« Bermuda Triangles | Main | Pointy Sticks and Vampires »

July 30, 2004

Comments

Well, it wasn't as if anybody really expected him to make a speech designed to convince people like me, anyway.

Certainly not. After all, you (unfortunately) fall into the category of "Republicans who cannot come up with an honest reason for supporting Bush, but are going to vote for him anyway". Given that the reason you claimed for not giving Kerry/Edwards your vote was pure hypocrisy (cite) "don't try to extort money out of the people that you're liberating", I wouldn't expect anything that Kerry could say to convince you.

Good speech. Hints at protectionism were expected, but not enjoyed. Direct call to Bush for comity was great until that confrontational dig he couldn't avoid at the end. Otherwise it hit the right notes and I'll be able to vote for Kerry in good conscience. I even gave the DNC some money.

Jes, come on. Do you think harping on someone and calling them a hypocrite is going to increase or decrease their chances of seeing your side? If not, what's the point?

Is Tucker Carlson the most shameless putz on TV or what? And that's tough company.

Is Tucker Carlson the most shameless putz on TV or what? And that's tough company.

I don't know, I think all the Fox Pundits give him a run for his money...

The serious take (partly reposted from the "Bermuda Triangles" thread, since it really doesn't go there):

Wow. I fully expected it to be the best speech I'd seen him give, but I didn't expect it to be the best by such a margin. I didn't expect it to be better than Edwards. (As pure rhetoric I think Obama's and Clinton's were better, but that is inevitable and that's just fine, and he covered more substance than they did. An acceptance speech, like a state of the union, always has to be a bit of a laundry list.)

It made me think, for the first time--maybe I was wrong in the primaries, about electability and "good-presidenting" both. Kerry knows what he's doing, on matters foreign and domestic, and that may matter more than anything else.

I will sleep so much easier with him in the White House.

One of the things I especially loved about this speech was recognizing hints of rhetoric from the other Democratic candidates, which Kerry combined and made his own. That Lincoln story, where he prays not confidently that God is on our side but humbly that we are on his--Edwards first told that at a Congressional prayer breakfast; I think it was 2002. There were echoes of Dean, in telling us that it depended as much on us as on him, and in talking about restoring democracy and the Constitution. There were echoes of Clark, in the effective talk about values and the autobiography made into a powerful story instead of a resume item repeated incessantly.

I had high hopes for this convention. I remember the 2000 one as the high point of the campaign, and we had a higher stakes and better candidates this time. I never imagined it could be this good. All four of the major speeches were better than any speech I saw in 1992, 1996 or 2000. And there was a real structure to them, too: Clinton, Obama, Edwards and Kerry--our past, our future, and then our present.

I am downright inspired. I have no idea whether we'll win this election, but we should, and we can.

And if we do, after we sleep off our gigantic hangovers--then it's on us to give substance to the real but too-vague promises of the last paragraphs of each of the speeches.

We can look to the horizon, and see the sun rising. And tomorrow can be better than today. And out of this long political darkness a brighter day may come. And we can choose to form a more perfect union.

The less serious, and much less cheesy, but still totally accurate, take:

During the New Hampshire primary the Kerry campaign was putting out bumper stickers and buttons with the slogan "Dated Dean, married Kerry." At the time they drove me nuts, and I still don't think they're accurate.

Do you think I could fit this on a bumper sticker?

"Dated Kerry, Decided to See Other People After the Iraq Vote, Broke Up With Him for Dean, Dated Dean, Went Steady With Dean, Flirted Briefly with Clark, Got Engaged to Dean, Had Engagement to Dean Cruelly Broken Off by Older Family Members, Considered Rebound Relationship With Edwards, But All Too Quickly Forced into Loveless Marriage of Convenience With Kerry, Came to Respect Kerry, Thought of Bearing Obama's Love Child But Decided It Could Wait Until 2012 or 2016, Learned to Love Kerry After All."

Oh my. I just remembered to watch the clip of Clark's. Make that five speeches better than any in 1992, 1996, or 2000.

My favorite line, of course--"Franklin Roosevelt said it best: "Repetition does not transform a lie into the truth."

My bumper sticker: Kerry: At Least He's Reasonable.
Or: Kerry: Consider the Alternative.
Or: Kerry: He's Growing On Me A Little, and George Bush Just Keeps Shrinking, Even Though That Didn't Seem Conceptually Possible.

Sidereal: Jes, come on. Do you think harping on someone and calling them a hypocrite is going to increase or decrease their chances of seeing your side? If not, what's the point?

The point is that before Moe made that hypocritical comment about why Kerry and Edwards had lost his vote, I thought he was a Republican I could respect. I disagreed with him on a number of issues, but that wasn't really an issue - political disagreement isn't the end of the world. What matters is honesty. I miss being able to believe that Moe was honest about his political beliefs: I like a good honest enemy who's willing to defend the things he believes in and who has a consistent set of beliefs*. Conversely, I dislike a hypocrite almost more than anything else.

Finally, I would have liked to argue this out with Moe back when he made that statement. But he refused to discuss it then, and he's refused to discuss it or defend it ever since. What can I think, then, but that he's aware that he was being hypocritical, and doesn't want to think about it?

*Well. No one ever has a completely consistent set of beliefs. We're all human.

Oh, and back on topic: another take on Kerry's acceptance speech.

And Cleland's! That has to be the best introduction I've ever seen.

All right, I'm just gushing now. To bed with me.

As for bumper stickers--I wasted an entire afternoon with the Bush/Cheney sloganator last spring. But this is neither the time nor the place.

" I miss being able to believe that Moe was honest about his political beliefs"

We all like to harken back to the golden days of yore, but eventually we move on.

You know, Jesurgislac, for the longest time I was giving you the benefit of the doubt on this one. Not any more. So we settle this now.

For those of you joining us in midgame, Jesurgislac based his argument originally on this article (which, of course, he somehow neglected to cite directly). This is an article found in the Centre for Research on Globalization as a reprint of this article in the Workers World News Service, which is a hardline Marxist organization dedicated to the overthrow of the United States government and its replacement with a Communist dictatorship. Not a surprise, as Ms. Flounders is affiliated with the International Action Center, another hardine group with strong ties to International ANSWER. I consider these organizations to be hate groups at best and outright seditionists at worse.

I blame myself, really: if you had used an argument that incorporated arguments from a group like, say, Stormfront I wouldn't have let this fester for this long. But we're all about learning for my mistakes, here, so here goes: I do not recognize the necessity of answering arguments that come from these people. They are vile and their cause is vile. And I find it impossible to believe that you did not know that I would take this take all along, so spare me that protestation of innocence on your lips. I don't believe you. You have no credibility with me.

Bottom line: Senator Kerry voted to turn $10 billion dollars of that $87B Iraqi aid package into loans. That was a looting attempt, plain and simple, and I don't give a shit what a bunch of damned hardline Marxists say we're doing in our turn. For that matter, I don't give much of a shit about the Nation, either (which was the second cite you tried, after I refused to take the bait for the first one).

So. Now that we have this established - which is to say, I reject utterly the first source used in your argument, plus I resent your sheer gall in trying to use it to accuse me of hypocrisy - the subject is closed, now and forever.

Moe Lane

Sid: We all like to harken back to the golden days of yore, but eventually we move on.

And I will. In November* - or sooner, if Moe will either give up posting political topics**, or condescend*** to explain himself.

*I think this is the first July of my life that I've suddenly realized with joy that November is only three months off. It's seemed like an eternity to the next Presidential election, and now it's so close I can almost touch it.

**Not that I'm trying to silence him. Just making the point that if he's not willing to defend his political beliefs, he shouldn't be trying to make political commentary.

***Apt word, given that his current attitude is a condescending silence.

Great bouncing cherry-flavored gummi christs, Jes, will you get over it?

I mean, seriously. Speaking as one who's generally inclined to /agree/ with you on most matters political, you've developed a rather unhealthy habit of ruminating interminably over your lost respect for noble adversaries. Fine. We get it. Move on.

The way you go on about Tac and Moe after all this time, I'm surprised nobody's taken to writing slashfic about it.

the subject is closed, now and forever.

Actually, it's not. Not until you explain why voting for $10 billion in loans is worse than planning to sell off Iraqi businesses - en masse, to the highest bidder, with no legal authority and no restriction on who buys. That is looting - plain and simple. That is why I am accusing you of hypocrisy: if you claim that Kerry's vote for $10B in loans was "looting", and indefensible, then either Bush lost your vote considerably earlier, or else you feel looting is justifiable when it's done by a Republican.

The way you go on about Tac and Moe after all this time, I'm surprised nobody's taken to writing slashfic about it.

*grin* Maybe they have. If they do, post a link!

"Actually, it's not."

Yes, in point of fact, it is. Last warning.

Jes--drop it. Seriously.

What is a dealbreaker for one person often seems strange or inexplicable to others. I don't get why this vote of Kerry's is a dealbreaker and any number of things I could list about Bush is not; I don't get why the FMA is not a dealbreaker for Sebastian; they could probably give similar examples for me. But they have no special obligation to explain themselves to me. They could try for days and I still wouldn't get it.

None of this is proof, or even real evidence, of dishonesty or hypocrisy. And even you did have a real basis for charging "hypocrisy", simple manners--both personal manners towards the nicest VRWC member I know, and netiquette manners about not repeatedly derailing discussions--and the desire not to repeat yourself should have taken care of this months ago.

I repeat: drop it.

Thank you for the compliment, Katherine, although I don't feel especially nice right now. Probably an indication that I should go to bed. It's... geez, 3AM.

Moe

Only because I care.

Warning: Do NOT follow that link.

Catsy, I don't even want to contemplate what places you would have had to go through to in order to reach that site.

I was going to point out that in misrepresenting Moe completely, Jesurgislac was in serious jeopardy of getting a rules violation. But I see Moe's all over it.

What other behavior might one expect from an unrepentant socialist, who tacitly approves of the murder of countless millions to achieve the ideal society?

See how fun that was? I'll take my warning, with a side of never do that again. I wasn't entirely serious about it, but unfortunately Jesurgislac was.

Er, um...surrealest thread imaginable.

Back to the speech, Kerry did better than I was expecting him to. In fact, it was a very good speech. There are, however, a few things that could have been better. I'll get to those, but let's not forget he had a lot to do in terms of portraying an accurate picture of himself to the electorate: comes with the terrority of being a complex person.

What he didn't do but could/should have:

1. He could have gone a bit softer on the Vietnam story. It was a long time ago. He covered it well in the film. The Band of Brothers went on a bit too much. Now I know there's a point to be made and they don't want anyone to miss it, but when he saluted the audience, I crinched and thought he's lost his mind. Fortunately he worked within a loose line of corny jokes and imagery, so in the end it all worked as a way to soften him up.

2. He could have talked more about his record in the Sentate. He did make reference to the flip-flop charges, but it would have been nice for him to turn that on its head a bit more. I'll take a smart president over a clever one any day. Kerry can defend his record. It need not be a loosing battle to do so.

3. He's walking a very fine line between being negative and not being negative. Obama was better at this. I think he secured his support among former Deaniacs with some of the zingers (and we exploded into cheers at the party I was at when he said "Proclaiming mission accomplished certainly doesn't make it so.") but he can be sucked into a mud fight easily if he's not more careful.

4. He talks a good talk about Iraq, but the differences between his and Bush's approach over past events isn't so important as what the Hell he'll do to fix the mess. He seems to place all his eggs in the multilateral basket. I'd like to hear Plan B.

I admit that he did better than I thought he would. His presentation was good.

I agree with Edwards take for the most part. (Ouch, that hurt... ; -)

He did a good job at appealing to his base.

But, I was really disappointed when he implied that he was against preemption. Whether he was really saying that I am not sure, but it sure sounded like it to me.

I agree with Edwards take for the most part. (Ouch, that hurt... ; -)

Gets less painful with practice, mnp ;p

I thought he was clear about pre-emption, but now that I look back, he was clear about fighting a war only if we MUST. I guess you can interpret a pre-emptive war as one we must fight though.

Moe, why aren't you popular with the Chicago police department?


(A crisp new $5 to whoever nails that reference first. I swear.)

Edward,

Are you acknowledging me a point? It gets easier with time.... ; -)

I can see the terroist sitting in their cave discussing the nuances of his speech, "What do you think he meant by MUST?"

I would rather have preferred him send a stronger message, more like this...

As President, if terrorists organizations or rogue nations plan or support violent attacks against America our military will take the fight to them.

That would have had an impact on me.

if he's not willing to defend his political beliefs, he shouldn't be trying to make political commentary

The one thing Moe is very good at is defending his political beliefs. He is also deft at dissembling scenarios which make no sense.

Thus, Jes he answered your question and then you tried to change the issue (an issue btw which made some sense, if you were interested in bringing non-government foreign investment into Iraq) but the best retort to that is, what we actually did in Iraq as compared to the options we reviewed. You have to learn how to separate the two; I know will be a struggle but see what you can do.

Edward, Kerry is against preemption, he said so.

What was amusing was his focus of special-op forces to go after terrorists. Now does he intend to use these forces in military conflicts or as paramilitary units ("advisors") in "brush wars" which seemed to be his intention. One would expect that Kerry knows about the current use of special-op forces in North Africa and Yemen, so he is just continuing the current policy.

Oh, the amusing end, was Kerry's personal struggle with our use of similar forces in Central America in the 80s. Since fall is coming, the question is, has Kerry changed his colors.

Phil Dennison wrote:

Moe, why aren't you popular with the Chicago police department?

(A crisp new $5 to whoever nails that reference first. I swear.)


Are you talking about Due South?

I can see the terroist sitting in their cave discussing the nuances of his speech, "What do you think he meant by MUST?"

I would rather have preferred him send a stronger message, more like this...

As President, if terrorists organizations or rogue nations plan or support violent attacks against America our military will take the fight to them.

Or, or, or, what if he had said something to the terrorists like, "You will lose and we will win. The future doesn't belong to fear; it belongs to freedom."

Oh, that's right. HE DID!


As President, if terrorists organizations or rogue nations plan or support violent attacks against America our military will take the fight to them.

The Kerry Doctrine is after the fact, I prefer before the fact (kill them before they kill you).

Now there are two caveats, what constitutes, attacks against America and safe harbor for terrorists. The 9-11 Commission and Iran come into to play here, but Kerry didn't mention one of them in his speech.

I'm sure when American politicians are acting like westerners in B-movies the terrorist are trembling in their caves wondering why they made such bad decision, as to piss off those really tough cowboys and wondering if they could still become born-again Christians who embrace fredom-lovers.

Nothing wins battles like tough talk, they taught that to us in boot camp. (No I am not a warrior but I play one on TV)

The 9-11 Commission and Iran come into to play here, but Kerry didn't mention one of them in his speech.

I'm sure Bush will talk about Iran in his speech. In fact, I'm sure he'll claim we've already accomplished the mission of defeating Iran even before we launch the invasion, he's so used to getting ahead of himself in such matters.

I know it gives Cold War Warriors comfort to have the next enemy state clearly identified in order to have their "imminent defeat" to rally around. "Evil Empires" and "Axes of Evil" are all so pleasantly bite size. But the enemy we're facing is a transnational, stateless group. It's time to update our thinking, update our methods, update our rhetoric, and learn how to deal with that.

You guys actually read Jes' posts?

Hmmm, who knew...

I think Bush might be afraid to emphasize Iran too much because of the whole Chalabi thing. I mean, it does sort of open Kerry up to pointing out the strong possibility that most of the leaders of the Bush DoD were duped by an Iranian spy. But who knows.

We need to threaten force to stop them from getting nuclear weapons, and we need to mean it.
Kerry's plan to increase the armed forces helps. Kerry would have a much, much, much better chance than Bush at getting international support for this.

On the other hand, we also need Iran to believe that we will not invade if they really do dismantle their nuclear program, or they have nothing to lose in going forward with it. Bush is probably incapable of making them believe that.

But the enemy we're facing is a transnational, stateless group.

Actually Edward, the WoT is better defined as WARI (war against radical Islam) and while the tactics are asymeterical, it is certainly being used strategically by States. The other factor in this conflict is the race for the M.E. nuke. I suggest you take look at the entire picture before making anymore simplistic statements.

No fiver for Thorley. :)

Nevermind, it's a little obscure: In the movie Midnight Run (one of my faves, highly underrated), Robert DeNiro offhandedly mentions being "unpopular with the Chicago police department" (because, as it turns out, he wouldn't be on the take from the mob). For the next hour of the movie, Charles Grodin asks him, in nearly every conversation, "Why aren't you popular with the Chicago police department?" No matter where they are, what the topic, whatever, he brings it up. Much to DeNiro's consternation.


We need to threaten force to stop them from getting nuclear weapons, and we need to mean it.
Kerry's plan to increase the armed forces helps. Kerry would have a much, much, much better chance than Bush at getting international support for this.

On the other hand, we also need Iran to believe that we will not invade if they really do dismantle their nuclear program, or they have nothing to lose in going forward with it. Bush is probably incapable of making them believe that.


Actually Bush or Kerry merely reflect the will of the American people, and whether or not Iran will take us seriously depends on how we demonstrate that will. Tossing out the incumbent (regardless of your feelings about him) doesn't exactly send the correct message to the mullahs. Not to mention that you never merely threaten force, you have to be willing to us it.

Here's my take on the pre-emptive war doctrine, by the way:

We should not abandon the old and honorable principle that we only start a unilateral war in the face of an imminent threat.

We didn't even contemplate preventive war until the Cold War. Truman rejected it, in strong language. ("We do not believe in aggressive or preventive war. Such war is the weapon of dictators, not of free democratic countries like the United States.") Eisenhower rejected it. ("A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility. I don’t believe there is such a thing, and frankly I wouldn’t even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing.”) Kennedy rejected it in the most crucial single moment of the Cold War, the Cuban missile crisis. ("I don't think I want my brother to become another Tojo", Bobby Kennedy told Ex Comm according to the transcripts, and the air strike was rejected.)

9/11 changed things, but it didn't change everything. The principle must remain. What has changed is when the threat becomes imminent. We're now dealing with non-deterrable, suicidal, non-state actors with a stated desire to commit genocide against the American people. If they get nuclear weapons or serious biological weapons--the only real weapons of mass destruction--we have to assume they will use them. So the threat becomes imminent much sooner, but even with this lower threshhold Iraq was not close.

Kerry would have a much, much, much better chance than Bush at getting international support for this.

Projecting here Katherine or is it just pure fantasy. Anyway the Iran issue will come up this September more than likely move to the UNSC and we shall see which is more important, economic or security self interests of the French and the Germans.

On the other hand, you may be right about Kerry, Katherine, because if the US is going to start acting like Europeans, who is going to defend Europe. In any event, notwithstand Europe's geopolitical actions, it is still a target of the terrorist, go figure.

Ultimately, I am looking forward to the Kerry's "secret" Iraq sharing program though and then the follow-up question, "Who Lost Iraq"?

Got to love the ABBers.

Macallan:
1) I specifically said that we have to threaten force and mean it. Willingness to use force is what makes the threat credible.

2) we're not actually going to take a national referendum on whether to bomb Iran's nuclear sites. The Commander-in-Chief will decide that.

3) This:
"Tossing out the incumbent (regardless of your feelings about him) doesn't exactly send the correct message to the mullahs."
is a flatly anti-democratic argument.

Iran does not exclusively support radical Shia in Iraq, but supports ALL OF THE MAJOR Shia groups in Iraq. And they (Iraqi Shia) seem to have closer relationships with their Brothers-in-the-faith than with the United States/occupier/Great Satan/the dudes who supported Hussein and the Shah.

Iran has been strengthened. Especially, since Pakistan was able to save Bin-Laden some time from the Great Warrior Leader (Bush). Bush decided it was “tougher” to go into the heart of Al-Quada in Iraq, which guaranteed to strengthen Iran. If Pakistan did not have the Nukes we would be having a real war in Afghanistan/Pakistan chasing the person responsible for 9-11

Iran is getting those nukes.

Kerry would have a much, much, much better chance than Bush at getting international support for this.
Unlikely considering that Kerry spent so much of his time bashing those of our allies (Great Britain, Australia, Japan, Italy, Poland, etc.) who have provided support in Iraq as being part of a “fraudulent coalition” while the only foreign government to come out in favor of Kerry did so while pulling their troops out of Iraq.

Score your points if you want. I don't think even you guys honestly believe that Bush would have a better chance at Kerry than getting international support. It doesn't pass the laugh test.

"notwithstand Europe's geopolitical actions, it is still a target of the terrorist, go figure."

Is the implication supposed to be that I think if we made nice with the terrorists they'd leave us alone? That's an idiotic idea. They're fanatics and murderers, non-deterrable, and have explicitly called for genocide of Americans.

I said as much about five minutes ago so again--Score your points if you want, but I'm not suggesting appeasement. I don't think you honestly believe that I am.

If they get nuclear weapons or serious biological weapons--the only real weapons of mass destruction--we have to assume they will use them. So the threat becomes imminent much sooner, but even with this lower threshhold Iraq was not close.

I would suggest a read of the Butler Report is warranted, especially the open ended comments on Libya. It may raise some questions but then again it may not.

The other factor in this conflict is the race for the M.E. nuke. I suggest you take look at the entire picture before making anymore simplistic statements.

It's Condescending Friday, I see. ;p

I think the CW here is there's a race, but it's not for the ME nuke (that's a horse you should bet on). It's a race to control as much of the ME as we can before the enemy states there get them.

The idea that we'll just keep bombing facilities until they either democratize, or give up, strikes me as another failure of imagination we can't afford.

See Edward our control is counterproductive but a democratic republic is a big worry to certain states, including Iran. If I remember correctly, we have a bet on that Republic.

Wolfowitz's fantasy, Timmy. Using the WoT as political cover. Sorry, it's such a long shot, and doesn't even seem to have been seriously attempted (little things like US elections seemingly complicating the sort of solid planning a serious effort would have demanded).

Can you honestly say you think it's going well?

I think we have a much, much, much better shot at preventing a Middle Eastern nuclear weapon than we do at controlling the Middle East (whether you're talking about control through hard power or soft power).

I think we have a much, much, much better shot at preventing a Middle Eastern nuclear weapon

For how long?

but I'm not suggesting appeasement. I don't think you honestly believe that I am.

No Katherine I don't for one minute believe that you are suggesting appeasement (you are far too inteligent for that). But I believe you paint a portrait which places far too much reliance upon multinational organizations and thus puts us in "harm's way".

Our opinions differ, nothing wrong with that.

"Tossing out the incumbent (regardless of your feelings about him) doesn't exactly send the correct message to the mullahs."
is a flatly anti-democratic argument.


It might be flatly anti-Democrat I'll admit.

Edward--I don't know, exactly. At least a decade or two. Maybe not indefinitely, but I think conceding that is a counsel of despair. Even if we do concede that we can't prevent it forever, we absolutely need to do it as long as we can. Any positive changes on the way those countries are run and how they perceive us will be a long time coming. So will the destruction of Al Qaeda & its subsidiaries.

Sorry, Mac: Katherine's right. The notion that one's vote should be swayed by the theoretical reaction of "the mullahs" is profoundly silly, as we don't know whose presidency they'd fear or welcome. (Unless you've been talking to them, in which case I'll nominate you for a Pulitzer.)

One could as easily make the argument that the ham-fisted actions of the Bush League in Iraq have been the best al-Qaeda recruiting tool since bin Laden himself, and that a vote for Bush furthers the aims of al-Qaeda. Either position is a silly light to cast one's vote in.

Shorter JKC: vote for the guy who's policies mostly closely match your own. Guessing the motivation of "the mullahs" is a fool's errand.

"Guessing the motivation of "the mullahs" is a fool's errand."

Sure, but repeating the 'don't change horses in midstream' trope probably feels righteous.

Macallan: Tossing out the incumbent (regardless of your feelings about him) doesn't exactly send the correct message to the mullahs.

Well, personally, I don't give much heed to the opinions of foreign leaders, religious or not, when picking my president. Oddly enough, I actually value my own feelings about the incumbent far, far more than that of some mullah. To each his own, I guess.

"Tossing out the incumbent (regardless of your feelings about him) doesn't exactly send the correct message to the mullahs."
is a flatly anti-democratic argument.

Of course, kind of. We should be aware of the message we are sending but the message should not be about tossing out the incumbent. The message ought to be that we will smash the terrorist organizations and their sponsoring countries no matter who occupies the White House. If that is what is going on tossing out the incumbent doesn't matter. But in an extreme example, if there were a candidate who said "In response to recent terrorist attacks we will withdraw from the Middle East" voting in favor of the candidate would be sending the wrong message to the mullahs. But it has nothing to do with getting rid of the incumbent, it has to do with electing someone who operates under a bad set of assumptions about how to deal with Islamist terrorism.

So it is wrong to worry about whether getting rid of the incumbent "sends the right message". But it is perfectly appropriate to try to analyze whether Kerry's approach to the War on Terror will be appropriate. It may very well be that electing Kerry would send a bad message to the mullahs AND it may very well be appropriate to vote against him on that basis. But that has nothing to do with a generalized problem with "tossing out the incumbent". That is making your decision on what should be the most important issue of the campaign.

I guess I missed the speech where Kerry robustly embraced the Axis of Evil formulation and declared his fidelity to the Bush Doctrine to hold state sponsors accountable. Oh well since he did that I guess my point about throwing out the incumbent is moot. Funny, I follow the news closely…well…hopefully the mullahs follow it more closely than I do.

So, if I have this right, Kerry saluted to the crowd and said "reporting for duty".

Does this not bother anyone?

I mean, maybe it would be a little more gentlemanly of him to not showcase his military service so much.

I think that were I a veteran, particularly one with a long service record, that display would have annoyed me very much.

"Back to the speech, Kerry did better than I was expecting him to. In fact, it was a very good speech."

It was good and bland, which is what it needed to be. There was a little bit of red meat, more than I expected, but not much.

"There are, however, a few things that could have been better."

Timmy wrote:

Gee, that "Axis of Evil" speech really deterred them, didn't it.

As for the UNSC, the primary concern of other nations is the risk of US hegemony. If they think that it is a relatively benign hegemony, which will not act unilaterally or

Thorley wrote:
'Great Britain, Australia, Japan, Italy, Poland, etc.) who have provided support in Iraq as being part of a “fraudulent coalition” while the only foreign government to come out in favor of Kerry did so while pulling their troops out of Iraq.'

Thorley, the only significant military in that coalition is the British and(maybe) the Polish. But there is not a majority, or even close to a majority, of support for the war in those countries. Blair took an immense political risk to support the "special relationship". But if you don't believe that the UK Labour Party (or, for that matter, a big chunk of the UK Conservative Party), wouldn't rather have Kerry than Bush in the Whitehouse, then you are seriously disconnected from UK politics.

Well, it wasn't as if anybody really expected him to make a speech designed to convince people like me, anyway.

You might want to remind the folks over at RedState of that, Moe.

"I think that were I a veteran, particularly one with a long service record, that display would have annoyed me very much."

By which you mean you hope it annoyed them, because you don't like Kerry.

You'll have to ask them. I bet all of the Democratic veterans were moved all of the Republican ones were annoyed.

Just a guess.

Gee, that "Axis of Evil" speech really deterred them, didn't it.

Well Tom, I didn't write that but as I look out my window, there are no burning buildings. What can I say.

Sorry, didn't complete my thought above.


Timmy wrote:

Gee, that "Axis of Evil" speech really deterred them, didn't it.

As for the UNSC, the primary concern of other nations is the risk of US hegemony. If they think that it is a relatively benign hegemony, which will not act effectively unilaterally, a US where its allies can influence US strategy (rather than just being spear-carriers and extra bank accounts), then that creates a different perception from a US where the domestic factions and interests influence the decision of how and when go to war more than as national security interests.

That creates a reaction; if other countries feel insecure with US hegemony, they will take actions to protect their own interests, and, eventually, create structures and alliances that will challenge our hegemony.

Currently, the pre-emption doctrine scares the shit out of our allies even more than our adversaries, and the administration's statement that an enemy being non-nuclear power would not preclude the use of nuclear weapons against (essentially voiding the incentive to be part of the NPT) hasn't helped; you can see the pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran as being rational from their self-interested perspective in this light.

Edward: He could have gone a bit softer on the Vietnam story. It was a long time ago. He covered it well in the film. The Band of Brothers went on a bit too much. Now I know there's a point to be made and they don't want anyone to miss it, but when he saluted the audience, I crinched and thought he's lost his mind. Fortunately he worked within a loose line of corny jokes and imagery, so in the end it all worked as a way to soften him up.

My wife and I were rolling our eyes at each other as the evening went on and speaker after speaker heaped on the war hero talk. But when it was all over, I started to get the sense that there is more to this strategy than establishing Commander in Chief credentials and strength of character. Kerry not only trumpeted his military service, he also talked proudly about his stateside opposition to the war. Up until now, the republicans have treated his postwar activities as a vulnerability, but I think he might be turning it into a strength.

I believe it was historian Ellen Fitzpatrick (on PBS's coverage) who came closest to identifying what I was picking up on: this convention, and the Kerry candidacy in general, could represent a reconciliation of the conflicting emotions still haunting the nation with respect to that war, particularly after a string of executives from both parties who avoided fighting in Vietnam one way or another (yes, Gore was deployed there, but not in a combat role). Now that I have seen the whole package, I can't imagine a way this convention could not have been first and foremost about Vietnam.

And, as a non sequitur, did anybody else find the pop music bracketing the speeches as jarring as I did? I really wanted to hear a more traditional brass band, especially following something like Clark's forceful address, but instead I get the soulful (and rather downbeat) sounds of Marvin Gaye? Or U2? Or Outkast? At points it felt too much like an awards show, not so much like a political convention.

I think the biggest surprise of the evening was learning about Kerry's service in Vietnam. I had no idea...

I partially agree about the music but it is afterall a convention and keeping the energy up of the crowd conflicts with the television show aspects.

And as far as someone saying:
"Tossing out the incumbent (regardless of your feelings about him) doesn't exactly send the correct message to the mullahs."

I think the best example America can show the world and particularly the countries of the middle east is to show them a working democracy no matter who wins. The mullahs or terrorists or whoever may just find less support if the majority of those populations (the people not in their organizations) see that no matter what the threat democracy in America still prevails.

Have to add (because who doesn't love a good mob maul?)

Katherine is right Mac.

And there seems to be a whiff of "electing Kerry sends the wrong message to the terrorists" about many of your comments/posts lately (which normally I'd interpret as fear he might actuall win, but in your case, I let you tell me I'm wrong). If you are implying that, I think you have it exactly backwards though. Keeping Bush only to send a message to the terrorists is like handing them the Constitution to spit on.

Given that many believe Democracy in Islamic countries is a good start toward winning the war, perverting ours is not exactly leading by example.

perverting ours

Now who is perverting our Constitution Eddie?

sidereal,

Well, no. But, you know, good try with the mind-reading and all. I actually don't have any strong opinions either way about Kerry. I think that Bush would make a better president, but it isn't like the world would end with Kerry.

You have to admit that it was pretty lame, though. If that happened at a Republican convention, you Democrats would get so excited that you would soil yourselves.

I think that behaviour would still be tasteless if a career soldier like Clark or Powell did it. The funny thing is, I cannot imagine either of them doing it.

Up until now, the republicans have treated his postwar activities as a vulnerability, but I think he might be turning it into a strength.

I want to go on record as strongly supporting the full and repeated exposition of John Kerry's postwar activities. Senate testimony, Jane Fonda, Doonesbury mockery and all.

Given that many believe Democracy in Islamic countries is a good start toward winning the war, perverting ours is not exactly leading by example.

When you refer to Bush winning the election as "perverting" democracy, I wouldn't go around making any assertions about other's desperateness. You've selected your horse in this race, and your going to have to live with the consequences of his foreign policy (such as it is) and how plays in the race.

Dang, Katherine, I'd almost forgotten how much I like reading your comments. Thanks for the wisest take on pre-emption I've seen in 2 years. Helps unmuddy my thinking quite a bit (T-ball here for the next round of cheap shots).

On the speech, a good dozen different things grated on my nerves, from "Reporting for duty" to "the West Wing" to "hair pollution" to the multiple innuendo attacks culminating in "let's not misuse the Constitution."

Several other things had my jaw on the floor. Above all the line -

"I want an America that relies on its own ingenuity and innovation – not the Saudi royal family."

If you needed any more clear a declaration of a shift in alliances, it would be hard to imagine. Guess who King Fahd is voting for this year?

Now who is perverting our Constitution Eddie?

Anyone suggesting we let the terrorists tell us who to vote for (whichever way you interpret their choice).

That's what the argument "We must re-elect Bush because the terrorists don't want us to" boils down to. We MUST elect the best person to run the country as a whole. If Bush were limited to fighting the war, but couldn't implement any domestic policies, etc., such an argument would at least be entertainable. But that idea is actually less ridiculous than insisting a man who you feel will fight a better war (despite good evidence) should keep running the country into debt, polluting the environment, and driving wedges between citizens just so he can keep invading countries unchecked.

I think we have a much, much, much better shot at preventing a Middle Eastern nuclear weapon than we do at controlling the Middle East

Good to know we've relocated Israel to another part of the world.

Anyone suggesting we let the terrorists tell us who to vote for (whichever way you interpret their choice).

I guess I'm dense, but I can't see how that perverts the Constitution. The right to say stupid things is fully guaranteed by the First Amendment. Michael Moore is a living witness to this.

wow Tacitus, if you're that big on whatever Kerry had to do with Jane Fonda, considering how much that impacted your average American, you must be a beast about full disclosure between Cheney and his Energy buddies as well as the high government officials who outed Valerie Plame. We need more bi-partisan crusaders like you here at ObWi.

does Eddie know Sebbe? Paging Dr. Moe.

I guess I'm dense, but I can't see how that perverts the Constitution. The right to say stupid things is fully guaranteed by the First Amendment. Michael Moore is a living witness to this.

You're right, Slarti. Saying it doesn't pervert the Constitution. But there's a implicit sense making the rounds that it's the right thing to do. Essentially without even debating an alternative, as if even having that debate will encourage the terrorists too much.

Should Bush win (^&%#$ ~~ancient Turkish Curse~~), after a good solid debate that in no way presumes we should vote for him just because the terrorists don't want us too (essentially giving them a voice in the matter), then the Constitution will have worked as designed.

But that's not what's being suggested. What's being suggested is that somehow even having the debate is wrong. I categorically reject that as unAmerican.

does Eddie know Sebbe?

No...who's Sebbe?

Now who is perverting our Constitution Eddie?

Anyone suggesting we let the terrorists tell us who to vote for (whichever way you interpret their choice).

I missed the knicker twisting contest but please carry on.

An implicit sense!?

The monsters. :)

"No...who's Sebbe?"

He is probably talking about me, though I quite specifically don't go for a 'what the terrorists want' line of thinking in my 1:29 post.

"No...who's Sebbe?"

He is probably talking about me, though I quite specifically don't go for a 'what the terrorists want' line of thinking in my 1:29 post.

I missed the knicker twisting contest but please carry on.

I wish Mac would either confirm or deny that's what he's suggesting. I've asked repeatedly (not here) and he skirts the issue, saying something about personal choices, yadda, yadda, yadda.

To Mr. Macallan:
Do you or do you not feel that we should, as a nation, unite behind George Bush now, foregoing the debate on whether Kerry is a better option, despite the ability of the nation to do both (i.e., debate the issue AND [%^#&] choose Bush for president)?

Or do you agree that a fullblown Presidential election, even while at war, with all the fanfare and hot air we can muster, is the best testament to the longevity and hardiness of our Union?

Well I didn't miss it the contest moveson.

"If that happened at a Republican convention, you Democrats would get so excited that you would soil yourselves."

I call your Mind-Reading and raise you Exaggerated Speculation.

Republicans would say it was kind of tacky but ultimately noble, which is exactly my point. Getting the opinion of a partisan on something so blatantly in the service of partisanship is generally useless. Which is why the RedState belief that Kerry's inability to sway committed Republicans is a sign of failure is worth a chuckle.

Eddie, I stopped beating my wife quite awhile ago, but thanks for asking.

Mac,

OK, let me rephrase then.

Do you look forward to a full blown political debate before the world in choosing our next president or do you feel it's now inappropriate given we're in a war?

That speech simply alienated the far-left of the Democratic Party without accomplishing much else.

No really, I did stop beating her, you can call her if you'd like.

No really, I did stop beating her, you can call her if you'd like.

Is she as obstinate as you are?

How watered down does the question have to be? I'm not trying to disrespect you here. I just find your message alarming.

Here's what you wrote:

Tossing out the incumbent (regardless of your feelings about him) doesn't exactly send the correct message to the mullahs.

  • Regardless of your feelings about him (really, what if he were Carter?)
  • Correct message to the mullahs

    I think any court in the land would side with me that you're suggesting we just let Bush have another four years without further comment.

  • d-rod
    Just as I wouldn't expect MOST republican presidential candidates (current president excluded)to work too hard appeasing the far-right of the republican party I certainly wouldn't expect a democratic candidate to work too hard appeasing the far-left.
    The country really is run from a few degrees of the middle whether you believe it or not.
    KERRY'S SPEACH? More than good enough to show he can be president. That may be enough this year considering the squandered credibility of the current president both here and abroad.

    does Eddie know Sebbe?

    No...who's Sebbe?

    Wilfred is pointing out TtWD's use of a cutesy nickname, in connection with this comment.

    "I think any court in the land would side with me that you're suggesting we just let Bush have another four years without further comment."

    I'm not Mac, but I'll respond that I think we should have all sorts of comment. And I would have been far more thrilled if the Democratic Party had settled on playing offense in the war on terrorism instead of defense. But because of that choice, when the debate comes, the Democrats should lose.

    Sorry didn't finish the thought. They should lose not because 'tossing out the incumbent' sends the mullahs and terrorists the wrong message, but because telling them that they are mostly safe until after they attack us again sends the wrong message.

    Is she as obstinate as you are?

    Worse, but she's much better looking.

    You can water down the question all you want; it doesn't change it from nonsense to substance. As to the courts of the land, I think they'll all agree that I said what I said, not what you're projecting. If you'd like to argue what I said, argue the case that electing Senator Complexity is sending the right message to the mullahs.

    sidereal,

    Aside from the first sentence, I do not understand what you are saying in that last paragraph.

    As for exaggerated speculation, I will say... maybe. I think that past exposure to the flight suit and the turkey centrepiece fainting sessions, however, gives my statement some plausibility.

    Edward
    Don't you realize that by debating with Mac you are encouraging the Mullahs?

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    Blog powered by Typepad