Tactics and Substance in the 2004 Elections GoogleNews: Howard Dean

June 16, 2004

by V

Notable quotes

Couple of good bits from recent Pandagon posts:
  • Today's 9/11 news: Pandagon: Like A Bad Date, No Connections
    [Jesse T.] ...the September 11th Commission has found '"no credible evidence" of a link between Iraq and al Qaeda in attacks against the United States.'

    We've all known for the better part of a year, ever since the WMD justification fell by the wayside, that we're playing Calvinball with suicide bombers with regards to why we went to war. The sheer number of self-serving "this isn't why I wanted to go to war" articles, blog posts, and pure rants are numerous enough to fill a book, as if it doesn't really matter why the U.S. government went to war, so long as the individual believers in it could rationalize it away.

    And I'm also not surprised that the bogus "decade of contacts between Iraq and al-Qaeda" line is making a comeback - if the Bush folks say it loudly and often enough, the report fits into the he said/she said narrative that characterizes so much political coverage. "The Commission says there weren't, the Bush Administration says there were. It's a debate we'll certainly follow over the coming weeks and months ahead. Next up, Bill Schneider and Jeff Greenfield with a report on how your pizza toppings may determine your vote."
  • Re: the leak about McCain turning Kerry down; maybe Kerry's thinking a couple of moves ahead: Pandagon: McCain Sayeth Nay
    [Ezra K.] ...It'd make sense if only McCain aides were doing the leaking as the tale embarrasses Kerry somewhat (or could be seen to), but Democratic officials and Kerry aides have both been identified as sources. So what's going on?

    My feeling is that Kerry's side made the leak for two reasons. First to show that Kerry had reached out across the aisle and made the overture everyone was hoping he would, and second to tell the world that McCain had firmly and totally rejected it.

    The pitfall for Kerry was McCain speculation rising before his VP pick and making whomever he chose seem a formulaic letdown in comparison. With a press hungry for McCain stories, you can envision Chris Matthews bloviating on why he didn't make the bipartisan pick, why McCain would have been better, etc. on the very night Kerry's VP was unveiled. Such a media response would blunt both the impact and the lift of Kerry's choice and destroy whatever message the campaign wants to send. Puncturing the balloon now should inoculate the chattering class from continued speculation and thus from public disappointment when the pick is unveiled to be someone other than McCain.
    I hope that's right.
Hey, here's a Bush blast from the past that (shockingly) ABC's Noted Now dug up:

March 26, 2003: President Rallies Troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa
In the early stages of this war, the world is getting a clearer view of the Iraqi regime and the evil at its heart. In the ranks of that regime are men whose idea of courage is to brutalize unarmed prisoners. They wage attacks while posing as civilians. They use real civilians as human shields. They pretend to surrender, then fire upon those who show them mercy. This band of war criminals has been put on notice: the day of Iraq's liberation will also be a day of justice. (Applause.)

And in the early stages of this war, we have also seen the honor of the American military and our coalition. Protecting innocent civilians is a central commitment of our war plan. Our enemy in this war is the Iraqi regime, not the people who have suffered under it. As we bring justice to a dictator, today we started bringing humanitarian aid in large amounts to an oppressed land. (Applause.)

We are treating Iraqi prisoners of war according the highest standards of law and decency. Coalition doctors are working to save the lives of the wounded, including Iraqi soldiers. One of our servicemen said this about the injured Iraqis he treated: "We can't blame them for the mistreatment their government is doing to our soldiers. I'm all for treating them. That's what we do. That's our job." (Applause.)
Oh, remember when...

Finally, this gem from former Kerry campaign manager Jim Jordan (now working at the Media Fund). He packs a lot of nastiness in a very small space; I'm glad Dean isn't his target this time:

NYTimes, June 8: Cease-Fire Fails to Hold
[on the Bush campaign's complaints about an independent organization running ads when the Kerry campaign has agreed to a temporary truce:] "We're not remotely interested in the whining and crying of the most relentlessly negative and demonstrably dishonest campaign in modern political history."
Heh. Indeed.
Posted by V at June 16, 2004 02:23 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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