Sunday Thoughts

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On Fox News Sunday, Bush advisor Matthew Dowd said yes, we need to make more progress in the economy, but asked what the alternative is. Would more taxes create jobs, give more home ownership? Kerry's advisor Tad Devine said:

The alternative is whether or not we want to go in a new direction or continue the failed policies of George Bush. Today, this country is spending $200 billion in Iraq. And that's why we can't begin to address the domestic agenda that the President puts forth in his ads. Until we stop spending $200 billion there of taxpayers money, we won't be able to address the problems here at home.
Kerry has said:

As complicated as Iraq seems, we've got three basic options:  one, we can continue to do this largely by ourselves and hope more of the same works; two, we can conclude it's not doable, pull out and hope against hope that the worst doesn't happen in Iraq; or three, we can get the Iraqi people and the world's major powers invested with us in building Iraq's future.
The problem is that Bush has been trying to do the third option as much as possible, and there is absolutely no indication whatsoever that Kerry could improve on that (pop quiz: name one country that might provide troops who has thus far refused).

Let's just note for the sake of argument that it is very possible that Kerry will be unsuccessful at getting the troops out as he plans. Is he saying that if he is unsuccessful, that he won't be able to, as President, address domestic problems? Why yes, he is.

It's a neat strategy: preemptive excuses. As President, I can't fix your problems, because I was saddled with this war! But he has been saying he can fix the problems created by the war, and now he is saying maybe he can't. So why vote for him, if the only way he can fix our problems is to rely on the help of allies who have consistently refused to help, and have given no indication they are willing to change their minds?



No one has ever won the Presidency being down in the polls by more than a point or two in September. On the other hand, no televised convention has ever been held this late in the season. On the other hand, the few polls we've seen don't even fully reflect the result of the convention (Kerry's final "bounce" numbers didn't come in until Tuesday or so following his convention speech, IIRC). On the other hand, the results of the Time and Newsweek polls that put Bush ahead by 11 points are being questioned (I'd dig up a link, but we'll find out how reasonable they are over the next week or two anyway, as more polls come out).


Preliminary ratings showed Fox News Channel (+7 million viewers) beat NBC, ABC, and CBS (+5m each). CNN (+2m) and MSNBC (+1m) followed. I watched mostly CSPAN and MSNBC. CSPAN does the best coverage of the speech, since they just show the actual event. MSNBC has some of the more interesting commentary IMO (I like the mix of Chris Matthews' shows, and they also had J.C. Watts).

I like the analysis on Fox too, but to a lesser degree, mostly because I have to work to avoid O'Reilly, and TV watching shouldn't be that much work (he says as he is taking notes while watching the Sunday shows ... :-).

Regardless, a cable channel beating the big three is pretty impressive.


Letterman: "On Monday, President Bush said we can't win the war on terrorism. Then on Tuesday, he said we will the war on terrorism. And earlier today, he predicted a tie."


Kerry's web site has 143 "lies" and "deceptions" from the GOP convention. The stench of desperation on this thing is so think it's triggering my gag reflex. The Democrat convention was probably pretty close to as full of the same kinds of "lies" and "deceptions," give or take a dozen.

(I am not saying the claim is false just because they do it too; that would be a fallacy. I am saying that the Democrats have no reasonable standing to make the claim, because they are just as guilty of it [just like their claim about Bush and illegal coordination with SBVT]. That is, maybe it's true, but I just don't care when it comes from them.)

Update: More Crazy

I forgot one more thing: on Meet the Press, new Kerry advisor James Carville addressed Zell Miller's speech last week at the RNC. Carville, who became a household name as an advisor to President Clinton, ran a campaign for Miller in the 90s, and Miller officiated at Carville's wedding to right-wing politico Mary Matalin.

Carville, wanting to attack the Republicans but not wanting to attack his longtime friend, blamed the Republicans for Miller's speech, saying they put him up there, they put words in his mouth, in the twilight of his career, and made him look like a fool. It's so sweet of him to avoid attacking his good friend by saying his a senile old man who couldn't possibly have really meant all those things. Matalin rolled her eyes and said Miller wrote his own speech.

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