Friday, December 12, 2003

Clark/Dean 2, DLC and Lieberman/Gephardt 0

When it comes to questions of war and milarty, who do you trust, a retired 4 star general and a governor of a tiny rural state, or a bunch of military experts who never served in a war and never worked for the Clinton Administration (even though the other half of the office did)?

On the war resolution and the $87 billion approperation, Clark and Dean took the same position, despite contrary belief. Clark and Dean support the Biden-Lugar version of the resolution, that would have had Bush come back to the Congress if the UN/NATO didn't work out. Instead, Gephardt and Lieberman short curcuited the process and the resolution was much more of a blank check for Bush.

Having learned their lession, Edwards and Kerry didn't vote for another blank check, this time a $87 billion one. Clark and Dean had said no to both blank checks, and Lieberman Gephardt and the DLC said yes to both. The DLC went so far as to call those who didn't support the money irresponsible and lacking leadership. Now look what happened.

"Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz last week directed a newly formed inspector general's office in Iraq not to request sensitive information about Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) activities related to intelligence or operational plans." The CPA was supposed to insure that there was no price gouging or anything fishy going on with the money. And the activities that the CPA was restrained from looking into are "initiating, carrying out, or completing an audit or investigation, or from issuing a subpoena, which requires access to sensitive operation plans, intelligence matters, counterintelligence matters, ongoing criminal investigations by other administration units of the [Defense Department] related to national security, or other matters the disclosure of which would constitute a serious threat to national security."

In short, Wolfowitz, who just said "No contracts for you, Old Europe," is saying you can be an inspector general as long as you don't do any inspecting.

Those who aspire to lead the country should show some backbone to the man that has walked all over Congress like the legislative branch doesn't matter, who has disrespected allies of over 50 years (and destroyed most of those relationships), hides information and lies to the general public and the press. Bush has no respect for anything except money and power, and not even the money or power of the US Congress, so why should members of the US Congress trust him? Why should a center-left think tank trust him? Bush has proven is untrustworthiness over and over, from basically January 20, 2001 onwards. Get a clue guys.

This is why outsiders and executors (governors generals etc) win the nominations for president and become president, not Senators and Representatives.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

Dean says he can beat Bush, but what do the polls say?

NEW HAMPSHIRE (4 EVs): Bush Leads Generic Dem By 17; Leads Dean By 27
An American Research Group poll; conducted 12/7-10; surveyed 600 adults; margin of error +/- 4%. Subsample: 450 regis. voters; margin of error +/- 4.6% (release, 12/11).

WH '04 General Election Matchups (asked of RVs only)
All GOP Dem Ind 9/03 All GOP Dem Ind
Bush 51% 88% 5% 47% 50% Bush 57% 94% 14% 63%
Dem 34 6 76 32 36 Dean 30 - 67 11
Undec. 15 6 19 21 14 Undec. 13 6 19 26

Bush Job As President Bush Job Handling The Economy
All GOP Dem Ind 9/03 All GOP Dem Ind 9/03
Approve 58% 94% 5% 58% 51% Approve 54% 88% 5% 53% 44%
Disapprove 34 6 81 26 43 Disapprove 40 6 81 42 48

Bottom line: even in a state where he is well known, well liked and killing his opponnets in the primary, Dean is badly losing to Bush in a must win state. Remember, if Dean holds every state Gore did in 2000, he is still 11 electoral votes short. If Dean is losing a state by 27 points when Gore lost it by a few thousand votes, what does that say for the other swing states, including the ones Gore barely won, like PA?

Not good news for the "Howard is electable" meme or the "GOPers are truely afraid of Dean" meme.
so much for loyality

Gore thought that his brazen political move to endorse Dean would force people like Lieberman to drop out sooner. So much for that, according to the New Haven Register, Lieberman's campaign "received twice as many online contributions as any other day in the current quarter," and the rate of online donations "is 10 times above average." Translation: you helped him, you didn't hurt him.

All the pundits are saying now there is a Gore/Dean/ wing of the party and a Clinton/Clark/Lieberman wing of the party, with Gephardt/Daschle/Kerry/Edwards wing being the loser congressional Democrats that have never done nothing. The proxy fight between Clinton and Gore is on, with Dean and Clark as the main protagonists. We shall see who pervails. It used to be that Clinton could always be counted on having the upper hand in fundraising, but with Dean's "$100 revolution" that may not be the case any more. Who would you rather have 10 $2,000 donors or 2000 $100 donors? Pretty simple answer when you think about it, beyond the pure math, becuase you could always talk the $100 people to give more later, where as the $2,000 folks simply can't by law.

The White House thinks the Dems have their nominee already, according to the Times: "President Bush's political advisers are now all but certain that Howard Dean will be the Democratic presidential nominee and they are planning a campaign that takes account of what they see as Dr. Dean's strengths and weaknesses, Republicans with ties to the White House said."

"Throughout the year, many Republicans have been longing for a Bush-Dean matchup, saying Dr. Dean's opposition to the war with Iraq, his call for rolling back Mr. Bush's tax cuts and his support for civil unions between gay people would open the door to a Republican landslide in November.

Karl Rove, Mr. Bush's senior adviser and political strategist, was reported by The Washington Post this summer to have exhorted the crowd at his neighborhood Fourth of July parade to cheer for marchers wearing Dean T-shirts and carrying Dean signs. People close to Mr. Bush, who prides himself on his personal and political discipline, describe Dr. Dean as a sloppy candidate who gets himself in trouble too often by shooting from the hip and who is slow to clean up messes."

I know Dean is going bring in new voters into the process, according to his campaign. But I will not hold my breath. Most of these folks are the 18-24 crowd who, although they really might hate Bush, might flake out and not show up when it matters in January or, for that matter, November. Lets just wait for people to actually vote, shall we?

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Hypocrisy 101

Will Saletan of Slate made an excellent point about Gore's speech when he endorsed Dean: the same man who in December 2000 said we should wait until every vote is counted in December 2003 says he doesn't want to wait for a single vote to be counted.

Elections should be determined, Gore said, "by the votes cast by the people, not by politicians." Gee, I wonder which one of those he is.

By telling everyone to get out of Howard's way and shut up, Al and Howard just made us all louder. I think it will be harder for some folks to raise money and get support and ultimately win and thus the process will be accelerated to be Dean and someone else, but what right does Gore have to tell us Democrats what to do? Unlike Republicans, we don't take marching orders well.

as Saletan said "Who decided Dean was the strongest candidate? Not the voters: They haven't voted. Not the polls, either: They've shown Dick Gephardt, John Kerry, and Wesley Clark scoring better than Dean in hypothetical match-ups with President Bush." In fact, even in national polls Dean by be leading but not by much, most of the time it is within the margin of error. Sure, he has a commanding lead in NH and is up in IA too, but how much of the party (or the country) really is behind or even knows who this guy is? Not much, that's because we haven't voted yet. And I for one am not voting for Howard Dean.

Did anyone notice where the announcement was held? In Cedar Rapids IA and Harlem NYC, a few feet away from President Clinton's office and a few more from Senator Clinton's New York district offices. But back to the point, no one doubts Dean is #1.

So who is that number 2 going to be, now that Dean is solidly number 1? I say Clark, and I am not the only one.

"Who's really still in this race?, Josh Marshall asks, "....Gephardt and Kerry can be effectively knocked out of the race by losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively -- eventualities which now seem quite likely....Lieberman isn't closely tied to success in either of those states. But his campaign has just never taken off... Lieberman is the only major candidate in the race for whom there is a significant core of Democratic primary voters who find him an unacceptable nominee. ...

In any case, that leaves Clark.

Add to this two other factors.

1. Clark is raising money at a better clip than any of the other candidates beside Dean.

2. Clark has a clearer raison d'etre for his campaign than that of any of the other candidates, save Dean: namely, his national security credentials as a retired general...Many presidents have been governors with no prior foreign policy experience. So Dean's in good company. But it's a clear distinction between Dean and Clark in what is sure to be a general election fought heavily on national security issues."

Finally, I would like to quote from David Letterman: "Al Gore has endorsed Howard Dean for president. That's pretty fitting, the guy that didn't beat Bush endorsing the guy who won't beat Bush" ("Late Show").

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Al Gore sold out

Gore 10.0 is out, and he decided to endorse Howard Dean. Everyone is talking about it. But why don't we stop and think about what Gore has to gain by this, because we know what Dean gains from this.

Al, after losing the election in 2000, has tried to stay relevant and a leader in his party. Even though he wisely chose not to run against Bush again, he managed to do that by hooking up with and moving to the left. He wailed against the war in Iraq and called for then Majority Leader Sen. Trent Lott to step down first. His VP pick has sucked all year and made him look like a bigger fool that when Lieberman lost the VP debate to Cheney. In 2002, Al decided to abandon the DLC, a group which he helped found and was a chairman of. Al supported some folks for higher office in 2002, and the results were down right sad, I can't think of one that won that wasn't in a safe seat and even his picks in the primary didn't work out too well. 2003 wasn't much better, about even in terms of endorse and win Mayor Street (good) and Governor Davis (bad). Why should Gore, the ultimate insider, go for the outsider?

I'll tell you why. Al, like Hillary, decided that 2004 was unwinnable, and Bush was not someone they could beat. Those two will be fighting in 2008 for the nomination, and they know this because if Dean wins, we all lose. Why back a general election disaster? Because you want to shore up your liberal base and pant the seed for a comeback against Governor Jeb Bush or Senator Bill Frist. Running against Cheney would be too much fun.

Shame on you Al Gore. Have some faith in Democrats to pick a winner. Have some sense of country to pick a candidate who can turn this country around. Don't be Nader 2004, and hand the country over to Bu$h Co. We can't wait 4 more years for you and Hillary to rescue us off your white horse. If you think things are bad now, they will only get worse with more power and no accountability for GW Bush. We need leadership, not opportunists.

Who knows? Maybe winning the Gore primary will be like winning the Shrum primary, something you don't want to meet.