Regarding Condi Rice’s upcoming public testimony, I was wondering how long it would take for somebody to figure this out.
Archive for March, 2004
A while back, I observed that one of John Kerry’s early general-election strategies is to try and preemptively stop GOP criticism by loudly decrying “negative attacks!” at every opportunity.
Turns out, I didn’t know the half of it. Check out the sheer vitriol in Kerry’s words today at a Chicago rally:
“Let me tell you, we’ve just begun to fight,” Kerry said. “We’re going to keep pounding. These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group I’ve ever seen. It’s scary.”
Kerry’s spokesman, David Wade, then turned around and accused Kerry’s opponents of being over the top:
“The Republicans have launched the most personal, crooked, deceitful attacks over the last four years,” Wade said. “He’s a Democrat who fights back.”
Now, far be it from me to be overly-critical of pointed language in politics, but this is some seriously harsh and ad hominem stuff.
That kind of rhetoric has been par for the course in the Democratic primaries this year, but can you imagine the media outcry if Bob Dole had said the same thing about the Clinton Administration? Katie Couric would lead every half-hour of the Today show for the next six months with ritual denunciations of “mean-spirited” and “nasty” Republican “smear” campaigns. At the very least, the GOP candidate would be browbeaten into a humiliating public apology. I see no signs thus far of any such reaction to Kerry.
When I first posted about Kerry’s tactics, I surmised that in today’s more open media climate (where, unlike in 1996, Fox News, Drudge, and the Blogosphere are on the watch), Kerry wouldn’t be able to get away with making these extreme attacks without media criticism. Nearly a month later, I have to wonder.
Just what will it take before a major, non-conservative media figure and/or outlet describes Kerry’s charges as “mean” or “nasty”, without the ritual reference to “both sides,” particularly when the Bush side’s rhetoric doesn’t even register on the vitriol scale compared to Kerry’s?
If not this, then what? Is there anything that Kerry could say that’s worthy of media criticism, or even scrutiny?
Slate’s Fred Kaplan makes an effort at defending John Kerry from Republican attacks on his Senate record, specifically, Kerry’s attempts to cut a number of major weapons systems over the years, including unimportant items like the F-14 and F-15 fighters, the B-2 bomber, AH-64 Apache helicopter, and Aegis cruisers.
Kaplan starts out with what he probably considers a clever ploy, quoting George H.W. Bush and Dick Cheney laying out defense cuts that were proposed in the early 1990’s. He then notes,
Granted, these reductions were made in the wake of the Soviet Union’s dissolution and the Cold War’s demise. But that’s just the point: Proposed cuts must be examined in context. A vote against a particular weapons system doesn’t necessarily indicate indifference toward national defense.
Quite right, as far as it goes–but then Kaplan proceeds to obscure the point by charging that Kerry didn’t really “vote” to cancel all those systems, he just voted one way or another on different procedural and conference bills for one reason or another, and,
Kerry was one of 16 senators (including five Republicans) to vote against a defense appropriations bill 14 years ago. He was also one of an unspecified number of senators to vote against a conference report on a defense bill nine years ago. The RNC takes these facts and extrapolates from them that he voted against a dozen weapons systems that were in those bills. The Republicans could have claimed, with equal logic, that Kerry voted to abolish the entire U.S. armed forces, but that might have raised suspicions. Claiming that he opposed a list of specific weapons systems has an air of plausibility. On close examination, though, it reeks of rank dishonesty.
That’d be a nice argument, Fred, except that you didn’t bother to fact-check your own statements against the rest of the public record. Like, say, this 1984 Kerry memo, which Kerry’s campaign has admitted is genuine. It lays out, in Kerry’s own name, plans to “cancel” all of the above programs, plus several others.
In other words, Fred, you’re either completely misinformed, or you’re lying. Based on your previous “work” regarding defense issues, I might have given you the benefit of the doubt. You clearly don’t know a damn thing about how weapons systems are designed, tested, used, or bought (repeatedly quoting a fraud like John “I’m not an engineer, but I play one on TV” Pike doesn’t help your credibility), but since Mark Steyn has had that memo linked for the better part of a month, I’m inclined to think that you’re just ignoring it.
In other words, lying.
I haven’t been able to watch David Letterman since I finished college and got a real job (quite a while back). Good to see that Dave, or at least Dave’s writers, have still got it.
Check out numbers 6 and 1, in particular. Shock and awe.
For those who saw the (briefly) previous post about Mrs. Heinz-Ketchup, my apologies–I fell for a spoof. It’s funny stuff, but not as funny as it would have been if true…
Has anybody out there caught one of Eric Johnson’s acoustic guitar/piano concerts? He’s playing Atlanta tonight, and I was wondering if it’d be worth springing for the tickets.
I’ve seen EJ several times in the ‘rock band’ format (outstanding), but I’m not familiar with his acoustic shows. Thanks…
Okay, so it isn’t much of a story, but I’ve had that stupid song in my head all morning, and I figured I’d pass along the annoyance…