A rush, a push, and the land is ours.
October 24, 2002 8:26 AM   Subscribe

A rush, a push, and the land is ours. Bush enlists government in the GOP campaign. Unprecedented.
posted by plexi (61 comments total)
 
I'm a liberal democrat with a Jean Carnahan yard sign in my front yard, but come on. Wah, wah, wah.
posted by kcmoryan at 8:36 AM on October 24, 2002


It's all fun and games until somebody sleeps in the Lincoln bedroom.
posted by putzface_dickman at 8:36 AM on October 24, 2002


I myself always cast my vote for the "More Stuff" party.

Their slogan: "More stuff for you; someone else pays!"
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:37 AM on October 24, 2002


I love this quote: "It's totally appropriate to allow people to participate in the political process."
posted by cbrody at 8:38 AM on October 24, 2002


If you read the article, that's where the term "unprecedented" comes from.

Bobby L. Harnage Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the largest union of federal workers, said he has been hearing increasing complaints about what his members consider politicization of their work, and said the effect is dampened morale. He asserted that Republicans' use of the federal government is the most aggressive he has seen in 34 years as a union official. "Bush and his administration are making no attempt to cover up what they're doing," Harnage said.
posted by jonah at 8:40 AM on October 24, 2002


I'm a liberal democrat with a Jean Carnahan yard sign in my front yard, but come on. Wah, wah, wah.

The issue is that my tax dollars are funding election campaigns for politicians. Why is it I vote my tax dollars to go to health care, yet they go to see someone who I may disagree with elected into an office that sees no concern for me, as they are in a wholly other state.

It is morally wrong, and a crack, quite large, within the political process.
posted by four panels at 8:40 AM on October 24, 2002


If you read the article, that's where the term "unprecedented" comes from.

I thought it comes from this:

"Scholars called Bush's partisan use of the government unprecedented for a midterm election, and said the aggressiveness and thoroughness of his politicking approached that of a presidential reelection campaign."
posted by four panels at 8:42 AM on October 24, 2002


I am the ghost of Troubled Joe, hung by his pretty white neck.

I'm still trying to get past that Smiths reference. I didn't think anyone remembered those guys.
posted by bradth27 at 8:43 AM on October 24, 2002


Let us never speak of the Clinton Lincoln Bedroom bruhahas ever again.

And on a sidenote, bradth27, I was extremely happy about the Smiths reference too. I love that song. :)

I had no idea Bush was a Smiths fan. ;)
posted by tittergrrl at 8:45 AM on October 24, 2002


It's a matter of degree. It would be impossible to totally prevent politicians from working to support their own party, and it is impossible to prevent them from spending some money for legitimate purposes that may have some political implications.

The fact that the almost-president is supporting his party-mates is not unprecedented. Perhaps the degree to which he is doing so is unprecedented, but I'm sure the next democratic president will be accused by Rush Limbaugh of "unprecedented" activity. If they can't show me a clear line being crossed, it sounds like whining to me.
posted by kcmoryan at 8:49 AM on October 24, 2002


I'm still trying to get past that Smiths reference. I didn't think anyone remembered those guys.

yeh, actually it goes:

a rush and push
and the land that we stand on
is ours

posted by memnock at 8:51 AM on October 24, 2002


I know stuff like this must go on all the time, but it still makes me sick. In Texas, there are huge signs all over that say "Vote Republican: Support President Bush".
posted by sparky at 8:54 AM on October 24, 2002


yeah, the lyrics go that way but the title of the song is: A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:01 AM on October 24, 2002


Of course none of this has anything to do with the Democratic party's absence of leadership and constant waffling on foreign policy issues. Or overly self-destructive primary races. Not to mention the occasional third party candidate leaching votes from democratic candidates. The 'Republicans are evil' line is really tired, the Democrats are as much to blame as anyone.

I fully expect Republicans to retake the Senate, possibly by as many as 4-5 seats. I'm not happy about it, but I won't be surprised when it happens.
posted by joemaller at 9:05 AM on October 24, 2002


"Bush and his administration are making no attempt to cover up what they're doing,"

So it would have been better if they attempted to cover it up?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:05 AM on October 24, 2002


the title of the song is: A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours.

And it is indeed unprecedented. I mean, johnny marr not playing the guitar at all? Do excuse the derail .
posted by robself at 9:06 AM on October 24, 2002


Someone get the facts straight: are these people uglier than you and I?
posted by yerfatma at 9:07 AM on October 24, 2002


People who are not involved with politics will be done in by politics. To sit idly by is inexcusable. Vote Republican!
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:21 AM on October 24, 2002


joemaller: occasional third party candidate leaching votes from democratic candidates

This line is also tired. Can you provide a link that supports this contention?

Although I do not have a link to back this up either, my understanding is that many people who vote for third party candidates, especially young people, would not otherwise have voted at all.
posted by rbellon at 9:21 AM on October 24, 2002


Third party candidates always take votes from one side. Perot hurt both Bush and Dole. T.R.'s Bull Moose helped Wilson take office, and Nader hurt Gore.

Granted, yes some people who would not otherwise have voted at all, vote. But those are votes the Major partys were already not getting, so it doesn't hurt them. What does hurt them are the swing votes that move from the Dems or GOP to the 3rd party...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:31 AM on October 24, 2002


Frankly, Mr. Cheney, this position you've held
It pays your way, but it corrodes your soul
Oh won't you leave, we will not miss you
And you can go down in criminal history

Frankly, Mr. Cheney, we're a sickening wreck,
we've got the 21st century breathing down our neck
we must move fast, you understand me
I want to go down in lame lyric history

Greed, greed, fatal greed
it can play hideous tricks its agreed
but still you'd rather be Famous
than righteous or holy, any day

But sometimes you feel more fulfilled
making death row threats to the mentally ill
You want to live and you want to love
look - Jenna's caught something that you might be ashamed of

Frankly, Mr. Cheney, this position you've held
it pays your way but it corrodes your soul
I didn't realize, that you burnt poetry
(I didn't realize you piled high our nation's poetry)

Frankly, Mr. Cheney, since you ask
you are a flatulent pain in the ass
I do not mean to be so rude,
but still I must speak plainly, Mr. Cheney

Oh, give us Money!

posted by minnesotaj at 9:34 AM on October 24, 2002


Okay, found a link to support my earlier claim. This study claims that Nader did not hurt Gore in the 2000 election. (Although this conclustion may be biased, based on who conducted the study)
posted by rbellon at 9:36 AM on October 24, 2002


minnesotaj gave a poorly attended, but spirited, performance at Metafilter today. Highlights of the show included a tour de force rendition of his/her hit "Frankly Mr. Cheney". Followed by "Rumsfeld in a tutu." Yes, Nothing can match the sweetness of j's gravel-voiced falsetto. While the show fully satisfied j's fans, one question still lingers: Does the j stand for marijuana or coffee?
posted by putzface_dickman at 9:47 AM on October 24, 2002


the washington post doesnt let you access their site without cookies:P Sounds like a plot to me!
posted by MrLint at 9:54 AM on October 24, 2002


It pretty much stands to reason that Nader took votes that would've gone to Gore, however those votes, like the election itself, were Gore's to lose.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:55 AM on October 24, 2002


Just because someone gets elected to a public office doesn't mean that they lose their rights as individual citizens. Every American citizen has the right to promote their party's candidates by whatever legal means they see fit. If they can rally support, more power to them.

If the Dems don't like it, why don't they send "President Gore" and his administration out to rally support for the cause?
posted by oissubke at 9:56 AM on October 24, 2002


I know stuff like this must go on all the time, but it still makes me sick. In Texas, there are huge signs all over that say "Vote Republican: Support President Bush".

sparky, I hate Bush too, but I don't see how that's rare or horrible. Putting up signs supporting a candidate isn't exactly a national travesty; it's called "campaigning."

joemaller, I'm afraid I disagree with almost all of your last post. Though a problem, the Democratic leadership has in fact attempted to be strong during this campaign (save the vote on Iraq, where most were strong and unified in selling out.) A major problem is that for the last two weeks, during the final weeks of the election season in which the news should be focusing on both parties and their campaign issues, the media has been on 24-hour Sniper News Alert. Daschle has been trying to bring attention to the Democratic focus on the economy and domestic policy, focus which most analysises dictate would give more support for the Democrats: the news just isn't covering it.

As far as your prediction goes, no way whatsoever. The most the GOP could take for the Senate is control with maybe a one or two seat advantage. I don't trust polls most of the time, but for 5 or 6 seats to net a swing to Republican like you're predicting would go against nearly every credible poll taken within the last few months. At least a toss-up like this year is 50-50; you're predicting the coin will land sideways. The most either party will gain is 2 seats in the Senate. I believe Zogby has 220 Congressional districts safely leaning Republican, which means no Democratic takeover there.

Green influence will eternally be debatable, but the most credible threat is Minnesota, where the Green's candidate is taking up to 7% in some polls, more than enough to ruin the election for Paul Wellstone.

The crucial issue is MO, because if Carnahan loses, the GOP takes control of the Senate the next morning by rules of the special election. Even if the DNC swept the rest of the country, it would mean two months of a 50-49-1 Republican advantage.

On top of all that, this can go down to the last minute, because as we speak Bush is pressing for a UN resolution which calls for Iraq to comply to demands within seven days. That means any resolution that passes in the UN between now and Monday could mean military action literally within 24 hours of the polls opening.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:59 AM on October 24, 2002


I tried bodysurfing during the concert, but I ended up closing the lid of my laptop and suspending my session. Ah, well. Maybe next time.

When does the CD come out? And, does the t-shirt list the rest of the tour, or is it just minnesotaj's face like the last one?
posted by dwivian at 9:59 AM on October 24, 2002


Just to clarify: I'm not saying the media should only be covering Democratic issues, just that the DNC is currently the opposition party, and as such traditionally benefits from media coverage of the election campaigns.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:02 AM on October 24, 2002


I am particularly outraged that Bush gave seats on Air Force One to lobbyists and donors without asking them to pay for the costs of their airfare. Oh, wait, that wasn't Bush; it was this guy.
posted by profwhat at 10:19 AM on October 24, 2002


For trips that were strictly political in nature, costs were paid either by the DNC or the individual. For trips that were part official and part political, the DNC or the individual were charged only for the share of the airfare deemed political.
Maybe I'm confused, profwhat, but what's the problem with that?
posted by Oops at 10:31 AM on October 24, 2002


XQUZYPHYR, you don't have your stats for minnesota right. The green candidate, tricomo, is pulling barely 1%, while the independence candidate, moore, draws moderates from both parties and has about 4% support (see here).
posted by jnthnjng at 10:34 AM on October 24, 2002


The reason people are upset about this politicing of Bush's is that he ran a campaign OPPOSED to this sort of pandering. Bush claims repeatedly that politics does not influence his policy decisions. Well, politics clearly does. Does anyone remember the flap Gore got for possibly making phone calls of a political nature from an Executive Branch (ie, publically paid for) phone line? And here's all of this, with nary a peep from the media. A similar and interesting article can be found here.http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/20/magazine/20ROVE.html
posted by pjgulliver at 10:57 AM on October 24, 2002


Whoops. I meant here.
posted by pjgulliver at 10:58 AM on October 24, 2002


The article would have been much stronger with examples of this kind of thing from Clinton/Gore. How far did *they* go? I want a specific comparison.

Btw, anyone looking for an example of the utter stupidity of the Democratic Party should read this Washington Monthly article about why Democratic candidates are consciously refusing to discuss how close we are to a massive right-wing tilt in the US courts and legislature. And I'm watching Erskine Bowles run against Elizabeth Dole with ads about his dad?
posted by mediareport at 11:05 AM on October 24, 2002


oissubke: Just because someone gets elected to a public office doesn't mean that they lose their rights as individual citizens. Every American citizen has the right to promote their party's candidates by whatever legal means they see fit. If they can rally support, more power to them.

It's not that simple. According to the article, "[m]ore than 330 administration appointees, some of whom were told by White House officials that they needed to show their Republican credentials, have taken vacation time and are being flown by the party to House and Senate campaigns in states where control of Congress will be decided."

I don't know what % of this administation this constitutes, but given that we're in the midst of an international political crisis that's heading toward war and the economy is doing abysmally, I as a taxpayer want ALL HANDS ON DECK. Companies typically don't let employees take vacation time during key business periods. Our CEO president should know that and follow suit.

Additionally, though the administration is clearly tiptoeing around the problem of "making" people to this, it's clear that this campaigning is effectively being managed by it. Split hairs all you want- they're using company time (funded by me) to rally votes.
posted by mkultra at 11:06 AM on October 24, 2002


I don't know what % of this administation this constitutes, but given that we're in the midst of an international political crisis that's heading toward war and the economy is doing abysmally, I as a taxpayer want ALL HANDS ON DECK.

That's what they're doing. By ensuring a Republican majority, Bush is steering this ship into smooth economic sailing for years to come... ;-)
posted by oissubke at 11:45 AM on October 24, 2002


"...never can sailors boast aloud that their ship has passed her without any loss of men, for with each of her heads she snatches one man away and carries him off from the dark-prowed vessel."
posted by eddydamascene at 12:17 PM on October 24, 2002


sparky, I hate Bush too, but I don't see how that's rare or horrible. Putting up signs supporting a candidate isn't exactly a national travesty; it's called "campaigning."

It's not about hating Bush and the signs don't support "a candidate".

It's misleading because it's using the "wartime"
sentiment of the population (feeling they should support
the President) to generate votes (and majority control)
for the Republican party.

Also, I feel like it plays on the sympathies of people
whose votes are based on who has the biggest political sign planted on the corner. That's why it bothers me.

This is the first year I've paid attention to politics and I'm already thinking of retiring... my head hurts! I need to go kill some brain cells!
posted by sparky at 12:35 PM on October 24, 2002


In Texas, there are huge signs all over that say "Vote Republican: Support President Bush".

I knew South Dakota was in for an electoral shit-storm when the the republican challenger for senate, Rep. John Thune, started running attack ads against Sen. Tom Daschle who isn't up for reelection till 2004 iirc.
posted by nathan_teske at 12:40 PM on October 24, 2002


"...never can sailors boast aloud that their ship has passed her without any loss of men, for with each of her heads she snatches one man away and carries him off from the dark-prowed vessel."

That's not a very nice way to talk about Hillary Clinton. Shame on you.
posted by oissubke at 12:42 PM on October 24, 2002


Wow. Cool. someone managed to do something "unprecedented" - that is not easy in the post-Clinton era, during which so many new precedents were set that its hard to even keep track of them all.
posted by MidasMulligan at 1:18 PM on October 24, 2002


Nice joke, MidasMulligan, but folks like Limbaugh and O'Reilly shrieked to high heaven when it was a Democrat using government resources to campaign.

That said, is anyone else laughting that the Post article unfairly goes back to 1992 to discuss Bush Sr's "funnel meetings," but doesn't find space to mention episodes like the Clinton White House/DNC database coordination, which at the very least raised "ethical questions about the extent to which the White House was used as a base for campaign operations." Hell, Clinton's name isn't even mentioned.
posted by mediareport at 1:42 PM on October 24, 2002


Everything that Rush and the boys railed against in the Clinton administration has been surpassed by the Bushies, except for the blow job part. Which only goes to show that the Republicans work hard, but who do you want to party with?
posted by norm29 at 1:43 PM on October 24, 2002


This is not a partisan/party issue. American democracy has become so expensive to compete in that this kind of abuse has become more prevalent all around, and everybody should be concerned regardless of party sympathies. Campaigns should be publicly funded to level the playing field and put a stop to this fundraising nonsense. TV stations should have to carry spots for free.
posted by muckster at 2:10 PM on October 24, 2002


If Bush forced the White House staff to be held at their desks at gunpoint and forced to call and solicit votes for republicans up for election, two things would happen:

1. Conservatives would think this was just dandy
2. I would not be surprised.

If you REALLY think Rush and Co. will criticize anything Bush does you need your head examined.

George Bush I really wasn't that bad. He was a refreshing change from the senile old man with whom I was not one bit comfortable holding his shaky finger over the button. George Bush I did lots of things wrong, but I never thought he was an evil man. He was simply misguided.

But I really can't stand George Bush II. Like most sequels, he sucks. He is not only misguided, but incompetent.

Is it not clear to everyone that he's stirring up Iraq because his daddy didn't get the job done back in '91? He's defending the family name. I actually do believe that it is "personal" between GBII and Saddam.

If you had told people in '92 that George Bush's son would be leading the nation in 8 years they would have thought you were crazy. They also would have thought you meant Jeb.
posted by Ynoxas at 2:24 PM on October 24, 2002


Midas- come on, that's cheap and you know it. I'm sure you can come up with some rationalization of why this is no big deal, nothing to see here, move along...

Also, I thought Bush was supposed to bring dignity and respect back to the WH?
posted by Ty Webb at 2:26 PM on October 24, 2002


Is it not clear to everyone that he's stirring up Iraq because his daddy didn't get the job done back in '91? He's defending the family name.

Bush the First knew better than to overthrow Saddam at the end of the Gulf War; it's not that he failed to do it, it's that he never intended to do it and hardly anybody wanted him to. (Pace the Iraqis, who weren't formally polled in any event.)

Bush Jr is doing this because he's exhausted the temporary popularity boost he got from turning Afghanistan from a vicious theocratic dystopia into anarchic chaos, and he needs the voters to be focused on something besides the economy, corporate misgovernance (in which top members of his administration are implicated up to their armpits) and gargantuan tax breaks for the wealthy . Just ask Karl Rove.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:47 PM on October 24, 2002


boost he got from turning Afghanistan from a vicious theocratic dystopia into anarchic chaos

MetaFilter: turning dystopia into anarchic chaos!
posted by languagehat at 3:21 PM on October 24, 2002


For trips that were strictly political in nature, costs were paid either by the DNC or the individual. For trips that were part official and part political, the DNC or the individual were charged only for the share of the airfare deemed political.


Maybe I'm confused, profwhat, but what's the problem with that?


Maybe I'm confused but the FPP article states that the government employees were using their vacation time and the party was picking up the tab for their travel. Add to that the fact that no overt coercion or threat has been shown against those who are not supporters and what do we have? The usual sort of drivel that makes the Washington Post mostly worthy of birdcage lining and/or fishwrap. What!? One of the parties is seeking to take control of the Senate?! Say it ain't so!
posted by RevGreg at 4:02 PM on October 24, 2002


VOTE!! Don't agree with Bush, VOTE! Tell all your friends, VOTE! Call your family, VOTE!

It's a democracy, so get involved, get off your asses and VOTE!
posted by CrazyJub at 7:31 PM on October 24, 2002


George_Spiggot: I understand and agree that George Bush 1.0 didn't want, or frankly need, to overthrow Saddam. What I mean is that his efforts, whatever they were, were ineffectual. It changed nothing, except made your average Iraqi suffer needlessly. 10 years later, Saddam still rules.

George Bush 2.0 is trying to fix the history books and cover up his old man's failings.

But 2.0 will most likely call for Saddam's head on a stick. I really do believe it is personal between 2.0 and Saddam. He sure looks like a man on a mission to find "who shot my pa".

The rest of what you say I agree 100% with. The man is dangerous, corrupt, and inept. In my opinion, of course.

MetaFilter: turning dystopia into anarchic chaos!

I vote for that to be turned into one of the upper left-hand Metafilter logos that cycle.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:01 PM on October 24, 2002


I second it!
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:02 PM on October 24, 2002


Midas- come on, that's cheap and you know it. I'm sure you can come up with some rationalization of why this is no big deal, nothing to see here, move along...

No, it isn't "cheap" - if someone wants to start a valid, rational discussion about how government institutions are used for politicing ... fine. But simply another one-sided shot at Bush deserves little other than an equally partisan response. The Clinton White House took the use of government for political purposes to levels not seen before (or since). I do understand that most of the left now wants to say "forget about that completely, stop brining Clinton up, we want to analyze Bush in minute detail without Clinton's behavior ever being mentioned." Probably ain't gonna happen.
posted by MidasMulligan at 9:30 PM on October 24, 2002


so the Democrats abuse fund raising priveleges too. shocker: both parties are crooked! but what does dragging clinton up do for the discussion? you can't hide behind him forever.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:51 PM on October 24, 2002


muckster said: This is not a partisan/party issue. American democracy has become so expensive to compete in that this kind of abuse has become more prevalent all around, and everybody should be concerned regardless of party sympathies.

1999, Democrats use government resources to raise funds: "Impeach him! Democrats are corrupt!"

2002, Republicans use government resources to funds: "This is not a partisan issue."

Sorry to pick on you, muckster, I don't know what your politics are off the top of my head; just tired of Bush and his cronies getting a free pass when they do things that Clinton and his cronies got crucified for.
posted by RylandDotNet at 10:32 PM on October 24, 2002


1999, Democrats use government resources to raise funds: "Impeach him! Democrats are corrupt!"

Sorry but the impeachment was not about campaigning using Air Force One, and Clinton did plenty of that, but about perjury amount other things...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 10:39 PM on October 24, 2002


Minnesotaj: Bravo! : ) Loved the song!

And now I have "A Rush And A Push And The Land Is Ours" stuck in my head!
posted by SisterHavana at 11:11 PM on October 24, 2002


I think you misunderstood me, RylandDotNet. Far be it from me to defend Bush. What I meant was that nobody should get a free pass. Both parties are dangerously addicted to money. This is bad because it a) devours ever-increasing amounts of aforementioned unprecedented time and effort from both parties and b) indebts them to their sponsors rather than to the public. When do you start calling it corruption?

American politics is awash in money, and both parties are busy shovelling in as much as they can before new campaign finance restrictions kick in. It doesn't help to point the finger to Bush or Gore or Clinton--they're all in it together. More on money-in-politics at opensecrets.org.

"We notice that kind of thing, you know."
— Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), thanking members of the Independent Petroleum Association of America for their past political support
posted by muckster at 12:02 AM on October 25, 2002


i for one welcome our new fey indie pop overlords.
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:02 AM on October 25, 2002


No, it isn't "cheap" - if someone wants to start a valid, rational discussion about how government institutions are used for politicing ... fine. But simply another one-sided shot at Bush deserves little other than an equally partisan response.

Weak. The rational discussion is there for you to engage in, but you took the easy way out and excused Bush by bitching about Clinton. I'm certainly not going to defend Clinton, and I don't think criticisms of Clinton are irrelevant, but it's a mistake of the most childish sort to think that legitimate criticisms of Bush can be deflected by more Clinton hating. That should be obvious.
posted by Ty Webb at 9:39 AM on October 25, 2002


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