Sunday, March 07, 2004

Slate/William Saletan
Confidence Man
The case for Bush is the case against him.

Article highlights:
How can Kerry persuade moderates to throw out Bush? By turning the president's message against him....

....President Bush. Strength and confidence. Steady leadership in times of change. He knows exactly where he wants to lead this country. And he won't let facts, circumstances, or the Constitution get in his way...

....he couldn't tell the difference between the two threats. He figured that since both Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden were evil, they had to be connected...

....Again and again in 2001 and 2002, U.S. intelligence agencies sent signals that Bush was wrong..Bush ignored every one of these warnings. They couldn't be true, because they didn't fit his theory. He couldn't stand the complexity of the facts or the ambiguity of intelligence...

....everything changed. The stock market tanked, and the economy slowed. Sept. 11 shook the nation's confidence and drastically altered military budget projections. Bush didn't need to drain a surplus anymore. He needed to fund national defense and stimulate the economy...Bush claimed that his original tax-cut elixir was just as good for the new malady as for the old one. The deficit exploded, the economy failed to recover the jobs it had lost, and much of the country remained unprotected from terrorism. The world changed, but Bush couldn't....

....Bush prefers to circumvent the court system and local democracy by reopening the nation's founding document. He seeks to impose a permanent federal definition of marriage on "any state or city," regardless of what the voters in Boston or San Francisco want......

Holbrooke says Kerry's Iraq resolution decision was based upon experience, trust in Bush, and politics
"In the political realm, no life-and-death decision has haunted Kerry more than his October 2002 Senate vote in favor of a resolution authorizing Bush's use of force in Iraq. Those who worked with him called the decision "agonizing."

Richard C. Holbrooke, one of the many foreign policy experts Kerry consulted, said three things made it difficult: "One, he knows that war is hell from firsthand experience. Two, he didn't know if you could trust Bush to pursue war as a last resort. Three, he was starting a presidential campaign and knew where a bulk of the primary voters would be...
Why doesn't this sit right with me?
[Kerry's] sister urged him to vote no, his friends lobbied him to vote no, his office received 20,000 e-mails in one week against U.S. military action.
It didn't sit right with them, either.

I didn't understand Sen. Kerry's decision back then. Because he hasn't firmly clarified his decision to my satisfaction, I still do not understand it today.


We get who we deserve
A letter to the Editor of The Bersksire Eagle:-
There has been a war cry of "anybody but Bush in 2004." Rallying passionately behind the chosen candidate after a meaningful comparison of ideas, philosophies and, easiest and most importantly, voting records has been forfeited for speculation about who is most likely to beat Bush. Sadly, this has taken the form of desiring the candidate who is enough like Bush to compete against him which is in effect the single party theory of change...

Sen. Kerry claims to have gone into politics in response to the horrors of Vietnam. He then abdicated his right to decide whether this generation of young soldiers would be sent to their Vietnam. I feel this is a more telling indicator of leadership qualities than [Howard] Dean's impassioned thank you and call to arms to his supporters. However, the media claimed Dean to be unworthy and so voters sheepishly moved across field.

Only two things have ever brought meaningful change in our world: inspiration or crisis. I fear that if we say no to the few inspirational leaders we have in favor of glossy strategists we condemn those who follow us to change through crisis..."

Robert Novak Nauseates Me

"In the most unusual turn of this year's satirical script, syndicated columnist Robert Novak - who sparked a federal investigation by printing the name of an undercover CIA officer - was taking the stage as that CIA officer's disgruntled husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson..."

Novak used a secret White House source to reveal that Joseph Wilson's wife was an undercover CIA officer. Would I have done the same? I doubt it..seriously. Over the past year, I have known information which never made the presses and very well could have made for interesting stories and could have made me "somebody" out here in the journalism world. I didn't choose my potential "fame" at the expense of someone's life and dignity. I'm no Robert Novak--and perhaps I'm proud of that fact because of my heightened sense of responsibility to real people. Novak not only damaged a woman's career; he endangered her life.

There is a proper place for satire in our society. This particular satirical incident is glaringly nauseating. In the case of Novak dressing up and strutting merrily as the victim of his own journalistic indiscretion , he serves to make a magnification of his pathetic disregard for ethical responsibility. I consider him a grub who feeds off the bottom-of-the-stinking-barrel.

NY Times interview with Sen. John Kerry on foreign affairs

Excerpts of an hour-long interview about foreign affairs with Senator John Kerry aboard his campaign plane on Friday, as recorded by The New York Times.