WEB SITE UPDATE: Some of you may have experienced
problems with the web site recently. Last week we began
the process of adding additional servers and increasing
bandwith to handle all of the traffic we've been getting.
result is that we've been battling a few bugs: Apache test
screens popping up, some servers updating while others continue
to display old pages, etc. Needless to say, it's a been
a pain and an inconvenience for us as well as for a (hopefully)
small percentage of our visitors. We apologize. We've fixed
the problems and will continue to work to make sure RCP
runs smoothly through the election and beyond.
now back to our regularly scheduled programming.....
CIVILIZED BARBARIANS: You
may have seen this quote from a column in The Guardian yesterday:
November 2, the entire civilised world will be praying,
praying Bush loses. And Sod's law dictates he'll probably
win, thereby disproving the existence of God once and
for all. The world will endure four more years of idiocy,
arrogance and unwarranted bloodshed, with no benevolent
deity to watch over and save us. John Wilkes Booth, Lee
Harvey Oswald, John Hinckley Jr - where are you now that
we need you?
yes, members of the "civilised world" are now
calling for the assassination of the President of the United
States. Members of the "civilised world" now take
to describing a person whose political views they disagree
with as "a lying, sniggering, drink-driving, selfish,
reckless, ignorant, dangerous, backward, drooling, twitching,
blinking, mouse-faced little cheat."
me a break. The European left is as rotten and rudderless
as it is arrogant and paranoid.
I could report that the political left in this country wasn't
starting to look more and more like their trans-Atlantic
brethren. I can't. Some of the behavior we're seeing from
Democrats in America at the moment ranges from comical to
bizarre to deeply disturbing:
are just a few stories from the last week pulled off the
top of my head. The list is by no means comprehensive, but
it's plenty enough for Democrats to be ashamed of. And they
fact is Democrats are angry, desperate, and absolutely beside
themselves at facing the prospect of another four years
with George W. Bush as President. Frankly, I don' t blame
so much invested emotionally, it will be a crushing psychological
blow for liberals to see Bush reelected a week from this
Tuesday. Furthermore, if Bush wins big it could be a defeat
that threatens the very foundations of the liberal movement
even that is no excuse for some of the behavior we're seeing.
It's no excuse for bending the rules, breaking the law,
and generally treating this year's election with an "anything
goes" mentality where the ends justify any means. The
country deserves - and the Constitution demands - much more
Script: In the interest of fairness I went looking
to put together a similar list of shameful incidents involving
Republicans. But aside from the currently disputed and unproven
allegations of some
Democratic registrations being ripped up and thrown in the
trash out in Nevada, I couldn't find anything comparable.
In fact, using the exact same search criteria that turned
up pages of stories involving the vandalism of Bush offices,
etc. around the country yielded surprisingly few
when applied to John Kerry. If you know of any incidents
of Republicans targeting Kerry offices or supporters with
vandalism or thuggish behavior, please send them through
so I can post them. -
T. Bevan 8:15 am Link
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October 21 2004
ROBERTSON VS. REALITY: So Pat Robertson popped
up on Paula
Zahn's show Tuesday night and said that President Bush
told him in a meeting in early 2003 Bush believed we wouldn't
suffer any casualties in Iraq. Robertson has said some bizarre
things over the years, but this one takes the cake.
mainstream media generally ignores everything Robertson
says until he unloads some ridiculous remark like the one
on Tuesday - in which case papers like The
Washington Post and The
Los Angeles Times treat his comments as front page news.
night on Larry King, however, Bob Woodward said that in
his extensive interviews with Bush conducted during the
course of writing his books (Plan
of Attack and Bush
at War), the President indicated just the opposite:
An interview yesterday on CNN, Pat Robertson, an avid
Bush supporter by the way, says he urged the president
to prepare the United States people for casualties before
launching the war and he said Bush told him, they're not
going to have any casualties. What do you make of that?
The White House denied that today.
Yes, I don't think the president would say that. Certainly
didn't believe that. When I talked to him about it, in
fact, he said, in making the decision to go to war in
Iraq, or the war in Afghanistan, he knew there were going
to be casualties and he knew he was going to have to comfort
the loved ones afterwards, so that there was kind of a
deep awareness of that. I don't think that makes sense.
fact, the President said as much in the February,
10 2003 speech he gave at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville.
This also happens to be same time and place the where Reverend
Robertson says Bush told him he wasn't worried about America
suffering casualties in Iraq. Bush told the group:
war is forced upon us -- and I say "forced upon us,"
because use of the military is not my first choice. I
hug the mothers and the widows of those who may have lost
their life in the name of peace and freedom. I take my
responsibilities incredibly seriously about the commitment
of troops. But should we need to use troops, for the sake
of future generations of Americans, American troops will
act in the honorable traditions of our military and in
the highest moral traditions of our country. "
that Bush's statement in Nashville doesn't totally disprove
Robertson's claim, it does indicate that President Bush
not only acknowledged previous casualties but recognized
that his impending decision to use force in Iraq would inevitably
one would think that if President Bush was (to use Roberton's
own words) so completely "self assured" of the
fact invading Iraq wouldn't produce any casualties, it seems
logical that President Bush would have shared this thought
with a few more people than just Pat Robertson. So far,
we don't have any evidence that he did.
am I calling Pat Robertson a liar? No. But I do think he
misinterpreted the President expressing optimism for the
success of a difficult and dangerous mission in Iraq. It
seems a whole lot more likely than accepting President Bush
was so deluded he would assert the impossible.
does the expression of optimism for success in Iraq automatically
lead to the conclusion, as Andrew
Sullivan puts it this morning, that Bush "had no
inkling of the possibility of an insurgency" and that
he was entertaining pie-in-the-sky fantasies regarding the
outcome of the invasion?
believe it does. But that's just me. Sullivan says he chooses
to believe Robertson, which just goes to further prove that
politics makes strange bedfellows. Who you choose to believe
is up to you. - T.
Bevan 10:15 am Link
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October 19 2004
STILL BUSH'S TO LOSE: With two weeks until
Election Day, we're in the final stretch. There is enough
evidence for partisans on both sides to point to why their
respective candidate will win on November 2. Bottom line:
Bush is ahead and continues to hold the superior hand, but
Kerry cannot be counted out.
to much of the punditry you may have seen or heard this
has always been George W. Bush's race to lose - and it remains
that way today. It has always been my belief that 9/11 and
the War on Terror changed the national political landscape
to give the Republicans and President Bush a structural
advantage, particularly in the first Presidential election
early signs of trouble for Senator Kerry began to appear
in the summer (ironically when many
were beginning to write Bush off) when Kerry could not
move out to a bigger lead than 2-3 points. Throughout this
entire campaign Kerry has never been able to get ahead by
more than three
points in the RCP Average, and he has only had a lead
over 2.5% three times: in mid-May at the height of the media
frenzy over Abu Ghraib, right after the Edwards pick in
early July, and right after his convention in early August.
None of these leads lasted more than a few days. Senator
Kerry should have been registering leads between 5-10 points
after his convention and VP pick, not 2 1/2 points.
nearly an entire year (starting back at the beginning of
the Dem primary race) Bush's opponents and the left-wing
527's had been pounding the President furiously, on top
of the daily media drumbeat of the "disaster"
in Iraq. All of this negativity directed at the President
succeeded in driving down Bush's Job Approval rating and
the right/direction wrong direction numbers, but it didn't
succeed in turning this President into Jimmy Carter. As
I've said before, despite this ferocious onslaught, Bush's
Job Approval bottoming out in the mid-40's was actually
a positive for the President and a sign of his underlying
strength with the electorate, not a weakness.
Bush's Job Approval finding a floor in the mid-40's and
Kerry unable to ever move ahead by more than 2-3 points,
the Democratic ticket was extremely vulnerable to counterattack.
So in August, when Republican 527-money turned their guns
on Senator Kerry, specifically with the swift boat/post-Vietnam
protest stories, Kerry began to absorb some serious body
were extremely successful in driving up Kerry's unfavorables
during the month of August, and this led right into the
Republican convention where the spotlight was put squarely
on 9/11 and the War on Terror. The end result was that as
September rolled around President Bush opened up a 5-7 point
lead in the RCP Poll Average, a margin he held for 28 consecutive
with being completely knocked out of the race, Kerry was
able to get back in the game with a win in the first debate
on September 30. In four days days after that debate Kerry
was able to pull within 1-2
points of Bush in the RCP Average. That 1-2 point Bush
lead basically held steady through the final debate in Arizona
last week. Since last Wednesday's debate, Bush has tacked
on a few points and this morning leads by 3-4 points in
both of the RCP Poll Averages.
where does that leave us? The President's
Job Approval appears to have stabilized around 50%,
with the latest from Gallup, (the most important as far
as job approval) indicating 51% approval. While the press
makes a big deal about Bush being below 50%, it is probably
the Kerry campaign that should be more concerned with that
50% number. Bush can win with a Job Approval at 47% or 48
%, but Kerry doesn't have a chance if the President's Job
Approval is at 52% or 53%.
in April I wrote:
a crude measuring stick for the state of the presidential
race, an over 50% job approval for the President should
translate into a Bush victory. A 45% - 49% job approval
will mean a close race, but I would give President Bush
these parameters roughly still hold true. At 49.5% in the
RCP Average Bush is right on the cusp of where he needs
to be to put this race away. However, on the cusp of victory
is not quite the same thing as winning, and at this stage
I would ratchet up the 45-49 leaning Bush range to 47-49.
If the President's Job Approval were to fall to 45 or 46,
as measured by the RCP Average, I think we would be looking
at a dead heat race, with the momentum clearly favoring
the challenger Kerry.
things stand today, Kerry can't tolerate any more movement
towards Bush in the national horse-race numbers or the President
Job Approval. Trailing 3-4 points nationally and a Bush
JA at 49.5% is absolutely the most Kerry can trail by and
still hope to have a chance on Election Day.
the reason Kerry still can win with these type of numbers
is because Bush is having a difficult time getting over
50% in most of the polls. The
risk to the President is the undecideds come out to vote,
and vote disproportionately for a change with Senator Kerry.
Sabato suggested last week he was "tempted to argue
that Bush actually needed his full 5 to 6 percent September
lead to insure a narrow victory."
disagree with that and suggest that unless there is strong
momentum towards Kerry at the very end I think Bush will
not underperform his RCP Poll Spread in the final results.
What I mean by that is if the President leads by 2-3 points
in the final RCP Poll average, I think he will win by at
least 2-3 points. In other words I don't think the President
needs a poll cushion going in to Election Day. Again, that
is assuming there is not a strong final break towards Kerry,
like the Bush DUI and the late break for Gore in 2000. For
example if Bush is ahead 4-6 points with a week to go, but
in the last three days that closes to only 1-2 points, that
1-2 point lead very well might not hold up.
reason I think Bush will meet or exceed the final poll spread
I wonder whether there is a little bit of the Howard Dean
phenomena with all the "energy" and young voters,
and all the "new" people who are supposedly going
to come out and put John Kerry in office. We heard this
type of talk with Howard Dean earlier this year and when
it came time to deliver, it was just that, a lot of talk.
I don't think the Black vote is going to come out in the
type of numbers Senator Kerry is going to need. African-Americans
certainly don't like President Bush, but they are unenthusiastic
about Kerry and that will hurt the Democrats on the margins.
The GOP learned a hard lesson in 2000 when the Democrat's
GOTV effort just crushed the Republicans. The GOP adapted
and instituted their 72 hour plan which was extremely effective
in 2002, and I suspect that will provide a powerful assist
to the President, and could be worth as much as 1-2 points
on Election Day.
three of these issues are about turnout, and at this stage
this is what the race is going to come down to in the end.
Will the President's base simply overpower Kerry's and render
the small number of undecideds a non-factor or will Kerry
get the undecideds to break his way, and more importantly
will he get enough of them to the polls on Election Day
to offset the President's lead in the polls and Bush's more
the President's position, but Bush supporters should be
wary. Kerry has kept within striking distance in the critical
battleground states and any late movement for Kerry is all
this race will need to be a dead heat going in to Election
Day. J. McIntyre 11:48 am Link
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October 18, 2004
SEXUALITY, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE: One at a time. First,
the Mary Cheney thing. There's been a lot written on this
subject and I don't have a whole lot to add, except to say
that it's clear John Kerry violated one of the fundamental
unwritten rules of politics last week. You simply do not
bring the children of your political opponents into the
you want to talk about your own family, fine. But to cite
someone else's child as an example of anything in the context
of a political debate strikes most people as offensive.
The visceral response we've seen to John Kerry's remark
has nothing to do with the issue of gay marriage or whether
people believe homosexuality is genetic or not. It only
has to do with the way Kerry offended the average person's
concept of what is decent, polite and respectful behavior.
The fact John Kerry didn't realize this at the time, and
hasn't seen fit to recognize it in the ensuing days is going
to turn off some voters. We'll see just how many.
number two: lies. I find it rather astonishing that Democrats
and some members of the media (like Mark
Halperin) continue to harp on President Bush's dishonesty
while John Kerry runs around the country telling people
the President is going to reinstate
the draft and take away senior citizens' Social Secuirty
checks. From today's
might be a good surprise for the wealthy and well-connected,
but it's a disaster for the middle class," Kerry
told the congregation at Mount Olivet Baptist Church in
Columbus, Ohio. "The president's privatization plan
for Social Security is another way of saying to our seniors
that the promise of security is going to be broken."
recent weeks, Kerry, who has complained about Bush lodging
negative and unsubstantiated attacks, has made several
cutting accusations about the president based on shaky
this is in addition to the fact that Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton
and the entire Democratic national party establishment have
gone into full "Selma 1965 mode," hyping accusations
of voter intimidation and/or telling their operatives to
them up and generally scaring
the living daylights out of African-Americans all across
videotape. Sinclair Broadcasting and "Stolen Honor."
As a general principle I don't think Sinclair should broadcast
"Stolen Honor" unless they're willing to present
a rebuttal from John Kerry's point of view (though it doesn't
necessarily have to be from Kerry himself).
they're willing to present both sides of the story - which
is more than you can say about CBS and others - then Sinclair
has the right to run whatever programming they want. And
Democrats have a right to try and pressure Sinclair to pull
the show by threatening local advertisers with a boycott
of their products. That's how we do it in America.
it is a bit remarkable that we are only two weeks away from
the election and there still has been very, very little
attention paid to John Kerry's post-Vietnam record by the
mainstream media. Kerry keeps saying he's proud of those
days standing up and fighting against a war he thought was
wrong. Great. Then what's the problem with having a discussion
about those days where people can be critical of Kerry's
actions and he can step up and defend them? Again, that's
how we do it in America. - T. Bevan 3:15 pm Link
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