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Conservative Political Commentary

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Lady Liberty

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


Friday, November 05, 2004

This is just too much fun ...
posted by Tom

One Idiot Goes Into Semi-Retirement None Too Soon

It would be pathetic if it weren't so funny. Or it would be funny if it weren't so pathetic.

Whatever.

Jimmy Breslin, the decomposing Newsday columnist who built a career of facile social and political commentary on the fact he received letters from a crackpot serial killer back in the 1970s, submitted his last regular feeble attempt to sound like he knows what he's talking about to the magazine on November 2nd. Because the stupidity expressed in his swan song is so exquisite, I had to reprint it in its entirety and with no other commentary beyond this modest introduction.

Why Kerry will beat Bush

One day last May, I assigned the election to John Kerry. I said it early, and often. As I looked more, I saw that it shouldn't even be close. I said that in this space more than once. Now I am so sure that I am not even going to bother to watch the results tonight. I am going to bed early, for I must rise in the darkness and pursue immediately an exciting, overdue project.

Besides, if I was up, so many people, upon seeing every word I said of this election coming true on television in front of them, would be kissing my hands and embarrassing me with outlandish praise. So I go to bed with total confidence. I will get up and stroll to other meadows. I invented this column form. I now leave, but will return here for cameo appearances. And I leave today as the only one in America who from the start was sure John Kerry would win by a wide margin. Let me tell you why.

This began when I noted that it was obvious, but overlooked that George Bush had lost the last election by 500,000 votes. He was close enough in Florida for it to be stolen in court.

The reason he was close was that Ralph Nader had 125,000 votes in Florida, most of whom would have voted for Gore.

Anybody who had voted for Gore four years ago would never vote for Bush.

So Bush started this campaign behind 500,000 votes.

Nor is there Nader. He has reduced himself to being the village idiot.

When I figured in the people shocked by the dead bodies of young Americans in Iraq, and brutalized here by unemployment, there was no way to make the election seem close. I said this in this newspaper several times.

Each time as I was typing, the words of the late great Harry (Champ) Segal kept shouting in my ear:

"Go naked on this one!"

When published reports showed a million new voter registrations in Florida and about 800,000 in Ohio, I made the election a lock. They were not rushing out for George Bush. And these poll takers were ignoring them. Any part of a million votes in Florida, most of them of color, would sweep the state.

The reporters said the nation was divided. They were afraid to say anything that might upset this view. You've been had by the news industry. Not once, even after the first debate when Kerry scored a technical knockout, did they take a step and call it as it happened. "War of Words" was the closest they could come.

Finally, one thing kept clawing at you. Cell phones. Long I have wondered how many there were. Everybody I know, smart people, politicians, news directors, thought that there were, oh, 40 million or so. I call the cell phone institute in Washington last Sept. 12. They told me that there were 165 million cell phones in use in the United States, That is 165,000,000. One month later, I asked again. It was up to 170 million -- 170,000,000. Yes, a great number also had land lines. But of this 170 million cell phone users there were 40 million between the ages of 18 and 29, and these people usually have no other phones.

That had to be Kerry.

Not one cell phone in the United States had been reached by a political poll. These old-line poll takers don't know who cell phone users were or where they lived.

So you were getting CBS/New York Times polls proclaimed as most important and real. One hundred seventy million cell phones and you don't poll one of them. The polls they are pushing at you in the news magazines, on the networks, in the big papers, are such cheap, meaningless blatant lies, that some of these television stations should have their licenses challenged.

They have a poll number for every one of the "battleground states." I'm awaiting the casualty list from Gettysburg.

Then a night or so ago, somebody finally tried a poll of cell phone users between the ages of 18 and 29. John Zogby conducted the survey in conjunction with Rock the Vote and the results showed Kerry at 55 percent and Bush at 40.

Then the Kerry people ran their own poll, which took a lot of work. It was the first time they had reached any cell phone users. The result was Kerry 59 and Bush 39.

Then I saw on television yesterday, and I hate to single him out, but he singled himself out, this fellow Bill Schneider on CNN and he is their election expert and he said that cell phones didn't mean anything. He's right. They didn't mean anything in 1950.

Oh, but these young people never vote, the tales read. They will this time, and because of a one-word issue.

Draft.

Every time Bush, or one of these generals he has, stands up and says there will be no military draft, everybody young figures this means there probably will be one by January, which will put them in the real battlegrounds. They rush to register, and then today they go to the polls to vote.

Thanks for the use of the hall.

But Another Idiot Doesn't Yet Know It's Time To Quit

The owner of this site cannot be responsible for the consequences that may arise as a result of the hysterics you will experience upon reading the following Newsweek columnn. As it immediately follows the preceding gem predicting a Kerry victory, readers of this blog with weak hearts should allow themselves enough time to recover before proceeding.

[Added Note: In addition to the danger posed by laughter, readers should also be aware of the physical illness they could suffer when they remember that these people are paid for this.]

Ending the Fantasy

By Eleanor Clift

Oct. 29 - Bush pollster Matthew Dowd, unshaven and looking weary, met with print journalists Thursday for one last spin session. For the record, he thinks the president will win, but he sounded so unconvincing that halfway through the hourlong lunch, a reporter said, "OK, so the race is very close and one or the other will win."

When the laughter subsided, Dowd remembered his talking points and said a bit sheepishly, "The lead [of the story you ought to write] is that the election is very close and President Bush is going to win."

Asked to name John Kerry's biggest mistake, Dowd cited the Democratic National Convention where Kerry left himself vulnerable to GOP caricatures by not talking about his Senate career in a positive way. But that was last summer's talking point and Dowd quickly caught himself. Kerry’s biggest mistake, Dowd said, warming to the subject, could turn out to be jumping on the story of the missing 380 tons of deadly explosives out of Iraq.

Bush says Kerry rushed to judgment before he had all the facts on this issue. This is from a president who rushed to war before he had all the facts. Bush is like a pyromaniac who returns to the scene of the crime. This is his fiasco, and it's smart for Kerry to hold Bush accountable. The failure to guard the aptly named Al Qaqaa is emblematic of everything Bush is doing wrong. The administration clearly didn't send enough troops, and now 380 tons of the most dangerous munitions are out there for possible use against U.S. troops.

The Bush team’s response is also emblematic. First, they deny a charge that is undeniably true, that they went into Iraq with insufficient forces. Second, they slime the person telling the truth. Kerry wasn’t faulting U.S. troops for not finding and securing the missing weapons, as Bush asserted. Kerry was attacking the chicken-hawk civilians who brushed aside pleas from the military for more manpower. Third, Bush falls back on the tried and true, pointing to evidence of a cache of deadly explosives to say this proves Saddam really was dangerous. It’s still heresy to say it, but Americans were safer when Saddam was in power. He guarded his high-grade-weapons sites, and just days before the U.S. invasion, the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency had monitored the site, warning the Bush administration about the potential danger.

Bush is running against the headlines and no amount of spin can make the bad news out of Iraq look good. “He has his finger in the dyke with Iraq, and there was a little leakage this week,” says Marshall Wittmann, a senior fellow with the centrist Democratic Leadership Council. In addition to the revelation about the explosives, Bush’s good friend, Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, accused U.S. forces of willful neglect in the deaths of dozens of newly trained Iraqi soldiers gunned down as they traveled in an unarmed and unguarded convoy. Then word leaked that the White House would ask Congress after the election for $70 billion more for Iraq, upping the cost of the war to $225 billion.

Defending Bush is getting harder, but that doesn’t deter the diehards. Conservative talk-show hosts were pushing the theory that Russian trucks hauled the missing explosives to Syria before the war. “And that’s the good news: that it’s not in the hands of insurgents in Iraq, it’s in the hands of terrorists in Syria,” says Wittmann, laughing at the absurdity of the claim. In an effort to throw Bush a lifeline, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani went on the “Today” show and said what Bush had wrongly accused Kerry of saying—that failure to find and secure the weapons was the troops’ fault. “No matter how you try to blame it on the president, the actual responsibility for it really would be with the troops that were there," said Giuliani. "Did they search carefully enough? Didn’t they search carefully enough?”

It’s hard to game the election with all the conflicting polls, but my prediction is that it will break at the last minute for Kerry. With more than two thirds of the undecided voters saying the country is on the wrong track, Kerry should win. Bush got 47.9 percent of the vote in 2000, and that’s where he is stuck today. A record voter turnout is expected, and that signals change, not four more years of the status quo.

The story that broke late Thursday about the Bush campaign using a doctored photo in an ad should help drive home Kerry’s message in the final days. The image used is reminiscent of Bush’s parading on an aircraft carrier flight deck to declare major combat operations over in Iraq. Here he stands as the commander in chief before cheering troops, except on close examination, the same faces are repeated over and over in the crowd. The ad uses troops as props and manipulates the scene to create a Hollywood computer-generated picture of a war president. Kerry spokesman Joe Lockhart issued a statement demanding that the Bush campaign pull the ad, saying, “Now we know why this ad is named, ‘Whatever it takes'.”

The White House has spent four years creating a fantasy world around Bush. Win or lose on Tuesday, the mistakes Bush has made in Iraq have caught up with him.

posted by Tom | 11/05/2004 11:48:00 AM
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Blogger Karridine said...

These are ABSOLUTELY... frabjous!

The reasoning, the logic, the links and extrapolations, and the solid, no-nonsense commitment...

...to a self-confessed war-criminal, an "over the top" liar, an anti-American, Communist-admiring, humorless American-troop-belittling and smearing opportunist...

...is stunning to read!

I accept the possibility that Kerry (and the Democrats) LOST on the MERITS of THEIR ARGUMENTS. They lost on the basis of their bile, their spleen, their venting, their hatred and -ultimately- the fallacies in their arguments and the weakness of their candidate.

Great post, Sir!

8:31 AM, November 09, 2004  

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