Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

May 4, 2004

by V

Nice catch at the Kerry blog

What Happened to the "Winning the War on Terror" Tour?
President Bush mysteriously changed the name of his campaign tour this week from the "Winning the War on Terror" tour to "Yes, America Can." Unfortunately for President Bush, media outlets reported the original name of his tour numerous times in the past week.

This name change raises several questions about the Bush-Cheney campaign:

Did President Bush have second thoughts about shamelessly exploiting the War on Terror for political gain?

Has President Bush backtracked yet again?

Did President Bush realize that his failure to address key homeland security measures continues to leave America vulnerable?
...followed by numerous quotes from press articles using the aforementioned phrase.

Add it to the list of Bush Flip-Flops!

What really gets me is that all the Bush Cult members who just love him for his Resolve seem to be impervious to the repeated examples of him backing away from making really bold statements just like this would have been. (It would have been bullshit, but bold bullshit.)

Dear Republicans: Who is this 'courageous leader' you all keep talking about?

You are living in Oz.
Posted by V at May 4, 2004 04:28 PM

all of those guesses are wrong. it's simply that the war in iraq is going so dreadfully these days that they don't want to do anything to draw attention to it.

Posted by: rebecca blood at May 4, 2004 04:36 PM

ps--it is amazing how crass they are, isn't it?

I hadn't heard of the "Winning the War on Terror Tour" before now, and I'm not sure I would even have noted the distasteful title, I've become so inured to this administration's excesses. but reading it over and over again in that series of pullquotes really brought home just how heartless and exploitive the bush machine really is....

Posted by: rebecca blood at May 4, 2004 04:41 PM

I'm pretty sure the Kerry bloggers were just letting the real reason remain implicit; it's obvious enough, and this way they don't provide a quotable cudgel for right-wingers to beat them with.

In a perfect world I'd like to see them be as blunt as Dean was/is, but I'm OK with them being more subtle. The first paragraph is damning enough. :)

Posted by: V from VJ at May 4, 2004 04:48 PM



Twenty questions for John Kerry.

1. The Bush campaign maintains that you spent 20 years in the Senate with no signature legislative achievements. What do you consider to be the five most important pieces of legislation that you've authored?

a. What's the most important piece of legislation regarding intelligence you've authored?

b. What's the most important piece of antiterrorism legislation you've authored?

c. What's the most important piece of health-care legislation you've authored?

d. What's the most important piece of education legislation you've authored?

2. You'd agree that on paper, Dick Cheney's experience and qualifications dwarf those of your running mate. Why would John Edwards make a better president during the war on terror than Dick Cheney?

a. It's been widely reported that John McCain was your first choice as running mate. If true, why did you prefer Senator McCain to Senator Edwards?

3. Earlier this year you told Tim Russert that you'd release all of your military records, yet you've failed to do so and you refuse to release your Vietnam journal. Why shouldn't the public infer that the contents of these documents would undermine your credibility or otherwise damage your candidacy?

a. When will you release the documents?

4. You've stated that you believe that life begins at conception yet you voted against the ban on partial-birth abortions. At precisely what point is a life worth protecting?

a. Is there any limitation on abortion (waiting periods, parental notification) for which you'd vote? If so, what?

5. You've promised to repeal much of the Bush tax cut and while in the Senate you voted to raise taxes an average of five times per year. If current economic trends remain largely unchanged during a Kerry presidency, would you seek additional tax increases?

a. How would you raise taxes and what are the highest marginal tax rates that you'd support?

6. You opposed the 1991 Gulf War even though Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, had invaded another country, and France and Germany had supported the war. In the current conflict no WMDs have been found, France and Germany oppose the action, and Saddam hadn't invaded another country. Yet you recently stated that knowing what you know now, you'd nonetheless authorize the use of force even though you voted against funding it. Could you please reconcile these positions?

7. You acknowledge meeting with representatives of North Vietnam and the Viet Cong in Paris in 1970. Afterward you urged Congress to accept the North Vietnamese proposals. Please explain how this wasn't a violation of the Logan Act and, if you were still in the Naval Reserves at that time, how it wasn't a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibiting unauthorized communications with the enemy.

8. In several speeches before black audiences you've stated that a million African Americans were disenfranchised and had their votes stolen in the 2000 presidential election. There are no official or media investigations that support that statement. What evidence do you have to support the statement and if you believe a million blacks had their votes stolen, why haven't you called for criminal prosecutions and congressional investigations?

9. Do you dispute the National Journal's assessment that you're the nation's most liberal senator? If you do, which senators do you consider to be more liberal and why?

10. Why did you propose cutting the intelligence budget by $6 billion in 1994?

11. As president, would you nominate anyone to be either an attorney general, FBI director, or CIA director who had been a leader and chief spokesman for a group that had discussed and voted upon a plan to assassinate U.S. senators (even if the proposed nominee had opposed such plan)?

12. You have consistently stated that you "never, never" attended the November 1971 Kansas City meeting of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War at which a plan to assassinate six pro-military U.S. senators was discussed. Several newspapers reported that when confronted with FBI surveillance reports, your campaign "all but conceded" that you were in attendance , but claimed that this was a mere "footnote in history."

a. Were you there?

b. Did you discuss the assassination of U.S. senators? What did you say?

c. Did you vote upon such a plan? How did you vote? Were any similar plans discussed by your group at any time? What were they?

d. If the plan was voted down, what steps did you take to insure that supporters of the plan didn't carry it out anyway?

e. Especially considering that this took place in an era of political assassinations and assassination attempts (Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., George Wallace, etc.), did you report the discussion to any law-enforcement authorities? If not, why not?

f. When did you resign from the organization?

g. Do you dispute reports that you continued as a spokesman for the organization for more than a year after the Kansas City meeting?

h. If this was a mere footnote in history why have you repeatedly and vehemently denied you were there?

i. Did your campaign, as alleged in several newspaper accounts, attempt to get a witness to change his story about your attendance?

13. You have criticized the Patriot Act. What portions would you repeal or amend and why? What evidence do you have of any abuses of the Patriot Act?

14. As president, what would you do about Iran's emerging nuclear capability?

15. During your eight-year tenure on the Senate Intelligence Committee you missed more than thee fourths of all public meetings. It's also been reported that you have skipped or delayed receiving intelligence briefings during the campaign. Why should the public believe that you're serious about this issue?

16. What do you think is appropriate punishment for guards (and their superiors) found guilty of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib? Do you believe they should be stripped of command and receive dishonorable discharges and prison time?

17. On May 6, 2001, on Meet the Press, you stated that you had committed "the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers" in violation of the Geneva Convention. Specifically, you said you burned villages and "used 50-calibre machine guns, which [you] were granted and ordered to use, which were our only weapon against people."

a. Who ordered you to use 50-caliber machine guns on people?

b. How many people did you shoot with the 50s and how many of them were killed or wounded?

c. When and where did these shootings occur?

d. What other atrocities did you commit and when?

e. Which village(s) did you burn down and when?

f. Were any of your crewmembers present during the commission of any of these atrocities?

g. Did you order them to participate in the atrocities? Did they follow your orders?

h. Why were there no reports of these atrocities? Did you order your crew not to report them?

i. Are any of these incidents described in your Vietnam journal? If not, why not?

j. Did you observe thousands of (or any) other troops committing atrocities? When, where and what kind? Did you report them? If not, why not?

k. In light of your admitted atrocities, if Abu Ghraib guards found guilty of abuse should receive prison time and be stripped of command, why do you believe you should be considered for commander-in-chief?

18. Who among the justices currently sitting on the Supreme Court would be a model for your nominees to the federal bench? Why?

19. In a speech before Drake University Law School you characterized U.S. allies in the war in Iraq as "some trumped-up so-called Coalition of the bribed, the coerced, the bought and the extorted,..." Do you maintain that Great Britain has been bribed, coerced, bought, or extorted? What about Italy? Japan? Poland? Please specifically identify those members of the Coalition that have been either bribed, coerced, bought, and extorted and the officials who were bribed or bought.

20. You told George Stephanopoulos that you had a plan to get out of Iraq but refused to provide details. Would you consent to having your secret plan privately evaluated by an independent, bi-partisan panel of military experts who could report the plan's merits to the electorate without divulging the details?

a. Would you also consent to privately revealing to an independent panel the names of the foreign leaders who secretly support you so that the panel can confirm your story to the electorate?

b. Ditto regarding the leaders whom you say have secretly told Senators Biden and Levin that you must win?

Obviously, there are a lot more questions Social Security, health care, etc. Certainly there are tougher questions and those more artfully crafted. This is just a start. Feel free to add your own. TV-newsmagazine producers are welcome to use any of the above.


Posted by: It's All Been Done at August 29, 2004 06:59 PM

I think someone has mistaken us for the Kerry blog again. It's too bad that the droids the GOP sends out to pollute the blogosphere aren't smart enough to figure out where they're posting what.


Posted by: J at August 29, 2004 07:09 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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