe in Bush and abandoning their principles in order to keep someone with an ® beside their name in the presidency, or a truly fundamental shift has occurred in the GOP, swinging to the left on fiscal and foreign policy (but without the balancing act of pay-as-you-go budgeting) and far to the right on social policy.

From what it sounds like, this is precisely the opposite of what you want.

Posted by: Catsy at September 3, 2004 08:40 PM

BRD,
Hmm, so I guess to follow your logic, one must conclude that the republicans represented the 'essence' of America from WWII till 1988, but no longer do so.
But that period of time also seems to correspond with the Democrats having an absolute lock on the House of Representatives.

Perhaps we can recognize that the original statement was simply complete nonsense. And that neither party has had, or will ever have any monopoly on the 'essence' of America - whatever that means anyway.

Posted by: Tano at September 3, 2004 08:43 PM

This is what it all boils down to for me.

How can I believe in John Kerry when the democrats obviously don't?

Posted by: LastStand at September 3, 2004 08:46 PM

Perhaps we can recognize that the original statement was simply complete nonsense.

Over your signature, Tano, that was a given. You prove, once again, that there's no fact you can't mangle.

Posted by: DennisThePeasant at September 3, 2004 09:42 PM

Four more years of Bush and Syria, Iran, and possibly even North Korea will have joined the nascent democracy club.

I think we have a winner in the daily "Post The Most Ridiculous Fantasy About Bush In Michael Totten's Comments" contest.

Which flows perfectly into Mr. LastStand's comment. How can I believe in John Kerry when the democrats obviously don't?

You're not supposed to. I'm glad Democrats don't "believe in" Kerry, not the way Republicans seem to "believe in" in Bush.

I accept that Kerry is not perfect. I even criticize him harshly. It's part of dealing with reality instead of living in fantasyland where you can keep cutting taxes while increasing spending, where you don't need to plan for the occupation of Iraq because we're liberators, where the reporting of facts is taken as evidence of media hating Bush, etc.

Posted by: Oberon at September 3, 2004 09:43 PM

The AP reported booing when Bush spoke about Clinton's health problems during a speech.

Audio of the event doesn't support the story.

The AP pulls the story.

No media bias. No-sir-ree-bob.

Oberon, grow up.

Belief is important. Belief is good.

The smaller the thing you believe in, the less useful it is. (It may be less dangerous in the short run, but if others believe in something a bit bigger, your small god may be eaten, and so may you.)

Sweet dreams.

Posted by: Mark Poling at September 3, 2004 09:50 PM

> I disagree with the notion that the defense of the
> country should not be an election issue.

Having an honest argument about the details is one thing, and it is necessary, I agree. But Kerry took it too far. Pretty much he said that the defense of the US (and hence the rest of the world) should depend on UN resolutions and on other's opinion. Of course, it doesn't mean that he wouldn't do the RIGHT THING, he even said it, but still. It is unnerving. The UN and much of the rest of the world proved for an awful long time that they are impotent when it comes to cleaning up the mess. And Kerry essentially recommended that we should follow their example.

> If we accept that the defense of the country is the
> fundamental issue of this time, then I dont think
> that the choice is as obvious as you make it out to be.

So what should we do then? I am not talking about if the Iraq war was good or necessary (it was good and necessary in my opinion) but that if the US should ask others (and potentially far less democratic entities like the UN, Russia, China) permission about what to do when it comes to the defence of the country.

> Aside from any moral arguments about the Iraq
> war, there is certainly a very open question as to
> whether it has been a wise policy decision to view
> that situation as part of a larger war on terrorism.

What do you mean by "to view that situation"? Do you mean that Iraq was part of the terrorist problem? Then IMO it is definitely part of the war on terror.

> Was that the best, or even a good way to defuse the
> jihadist threat?

Iraq was not about defusing the threat. It was, as I see it, a preventive action which had to be done sooner or later (unfortunately too late). It did accomplish a couple of things aside from the humanitarian side.

1. Saddam doesn't threaten Israel so one big chance for a wider war in the area was eliminated.

2. Saddam doesn't threaten the other Gulf states so there is less reason for them to arm themselves (but Iran is still there...).

3. One big source of funds to the Palestinian terrorists dried up.

4. We don't have to worry anymore about Saddam's weapons programs.

5. The US/UK now can see the end of the tunnel regarding the big military presence there to contain Saddam.

6. If something else happens, Saddam doesn't get the chance to bite us in the ass and thereby complicating our situation by dividing our attention.

7. etc. :-)

> Has it accomplished anything in that regard, or
> made matters worse?

Yes, it did. For one thing, Iraq is now a magnet for terrorists and therefore they face the US military instead of the police. There are many other reasons outlined above.

> Is the promise of some future stable democracy
> there, emanating good things that will infect the
> neighborhood, a wise vision, or a foolish fantasy?

IMO, yes. Don't expect an American style/quality democracy. But if we get something comparable to, say, Morocco or Tunisia, then it was a success. Also, now the society has a chance to rebuild itself so hopefully, in a generation or so, the seeds of a decent will be planted. It will be an awful long journey, but IMO, it was absolutely worth.

Vilmos

Posted by: Vilmos Soti at September 3, 2004 09:53 PM

So you're saying the initial report of an event was not entirely correct; the AP swiftly corrected the report.

That happens a 100 times a week.

But if it reflects badly on a Republican for a few minutes, then WAHHHHHHH!!!! MEDIA BIAS!!!!!!!

(On second thought, this doesn't happen 100 times a week -- corrections usually take far longer, if they happen at all.)

Posted by: Oberon at September 3, 2004 09:57 PM

But Kerry took it too far. Pretty much he said that the defense of the US (and hence the rest of the world) should depend on UN resolutions and on other's opinion.

I assume you're using the phrase "pretty much he said" in the sense of "he said the exact opposite of".

Posted by: Oberon at September 3, 2004 09:59 PM

Well, looky-here, the AP story changed for a third time:

The crowd reacted with applause and with some "ooohs," apparently surprised by the news that Clinton was ill.

Posted by: Oberon at September 3, 2004 10:05 PM

Oberon, from the original:

Bush's audience of thousands in West Allis, Wis., booed. Bush did nothing to stop them.

The AP is trying to cover its tracks (badly).

This is irritating. Be real.

Posted by: Mark Poling at September 3, 2004 10:13 PM

Michael, no offense, but you'd be a fool to call this one so early. Kerry got at most a 5-point bounce in the polls after the Dem Convention. Bush, it looks like at this point, is getting about the same. I saw polls that had Kerry as high as 52 percent, too. Watch and see if Bush's numbers go any higher. And consider the following historical example of why you'd be an idiot to call this election today...

Mid-August 1980, BEFORE the Democratic Convention, Carter was up by 6 points. He remained ahead of Reagan up until TWO WEEKS before the election! What did him in, you ask? The debates. The debates will make or break this election for somebody. Mark my words.

The people of this country want to dump Bush in the worst way, my friend. Every re-elect poll clearly shows that. If Kerry establishes himself as a fully credible alternative, as a future president in other words, he might just pull a Gipper and win in a landslide. Is John Kerry "gipper" material? Not hardly. But that might not even matter. One "there you go again" rhetorical homerun is all it takes to steal the show.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at September 3, 2004 10:28 PM

AP may have got something wrong. They changed it. WAAAAHHHH!!!!

Posted by: Oberon at September 3, 2004 10:30 PM

Vilmos,
I disagree strongly with your assertion regarding Kerry and the UN. He has never said anything of the kind (except perhaps one ambiguous statement when he was 25 years old or so), nor would he govern that way. I mean, really! I find that on par with those who say that Bush is Sharon's poodle, and would never do anything in the ME without clearing it with him. It is the crudest type of distortion and propagandizing. Seems to me that one of the differences between the two sides is that the anti-Bush comments I referenced are made by frustrated activists on the margins, whereas the analagous anti-Kerry comments are a central part of the Bush campaign.

As to the rest of your post - two quick comments. The thrust of your response is an argument on the merits of one side, whereas my point was simply that the two (or more) sides need to be thoroughly aired.
I do not think that Iraq was in any sense a legitimate focus of the war on islamic jihadists. And whereas it may well have been necessary to deal with Saddam in some way, at some time, there was no good reason that it necessarily had to be done with a war, at this time (while we have a more important war going on).

Posted by: Tano at September 3, 2004 10:33 PM

Oberon, weren't we talking about media bias?

I introduce evidence that it exists, and you end with "media bias! waaaaah!"

Is this called a logical argument where you come from?

Posted by: Mark Poling at September 3, 2004 10:49 PM

'Michael, no offense, but you'd be a fool to call this one so early'---Grant(living in a parallel universe)McEntire

Even if you don't believe the TIME poll,all you need to do is WATCH the Democratic operatives in action.See anyone IMPORTANT volunteering to help out on the stump lately?Listened to the underlying tone of the pro-forma declarations of confidence?Wondered why the campaign announced their add buys NOW instead of trying for some secrecy to confuse the opponents?Wondered why those Republicans seem so CONFIDENT? A MIDNIGHT rally in SPRINGFIELD?
In the immortal words of Mickey K ; "Can we panic NOW?"
The stench of defeat is readily apparent if you care to take notice of it.Kerry is TOAST and he is going to take down many of worst of his fellow loons with him.Daschal in Dakota is probably very high on that 'return to sender'listing.Graham's old seat in Florida is also probably in danger.
But keep the faith.It just makes the inevitable result all the more discouraging.
Just a word of advice, try to get to the stern before the maddened rush starts in about a month or so.

Posted by: dougf at September 3, 2004 10:49 PM

No, the logical part was where I pointed out that that mistakes happen a lot, and the AP changed its story very quickly.

The story may have been proof of media bias. It could also have been (i) a mistaken initial report, (ii) the product of one biased reporter or one biased editor, or (iii) a correct report that was quashed to favor Bush (people in the crowd said "ooohhh"? yeah, that's how Bush's most ardent supporters react to Clinton's name.)

The part where I wrote "WAHHHHH!!!" was not intended as a logical argument. That was just saying that people who constantly claim "media bias" are cry-babies.

Posted by: Oberon at September 3, 2004 11:01 PM

Tano, Oberon, Grant -

A hundred dollars (to each of you) says that Iran will have an elected representative government featuring constitutional protections and seperation of church and state by Jan 1, 2008.

My email is on my signature.

"If Kerry establishes himself as a fully credible alternative, as a future president in other words, he might just pull a Gipper and win in a landslide."

There's not that much horseshit in all the stables on the planet, Grant. Not even with with every MSM hack on the planet swinging a shovel - there's not enough there there to pile up near that high.

If the Democrats had really believed in democracy, the candidate would have been Dean. Instead of voting their politics honestly, they voted for somebody they thought might win.

Not only are they being crushed by a person who is the charicature of everything they sneer at, they don't even have a candidate who represents their true beliefs. For what it's worth, I'd be pretty pissed off, too.

Posted by: TmjUtah at September 3, 2004 11:04 PM

> Actually Vilmos, a civil war within the Democratic
> party is the last thing I want to see.

I agree. I also don't want to see it just for the heck of it. But I do want to see it in order to clean it up so it becomes more electable and respectable party. Right now I don't see them as one.

> As a moderate Democrat, I am afraid that the party
> will swing to far to the left and push the moderates
> out.

But this is already happening. It seems to me that the Michael Moores took over the party (remember, he sat next to Carter on the DNC) and a lot of moderate Democrats are not exactly happy with that.

> The reason I see this happening is that Kerry is being
> run as a moderate,

I don't see him as a moderate. I see him as somebody with no principals. I don't know where he stands on many issues. He definitely seemed more moderate than Howard Dean (whom I respected since he, at least the way I saw it, had principals), but for me, Kerry is not a moderate. He is a moderate if it fits him and is not if it doesn't (his anti-Vietnam activism).

> and if he loses, more than likely his being a
> moderate will be blamed.

It is always a possibility, and not the desirable one. But do you think that the Democratic party, now that the Michael Moores are so popular, is healthy? Remember, that before the primaries, the most popular candidate was Howard Dean. Why? Because he mobilized these radicals.

Vilmos

Posted by: Vilmos Soti at September 3, 2004 11:06 PM

Oh, and I reckon Kerry has got about a two week window to announce he will resign his senate seat in order to give the appearance of credibility to his campaign.

That might get him one or two points...but it won't do any more than that. If he doesn't, the party will write him off and concentrate on framing the loss as a dirty trick instead of a failure on the part of the party to provide a competitive alternative to the Republicans.

Posted by: TmjUtah at September 3, 2004 11:09 PM

Oberon:

The part where I wrote "WAHHHHH!!!" was not intended as a logical argument. That was just saying that people who constantly claim "media bias" are cry-babies.

Give me a logical argument, please.

Vietnam. Against it before I signed up for it and then was against it. Band of brothers. Yes. No. (War criminals?) Cancel the weapons programs, but support the weapons programs. Not against the Contras, but non Not against the Contras. For deposing Sadaam before I was against it. For getting unanimous allied support before I was against it.

In 3000 words, give me a reason to vote for Kerry. I know 300 wouldn't be enough.

Posted by: Mark Poling at September 3, 2004 11:14 PM

TMJ...

I'd love to lose that 100 dollars to you, but I doubt I would. Will there be an overthrow of mullah-rule in the next 4 years? Perhaps. With there be Constitutional protections and an elected representative government? Less likely, considering the status of women in the middle east and the fact that a TRULY representative government would have to include them (research the constitutional provisions in place in modern-day post-genocide Rwanda for a nifty solution to this problem). But, it's possible.

No way in hell there'll be a true seperation of church and state, though. I mean, you probably wouldn't have mullahs in office maybe even. But the laws would still be heavily influenced by Islamic tradition. To think otherwise is frankly nuts. There'd be a better seperation of church and state than there is today. Hell, just about anything would be better than what there is today. But not a seperation of church and state as we know it, in western liberal-democratic terms. The Iranian people don't want that. Even the young ones, the ones my age.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at September 3, 2004 11:27 PM

>>But Kerry took it too far. Pretty much he said that the
>> defense of the US (and hence the rest of the world)
>> should depend on UN resolutions and on other's opinion.
>
> I assume you're using the phrase "pretty much he said" in the
> sense of "he said the exact opposite of".

Sure he did, and nobody denies that. He said everything, the opposite of this too (but I recognize I cannot find a reference right now at midnight on the west coast), and this is my problem. While I didn't like Kucinich's and Dean's ideas, I did recognize both of them as men who had some principles. I just didn't agree with them. But I couldn't detect any principle in Kerry. He always says whatever serves him at the moment.

Vilmos

Posted by: Vilmos Soti at September 3, 2004 11:46 PM

Mark, come on. There are plenty of reasons to vote for Kerry. Just maybe not for you. Not everyone is like you.

Me personally...
(In no particular order):

-Stem Cell Research. My father has severe MS and is a crippled half-demented shell of the man I used to know. You can't possibly know what it's like to have to watch that or go through that until you do. Bush never has, obviously.

-Supreme Court Appointments. The Republican Party Platform proposes 3 Amendments to the United States Constitution. I hate all three of them. I hate the fact that a major political party in this country wants to tack 3 seperate Amendments onto the Constitution, expanding rights to no one, taking rights away in fact, like it's no big deal. That frankly scares the shit out of me and I don't want Bush appointing like-minded big-government-conservatives to the highest Court in the land.

-A Balanced Budget. Balanced budgets are vital to long-term economic growth. Bush maybe realizes this but, by his own actions, thinks tax cuts for rich people are more important. The economic policies pursued by this Administration are radically ideological and, what's worse, completely incoherent. They're best summed up in the expression "have your cake and eat it too". Taxes have either got to go up or spending has got to come down. Bush wants neither. Divided government will mark the return of fiscal sanity.

-And, last but not least, the War on Terror. Okay, I'll give you some credit on this one. Kerry is pretty impossible to defend on this front, spare a few things. Luckily, those few things are really effing important. Bush is firmly committed to this whole idea of a lean-and-technological military. It's a Rumsfeld thing, actually. It's why we didn't put the 75 or 100,000 more troops into Iraq from the very beginning like we should have. It's also why we only put 11,000 troops on the ground in Afghanistan and never bothered to storm Tora Bora, where Osama Bin Laden most likely was. Kerry has been pretty consistent in advocating robust troop deployments and has criticized Bush about Tora Bora from the very time it happened. I doubt Kerry would be so ready to pull the trigger the way Bush does which, I admit, is a drawback. But at least when he does, he won't do it on the cheap like Bush. And what the hell was up with Bush's Axis of Evil comments? He was totally right in saying they were the 3 most dangerous nations, but saying it publicly the way he did just scared the Iranians and North Koreans shitless and drove them to further develop their nuclear programs. It's good to be strong on defense and Bush is stronger than Kerry, I'll admit. But it's also good to be smart about it too, and wise. Kerry wins the "smart and wise" contest, hands down.

Posted by: Grant McEntire at September 3, 2004 11:58 PM

"I voted for Kerry in the primary, too, but it wasn't my fault."

Ossie Davis to Tom Hanks: Joe and the Volcano: (paraphrased - I see, so what you're saying is, you have no party )

Na na, na na,
Na na, hey hey,

... goodbye

Posted by: jdwill at September 4, 2004 04:24 AM
M.J.T.: "Edwards wrote a Washington Post op-ed before the Iraq war about overthrowing Saddam Hussein. It was deadly serious and he convinced me in my gut that I could trust him on this. That article displayed absolutely none of Kerry's weird waffling and hesitation. I can't find the link, though, sorry."

I think you mean this WaPo op-ed. It's the only one Edwards wrote before the war.

He also said (March 19, 2003) the following: “Make no mistake, Saddam Hussein alone has chosen war over peace. He has defied international law rather than disarm his weapons of mass destruction. Our world will be safer when he is gone.”

M.J.T.: "I listen to NPR. I am wearing sandals as I type this. I drink at least two lattes a day."

That is why you can't be trusted. I'm sorta kidding.

Posted by: MDP at September 4, 2004 04:24 AM

Re post by MDP above on John Edwards & Iraq and previous defense of Edwards by MJT.
I obviously cannot proove that Edwards is at heart an opportunistic 'shyster',and I found the words he uses to be convincing.
My 'feeling'is that all he is merely words.Of course his 'argument' is convincing.He is a trial lawyer.That is what a trial lawyer is trained to be.Convincing.What a trial lawyer is not trained to be is PRINCIPLED.
Rather than rant on as to why I just don't trust the guy at all,I point out that he along with the doofus he toadies to across the country,were almost alone in;
A.Voting FOR giving GWB the ability to make war on Iraq.
B,Voting AGAINST the 87 billion.
For me that combo says it all.
Un-principled,opportunistic,un-reliable,untrustworthy,CAREERIST.
I would NEVER vote for that guy based on his actions.He is just another one who talks the talk(talk to vary depending on circumstances),but can never be counted on to walk the walk.In other words,Kerry with a pretty face.
When Bush talks I believe him;when Edwards talks I just clench my teeth.Sorry it's just an instinct I guess.

Posted by: dougf at September 4, 2004 06:03 AM

I was for Edwards, rooting for him among the Democrats available then -- until he voted against the $87 billion to support the troops, a vote that seemed clearly opportunistic because at that time, if you watched the debates, all the Dems except Lieberman were scared to death of Howard Dean who was leading then in every poll. Edwards was very timid in the debates, smiling a lot, maybe simply temporizing, hoping that the field would thin out (which it did). The only one who would risk any boos from the crowds was Lieberman. Edwards lost me -- and I was originally on his side.

Also, the transcript of him "channeling" an unborn child allegedly born with cerebral palsy because the physician who delivered her used forceps (highly dubious cause and effect, actually) is disgusting, low-down lawyering few who know the details could defend. He's a used car salesman who'd screw you over and then act shocked, shocked! that you hadn't read the fine print that meant you couldn't return the lemon that immediately broke down. He'd feel real bad.

I've never voted Republican in my life. So it's weird to be reconsidering. I sympathize with MJT, because it's no fun. It knocks out one of the props taken for granted in feeling cool. Or at least not feeling uncool. And isn't feeling uncool what everyone on a certain side tries to avoid? After all, we've been raised to feel like a "rebel" because we wear, say, Levi 501 jeans. Saying, "Well, maybe I'm not such a brave noncorformist after all" is unsexy, it means getting old, it seems to mean joining the derriere-garde (which if it meant "ass-police" might not be too bad).

Posted by: miklos rosza at September 4, 2004 07:52 AM

Just to get back for a moment to the main topic.

Here is a little comparison that might put things in perspective. Rassmussen has been doing daily tracking polls for many months now - their posted results are three-day rolling averages, so one of their results corresponds exactly to the time period of the Time poll.

Here are their results for each consecutive, overlapping three day period, starting with the three days before the convention started, up till their report from today (wed, ths, fri).
Asteriks surround the results from the time period covered by the Time poll.

B+1
B+1
TIE
B+4
B+4
B+4

Seems to me a bump thats roughly the same as what Kerry got. Lets see if it lasts the weekend.

Posted by: Tano at September 4, 2004 09:12 AM

What use will 'univeral health care' do for anyone, rich or poor, if we haven't qualified medical professionals available for treatment?

If socialized medicine is so effective, one must question why rich Socialists from Socialist countries around the world come to America seeking qualified treatment while leaving their poor to suffer from lack of qualified medical treatment.

Socializing medicine will worsen proper health care for the poor not enhance health care for the poor.

I am self-employed, specifically my income is commission-based, and for the last four years have been under President Bush's proposal of incorporating the Medical Savings Account into our health care system. MSA is a fantasic approach for individuals wishing to take the responsibility in covering one's own health care issues. My MSA is worth every penny I spend towards my own health care and, as more people attain MSA accounts, our insurance costs will go down rather than up. Besides, I have learned I would rather spend all my earnings taking care of myself rather than spending all my earned income entertaining myself for the benefit of rich Socialists in the entertainment industry.

Something is wrong when we hear how the people cannot afford good health insurance when entertainer Michael Moore earns $100 million plus in a few short months. Moore's $100 million plus is coming from somewhere, money not from merely the ultra rich. Moore is just one example of the billions made in the entertainment industry. I call this Priorty Ecomonics: You get what you pay for and if you are willing to spend all your income on entertainment then this is exactly what you will get.

Covering health care costs should be available only for those who are physically or mentally unable to provide for themselves. Those persons who are physically and mentally able to provide for their own health care costs yet choose not to absorb those costs and expect THE GOVERNMENT to absorb the costs are taking away from those who are truly in need. This it is a crime against the truly needy.

Placing health care into the government's hands is disasterous for all levels of income with the exception of the ultra-rich like Teresa Kerry-Heinz who have enough money to privately pay for the best doctors in the world. In other words, under universal health care, the best doctors will end up treating the untra-rich like Teresa Kerry-Heinz while the rest of the people will suffer from lack of qualified medical professionals.

In addition, I would like to point out the cost malpractice insurance is also helping to drive qualified doctors out of business in much the same manner that high taxation is driving small business out of business. If the cost of doing business is greater than the benefits of doing business, why bother to be in business at all. We are seeing qualified doctors in small towns and cities across America closing up shop because their costs are too high. Doctors have a right to earn a living too! I do not wish to starve the doctor so that I can benefit financially from their efforts. Doctors and nurses spend years of their lives and hundreds of thousands of dollars gaining the ability to treat me. Americans, of all economic levels, must reciprocate in kind.

To reinerate, the concept of Universal Health Care is disasterous not only for the poor but for all economic levels. Proven time and again, the concept of Utopia is deceptive and destructive.

Posted by: syn at September 4, 2004 09:12 AM

Syn,
I find your argumetns completely specious and incoherent.

There is no evidence whatsoever that a universal health care (UHC) program would lead to any shortages of qualified professionals. That is a pure fantasy. Every industrialized country in the world has universal health care, and none of them lack hc professionals.

There is also no evidence whatsoever that UHC would worsen health care for the poor. Quite the contrary. By having access to regular checkups, and preventitive care, the health of the poor would be better, as well as the long term costs to the sytem being reduced.

That is the problem with HSA/MSAs as well. They are explicitly a mechanism meant to discourage use of the health care system. While that may save money from those people who get unneeded treatment, it also increases costs as a result of people not getting preventitive care, or care for problems that are in early stages, when they could be cured relativly cheaper.

We have today a system in which Teresa can buy the best health care in the world. How can you imply that that would be the result of UHC, when it is the fact already today?

As to tort reform - one always hears the nonsene about 'frivolous' lawsuits. Well, truly frivolous lawsuits can (and are) thrown out of court by judges. Non-frivolous, but not-really-justified claims can (and are) decided in the favor of the doctor by juries. Perhaps sometimes a patient wins cases that they really shouldn't (and sometimes lose cases that they should win) but that is the inescapable problem of having human beings in juries decide cases. Despite its problems, it is a fundamental part of our democratic system.

Bottom line - no country that has ever instituted UHC would ever abandon the system. Just try to be a politician in any other country and propose to scrap the UHC for an American-type system. You would be laughed off the stage.

Posted by: Tano at September 4, 2004 10:00 AM

Tano - look at Canada and the UK for the problems.

Posted by: Ben at September 4, 2004 11:20 AM

Tano:

"Seems to me a bump thats roughly the same as what Kerry got. Lets see if it lasts the weekend."

Two words: Moby Dick

to steal from another topic: "I find your argumetns completely specious and incoherent."

Posted by: jdwill at September 4, 2004 11:25 AM

Mark,

I gave you a logical argument. In fact, I gave you three logical possible alternatives to your conclusion.

Why are you pretending not to see that part?

Since logical arguments apparently have no effect on you, I'll just repeat the fun part:

MEDIA BIAS!!!! WAAAAHHHHHH!!!!

Posted by: Oberon at September 4, 2004 11:47 AM

>>>"Anyway, have a nice Labor Day (unless that's too Commie for you to observe). I've off to dinner. See ya."

Tarz,

perhaps you've confused Labor Day with it's commie counterpart "May Day". I'll have a wonderful Labor Day and enjoy all the fruits of living in a capitalist democracy. And so will you I presume.

Posted by: David at September 4, 2004 11:48 AM

I like Kerry because he had the courage to go off of the reservation a couple of times. The first time was when he actually WENT to Vietman instead of pursuing "other priorities." The second was when he came home and protested. No one who had big political ambitions would ever do that in my opinion.

How can people on this blog fall for that stupid Swift Boats Vets Stuff? Kerry was there, Bush was in Alabama, maybe.

Bush has done nothing good in 4 years. Economic mess made worse by tax cuts aimed to increase income inequality, a debacle in Iraq, corporate welfare, failure to read security warnings, etc. A brother who is governor in Florida, a father who is a former President, if that isn't royalty I don;t know what it would be.

Wake up, please.

Posted by: Lynne at September 4, 2004 11:54 AM

Ben,
As I said. Ask the Canadians (en masse, not selected conservative candadians), or Brits, if they would like to trade their system for ours.

Every system designed by humans has problems. So does ours, in a big way. I'll take their problems over ours anyday.

Posted by: Tano at September 4, 2004 11:58 AM

New Newsweek Poll also has W up 11 points

BTW, just for the record, anybody who includes the phrases "wake up" or "open your eyes" in their commentary immediately gets consigned to the conservative circular bin. If you wish to persuade, those phrases are counterproductive...much like saying things like "Noam Chomsky says" or "I saw it in Fahrenheit 9/11" or "Halliburton, halliburton, "Halliburton."

Thanks

Posted by: spc67 at September 4, 2004 12:19 PM

'A brother who is governor in Florida, a father who is a former President, if that isn't royalty I don;t know what it would be.'-- Lynne

Does that mean that,if we true believers play nice with the Bush regime,we could all maybe be rewarded with like dukedoms or something when the monarch in charge starts to devide up the country?
Count me in!!!

Posted by: dougf at September 4, 2004 12:27 PM

spc67

I think you're on to something.

Steyn on Kerry: As in Vietnam, he was in no mood to take prisoners: ''I have five words for Americans,'' he thundered. ''This is your wake up call!''

Similar math skils to Tano, no doubt.

Posted by: jdwill at September 4, 2004 12:30 PM

spc67: BTW, just for the record, anybody who includes the phrases "wake up" or "open your eyes" in their commentary immediately gets consigned to the conservative circular bin.

Not just the conservative circular bin, but the plain old circular bin. Those phrases are almost as bad as "false consciousness."

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 4, 2004 12:42 PM

>>>"BTW, just for the record, anybody who includes the phrases "wake up" or "open your eyes" in their commentary immediately gets consigned to the conservative circular bin."

spc67,

Why would you consign it to the "conservative" bin. She's obviously not conservative (see post at 11:54 AM).

Posted by: David at September 4, 2004 01:15 PM

>>>"How can people on this blog fall for that stupid Swift Boats Vets Stuff?"

and

>>>>"Kerry was there, Bush was in Alabama, maybe."

Lynne,

what does one have to do with the other? Bush isn't Kerry's accuser, the Swiefties are. And they WERE there.

Wake up.

Posted by: David at September 4, 2004 01:20 PM

David,

Arrrrgggghhh!!!!! Great post until the forbidden phrase.

Posted by: jdwill at September 4, 2004 01:29 PM

jdwill,

I couldn't resist.

;-)

Posted by: David at September 4, 2004 01:32 PM

David: Why would you consign it to the "conservative" bin.

I think he meant his personal circular bin, which happens to be conservative since that's what he is.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 4, 2004 01:33 PM

Tano -

You are a victim of "grass is greener" envy. Most Canadians & Brits would probably gladly trade positions with you - especially when they are waiting months for simple surgical procedures. Everyone knows that you get the best medical care the world has to offer in the USA. The problem is that some have less access to that care than we might hope. Lets figure out a way to improve access for those who have limited access rather than junking the system for one that clearly underperforms ours.

Posted by: Ben at September 4, 2004 05:32 PM

Also, Tano, in response to your 9:12 a.m. post, both Time & Newsweek place Bush's "bounce" at 11 points, rather than 4. It is interesting that Kerry gets credit for being a more competent leader than Bush. If the election campaign each is conducting is any indication of management ability, Kerry is considerably less competent than President Bush. Why are the SBVT still in the headlines? Why is Kerry running a campaign based on foreign policy when polls show the President has a 20+ point edge on this issue? Why has Kerry failed to develop a theme for his campaign? Why has Kerry failed to articulate concrete policies, thereby turning the dialogue to issues that favor him? Why has Kerry responded exaclty incorrectly to every tough criticism by whining about unfairness (which only keeps the issue in the news)? FACT: Kerry's campaign is disorganized, has no demonstrable ability to hit back at Bush effectively, is clearly on the defensisve, and has failed to run on issues favoring the candidate. AND Kerry is viewed as the more competent candidate?

Posted by: Ben at September 4, 2004 05:36 PM

iKC: I hate to be this rude on your site, but that's one of the dumbest things I've read recently.

You just couldn't read to the next sentence, could you? I voted for Kerry in the primary only because Edwards and Lieberman were not on my ballot. It was Kerry or Kucinich or LaRouche.

You now have two options. You can learn to read entire paragraphs before insulting their author or you can joined my banned list. Your call. Trolls are not welcome in my comments section, pal.

What makes me a "troll?" The fact that I said you comment was dumb? If you don't want me to post here, just ask. I'll stay out. Or you can ban me, if it makes you feel better.

I did read the whole post, even though I didn't cut and paste the whole thing. Let me rephrase my sentiments about your post: Do you have any idea how irritating it is to read something like that?

Posted by: kc at September 4, 2004 05:48 PM

The guy the GOP'ers were derisively calling "Loserman" four years ago? You think they wouldn't have slimed him to hell and back too?

Get real. - me

Slimed him? Hell I might have voted for him. -spc

"Might have?" lol. I tell you what, the next time I vote in a Democratic primary, I'll ask myself, OK, should I vote for the candidate I like here or should I try to decide which candidate spc67, a regular Dem-basher on many sites I read, might possibly consider voting for?

Posted by: kc at September 4, 2004 05:53 PM

You know, it baffles me that anyone could think Bush HAS a national security advantage, with his proven record of incompetence in that area. Terrorist attacks being up worldwide, hatred of America at an all time high (yeah, yeah, I know, but it's worse than ever now), the American military at the service of an unelected ruler of Iraq, North Korea thumbing its nose at us - all these things make me wonder how the hell anyone could feel Bush deserves re-election on this score. I guess tough talk is enough to make some people feel secure - you know, I just read recently that Andy Card (I think) says Bush thinks of Americans as 10 year olds who want a strong daddy. Maybe that's more accurate than I care to admit.

Posted by: kc at September 4, 2004 06:16 PM

Can I make an old complaint? I see the GOP has gone and nominated Bush to be the Republican candidate for White House. Do you GOP'ers have any idea how irritating that is? I could possibly vote for a moderate Republican who doesn't pander to the Christian right, who's strong on national security but doesn't go looking for unnecessary wars, and who's fiscally responsible. But no, you all had to go and nominate Bush . . .

Posted by: kc at September 4, 2004 06:19 PM

>>>"I could possibly vote for a moderate Republican who doesn't pander to the Christian right, who's strong on national security but doesn't go looking for unnecessary wars, and who's fiscally responsible. But no, you all had to go and nominate Bush . . ."

kc,

all that, and Bush will STILL get re-elected. And that's the point isn't it? to win? If you just want to vote on principle, then vote Nader for crissakes.

Posted by: David at September 4, 2004 06:36 PM

kc -

Please continue to argue Kerry is better on national security than Bush. In fact, let's argue that issue every day until Nov. 2. Kerry cannot win that argument, and as long as the argument is going on Bush picks up points.

Posted by: Ben at September 4, 2004 06:37 PM

kc: Can I make an old complaint? I see the GOP has gone and nominated Bush to be the Republican candidate for White House. Do you GOP'ers have any idea how irritating that is? I could possibly vote for a moderate Republican who doesn't pander to the Christian right, who's strong on national security but doesn't go looking for unnecessary wars, and who's fiscally responsible. But no, you all had to go and nominate Bush . . .

I've made a very similar complaint myself, and not in sarcasm. I would happily vote for John McCain over John Kerry without remorse or apology.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at September 4, 2004 07:09 PM

It's a shame McCain is not the president.

At this point, I'd probably vote for George H.W. Bush. History will judge him better and better.

Posted by: Oberon at September 5, 2004 06:35 AM

If you just want to vote on principle, then vote Nader for crissakes.

Nader? What on earth have I said that's given you the impression that I think NADER would be a good president?

Posted by: kc at September 5, 2004 09:07 AM

I've made a very similar complaint myself, and not in sarcasm. I would happily vote for John McCain over John Kerry without remorse or apology.

Maybe I would too, even though I heartily disagree with McCain on a number of issues. I was indeed being sarcastic, but truly, I was astounded when the GOP picked the lightweight Bush over McCain in 2000.

I wonder where we'd be now if McCain was the president. He supports the Iraq war, but would he have used 9/11 as justification to rush into war in Iraq?

Posted by: kc at September 5, 2004 09:13 AM

KC,

I'll go really slow.
a) You say republicans would have slimed Lieberman;

b) I respond-I may have voted for him

c) You infer that I somehow argued that my view should influence your vote.

That's the kind of logic that keeps me "bashing" (in your word) Dems. Actually, I bash Kerry and the looney left (Moore, Chomsky, the protesters, Rall, certain posters at Tacitus), but I'm related to too many reasonable Dems to dislike the species very much.

It's just that the reasonable ones like MT, Lieberman, Biden are outnumbered and outshouted.

Posted by: spc67 at September 5, 2004 09:33 AM

Hmmm.

To get back to the topic of this thread.

As I reported above, the daily tracking poll done by Rasmussen (actually a republican-leaning firm) showed a 4 point bounce for Bush.

Today's report (sunday), for polling done Ths, fri, sat., shows Bush ahead by 1.2%.

Will the bounce even exist anymore by the time Time and Newseek hit the stands?

Posted by: Tano at September 5, 2004 10:51 AM

Michael, I wasn't alive in 1968 either but if you think Democrats are upset because it's been topped, as if they are somehow nostalgic for it, you haven't even read much about it. King is assassinated, Robert Kennedy is assassinated, the convention dissolves into violence much of which the police are resonsible for, Nixon wins, the Democratic party is never, ever, ever the same. There is a moderately well known book called "1968: the year the dream died." If people are nostalgic for it they are nostalgic for April 3.

Maybe I misunderstood you?

Posted by: katherine at September 5, 2004 11:29 AM

" As a moderate Democrat, I am afraid that the party will swing to far to the left and push the moderates out"

Dave wake up! This has already happened, years ago. The reason that Joe L. couldn't get nominated is that the lefties are in facto control.

Posted by: Starhawk at September 5, 2004 02:12 PM

1968 -- the last year where a "third party" candidate won electoral college votes: the racist Dixiecrat Gov. Wallace got some 9 million votes; Nixon 43 million, Humphrey 42.
In 72 most Wallace supporters supported Nixon; came back to Dems in 76 to support Georgian Christian Carter; mixed a bit in 80 but mostly Reagan ...

The Dems of FDR were the racist party; since 64 racism has been pretty much eliminated from the Dems. They were also the Catholic party, but since the 72 Roe "amendment" for abortion-on-demand, no restrictions, the pro-life folk have been pretty much eliminated from the Dems. In both cases, most going to the Reps.

But the Reps and Dems both support ending racism, and it's pretty much gone. Look for lots of blacks to stay home this year, and more to vote Bush so that the Dems don't get 90% of the black vote.

Abortion vs. pro-life continues to be the "culture war", with the radical PC press against the pro-lifers, especially the Christian believers. Only a fool would argue that the constitution was NOT changed, de jure by the Supreme Court, in arguing against the FMA. A decision which takes away the right to life of some 2 million human fetuses every year -- because the women are too selfish to give birth and then give the unwanted babies up for adoption.

And the Politically Correct, "oh so cool" position is that selfishing killing unwanted human fetuses is the "morally superior" position.

It's as superior as Kerry's 1971 proposal on Vietnam, pull the troops home immediately.
Peace (AND genocide), instead of more fighting (for freedom).

Yes, the Reps are spending too much. But the Dems don't agree on what they think the morally superior position is. The Rassmussen survey details show their internal confusion.

And it was Press blindness due to Bush-hate, as well as too little attention (including blogs) to the WinterSoldier site (set up in Feb) and the May 4 press conference of the Swifties to announce their opposition to Kerry. *** IF *** the press had followed up on the swiftie claims, that is, done their job, the Dems would have had time to swing behind Edwards.
Soros, for instance, could have pushed Edwards, or anybody but NOT Kerry (which would have been Edwards).

As Kerry is totaled (look up betting odds), and it couldn't happen to a bigger blowhard Viet Vet hero/ LIAR, the Dems will realize their pet press betrayed them. By not barking in time.

Posted by: Tom Grey at September 5, 2004 05:49 PM

Once again our political process gives us what appears to be two mediocre choices.

I have to go with Kerry because there's a strong chance that he's better than he looks. With Bush we have a track record as president. He's clearly inadequate.

Better the chance that Kerry turns out adequate, than the certainty that Bush is no good.

Posted by: J Thomas at September 5, 2004 10:01 PM
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