Friday, September 27, 2002
Here's an interesting tidbit (2nd item) we missed about Lincoln Davis, a Democrat running in Tennessee's 4th district against Republican Janice Bowling. Apparently, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently told Davis to "tone down his talk about God and guns." This sounds like the same brilliant strategy that cost Al Gore his home state in 2000. Davis is quoted as saying that no Republican "is going to outgun me, out-pray me or out-family me." -TB 5:02 pm

HOORAY FOR HOLLYWOOD: The recent spate of stories highlighting Hollywood movie stars' influence on prominent Democrats (Reiner and Gore, Streisand and Gephardt) is a public relations disaster in the making. Whether this influence is real or not, the mere perception that the opinions of Yentl and Meathead on matters of national security are being given weight by the leaders of the Democratic party is not going to play well with Independents around the country. One more "Alec Baldwin Counsels Daschle to Oppose War" type headline and Dems risk becoming a laughingstock -TB 10:42 am

YES, SHE SAID IT: "He opposes affirmative action based on race. Well, let me tell you, slavery was based on race. Lynching was based on race. Discrimination is based on race. Jim Crow was based on race. And affirmative action should be based on race." - Kathleen Kennedy-Townsend at the NAACP-sponsored Governor's Debate at Morgan State University last night.
KKT may have a reputation as a policy lightweight, but she sure knows how to race-bait. Teddy must be proud. -TB 6:42 am

CLASSIC TORCH: The Torricelli memo is out. The US Attorney's Office said it found "credible" evidence of corruption in Torch's '96 campaign. The Senate Ethics Committee was convinced enough to "severely admonish" the Senator last month. Torricelli's response to this damning piece of evidence? "There remains no credible evidence, except the allegations of an admitted perjurer and convicted felon, that any of these matters ever occurred." Um, okay Senator, if you think the voters of New Jersey are that stupid. -TB 6:23 am

Thursday, September 26, 2002

If the South Dakota Senate race is really a proxy battle between President Bush and Senate Majority Leader Daschle, then what conclusions, if any, can be drawn from this poll? Bush has an 11% lead over Daschle on excellent/good job approval, and more importantly for Thune, solid numbers with Independents. 57% of Independents favor regime change in Iraq. Oh yeah, and 57% of Indpendents don't think Daschle should run for president. Sorry, Tom. - TB 10:52 am

Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Here's another "Where's the Iraq Debate?" outrage piece. I'm constantly amused, if not wearied, by the canard that antiwar speech is being "muffled" and "suppressed" in this country. Just who, exactly, is doing the suppressing? It's certainly not Republicans - they would like nothing more than to have antiwar Democrats talking themselves blue on the issue. Could it be, just maybe, that a majority of the American public agrees with Bush on Iraq and that Congressional Democrats are afraid of speaking out against the war because it will cost them their jobs?

GOOD PLAN.... FOR REPUBLICANS: Antiwar Democrats are upset by their party leadership's sudden falling into line with the Bush administration over Iraq. The Washington Post reports that some frustrated Democrats "are now looking to former president Jimmy Carter and former vice president Al Gore to help generate significant public opposition to unilateral action in Iraq." Trotting out Jimmy Carter six weeks before a mid-term election and making him the face of the Democratic party on the issue of National Security is - I'm going to be nice about this - not the smartest thing the Dems could do.

OBSERVING IDIOCY: Joe Conason lays a big egg in the online edition of today's NY Observer. In addition to making the standard, empty arguments that 1) Bush is a warmonger, 2) Saddam isn't that dangerous and 3) inspections and containment will work, Conason offers the following:

In the American media, with our preference for simple stories, the British prime minister is usually portrayed as a full-throated supporter of the President’s drive toward war. This restructuring of reality is similar to the false choice we’ve been offered by Republican spokesmen and their obedient echoes: multilateral "appeasement" or unilateral "pre-emption."

How Conason can believe that Tony Blair isn't a supporter of Bush's policy is beyond me. Blair's support isn't some media inspired fantasy (the man just stood up yesterday and battled his own party over Iraq) and there are no indications that Blair has been privately disagreeing with Bush. Furthermore, Conason employs a nice little rhetorical trick that "restructures reality" to set up his "false choice." In fact, those who favor moving against Iraq aren't unilateralist, they're skeptical of the UN's ability to act and to produce the necessary results: disarmament. There is an eleven-year UN history on Iraq that merits, even demands, our skepticism. - TB 7:30 AM

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

As soon as I finished reading Blair's speech I knew the anti-war crowd would dismiss it. The problem isn't that Bush and Blair haven't made the case against Iraq, it's the burden of proof to which the anti-war left wants to hold the US and Britain. The argument seems very similar to the difference between criminal and civil trials in the US: the doves demands a smoking gun, some indisputable piece of evidence linking Saddam to terror or weapons of mass destruction "beyond a reasonable doubt" while hawks, on the other hand, see a clear and convincing case for action against Iraq based on the "preponderance of evidence."In a post 9/11 world it seems prudent to say that a smoking gun, which is by definition evidence of a crime already committed, is too high a hurdle against action when evidence abounds - as case after case shows - of men who harbor evil intent and are plotting crimes against our citizens. - TB 6:32 PM

MORE GORE: Let's get this straight: Gore supported the '91 Persian Gulf War so strongly that he felt "betrayed" by Bush 41's "hasty retreat" from the battlefield. Gore supported Clinton's call for military action against Iraq in '98 and the switch to "regime change" as formal US government policy. But now, after four years without inspections and more than a dozen worthless UN resolutions, Gore doesn't support the call for action against Iraq by this President because it will "squander" American goodwill around the globe that resulted from the worst terrorist attack in US history? Then again, Gore's never been the model of intellectual honesty or integrity. - TB 11:32 AM

HOPE FOR GANSKE? : Tom Harkin must be pitching fits. He's got a comfortable double digit lead in his race with six weeks to go and now this. Yes, Harkin's campaign manager apologized, but the question about where the transcript came from remains. Would Harkin's team be so stupid as to have hired someone to bug the Ganske meeting? Hard to imagine. Either way, this might be just what Ganske needs to jump start his rather moribund campaign - TB 11:15 AM

Sign up for free updates from RCP:

9/30/02 - 10/4/02
9/23/02 - 9/29/02
9/16/02 - 9/22/02