September 06, 2004

Mommy make the mean man stop!

The Chicago Sun Times reports the Democrats whine that the Republicans have been "mean" to John Kerry, and that that has caused the bounce for Dubya in the polls.



I mean it is quite well known by political insiders that Kerry has a skin thinner than typing paper. But what's hilarious about this is that it creates the ability for Republicans to portray Kerry as too thin-tempered to be president. My prediction is that over the coming two weeks they will do lots of things to try to provoke Kerry to get him to blow up as he did last Friday. As much as many in the traditional old media want to cover for him, if he continues to do this they can't help but cover it. They'll explain it away, blame it on "mean" republicans, but in the end the message will get out: how the heck can Kerry be president if he can't stand the heat?

The other side of the "mean" coin is the idea that Democrats are always draping themselves in that Republicans succeed because they are willing to do things that pure as the driven snow Democrats would never be able to do because of their inherent goodness.

You know, Republicans are goons and Democrats noble fighters. But since politics is played by the rules of the goons, Democrat losses are not a result of bad ideas or poor leadership but because of their inherent nobility. It's an obnoxious yet hilarious derivative of the Adlai Stevenson Syndrome: that it's better to believe yourself to be smarter and the Amerikan people stoopid-er than to acknowledge one's own real problems.

There's no better example of this than this gem from Susan Estrich, entitled "Lies move Democrats to dig up dirt":

My Democratic friends are mad as hell, and they aren't going to take it any more.

Now you don't have to have read very much Sun Tsu, let alone Plunkitt of Tamany Hall or Hardball for that matter to realize that the person saying this is about to do something incredibly stupid from both a strategic and tactical perspective.

They are worried, having watched as another August smear campaign, full of lies and half-truths, takes its toll in the polls.

This raises the question: if it was a "smear, full of lies and half-truths," why exactly is the Kerry campaign changing its story on things like Christmas in Cambodia? Also, what exactly the lie or half-truth in showing Kerry's 1971 Testimony and its impact on the POWS?

I think Estrich is patrolling the watery border between paranoia and irrationality....

They are frustrated, mostly at the Kerry campaign, for naively believing that just because all the newspapers and news organizations that investigated the charges of the Swift Boat assassins found them to be full of lies and half-truths, they wouldn't take their toll. The word on the street is that Kerry was ready to fire back the day the story broke, but that his campaign, believing the charges would blow over if they ignored them, counseled restraint.

Hmm, qualities I want in the Commander-in-Chief, no? He would've struck back against the terrorists, but Mary Beth Cahill convinced him that France would no like, so, what could he do? I mean, it's not like he's the candidate running for president, hmmmm? Where exactly does the buck stop in the campaign, anyway? Clearly not with the candidate.

Thanks for clearing that up for us Susan!

But most of all, activist Democrats are angry. As one who lived through an August like this, 16 years ago - replete with rumors that were lies, which the Bush campaign claimed they had nothing to do with and later admitted they had planted - I'm angry, too. I've been to this movie. Lies move numbers.

Remember the one about Dukakis suffering from depression after he lost the governorship? We lost six points over that lie, planted by George W.'s close friend and colleague in the 1988 campaign, Lee Atwater. Or how about the one about Kitty Dukakis burning a flag at an anti-war demonstration, another out-and-out lie, which the Bush campaign denied having anything to do with, except that it turned out to have come from a United States senator via the Republican National Committee? Atwater later apologized to me for that, too, on his deathbed. Did I mention that Lee's wife is connected to the woman running the Swift Boat campaign?

What do you do, Democrats keep asking each other.

The answer is not pretty, but everyone knows what it is.

Oooh! Oooh! Mister Kotter! Ooooooh!

Yes Horshack?

Mister Kotter, the answer is quite simple: set up a whole network of barely legal organizations and raise hundreds of millions of dollars from people like George Soros claiming lord knows what type of shadowy political obligations in the process, and run all sorts of ads comparing the president to Hitler, out drinking the blood of peaceful Iraqi people who only wanted to fly kites for their beloved leader Saddam!

The trouble with Democrats, traditionally, is that we're not mean enough.

Yeah, I'm sure Bob Bork sleeps like a baby at night thinking just that. Or David Koresh and his followers. And it's sure nice to know that our foreign policy in the 1990s was motivated by a desire not to be mean---heaven forbid we decide to do things like take the war to them, rather than do the kind and decent thing and let them slaughter thousands of American civilians as a means to register their displeasure that we, ummm, exist.

Too much is at stake to play by Dukakis' rules and lose again. That is the conclusion Democrats have reached.

What is the obsession among the Democrats with Dukakis this way? What has the "rapid reaction" done for them? This is being presented as if it's some sort of new insight, rather than the operating principle of the Democratic party since at least 1992.

The problem here is not that they are not responding, but they are failing at presenting their candidate well. The August collapse was due to the failure of the convention, and its overemphasis on Vietnam.

I mean, come on already: just because you were dumb enough to frontload your primary system and let "Anybody but Bush" win the nomination, did you really think the Republicans were not going to go at Kerry's great weakness, the whole Vets Against the War phase? There were things they could have done to minimize this, innoculate their candidate. But when Lurch walked out and "reported for duty," that opened up this whole issue like flicking on the neon "free meth and tequila" sign at a high desert biker bar.

So watch out. Millions of dollars will be on the table. And there are plenty of choices for what to spend it on.

I cannot suggest enough the need to watch either the Good, the Bad, or the Ugly, or at least Die Hard: if you come to shoot, shoot, don't talk. So you've alerted the Republicans that you are going to attack, and you're alerting the Federal Election Commission that you are about to enter into a conspiracy to violate the McCain/Feingold Act. Announcing that "there are plenty of choices for what to spend it on" sounds to me like illegal coordination.

But of course such illegal coordination is only done by mean Republicans.

Will it be the three, or is it four or five, drunken driving arrests that Bush and Cheney, the two most powerful men in the world, managed to rack up?

Um, old news. Stale.

After Vietnam, nothing is ancient history, and Cheney is still drinking. What their records suggest is not only a serious problem with alcoholism, which Bush but not Cheney has acknowledged, but also an even more serious problem of judgment.

Oh please, please, PLEASE go after Cheney on this: after the job he did to Joltin' Joe in the 2000 debate, can you imagine what he's going to do to Edwards? He's going to light him up like a cheap pinball machine in an Elton John video.

What if Bush were to fall off the wagon? Then what? Has America really faced the fact that we have an alcoholic as our president?

Please try this one too. I mean, for 10 years now the Dems have been misunderestimating Dubya, starting with that notorious drunk Ann Richards. And if this is the best that she can come up, I'd think they would make sure to hide Ted Kennedy (let alone "former" cocaine addict Hon. Patrick Kennedy, (D-RI) in the closet. Let alone President Clinton with his sex addiction, let alone the legacy of JFK I with his issues with pills and women.

Didn't the mean Republicans try to do this against President Bartlett and Leo? Doesn't she know how that one would play out?

Piss off the AA crowd, what a great campaign strategy!

Or how about Dead Texans for Truth, highlighting those who served in Vietnam instead of the privileged draft-dodging president, and ended up as names on the wall instead of members of the Air National Guard.

Or maybe it will be Texas National Guardsmen for Truth, who can explain exactly what George W. Bush was doing while John Kerry was putting his life on the line. Perhaps with money on the table, or investigators on their trail, we will learn just what kind of wild and crazy things the president was doing while Kerry was saving a man's life, facing enemy fire and serving his country.

This gets to the whole problem of Vietnam for the Democrats: you can't have it so that John Kerry and the people who liked him were the only good guys, and all the rest of the vets were and remain a bunch of blood-thirsty, baby-killing war criminals. It's the blindness to this point that created the August collapse for your candidate; it's the moral ambiguity you've created that only Kerry served nobly and all the rest of the Swift Vets are opportunistic hacks and war criminals that is ringing hollow.

The "who died in his place" tactic was tried against Grover Cleveland and failed, and it was sure as heck tried against Bill Clinton and failed then too. But maybe we didn't devote enough resources to it: and what Estrich is blind to is that it is exactly the type of story that will follow the line she wants to open.

And as to who died in Dubya's place, we still haven't heard from the mother/brother/wife/son/veternarian of the wounded VC Kerry shot in the back to earn his Silver Star.......

Or could it be George Bush's Former Female Friends for Truth. A forthcoming book by Kitty Kelley raises questions about whether the president has practiced what he preaches on abortion. As Larry Flynt discovered, a million dollars loosens lips. Are there others to be loosened?

So this is what it has come to for the late, great party of Jackson, FDR, and Truman: our success hinges on the slander of Kitty Kelley and the slime that is Larrry Flynt. Or Dubya's ex-girl friends: move on, indeed!

Larry Flynt: the great hope of the Democratic Party.

Stew on that one for awhile.

Are you shocked? Remember Dukakis? Now he teaches at Northeastern University. John Kerry has been very fair in dealing with the Swift Boat charges. That's why so many of my Democrat friends have decided to stop talking to the campaign, and start putting money together independently.

Again, sounds to me like illegal coordination. Glad you are telegraphing for us, Susan.

The arrogant little Republican boys who strutted around New York this week, claiming that they have this one won, would do well to take a step back. It could be a long and ugly road to November.

Yep, it's going to be long and ugly, but what we've learned so far this year is the Democrats can dish it out, but they sure as hell can't take it. Can they take the public release of John Kerry's divorce and annulment records? That was done to John Ryan, but that's okay---he's just a mean Republican. Dish dirt on the Bush twins? Sure--I'm fully confident that the Kerry girls have been living in a convent. Can they take the full public release of John Kerry's military records, including why he has three distinctly different versions of his Silver Star Citation and why, after he threw away ? Can they take the full and public release of Teh-RAY-zah's tax and financial records?

I didn't think so.

But the thing I AM sure of is come November, Susan Estrich & Co. will be whining again about how low the Republicans took the race.

Because, remember it's only a smear if it's against a Republican, and it's only "dirty tricks" if it's done against a Democrat.

So, I've only got one thing to say to Susan Estrich: Release the hounds.

And as God says to Moses in that great Bill Cosby bit, "how long can you tread water?"

Because while John Kerry likes to posture in a macho fashion to "BRING. IT. ON!" when the going gets tough, his reaction seems to be "mommy make the mean man stop!"

UPDATE: Wizbang muses on the theme.

Posted by Steve at September 6, 2004 01:41 PM | TrackBack

Mean enough? How about honest enough? In the recent past we've suffered as the sociopath Clinton and his merry band of jackals hacked their way across the reputations of many law-abiding and decent people, all the while making noises about their own goodness and decency. The Clinton cabinet was a warehouse of inept policy wonks and truth-benders and now we have the spewings of candidate Kerry:

"Can't these people see that I am as utterly ruthless as Jenjiss Kahn? Don't they know WHO. I. Am? I WILL. NOT. HAVE. my implied military record and it's inferred heroism tainted by these...commoners."

Oh for Heaven's sake! How about peeing on our heads and telling us it's raining!? How about actually READING the Constitution of the United States?

This will be a fascinating few months. Bring. It. On.

Dan Patterson
Winston-Salem, NC

Posted by: Dan Patterson at September 6, 2004 02:49 PM

Susan Estrogen's rantings remind me of another myth of the Left: that George H.W. Bush dug up Willie Horton to wrap around the neck of Michael Stanley Dukakis in the 1988 campaign. That honor goes to none other than Al Gore.

Posted by: Llama Military Correspondent at September 6, 2004 03:25 PM

Something on your mind, Steve? Just come on out with it.

Seriously, good fiskin'. I think the whole, let's get mean back at the Republicans is like saying, "but this goes to 11." They are already on full blast nasty mode. There is nowhere else to go.

Posted by: Gordon at September 6, 2004 07:14 PM
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