At the same time, Democratic Party officials are gearing up to challenge unfavorable Election Day results in a number of states through "pre-emptive strikes," charging that Republicans prevented minorities from voting even before any such incidents are confirmed.
Patrick, I'm sure you'll be interested in knowing this is false, and correct the record accordingly. It's based upon a pretty creative interpretation of a passage from a DNC Voter's Manual:
What needs to happen is a long-term longitudinal study of about 10,000 subjects with respect to party id. Follow the same people for several election cycles, questioning them frequently about their "party ID".
In order for Bush to win, he'll have to avoid appearing out of touch and in a fantasy world, fiddling while Rome burns. He'll have to avoid factual inaccuracies that betray a lack of knowledge or awareness of how things are going in Iraq and around the world. These inaccuracies have plagued him on many topics throughout his presidency. They're signs either of not knowing what's going on or not being straight with the American people.
For Kerry to win, he'll have to present an acceptable alternative to Bush: someone who appears presidential, who knows what's going on and has a grasp of where we need to go from here.
I have never said the economy wasn't cyclical. That's beside the point of the job losses we've seen, and moreover is beside the point you were making (you implied that 9/11 was largely responsible for the poor economic showing under Bush).
The recession in question started in the third month of Bush's term, and lasted until November of 2001.
The problem is this: we've had recessions before, and other presidents have had to deal with them. Yet, when Bush could have chosen to deal with this one, he instead used the recession as an excuse to push tax cuts that provided very little bang for the buck, in terms of economic stimulus.
We've had 10 recessions since the Great Depression, yet Bush's is the first presidential term since Herbert Hoover to experience a net job loss. That's not just bad luck.
No reputable economist believes the "household" job creation numbers are correct. In fact, they're generally ignored even by pro-Bush partisans unless they show a better picture than the payroll numbers.
And Patrick, my memory isn't short enough for you to revise history regarding Bush's bipartisanship. His campaigning leading up to the midterm election was stark and partisan, and was largely responsible for the gains Republicans saw in Congress.
Why do all right wingers feel the necessity to claim "fairness and balance" at every opportunity? It might have worked at one time, but most people have heard that song and dance. It doesn't sell like it used to.
The Bush campaign has done far more than "attacked Kerry's voting record". They've actively distorted it, misrepresenting his positions and the votes themselves on numerous occasions. Oh, and what are we to think of a person who claims to taken in news sources of all kinds, yet doesn't know that the possessive of "Democrat" is "Democratic"?
Perhaps you're spending a little more time on the wingnut sites than you know.
The truly humorous thing, though, is the assertion that a case can be made that Bush's presidency hasn't failed. So obvious are his fiscal and foreign policy disasters, so obvious the decline in kitchen-table-level prosperity, so clear the out-of-touch priorities for most people who don't get their "information" from Fox News that one usually doesn't have to make the case.
I believe it's hard to find a measure by which Bush could be described as a "successful president" (besides "attempting every screwball right wing notion that anyone has generated over the last 30 years"). But by all means, please, let's hear it.
To be a "plan for Iraq", a proposal needs to be given more than lip service. It needs resources and competent leadership, both of which Kerry will bring to the table. That's not "anybody but Bush". That's "Kerry is the right man to get the job done". Not sure how you got otherwise.
Oh, and one other thing. I heard Bush's speech to the UN. He didn't request support. He demanded it, and chastised the UN for not doing more. This president has snubbed our allies and the international community at virtually every turn, Bush is simply not in a position to garner international support -- and yes, that includes the support of our ernstwhile puppet in Iraq (who is so independent of Bush that he would come here to campaign for him, despite the capital it will cost him with Iraqis).
It's becoming more and more evident that the campaign you're following and the one the rest of us see are two very different things.
Bush's entire re-election campaign has been based on an "anyone but Kerry" thrust. The whole idea of his blatantly misleading and distorting caricatures of Kerry has been to paint Kerry in such a bad light that even a failed president would look better. Bush has ignored his own record in total, intead doing anything and everything to cast Kerry as the one everyone must avoid.
I've seen this "September 11 hurt the nation economically" argument put forth to excuse Bush's poor jobs numbers. Unfortunately, it doesn't go the distance.
While it's true that the greatest monthly job loss occurred in late 2001, the job losses have largely continued since -- and that has continued long past the end of the recession. In fact, the lowest level of nonfarm payroll employment (seasonally adjusted) was in mid 2003 -- nearly two years after the 9/11 attacks.
As the International Monetary Fund has documented, the direct costs of the 9/11 attacks were just over .15% of the US GDP. The property damage was less than that caused by the Northridge, CA earthquake in 1994. If you add in insurance costs and other related costs, we're talking a loss of around .2% of US GDP in 2001. All things considered, the overall impact was around .1% of US GDP.
Given the fact that job losses were already taking place before the attacks, and the fact that they continued for nearly two years afterwards, I think any assertion that 9/11 was a watershed moment that explains the economy's poor job creation (to say nothing of the syrocketing federal deficit) for most of Bush's term is going to require more proof than mere assertion.
I also found this statement:
"Bush like Reagan is painted as a dangerous extremist even though they are more likely than many in their party to work with the politicians on the other side of the isle."
to be laughable. George Bush blew off the bipartisan spirit of September 11 for craven political gain in the 2002 elections, and he's done the same ever since, using the attacks as an excuse to push the most extreme agenda in our lifetimes. To say the above is to live in a fantasy world -- perhaps similar to the one in which Bush is enmeshed.
I think that's a bit strong. My first impression, when I saw the two documents, was the same thing. And although I've read all the arguments for and against and acknowledge that the documents could indeed be genuine, at this point I still believe they were likely forged, even if the content was accurate.
What I find most disturbing is that this whole fiasco has basically negated all the work this team did on the Niger uranium story, since airing it now will result in cries of bias and lack of credibility on the part of 60 Minutes II.
I wonder if they can farm the work out to another media outfit.