Saturday, January 24, 2004
Bush Defeat Scenarios
Like I've said before, "A week is an eternity in politics". Dean supporters ought to know that, and Kerry supporters ought to be aware of that as well. With that in mind, Ann McFeatters wrote an article called Election Day is Still a Long Way Off .
The discussion deals with so called invincible presidents who found themselves riding the train back home at the end of the campaign. There are also three scenarios given as to how George W. Bush could lose his campaign to be elected as president. Those scenarios are: 1) economic downturn -- only 22% of voters polled see themselves as BETTER off financially now in 2004 than they were in 2000, 2) war in Iraq -- if the war goes worse, Bush is left squirming, and 3) a sudden surprise attack by al-Qaeda on American soil at the end of the election cycle. Scenario 3a) shows American getting behind their president if such an attack happens, but scenario 3b) shows Bush taking a nosedive if the attack was seen as preventable, or if people feel less safe with Bush at the helm.
posted by Green Voicemail 1/24/2004 05:49:00 PM
Friday, January 23, 2004
Blogging Like There's No...Well, Like There IS A Tomorrow
Busy week...and a bit depressing. Let's just say that Dean's showing in Iowa REALLY put me in a tailspin. Didn't see the point in blogging much, but I have recovered.
However, need to make a brief-24 hour stop in Kentucky to sign a title over to the parents. And if there's anyone LESS connected to the web than my parents, I've not heard of them. If they ever get a web connection, trust me, it will be powered by coal.
Blogging will resume on Saturday....
posted by Green Voicemail 1/23/2004 06:46:00 AM
Thursday, January 22, 2004
The fact that the National Review could use this headline in an attack piece on John Kerry means that the Republicans are either supremely confident...or supremely stupid.
posted by Green Voicemail 1/22/2004 08:34:00 AM
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
The Good Doctor
Day Two of the shock.
Well, you have to know that Dame Fortune is truly a Lady Without Mercy. I remember the Good Doctor, Hunter S. Thompson, and the only book of his that I ever read, "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail". It was decided -- by either Rolling Stone or the Doctor himself -- that we would cover the 1972 Presidential Campaign.
Thompson had a disdain for conventional politics, yet at the end he found himself a political junkie. Yes, the Nixon loss was heartbreaking, but he found out that the call of politics was as sweet as the numbing embrace of smack. Where else in the world could you reach such incredible highs and hit such incredible lows? The only thing the Good Doctor found to compare was sports.
So here I am on my first political blog trail, and am only now coming out of the hangover. One hour, I've absolutely convinced myself that I could vote for John Kerry, if he were to win the Democratic Primary. The next, I've decided to abandon politics altogether and vote Green, yes, GREEN, even during this crucial election of 2004 where even the Decent and the Dead agree that Bush Must Go.
It might be the ultimate progressive backhanded compliment. "I'd vote for ANYONE else other than Bush. I'd even vote for a DEMOCRAT!"
Yeah, it ain't over yet. Yeah, I've not heard the infamous "speech" that is being labeled as the new Ed Muskie meltdown, the speech where Howard Dean supposedly gave up his candidacy, where he is BEATEN FOREVER, NEVER TO COME BACK -- or so the Kool Kids in the media (and the Kerry and Edwards campaigns) say. But the campaign is not over yet and there are a hundred surprises left in the bag, tomorrow to be more amazing only than today and to be overshadowed only by the day after that, until the next day comes.
I gotta tell you...I'm worried about Dean. Yes, he's another goddamned Democrat, they are all alike, corporate sellouts each and every one, Dean no less slimy than any of his "progressive" Democratic counterparts. However, compared to the rest of the field...well, they could even make Howard Dean look good. Dean was as different from Kerry and Edwards as night is from Day.
It comes down to the fundamentals, on so many levels. Dean was a governor, a man who has to run an entire state, who has to go right out in publc and face whatever crisis Vermont has to face. Governors make FANTASTIC candidates. Bush was a governor, Clinton was a governor, Reagan was a governor. Because when you're a governor, you're the point man for whatever is pissing everyone in your state off. There is really NOWHERE you can hide; there you are, ready to take everyone's brickbats if the sales tax goes up 0.005%. You learn how to deal with people, at every level, or you're just screwed. Every four years.
Senators, on the other hand, are insulated. They deal with national problems, and not state ones. They don't have to answer for their states, because that's the job of the governor and the state legislature. They don't have to face reelection for six years at a time. You can go to Washington and just hide for six years.
Where was I? Oh yeah. Still hungover.
Anyway, Dean had the advantage in being the anti-War candidate. Yeah, maybe he wasn't REALLY anti-War all along, but he certainly came to Jesus in a big way on it. Frankly, none of the other candidates was really an anti-war candidate.
I spoke -- or rather, spoke AT -- some people over on the John Kerry blog, because, hey, let's face it, you have to be ready for the future in whatever way it presents itself. A few supporters pointed to a good discussion regarding why John Kerry cast his vote for Bush's resolution in October 2002, and were able to illustrate why it did NOT mean that Kerry was in favor of Bush's Children's Crusade to Iraq.
However, something about it struck me as false, and I wondered what it was.
The fact is that Kerry, Edwards, et. al. have never in any real way been AGAINST the war in Iraq. They have never said that it was wrong, completely wrong, in any way, shape, or form. Their motto has always been, "We need the support of the United Nations", "We need France, Germany, and Russia", whatever -- it's not that they are OPPOSED to the war, rather that they are simply opposed to the way that Bush ran it. Meaning that in the back of their minds -- and most of the time, in the front of their tongues -- they aren't really against the war at all.
They are for a NICE Iraq war. Where we walk hand in hand with the United Nations, or NATO, or OPEC, or whoever gives us some cover of legitimacy as we go in. Where we Go In With Our Allies and Win This War. This completely unwinnable and useless war.
And who voted FOR the Patriot Act? EVERYBODY in the Democratic Party. Well, Russ Feingold didn't. The vote was 98 to ONE in favor. When we needed the Democrats to show some spine, where we needed that raw Vietnam Vet courage of Kerry Edwards (it might as well be one name; I can't sense a dime's worth of difference between them), he had put up a sign on his Senate desk that read, "Gone Fishin' with George".
So let's see, John. You voted for the war resolution -- even though you felt it would limit Bush's war making powers, you weren't against a war PER SE if the United Nations approved it -- and you voted for the Patriot Act. Makes you sort of oh-fer-two in my book. I'm sure tomorrow that Kerry supporters will tell us why this was a GOOD vote, good for America.
Why did I like Dean? He was against the war. And he FIGHTS. He doesn't roll over like one of these Daschle Democrats, he doesn't triangulate like mad. What really irks me is that Kerry Edwards is basically grinning like a madman. "Yes, I didn't have to go negative". Of course not. Gephardt did that FOR you.
My big question is, will Kerry fight? Because if there's one thing you CAN say about George Bush is that he not only FIGHTS, he fights dirty. This isn't some Massachusetts run for senator. Bush goes right to the pavement; this is the kind of man who was glad as a kid to stick firecrackers in a frog's asshole, who picked a fight with his own father while in a drunken stupor. You don't get it. Bush is a MEAN man. REALLY MEAN. He ENJOYS lying. Because, in his mind, there is only ONE THING that is important, and that is victory. Nothing else. Fighting a good, moral fight is something only for nancy boys.
I don't think Kerry has ever fought anyone like that. I'm not saying that he CAN'T fight, what I AM saying is that I wonder about Kerry's jaw -- is it made of iron, or is it made of glass? When Bush finally comes out swinging, is Kerry going to go toe to toe or is he going to fall to pieces? This isn't going to be that civics lesson of an election that Kerry had with William Weld in 1996. They will call Kerry everything but the son of his mother.
Dean on the other hand...well, you suspected that Dean's favorite place was in a back alley, and that his supporters kind of liked a bloody, non-Marquis of Queensbury rules fight. The man is probably passionate about zipping his pants up. "YEAH! THOSE PANTS ARE ZIPPED, MISTER! Take THAT, urinary apeture!!"
Whereas Kerry...well, he doesn't exactly inspire me. I want a candidate that inspires me. It seems that Kerry's supporters (and Clark's supporters, for that matter) are inspired by a resume. I can't imagine a single noteworthy thing that Kerry's said in this campaign. When he hits the podium, most listeners reach for the nearest pillow.
Face it, this is a big fight. I need blood pumping. I need a candidate that is going to do what it takes to beat Bush. BY WHATEVER MEANS NECESSARY, short of a crowbar to the head and maybe even THAT far if we can get away with it.
They say that "victory has a thousand parents, and failure is an orphan". Yeah, Howard Dean might have indeed failed, it might be over for him...but in terms of "victory/defeat", I would be proud to be his parent, win or lose. If Howard Dean lost in 2004, I feel I wouldn't have to apologize for anything he stood for. Whereas I don't want to put on a Kerry button and have the man turn out to be a complete failure. I would have to stoop and swallow to put on that kind of button. And if he fumbled like a Michael Dukakis? Well...my rage would know no bounds. Kerry might embarrass himself, but I'll be fucked if he embarrasses ME!
But it's a long fight. Maybe Kerry will show some real...something, other than this kind of bloodless passion, where everyone speaks well of him but he never speaks well of himself. Hey, this is politics. Anything can happen.
posted by Green Voicemail 1/21/2004 12:52:00 AM
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Throw Momma From the Train
Hmm, Edwards, Kerry, and Bush..."Speak no evil, hear no evil and....evil."
Actually, there is something good to be gained from the campaign. Nearly all of Dean's opponents -- Gephardt, Clark, Kerry, Edwards, Lieberman -- are "New Democrats", this sort of centrist-Republican-light Democrat that everyone who is a big Democratic donor says can beat Bush, if only because it would be heresy to suggest otherwise.
This time, it was Gephardt's turn to take one for the New Democrat home team. After all, why should Kerry have to go negative when there's someone else who'd only be too glad to do it for him? Basically, the New Democrats spent a bullet; they have Clark, Kerry, and Edwards in reserve and I suspect that Edwards is going to get the nomination if the New Democrats have anything to say about it.
Clark will be Thrown From the Train in New Hampshire, to go negative against Dean. Once Clark is washed up, then Kerry will be thrown off the train -- screaming and kicking, but thrown nonetheless -- to be the Sacrificial Lamb in South Carolina. By that time, Edwards will have won the game of Survivor that the New Democrats appear to be playing.
But remember...a week is an ETERNITY in politics. There's more than enough time for Kerry, Edwards, Clark to self-destruct. Not to mention a certain man named George W. Bush.
posted by Green Voicemail 1/20/2004 08:53:00 AM
Monday, January 19, 2004
All Along the Watchtower
Looking at the Iowa results with aghast. Dean THIRD? Jesus Christ, I need some alcohol. It's going to be a loooooooooong day tomorrow.
Watching Tradesports . Big money shifting, all around, following the lead of the Iowa Caucus.
Kerry wins all of the Iowa money. Not a bad return on one's investment.
For the New Hampshire Primary, the strength of victory margins (0=dead loss, 100=absolute victory) are : Dean 53, Kerry 39, Edwards 10, Clark 9.1
For South Carolina, they are: Clark 30, Edwards 25, Dean 18.
For the Democratic Nomination: Dean 34.7, Kerry 30, Clark 17, Edwards 14.
They all look like big numbers for Dean, but compared to what he HAD....?
Gephardt has disappeared like a fart in a whirlwind. His fourth-place finish kills his candidacy. The voters have rejected him twice already; looks like third time's the charm.
So it looks a little bit worse for my man Dean. Myself, I think it looks a LOT worse. Kerry? Please. The really, really, nice man from Massachusetts? Bush will eat him alive, unless Kerry has something up his sleeve. And I've not seen any length to Kerry's sleeves. When Kerry speaks, I reach for a pillow.
On the other hand, "Bush reelected" dropped three points on the Tradesports board, a three point drop to 69. Maybe Kerry CAN beat Bush. Who knows?
So exactly HOW am I to sell Kerry to progressives? To Greens? "Hey, vote for Kerry, he'll crash the car, but he won't hit the wall at the same speed as Bush will!" Yeah, I can REALLY see Kerry standing up for the rights of the worker. "All right, you big bad corporations. Stop it. I mean that. Really." Husband of the heir to the Heinz corporation? Right on, Kerry, stand up for the working man!
So we're voting for Kerry, unless Dean or Clark turns it around. My strategy, as a progressive, is to hang every centrist position I can around Kerry's neck. Kerry is the candidate of the DLC, a "New Democrat", and I intend to make sure every reading this blog knows it.
If he wins, the country is saved from George W. Bush. If he LOSES, Democratic centralism is dealt a KILLING blow, meaning more room for progressive positions in the party. And there's always 2008...if we're not all in a cell somewhere in Cuba and Bush calls a Status Red, passing emergency legislation to let his brother Jeb win in 2008. And Jeb is as truly an evil pigfucker as George IS.
Someone out there cheer me up. Honestly. I just have to repeat over and over...."Kerry the DLC Candidate"..."Kerry the DLC Candidate"....
posted by Green Voicemail 1/19/2004 09:56:00 PM
Straight Outta Pittsburgh
I'm back, and hopefully blogging.
By the way, I'd like you all to know one thing.
I HATE Yahoo! Groups
Hate em, hate em, hate em, hate em.
Here's my tale of woe. I generally use Yahoo! Groups because there are a lot of interesting groups out there. There's nothing better that to go back into the archives and read a group at your leisure. And since I can't live without the Internet, I would visit Kinko's for my group reads of the day.
Lo and behold, I would get an "Sorry, that page is not available" message when I tried to read ANY group. Son of a BITCH! I figured, "okay, Yahoo!'s automatic page renewal occasionally drives things batty on the Internet, maybe it is this crappy Kinko's connection. Hmm." So I figured I would solve the prob when I got home.
At home, I was finally able to read groups. Till an hour ago. Then NOTHING.
Knowing that Yahoo once put a limit on gif/jpg files attached to messages, I decided to investigate. It seems that Yahoo has put a limit on the number of "downloads" from a group, including INDIVIDUAL MESSAGES. The only solution seems to be to have each INDIVIDUAL message sent to your mailbox...and if it's a large group, your mailbox will fill up quickly.
Of course, Yahoo decides not to let ANYONE know about this until it is implemented. May Yahoo fuck pigs until the end of time. Of course, it's a free service and I get what I pay for. But I don't think a free service should come with a free screwing to boot.
posted by Green Voicemail 1/19/2004 03:53:00 PM