RNC moves to stop Bush In 30 Seconds Ad Campaign
March 8, 2004 10:34 PM   Subscribe

The Republican National Committee is warning television stations across the country not to run ads from the MoveOn.org Voter Fund that criticize President Bush, charging that the left-leaning political group is paying for them with money raised in violation of the new campaign-finance law.
posted by jasenlee (74 comments total)
 
Meanwhile, the GOP is also at work harassing other candidates directly.

Why isn't Karl Rove just having everyone killed? Is there a laziness factor involved, or does he need to feel sportsmanlike about all this?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:50 PM on March 8, 2004


~laugh~

Those who don't pack the gonadal mass to refute (in this case the Republican National Committee, although we see examples of this horseshit all over, including here on silly ol' MeFi constantly) instead just try to shut people up. Same ol', same ol'.

Here's one take on the dumb tactics of the Repubs:

But the lack of any decision by the FEC so far hasn't stopped the RNC from sending letters to around 250 TV stations urging them not to run the ads by MoveOn. The letters say in part that the stations have a "responsibility to the viewing public, and to your licensing agency, to refrain from complicity in any illegal activity" - never mind that the FEC hasn't yet given in to RNC pressure to come up with new regulations. So while Team Bush will be free to spend $200 million this year saturating the airwaves with tall tales of Bush's "strong, steady leadership" - oh, and don't forget, vote Republican or you're all going to die - people who don't support Bush are in danger of finding themselves hard-pressed to respond, all because of the strongarm tactics of the Republican National Committee. Let's recap... scaring the shit out of the American people - check. Hobbling the investigation into 9/11 - check. Comparing John Kerry to Osama bin Laden - check. Making back-door deals to ensure that a Democratic response is regulated out of existence - check. Trying to silence MoveOn by telling TV stations that their ads are illegal - check. Now I'm just waiting for the Republicans to tell me that Democrats will do anything to win.

And, of course, the really unconscionable advertising is already out there:

Back in January 2002, George W. Bush told leaders of both parties that when it comes to 9/11, "I have no ambition whatsoever to use this as a political issue." I guess this was another one of his famous flubs; what he actually meant to say was "I have no amibtion whatsoever. Let's use this as a political issue." Relatives of the 9/11 victims and members of the International Association of Fire Fighters - not to mention everybody else with a sense of decency - were shocked last week when Bush's first election campaign ads rolled out. Knight-Ridder described the ads as featuring "the smoldering wreckage of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, with a flag flying in the rubble. Another ad shows firefighters carrying a flag-draped stretcher." Said one relative of a 9/11 victim, "Using my dead friends and my dead brother for political expediency is dead wrong... It's wrong, it's bad taste and an insult to the 3,000 people who died on Sept. 11." The weird thing is, the Bush campaign is trying to play this off like it makes Bush look better. The general theme of the ads is "steady leadership in time of change," which is pretty fucking bizarre if you consider the fact that we were doing okay until President Dunce fell asleep at the wheel.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 10:57 PM on March 8, 2004


Why isn't Karl Rove just having everyone killed? Is there a laziness factor involved, or does he need to feel sportsmanlike about all this?

Perhaps it is sportsmanship, or he just likes a good challenge. That, or if he wins, humiliations galore are so much more satisfying than a quick simple killing. I do believe our boy is in it "To the Pain", not the death. Let's hope he loses, and is just left with his perfect ears...
posted by jearbear at 11:04 PM on March 8, 2004


Blaming Bush for 9/11 is less political and crass than acknowledging Bush's leadership following it?
posted by techgnollogic at 11:06 PM on March 8, 2004


i love karl rove
posted by evilcupcakes at 11:09 PM on March 8, 2004


fold_and_mutilate: You link to the DemocraticUnderground.com? Some how I am not shocked.
So while Team Bush will be free to spend $200 million this year saturating the airwaves with tall tales of Bush's "strong, steady leadership" - oh, and don't forget, vote Republican or you're all going to die - people who don't support Bush are in danger of finding themselves hard-pressed to respond, all because of the strongarm tactics of the Republican National Committee.
Guess what? Kerry can raise all the money he wants in $2k or less individual contributions, and spend it the same as Bush is.

And it is not yet clear what the FEC will rule on the issue.

The rest of your comment is so full of bullcrap, it is not worth responding to.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:21 PM on March 8, 2004


Well, if the amount of spine (or lack thereof) the networks have been showing lately is any indication, I predict they cave to the administrations wishes, at least CBS anyway.

Whether the charges have any validity or not, Rove may just be trying to tie the ads up in the courts as much as possible between now and November.
posted by wsg at 11:27 PM on March 8, 2004


fold_and_mutilate might have linked to the DemocraticUnderground, but a link there is worth repeating with a quote:

"With his chief political strategist, Karl Rove, seated behind him in the Cabinet Room, Bush gave House and Senate leaders an update on the fight against terrorists and added: 'I have no ambition whatsoever to use this as a political issue.'"

How can he say the above and now do what he's doing? Someone's pants are on fire, it would seem.
posted by josephtate at 11:57 PM on March 8, 2004


Steve, what's crap? The truth? Oh wait, I'm sorry, the real truth, not the bullshit being forcefed by the assholes in the White House?

Wake up, man. You've been lied to and decieved just as the rest of the country and you're still supporting a two faced Texas twerp? Your entire comment is bullcrap because that's all you've been eating, with both hands, just scooping great big handfulls of shit that Bush and the rest of them have been spreading.

The difference between us and you is that we know its crap and are calling it crap where you've been told its filet mignon. Guess what? Its crap.
posted by fenriq at 11:58 PM on March 8, 2004


Had to come back and post a few links from the George Washington University Democracy In Action web site.

RNC Ad #1 from 2000 Election

RNC Ad #2 from 2000 Election
posted by jasenlee at 12:03 AM on March 9, 2004


RE: "I have no ambition whatsoever to use this as a political issue"

Other Sources:

BBC - Thursday, 24 January, 2002

Daily Utah Chronicle via AP - Thursday, 24 January, 2002
posted by jasenlee at 12:09 AM on March 9, 2004


I still want to know how getting into air force one and proceeding to fly around the country and do boatloads of sweet fuck all for anyone constitutes leadership.

And on another note, not sure of the original person to say this, but "fucking Nader would have bombed Afghanistan."

Leadership my ass, if that's all they have to run on no wonder they're scared shitless.
posted by Space Coyote at 2:30 AM on March 9, 2004


"fucking Nader would have bombed Afghanistan."

David Cross, if memory serves.
posted by RylandDotNet at 2:57 AM on March 9, 2004


RDN: much obliged :)
posted by Space Coyote at 3:07 AM on March 9, 2004


And it is not yet clear what the FEC will rule on the issue.

Quite so. Which means that the RNC is just pretending to be the FEC by asking those local stations to anticipate its decision.

Apparently, those Bush ads were paid for by auctioning stolen bits of the World Trade Center on Ebay. So they should be taken off the air. I don't have any evidence for this, but since assertion is now the standard of proof, anything goes.
posted by riviera at 3:23 AM on March 9, 2004


Didn't Bush meet with the 5 network execs in the WhiteWash House just last week?

The meeting was "off the record" of course.

Wouldn't want the competition to know the "advertising" game plan for how he is gonna spend all that crony, corrupt, capitalist CEO money that's getting squeezed out of our blood daily, would they?

Mind share. Yummm. Take your Soma and support Dear Leader.
posted by nofundy at 4:39 AM on March 9, 2004


Exercise your right to not vote. The politicians are all the same, and voting only encourages 'em.
posted by LowDog at 4:43 AM on March 9, 2004


Don't step in the leadership.
posted by Goofyy at 5:02 AM on March 9, 2004


I'm wondering if all this political fury will translate into activism. Additionally, will the upper middle class in this country, even those that vote Republican, turn on the president as the perception increases that he isn't playing the political game as nobley as he should? Can Rove go to far among Rovians?
posted by ewkpates at 5:20 AM on March 9, 2004


bullcrap. bullcrap bullcrap BULLCRAP!

Well, if the amount of spine (or lack thereof) the networks have been showing lately is any indication,

It's worse than that. The RNC isn't going after the networks here, it's bullying the local stations. Which means Joe Blow station manger at WEBF in Tuscaloosa is getting a letter accusing him of being complicit in a "crime" if he airs these ads.
posted by jpoulos at 5:42 AM on March 9, 2004


Intimidation it is, but shouldn't we be horrified that George Soros is using is prodigious wealth to move an election? Would it be any worse it it was Adolph Coors's dough?
posted by ednopantz at 7:44 AM on March 9, 2004


I'm beginning to think that Bush/Rove & Co. have been modeling their strategies after the boys in CREEP. Just like a lot of the paranoid actions surrounding anti-war protestors remind me of J. Edgar Hoover*. Perhaps they're all banking on people's historical ignorance.

On a certain level this is encouraging considering what finally happened to the CREEP boys at least.

*Although I doubt Karl Rove or Ashcroft have the same sartorial flair.
posted by jonmc at 7:50 AM on March 9, 2004


Why isn't Karl Rove just having everyone killed? Is there a laziness factor involved, or does he need to feel sportsmanlike about all this?

Nice, XQetc. Maybe he's worn out from hunting birds with Dick Cheney. Or else Halliburton got the no-bid contract, and the price they're charging the government for bullets is now out of his reach.
posted by LeLiLo at 8:04 AM on March 9, 2004


I wonder if Ed Gillespie is going to get a question about this on the Daily Show tonight...

So, to be clear, not only do the Republicans enjoy the comfort of a $100 million dollar funding advantage now, but they're hamstringing what that money's supposed to be defending against.

Nice.
posted by Busithoth at 8:05 AM on March 9, 2004


RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE !!!!
posted by a3matrix at 8:07 AM on March 9, 2004


which is pretty fucking bizarre if you consider the fact that we were doing okay until President Dunce fell asleep at the wheel.

Cause, you know, Osama bin Laden didn't come to power until 2001....

We just hadn't been attacked yet. I doubt it would have mattered who was in da WH at the time.

I'm annoyed at the use of 9/11 after saying it shouldn't be exploited, but I also think Kerry's continual "Hey! I was in Vietnam!" ads are deceitful, too (he was there 4 months, took, three minor wounds and used a technicality of the Purple Heart program to get rotated home).
posted by dwivian at 8:07 AM on March 9, 2004


*Although I doubt Karl Rove or Ashcroft have the same sartorial flair.

you mean like breathing.

When President Richard Nixon heard the news, he was also shocked: "Jesus Christ! That old cocksucker!" Publicly, he called Hoover a "truly remarkable man" and "one of his closest friends and advisers."
posted by clavdivs at 8:11 AM on March 9, 2004


I also think Kerry's continual "Hey! I was in Vietnam!" ads are deceitful, too (he was there 4 months, took, three minor wounds and used a technicality of the Purple Heart program to get rotated home).

I'm not a huge Kerry fan, but this is just an absurd criticism. 120 days under fire running gunboats up the Mekong, wounded thrice, isn't a big deal? Dear Jebus.
posted by norm at 8:12 AM on March 9, 2004


I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that said "BOWLERS AGAINST BUSH!" ...that really made my day.
posted by norm111 at 8:21 AM on March 9, 2004


120 days under fire running gunboats up the Mekong, wounded thrice, isn't a big deal? Dear Jebus.

Especially in comparison to whasisname.

There are criticisms of Kerry, but this ain't one of 'em.
posted by chicobangs at 8:23 AM on March 9, 2004


I saw one that said, "I Support Rush And The Troops"
posted by mcsweetie at 8:25 AM on March 9, 2004


"I also think Kerry's continual "Hey! I was in Vietnam!" ads are deceitful, too (he was there 4 months, took, three minor wounds and used a technicality of the Purple Heart program to get rotated home)."

I think that "continual" is more of a comment on the media, rather than Kerry himself. He may mention it, along with other historical things he's done, but I think Vietnam's been a better story than anything else he mentions. Nothing else gets the same reaction from a reader.

That said, I think his Vietnam service was (and is best) used to contrast what he did and what the Mr. Bush did.
posted by Busithoth at 8:26 AM on March 9, 2004


That's 4 more months than Bush served in Vietnam.

Kerry probably has less DUIs, too.
posted by clevershark at 8:27 AM on March 9, 2004


I'm withholding judgement until I see Kerry in a flight suit on an aircraft carrier.

It's important to have all the facts.
posted by chicobangs at 8:34 AM on March 9, 2004


I hate to say this, but Kerry and Bush both strike me as disengenuous, creepy insiders. And now I must go take a shower.
posted by mecran01 at 9:28 AM on March 9, 2004


I hate to say this, but Kerry and Bush both strike me as disengenuous, creepy insiders.

Dude, it's politics. You expecting nuns & Cub Scouts or something?
posted by jonmc at 9:37 AM on March 9, 2004


Calling all Rebups of MIFI, why can't we have a fair debate? Do your party leaders fear the outcome?
posted by Bag Man at 9:42 AM on March 9, 2004


We just hadn't been attacked yet. I doubt it would have mattered who was in da WH at the time.

I'm not 100% convinced of that. While I doubt that if Gore had won Al Quaeda would have scrapped its plans altogether, I think there's a case to be made that having the son of the man who dropped bombs all over the Middle East in office may have invigorated their campaign against us.
posted by jpoulos at 10:45 AM on March 9, 2004


y'know...sins of the father and all that.
posted by jpoulos at 10:45 AM on March 9, 2004


jpoulos, you're generally speaking a reasonable guy. Do you honestly believe that, or are you just trying to start a fight?
posted by jonmc at 10:57 AM on March 9, 2004


I'm wondering if all this political fury will translate into activism. Additionally, will the upper middle class in this country, even those that vote Republican, turn on the president as the perception increases that he isn't playing the political game as nobley as he should?

The perception is largely simply realistic. Presidential politics is bloodsport. Every conceivable tactic in the book will be used. By BOTH PARTIES. Even the numerous attempts here on the big blue - to paint the Republicans as deeply corrupt evil in contrast with the "noble" Democrats, is just another part of the larger environment.

The NY Post has an interesting article today about Kerry's wife. Who runs a foundation. That funds other foundations. That fund other foundations. That will be attacking Bush throughout the coming several months. Of course, the appearance that these attacks are part of some spontaneous, "populist" movement is far more effective than attacks directly funded by the immense wealth of Ms. Heinz and Mr. Soros. (Is this the nature of the "fair debate" Democrats are seeking?)

I wonder when Democrats are going to realize that Kerry & Co. are every much a part of "big business" as Bush is. That just as many very powerful, very rich people are in Kerry's corner (and will damn well expect their money to buy political influence for their business interests should Kerry get elected). That these people will use every tactic available to achieve their ends in the same way that the Bush people will.

I certainly have no problem with people strongly supporting their candidate of choice - but the bizarre formula that seems to unfold often on MeFi strikes me as genuinely peculiar ... the Republicans will be "discovered" using some tactic that is fairly equally used by both parties, but it will be asserted as further evidence that Republicans alone are dirty, or corrupt. Heads will shake. Many tsk tsk's will be expressed. The notion that anyone could even vote Republican once "the truth" is widely known will be considered incomprehensible (so naturally the only people that do vote Republican do so for selfish reasons, while those who vote Democratic are virtuous and "noble" and do so for selfless reasons).

Rubbish. This is a normal election. Both parties will use every tactic available to them. Both will need to try to reach out to as many different interests as they can. Both will try to raise as much money as they can. Both will quietly use every trick in the book behind the scenes, while publicly accusing the other side of using the same tricks.

The "upper middle class" ... and income segments above them ... are generally political pragmatists. They understand what politics is, and how the influence game is played. Actually (in my experience, at any rate), they largely parse all of that out as junk - that has little to do with decision making.

For whatever its worth, the wealthy I know that are still undecided don't even view the campaign as having begun yet. They ignore television ads, and the daily press releases and sound bites. They look, in detail, at positions. They do know where Bush stands on most issues (say what you want about him ... he simply is what he is, and if you vote for him, you know exactly what you're going to get). They do not yet know where Kerry stands. (I was at a private dinner the other night, for instance, with a group of people that run technology firms, and there was a long discussion about Kerry's approach to international trade and offshore outsourcing, issues that mattered pretty seriously to this group ... and there was genuine confusion about it ... on the one hand, Kerry has voted for virtually every free trade agreement he could, and his wife has significant holdings in companies that outsource to the third world - on the other hand, his recent rhetoric seems to imply that he'll suddenly be quite different if he gets into office. The tentative consensus at the table, by the way, was that he's most likely to use the very successful Clinton formula ... go far left on the rhetoric to cement the environmental and labor constituencies, but at the functional level in office, continue to support and expand trade, with a few superficial caveats tossed into trade agreements to appease the left.)

Point is, what's going to matter among most of the undecideds - oddly enough - is going to be the actual positions and platforms the candidates lay out. Despite all the nasty rhetoric and weird tricks played by politicians, the US generally does wind up electing Presidents and Congresses in a surprisingly rational fashion.

So far as "political fury" translating into Republicans changing their votes to find someone running a "nobler" campaign ... they probably don't see the candidate who talks about Bush "fucking it up", and whose wife wears "Asses of Evil" buttons as being exactly the first place that would come to mind, nobility-wise ...

Politics is fun.
posted by MidasMulligan at 11:01 AM on March 9, 2004


You know I just skip over posts that are more than two meters long. If you can't get your point across in 40 cm you are an ineffective writer.
posted by sic at 11:22 AM on March 9, 2004


Despite all the nasty rhetoric and weird tricks played by politicians, the US generally does wind up electing Presidents and Congresses in a surprisingly rational fashion.

I wonder. Are the ugly, disgraceful incidents like Florida 2000 and Georga 2002 a sign that we're plumbing new depths, or is it a case of "t'was ever thus" only now the word is managing to get out a little better?

Every conceivable tactic in the book will be used. By BOTH PARTIES.

So it comes down to what sort of tactic you're capable of conceiving of? The rumor campaign in the 2000 South Carolina Republican primary comes to mind:
Publicly, McCain says that what infuriated him -- and made his team go negative -- was an accusation that he had abandoned fellow veterans after returning from five years of torture as a POW in Vietnam. Privately, though, McCain went ballistic because of a whispering campaign that spread like wildfire in South Carolina: did voters know, Bush's surrogates asked them in mass phone-ins, that 63-year-old McCain is the father of a black child?
It would be nice to beleive that there some depths to which some candidates won't sink. I've never heard it suggested that Kerry would go anywhere near this. We'll see what happens as the campaign progresses.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:23 AM on March 9, 2004


It would be nice to beleive that there some depths to which some candidates won't sink. I've never heard it suggested that Kerry would go anywhere near this. We'll see what happens as the campaign progresses.

Bush himself won't go near it either. ". Both candidates will stay above the fray. It is those your quote calls "surrogates" that will do the grunt work. Kerry himself certainly will not stoop to comparing Bush directly to Hitler - but his "surrogates" at MoveOn have no problem doing so. Kerry himself won't lable Bush "AWOL", or directly spread unproven slander in "whispering campaigns", but his surrogates certainly will.

I repeat, this odd notion that one of the candidates is somehow "nobler" than the other, or that one party will use the worst tricks, while the other will delibrately decide not to use a dirty tactic because it isn't ethical ... just is not - IMO - a realistic view of politics.
posted by MidasMulligan at 11:41 AM on March 9, 2004


Bag Man - you said Calling all Rebups of MIFI, why can't we have a fair debate? Do your party leaders fear the outcome?

And then MidasMulligan answered.

And the Sic explained why we, from myself (when I can resist) to some bloggers I know (stephen denbeste, Michele@asmallvictory, and others) have given up in here. And we're not necessarily repubs (I can't speak for Stephen who I don't know but admire in his thoroughness and ability to admit when he's wrong, and I can't speak for Michele because she can damn well speak for herself) but it's tough to debate when someone posts something and the response is either "Bush is eeeeevil" or, as Sic eloquently put it:

You know I just skip over posts that are more than two meters long. If you can't get your point across in 40 cm you are an ineffective writer.

Well, that and the namecalling. IF you don't think there's namecalling, well, check my posting history and see the responses I get.

I remember we had a civilized debate about something here on MeFi once. Once.
posted by swerdloff at 11:42 AM on March 9, 2004


What sic said.
posted by terrapin at 11:57 AM on March 9, 2004


Midas, not so much pot-and-kettle as apples-and-oranges. MoveOn doesn't take orders from Kerry, they didn't produce the 'hitler' ads, nor did they ever use them for anything. They did show a lapse of judgement (or at least savvy) in allowing them to appear on their site among 1500 other public contributions; if they erred it was in failing to censor them. See also MoveOn's response which also mentions Bush ads which actually did air.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:58 AM on March 9, 2004


I remember we had a civilized debate about something here on MeFi once. Once.

When?

"Ineffective writer" is a pretty mild epithet, all told. And Mulligan's right about big business having their hands up both puppets' asses. But that's no reason for one side to just shut up about the other side, especially when they've been shown, repeatedly, to be openly and blatantly corrupt and contradictory about their real aims in running the country (into the ground).

If the best the Republican pointyheads can do is complain about some losing submissions to an online video contest, than that tells me a lot about how well thought out their election plans are.
posted by chicobangs at 12:08 PM on March 9, 2004


Midas: In an earlier thread you seemed to accept the fundamentalist christian wing of your party --I belive you called yourself an Any Rand conservative-- and the Bush gay marriage ban amendment as 'just politics', despite the fact that their influence on your party has a profound influence on the country, especially when their (your) candidate wins the presidency. Now if I'm reading your (shorter!) post right believe that there are no noble candidates and that politics always was and is a dirty business.

While I agree with the assessment, I can't simply accept it with a shrug and a wry smile like you seem to. I assume you vote so my question is, why do so many American voters accept that politics is one long shit river? How many political and social compromises are you willing to make as long as your core goals, whatever they may be, are met?

Swerdloff: I generally read Midas' (and everyone else's) posts, but they do tend to be very loooong and self-important and I felt like making a joke about it. If I've ruined your Mefi experience, I apologize and I'm sorry to see you go.

Kind of.
.
posted by sic at 12:09 PM on March 9, 2004


If you can't get your point across in 40 cm you are an ineffective writer.

Try reducing your browser's font size, or do what I've done: enable the Text-to-Speech feature in Windows. I've even assigned different voices to different users. sic, for instance, sounds like Julia Child. I saved James Earl Jones for y2karl. :)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:09 PM on March 9, 2004


I think the problem here is that we continually get stuck in party-based bickering. We need to look beyond the "look how bad Republicans are" aspect of this, and realize that this is wrong. I don't care who is does it.

Why is politics so unethical? Is it because politicians are basically competing for the same handouts from corporations so that they can pass pro-corp. laws?
posted by graventy at 12:14 PM on March 9, 2004


do what I've done: enable the Text-to-Speech feature in Windows. I've even assigned different voices to different users

Can I have Wolfman Jack? Pleease?
posted by jonmc at 12:15 PM on March 9, 2004


Well, if you're taking requests, C_D, I wanna sound like Sarah Vaughan. Or Elvis, whichever.
posted by chicobangs at 12:18 PM on March 9, 2004


Civil_Disobedient, jonmc : no irony! Mefi used to be a solemn forum for intellectual debate and now you've gone and ruined everything!

And don't forget to simmer the shit sauce and give it a vigorous stir every 5 minutes until the next election!

.
posted by sic at 12:20 PM on March 9, 2004


chicobangs already sounds like Sarah Vaughan. I can vouch for this. However, he wears an evening gown with far less panache.
posted by jonmc at 12:23 PM on March 9, 2004


Aw, Wolfman, you're just jealous. One day I'll be the friggin' President, and then you'll compliment the way I look in a dress, won't you?

Mhm.
posted by chicobangs at 12:32 PM on March 9, 2004


Yes, but at that point, I'll be playing G. Gordon Liddy to your Nixon, thus rendering it all moot! Moot, I say!
posted by jonmc at 12:40 PM on March 9, 2004


What George_Spiggott said.
posted by Bag Man at 12:48 PM on March 9, 2004


Yes! Moot you do say!

...

(We have eight more months of this crap? Jeezus. We better pace ourselves.)
posted by chicobangs at 12:48 PM on March 9, 2004


I've even assigned different voices to different users.

Can I be Kermit the frog?
posted by terrapin at 12:48 PM on March 9, 2004


Midas, not so much pot-and-kettle as apples-and-oranges. MoveOn doesn't take orders from Kerry, they didn't produce the 'hitler' ads, nor did they ever use them for anything. They did show a lapse of judgement (or at least savvy) in allowing them to appear on their site among 1500 other public contributions; if they erred it was in failing to censor them. See also MoveOn's response which also mentions Bush ads which actually did air.

That was merely an example ... but the response proves the point: Kerry can distance himself completely from anything MoveOn does ... just as MoveOn, realizing it went so far overboard that it risked serious blowback, modified its stance ... and then attempted to distance itself from the ads (They weren't ours! They slipped through! Oops. But look at this Bush ad! It proves we want a more "fact based" election process, while the RNC doesn't!). Yeah, right.

But you are correct ... my example was more of an apples & oranges than a pot vs. Kettle comparison to yours. The correct example to use would be Howard Dean ... who frightened the power brokers in the Democratic party establishment (in a way, actually, quite similar to the way McCain upset the Republican establishment). While he certainly willing participated in his own destruction, you'd better believe that whether he did or didn't, there was not a chance in hell the DNC was going to let him be the candidate. The actual tactics used - by either party - to achieve their ends don't actually matter that much to me. The fact that they both - invariably - decide (largely behind the scenes) who the annointed candidates will be is simply a truth. The fact that they will both, to whatever degree they can, make certain their candidate stays above fray and looks "Presidential" ... while at the same time depending upon all sorts of other loosely affiliated interest groups to play smash-mouth poitics is also a truth.

But so what? What will matter in the end is the actual stance the candidates take on the issues. What I notice - here on MeFi - is that (for instance) on March 8, there are four FPP's directly attacking Bush, and a couple of others with oblique references. I expect this to be pretty much the norm for the next number of months ... i.e., this is not a place where a substantive discussion of issues is going to happen. It is, in fact, going to be part of the smash-mouth politics level of the game. So there's little chance that an argument asserting that both parties play equally dirty will be acknowledged here.

But for most of those in this country that are not already standing firmly in one camp's corner - the perception is that the "true believers" on both sides of the aisle are equally nasty.

I'd go on, but I've been reminded that I need to be sensitive to those in our community suffering from limited attention spans. (hee hee).
posted by MidasMulligan at 12:56 PM on March 9, 2004


If being critical of an incumbent's record is dirty, why have elections at all? Why not just vote based on who can throw a baseball faster? The American people have the right to see Bush's record put to the test. Is it because if they did, Bush would be out in a New York minute?
posted by Bag Man at 12:56 PM on March 9, 2004


Do you honestly believe that, or are you just trying to start a fight?

How is that unreasonable? I didn't say I believed it. I said it's a possibility, one which I haven't heard anyone explore.

Why would that be so provocative?
posted by jpoulos at 12:59 PM on March 9, 2004


I'd go on, but I've been reminded that I need to be sensitive to those in our community suffering from limited attention spans. (hee hee).

Or those who prefer to filter noise out of the signal while they try and juggle their work day ;)
posted by terrapin at 1:05 PM on March 9, 2004


I know that's not what you meant to imply, but the phrasing seemed to imply that if Bush wasn't President, 9/11 wouldn't have happened, thus we brought it on ourselves somehow. Which could be seen as provocative.
posted by jonmc at 1:10 PM on March 9, 2004


some bloggers I know (stephen denbeste, Michele@asmallvictory, and others) have given up in here

Can you point me to anything Michelle has ever written that would suggest she'd raise the tone of the debate?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:23 PM on March 9, 2004


You know, if all the users who "don't like Metafilter anymore because of the anti-Bush rhetoric" really wanted that to end, they could just support Kerry getting elected and we'd all stop talking about Bush after that. Promise.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 2:31 PM on March 9, 2004


i know it's a web poll . . . but i just got some spam requesting that i vote for whom i would support for president . . . and it was from this website . . . the results are uh, suprising to say the least.
posted by nyoki at 3:24 PM on March 9, 2004


i can't find the link directly on their page . . . but this is the link if you want to chime in on the American Family Association poll that shows Kerry in a huge lead over Bush.
posted by nyoki at 3:47 PM on March 9, 2004


nyoki, what do you bet that they've made it hard to find because they don't like the way it's going? AFA has a way of quietly backing away from their polls when they don't like the results..
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:08 PM on March 9, 2004


But for most of those in this country that are not already standing firmly in one camp's corner - the perception is that the "true believers" on both sides of the aisle are equally nasty.

And plenty of people will say that things like emotion and "vibe" shouldn't effect how you vote. They're right that it shouldn't be the deciding factor. But when someone is bubbling over with a surplus of judgemental wrath (as true believers always are), it's human nature to worry about when they're gonna turn that wrath on you.
posted by jonmc at 6:18 PM on March 9, 2004


Midas, I respect your intelligence and I always read your posts, but I really have to call you out on that 'substantive discussion' comment. It seems like a rhetorical trick to deflect commentary about an incident which smacks of the kind of thuggery that American politics is being killed by, to say "oh, we never get to discuss the issues here on mefi." And to your, credit, you are discussing it. But you seem to imply that this isn't really an issue, and even if it was nobody is discussing it. Well, maybe there are some jokes and snarks, but hey, that's part of the big tapestry. Stop whining about the bad posts, they're always going to be there.

And overall, if mefi is all lefty (which I am willing to concede), does that invalidate this? I'm sorry, but but the rep party is becoming synonymous with winning elections with lies, deceit, and fakery. Witness the incident recorded in the paperback edition of 'The Best Democracy Money Can Buy". Katherine Harris, so outraged at the suggestion that her office skewed voter registration rolls for Bush, sent the author a cd with databases of all the voters registered. Assuming that it wasn't pure stupidity on her part, I think she assumed that nobody would ever be able to decode the undocumented db files. Of course, somebody did. And discovered that there were hundreds of people blocked from the rolls due to the fact that they were ex-cons. For crimes committed in the future.

I am perfectly aware that the Dems do this kind of crap too. However, I really think that the Reps are getting more and more shameless. They seem to have adopted that Bush mentality of 'If I say it, it's true'. So saying "nothing improper happened" clears it up. Just like saying "the economy is strong" gives us all our jobs back. Seriously, if the Rep party wants intellectuals to stop attacking it, it should at least pretend it can win elections without lies and felonies.
posted by lumpenprole at 6:54 AM on March 10, 2004


When Campaign Finance Reform was being debated, civil libertarians decried it as being an infringement on free speech. Not so, we were told by its supporters--largely Democrats--the First Amendment guarantees the right to free speech, but not the right to expend money to speak.

Now, reap what you've sown.

And yes, I know the RNC is not the FEC, and the RNC has no power to actually determine how the campaign finance law is applied. But the fact that it cannot be guaranteed that the FEC won't agree with the RNC's interpretation ("And it is not yet clear what the FEC will rule on the issue.") does nothing at all to quell the nausea I feel when I think of that law.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:40 AM on March 10, 2004


One reason we don't hear from a lot of people on the republican side here, is because basing your important decisions on the fact that you don't like gay people or minorities, want forced mandatory religion, or plan to be among the wealthy elite any day now, sound pretty stupid when you actually take the time to write them down.

But we should continue the little lie that they really are some sort of persecuted martyrs, because it beats having to wade through the tortured logic required to convince anyone that there are actually any intelligent reasons to support the republicans.
posted by milovoo at 9:48 AM on March 10, 2004


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