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

September 05, 2004

Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

Bryon at Slings and Arrows is absolutely right when he attrubutes the Bush convention bounce to three things: Swiftboat Veterans for Truth, the wacky protesters, and the Republican Party's forward looking message.

First the Swiftboat ads. Bryon says:

[T]he effect was less a result of people changing their position on Kerry than it was about the Kerry camp's reaction. Kerry went to ground, the media went to ground, everyone went to ground -- except, of course the blogosphere and certain radio personalities. By the time the story filtered into the mainstream media almost every reader already had a sense for it. Whether or not it was the case, the story already felt like a cover-up. And 'cover-up' is not a phrase anyone like to have associated with a presidential candidate.
Here, the left wing media tried to run interference for their boy, by ignoring the story and hoping no one would notice. Kudos to the blogosphere and talk radio for pushing the story until it could no longer be ignored by the left wing media. What killed Kerry is that, by stupidly ignoring the Clinton rule (answer every attack immediately), they allowed us to define the debate for a critical one or two weeks, without any alternate explanation. Kerry still hasn't answered the most serious allegations of the Swiftboat Veterans (except to retract the Xmas in Cambodia story and backpedal on one of the purple hearts), and his defensiveness now seems like guilt.

On the effect of the protesters, Bryon and i are on the same page.

Millions of Americans woke up late, or returned from church on Sunday morning to be greated electronically to images of hundreds of thousands of wacky protesters. . . . Pictures such as these have a markedly greater effect on one's impressions of the goings-on than any verbal commentary. Add to that 900 arrests on a single day and almost two thousand over the four day period of the convention. When viewers see protesters breaking into and disrupting the convention, and even storming the set of Hardball they come to one conclusion: 'I might not be in love with the current president, but the last thing I want is to give these protesters more control over my country.'
i predicted that the effect of the protests would be the exact opposite of what the protesters intended. For that prediction, i became the object of the Democratic Underground's scorn. But i was right. This is not the sixties anymore, despite what the unholy alliance of professors, reporters and entertainers think. Freaks in pink thongs and feather boas are not the best advertisement for any political movement. And when Fox News is getting the ratings it currently enjoys, that means a lot of people like them, including a lot of undecideds. It's therefore probably not a good idea to chant "Fox News sucks!" and "Fox News - Bullshit!"

And on the Republican Party's superior forward looking message, Bryon contrasts the two conventions thusly:

Almosot every DNC speech looked backwards at Vietnam -- a war thirty years in our past about which most of us would much rather not be reminded. . . . Of all the speakers, the DNC only had one, Barak Obama, who gave any hope for the future of the party -- and he almost sounded Republican at many points in his speech.

Contrast that to the RNC convention. Rudy Guliani, John McCain, Arnold Schwarzenegger. None of these men have yet reached the zenith of their political career. Each has bright moments both behind and before them. Each inspire hope and vision for America and the youth and vigor to accomplish it. . . . Each was hopeful and excited about America.

i might add the first lady to the list of hopeful and optimistic speakers.

People may criticize the Zell Miller speech, but in retrospect, it seems to have worked. It wasn't a liability, because of the protesters outside, and three years of over the top rhetoric by the entertainment and academic elites. Zell Miller spoke to the "silent majority" who is tired of the America hating that has been going on unchallenged in this country for too long.

Do i think the "bounce" will hold until November? Barring any intervening events, a trumped-up scandal or another terrorist attack for instance, yes i do. But on the other hand, there's nothing i trust less than a desperate Democrat about to lose an election. There's no telling what they have up their sleeve.

Posted by annika, Sep. 5, 2004 |
Rubric: annikapunditry


Somewhere out there, Gore is plotting his revenge on the Bush campaign........


Posted by: reagan80 on Sep. 5, 2004

The have shot all of the bullets they have and nothing is out of reach on what they would do next.

Posted by: Dex on Sep. 5, 2004

Kerry has brought in some Clinton hit men from the years of slandering bimbos("drag a hundred through a trailer park") Clinton's people cannot be super-hyped about a Kerry victory, as they prefer Hillary in '08, and they can read polls enough to know Kerry is dead as a contender.

What does it mean? I expect an insanely slanderous final 8 weeks from the Kerry camp. They will be looking to damage Bush and the Republican Party as much as possible. They will dredge up every rumor and stereotype imaginable, and shout them from every possible direction.

At the end of the Civil War, many Confederates urged an extended guerilla warfare campaign, with guerillas based in the Alleghany Mountains, in areas where they could shelter for years without being molested. The Confederate Military Leadership squelched this, bullying their own people into giving up their violent designs.

I expect Kerry to embark on the equivalent of that guerilla campaign. Urged on by the Clintonistas, he will draw as much blood as possible. Kerry might still take the high ground, a la Bob Dole in 1996, and save as many down the ballot candidacies as possible for the Democrats. Some Republican, maybe it was Dole, said Kerry was a frequent conciliatory voice in acrimonious Senate debates. But the campaign presence of the Clinton people does not bode well for conciliation. I'm looking for a nasty guerilla campaign right up to election day. Bush will have to drive a stake into these people's heart in order to vanquish them.

Posted by: gcotharn on Sep. 5, 2004

If you are looking for down and dirty tactics, keep your eyes peeled for James Carville, Paul Begala, Chris Lehane and Mark Fabiani (the latter two refer to themselves as "The Masters of Disaster"). These are the guys you can count on to take it to a new low, if that is possible for the Kerry folks.

I doubt that Carville will want to be associated with a big loser here, so he is unlikely to be along, mostly for the same reasons as WJC is suddenly out of the campaign. It's all about Hillary '08.

By the way, remember when Kerry said he'd replace Terry McAuliff (#1 Clintonista) as DNC Chair, if he was the nominee? I guess he didn't say when, huh? Sorta like, it depends on what "is" is.

Posted by: shelly s. on Sep. 6, 2004

Interesting analogy with the mooted Confederate guerilla campaign. But I don't think it will stop on election day. If Bush wins, look for Democrats to challenge ths legitimacy of the victory at every level: voting machines didn't work right, electoral college system bad, evil corporations bought the election, etc etc.

Posted by: David Foster on Sep. 6, 2004

I quite agree with David.

For over forty years, the Democrats, with the assistance of the "Blue Dog" Democrats (so called because of a painting in Rep. Billy Tauzin's office where they used to meet)of the South, ran both houses of Congress. They did so with an iron hand, but the Republicans learned how to survive in the minority and little by little got along and got some of their policies through. But the "Blue Dogs", led by Tauzin, switched, and are now called "Republicans".

But make no mistake, the party who wins the first vote each two year session owns every gavel, every committee and subcommittee and sets the agendas. Being in the majority is almost everything.

Gingrich brought the South back to the Republican Party and changed the course of history with the Contract with America, and the Democrats have not yet gotten over being out of power.

Their long term members are no longer engaged and are retiring and "ranking member" just doesn't sound or feel as good as "Chair". They do not chair a single committee or subcommittee in either house.

Thus resentment, vitriol, hate and desperation are the order of the day, viz. Tom Daschle. All they do is obstruct.

Now they see their one last chance, the Presidency itself, slipping away from them because they have nominated the wrong candidate.

Better them than us.

Posted by: shelly s. on Sep. 6, 2004

Very nice post Annika. I was surrounded by all that filth here last week. The media was doing their utmost to showcase only the least idiotic of them. We kept hearing treachly tales of how the "peaceful and well organized" shitbirds were heroically expressing their 1st amendment duty. Everyone brighter than a tree stump knew that was hogwash and once it got out; fucked their Kerry overlords good.

I was encouraging them the whole time to "bring it on." Sensible people (eliminates everyone at Demonic Underground) don't want to be associated with scum like that.


ps. Maybe I'm easily amused (OK that's been established) but I always chuckle when you deliberately misspell names of the ridiculous.

Posted by: Radical Redneck on Sep. 6, 2004

Shelly: "Now they see their one last chance, the Presidency itself, slipping away from them because they have nominated the wrong candidate."

That's so true. Call me crazy, but Kerry is so bad i think even Dean might have had a better chance. Dean was wacked out, but at least he said what he meant, unlike Kerry who changes his positions faster than a hooker on speed.

Radical Redneck, you should have made that Rall picture into some t-shirts while you were in New York. The "protesters" would have bought them up like hotcakes!

Posted by: annika on Sep. 6, 2004
Radical Redneck, you should have made that Rall picture into some t-shirts while you were in New York. The "protesters" would have bought them up like hotcakes!

Especially if they were Scratch n' Sniff™!

Posted by: Radical Redneck on Sep. 6, 2004


Posted by: annika! on Sep. 6, 2004

From the NYT via Hugh Hewitt--

"The installation of former Clinton lieutenants is creating two distinct camps at Mr. Kerry's campaign headquarters on McPherson Square in downtown Washington.

The first is the existing Kerry high command, which includes Mary Beth Cahill, the campaign manager; Bob Shrum, a senior adviser; Tad Devine, a senior adviser; and Stephanie Cutter, the communications director. The second is the Clinton camp, which includes Joe Lockhart, a former White House press secretary; Joel Johnson, a former senior White House aide; and Doug Sosnik, a former Clinton political director. And Howard Wolfson, a former chief of staff to Hillary Rodham Clinton, joined the campaign yesterday.

Members of both camps played down any suggestion of a Clinton takeover of a troubled campaign and insisted there was no tension between the two groups. Still, these days, Mr. Lockhart is stationed in an office on one side of the campaign war room; Mr. Shrum's office is on the opposite side."

Posted by: gcotharn on Sep. 6, 2004

I love it when theives fall out.

Ain't it cool?

Posted by: shelly s. on Sep. 7, 2004