...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

July 29, 2004

Democratic Finale, Final Thoughts

. . . Something is terribly wrong with the way we teach history in this country when Max Cleland can mispronounce the name of Crispus Attucks and yet be interrupted by applause, while the crowd sits on their hands after he invokes the name of Paul Revere in the very next sentence . . .

. . . Kerry saved a hamster? LOL, now we know why Richard Gere is supporting him . . .

. . . Kerry's daughter was allowed to broach the subject of abortion, because she represents a democratic constituency largely made up of one issue voters: single women . . .

. . . "John Kerry reporting for duty?" Puleeeeze! They're laying it on so thick. Someone should have edited that line out of there. It's way too over the top . . .

. . . Kerry's energy is way up. He's been rehearsing. He'll get good reviews for style, simply because many pundits expected a worse delivery . . .

. . . Funny, he implies that the Republicans have taken the flag away from the Democrats as a symbol of patriotism. The way i see it, the Democrats abandoned the flag as a symbol when they became the party of flag burners. This from a guy who threw his medals away . . .

. . . i can't reconcile Kerry's promise to ensure that we have the best equipped military with his vote on the eighty-seven billion. Can you? . . .

. . . Kerry says that America has never fought a war because we wanted to, only because we had to. That is patently and demonstrably false. The most obvious and notable example being the war he will never let us forget he fought in. But also Korea, WWI, The Spanish American War and The Mexican War . . .

. . . The "we are on God's side" jab is getting huge applause. It's a pretty effective rhetorical jab. And a cheap shot. The anti-Christians in the audience are lovin' it . . .

. . . Balloons and confetti. Sammy Hagar is singing "we'll get higher and higher!" Is this a subliminal way of signaling their position on legalization? . . .

. . . It's appropriate that this convention was held at Fleet Center, because if Kerry wins, it's going to feel like we just got one of these . . .

Posted by annika, Jul. 29, 2004 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry


There's some interesting positions between the speeches and the platform.

Edwards: And we will have one clear unmistakable message for al Qaida and the rest of these terrorists. You cannot run. You cannot hide. And we will destroy you.

The platform criticizes Bush for "unilateral preemption" but in the next paragraph states "we will never wait for a green light from abroad when our safety is at stake" {which implies we're not going to be just punitive in response to an attack, but be preemptive before an attack}

Kerry said we'll exhaust all our options but reiterated the point we're not dependent on any other nation or organization to approve the use of force.

I'm sure nobody is under the illusion of how the country uses its special forces and now we'll double that capability..

The platform goes on to say a nuclear-armed Iran is an unacceptable risk to us (and our allies) - so what a happens when Iran backs out of attempts by the international community to monitor and inspect their nuclear program..this is setting up a dilemma unless Kerry thinks "unacceptable risk" and "our safety is at stake" are not equivalent.

I estimate the military spending based on rough Pentagon numbers for the increase in soldiers and Spec Forces and "state of the art" equipment (which I'm assuming means the shortfall in what the services have asked for but were not funded) to be around 15B a year....and that doesn't include the plus ups necessary to enable the Coast Guard (which is under Homeland Defense) or other organizations to secure seaports and borders.

No mention of gun control in the platform while the 2000 one had several paragraphs on that topic..

One very brief mention on abortion rights while the 2000 platform had a lengthy discussion to include a position on ideology any nominee to the SCOTUS would have to have..

This year's platform includes seeking more diverse sources of oil both abroad AND here at home..while the 2000 platform specifically put the veto on ANWR and California coast drilling..

I wondering if some of the delegates thought they were at the wrong convention..

Posted by: Col Steve on Jul. 29, 2004

Well put.

Posted by: Dex on Jul. 29, 2004

Its impossible to reconcile a lot of things- but especially Kerry's promise to ensure that we have the best equipped military. He has consistently worked to shrink the size of the military and the CIA throughout his Senate career.

Gov Ed Rendell cracked me up with this-
"John Kerry didn't abandon the fight in the Mekong Delta, and he won't abandon the fight now."

When I was a kid, the older teenagers used to try to buy beer at 7/11's. If a clerk questioned their age, their running joke was to pull their shades low and say "Nobody questioned my age in the Mekong Delta."

Posted by: gcotharn on Jul. 29, 2004

Kerry basically said: I've been in a war, I support the successful wars of America's past and I will win this with war and bring along France because of the sheer force of my personality -- which is basically "I'm not Bush". Well John Kerry needs all the Hope he can get. Pretty soon, and pretty clearly, folks will see through the centrist spin to the liberal record, which is the core of Kerry's waffle-shaped heart.

Posted by: Scof on Jul. 30, 2004

Q: What do pro-abortion activists have in common with their children?

A: They’re both single-issue voters.

Posted by: David Boxenhorn on Jul. 30, 2004

Col Steve, do you have a link for the platform?

The democratic candidates' sudden shift rightward is notable not only for the obvious reason that their most vocal supporters are so far to the left, but also it signals that their internal polling and focus groups have been telling them what i have always believed: Americans are not as liberal as the press, the universities and the kooky professional protesters would have us believe.

Posted by: annika! on Jul. 30, 2004

I didn't see the shift to the right, except for a thin veneer of grasping after military credibility. He threw in every leftist platitude from the last 70 years, and a kitchen sink.

This repeated line of his speech inspired me, but not in the way he intended, I'm sure (be sure to follow the link):

"We can do better, America, and help is on the way."

Posted by: John Lanius on Jul. 30, 2004

I didn't see it as a shift to the right at all, he continued to reiterate the idea that the role of government shouldn't be to dole out giveaways to wealthy. Obviously, whoever's in office will protect the country from attack, the key is what else are they going to do for us and I think Kerry is the best choice for that.

Posted by: Dawn Summers on Jul. 30, 2004

Great recap... although Dawn, you clearly weren't watching your coverage on Fox, where the Dems admitted (in not so many words) that it is actually a shift to the right.

Posted by: candace on Jul. 30, 2004

It's not an actual shift in policy, it's a shift in presentation. And it's not evidenced by addition so much as by subtraction. They didn't talk about stuff that might be scary to swing voters, making it seem like Kerry is more centrist than his voting record shows.

And i disagree that both parties will protect the country equally. Kerry obviously will respond to another terrorist attack, i have no doubt. The difference is GWB is playing on offense, while i think Kerry will emphasize defense.

Posted by: annika! on Jul. 30, 2004

It is about offense v defense, and its also about a policy of force and strength v a policy of dialogue, trade, and economic incentive. I've posted about it here- http://theendzone.blogspot.com/2004/07/personal-style-part-ii.html

At its very deepest roots, its a disagreement about the nature of the threat, and the disagreement is spiced by differing moral principles.

Posted by: gcotharn on Jul. 30, 2004

Read the 2004 platform (it's in PDF)


and then read the 2000 platform


Yes, Kerry threw in a lot of promises he knows he doesn't control or left unclear how he'll
keep them - not that politicians don't do that, but he mave have difficulty because it's usually the 2d and 3rd tier political appointees that determine both the agenda and the execution of policies in the executive branch organizations and I suspect the majority of those folks would be more to the left than the direction implied by the platform.

These parts of his speech may come back to bite him:

"I ask you to judge me by my record." And after 19 years in the Senate, he lists only 3 items (balanced budget, 100k police initiative, and POW-MIA accounting).

"You don't value families if you force them to take up a collection to buy body armor for a son or daughter in the service"

Yet, I suspect GWB campaign will run those words and right after the fact Kerry voted for the war BUT against the 87B funding bill which included the funding for more soldier body armor and more up-armored HMMWVs.

Or, to see what the GOP may be planning as rebuttal:


Posted by: Col Steve on Jul. 30, 2004

I may have said this before, but Kerry has this interesting gap in the biography he presents to the public, and after the convention you would still not know this. It goes: Vietnam hero; Vietnam protester; prosecutor; Senator. Absolutely NEVER any mention of his tenure as Lieutenant Governor under...who was that again? Oh yeah, Mike Dukakis. I suppose that might not exactly the best selling point to middle America, but it's so conspicuous by its absence that I'd say it borders on a lie of omission.

Posted by: Dave J on Jul. 30, 2004

That Fleet thing is pretty funny. I used to work at a drug store and I had to dust the products. It was always funny dusting the enema products.

You make good points. Kerry is just as much as a warmongering slim as your man Bush is. Another vote for Nader from me.

Posted by: fairest on Aug. 1, 2004

fairest, please invite all your friends to support nader at the polls. In case you didn't read it, i posted on that very subject back here.

Posted by: annika on Aug. 2, 2004