There are also a lot of conservatives who are keeping quiet. I suspect there are a lot of Buchanan, Perot and McCain voters who will be pulling the lever for Kerry next month. They may not admit it publicly, but they know how dishonest and fiscally reckless Bush has been.
One of my favorite sites is Shrillblog, linked text who today adds Howard Fineman to the list of people who have been driven to shrillness by George Bush. Shrillblog reminds us of George Bush's real problem:
As John Stewart of The Daily Show noted, the facts themselves seem to have a severe partisan slant. Look for the facts to join The Order in a special induction ceremony as the election draws nigh
Iraq - I thought Edwards absolutely nailed the Bush record of failure in Iraq several times. Cheney's attacks on Kerry's inconsistency is getting old and unpersuasive except to their base. The undecided voters who saw Kerry last week have already made up their mind that he is fit for commmand.
The Middle Class Squeeze - one extensive answer on the middle class squeeze that he supported indirectly several times. Big score for Edwards
Health Care - Excellent posture letting the voters decide for themselves by saying they all know how bad the health care problem is.
Jobs in Cleveland - I'll bet I wasn't the only one who was unaware that Cleveland had the highest poverty rate? Higher than Mississippi? The American people know how bad the jobs picture is and Bush/Cheney can't spin it. Cheney's answer on jobs was so shallow and unspecific he might as well have stayed home. Big win for Edwards.
That was April, 2002. Today the voters who were purged by the fake felon list are being required to pay for authenticated fingerprints to get back on the registration list. Authenticated fingerprints run about $300. I believe that's what they call a poll tax.
And Theresa Lapore is far from finished. Among current problems, this link reports: linked text
It was odder still when, on the August polling day, sheriff's deputies arrived at the supervisor's office and surrounded the building with squad cars and "do not cross" barriers. Such police presence at election sites is technically illegal.
The sheriff's department cited a possible terrorist threat and, according to a TV station, drew a parallel with the Madrid train bombings.
Terrorist threats seem to pop up at the most convenient times don't they?
Voter Fraud 2000 in Florida isn't the problem. Voter Fraud 2004 is the real story the SCLM is ignoring.
I also remember the post RNC bounce that the SCLM claimed put Kerry on the ropes. The Kerry campaign was in a meltdown. The election was practically over.
I sometimes wonder if the only people who still believe in the SCLM are liberals. I'd like to see us move from SCLM to something stronger. I don't know what that might be, but it's clear that CNN is as biased towards Bush as Faux News and MSNBC is only a little bit behind.
I used to have a little respect for Chris Matthews until his last interview with John O'Neil. It was obvious that his network had given him a smackdown for being too hard on conservatives and his O'Neil interview was payback.
The SCLM is responsive to the corporate agenda of it's advertisers. There's a great DVD called "Constructing Public Opinion" that demonstrates the media never covers issues from a liberal perspective.
Part of my morning blog constitutional is going to the Dailyhowler linked text
I don't leave home without it. It keeps the SCLM assault on my senses in perspective.
Knowing that Ashcroft and Bush are protecting me from the Critical Art Ensamble and the songwriter who wrote "Peace Train".
Does anybody remember the good old days when there was a libertarian wing of the Republican party? Remember when Goldwater said "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice."?
I hope Edwards brings up Ashcroft tomorrow night. Just mentioning his name could give Kerry/Edwards a five point bump. I think the libertarian remnants of the Republican party may be disaffected enough to jump ship if Edwards makes a strong anti-Ashcroft pitch. A lot of swing voters have to be concerned about what's going on.
I think one of the big surprises next month is going to come from the Buchanan, Perot and McCain voters. That's a very large group of swing voters who can't be happy with Bush and the neo-cons.
I agree Patrick Henry, that Kerry is walking a fine line because of the Bush spin conflating criticism of Bush and Rumsfeld's conduct of the war with criticism of the troops. Kerry's comment in the debate that we can critize the war amd celebrate the warrior was excellent. Kerry also has to deal with the 911 neurosis that to a large extent still grips America.
I'm trying to suggest a new framework for even discussing the war. Roach motel or petri dish? Quagmire or setback? These are great questions I would love to see the media and the campaigns engage. Unfortunately, we live in a soundbite world. Bush/Rove are already trying to turn Kerry's rhetorical flourish about a global test into a "Kerry Doctrine of Appeasement".
That's precisely the trap that can be avoided by reminding the American people about the pottery barn rule. We are engaged in an election campaign, not a debating society. For better or worse, positions are defined by images and soundbites.
Bush/Rove spin aside I think there is good evidence that the military and the generals are far from unanimous in support of Rumsfeld and the neo-con's incompetent execution of the Iraq war. See General Zinni's remarks October 31, 2002 here: linked text and his May 22, 2004 speech here: linked text
Bringing peace and freedom to the middle east is a great idea. I don't recall if it was General Butler or General Sheldon who said it, but it is now a military truism: The military is a great hammer, but not every problem is a nail.
That's precisely the problem in Iraq. Bringing peace and freedom to Iraq or anywhere else is not a nail the military hammer can crush. The military is great at breaking things, not so good at fixing them.
I must disagree that the only way we can lose in Iraq is by pulling out. That may very well be the only way we can win. There are no longer any good options in Iraq. The only choices are bad ones. That's why Bush/Rove want Kerry to commit to a specific plan and why he can't get any more speciific than he has.
That's also why I suggested the window of opportunity metaphor. It's a legitimate frame that Rumsfeld himself has utilized. It also allows Kerry a legitimate loophole from being more specific. How can Kerry predict what the situtation on the ground will be in six months? A good plan today could be a terrible plan next week, let alone next month.
I think it was delayed out here on the west coast because of the NFL. Joe Lockhart took on Bartlett over Iraq. This is the first time I felt someone from Kerry's camp gave as good as they got against Bartlett.
I'm with you on the "switch in focus" lojo. I just hope they don't back off on Iraq and let Bush get back on track with his spin. The new Bush Lied commercial is great. I've got much more confidence in the Kerry campaign since Lockhart and company came on board, but I still don't see the killer instinct we need against Bush/Rove.
Dems in general and the Kerry campaign in particular don't seem to understand the concept of beating an opponent when they're down. Does anybody think Carl Rove would give Kerry a chance to get back up off the mat if the debate smackdown had turned out the other way? Where's their political killer instinct?
The post debate spin is already turning against Kerry. I don't know how many shows I've listened to yesterday and this morning where I heard the spin that Kerry won on style, but Bush won on substance. The Rove talking point that seems to dominate the discussion is the rhetorical aside Kerry made about a "Global Test". The first talking point is an outright lie. The second is a rhetorical gotcha that spins two words into the "Kerry Doctrine of Appeasement".
Did Joe Lockhart and the Kerry campaign decide to take Sunday off to celebrate losing the post debate spin? Howard Dean just came on Late Edition. Finally someone is fighting back.
Bush should be fired for mistakes over WMD
You can't trust this administration
Don't confuse being stubborn with being right
Rove has had Rumsfeld lying low for a good reason. Rumsfeld is the poster child for incompetence in this administration and somebody needs to start beating up on him someplace besides the Sunday comic strip. If the Kerry campaign lets General Abizaid step in as the Pentagon spokesman for democratic nirvana in Iraq, Kerry will lose the argument. The reason a bad war was made even worse is that Rumsfled over-ruled the military on vital strategic and military decisions.
Mort Zuckerman, the Bush campaign spokesman from U.S. News & World Report, is running through the same stale litany of Rove talking points: Kerry doesn't understand 911, Kerry saw "the same intelligence" Bush saw, Saddam was evil, etc., etc. Katrina Vanden Huevel is responding, and it's obvious she wouldn't recognize a sound bite if it took a dump on her head. Why is this policy wonk ditz on Late Edition instead of Joe Lockhart or Gen. Clark?
Lojo has got this exactly right. And the RW echo chamber includes CNN, MSNBC and U.S. News. CNN and Wolf are so pro-war they should just sign the Bush/Cheney loyalty oath. The SCLM is not Kerry's friend. Kerry can not count on the media to carry his water. Two polls show the race is a dead heat and not a single story about Bush blowing an 11 point lead?
If somebody doesn't wake up at the Kerry campaign, Rove will turn a Kerry slam dunk on Bush's strongest issue into a technical foul against Kerry. Those who rest on their laurels in this game will soon be sitting on their duff, watching from the sidelines.