Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

March 18, 2004

by J

McCain: Kerry not "Weak on Defense"

An illustrative example of how McCain is doing a better job as a smear shield for Kerry than many leading Democrats (see previous post):
Asked on NBC's "Today" if he thought Kerry was weak on defense, McCain said: "No, I do not believe that he is, quote, weak on defense. He's responsible for his voting record, as we are all responsible for our records, and he'll have to explain it. But, no, I do not believe that he is necessarily weak on defense. I don't agree with him on some issues, clearly. But I decry this negativism that's going on on both sides. The American people don't need it."
And, for the record, I loathe the framing that the press and the Republicans push that suggests that if you're not gung-ho about blowing things up with super-duper weaponry and spending hundreds of billions of dollars that you are therefore "weak on defense" or "weak on national security." These are ridiculous, specious, manipulative, and ultimately meaningless phrases, as McCain acknowledges with his uttered scare quote before saying the words.

Real journalists wouldn't use these terms. And if someone utters them, they should get that person to clarify exactly what they're trying to imply by it rather than throw it around as if it's a well-understood phrase with a commonly-accepted meaning. But, this won't happen in our political soundbite culture.
Posted by J at March 18, 2004 12:36 PM

It really is a shame that McCain didn't beat Dubya in 2000. I would much rather have a President McCain than either Kerry or Bush.

Posted by: Kevin@TIV at March 18, 2004 03:59 PM

Recommended Reading:

The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity: A Diplomat's Memoir
The Politics of Truth... A Diplomat's Memoir

Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush
Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush

Against All Enemies by Richard Clarke
Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

LIES by Al Franken
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right

The Great Unraveling
The Great Unraveling

The Great Big Book of Tomorrow
The Great Big Book of Tomorrow

Clinton Wars
The Clinton Wars

Blinded by the Right
Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative

Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat

Subject to Debate: Sense and Dissents on Women, Politics, and Culture

Living History

The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton

John Adams

Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace

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