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A pattern of opportunism

 
 
Fedral
 
Reply Wed 26 May, 2004 04:26 pm
A pattern of opportunism
Thomas Sowell
May 26, 2004

Senator John Kerry is giving opportunism a bad name. First, there was his call for President Bush to release oil from the strategic petroleum reserve, in response to high gasoline prices. With a war raging in the Middle East, the last thing we need to do is reduce our own petroleum reserves for the sake of an election-year quick fix.

Kerry knows better. But he has to come up with something that at least gives the appearance of proposing his own policies and agendas, instead of just bashing Bush.

This was not an isolated example of Kerry's opportunism. His whole campaign is based on opportunism. He voted for money to support the war in Iraq -- and he also voted against it, as he himself has said.

Back in the 1970s, John Kerry protested the Vietnam war by symbolically throwing away his medals -- apparently. In reality, it turned out that he kept his medals, and threw away someone else's.

Senator Kerry told the automobile workers that he was proud to drive an SUV. But that isn't what he said to the environmentalists. Now he was pointing out that his family owned the SUV, not him.

Having it both ways is John Kerry's political pattern. It is completely in character for him to suggest that he can postpone accepting the Democrats' nomination officially, thereby escaping the federal restrictions on spending money that was meant to be spent during the primaries.

Like Leona Helmsley, Senator Kerry apparently thinks that the laws apply only to the "little people."

It would be a mistake, however, to think that John Kerry has no principles or agenda. He just does not have any that he would dare to reveal in an election year.

Both a liberal organization and a non-partisan organization have rated Kerry's voting record in the Senate as more liberal than that of Ted Kennedy.

It is hard to believe that there is much room remaining on the political spectrum to the left of Ted Kennedy. But Kerry has found it. Now he has to hide it before the voters find out.

Senator Kerry has no choice but to pretend to be something that he is not, both personally and politically. An aloof and self-infatuated man who is not liked even by fellow Democrats in the Senate, Kerry has to learn to smile and act like a regular guy during the election campaign.

Senator Kerry has even had to learn to pronounce his wife's name the way Americans pronounce it, rather than the way it is pronounced in Europe, which is the way he pronounced it all these years, before he became a presidential candidate.

John Kerry should get the Academy award if he succeeds in this year's challenging acting performance -- but not the presidency.

Above all, Senator Kerry cannot run as a Massachusetts liberal on the left fringe of American politics. Instead, both he and his supporters in the media must decry the use of "labels" -- even as they call Bush's Cabinet members "chicken hawks."

All attempts to expose what Senator Kerry has actually said and done in his long political career are denounced as "personal attacks" and "negative advertising" -- as if it is worse to tell the truth than to let someone lie his way into the White House by projecting a completely false image that his handlers have manufactured.

Nothing is more phony than Kerry's statement that he would welcome being considered the second "black" president -- Bill Clinton having been considered the first. Now one of the Democrats' own black strategists has pointed out publicly that blacks are rare as hen's teeth in Kerry's campaign team.

Despite bad news from Iraq and a liberal media going ballistic about it around the clock, Kerry has not made any serious gains in the polls.

Liberals love to believe that they are just not getting their message out to the public, whether in this presidential campaign or on talk radio. In both cases, the problem is that their real message won't sell and the phony message that they try to sell is seen as being as phony as it is.

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Tarantulas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2004 05:07 pm
Shrill Pill
By Timothy P. Carney
Published 5/26/2004 12:07:35 AM

The Democrats should have picked Howard Dean, or at least John Edwards, if they wanted to beat President Bush. In making Kerry their standard-bearer in the presidential race, Democrats have repeated their mistake from 2002 -- failing to offer clear alternatives to the Republican Party's stances on key issues. They have misplayed their hand, discarding the aces for a pair of twos, and as such are in the wretched position of waking up each morning praying for bad news. For Bush to lose in November, Democrats need either Vietnam in 1968, or the economy in 1980. In other words, Bush will win unless things are terrible.

The Democrats' error can be traced back to the first moments after the 2002 elections, when the party, under Terry McAuliffe's leadership, made history by losing seats in the House and losing control of the Senate during the first mid-term election of a sitting GOP President. Democrats that year offered no real alternative plans to Republican governance. They complained plenty about the GOP, pointed to Enron and unemployment, and cried about tax cuts for the rich. But voters on Election Day had no reason to suspect Democrats would make things any better.

Right after the election Rep. Ken Bentsen (D-Tex.), who lost his Senate primary earlier that year, told a reporter, "The Democrats tried the Neville Chamberlain approach and it was a disaster." To change course, the Democrats did not, however, draft up bold policy proposals that they could tout come election time. No, they elected San Francisco's Nancy Pelosi as their new House leader. In the 18 months since their loss, the Democrats haven't gotten more progressive or more cutting-edge; rather, they've become more shrill.

KERRY MAKES AN ODD choice for a party trying to beat the President on the issue of the war because, frankly, it appears that Bush took all of Kerry's advice on the subject. David Freddoso laid this out well in Human Events a few months back with an online piece headlined "John Kerry, Bush's Advisor On Iraq." Kerry's September 6, 2002 New York Times op-ed is full of prescriptions that either immediately inspired the Bush Administration or were stolen from White House strategy memos.

The highlights: "If Saddam Hussein is unwilling to bend to the international community's already existing order, then he will have invited enforcement." And: "even if that enforcement is mostly at the hands of the United States, a right we retain even if the Security Council fails to act." The path Bush followed to war may have been a flawed one, but it's hard to go on the attack when your nominee advocated exactly that path.

Still, the Democrats attack. They rile up the base and generate visceral hatred towards this President, although it is unclear what they would do differently. Did Bush lie us into war? Well, then, so did Kerry, who in 1998 said, "Saddam Hussein is pursuing a program to build weapons of mass destruction." Edwards and Dean both railed against the war. Both men offered distinct foreign policies from Bush's. Either of them, right now, would be able to say with credibility, "this war was a mistake, and George W. Bush is to blame." Kerry can't credibly do that.

To win on the war issue, Kerry is forced to lie, flip-flop, or make the following argument: "I would have done the same thing as Bush, I just would have done it right." For that line to gain traction, voters need to believe Bush is incompetent, and that would require things being much worse than they are today. Likewise, gas prices could be an Achilles Heel for Bush, if only Kerry were not the nominee. High prices at the pump are the intersection of the economy and the war. But Kerry (a) had the same Iraq policy, (b) opposes domestic oil drilling and (c) opposes windmills when they harm his view from Martha's Vineyard.

The economy issue presents more of the same. People feel uneasy about the nation's financial health, but how does Kerry differ from Bush? He would raise taxes, but only a little, and only on the very rich. How taxing the rich will make us all richer still needs to be explained.

AT THIS POINT, DEMOCRATS are like very bad contestants on "The Price is Right." If President Bush has bid $500, the Democrats have responded by bidding $499. Bush could be way off target on Iraq and the economy, but Kerry has saddled up so close, in everything but his rhetoric, that he is in no position to capitalize. The party seems to think its problem in 2002 was that Democrats were not nasty enough. Instead of replacing Chamberlain with Churchill, they've replaced him with James Carville.

Timothy P. Carney is a reporter for the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2004 10:35 pm
Fedral: I like your new avatar.
0 Replies
 
Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 May, 2004 11:14 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
Fedral: I like your new avatar.


Thanks Joe ... I figured if everyone was going to hang the title of Fascist on me, I might as well go 'all in'.

Smile Very Happy Laughing
0 Replies
 
NeoGuin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 09:33 am
I actually agree with the McAuliffe problem as it's folks like him that have created the Democats problems.

The MoveOn phemenon and the Dean campaign should show that the "core" is ready to move and fight back.

Pelosi as whip is a start, getting Kucinich into a leadership role would be a good step too but we need someone to pick up Wellstone's mantel in the Senate

As for the Avatar--he's simply being a good Busheep.

If only this picture
http://homepage.mac.com/leperous/.Pictures/silence.jpg

Would shrink to avatar size better.
0 Replies
 
Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 10:56 am
NeoGuin wrote:
I actually agree with the McAuliffe problem as it's folks like him that have created the Democats problems.

The MoveOn phemenon and the Dean campaign should show that the "core" is ready to move and fight back.

Pelosi as whip is a start, getting Kucinich into a leadership role would be a good step too but we need someone to pick up Wellstone's mantel in the Senate

As for the Avatar--he's simply being a good Busheep.

If only this picture


Would shrink to avatar size better.


Thank you for so perfectly illustrating a point I made to another A2K member Neo ... you truly don't get it do you?

Sad Sad Sad
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 11:15 am
[email protected] We DO get it. We can't understand how a thinking, reasonable, intelligent person can say such stupid things.

I guess it's sort of a feeling of pity for anyone who would use that avatar, even if it is a joke. I come from a military family; I am not in the services (I'm blind in one eye, and they wouldn't take me, though I can shoot as well as anyone out there I guarantee you) but two of my brothers were, my father was, and his father, and his. I have had 5 relatives die in active combat since 1917.

All of those men fought and died for the rights of Americans, including civil disobediance. To use that avatar, and then call yourself patriotic, or even an American, is sickening. Unlike your Great Leader my family did not shirk their obligations to freedom. I have a great book of photos of Vietnam by my uncle, who was a grunt there, and then came back and started protesting the unbelivable screwup that was Vietnam.

Should he have been beaten for speaking out against the administration at the time? Hmm? How about a soldier who comes back today from the war, and has bad things to say about it? Should he be beat down? That is what your avatar implies.

I rarely chide people over things like this, but you really should consider chaning your Avatar. It completely undermines any possiblity of you taking the moral high ground in any discussion on here, and we all know how much you conservatives like to take the moral high ground (lol).

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 11:20 am
Well, fortunatly for Fedral he has a history here and a reputation to back him up. He doesn't need to worry about what his avatar represents.
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Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 11:26 am
Nothing like shooting the messenger when you have no adequate reply to the message, McGentrix. Not that I am surprised, given your other posts I have read. I can tell you and I will lock horns many times in the future, heh.

No matter what his history or reputation the fact remains that his avatar represents the opposite of American ideals, and therefore, he represents them. Quid pro quo.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 11:33 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
Nothing like shooting the messenger when you have no adequate reply to the message, McGentrix. Not that I am surprised, given your other posts I have read. I can tell you and I will lock horns many times in the future, heh.

No matter what his history or reputation the fact remains that his avatar represents the opposite of American ideals, and therefore, he represents them. Quid pro quo.

Cycloptichorn


You shouldn't do to much complaining about shooting the messenger. So far all you've done in this thread is cry and whine about someones choice of Avatar. I guess you didn't have an adequate reply to the message eh?
0 Replies
 
Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 11:46 am
Cycloptichorn wrote:
[email protected] We DO get it. We can't understand how a thinking, reasonable, intelligent person can say such stupid things.

I guess it's sort of a feeling of pity for anyone who would use that avatar, even if it is a joke. I come from a military family; I am not in the services (I'm blind in one eye, and they wouldn't take me, though I can shoot as well as anyone out there I guarantee you) but two of my brothers were, my father was, and his father, and his. I have had 5 relatives die in active combat since 1917.

All of those men fought and died for the rights of Americans, including civil disobediance. To use that avatar, and then call yourself patriotic, or even an American, is sickening. Unlike your Great Leader my family did not shirk their obligations to freedom. I have a great book of photos of Vietnam by my uncle, who was a grunt there, and then came back and started protesting the unbelivable screwup that was Vietnam.

Should he have been beaten for speaking out against the administration at the time? Hmm? How about a soldier who comes back today from the war, and has bad things to say about it? Should he be beat down? That is what your avatar implies.

I rarely chide people over things like this, but you really should consider chaning your Avatar. It completely undermines any possiblity of you taking the moral high ground in any discussion on here, and we all know how much you conservatives like to take the moral high ground (lol).

Cycloptichorn


Cyclo,
I come from 4 generations of military (some of whom gave their lives, some who only gave up pieces like arms and legs) My people fought for freedoms in this country for a lot of years.

I changed my avatar when I got a very nasty e mail from a member of this forum (do not ask me how they got my e mail addy, but they got it) accusing me of being a fascist and a Nazi.

I have been called this before and I took it mostly with a grain of salt, but this person decided that I was some sort of Bundist wannbe and decided that I was responsible for everything from the Holocaust to the Mongol Invasion of China...

I am usually a very calm person, not inclined to take things personally but this cheezed me off in the extreme.

Dr. King, Mr. Ghandi and Mr. Fredrick Douglas are some personal heroes of mine and I have stood forward for my beliefs when I needed too. (I was arrested for chaining myself to the main gate of the chemical plant in my hometown when it was discovered that they were piping untreated waste from their plant into the ocean near where we swam)

I decided to change it to poke that person in the eye and make sure they understood that I AM taking the high ground in this matter by changing my avatar to something like this rather than ranting about anonymous liberals trashing people and running.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 11:59 am
Excellent response, thanks. You can see however that one who doesn't know that can have a naturally negative reaction to the symbol.

That may or may not matter to you, but if your purpose on this board is to present your POV in a manner in which others who do not agree with you will listen (noone likes preaching to the converted, after all) you may want to consider changing it. Just looks bad.

Cycloptichorn

On preview: Fishin, I didn't feel like there was a message to respond to. Posting a couple of critiques of Kerry, with no origional analysis or commentary on the part of the poster leaves me little to argue against. It is difficult to ask someone else to defend or back up other's words as they can easily distance themselves from the arguments, and the thread can sink into a quagmire, which was not my intention. I will keep what you said in mind in the future, though.
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Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 12:33 pm
Cycloptichorn,

Thank you for a well spoken (written) reply and your understanding in this matter.

After 700+ posts, many here know who I am and what I stand for so I was posting to those who 'knew me'. I didn't think about what it might look like to a new person.

As to that ... if no one has done it yet, welcome to A2K and we are happy to have you here ...

You will soon learn that we are a rambunctious, somewhat cantankerous family. In all that, we try and keep it civil for the most parts (though sometimes people can take things the wrong way)

Glad you joined us and happy posting. Smile
0 Replies
 
NeoGuin
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 09:04 pm
As an aside.

I may be able to make that into an avatar after all.

IF the problem is what I think it is.

And Federal is still probably speaking for a lot of the people that my pic is supposed to represent--IMHO of course.
0 Replies
 
Fedral
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 May, 2004 11:03 pm
NeoGuin wrote:
As an aside.

I may be able to make that into an avatar after all.

IF the problem is what I think it is.

And Federal is still probably speaking for a lot of the people that my pic is supposed to represent--IMHO of course.


I only speak for myself, I think its safest that way actually.
0 Replies
 
JustanObserver
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2004 12:21 am
Interesting articles.
Ya, the Democrats haven't really impressed me all that much as of late. Maybe its because with all the problems of Iraq, terrorism, etc, Kerry hasn't really had any spotlight on him (I've yet to see much coverage of him on the news other than opinion pieces and the like). Maybe that'll change when election time comes closer. We'll see.

So far though it looks as though the person that is going to make Bush lose the election - is Bush.

As for Fed's avitar, I think the only thing that doesn't rub me the right way is that the cop is about to crack his baton on a womans head. Something about delivering a beat down on a female just isn't right methinks.
0 Replies
 
NeoGuin
 
  1  
Reply Fri 28 May, 2004 05:23 am
Fed:

You may not be the one who "Gets it".
0 Replies
 
 

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