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May 31, 2004 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Bush campaign lies with unprecedented frequency. Making history with unprecedented negativity.
posted by four panels (76 comments total)

 
The article states the Bush campaign is displaying unprecendented negativity. The lies are just par for the course in an election campaign.

So you are not exactly doing the truth a service either...
posted by srboisvert at 12:24 PM on May 31, 2004


No, the article states that Bush is lying more than past campaigns and his lies are increasingly negative. He's not lying about his record, he's distorting Kerry's. It basically comes down to the fact Bush cannot run on his "accomplishments" so all he can do is try to slander Kerry and make sure undecided voters remain undecided and don't have any motivation to vote.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:31 PM on May 31, 2004


My guess as to what will happen is that Bush will continue to campaign negatively, but blame will be placed (successfully) on Kerry in the public's mind.
posted by drezdn at 12:37 PM on May 31, 2004


Aside: I love how the URL's referrer tag is emailarticle, which implies that WaPo will pick up the tens of thousands of MeFi hits as recicpients of this article, emailed. Gotta love screwing with statistics.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 12:50 PM on May 31, 2004


srboisvert is correct. The article refers to unprecedented negativity not lies.

"In terms of the magnitude of the distortions, those who study political discourse say Bush's are no worse than those that have been done since, as Stanford University professor Shanto Iyengar put it, 'the beginning of time.'"

My subjective impression is that this administration lies more often and egregiously than any I have observed in the last 20 some years of following politics. But this article does not speak to that.
posted by Manjusri at 12:53 PM on May 31, 2004


OK, will you accept "extraordinary" instead of "unprecendented"?

Scholars and political strategists say the ferocious Bush assault on Kerry this spring has been extraordinary, both for the volume of attacks and for the liberties the president and his campaign have taken with the facts.
 
posted by nicwolff at 1:22 PM on May 31, 2004


Extra, extra -- Milbank thinks Bush's campaign is dishonest:
The Post's article is sub-titled "scholars say campaign is making history with often-misleading attacks." But the only scholars cited who address the issue of whether the Bush ads contain history-making levels of misleading information are Jamieson and Stanford professor Shanto Iyengar. If one reads far enough, one finds Iyengar saying that Bush's ads are no more distorted than those that have appeared since "the beginning of time." Even Jamieson does not say that Bush's ads are more misleading than the norm. Rather, she claims that Bush has made more misleading statements than Kerry. She cites two reasons. First, Bush has leveled many more specific charges than Kerry has. Second, Kerry supposedly learned from the troubles caused by Gore's misstatements. Thus, even if one makes the leap of faith required to assume that Jamieson is a fair arbiter of what is honest, it seems that one need only go back as far as the year 2000 to find precedent for Bush's alleged level of dishonesty. But I suspect that one would back to 2000 in vain in search of front-page Washington Post articles about Gore's dishonesty.


The real source of the view that Bush is making history with misleading attacks is not "scholars" but Milbank himself. And he tries to back it up with a few examples. But nearly all of them turn out to be dubious. For example, Milbank considers it "a torrent of deception" for the Bush campaign to have said that "Kerry would raise taxes by at least $900 billion." Milbank notes that Kerry "has said no such thing; the number was developed by the Bush campaign's calculations of Kerry's proposals." But that is only misleading if the calculations are improper, and Milbank does not assert, much less show, that they are. Similarly, the Bush campaign is taken to task for claiming that Kerry "has questioned whether the war on terror is really a war at all." Milbank sniffs that "Kerry did not question the war on terrorism." I don't know what specific statement by Kerry (if any) the Bush campaign was referring to, but Kerry apparently has said that the threat of terrorism is exaggerated. Thus, without getting into metaphysical questions (e.g. what constitutes questioning what constitutes a war) it seems clear that Kerry has questioned the urgency of the fight against terrorism, which is the essence of the Bush campaign's charge.


The final word on this matter should go to Jamieson, again from her Clinton-defending days. Then, she said "it's important to know that Dole and Clinton differ on the minimum wage, that Dole and Clinton differ on family medical leave. Those are important distinctions. You learn about those distinctions in the Clinton ads." To the charge that Clinton was distorting Dole's views when his campaign said that Dole had opposed Medicare, Jamieson responded that you would expect Dole to correct the misleading inference that he didn't care about the health of the elderly in his own ads. I would argue that, today, it is important to know that Bush and Kerry differ on taxes and how to fight terrorism. And if Kerry wants the public to know that he thinks the war on terrorism is a war, albeit one of exaggerated importance, let is him say so in his own ads, rather than relying on Jamieson, Milbank and the Washington Post.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:23 PM on May 31, 2004


Josh Marshall:
"By all means, read the article, which, if following the dictates of Strunk & White, might be titled "Bush Campaign Lies with Unprecedented Frequency". But if you'd like a more immediate and tangible read on the sorts of campaigns the two are running, stop by the campaign sites of President Bush and John Kerry.

"Now, look at how often, candidate A's face appears on the front page of candidate B's website, and vice versa. For instance, as of the early morning hours of Monday, John Kerry's face appears 6 times on the front of the Kerry website, while President Bush's face appears not once. On Bush's website, Kerry's face appears 4 times. Bush's face, not once. "
I'm not sure I've heard any positive reason to vote for Bush yet, unless you count, "I started this mess, so I'm the best guy to get us out!"
posted by kaibutsu at 1:25 PM on May 31, 2004


And meanwhile, the race is still neck-and-neck (or, lately, Kerry pulling ahead), even after tens of millions of dollars of negative ads. What does that tell you about the incumbent?
posted by amberglow at 1:28 PM on May 31, 2004


Anyone interested in trying to sort out campaign lies (on all sides) should visit FactCheck.org, a new Annenberg project. From their mission statement:
We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit, "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase public knowledge and understanding.
Check for yourself and decide.
posted by obloquy at 1:29 PM on May 31, 2004


If Bush wins its simply because of radical right Christians who want a reason to vote against Kerry, despite all evidence that points to the reasonable opinion that Bush has had the worst record of any presidents ever. I mean the guy doesn't even want to uphold the constitution and he has basically made the White House a subsidiary of oil and other energy companies. (I think I have a point under all that troll.)

Anyway I needed to vent. Point is Bush has nothing to run and so he's running on lies that pray on people's fears. Perhaps the the best point is despite his incumbency, money, and the lack of Kerry response Bush is sinking like a stone.
posted by Bag Man at 1:44 PM on May 31, 2004


The various attempts at reading correctly what the article says is a good indication that the Bush idea of No Child Left Behind act is a good idea. Alas, the program is itself a lie.
posted by Postroad at 1:52 PM on May 31, 2004


Check for yourself and decide.

Don't forget Dbunker and Kerry's positions.

**Warning: these links are not fair and balanced and highly partisan (but remember everything Bush does and says is non-partisan and not a product political opportunism)**

You decide...
posted by Bag Man at 1:54 PM on May 31, 2004


I still can't believe that the media somehow got suckered into questioning Kerry's military record (on Bush's behalf) yet somehow danced around Bush's highly dubious attendance record with the National Guard during the Vietnam era.

Liberal media my *ss.
posted by clevershark at 2:02 PM on May 31, 2004


The point is not that they're lying during the campaign, it's that they're been lying ever since they got into office. About more or less everything. Entire books have been written describing all the lies. The idea seems to be that if you misrepresent practically everything you say or do, a) people can't believe you could possibly be that blatant, or b) they give up counting after your top ten lies.

Just the fact that they've got people debating campaign lies, instead of all lies, all the time, means they're winning the discussion.
posted by LeLiLo at 2:06 PM on May 31, 2004


How many Presidential candidates in recent memory have not either lied, shaded the truth or gone exceedingly negative in an unfair fashion, not that there is anything OK with this?
posted by caddis at 2:47 PM on May 31, 2004


I linked this story already a few hours ago. anyway, it's always fun to see FoxNews watchers / Bush fans finally noticing one of the very few Dc reporters who doesn't swallow every lie that comes out of McClellan's mouth.
watch out for the demonization (Krugman-ization) of poor Milbank very soon.
right-wingers certainly don't seem to slam Elizabeth Bumiller.
or, you, know, poor Judith Miller.
and waht about Jack Kelley?
hardly a peep.

Steve (et al), nevermind the damn liberal Milbank -- your buddy's campaign admits that 75% of their ads is negative. 75. and it's not even June. I understand that the glory days of the Willie Horton lynching bring back happy Bush Family memories. but really, 75% now? talk about mudslinging.

as others have noted, we'll see how the damn liberal media jumps on the "Cheney-waged-war-for-the-good-of-Halliburton's-pockets" story.

"mushroom cloud".
"wmd's"
"imminent threat"
"Jessica Lynch fought to the death"
"six or seven bad apples"
blah blah blah

damn liar, that Milbank. he should go investigate Hillary Clinton -- her hairdresser/wardrobe expenses, or something. tsk tsk.
posted by matteo at 3:11 PM on May 31, 2004


Things I noticed about GWB's website:
- Kerry is featured quite prominently. (somewhat less so now, compared to a couple of days ago when I first looked at it.)
- It's full of lies. I know basically nothing about US politics, and even I can spot several.
- To judge by the writing style, the target audience has very poor reading comprehension.

Kerry's website:
- That flash ad is pretty lame.
- The little five-point star in the logo is upside-down! He's a satanist!, (or a mason, or a mormon or something.)
posted by sfenders at 3:14 PM on May 31, 2004


And meanwhile, the race is still neck-and-neck (or, lately, Kerry pulling ahead), even after tens of millions of dollars of negative ads. What does that tell you about the incumbent?

Or perhaps more relevant, what does that tell you about the electorate?
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:17 PM on May 31, 2004


caddis: any programmer knows that if you use an OR, you will get more results.

now, if you AND all of that...
posted by y0bhgu0d at 3:19 PM on May 31, 2004


Willie Horton ad here, for those who were too young in '88

cue photo of unshaven black man
booming voice: "America Can't Afford That Risk"
seems like yesterday... ;)

it's clear that for Bush '04 the idea is Kerry = Dukakis
it'll be fun to see what will be Kerry's Ricky Ray Rector "See? I'm not Dukakis" moment. if they'll manage to come up with one of course.

but I admit that the Bush campaign "KeystoneKops" black and white anti-Kerry ad is very funny. dishonest as hell, but very funny. semel in anno, really

posted by matteo at 3:22 PM on May 31, 2004


The Willie Horton alumni association
Memories of the controversial 1988 ad are stirred as George W. Bush appears at a university with ties to the ad's creator.

posted by matteo at 3:23 PM on May 31, 2004


Civil_Disobedient,

Hopefully it tells us that no matter which way people vote they will not decide based on either candidates negitive ads. They will hopelly decide on Bush's record. If you like Bush's politics and hanlding of the country vote for him, and if you do not like Bush then vote for Kerry; end of story. Personally I think that the disintegration of the situation in Iraq and the poor job market are shocking people into realizing that Bush's record sucks and sucks quite bad.
posted by Bag Man at 3:30 PM on May 31, 2004


... Bush has outdone Kerry in the number of untruths,...

Kerry in 2004: Because he lies slightly less than the other guy!
posted by signal at 3:32 PM on May 31, 2004


And meanwhile, the race is still neck-and-neck (or, lately, Bush polling ahead), even after the bad news recent bad news from Iraq, and tens of millions of dollars of negative ads during the Democrat primary. What does that tell you about the challenger?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 3:34 PM on May 31, 2004


It tells us that we're going to have a new president in Nov. : >

oh, and tell your guys to get the story straight--there are ads painting Kerry as a flip-flopper, and also ads saying he's the most consistently liberal member of the Senate--which one is it?
posted by amberglow at 3:41 PM on May 31, 2004


And meanwhile, the race is still neck-and-neck (or, lately, Bush polling ahead), even after the bad news recent bad news from Iraq, and tens of millions of dollars of negative ads during the Democrat primary. What does that tell you about the challenger?

That the country is radicalized and Bush has been able to scare all the good Christians and his other hard core supporting to support him even in the fact of horrid record. Remember Steve, fear and hate mongering is better than the truth.

Steve, like Bush, has left out the important context. About too and a half years ago Bush's approval rating was above 90% and it has now fallen to 47% to 42% (depending on the poll). What does that tell us? People are finally seeing past the Carl Rove moments to see the truth.
posted by Bag Man at 3:47 PM on May 31, 2004


I wonder about the polling. There have been some mobilization of youth voters in the last few months, and I don't find many polls that can take that into account (most national polls catch a very small % of 18 - 25 yr olds). I know that historically youth have an abysmal voting %, but at the State convention this year (in MN) the delegates where close to 30%- 40% under 30. So, it is possible the polls could be out of whack this year if this carries through to Nov.
posted by edgeways at 4:09 PM on May 31, 2004


which one is it?

Both. And you might try re-reading what I wrote. Bush has had some awful news lately, politically speaking, and Bush is found the bottom of the polls (~45%) where as, even with all the bad news and the ads that were during the Democrat Primary, Kerry can't seem to make any traction up in the poll. Things will stabilize in Iraq, and the economy is already humming along fine.

If Kerry can't make hay of this now, that does not bode well for him in Nov.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 4:16 PM on May 31, 2004


Steve_at_Linnwood,

Kerry, and any politico, knows that you should never commit political homicide when the your opponent is committing political suicide. You also fail to mention the fact that are so few independents left who are likely staying uncommitted until this fall. Again you and Bush share a stunning lack of context in your "facts" and argument to shade things to your own view.

Things will stabilize in Iraq, and the economy is already humming along fine.

Perhaps according to Fox News and the RNC, but right now there is all evidence to contrary. If people stay out of a job, get low wage jobs, fail to benefit from the alleged recovery or realize that Hoover did a better job creating jobs than Bush they are unlikely to vote for him. And Bush's poor plan for Iraq and the exposures lies and bad intelligence that took us there bodes bad for him.
posted by Bag Man at 4:47 PM on May 31, 2004


... the economy is already humming along fine

Really? Every single fund in my employer's 401k plan has been dipping badly for the past 2 months and the Dow Jones has also been faltering since March.

If that's "humming along fine" I'd hate to see what "faltering" is.
posted by clevershark at 5:10 PM on May 31, 2004


The economy is humming because it doesn't know (or want to know) the words to the massive deficit song.
posted by srboisvert at 5:37 PM on May 31, 2004


On a total side note, I'm getting sort of annoyed at links to the Washington Post. Not that I disagree with their writing -- it's usually quite good -- but "Register: It's Free and it's Required" continually offends me enough to refuse to provide information.
posted by effugas at 5:46 PM on May 31, 2004


srboisvert... best. deficit. comment. evar.
posted by namespan at 5:46 PM on May 31, 2004


Lots of people who don't like Bush will nevertheless never vote for John Kerry, particularly if advised what John Kerry really stands for. These people include, but are not limited to:

* People who support the right to keep and bear arms

* Pro-life people

* People who want the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts made permanent

* People who loathe criminals and soft-on-crime policies (Kerry's specialty for 20+ years)

* People who want welfare to stay reformed

* People who want to run their businesses without being choked to death by regulators

* People who don't want gay marriage nationalized

* People who don't think John Kerry's honorable service in combat excuses him coming home to then lead the betrayal of the freedom-loving people of South Vietnam into the hands of the Communists
posted by MattD at 7:57 PM on May 31, 2004


People who don't want gay marriage nationalized

Please, enlighten us as to when Kerry ever said that gay marriage should be imposed on all states.
posted by clevershark at 8:00 PM on May 31, 2004


Clevershark: Bush will appoint more Scalias, Kerry will appoint more Ginsburgs, so it's pretty clear where someone who felt strongly about that issue should place their bets.

When one reads Lawrence and Roemer v. Evans together, it is fairly clear that the Court as presently constituted will be willing to compel recognition by each of the 50 states of a gay marriage licensed and solemnized in any one of those states.

The more interesting question is whether they'll be willing to compel the federal government to do so. Most of the important legal benefits of marriage are federal -- Social Security and military survivorship, pension and benefit rights under ERISA, estate tax exemption, marriage tax benefit (even more important if the marriage penalty is ever repealed), etc. I believe that the centrist Justices wouldn't go so far, but swamp one of them, or one of the conservatives, for a Kerry appointee, and the presumptive outcome would switch.
posted by MattD at 8:18 PM on May 31, 2004


What's that line, MattD? 'Generalisations suck -- including this one.' You'll be surprised, perhaps, to find that 'people' actually have a quite complex array of 'wants', starting with food and shelter and working their way up. And one of those wants, quite often, is a leader who isn't a mendacious fuckup.
posted by riviera at 8:19 PM on May 31, 2004


Please, enlighten us as to when Kerry ever said that gay marriage should be imposed on all states.

clevershark, MattD's assertion was that people who fear nationalization of gay marriage will not vote for kerry, not that kerry favors nationalization of gay marriage.
posted by quonsar at 8:26 PM on May 31, 2004


People who don't think John Kerry's honorable service in combat excuses him coming home to then lead the betrayal of the freedom-loving people of South Vietnam into the hands of the Communists

Well John Kerry didnt order the pull out, so stop pulling a straw man here.

Wouldn't it really be the president that ordered the pull out who was the betrayer. To go one further, if you didn't actually fight *for* the 'freedom loving' south vietnamese are you also a 'betrayer'?

"Soft on crime" is meaningless rhetoric. Can you be actually specific? (warning you are gonna walk into a mine field)


In fact all of your statements are over general and dont actually mean anything. I hate to break it to you bub, but the fashion laws are passed in our govt, with riders and poison pills and so on, a voting record can be used to lie about as much as any statistic can.


and on an off topic note, why on earth do i give a rats ass about people who arent me get married or not?
posted by MrLint at 8:30 PM on May 31, 2004


even with all the bad news and the ads that were during the Democrat Primary, Kerry can't seem to make any traction up in the poll.

George Bush:
- has spent $130 million in ads (including heavy spending in "swing" states)
- is the President of the United States
- "won" 2 wars

YET

He is tied in most polls, losing in some, versus a Senator from Massachusetts with no national identity to speak of.

While Bush loses support among his base (real fiscal conservatives, conservatives not interested in excursions in pseudo democracy). Those folks won't vote for Kerry in big numbers, but they may just stay home (while the independents break for the challenger).

I think November is still a toss-up, and I remain a pessimist until proven otherwise (Diebold, Votescam, Terrorism, etc.) but let us not confuse GOP spin with the facts.
posted by owillis at 8:45 PM on May 31, 2004


The economy is humming because the Bush crew are giving large corporations a massive, multiplayer blow job.
posted by billsaysthis at 8:52 PM on May 31, 2004


Given the obvious, brazen corruption of those in command,
it's not in recognizing lies that we, here, need to be schooled--
but rather, in making an effort to understand
why as a people we, today, seem so willing to be fooled.
posted by troybob at 8:56 PM on May 31, 2004


People who could never, ever, imagine voting for George Bush really need to extend their imaginations. It is at least as hard for a cultural or economic conservative to vote for John Kerry as it is for you to vote for George Bush. Imagine what Bush would have to say and do to win your vote, and that's the degree of persuasion that it would take to get Kerry's vote from them.

Bush's challenge is that all of the liberals already know why they don't want to vote for him -- he has to teach conservatives why they don't want to vote for Kerry, which they might not know quite well enough.

Still, one thing that gives me hope (and a tiny amount of confidence) is that fact that all Republican business, political and opinion leaders and strategists are constantly surrounded by Democrats and know the establishment left liek the palm of their hands; they've spend their lives reading the New York Times, half their college roomates are committed to doing $100k for John Kerry, etc. By contrast, very few people on the left have any idea about what makes the modern conservative movement tick, and a fair majority of the influential people on the left probably don't have a single such person in their 500 most retrieved Outlook vCards.
posted by MattD at 9:03 PM on May 31, 2004


When one reads Lawrence and Roemer v. Evans together

Yet they were decided separately, and their holdings were narrow. You should read them again, and note particularly why Justice O'Connor's view that Lawrence should be decided on equal protection rather than due process grounds was not adopted by the Court majority.

On topic: There is one person to blame for not getting the message out as to these deceptions. John Kerry is supposed to inform the electorate, not let the media do the job for him. He's dropping the ball.

Remember, everyone, the biggest debacle in 2000 was not Florida, but New Hampshire, Tennessee, and West Virginia. If I'm the only Democrat around that recognizes this, we might as well give up already and go home.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:10 PM on May 31, 2004


very few people on the left have any idea about what makes the modern conservative movement tick

You think? Three years of seeing Bush spoonfeed his base, I suggest, might be more educative than you give credit.
posted by riviera at 9:24 PM on May 31, 2004


I read the other day that if Bush does win the election, it will the be the first time in modern history a president has done so with such low poll numbers this close to November...

Further, a lot depends on Kerry's running mate... a Time poll shows a Kerry-McCain ticket (unlikely, but still...) would give Kerry a 14 point advantage over Bush-Cheney.

Further still, polls constantly over look the youth vote, which is very mobilized by anti-Bush rhetoric... so realistic numbers (Hey, pollers don't call cell phones...) could be much greater in Kerry's favor.

Don't forget the debates haven't happened yet. I'm expecting this JFK to make Bush look as bad as Nixon... joking aside, Bush is going to have his ass handed to him in debate by Kerry. No doubt.

As Zogby said, It's Kerry's election to loose... baring any slip up by Kerry (bad land deal, etc) or something amazing by Bush (OBL's head on a stick) my money is on Kerry by a near landslide.
posted by wfrgms at 9:24 PM on May 31, 2004


It basically comes down to the fact Bush cannot run on his "accomplishments" so all he can do is try to slander Kerry and make sure undecided voters remain undecided and don't have any motivation to vote.

Hmm, kind of like the "anyone but Bush" argument for Kerry having little or nothing to do with Kerry's accomplishments.

If only the Democrats had managed to produce an electable candidate, they would have improved their odds drastically (I personally think that had a candidate as charismatic and intelligent as Clinton come along, the election would be as good as won). Sadly, this didn't occur. Nowadays, many feel comfortable assuming that *any* new leadership would do better than the incumbent, basing their opinion on the faults of this incumbent, just as the Bush campaign now attempts to capitalize on Kerry's faults, real or perceived. The problem with this sort of logic is self-evident.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:30 PM on May 31, 2004


MattD's assertion was that people who fear nationalization of gay marriage will not vote for kerry, not that kerry favors nationalization of gay marriage.

Point taken, but it reminds me a bit of the "rock that prevents tiger attacks" in the Simpsons.

Then again I suppose Bush supporters tend to take their justifications wherever they can.
posted by clevershark at 9:38 PM on May 31, 2004


Don't count on the debates. Gore obviously kicked the tar out of Bush in the first debate of '00 but the "liberal" media spun it to seem as if he had beat up on widdle George.

Kerry's biggest plus so far has been that he hasn't let the media play him for the sucker as they did to Gore. It will be tough, but keeping it up will help him win in November.

Oh, by the way, don't buy the spin from folks on the right that had the Democrats picked a "better" candidate (Lieberman, Edwards) they wouldn't be smearing his record the same way they are Kerry (and Gore before that, and Clinton before that).
posted by owillis at 9:44 PM on May 31, 2004


If only the Democrats had managed to produce an electable candidate,

there's that word again! every time I ask, no one is able to come up with a definition for the word, "electable." I think it may have something to do with mispronouncing words and falling down a lot.
posted by mcsweetie at 9:45 PM on May 31, 2004


I think it may have something to do with mispronouncing words and falling down a lot.

couldn't be, jerry ford wasn't elected.
posted by quonsar at 9:47 PM on May 31, 2004


The reality is that second term elections are more about a referendum on the incumbent than they are about the challenger. If (as it would seem), Bush is trying to make the election about whether Kerry is a good choice, then that's bad for him. It almost doesn't matter who runs against Bush. The question is how does most of the country feel about Bush.

I'm not sure what that answer is going to be. My natural inclination is to think that everybody thinks like me -- particularly as I live in Los Angeles where pretty much everybody I interact with really does think like me.

The rest of the country is in many ways a different country though. My feeling is most of the country thinks that the war was a good idea (shudder), but that he's royally f'd it up in the aftermath. Whether the economy is doing well or not, most people don't think it is, and that's about all that matters. I think (or maybe just hope) that if all Bush has is to attack Kerry, then Bush is losing, and will lose.

Time will tell though. Are they still talking about suspending the election because of a terrah attack. Although I know it's a very tinfoil hat kind of thing, it really wouldn't surprise me if that ends up being "plan b". Even if they don't really suspend the elections, a scared population may be more likely to stay on the horse they have and know -- even if he does have 3 broken legs and a snake bite.
posted by willnot at 10:25 PM on May 31, 2004


can any bush supporter explain why i SHOULD vote for bush? rather than just bitch about kerry?

salon carries an excellent inteview with kerry.

perhaps krrlson can fill us in on our presidents "accompishments" prior to be appointed president?
posted by specialk420 at 10:36 PM on May 31, 2004


kind of like the "anyone but Bush" argument for Kerry having little or nothing to do with Kerry's accomplishments.

Kind of not like. Because the American system, more than most, doesn't give challengers to the top job a chance to show off comparable accomplishments -- being a state governor, often considered the closest apprenticeship, is not really that close, whereas most parliamentary opposition leaders have either ministerial experience or years of 'shadowing' ministers. So, elections where there's an incumbent are, like it or not, referenda on the incumbent (as willnot has just said).

The American electorate seems, more or less consistently, prepared to give the benefit of the doubt to someone who's untested in the specific responsibilities of the presidency: perhaps because there's always a huge degree of on-the-job training. And Bush no longer has the benefit of the doubt that many voters gave him over Gore in 2000.

(In a slightly different vein, I find it very tiresome when Tony Blair attacks the Tories on what they did in power during the 1990s; when you have seven years of government behind you, it's an obvious sign of weakness.)

I just checked back, by the way, and in May 1992, Bill Clinton was running third, behind Ross Perot and Daddy Bush.
posted by riviera at 10:46 PM on May 31, 2004


I just had a very friendly conversation with a conservative friend I've known for most of a decade. The indication was that she needed to hear something positive about Kerry to vote for him. I asked what positive things about Bush's term made her want to vote for him.

Pause. Pause.

"Well, I'm a Republican."

This woman is college-educated, professional, non-religious, and works full time. She's got nothing good to say about Bush's performance, but so far she intends to vote for him.

I don't get it.
posted by NortonDC at 11:38 PM on May 31, 2004


Here are some enlightening poll numbers from RealPolitics.com. They are not just national, "Who do you prefer?", but broken down by state (with electoral vote count). At this point, Kerry's winning electoral college 289 to 171.

"Battleground" states which may tip either way (so-called 'purple' states). Kerry leads 135 to 41. (caveat: Kerry seems to have done consistently well in most recent polls by 'Zogby Interactive', which says its methodology controls participation and weights responses to reflect population, but I gotta think there may be more liberals participating in online polls. My biases aside, just look at results for 'Zogby' polls vs. others...they appear lopsided for Kerry.)

States pretty certain to go be decided already ('red' or 'blue'). Kerry (blue team) leads Bush (red team) 154 to 130.

The fate of folks in the red and blue states is in the hands of those in the purple states. It doesn't matter who I vote for here in California...I'm a drop in the bucket. Each vote will count in the purple states that much more.
posted by msacheson at 12:02 AM on June 1, 2004


He's a satanist!

OT, but did anyone else notice Bush absentmindedly making that heavy metal devil's sign during his inauguration parade?
posted by emf at 12:05 AM on June 1, 2004


I asked what positive things about Bush's term made her want to vote for him.

Pause. Pause.

"Well, I'm a Republican."


So? He's not.
posted by willnot at 12:17 AM on June 1, 2004


Those who assert that Kerry will win in a landslide might want to place their money where their mouths are. Sell the future for 57, and buy it back for zero in a few months.
posted by trharlan at 1:20 AM on June 1, 2004


Last link might work best in IE.
posted by trharlan at 1:22 AM on June 1, 2004


very few people on the left have any idea about what makes the modern conservative movement tick

I think we know what makes some of them tick.
posted by y2karl at 6:49 AM on June 1, 2004


I just had a very friendly conversation with a conservative friend I've known for most of a decade. The indication was that she needed to hear something positive about Kerry to vote for him. I asked what positive things about Bush's term made her want to vote for him.

But you did not answer her question. Couldn't come up with anything, huh?
posted by Dennis Murphy at 7:21 AM on June 1, 2004


The indication was that she needed to hear something positive about Kerry to vote for him.

1. He has been consistently strong on protecting the environment we all share - and is the candidate far and away most likely to do something about looming dangers of global warming for ourselves and our children.

2. He is not in the pocket of big oil and will implement sound national energy policies (like providing incentives but not forcing people to use alternative transportation, and buy more fuel efficient vehicles) reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
posted by specialk420 at 9:13 AM on June 1, 2004


I still can't believe that the media somehow got suckered into questioning Kerry's military record (on Bush's behalf) yet somehow danced around Bush's highly dubious attendance record with the National Guard during the Vietnam era.

Liberal media my *ss.


I am still absolutely mystified by this as well clevershark.

I don't care if Kerry got his purple heart because he cut himself shaving while on active duty. He at least WAS on active duty, and not AWOL.

How this is not a "story" to the hungry, hungry news threshers completely escapes me.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:39 AM on June 1, 2004


decent, non-partisan article from The Atlantic Montly about opposition research:

rather than admit to her son's line of work, his own mother tells people he's a used-car dealer ...
posted by mrgrimm at 11:02 AM on June 1, 2004


Blah, blah, Kerry Sucks, Bush sucks, Bush lied, Kerry lied. Blah, blah. Can't we just skip right to the election now and discharge all of this awful negativity?

People decrying the "Anybody But Bush" mentality saying its just voting against Bush are overlooking the fact that we've suffered for three plus years with Bush. He's not in charge, he's always off duty and allows the ship to steer its own course.

Maybe instead of Anybody But Bush the slogan should be, Haven't We Had Enough Bush?

Ynoxas, exactly! How did Big Media find the gall to dig into Kerry's past and try to expose him for whatever trumped up dereliction of duty BushCo thought might be there and then not have Bush's own incredibly spotty and potentially criminal military record not get equally scrutinized? Its ridiculous and sickening.
posted by fenriq at 11:29 AM on June 1, 2004


Setting The Record Straight: The Top Ten Misstatements in The Washington Post's "From Bush, Unprecedented Negativity".
posted by David Dark at 3:18 PM on June 1, 2004


And yet, on that very page, David Dark, they don't set it straight.

1. 900 billion over 10 years is not the same as 900 billion in 100 days. They actually justify the Washington posts statement that the Bush team developed that number based on Kerry's proposals. The is no misstatement.

2. Kerry never said repeal wiretaps, he said make the process by which wiretaps are granted need to be adjusted to meet the requirements of the Bill of Rights. There is no misstatement.

3. The Post was correct, the last time Kerry supported a 50-cent gas tax increase was in 1994. There is no misstatement.

4. Kerry did vote for NCLB, and modified it by saying it would actually work if it left one president behind. The Post is correct, there is no misstatement.

5. Kerry is not blaming the troops, he's blaming an administration. There is no misstatement.

6. In 1995 Kerry wanted to cut the bloat. 1%, 5%, we're not exactly talking about a large amount here, especially from 1995, a period quite unlike today. There may be a misstatement.

7. The Post states that the facts are true, but the claim misleading. The Bush team rebuttal essentiall confirms this by breaking down what they mean by "higher taxes", which includes any vote Kerry made to reduce a tax cut amount (this is not higher taxes). There is no misstatement.

8. Kerry probably regards the war on terror as a law enforcement issue. The Post, however, is correcting the way Cheney is linking two separate quotes into one meaning. There is no misstatement.

9. A vote tally is not evidence. The issue was that he was for a department of homeland security, but not in the format presented when it came time to vote. In other words, he voted NO a number of times against that format, so of course the tallies show a lot of NOs. There is no misstatement.

10. This is a numbers game, and the Bush team may have a point if their numbers are correct. The Post is therefore using March 4 as the start date for their comparison, while the Bush team is including the Democratic primaries race ads in theirs. Of course, with a Democratic incumbent, the Republican ads during their own primaries race would therefore be tallied along with the presidential race ads, right? There may be a misstatement, depending on the Post's intent on comparing within the same time period, or as an overall including primary races.

Wow.

All that text, and a possible 2 out of 10.

Sad.
posted by linux at 5:35 PM on June 1, 2004


Oh, by the way, don't buy the spin from folks on the right that had the Democrats picked a "better" candidate (Lieberman, Edwards) they wouldn't be smearing his record the same way they are Kerry (and Gore before that, and Clinton before that).

Nice how you immediately equate me with "folks on the right" and tie me to the "smearing." Spin indeed.


there's that word again! every time I ask, no one is able to come up with a definition for the word, "electable." I think it may have something to do with mispronouncing words and falling down a lot.

How about "someone I would vote for" (were I American, that is)? That's how I meant it here anyway. Mispronouncing words and falling down a lot? Boris Yeltsin? Huh?


perhaps krrlson can fill us in on our presidents "accompishments" prior to be appointed president?

Never mind that I said nothing of Bush or his accomplishments in my comment... it's just that, judging by your previous "responses," anything I say to you will only result in more worthless shit-flinging.


Kind of not like. Because the American system, more than most, doesn't give challengers to the top job a chance to show off comparable accomplishments...

Fair enough, let's change that to "qualities" or "merits."


Maybe instead of Anybody But Bush the slogan should be, Haven't We Had Enough Bush?

Sounds a little more reasonable and less hysterical, yes.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:24 PM on June 1, 2004


Dennis Murphy - But you did not answer her question. Couldn't come up with anything, huh?

Your statement is false. First, she didn't ask a question; and second, I certainly could come up with something, but neither wanted nor needed to. You see, like I said, it was a conversation, not an internet pissing match. I wasn't out to win points or converts; I wanted to understand her thinking. Whereas with many random people on the internet, "a penny for your thoughts" would qualify for charitable itemization.
posted by NortonDC at 7:27 PM on June 1, 2004


and a fair majority of the influential people on the left probably don't have a single such person in their 500 most retrieved Outlook vCards

MattD, you're a persuasive fellow, but if conservatives know lots of liberals... well, each of those relationships has to be two way, so... however many points of contact there are between the two, wouldn't both of them have to have the same number?
posted by namespan at 8:21 PM on June 1, 2004


Kerryopoly
posted by mr.marx at 5:22 AM on June 2, 2004


So this article comes out. The NEXT DAY here's what the Republican machine sends out (they may be evil, but they are good at propagatin' propaganda):

Dear [My name deleted],

While President Bush works to win the War on Terror, safeguard America, and continue growing the economy, the Democrats have sunk to new depths in their personal attacks.

John Kerry called Republicans "crooked" and a "lying group."
The Democrat Leader in the House called President Bush "an incompetent leader." And then went on to say, "In fact, he's not a leader."
A Democrat Senator casually referred to the "Taliban-wing" of the Republican Party
Ted Kennedy remarked that "... Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management, U.S. management."
You understand what is at stake in this election; and you understand that the politics of negativity and anger are no match for the politics of optimism and hope.

Please donate today to help us get our President's message directly to the voters and past the liberal media filter.

As we saw in 2002, when President Bush's positive message gets to the voters Republicans win elections.

But this type of grassroots communication is expensive. A television spot on the evening news in battleground states costs an average of $941, and our campaign must run literally hundreds of ads each week if we are to win.

Please help us keep President Bush's accomplishments in front of America's voters with your donation today.

http://www.GeorgeWBush.com/Contribute

The campaign is entering the final stretch and this race is closely contested. Don't let the Democrats' anger and political hate speech succeed in tearing our President down.

Thank you for your steadfast support.

Sincerely,

Marc Racicot
Chairman

posted by micropublishery at 5:39 AM on June 2, 2004


Disgusting.
posted by mr.marx at 6:04 AM on June 2, 2004


if the Decepticons didn't have so much power, i'd find that email incredibly funny. Republicans complaining about "hate speech"? what the fuck? is this bizarro world?

apparently it's perfectly OK to use the words "nigger," "gook," and "spic." just don't start calling President Bush a "liar" or a "phony." don't be hating on our president.

idiots.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:34 PM on June 2, 2004


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