Saturday, October 12 2002
BEATS GORE: All I can say about this new
Marist College poll is, well, duh. Even despite his recent
antics, Gore holds a 23-point lead over his nearest challenger
for the nomination. But Gore loses huge to Bush (59%-34%) in a
national matchup. If Cheney doesn't re-up, Colin Powell is the
prohibitive people's choice for VP in 2004. And, by the way, this
poll shows Republicans with a 5-point lead in the Generic Congressional
PART III: Okay, so
I said it would be difficult, but not impossible, to
orchestrate serious vote fraud in a sparsely populated state like
South Dakota. Lo and behold, the Rapid
City Journal reported that somebody was trying. Yesterday,
named a Democrat operative who submitted two invalid absentee
ballots and has since been fired. Though it's still to early to
tell exactly what was going on here, the "dirty tricks"
label the Democrats seem to be pinning on themselves this election
season could very well make the difference for Thune.
intersting story from the Tennessee Senate contest that just
might signal Leahy and Co.'s shenanigans in the Judiciary Committee
are damaging Dem candidates around the country. -TB 9:26 am
Friday, October 11 2002
is done and Democrats can now move on to talking about the
economy. My thoughts linger, however, with the opposition. The
people that opposed the Iraq resolution yesterday are by and large
the same group that voted against the Gulf War in 1991 and in
favor of the 1999 resolution authorizing Clinton to engage in
air strikes in Kosovo. It' s hard to find the logic that compelled
these votes. It's certainly not national security. The case that
humanitarian concerns justified a vote on Kosovo but not Kuwait
or Iraq is also terribly weak. It seems much more likely that
the rationale for these votes can be found in the"detestable
vice" in human character outlined by Alexander Hamilton,
arguing in favor of a single executive in The Federalist, #70:
often oppose a thing, merely because they have had no agency
in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those
whom they dislike. But if they have been consulted, and have
happened to disapprove, opposition then becomes, in their estimation,
an indispensable duty of self-love. They seem to think themselves
bound in honor, and by all the motives of personal infallibility,
to defeat the success of what has been resolved upon contrary
to their sentiments.
no? - TB 12:30 pm
Time to put in my two cents. When I saw clips of the ad which
caused Taylor to drop
out of the Montana Senate race yesterday, I didn't think much
of it. I couldn't see the gay-baiting angle that caused so much
fuss. Watching the full thing this morning, I totally agree with
this ad is so laced with innuendo it's hard for any reasonable
person to think this spot wasn't carefully crafted to scream "Taylor
is a homosexual." The music, the "Boogie Nights"
fonts and the video are so engrossing that even after watching
the ad a number of times I was hard pressed to remember the ad's
supposed central allegation: something about a beauty school scam.
The final line leaves little doubt about the ad's intent: "That's
not how we do business in Montana."
gay-baiting and yes, this would be HUGE news if it were a Republican
ad against a Democrat candidate. I think a more interesting and
less obvious question is why the Dems would run this ad in the
first place. Baucus wasn't even remotely being threatened by Taylor's
candidacy. There simply was no need for the Dems to run an ad
which was so personal and potentially controversial. If gay-rights
groups in America have an integrity, this is an ad that can and
should cost Democrats support well beyond the borders of Montana.
The fact that the Dems were willing to run the ad in the first
place gives the answer. - TB 10:15
SERIAL KILLER?: While the country is focused on Maryland,
there have been three homicides in four days in
Anchorage. That's a big deal in any city, let alone a place
where they have only had 14 homicides the entire year. - TB 8:00
Thursday, October 10 2002
LIKELY": That's the headline of the
latest piece on the French tanker explosion in Yemen. - TB
SWITCHEROO : Check out the latest
ad from the NJ GOP which begins airing on cable stations today.
Edsall's piece in the Washington Post today says Democrat
fundraising efforts have taken "a nosedive" since the
war debate started in earnest and could portend low voter turnout
in November. It's looking more and more like September 11th was
a watershed moment in US political history. The events of that
day seem to have profoundly dislocated the base of the Democrat
party from mainstream public opinion with respect to national
security and produced the rift that now leaves Congressional Democrats
with a lose-lose proposition: 1) go along with President Bush
on the war and watch your rank-and-file close their wallets and
sit on their hands on Election Day or 2) vocally oppose the Administration
on Iraq and risk being turned out by a public that overwhelmingly
favors the President and his policy. - TB 11:00 am
VOTE FRAUD: Last week I
questioned whether enough attention is being paid to vote
fraud this year given the fact that so much is at stake and there
are so many close races. The answer, apparently, is yes. Attorney
General Ashcroft issued
a memo earlier this week instructing Justice Department prosecutors
to work with local officials to head off possible attempts at
fraud this November. Also earlier this week, the RNC released
a study claiming thousands of people were registered to vote in
more than one state and that as many as 3,500 people may have
voted twice. Ironically, I had to search forever to find the Ashcroft
story and still haven't been able to locate a link to the RNC
study story. They were up yesterday, but have been mysteriously
removed from every major source I checked.
story in the news is that Terry
McAuliffe announced the DNC will send "thousands"
of lawyers into Florida to monitor the elections next month and
to ensure that "no one is intimidated into foregoing their rights."-
TB 10:15 am
Wednesday, October 9 2002
BYRD, HYPOCRITE: I've never been a huge fan of Senator Robert
Byrd. I've always admired his reverence and historical knowledge
of the Senate, but he's had a 44-year run with his nose planted
firmly in the government pork trough and probably holds the record
for spending more American tax dollars than any other Senator
in US history.
So I guess
you could say I wasn't favorably predisposed to the Senator when
I clicked on his
article in the LA Times this morning. Still, I didn't expect
to be as outraged as I was after reading it.
lot to chew on, but basically Byrd claims that he'd be asking
the same questions to a Democratic president, that Congress shouldn't
give the President a blank check, and that we should let the United
Nations make a decision first before we act.
It took all
of about two minutes to look up the 1999 Senate Resolution regarding
the use of force in Yugoslavia, which Byrd voted
for, and the 1991 Gulf War authorization, which the Senator
there was little to no national security interest and no UN authorization.
The resolution made no mention of the "deadlines", "termination"
or "sunset language" that Byrd indignantly calls for
with regard to the Iraq resolution. In other words, he gave Clinton
a blank check.
Senator Byrd didn't hesitate to "commit the blood and treasure
of the American people" in 1998 to a cause representing less
of an immediate threat to America than Iraq does now.
that voting against a resolution on Iraq will help, "maintain
the face of America as a country which believes in justice, the
rule of law, freedom and liberty and the rights of all people
to work out their ultimate destiny?" Where was such sanctimony
when he voted to start dropping bombs on a sovereign country engaged
in an age-old ethnic war?
hypocrite doesn't even begin to do this one justice. - TB 12:15
UPDATE: Byrd, described in
this AP story as a "jealous guardian of congressional
powers", is trying to delay the Senate vote on an Iraq resolution.
MORE WRONG: The editor of The Progressive, Matthew Rothschild,
says Bush's case against Iraq doesn't
hold water. As proof, Rothschild trots out the same old antiwar
arguments one more time: 1) Saddam is less of a threat now than
11 years ago, 2) Inspections work and 3) So what if Saddam gets
a nuke? He's a rational dictator who won't share it with terrorists
and will be deterred by the prospect of US nuclear retaliation.
more: "Saddam Hussein has done nothing recently that approaches
an act of aggression justifying the overwhelming response of war,"
Rothschild writes. Other than firing almost daily on US and British
planes enforcing the UN mandated "no fly zone" and breaking
every possible term of the 1991 cease fire agreement, that is.
arguments have been rebutted - not to mention thoroughly rejected
by the American people over the last few months - and trying to
raise them again as legitimate comes off as empty and tired, even
lame. Yet they continue to make the rounds among the antiwar crowd
in magazines and on the floor of the US House, where yesterday
Democrats warned of "quagmires" and "igniting the
Middle East tinderbox". All of this has me wondering: "Aren't
these people tired of being on the wrong side of history?"
- TB 10:45 am
MORE MORRIS: After
dissecting the NY Times poll in yesterday's
NY Post, Dick Morris is back with his weekly
column in The Hill outlining the Dems' self-sabotage this
election season. Here's the money quote:
After a year of skillfully hugging Bush
on terror and saying, “Me too,” when Bush acted decisively to
attack the Taliban, the Democrats suddenly decided to throw
the terror issue into the partisan mix for the 2002 election.
It is the dumbest mistake they have made in eight years.
The political landscape would look a whole lot more promising
for the Democrats if a vocal majority had stood with the President
on Iraq over the last few months. Instead, the dovish wing of
the party emerged with Al Gore as its leader, made most of the
headlines and split the caucus in two.
It was a
terrible miscalculation, as Morris suggests, but one that was
perhaps unavoidable given the McGovernite underpinnings that continue
to run through the rank and file of the Democrat party. That and
the weak leadership of Tom Daschle, who to this very day has not
taken a real stand on the issue of Iraq and continues to dicker
over the Homeland Security bill, more concerned about process
and politics than leading his members. Daschle should have recognized
the ramifications of opposing Iraq and made sure that the "centrists"
and "hawks" of the party like Bayh and Lieberman were
out in front on the issue instead of letting Gore, Kennedy, McDermott
and Bonior become the face of the party on the issue of national
security. -TB 9:36 am
October 8 2002
PRETTY PLEASE: How
great would it be if the voters of NJ give the 'ol middle finger
to the Democrat Party, Bob "I Built Everything in This State"
Torricelli and the NY Times editorial board and elect Doug Forrester
anyway? A new Star-Ledger
poll shows that it could happen. Check out more Senate polls
here. And don't
forget to sign up for Zogby's
tracking polls. The next round comes out this weekend. - TB
EMPEROR OF FOOLS: I grew up just outside of Seattle
and I'm constantly shocked by the leftist inanity that spews forth
from there. The city I remember was a place where "liberal"
concerns - primarily an acute sensitivity to environmental issues
that is part of every Northwesterner's DNA - were tempered by
a strong symbiotic relationship with the US military and a reliance
on blue collar jobs in the aviation industry. But, alas, Boeing
is gone (for the most part) and the US military and the Bush administration
are now the enemy. And leading this motley pack of socialists,
anarchists, Marxists, and hippie-dippie pacifists is the shameless,
McDermott, reveling in the attention the media has showered upon
him over the Iraq issue, has convinced himself he represents some
vast antiwar constituency looking for a leader with "courage"
to help them voice their position. It's a quixotic crusade not
unlike the one John McCain invented for himself over the campaign
finance issue in 2000. McDermott's delusions, however, are over
matters of life and death and his actions in Baghdad could very
well have signaled weakness,and thus emboldened, our enemies.
- TB 10:45 am
SPEECH: I'll be honest,
I fell asleep. Maybe it's because I immediately recognized
it was a reprise of his September 12 speech, or maybe it was the
subdued, somber delivery that got me. Getting up at 4am to update
this damn site sure didn't help. Either way, the parts of the
speech I saw were good, but the in the grand scheme of things
the whole event was somewhat inconsequential: Bush already has
large majorities in both houses of Congress for a resolution authorizing
military action against Iraq and 67% approval among the public.
With all three major networks passing on the speech, relatively
few people even saw his performance last night. All Bush wanted
to accomplish last night was to put the finishing touches on his
Iraq policy, to close the case with the American people and to
generate some gravity in his direction for the few remaining fence-sitters
in Congress. He succeeded. - TB 8:31 am
New Jersey Senate Race Is On as Courts Reject G.O.P. Appeals"
This is the Times' headline today reporting on the news
the US Supreme Court has refused to get involved in the New Jersey
case. Just the headline to the article gives away their clear
bias, implying that we can have a real Senate race in New Jersey
now that the GOP's attempt to prevent a race has been rejected.
Of course the truth is there was a real Senate race in New Jersey
just a week ago, but the Dems and the NY Times weren't liking
how that race was going. So with an utter disregard for what is
legal and right, they pulled a fast one, and so far have gotten
away with it. It is now up to the people of New Jersey to decide
whether this is how free elections should be administered in a
democracy that only works because we have respect for the rule
of law. JM 6:52 AM
Monday, October 7 2002
NY TIMES POLL: So the NY Times is out with another
poll. Despite their spin, the results are not necessarily
bad news for Republican candidates in November. Let's assume the
numbers are accurate: 7 in 10 support Bush's call for military
action against Iraq and 7 in 10 want to hear candidates talk more
about the economy. From a generic ballot perspective, this is
a wash. Republicans hold an edge in foreign policy/national security
matters and Democrats have a slight advantage on domestic economic
issues. If anything, the events of the past two weeks have accentuated
these differences; story after story of the DOW's continuing decline
right next to the Gore/Daschle/McDermott/Bonior antiwar circus.
If even voters give primacy to economic issues, ultimately the
election becomes a credibility contest among the individual candidates
on who will work harder at helping to turn the economy around
and be a strong supporter of the war on terrorism.
WITH IOWA: Iowa Democrats held their annual
Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner this weekend and the potential
'04 presidential contenders of Howard Dean, John Kerry, and John
Edwards addressed the crowd. Of the three, only Dean seemed to
inspire any emotion, getting a standing ovation for using protectionist
trade rhetoric and aggressively questioning Bush's Iraq policy.
I watched Edwards's speech live on C-Span and despite his best
dramatic efforts - including an overabundant use of that annoying
"presidential" thumb-wagging gesture - he couldn't even
get the crowd excited enough to yawn.
If the leftist
tilt of the Iowa Democratic party is indicative of the party as
a whole, then barring some sort of economic collapse the Democrats
can forget about winning back the White House in 2004. More than
half of the serious contenders right now (Kerry, Lieberman, and
Dean) are cut from the classic Northeastern liberal cloth. This
may win them New England and California, but it doesn't play nearly
as well in Peoria. Regardless of what John
Judis and Ruy Teixeira think, it's hard to see how effete
elites like Kerry, et al. are going to appeal to moderate and
conservative Democrats in the South and Midwest more than Bush.
But with a liberal stranglehold on the nominating process, it's
equally hard to see how more centrist (and therefore electable)
Democrats like John Edwards can ever win the nomination. - TB