NV-Sen: John Ensign's Attack Ad on Jack Carter

One could have almost forgotten that the Republicans had an election strategy before that whole Foley thing broke. Their strategy: scare people. Granted, the Foley scandal scares some people as well but that kind of scare ain't helping the Republicans.

To remind you of the actual scare campaign Nevada's most favourite golfer released an attack ad on Jack Carter yesterday (which also goes to prove that Ensign's scared of Jack, otherwise he wouldn't need to do this).

His ad focuses on the illegal NSA warrantless surveillance program. The ad looks like it was made ten years ago and practically accuses Jack Carter of aiding terrorist attacks.

Link, transcript and anylysis below the fold!

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NV-Sen: Does John Ensign want to appease the Taliban?

The Republicans just love to talk about "appeasement". If you don't vote with them in dissolving the Constitution step by step you are "appeasing" the terrorists. Essentially, this tactic is nothing else but fearmongering. Democrats simply disagree with the notion that you have to destroy the Constitution of the United States when you want to fight the terrorists. No one in his right mind would want to "appease" terrorists and their enablers.

That's what you would think, right? Well, think again. It seems the Majority Leader in the US Senate, Republican Bill Frist, wants to appease the Taliban. Yup, you heard that right. This is an excerpt from an AP story in the International Herald Tribune (which has since been picked up by news outlets across the U.S.):

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Monday that the Afghan guerrilla war can never be won militarily and called for efforts to bring the Taliban and their supporters into the Afghan government.

continued below the fold

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My New Favorite Candidate (at least for today): Jack Carter

The only major candidate to speak out about torture is Jack Carter, Democratic Senate candidate for Nevada.  Here's his Op-Ed on the subject.

But being "serious about fighting this war" means more than launching a counter-attack at these immoral villains and destroying them. We must recognize that their real target is not just our people, but the ideas and values upon which we stand.

Military theorists know that winning requires both a solid attack and a sober defense. Without the attack, Osama can regroup, lie in wait, and pick his time. Without the defense, we expose our core to a corrosive rot which may forfeit the war while we win the battle.

There is no doubt that torturing people is un-American. There is no doubt that unfettered eavesdropping on Americans by the executive branch is un-American. There is no doubt that holding prisoners without due process is un-American.

These are the spear marks our attackers left, every bit as much a wound as the gaping hole in New York's skyline. These were inflicted, not by suicide bombers, but by Fear - the opponent of Values and the "other" weapon in the terrorists' arsenal.

We must defend our families and our values as fiercely as we attack our enemies. Our government must fight Terrorists, but our Values must battle Terror. These principles define us. They make us American more than geography ever did.

This administration does not appear to understand that being "serious about fighting this war" requires us to defend our values. Defense of our values is not a sign of weakness, it's the foundation from which we launch our attack.

Many of you don't know that I supported the invasion of Iraq.  It was stupid, and it was wrong, but I did.  At the time I was 24, and I thought that Clinton was a great President, that 9/11 justified pretty much anything, and that tax increases led to dead-weight losses in the economy.  I also believed that voting for the Iraq war was good politics, because the American people wanted war.  

Though I was mostly pro-war I didn't have the sneering anti-anti-war attitude of so many liberal hawks.  I respected the anti-war position, but I just couldn't bring myself to buck the system because I felt that if the New York Times said that Saddam had WMD's, it must be true.  My anger at the current model of politics has to do with the fact that I went through a journey over the next few years to figure out where I went wrong, and so many institutions that lied to me and my generation did not.  They didn't care that they made an error in judgment.  In fact they rejoiced in their steadfast attitude in the face of utter wrongness, and still do.

I was so very wrong, and I think about how wrong I was all the time.  I don't just think about how I made an error in judgment on the face of the issue, I think about how there was basically no real debate, except in the blogs.  In retrospect, the silence was the kicker.  And now, the silence over torture reminds me of that time, prior to the Iraq War, when it seemed like whatever your position it seemed like good politics to shut up and go along with the right-wing approach.  

I don't think so.  Torture is wrong, it doesn't work, and it's immoral.  And we are not naive for opposing it.  There are a lot of sneering Congressional aides out there whispering about how silly we progressives are for not recognizing that this is a loser issue and that we should take it off the table as quickly as possible.  Well you know, my attitude is that if that's your attitude then you are less than human, a moral ghost, a wretch of a creature, a person who has ruined your soul in the pursuit of mediocrity.  It is not smart politics to support torture, because politics must have an ethical basis and in torture there is none.  Torture is the tool of the weak, and as we embrace it, we become weak.  The military is opposed to torture - if you can't turn that into political capital then you aren't practiced in politics.  

Now, in terms of 2006, it's important to take back Congress from the Republicans, who are at this point a grotesque group of theocratically oriented middle managers, a kind of sadistic Office Space crew.  If Democrats can set the agenda, we will have the ability to head off further degradation of our country, and maybe we can punish some of these really bad people.  It is also important to put progressives in the House and Senate, so that if we take a chamber back, we can put some spine into that agenda.  That's why it's important to work for candidates who are inspiring, like Carter, and candidates who aren't.

As for the practical aspects of this race, I'll say upfront that I don't know much about Nevada politics.  John Ensign seems like a stupid nobody, a pretend-libertarian who is actually just a rich baby that likes to play golf and get fabulous haircuts.  He's considered to be in a very strong position, but you know, I've come to doubt the conventional wisdom.  After blogging about Ned Lamont and Donna Edwards and seeing them emerge into powerful and legitimate political figures, I feel like there's something in that conventional wisdom that is deeply in error.  Some huge percentage of the population of Nevada is new to the state since Ensign was elected in 2000, and Bush isn't well liked there.  I suspect Ensign can be beaten, though again, I'm not well-versed in Nevada politics.  And if Ensign is beaten, then at least we'll have one more principled Senator in Congress to prevent this country from sinking even more into moral muck.

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NV-Sen - Polling, Debates, and a Great Fundraising Pitch

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

Hi, everyone.  As you may know, my Dad is Jack Carter, who's running for US Senate in Nevada.  The pace of the campaign is accelerating rapidly and there's a whole lot going on.  Today, I'll give you a couple of campaign updates, and then I'll give my fundraising pitch - we've got a good shot to win this race, but we're going to need all the money we can get to do it.  The updates you'll get in this diary are: a Rasmussen poll that was just released on Friday showing us trailing by single digits; and news that John Ensign, my Dad's opponent, has finally agreed to some debates.

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NV-Sen - Jack Carter vs. John Ensign on Torture

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

Hi, everyone.  As you may know, my Dad is Jack Carter, who's running for US Senate in Nevada.  He's been in the hospital recently with severe colitis.  Good news on that front: he is now home from the hospital and doing well.  He's beginning to ease back into his campaign schedule.  Our only concern now is that he'll try to do too much too fast - he's not very good at sitting still.

What I want to point out today is the vast difference between my Dad and his opponent, John Ensign, on the issue of torture.

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