August 13 2004
KERRY IS NOT THE FAVORITE: As Mickey
Kaus pointed out yesterday the conventional wisdom of
the Washington punditry appears to be coalescing around
the idea that "this is now John Kerry's contest to
The Note stepped onto the John Kerry bandwagon with
list of why Bush is going to lose. National Journal's
Charlie Cook chimed in:
Bush must have a change in the dynamics and the fundamentals
of this race if he is to win a second term. The sluggishly
recovering economy and renewed violence in Iraq don't
seem likely to positively affect this race, but something
needs to happen.
University of Virginia's Center for Politics Larry Sabato
shook up quite a few Republicans with his
recent speech to the Business Council of Alabama where,
more or less, he suggested President Bush is finished.
Bush campaign knows it is in deep trouble.... He really
will need a miracle to win, and the last miracle was for
Harry S. Truman.
I don't want this to simply be a rehash of my
comments a couple of weeks ago, I still don't understand
all of this Kerry bullishness. Clearly, President Bush is
not a lock to win in November, but the prospects for his
reelection are considerably better than the current conventional
start, I think it is unwise to make such definitive statements
about where this race is until we get at least a week past
the GOP convention and the anniversary of September 11.
from the standpoint of the national poll numbers, I don't
know where all the optimism for Kerry is coming from. Simply
put, I don't find his 2-4 point lead in the post-convention
head-to-head and three-way
polls all that impressive. He should be ahead by more
- and the fact that he isn't suggests bad news for his ultimate
chance of winning.
don't know what kind of bounce President Bush is going to
get from his convention and the 9/11 anniversary. Perhaps,
like Kerry, the President may get little or no bounce at
all. But it appears all the prognosticators writing Bush
off this past week seem to be totally ignoring the possibility
that the President could get a real and significant
bounce from these two events. It doesn't seem that far-fetched
that Bush could move out to 2-5 point lead after all the
dust settles in late September.
I've said before, I think the biggest mistake many people
seem to be making is misapplying post-WWII polling and electoral
history to the current political situation. It is this type
of backward-looking analysis that failed to anticipate the
possibility of the unprecedented GOP victory in 2002.
is the first presidential election post-9/11 and it is not
an insignificant fact that we are very much involved in
a war. That reality is constantly being underestimated in
trying to make sense of all the disparate polling information,
and I think Sabato, Cook, Halperin and the rest aren't giving
it enough due in their analyses.
lead op-ed on Wednesday was the NY
Times' Nicholas Kristoff writing persuasively about
the potential reality of a 10-kiloton nuclear weapon going
off in Manhattan killing some 500,000 people. We have over
150,000 troops overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan battling
terrorists and insurgents. Economically we're dealing in
a post-financial bubble, oil at $45 per barrel (and rising),
and we're saddled with all the additional inefficiencies
associated with the constant vigilance and increased security
associated with defending against a possible terrorist attack
that could come at any time, any where.
it any wonder why the polls pick up angst and nervousness
among the public? The mistake here is interpreting that
angst and nervousness as a repudiation of President Bush
and his administration. Maybe it is, but it is not inconceivable
that by mid-late September when the public if forced to
focus on the real choice between the leadership of George
W. Bush and John F. Kerry, this race may appear to be quite
perplexes me most about all the negativism over Bush's chances
is the failure to explain - even absent a decent bounce
for Bush in the national polls in the next 4-6 weeks - exactly
how John Kerry is going to get to 270 electoral votes. Again,
don't get me wrong: I'm not suggesting that Kerry can't
get to 270 or beyond, just that given the current position
the President is in, I think Bush has an easier route to
270 than Kerry.
an electoral college standpoint, the race is somewhat easy
to analyze because most states are going to follow the Bush-Gore
2000 results. Because of reapportionment, this year if all
states stayed the same Bush's total would rise to 278 from
271 and Kerry's number would fall to 260 from Al Gore's
total of 267. (Late clarification: Officially Gore
received 266 electoral votes, because of one abstention
form the District if Columbia.) So the question for the
Democrats is how does Kerry get to 270?
stipulate up front that if Kerry wins wins either
Florida or Ohio Bush is more than likely finished. But if
we leave aside Florida and Ohio for a second and assume
they stay in the Bush column, suddenly Kerry's path to 270
becomes very difficult.
Kerry would have to sweep the trio of New Hampshire, Nevada
and West Virginia - which would be the political equivalent
of drawing to an inside straight. Not impossible, but pretty
Hampshire is by far the most likely Kerry pickup and, for
the sake of argument, we'll give that to the Dems. So with
NH's 4 electoral votes Kerry gets to 264. WV and NV have
5 electoral votes each, but the problem for Kerry is 269
is not going to get it done because the House will split
the 269-269 tie in Bush's favor.
in reality he will have to win all three states. (Theoretically
he could carry WV and NV, lose NH, and get to 270, however
everyone agrees that NH is his best chance for a pickup
so its hard to imagine a scenario where he carries NV and
WV, but not NH.)
West Virginia is the real issue here. Winning NH is easy
for Kerry - if not probable - and winning NV is very doable,
but it would seem impossible for Kerry to win West Virginia
while at the same time losing Ohio. Coal, Guns, God and
Country aren't going to be working for John Kerry in West
supporters might ask, "well aren't there other states
our man can win to get us over 270?" The problem for
the Dems is, what are they? Again, assuming FL and OH are
off the table for now, Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee,
Virginia, Louisiana, Colorado and Arizona are not exactly
high value targets. It's not that Kerry can't win one of
these states, it's just that if Bush does win FL and OH
the chances of Kerry winning any of these states
is less than 5%. It just isn't going to happen.
brings us to what the election really is going to boil down
to, at least today, Florida and Ohio. Given the electoral
math, one would have to assume that the pundits predicting
defeat for President Bush are calculating he will lose at
least one of these states. The problem with this analysis
is it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to suggest
that Bush will "need a miracle" to carry both
Florida and Ohio.
people are putting a lot of stock in the Florida polls that
show Kerry ahead. I don't. In my estimation Bush will have
an easier time winning Florida than Ohio. Don't forget all
the big talk from Terry McAuliffe who declared that "job
number one" was to send the President's brother packing
in 2002. Jeb Bush went on to win by 13% and the GOP swept
the state from top to bottom.
year, there won't be any boost in the Jewish vote from Lieberman,
African-Americans don't seem particularly excited about
John Kerry, Florida's a big pro-military state, and George
W. Bush will still handily win the Cuban-American vote -
especially if Mel Martinez is the Republican nominee for
if the Democrats' optimism comes down to a couple of Florida
state polls taken in mid-summer, I think they're making
a big mistake. Let's see where these same polls are October
1, and if the FL polls are still showing the same type of
Kerry lead at that time, then I would agree that the Bush
reelection will be in serious trouble.
doesn't need a miracle in Ohio, either. Even today in the
period after Kerry's convention, the polls in Ohio
are split. With
just released poll showing Bush ahead nationally by
2-3 points and his job approval above the supposed magic
50% level at 51, I'm perplexed why the Democrats are so
confident the Kerry/Edwards ticket is going to carry a state
that typically is two-four points more Republican
than the national vote.
I'll reiterate what I said a couple
of weeks ago:
wait and see how things look after the conventions and
the anniversary of September 11. It's quite possible all
this midsummer optimism about a Kerry victory might look
very different in mid-October.
McIntyre 9:53 am Link
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August 12 2004
THE BANDWAGON & 2008: Here's
some good news for President Bush: the LA Times reports
Schwarzenegger has changed his mind and "may"
campaign for Bush outside of California. If he does, the
local and national publicity Arnold will generate for Bush
will literally blot out the sun - and that includes anything
Kerry and Edwards do in the days leading up to the RNC.
the other coast, Jennifer Steinhauer has a piece in today's
NY Times looking at Rudy
Giuliani's contribution to the Bush campaign and his
upcoming speech at the convention. The most interesting
part of the article focuses on Giuliani's future political
ambitions which - in addition to his being rumored as a
possible replacement to Dick Cheney this year - includes
a possible run at President in 2008.
has been all over the country doing favors for the GOP in
the last three years. As Republican consultant Kieran Mahoney
says in the Times article:
is not always evident when you are going to make a withdrawal
from the favor bank of politics, but it is always obvious
when you are making a deposit."
account is bulging. It sounds crazy, but we could get a
chance to see the Giuliani-Clinton match-up that was so
eagerly anticipated in 2000 - except this time it could
be for all the marbles.
I've been a bit surprised by the effort John
McCain has put in on President Bush's behalf on the
campaign trail recently. After all, supposedly the two men
aren't that close, and McCain has repeatedly been a thorn
in Bush's side during his first term.
thing McCain has never been accused of is being camera shy,
and maybe that is what's behind this blitz. Or maybe he
truly feels Bush is the right man for the job and America
can't afford to have John Kerry in the White House.
McCain is himself thinking ahead to 2008. He doesn't have
a realistic chance of winning the White House as an Independent.
But by campaigning so hard for Bush he might, like Giuliani,
be able to win his way back into the good graces of - or
at least become tolerable to- the conservative wing of the
party and put himself in a position to win the GOP nomination
ALAN KEYES PROJECT - PART TWO: Congratulations
to Alan Keyes. He made big headlines for the second day
in a row- but he had to sing "Over
the Rainbow" to do it.
Goldberg frets over Keyes candidacy and Mike
Murphy doesn't mince words responding to critics of
recent piece deriding the choice of Keyes:
thought the Keyes weakness is painfully obvious, but here
goes: The job of a political candidate is to attract people
to a party's political philosophy and bring victory to
the party on Election Day. In two U.S. Senate races and
two presidential campaigns, Alan Keyes has done the exact
opposite: shown a great ability to stampede voters away
from his candidacy like a herd of panicking animals fleeing
a huge volcanic eruption. Even Keyes' cable TV chat show,
with its unforgettably Orwellian title, Alan Keyes Is
Making Sense was abruptly cancelled for low ratings. When
voters listen to a successful candidate they get a strong
feeling that this person can do the job and make life
better. When voters listen to Alan Keyes, they get the
perception, "wow, this guy is stone cold nuts"
and they run home to hide their children. We Republicans
are the free market party, so look to Keyes's prior history
in elections and trust the market."
probably doesn't help the cause when fellow Republicans
- but especially popular former Republican Governors from
Illinois - decide to go on record saying Keyes makes them
what exactly is the strategy here? Everyone - including
Keyes - knows he's
not going to win. One reader emailed with the suggestion
that Keyes was brought in because the election cycle in
this race is now terribly short and the Illinois GOP needed
a "big gun" with serious name recognition to try
and make the race competitive quickly. But it ain't competitive,
nor is it going to be.
submit the more likely strategy is that the Illinois Republican
party (possibly with the backing of national party) didn't
want a "big gun" to make the race competitive
so much as they wanted a "hit man" who would take
Obama out to the rhetorical woodshed and rough him up a
bit. Alan Keyes fits that bill to a tee. His job isn't to
win more votes than Obama, it's to take as much shine off
of Obama's rising star as possible in the next 11 weeks.
- T. Bevan 11:25 am Link
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August 11 2004
NEWS & NOTES: First, I want to take a minute
and plug our new advertiser, Boca Java. They're currently
cool election season promotion with three new coffees
(including John's Java and Bush's Brew) as well as a bunch
of accessories. Perhaps most importantly, a portion of all
the proceeds go to the USO
to support our troops. Boca Java has set a target of raising
$100,000 for the USO and we're proud to be a part of helping
them achieve this goal. Please take
a visit today.
onto the news. In Colorado, Pete
Coors easily beat Bob Schaffer for the Republican Senate
nomination. He'll square off against Democrat Ken Salazar
for the seat. Should be a good battle.
Majette made history by becoming the first woman and
the first African-American to win a Senate nomination in
Georgia. She will be an underdog in the general against
Republican Johnny Isakson.
Bush tapped Porter Goss to be the new DCI. Kerry and the
Dems are reacting
cautiously to the nomination, trying to suggest Bush's
picking a loyal Republican represents the further politicization
of intelligence. But, at least so far, the Dems don't seem
to be willing to threaten a knock-down, drag-out confirmation
battle for fear of being beaten over the head again for
obstructing national security like they were in 2002 on
checking the blogosphere I see Kevin
Drum finally managed to squeeze out a post on the "Christmas
in Cambodia" story. After summarizing the particulars
of the story Drum declares:
Beats me. Kerry has mentioned this story several times,
so it's not a slip of the tongue. And it's plausible on
its surface. Contrariwise, the evidence against him is
pretty thin: not much more than the fact that no one else
has verified it — and keep in mind that the Swift
Vets guys are not exactly disinterested witnesses in this
matter. What's more, since there is exactly zero in the
way of documentary evidence one way or the other, it seems
unlikely that this little teapot-sized tempest will ever
be conclusively resolved. Which, I suppose, suits Kerry's
detractors just fine.
this the same Kevin Drum who devoted weeks upon weeks to
covering the Bush National Guard story in excruciating -
even nauseating - detail? The same guy who was willing to
ignore all pieces of exculpatory evidence (including an
honorable discharge and corroborating witness testimony)
to pursue the Bush was AWOL conspiracy/cover-up?
never met Kevin but we've exchanged a few emails and I think
quite well of him. But it seems to me Kevin is moving the
goalposts here - not by a few feet but almost entirely off
John Kerry, who unlike President Bush has made his military
service record the fundamental rationale for his candidacy
(indeed, every time he's ever run for public office in the
last 30 years), is lying about whether he was sent into
Cambodia then it's a fairly serious matter and a real blow
to his credibility.
how much time he spent on the Bush National Guard story,
Kevin seems to have checked his intellectual honesty at
the door by dismissing the "Christmas in Cambodia"
episode as nothing more than a "teapot-sized tempest."
Thanks for all your emails of late. Seems many
of you disagree with me about Alan Keyes. Just to clarify,
my beef with Keyes is less about his ideology than it is
with his status as a carpetbagger, and the truly embarrassing
fact that in a state the size of Illinois - a place with
such a great Republican heritage - the party couldn't find
a single person worth putting forward.
Power of TRUTH post from last week seems to have struck
a nerve. I guess I'm not the only one disappointed the GOP
doesn't do a better job of selling the values of the party
one email that sums up much of the frustration I heard:
most recent column...hit a personal nail of mine on the
head. I am a registered Republican and although my views
tend to be more liberal than the standard party orthodoxy
these days, I am frequently disgusted by the shrill rhetoric
spewed by many major figures in today's Democratic Party.
I am particularly incensed in the way that the Republican
Party has virtually written off black America.
Republican Party is the Party of Lincoln. We created the
first civil rights movement: the Civil War; the Emancipation
Proclamation; the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth
Amendments; the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1871. The
first blacks to serve in the House of Representatives
(Joseph Rainey) and the Senate (Hiram Revels) were Republicans.
In 1884 - 120 years before Barack Obama's legitimately
star-making performance - John Lynch was the first black
to give the keynote speech at a national convention: the
Republican convention. In 1901, Booker T. Washington was
the first black to receive a formal dinner invitation
from the President of the United States: Republican Theodore
Roosevelt. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s father, Mike King,
voted for Republican Dwight Eisenhower for president twice.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by 62% of House
Democrats, but 78% of House Republicans. Behind Minority
Leader Everett Dirksen, the disparity was even more pronounced
in the Senate: 66% of Senate Democrats voted against the
bill, whereas 80% of Senate Republicans voted for it.
Perhaps most tellingly for me, Jackie Robinson, a man
who unfortunately may have been more familiar with racism
than anyone else in his era due to his heroic trailblazing
role, was a prominent and vocal member of the Republican
over 100 years, the Democratic Party was the party of
slavery, secession and segregation. And led by people
like Senator Robert Byrd, who filibustered for over 24
hours against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, they were proud
of it. Yet today, a Republican president with perhaps
the most ethnically diverse cabinet in history is going
to lose the black vote nationally by more than 8 to 1.
To the same party that keeps a dangerous phony like Robert
Byrd in the Senate. There is something seriously, seriously
wrong with this situation. You are absolutely correct
that Republicans must start reaching out to black America:
campaigning in predominantly black neighborhoods, in the
churches, before civil rights groups. Maintaining involvement
in years when no elective office is at stake. Those first
few years will be rough. There will be tough questions.
There will be accusations. There will be slanders based
on 40 years of lies and disinformation from the Democratic
as you said, truth is a powerful weapon. The truth is
that the Democratic Party has taken the black vote for
granted for 40 years. They mouth platitudes, play on fears
and stereotypes, and continue to push failed social agendas
that have gutted inner cities, destroyed black families
and robbed many black children of hope. In 2000, George
W. Bush correctly identified the "soft prejudice
of low expectations" as an obstacle to the black
community. His 2004 speech to the Urban League was just
as powerful. I fervently hope that the Republican Party
uses these planks to build a platform to reach out to
black America that gives them a choice in their future.
A Republican Party that gives blacks a real choice not
only is better for the Republican Party, more importantly,
it is better for black Americans - and all Americans."
said - and well worth remembering. - T. Bevan 10:25
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August 10 2004
BUSH RESPONDS: As noted below, last
week President Bush challenged John Kerry to answer whether
he would have voted in favor of using force against Saddam
even had he known at the time that WMD did not exist in
Kerry declared - somewhat surprisingly and to the chagrin
of Michael Moore & Co, no doubt - that "yes"
he would have still voted in favor of authorization.
Bush responded by saying:
almost two years after he voted for the war in Iraq, and
almost 220 days after switching positions to declare himself
the anti-war candidate, my opponent has found a new nuance.
He now agrees it was the right decision to go into Iraq.
months of questioning my motives, and even my credibility,
Senator Kerry now agrees with me that even though we have
not found the stockpiles of weapons we all believed were
there, knowing everything we know today, he would have
voted to go into Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein from power.
I want to thank Senator Kerry for clearing that up."
words: low, hanging, fruit. I bet Kerry wishes now he hadn't
taken the bait.- T. Bevan 3:25 pm
ALAN KEYES PROJECT: What to say? The Illinois Republican
Party richly deserves the scorn that's being heaped upon
them for choosing Alan Keyes to run for U.S. Senate. The
selection process was like a really bad reality tv show
that you couldn't turn off. The race itself isn't going
to be much better.
didn't have to be this way. Republicans missed a golden
opportunity to dump the baggage of the last few years and
put forward a new, fresh face. Someone who could benefit
from the tremendous amount of exposure that comes with a
Senate race and someone who could run a credible campaign
in an environment where expectations are virtually nonexistent.
To use the famous sports analogy, they could have chosen
to draft a promising rookie and start rebuilding the franchise.
the party put forward a carbetbagging political retread
in a choice many view as a cynical racial maneuver in addition
to offering a candidate that may be even less electable
than a political no-name. Mike
Murphy is right, the choice of Keyes is "likely
to set the already tattered Illinois Republican party back
at least another five years."
addition to the embarrassing fact that the GOP couldn't
find (or chose not to field) a reasonable candidate from
their own ranks in Illinois, in Keyes they've selected someone
who isn't particularly well-suited to the state ideologically.
now a consistently Democratic-trending state - thanks in
part to the continued incompetence of Republicans but also
to the Democrats' ability (led by Bill Clinton) to make
deep inroads over the last few years in the ever-expanding
suburbs. A firebrand like Alan Keyes isn't going to win
back the votes of these people, he's going to scare the
pants off them.
Keyes provided a
good example of what I'm talking about:
at dawn for a whirlwind round of broadcast interviews,
the conservative former diplomat started his first full
day of campaigning as the GOP candidate by saying Obama,
a state senator from Chicago, had violated the principle
that all men are created equal by voting against a bill
that would have outlawed a form of late-term abortion
said legalizing abortion deprives the unborn of their
would still be picking cotton if the country's moral principles
had not been shaped by the Declaration of Independence,"
Keyes said. He said Obama "has broken and rejected
those principles-- he has taken the slaveholder's position."
aside your own personal feelings about abortion for a moment
and slip into the mindset of a moderate or independent voter.
Is this language going to persuade you to vote for Alan
Keyes makes a strong argument for the right of the unborn.
Tactically, his use of language is self defeating. A smart
politician would frame Keyes "outside the mainstream",
which is exactly what Barack Obama did yesterday.
about this for a minute: Obama, a man whose position is
that you should legally be able to kill a baby up until
the moment its head starts poking out of the womb, is able
to cast his opponent as the one who is "outside of
the mainstream." It's preposterous.
Obama is able to get away with portraying himself as moderate
because Alan Keyes is so ridiculously over the top. Keyes
uses a blow torch when a scalpel will do. The question Keyes
should pose to Obama is a simple one: How can you reconcile
the view that killing a baby 5 minutes before it exits the
womb is a "woman's choice" but 5 minutes after
drama, no theatrics, no distracting rhetoric. Just a simple
question that highlights a stark choice and points out the
glaring moral and legal inconsistencies of Obama's position.
THING OF THE PAST: As usual, The
Belmont Club hits the nail on the head with regard to
the War on Terror:
geographical scope of the struggle is staggering: pursuit
across the Arabian peninsula, North Africa, Southwest
Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe and North America.
The instruments of struggle are equally various. Defensive
security, diplomatic pressure, covert operations, bilateral
training, special operations and conventional combat.
An old world is being torn down and a new one -- for better
or worse -- is being created "in a fit of absentmindedness".
The failure by the Left to articulate an alternative vision
of a post-September 11 world except in the negative has
banished what should have been the most momentous public
policy debate of the last 50 years into the outer dark.
By declaring discussion of the transformation of the world
illegitimate and then only belatedly presenting a Presidential
candidate whose countervision consists of a "secret"
but unstated plan, liberals have effectively left matters
in the hands of President Bush. It is a staggeringly reactionary
performance and a fundamentally unhealthy one. Because
the one certain thing is that the antebellum world, the
universe of September 10, can never be restored. The Clinton
era, like the green light at the end of Daisy's dock,
has been borne into the past.
John Kerry's position on Iraq gets curiouser and curiouser.
Now he's saying he
would still have voted to authorize the use of force had
he known at the time that WMD did not exist.
another step closer to Bush, one which Kerry wants to use
to blur the central distinction between the two men: as
President Kerry would not have put boots on the ground in
Iraq under any circumstances. Period.
also probably worth noting that Kerry is now setting a timetable
for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. The AP story says "Kerry's
aim would be to pull out a large number of the 138,000 U.S.
troops in Iraq in the first six months of his administration."
I'm sure terrorists everywhere are marking their calendars.
know a large contingent of troops will have to remain in
Iraq for some time to come. We also have no
assurances from France, Germany or anyone else that allied
forces will replace U.S. troops to ensure the safety
and stability of Iraq, only the wishful word of a man running
to be president.
ACCOMPLISHED": General Tommy Franks says it
was his idea. Hmm. You mean it wasn't that dastardly,
bungling Karl Rove exploiting the war for political purposes?
Nope. Just a President doing a favor for the guy commanding
the troops. - T. Bevan 8:25 am
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August 9 2004
IF IT'S NOT CLOSE THEY CAN'T CHEAT: We've put up
two excerpts from Hugh Hewitt's excellent new book, If
It's Not Close They Can't Cheat. Fair warning: the
book makes no pretense to be non-partisan in terms of the
Republican-Democratic debate in the country.
parts of the book may be infuriating to Democrats, it is
excellent political reading for individuals on both sides
of the aisle. The first excerpt we posted, The
United States is, Really and Truly, in a War, covers
the in-your-face political argument Hewitt makes against
the modern day Democratic Party which essential boils down
to the assertion that the Democratic Party of 2004 can no
longer be taken seriously to defend the security of the
second excerpt, Parties
Matter A Lot, deals with the importance of political
parties in affecting real life policy changes. Hewitt is
brutally frank when he writes that:
is no point being involved in politics unless you are an
active Republican or Democrat. If you are an independent
or a minor party candidate, you have no say in things.
book stresses the importance of the average person becoming
actively involved in the political process whether it is
by giving money, having house-parties for candidates, writing
letters to the editor or calling in on talk radio.
points out that politics requires simple messages that can
be easily conveyed to the broad public and reveals the lack
of sophistication among the "intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals"
who arrogantly look down on this type of political discourse.
that in the months after 9/11, some of President Bush's
critics mocked him for his repeated condemnations of "the
evildoers" and "the evil ones."
what Bush was doing then, and has successfully continued
to do, was to assure that every segment of the American
population could understand what the war was about. The
shocking pictures of the collapse of the World Trade Center
are certainly burned in the brains of most Americans,
but Bush had to go far beyond these pictures. He had to
explain the breadth and depth of the enemy, and he had
to completely deligitimize and ostracize Al Qaeda and
brilliant repetition of the world evildoers might have
amused Bush' critics, but it cemented into place the American
public's understanding not only of the terrorists, but
also of President Bush's understanding of the terrorists.
communicated through stark language and repetition that
he was not going to indulge any softheartednedness about
the attackers, that there could be no excuse for them,
and that no quarter would be given.
message was sent and the message was received, loud and
is this "simple" message that drives the elites
on the left and their counterparts across the Atlantic to
lampoon President Bush as a moronic cowboy the same way
they mocked Reagan a quarter a century ago.
also spells out for Republicans strategists sound advice
on dealing with three issues that he suggests have real
potential to hurt GOP candidates; abortion, guns and the
is a majority opinion that abortion is a very wrong, but
necessary freedom in the early months of a pregnancy.
There is a majority opinion that abortion after even three
months is a profound moral failing and that it is reprehensible
late in pregnancy. The political dynamic of the country
does not welcome a debate over those positions. Pro-lifers
who wish and pray for courageous judges who will stand
with legislative discretion are well and fully advised
to work quietly -- quietly -- for the election of politicians
who stand for the conservative opinion.
aren't going to go away. Ever. No Republican should ever
think about pursuing a gun control agenda on the party.
the gun absolutists have to realize the prohibition on
individuals owning machine guns and high-powered automatic
weapons makes sense to a large majority of Americans.
So if the GOP agrees with this consensus, the gun absolutists
should sit down and shut up.
a political issue it works for the Democrats. There's
not much sense complaining about this and bringing up
Teddy Roosevelt, the GOP hero who started the national
park system. The apparatus of the Left when it comes to
environmental propaganda is vast and powerful. The GOP
does what it can to counter the nonsense and the scare-mongering
of the Left, and to point out the horrible failures of
collectivist environmentalism, but the press is arrayed
against the Republicans on this issue and there is not
much hope of cracking the the united front of media and
hard Left environmental activism.
labels these three the Bermuda Triangle of issues for GOP
candidates and suggests Republicans would be wise to press
hard on all of the other issues where the playing field
is considerably more favorable to their side.
national security and taxes, Hewitt points out four issues
that, "if approached carefully with discipline and
skill, can reap huge benefits for Republicans."
on illegal immigrants is the most difficult issue in American
politics on which to communicate without giving offense
or sparking outrage, but the GOP has to master this skill
or forfeit the majority it currently enjoys. The demographic
realities of America compel serious political activists
grasp this fact and learn this issue while adopting President
Bush's tone. There is no alternative.
issue is a winner for the GOP because the Democrats have
played a radical and outrageous hand and adopted an extremist
agenda that, while satisfactory to its elites and elites
in the media, deeply offends most fair minded Americans
who hear of it.
vast majority of Americans understand and accept that
the ranks of their fellow citizens include millions of
gays and lesbians, and that these citizens are and should
be equal in every respect to all other citizens....But
a healthy majority of Americans believe that marriage
is an institution divine in origin, an institution that
the state regulates closely and the state should not extend
to same-sex couples.
of faith in the Democratic Party have to understand that
their party has declared war on the public expression
of their traditional faiths. The issue of the defense
of religious freedom is one that strengthens the GOP the
more it is on display. The majority position in America
is that people of faith should be respected and should
never be discriminated against because of their faith.
The Democrats have abandoned that tradition because of
abortion rights absolutism on the part of its most powerful
suggests that these four issues present huge opportunities
for the GOP to move millions of voters into the Republicans
anyone interested in American politics, If
It's Not Close They Can't Cheat is a must read.
Though there is no question about Hewitt's partisan leanings,
William Kristol of The Weekly Standard is right when
he declares that "Hugh Hewitt is the nicest partisan
I know." And while
Democrats will certainly disagree with many, if not most,
of the book's assertions, in many ways it is a more important
book for Democrats than for Republicans. J. McIntyre
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