“The most crooked, lying group I’ve ever seen…”

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?

UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt just read most of the above post on his radio show, crediting VodkaPundit (and yours truly). As they said in the Kentucky Fried Movie, he has my gwatitude.

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54 Responses to ““The most crooked, lying group I’ve ever seen…””

  1. Vince Says:

    I don’t think Bush can spell ‘vitriol’ let alone speak with it greatly.

    Besides, Kerry can be blamed getting all hot and bothered when speaking the truth?

  2. Kevin Says:

    And since a goodly part of the media believes this/wants to believe this what is to report.

    Hopefully someone will call Mr. Kerry on his distortion. Though, I have to hope that average americans realize this guy is full of it and not to be trusted with foriegn policy.

  3. Dave D. Says:

    For the first 31 years of my adult life, until about a year ago, I was a registered Democrat. But no more; the unrelenting deluge of sheer, utter BS is just too much to take.

    Of all Bill Clinton’s misdeeds, the worst thing he did for this country IMO was teach his fellow Democrats that truth simply does not matter; that the most outrageous, jaw-dropping nonsense is just as good–or even preferable–so long as the right people swallow it and it has the desired effect.

    It seems to me they weren’t always like this, but I could be wrong. It disturbs me no little bit, that I hung in there so long with them.

  4. ProfessorBainbridge.com Says:

    Kerry’s Mean Streak

    In response to John Kerry’s wild charge that Bush and his fellow Republicans are “the most crooked, you know, lying group I’ve ever seen, VodkaPundit’s Will Collier blasts back:That kind of rhetoric has been par for the course in the

  5. Rick V. Says:

    If these guys are “are the most crooked, you know, lying group I’ve ever seen”, then he’s never looked in a mirror.

    Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

  6. jtj Says:

    In a word, “no,” there’s nothing that Kerry could do or say that would engender scrutiny, much less criticism, from the national liberal (a/k/a “mainstream”) media.

    I hate to beat a dead horse here, but, again, we are witnessing the death spiral of a political party. And not just a political party, but a political party that literally is obsessed with political power.

    The lunatic ravings by Kerry and other leading Democrats and the acquiesence in those tactics by the liberal media are the culmination of 40 years — 40 years!!! — of steep political decline for them. The importance of this underlying fact cannot be overstated.

    Think about it objectively, for a moment.

    In that last 40 years, no Democratic candidate for President has received even 51 percent of the total popular vote. During that time, there have been four separate elections in which their candidate lost 40 or more states. On two occasions during that period, their candidate suffered the preposterous indignity of losing their home state.

    Moreover, in the past 14 years, things have gotten worse for them. They started to unravel at the Congressional and local levels.

    They have gone from holding 32 Governorships to holding 22.

    They have lost the U.S. House and Senate for the first time in three full generations.

    They have seen popular referendum after popular referendum adopt conservative positions; even in so-called “liberal” states: anti-immigration and anti-affirmative action plebiscites in California, for example.

    Now, in fact, they cannot even rely (as they had for two decades previously) on the courts to impose their will on the electorate.

    They lost the Florida recount in 2000. They lost the attempt to stop the California Recall last year. Then, that was followed up with their attempts to circumvent the Texas redistricting thwarted.

    Another key point is that, simply put, the modern Democratic Party is the party of the lunatic fringe. If you go issue by issue, it’s utterly absurd how out of step with the electorate they are:

    1. Preemptive war against terrorists? The base of the Democratic Party vehemently opposes it. Conversely, at least 75 percent of the total electorate supports the docrine conceptually, and at least 60 percent supports its application to Iraq (despite the immensely biased reporting since the actual war ended).

    2. Death penalty? The base of the Democratic Party opposes it. 70 percent of the total electorate, on the other hand, supports it.

    3. Racial preferences? The base of the Democratic Party supports them with blind, religious-like zeal. 80 percent of the total electorate opposes them, however (including a large plurality of the very same groups of minorities to which this form of government-sanctioned discrimination is intended to apply).

    4. Taxes? The base of the Democratic Party supports raising taxes to fund new and existing spending programs. 75 percent or more of the electorate disagrees, however. In fact, other than Vermont (pop. 600,000), there is not a single state in the Union in which a popular referendum to raise taxes would pass. Only a few weeks ago, in fact, such an attempt went down by 20 points (20 points!!!) in Oregon; not exactly a knee-jerk conservative state, mind you.

    Anyway, one could go on and on and on.
    But, ultimately, it must be kept in mind that the Democratic Party is dying. Literally dying. The charade is over. Juxtaposing political power for that Party onto this electorate is like trying to smash a round peg through a square hole. And, not surprisingly, they’re angry about that. Not only angry, but literally insane with anger.

    That’s why we’ve recently heard a DNC operative refer to a female, Mexican GOP candidate for California’s Senate seat as a “house Mexican.” That why we’ve recently heard a black Democratic Congresswomen say, out loud, and on the record, no less, that Whites and Mexicans “all look alike” to her. That’s why we had the unpleasant task of living through Howard Dean’s rise fall. That’s why the Seattle Post recently published an editorial in which the author flat-out stated that persons who support President Bush are “stupid.” That’s why the presumptive Democratic nominee for President literally cannot go a single day without saying something that is patently, clearly, unambiguously hypocritical; if not outright insane.

    They’re unraveling right before our eyes. All of their latent prejudices. Their latent racism. They hypocricy. Their duplicity.
    It’s all coming out. All at once.

    And, mark my words, it will get much, much worse as the election approaches. This cancer on our political system will not go away without a gory, beastly, fight.

  7. Francis W. Porretto Says:

    Statements like Kerry’s give Bush more than enough justification, come the end of campaign season, to refuse to meet with him for the now-customary “debates.” Moreover, I think if Dubya were to say publicly that, in view of Kerry’s many insults and imputations of presidential conduct approaching treason, he considers the man too far below his standards to share a stage with him for any reason, he’d probably increase Republican vote totals by about 10%.

    But would he ever say such a thing, or is he too much the gentleman? (“A gentleman is one who never gives offense intentionally.” — traditional)

  8. SAndy P. Says:

    Considering that Kerry and his thugs think bringing up his voting record of the last 19 years is personal, it’s going to be a long 8 months.

  9. Mike M Says:

    This schtick is getting old. Democrats attack Republicans on issue X, then accuse Republicans of exploiting (partcipating in, causing) issue X.

    How can the Dems even say a word about negative campaigning? Kerry’s entire platform is hatred of Bush…especially since neither he nor his supporters have yet to articulate his positions on any issues.

    9/11 is the same. Did anyone really buy into the Democrats precanned media event of the “outrage” caused by the half second ground zero clips in the Bush ads? Then they have the gaul to accuse Republicans of “exploiting” 9/11.

    The only thing we have to look forward to are the debates…where Kerry will be taken to task by Bush directly and can’t sit on the hanging curveballs provided by the media.

  10. the voodoo lounge Says:

    I AM RUBBER, YOU ARE GLUE

    John Kerry is turning into Comical Ali and the media is letting him get away with it.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…

  11. tibor Says:

    All Kerry seems to be doing is screaming about non-existant attacks on him, ratcheting up the rancor against Bush without provokation and claiming absolute moral certainty and superiority in all his rescisions (oops, Freudian slip, I meant decisions). I think he thinks he will win by shouting at the top of his lungs all campaign “if they want a fight, bring it on” without actually engaging in any actual fights.

    BTW, I think you meant “gall” rather than “gaul” (even though the latter makes sense when applying to Kerry, who is a Francophile).

  12. Frank Martin Says:

    and golly guys, only 237 more days of listening to Sen. “thurston howell III” drone on and on and on and on and on.

    Gosh, right about August, Im going to have to get a pair of knitting needles and jam them into my ears.

  13. old maltese Says:

    You’ve got to *hear* it. Hugh Hewitt has been playing it right now. Tune in if you can. On-line, KRLA870.com should get you there.

    *Vitriol* isn’t the half of it. It’a aqua regia.

  14. AST Says:

    It’s not surprising considering that he’s got Ted Kennedy as a mentor, and the anti-Bush rage of the primaries.

    The guy is Bill Clinton without the charm.

  15. Jim Says:

    jtg:They’re unraveling right before our eyes. All of their latent prejudices. Their latent racism. They hypocricy. Their duplicity. It’s all coming out. All at once.

    And, mark my words, it will get much, much worse…. This cancer…will not go away without a gory, beastly, fight.

    Yikes. This is the same that can be said of al Qaeda. I hope you’re not right, and that reasoning calmly in the forum gradually washes the nonsense away.

  16. Mike Says:

    The guy is Bill Clinton without the charm

    –or Ted kennedy with a healthy liver, take your pick!

  17. Will Collier Says:

    If I were really mean, I’d have pointed out that Kerry was being untruthful when he said the Bushies were “the most crooked, you know, lying group I’ve ever seen.”

    After all, he’s known the Kennedys for most of his life.

  18. aaron Says:

    Anyone notice how the democrates seem to have suddenly allowed an issue, which the president doesn’t seem to care much about, to be championed forcefully in an election year, apparently at the expense of the cause.

  19. erp Says:

    Mike M – Is that really you? When did you get so smart? The last time I read your posts you were very much on the left side of issues.

  20. Gary and the Samoyeds Says:

    Soon, we’ll see the media reporting “How DARE Bush defend himself!”

    JTJ:
    I don’t think so. Remember where the Republicans were in 1937 or 1965.

  21. ed Says:

    Didn’t Professor Tom Lehrer have something about Democrats hating Republicans?
    Oh well.
    Now Kentucky Fried Movie! That’s one to remember! How bout the Groove Tube?

    Ed

  22. Mike M Says:

    erp: I can honestly say that no one has ever mistaken me for a lefty before on this forum. You must be reading too much into my barbs against Libertarians.

    I tend to concentrate on lampooning Kerry and making wild predictions about election results these days. I believe my last was “Bush wins 45-47 states”. That was after reading Kerry’s (ghost written) blog and seeing the glowing praise for the “@sses of Evil” buttons.

  23. Daily Newsbrief Says:

    Is Kerry Lying?

    Hugh Hewitt wonders if Kerry wasn’t simply lying when he recently said, “I’ve met foreign leaders who can’t go out and say this publicly, but boy they look at you and say, ‘You’ve got to win, you’ve got to beat…

  24. Jeff G Says:

    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?

    For what it’s worth, Mort Kondracke’s been pointing out the disparity in tenor for about 2 weeks now as part of Brit Hume’s “FOXNEWS All-stars.” Not sure of his party affiliation, but my sense is he’s a centrist Democrat.

  25. Pejmanesque Says:

    EXCUSING DEMAGOGUERY

    In response to the following comment by John Kerry: “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.”…

  26. Peter Says:

    There is less enthusiasm for the War Hee-row than for Gore, if such a thing is possible.
    Dem turnout in all states in yesterday’s primaries were smaller than in ’00, continuing the trend of the whole year.
    I’ve been active in Precinct and County-level politics here for the last thirty years.
    Last night were the Precinct Conventions. We were in the same large room as the Donks, on the other side of the room.
    The body language of the Donks was very much like the body language on our side of the room in ’96. It was the language of those who knew they were sending up a loser against an incumbant so as to not tarnish their big guns with a defeat.
    The Hee-row has a big problem, fifty percent of the rank and file of his own party like George Bush more than they like him. Fifty percent of the rank and file of his own party are shaking their heads in disbelief at the antics of their hard-Left minority.
    The Hee-row will be changing that middle initial. He’ll no longer be John Effin’ Kerry. He will be John Effed Kerry.

  27. PeaPies Says:

    Is there anything that Kerry could say that’s worthy of media criticism, or even scrutiny?
    Answer….NO, maybe if he said it about Laura, but probably not.

    However we all know the internet, BLOGS and talk radio are to mainstream media what jtj so eloquently described as the Dems demise (was jtj good or what?) Blogs and the internet are slowly but surely chipping away at all their credibilty and taking them to task rendering them irrelevant and silly and the liberal media knows it and are starting to loose it too.

    By the way- off the subject anyone got any thoughts on the outcome on the George Soros 527 ( or something like that) investigation. I mean they must be pretty confident the can get something on them or is this purely PR (good PR for GOP, bad for Donks)

    This will make you all sleep well tonight

    This hot issue is about to emerge again – SCOTUS is set to hear orals on the ‘under God” in the pledge case on the 23rd of this month – which originated in my own back yard in CA.

    June 2002 CNN/Newsweek
    NEW YORK (CNN) — Nearly nine in 10 Americans believe the phrase “under God” should remain in the Pledge of Allegiance, and most believe it is acceptable for the government to promote religious expression, as long as no specific religion is mentioned, according to a Newsweek poll.

    July 1, 2001 ABC
    Eighty-four percent in an ABCNEWS.com/Washington Post poll oppose last week’s ruling by the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the pledge is unconstitutional because the phrase “under God,” added by Congress in 1954, violates church-state separation.

    Eighty-nine percent also say the phrase should remain in the pledge.

    Kerry stick that in your flag burning days pipe and smoke it!

  28. Ben Says:

    Just saw the famous Bush commercials, and have compared them to Kerry’s and the other Democrat-but-not-really attack ads on Bush.

    Bush’s message comes across as measured, adult, grown up.

    The opposition comes across as, well, its economic message is not consistent with my own experiences. Things look pretty good, and the unemployment rate is pretty low. (Also there is the question about just what the rate is, as there is a discrepency between the household and employer surveys, indicating that more people are employed than the payroll surveys indicate.)

    Their hatred of Bush comes across as irrational and infantile. Their economic message appears to be false, and they won’t even discuss the war.

    Kerry is in big trouble, politically. Democratic primary voting is down, down to record low turnouts. Now maybe this has something to do with the fact that Kerry wrapped up the nomination early, but still I am not getting a lot of support for their candidate.

    And the ones that do support him are again coming off as infantile and highly mistaken. Not something most folks want to associate with.

    One wild card in all this is all the new electronic voting systems out there. Without a paper trail in a lot of these systems, hijacking the election looks a lot easier.

  29. CALIFORNIA YANKEE Says:

    Kerry Owes America An Apology

    John Kerry went too far today, effectively accusing President Bush of corruption. In comments, caught on tape, Kerry had this exchange with union workers: “Keep smiling,” one man said to him. Kerry responded, “Oh yeah, don’t worry man. We’re going

  30. Don Says:

    I’ve been on several interviews for engineering/design positions, and I’d have to say that contempt for Dubya is pretty high. I’ve seen several “Buck Fush!” stickers at these places, and I don’t know of very many people that will vote for him in the tech/engineering community.
    Our culture is splitting, and the rhetoric is escalating. I really think that a civil war is coming, if not already here at a low level.
    My parents are both anti-Bush to an astonishing degree(eg., Kim-Il-Jung is saner/smarter than Bush), and will hold their noses and vote Kerry rather than Bush.
    This, from a couple who thought that Goldwater in 64 was too liberal…

  31. erp Says:

    Mike M – My apologies. With the rhetoric flying around, it’s difficult sometimes to separate sarcasm from fanaticism.

    Your posts are always well written and interesting and now that I know you are with us, I’ll always be able to separate your satire from your true convictions.

    Thanks for clearing this up.

  32. marcland Says:

    Nasty? You be the judge…

    California Yankee raises a good point relating to over the top Democrat campaign rhetoric:What evidence does John Kerry have of corruption or lying by President Bush? John Kerry has no more evidence to support his assertion of corruption and lying…

  33. pab Says:

    Compare/Contrast: Big media’s treatment of the Adam Clymer “major-league asshole from the NYT – Bigtime” open mic episode with the Kerry episode from yesterday.

    As I recall, the Bigtime comment was heavily reported evening news, but I didn’t see even a peep about the Kerry comment.

  34. cba Says:

    The above-mentioned ‘civil’ war btwn Republicans & demokrats will be anything but civil. No amount of logic will dissuade the Anyone-but-Bush crowd. They plug their ears & sing, “La la la” when the facts are plopped in front of them. Don’t underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. I can only hope enough of them stay home on election day because many of them will hold their nose & vote for Kerry.

  35. aaron Says:

    I’m watching coverage of the senate on economic issues right now. I am disgusted by the complete lack of objectivity and responsibility of the democrats. Not only do they continue to ignore the wisdom of nonpartisans, but adamantly argue against the facts and obvious trends and relationships. As representative of the public, don’t they have a fiducial responsibility.

    Is it possible for citizens to take legal action in response to their misinformation and neglect of duty? They are actively working against the interest of the nation.

  36. Mike Says:

    Don – with all due respect to your parents, how in the hell did they go from right of Goldwater to thinking Kim Jong-Il is sane?

    The Democratic Party has moved way left since 1964, the GOP has moved closer (in many but not all ways) to where Goldwater was then – where did your parents go?

    Do they hate Bush, or all Republicans? On what issues have they changed?

    And why are they holding their nose when voting for Kerry? Because he’s not liberal enough for them (i.e. Kim Jong-Il territory), or too liberal, but they just hate Bush so much?

  37. peter Says:

    Ha! Someone overheard what Kerry really thinks and you all have your panties in a knot – Are there any pragmatic Conservatives who come to these sites? As Conservatives you should all be horrified that Bush and Co. turned misinformation into disinformation to rush to war – and now American kids are in harms way and money that should have been spent on keeping our promises in Afghanistan goes into a big black hole called Iraq – imminent threat indeed – yellow-cake uranium – hundreds of thousands of litres of mustard gas – 2.6 million new jobs… this year – sure sounds like obfuscation – If any of thses things had happened under the Clinton watch you guys would all be apoplectic with rage –
    Lying: Kerry’s going to raise taxes – Bush says that every day – it’s not true – he’s going to raise taxes on those making over 200,000$ annually – Crooked: Halliburton getting a no-bid contract (nothing says fat of the land like no-bid) and they still over charge –
    Want to laugh? go visit this URL: http://www.theonion.com/onion3701/bush_nightmare.html

  38. Eric Says:

    Wow! I tune in for the first time here & in reading the rhetoric , I’d conclude that the democrats & this Kerry fellow were evil-incarnate. Err, I think that’s the correct biblical/political parlance to use.

    So, just for fun I’ll see how much hate I can generate here with some more moderate points:

    jtj says: In that last 40 years, no Democratic candidate for President has received even 51 percent of the total popular vote.

    Yup. But you also fail to mention how many times there was a 3rd party that could gather at least 5% of the vote – ’96, ’92, ’80, & ’68…. You also fail to mention that the repub candidate didn’t get 51% in many of those elections either – 2000, ’96, ’92. ’80, ’76, ’68 & ’64. Here’s a neat summary site if anyone is interested: atlas of elections

    Peter says: Dem turnout in all states in yesterday’s primaries were smaller than in ’00, continuing the trend of the whole year.

    Hmm, if I recall, more voters turn out when the nomination isn’t already locked up. Should I interpret low turnout numbers in Republican primaries as a sign that the Republicans don’t like Bush? And how should I interpret large turnouts in Iowa?

    Peter continues to say: The Hee-row has a big problem, fifty percent of the rank and file of his own party like George Bush more than they like him. Fifty percent of the rank and file of his own party are shaking their heads in disbelief at the antics of their hard-Left minority.

    Wow 50%. Got any numbers on that? Probably not as most polls indicate that the ability to beat Bush and consequently, this admin’s policies, is the reason they are voting for Kerry during the primaries.

    Rick V. says: If these guys are “are the most crooked, you know, lying group I’ve ever seen”, then he’s never looked in a mirror.

    Ahh good point. Kerry does have connections with the Kennedy’s and they in turn have a lot of connections. But let’s not turn away from Bush’s own connections. In fact, let’s look at the Bush/Rice/Baker/ et al. connections with Enron & big energy. Perhaps my memory is faulty, but didn’t George W. Bush make calles to the Argentinian public works directory, while his HW was prez on behalf of Enron? And didn’t Enron ultimately receive loans because of this? And wasn’t Rice on the board of Enron? And wasn’t Sen. Phil Gramm’s wife Wendy (a close Bush Texas associate) put on the board of Enron after casting the deciding vote 1 month before power transition in ’92 allowing Enron to gain unregulated commodities trading? And didn’t W. fail to demand to put caps on energy prices quickly during the California energy crisis, allowing Enron to continue to manipulate markets to keep them solvent just a tad longer?….And wasn’t it odd that the Army Corps awarded Haliburton exlusive contracts in Iraq without bidding? Having former head Cheney as VP didn’t hurt I suppose.

    Francis says: …. I think if Dubya were to say publicly that, in view of Kerry’s many insults and imputations of presidential conduct approaching treason, he considers the man too far below his standards to share a stage with him for any reason, he’d probably increase Republican vote totals by about 10%.

    Hmmm.. Does that mean the recent waffling accusations about Kerry were only of the most noble intentions? Let’s see, a long run in the Senate, one of the great debating institutions in the world (as proclaimed by many both left & right), where compromise is necessary to pass legislation…. yeah, that’s waffling. Oh and are recent downward estimations of 2004 job growth by this admin from 3.6 to 2.? to 1.? waffling also? WMD’s – WMD activity – WMD related activity? hmmm.

    Pea Pies says: …Eighty-nine percent also say the phrase should remain in the pledge….

    So I guess since the majority says something, it should be so. Like slavery in the 18th & early 19th century? But then there’s this thing called the constitution which seems to get in the way of such things – protecting the minority & all – that just happens to say that the government shall not support any religion…. Oh, and wasn’t the ‘under god’ phrase tucked in during the 50’s during the communist scare hey days?…

    ….

    Alright, enough sarcasm for now… Let the avalanche of hate begin. … However, I’m hoping that there are some people here who are more interested in reasoned debate rather than throwing words around and hoping they’ll stick together to make a coherent point.

  39. aaron Says:

    Nice peter, every additional $40,000 or so collected from the wealthy is one more good job that won’t exist. Atleast maybe it will pay for my unemployment.

  40. peter Says:

    Aaron? Clinton taxed the rich when he got into office – 33,000,000 new jobs happened under his watch – what do you base your numbers on?

  41. CERDIP Says:

    This has grown some legs, just saw a CNN report about it…

  42. aaron Says:

    peter, the situations are very different. job creation was overstimulated (and there was over-optimism) at the time and many of the jobs ended up not adding value, absurd expectations lead to the financials bubble and the uncertainty it caused to the recession. and if you care to take a look, the rate of job creation decreased after his tax hike.

  43. spongeworthy Says:

    What a great debating trick–put your false accusations in the form of questions so when you are caught lying you can say, “Hey, I just asked.”

    Picked one at random: Condi Rice was never on the board at ENRON.

    If you’re going to soak up that much bandwidth, shoot for accuracy. To err is human, but to do it with brevity, well, that’s just super.

  44. aaron Says:

    I pulled the number out of my ass. Doesn’t have any real meaning, just a plausible guess. I figure it’s probably about the average annual cost of a hire (salary plus benefits and other costs, it’s probably higher, but ignores the creation of part-time and wage jobs which cost much less). I’m also ingnoring the stimulus effects and consequential increase in output.

  45. peter Says:

    Aaron, so you’re addmitting that you’re just another mouth-breather with nothing of interest or import to say – you could be working for the GOP- go have a vodka, read a book (not Coulter’s!) and have a nice life

  46. jtj Says:

    Eric:

    You’re missing a couple of important points.

    1. Minority Party vs. Majority Party

    First, up until only very recently, there literally were millions and millions of Southerners who voted for Democratic candidates (both locally, state wide, and in national elections), but who’s viewpoints uniformally were associated with Republican positions. These people were anti-tax, pro-life, pro-business, pro free trade, pro-gun, and anti-secular. Yet, they belonged to the Democratic Party and voted Democratic. Why? It literally goes back to the Civil War.

    Simply put, politicians in the Southern states could not be associated with the party of Lincoln; despite the fact they were socially and fiscally conservative.

    All that has changed. In fact, it’s gotten to the point in the South where even an incumbent, well-funded conservative Democrat (e.g., Ronnie Musgrove) can get turned out by a huge margin in a state (e.g., Mississippi) which had not elected a Republican Governor in 150 years.

    This is the legacy of the Goldwater election of 1964. Since that time, state-wide and national general elections (especially in the South, but also the mid-West) have tended to follow much more closely with lines of ideology, as opposed to lines of political affiliation. Yes, Reagan got 50 percent of the total vote in 1980 (largely due to the presence of John Anderson). But he won 45 out of 50 states! Yes, George H.W. Bush lost his bid for reelection in 1992. But how many times will the Democratic Party be able to count on a spike in unemployment right before the election and a third-party candidate who pulls 20 percent of the vote? And, of course, merely two years after electing Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party was dealt its worst defeat ever (the mid-terms of 1994).

    Now, ultimately, what does it mean that ideology is trending as the main predictate of election results? It means that the Democratic Party is on a slow, steady slide towards political oblivion.

    On the issues, this is a conservative county. Plain and simple. Point after point after point, the vast majority of the total electorate believes in what is affiliated with the Republican position. Now, of course that does not mean that Republicans will win every election going forward. Certainly not. The Democratic Party won’t disappear. But, long-term, overall, and as a general matter, the Democrats already have been, and will continue to be, reduced to political irrelevance.

    It’s not a coincidence, after all, that they’ve become the minority party in the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the Governorships, and the state Legislatures. It’s also not a coincidence that, over the past 15 years or so, major figures in politics (e.g., Phil Gramm, Richard Shelby, Nighthorse Campbell, and others) have switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

    And that brings me to the second point.

    2. The Vitriol

    Did 20 year old Republicans stand around and hold “Clinton = Hitler” signs in 1996? After all, he already had shot missles at Iraq and bombed Serb-held Bosnia by that point. But of course not; nobody on the Republican side of things would have thought that, much less published that. Did Republican politicians call Clinton “crooked” on the record, out loud, in 1996? Of course not. And that was despite the whole Whitewater fiasco. Did Bob Dole call Clinton “A.W.O.L.” in 1996? This was a decorated war hero who nearly was killed by NAZI machine gun fire facing an opponent who literally dodged the draft. But, of course he didn’t make that an issue. Not at all. That election essentially was about the role of the federal government versus the state governments and spending growth rates.

    Why the distinction? Why so much vitriol against Bush; whereas an absence of similar vitriol against Clinton, for example.
    Are Republicans “nicer” than Democrats? Of course not. People in both parties can be absolutely vicious partisans.

    There are two reasons. First, the Republicans are an emerging majority political Party. They were a loyal opposition for many, many years. Now, however, they are the dominant political force; both at the state and federal levels. The Democrats, on the other hand, are being squeezed to lunatic fringe status. Can you imagine a Democratic candidate, for example, actually running on a platform of: raising taxes, abolishing the death penalty, imposing strict racial quota requirements, and guaranteeing even that late-term abortions would be kept legal??? Would that candidate win even three states nationwide??? Two states???

    Second, the underlying, fundamental ideology of elite Democrats is based on a notion of intellectual superiority. Elite Democrats (e.g., John Kerry; T. Kennedy; H. Clinton; T. Daschle; CBS; New York Times; Washington Post) believe they are smarter than the masses. Okay. Fair enough. But, now the masses have swung against them. They are not following their “directives” lock step. To the contrary, they are voting Democrats out of office, in droves. The reaction? Very similar, metaphorically speaking, to the Emperor’s reaction when he realized that his “new clothes” were a canard, and he was naked before his “subjects.”

    The harsh truth and the lesson learned in that fable was that the masses were just as smart as the Emperor. Even smarter, in the sense that they certainly would not have allowed misguided feelings of self-aggrandizment and santimony cloud their judgment to the point of hysteria.

    So, too, the Democratic Party has learned that it does not have any “new clothes.” Decrying “tax cuts for the wealthy” might go over well at cocktail parties in Manhattan. It does not help win elections, however. The people don’t want higher taxes.

    Saying that race relations are about “educating white people” might get nods of approval in the editorial caucus room of the Boston Globe. It does not, however, help win elections. White people don’t like being subjected to such condescension. And African-American people are moving away from the hackneyed victimization mantra of years past. Etc. Etc.

    So, what’s left for the Democrats? Outright anger. Rage, in fact. They’re loud. They’re angry. They just won’t take it anymore, damn it.

    Very similar to the way in which a spoiled child reacts when they don’t get their way. Connect the dots.

  47. Eric Says:

    spongeworthy – you’re right. to err is human… and I meant to say Chevron. She also has a tanker named after her. And thanks for the correction. btw – which accusations were false?

  48. Sandy P. Says:

    Let’s see,

    1998 – Mfg peaked in this country, and the new economy was going gangbusters.

    98-99, companies spent, well, like Congress on hard/softward for the Y2K bogeyman, is it any wonder they weren’t spending after?

    98-99 very, very liquid time, reins pulled in 1st part of 2000. Everyone remember what happened 3/6(?)/00???

    After 3/6, new economy go boom!

    Then the real problem, 9/11.

    We added over 25 million people from 1990-2000, how many more have we added since then??

    I’m surprised we’re doing as well as we are.

    Household survey shows different numbers than Labor.

    Hobbs blogged that over 7000 LLCs were started in TN alone last year, higher than in a long, long time, even during Bubba.

    Trend Macro has some interesting things up, including this:

    It shows that of the 30 fastest growing jobs over the next decade, 13 pay in the top 25% of wage earners, and another 6 are in the 2nd quartile. In other words, almost two-thirds of the fastest growing occupations are those that pay well above the median.

    Many of these positions are in the computer industry and associated businesses. According to the BLS projections, U.S. businesses are expected to raise their spending for computers and software from $420 billion in 2002 to $1.6 trillion in 2012 (in real 1996 dollars). These investments will provide many high paying jobs for those with the education, skill and training.

    The other big growth area is health, which also tends to pay well above the median. I suspect that the BLS estimates for growth in this area are even a bit modest. Federal spending on health care, especially after passage of the Medicare drug bill, will probably be higher than BLS assumes.

    Of course, we are not entitled to high-paying jobs, especially when we’ve become fat, lazy and stupid. Econopundit has some good links about our lack of education and how it’s coming home to roost.

  49. Eric Says:

    jtj – Good! I’ll chalk you up as a reasoned debater. However, I have to disagree with some of your conclusions. But as usual, during healthy debate, there are points of agreement. (gads, don’t i sound pompous)

    * The south is now a republican stronghold, formerly democratic.
    * there is a strong-anti bush sentiment today.

    Now, ultimately, what does it mean that ideology is trending as the main predictate of election results? It means that the Democratic Party is on a slow, steady slide towards political oblivion.

    I wouldn’t write off the democrats so fast. There are several reasons.

    *If being out of power for a long time (reference – not winning 51%) shows a sign of decline, than the repubs would have been defunct long ago for not having the house for 40 years.

    *conservative strength relies heavily on the religous right and that style of voter. However, trends in america are that more americans are not going to church and consider themselves non-religious than ever. 30% if the numbers i read are reasonably accurate. (from memory)

    *americans always reinvent themselves. Unlike Mexico’s PRI which ruled for over 70 years and other nations, there is no party that has remained in power for any length of time. Instead of revolution and constitutional upheaval, as in France, we choose to throw parties out of favor for awhile then bring them back. Americans don’t like political hegemony.

    *Corporate scandal – the Republicans are unabashadly tied to corporate interests (i know the dems have their friends too). But business is a traditional republican stronghold. There have been a number of corporate scandals. When those scandals start affecting investments like Enron & the mutual fund scandal, voters will take notice.

    * concerning winning the majority of states, i will go out, not far on a limb, and say that it doesn’t matter terrible much. That’s because of our electoral vote system. States with large urban centers get lots of electoral votes. If you win NY, you can lose any number of small states and still have more electoral votes. Rural voters tend to be more conservative, urban more liberal. It’s been that way for a long long time. And whoever plays the rural card has a hard time in the cities.

    As far as the country being more conservative than 40 years ago- yes, on some points. Abortion, welfare, justice, and others. But we are more liberal on many too. Environment, education, race relations, etc.

    Vitriol
    Some observations – what brought in Gingrich & the republicans to the house leadership in ’94 was rage. Rage against Clinton (both), the proposed government health system, the embarrasing defeat of Bush senior. And that continued clear into the impeachment of Clinton. Part of that anger at Clinton was a frustration at Clinton’s ability to play the middle while subvertly being more to the left. Bush is doing that today pretty well.

    Also, Bush led us to two wars. The first justified by many Americans, including myself. The second was viewed as preemptive. It was the first preemptive US invasion since the Spanish American war. The evidence was & still is lacking. This was a political shift of enormous proportions.

    Dole didn’t attack Clinton, in part, because Dole had a caustic reputation already. Had he played the negative ad, he would have turned off a lot of voters. Too bad too, the guy has a great sense of humor. But there were any number of democratic bashers available.

    I do have to disagree strongly with you that the dems have a lock on elitism. But I would say that Republican’s are holding the “moral elitism” card. That card will eventually be played out….

  50. jtj Says:

    Eric:

    I do appreciate at least being referred to as “reasoned.” On other forums, I tend to be called “half-witted neo-Nazi,” and the like.

    Again, that issue of vitriol. Oh, well.

    You can certainly have the last word on this, but on the issue of realignment of power, you’re point about previous Democratic hegemony puts the cart before the horse.

    Think about WHY the Democrats held power in the House for 40 consecutive years. It certainly was not because a majority of Americans believed in higher taxes, abortion, a bigger federal government, or were against the death penalty.

    It was the New Deal coalition. You had Northeastern liberal Democrats standing side by side with conservative Southern Democrats. The Northeastern libs were in the Democratic Party because they believed in Democratic ideology; i.e., big government. The Southerners were in the Democratic Party because if you ran as a Republican in a local or state-wide race in the South up until, oh, say, 15 or 20 years ago, you would get slaughtered merely by virtue of being a Republican.

    Now, however, the above scenario has been turned on its head. Even incumbent Democrats in the South are at risk of losing state-wide elections by landslide margins. And, as you know, Democrats historically have had problems with national general elections; even during the times in which they absolutely dominated local politics (e.g., Ike, Nixon, Reagan). Moreover, electoral votes have been shifting dramatically from the Northeast to the South.

    So, connect the dots . . .

    You have a very good point about the two paths of elitism. Republicans are on a plane of moral elitism; Democrats on a plane of intellectual elitism. How will that play out? We’ll find out. But keep in mind these points: (1) as a general matter, people never have taken to intelluctual condescension. Simply put, people don’t like being treated or spoken to as though they are stupid; (2) given the “Roe v. Wade effect” (i.e., a relatively higher percentage of people coming into existence in more conservative families, as opposed to liberal ones) it might be the case that moral elitism will be deemed the less repugnant of the two forms of elitism, over time; even if the electorate becomes more secular in a purely religious sense, over time.

    Finally, after reading all this, you’re probably thinking that I’m one of these knee-jerk, Southern, conservative, bible-wielding Republicans, right? Uh, not exactly.

    I was born in Manhattan. I grew up in NYC. I have a degree from U.C. Berkeley. I am staunchly secular.

    Why, then, am I so anti-Democratic (capital-D)??? Simple: The Democratic Party has degenerated into a loose cabal of far-left special interests. Plus, when you boil it down, they want higher taxes and they tend to oppose (or at least are very reticent regarding) the use of military force.

    Well, I want to keep more of my money; not less. And I want my government to kill people who want to kill me before those people have a chance to kill me. Better them than me. And, if they get me first, I at least want to have a reasonable assurance that I might be avenged later on.

    Law of the jungle? You bet.

    Necessary in view of the hideous world-wide cancer of islamo-fascist terrorism? You bet.

  51. aaron Says:

    Um peter, nothing I said is dependent on the actually value of that number. An exact figure would have very little meaning (the real values, and their distribution about the mean, can only be evaluated in hindsight [to produce statistical estimates for forcasting and evaluation]) in determining a possible course for action, unless it happens to be negetive! (just incase you have absolutely no clue, if the costs were negetive there would be a whole lot of job growth–free money for each employee, yippie!) Actual real-time values vary and can’t be known, and effects of policy are dependent on many variables, some additive and some multiplicative, subject to random variance–and some can’t even be measured (such as psychological factors: excesive risk aversion, irrational fears, expectation that one can hold out for an even better deal / lobby for more benefits… And, many cannot be addressed by government policy).

    The actual statistics are only relevant in developing a policy; determining where tax cuts would be most/least effective/aversive to the desired effects and managing the risk of them being too effective. If your sole concern is job creation, in making the policy decision you would want to know what types of jobs you wish to create, who provides them, the cost for the employer (and costs of alternatives: opportunity costs), and the composition of those costs. You then increase the resources available to them and lower the costs (and risks) where possible; like reducing payroll taxes, healthcare costs, cost/liability of firing bad hires, and impediments to productivity. Next, you use your stats estimates and forecasts to determine the right mix of cost reduction and resourse allocations to create the desired effect with the least risk. You then evaluate your ability to actually get your proposal accepted and determine where it is too nuanced for your peer and opposition to understand. You then decide whether to broaden your target, increasing risk and decreacing effectiveness, or battle it out with you peers and opposition, increasing difficulty, causing delays, risking rejection. You must also decide what aversive decisions you must accept to sell your proposal to the opposition and rebalance desired cuts to offset their effects (like providing middle-class tax relief up to $150,000 in income to cover your party brethren and having to finally increase it to $200,000 so that Democrat congressmen are included…or was $100,000 to $150,000?).

    Hey Peter, you’ve noticed that english and debating are not my strong points; don’t be proud of that: it’s obvious and pointing it out shows a lack of character, especially since you attempt use it as a distractor to avoid addressing the reallity. You threw out some number, don’t you think you should know what they mean? My hypothetical number is a lot more relevant than your historical, and yet, like I said, not necessary. I’m not good at explaining this; I’m not good at recalling the right words; I’m not good at recalling the exact figures: it’s a pain in the ass and I shouldn’t have to, especially since the trends and correlations are so damn obvious.

    With Canada’s economy being so dependent on the US’s, it would be in your interest not to try to undermine it.

  52. PeaPies Says:

    My comment to all the donks who think they are disrupting this conservative blog – on the heals of Madrid- Go to hell…go hug a tree and then go to hell.

  53. PoliBlog Says:

    The 3/13 Toast-O-Meter

    -Toast: It’s not Just for Breakfast Anymore!- The Toast-o-meter: A Weekly News Round-Up and Handicapping of the Race for to be the next President of the United States. The Toast-O-Meter comes to you Fortified with linkage and Enhanced with bloggage….

  54. protein wisdom Says:

    Bring. It. On. Chapter 4.

    Overheard on line at the snack machine just outside the Senate chambers, March 11: Kerry: “…the fact is, Tom, there’s a Republican attack squad that specializes in trying to destroy people. They questioned McCain’s parentage in 2000. They attacked Cl…

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