Sunday Thoughts

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I went to 61 houses over a few hours on Saturday, asking the people within to vote for Rossi and Bush. We went to mostly "friendlies," houses with people who identified somewhat with the GOP or Bush, because as you've all heard, this election is largely about getting the base out. We had dozens of people in the county going to dozens of precincts, and hopefully it helps.

Wrong Number

I got an automated call asking me to vote for State Senator Don Benton. But I am not in his district. I am about 200 miles from his district. There are at least six districts between his and mine. He should ask for some of his money back, if he's paying by the call.

$200,000? Really?

John Kerry was asked in the second debate, "would you be willing to look directly into the camera and, using simple and unequivocal language, give the American people your solemn pledge not to sign any legislation that will increase the tax burden on families earning less than $200,000 a year during your first term?" Kerry answered, "Absolutely. Yes. Right into the camera. Yes. I am not going to raise taxes."

The problem is that his own economic plan calls for increasing taxes on people who make far less than $200,000: it would "restore (the) top two tax rates," and the second highest tax rate begins at $143,500 for individuals and $174,700 for married couples.

Maybe to Senator Kerry those numbers are close enough, but the people who get stuck in between who he says, and who actually, will get increased taxes probably disagree.

Also, note that Kerry also claims that "middle-class taxes will go down" if he is elected, despite the fact that there is nothing at all in his plan that would lower middle-class taxes. He has some tax credits for children and education, but those do not apply to the middle class specifically, and many in the middle class won't get those cuts at all.

Don't believe what Kerry says about taxes. OK, don't believe what any politician says about taxes, but especially Kerry.

The New York Times Editors are Stupid

The New York Times, in an editorial recently, wrote, "Nearly four years ago, after the Supreme Court awarded him the presidency, Mr. Bush came into office amid popular expectation that he would acknowledge his lack of a mandate by sticking close to the center. Instead, he turned the government over to the radical right."

This one paragraph just shows how drastically unintelligent the paper's editors are, or how little they think of their readers.

First, Bush was not awarded the Presidency. This is a bald-faced lie, and anyone who believes it should spend more time reading newspapers instead of writing them.

Second, being elected is a mandate, by definition: it is authorization from the electorate to act. He was given a mandate by the people, period, when he was elected. There is no reasonable sense in which was not given a mandate.

Third, and perhaps worst, they imply that if there is a lack of mandate, a representative should therefore act how he thinks people who voted against him want him to act. But an elected official is obligated to act in what he thinks are the best interests of the country, not how he thinks other people want him to act, whether they voted for him or not. That the Times thinks Bush should not do what he thinks is best for the country makes no sense on any level.

Fourth, to imply the right-wing views of the President are "radical" is to say that the majority of the people in this country who agree with most of those views are "radical," which strips the word "radical" of any useful meaning.

Look, like the President, don't like him, whatever. But don't be stupid about it.


A couple of weeks ago, John Edwards was asked a question in the debate about Mary Cheney, Dick Cheney's daughter, who is homosexual. Edwards responded, complimenting the Cheneys. The following week, John Kerry was asked a question about homosexuality, and he responded by bringing up Mary Cheney out of the blue, when she had not been mentioned, and trying to co-opt her feelings to provide his answer.

Mary's parents, Dick and Lynne, complained, as most parents would. Some people have said this anger at Kerry is feigned, but the panelists on The Chris Matthews Show this weekend got it right: pro-gay-rights conservative David Brooks said this is not about homosexuality, but about using the child of an opponent to score political points; moderate Bob Woodward said that there should be a rule in politics that children are off-limits; liberal Chris Matthews agreed. On This Week, Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA) said it was a mistake. Pundit after pundit, Democrat after Democrat, have said Kerry made a mistake.

I wasn't going to bring this up, because while Kerry really blew this one -- and in my opinion, the reason he brought her up was to hurt Bush with far-right voters who might be offended at the fact that Mary Cheney is gay -- it's not a big issue in my mind. There are so many more important things to talk about, like, say, the economy and war.

But two things changed my mind. First, Elizabeth Edwards -- wife of John Edwards -- attacked the Cheneys and said she thinks they are ashamed of their daughter. The wife of the VP candidate is not a huge deal, but building on that, this morning on Fox News Sunday, Kerry spokesman Joe Lockhart attacked Lynne Cheney, calling her "intolerant" for saying in response to Kerry's remark, that Kerry "is not a good man." On Meet the Press, Kerry advisor Bob Shrum echoed Lockhart's sentiments.

These people clearly Do Not Get It. They do not get that family is sacred (not in the "protect marriage from gay homosexuals" sense, but in the aforementioned and widely recognized "my family is off-limits to you" sense). They do not get that you don't get to decide if the line has been crossed, only the family does. They do not get that if you cross the line, the mother is going to come after you with her righteous anger, and that you have no defense against it, so you better just shut up and take cover. They do not get that attacking the mother in return is fruitless, because the mother is always right, period.

The Kerry position is that he was not trying to do anything wrong. I think he's lying, but I would be willing to drop it, forget about it, and accept that as a pseudo-apology, if it weren't for the fact that his campaign is continuing to attack the Cheney family, even through this morning. And I wonder what this says about the real family values of the Kerry campaign.

Yes, that's a low blow, but is it not well-deserved?

Other Low Blows

And I wonder if this is not a sign of Kerry's desperation. It's not just the family thing: for example, there was Edwards' recent statement that Kerry would cure diabetes and Alzheimer's and make the lame walk again. He is manipulating people, giving false hope to victims and their families. But what do we expect from a trial lawyer?

Then Kerry said this week that a draft would be more likely under Bush, despite no logical evidence supporting this. He said, well, Bush wants to use the military everywhere, which means we need more troops, which means a draft is more likely. But Kerry is talking about increasing the troop numbers more than Bush would, which necessarily means by Kerry's own logic -- that 'increased troop needs' == 'draft is more likely' -- that a draft is more likely under Kerry, not Bush.

Of course, a draft is not likely under either one. The Pentagon does not want it, the people do not want it, the Congress does not want it, and the Presidential candidates don't want it. There is literally no one with any power who wants it to happen.

Further, the military had hundreds of thousands more volunteers in it a couple decades ago, and there's no reason to think we can't get back to that level if necessary, if there's a real need, without a draft. This is just scare tactics from Kerry.

Not that the Bush campaign hasn't engaged in some scare tactics of their own, most notably the Cheney remark about how another terrorist attack might be more likely with Kerry as President. I didn't interpret it the same way many people did, but most people seemed to.

But if Kerry ever had any high moral ground in this campaign -- which I never believed to begin with -- he's tossed it in the garbage now.

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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