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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Wednesday, October 13, 2004
"Voting for Bush is Like...."
Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode CCCLXXXVI
I have been conflicted for a couple of hours about whether to blog this disgusting, despicable, and unconscionable flyer. I apologize for offending your sensibilities, Faithful Reader: I can hardly bear to look at it myself.
As James Taranto says, "If He Were Republican, This Would Be Hate Speech". The flyer, though, has been coming out of the Ripley, Tennessee, headquarters of one Craig Fitzhugh, a Democrat running for re-election to the state House of Representatives.
I'll add this: if the perpetrator were Republican, the Bush-Cheney campaign itself would be asked to condemn this kind of mean-spirited rhetoric. Democrats, though, get a pass; after all, as everybody knows, it's the Democrats who are kind and caring, so they get to do whatever mean & rotten things they want to do.
Okay. Maybe it wouldn't be fair to hold the Democratic National Committee or the Kerry-Edwards Campaign to account for the actions of a state-level Democratic creep.
It's reported that Fitzhugh's office in Ripley "also serves as the Kerry-Edwards headquarters".
Here it is.
The Terrorism Nuisance
Democrats in Self-Destruct Mode CCCLXXXV
Matt Bai simultaneously reports and spins John Kerry at NYT, Oct. 10:
.... By infuriating allies and diminishing the country's international esteem, Kerry argued, Bush had made it impossible for America to achieve its goals abroad. By the simple act of changing presidents, the country would greatly increase its chances of success in the global war on terror. Both candidates, in fact, were suggesting that the main difference between them was one of leadership style and not policy; just as Bush had taken to arguing that Kerry was too inconstant to lead a nation at war, Kerry's critique centered on the idea that Bush had proved himself too stubborn and arrogant to represent America to the rest of the world.
But when you listen carefully to what Bush and Kerry say, it becomes clear that the differences between them are more profound than the matter of who can be more effective in achieving the same ends. Bush casts the war on terror as a vast struggle that is likely to go on indefinitely, or at least as long as radical Islam commands fealty in regions of the world. In a rare moment of either candor or carelessness, or perhaps both, Bush told Matt Lauer on the ''Today'' show in August that he didn't think the United States could actually triumph in the war on terror in the foreseeable future. ''I don't think you can win it,'' he said a statement that he and his aides tried to disown but that had the ring of sincerity to it. He and other members of his administration have said that Americans should expect to be attacked again, and that the constant shadow of danger that hangs over major cities like New York and Washington is the cost of freedom. In his rhetoric, Bush suggests that terrorism for this generation of Americans is and should be an overwhelming and frightening reality.
When I asked Kerry what it would take for Americans to feel safe again, he displayed a much less apocalyptic worldview. ''We have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they're a nuisance,'' Kerry said. ''As a former law-enforcement person, I know we're never going to end prostitution. We're never going to end illegal gambling. But we're going to reduce it, organized crime, to a level where it isn't on the rise. It isn't threatening people's lives every day, and fundamentally, it's something that you continue to fight, but it's not threatening the fabric of your life.''
This analogy struck me as remarkable, if only because it seemed to throw down a big orange marker between Kerry's philosophy and the president's. Kerry, a former prosecutor, was suggesting that the war, if one could call it that, was, if not winnable, then at least controllable. If mobsters could be chased into the back rooms of seedy clubs, then so, too, could terrorists be sent scurrying for their lives into remote caves where they wouldn't harm us. Bush had continually cast himself as the optimist in the race, asserting that he alone saw the liberating potential of American might, and yet his dark vision of unending war suddenly seemed far less hopeful than Kerry's notion that all of this horror planes flying into buildings, anxiety about suicide bombers and chemicals in the subway could somehow be made to recede until it was barely in our thoughts....
(Bai also spins Bush.)
William Tucker addresses some of the inadequacies of Kerry's philosophy at The American Spectator, Oct. 12:
.... So what's wrong with this picture?
Well, first of all, it never seems to occur to either Bai or Kerry that Kerry's model of international drug lords as the template for Al Qaeda is wrong. (We'll skip the prostitution analogy for now and try to deal with serious things.) Drug lords are businessmen trying to make money. They kill people and try to bring down Third World governments as a means of extending and protecting their business. They are driven by greed, which, in the end, can be satiated.
Islamic terrorists are driven by religion, not money. Their motives are not economic, which is exactly the problem. Poverty and misery are not the underlying cause. In fact, the major appeal of Islamic fundamentalism has been among the educated elite. (Engineering students seem to make the best recruits.) Exposure to Western culture usually makes Muslim fundamentalists more radical, which is why Samuel Huntington has called it a "Clash of Civilizations." Al Qaeda does not want to blow New York off the map because it wants to sell more heroin. It wants to destroy America because it hates it and believes Islam is destined to rule the world.
So here will come John Kerry, shuffling around Europe and the Middle East, signing treaties, accepting promises, and assuring the folks back home that everything is all right.
On top of this comes the argument that terror is really as "law enforcement problem." Liberals don't have a very good track record here, either. For more than 25 years, beginning with the U.S. Supreme Court's 1960s decisions in criminal procedure and the academically driven "deprisonization movement," liberals rooted around the country looking for the "root causes" of crime, always promising they were just ahead and that the problem was about to be solved. Meanwhile, crime soared....
Rudy Giuliani replies at length, Oct. 11.
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For some time, and including when I spoke at the Republican Convention, I’ve wondered exactly what John Kerry’s approach would be to terrorism and I’ve wondered whether he had the conviction, the determination, and the focus, and the correct worldview to conduct a successful war against terrorism. And his quotations in the New York Times yesterday make it clear that he lacks that kind of committed view of the world. In fact, his comments are kind of extraordinary, particularly since he thinks we used to before September 11 live in a relatively safe world. He says we have to get back to the place we were, where terrorists are not the focus of our lives, but they’re a nuisance.
I’m wondering exactly when Senator Kerry thought they were just a nuisance. Maybe when they attacked the USS Cole? Or when they attacked the World Trade Center in 1993? Or when they slaughtered the Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972? Or killed Leon Klinghoffer by throwing him overboard? Or the innumerable number of terrorist acts that they committed in the 70s, the 80s and the 90s, leading up to September 11?
This is so different from the President’s view and my own, which is in those days, when we were fooling ourselves about the danger of terrorism, we were actually in the greatest danger. When you don’t confront correctly and view realistically the danger that you face, that’s when you’re at the greatest risk. When you at least realize the danger and you begin to confront it, then you begin to become safer. And for him to say that in the good old days I’m assuming he means the 90s and the 80s and the 70s they were just a nuisance, this really begins to explain a lot of his inconsistent positions on how to deal with it because he’s not defining it correctly.
As a former law enforcement person, he says "I know we’re never going to end prostitution. We’re never going to end illegal gambling. But we’re going to reduce it." This is not illegal gambling; this isn’t prostitution. Having been a former law enforcement person for a lot longer than John Kerry ever was, I don’t understand his confusion. Even when he says "organized crime to a level where it isn’t not on the rise," it was not the goal of the Justice Department to just reduce organized crime. It was the goal of the Justice Department to eliminate organized crime. Was there some acceptable level of organized crime: two families, instead of five, or they can control one union but not the other?
The idea that you can have an acceptable level of terrorism is frightening. How do you explain that to the people who are beheaded or the innocent people that are killed, that we’re going to tolerate a certain acceptable [level] of terrorism, and that acceptable level will exist and then we’ll stop thinking about it? This is an extraordinary statement. I think it is not a statement that in any way is ancillary. I think this is the core of John Kerry’s thinking. This does create some consistency in his thinking.
It is consistent with his views on Vietnam: that we should have left and abandoned Vietnam. It is consistent with his view of Nicaragua and the Sandinistas. It is consistent with his view of opposing Ronald Reagan at every step of the way in the arms buildup that was necessary to destroy communism. It is consistent with his view of not supporting the Persian Gulf War, which was another extraordinary step. Whatever John Kerry’s global test is, the Persian Gulf War certainly would pass anyone’s global test. If it were up to John Kerry, Saddam Hussein would not only still be in power, but he’d still be controlling Kuwait.
Finally, what he did after the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, where I guess at that point terrorism was still just a nuisance. He must have thought that because that’s why he proposed seriously reducing our intelligence budget, when you would think someone who was really sensitive to the problem of terrorism would have done just the opposite. I think that rather than being some aberrational comment, it is the core of the John Kerry philosophy: that terrorism is no different than domestic law enforcement problems, and that the best we’re ever going to be able to do is reduce it, so why not follow the more European approach of compromising with it the way Europeans did in the 70s and the 80s and the 90s?
This is so totally different than what I think was the major advance that President Bush made significant advance that he made in the Bush Doctrine on September 20, 2001, when he said we’re going to face up to terrorism and we’re going to do everything we can to defeat it, completely. There’s no reason why we have to tolerate global terrorism, just like there’s no reason to tolerate organized crime.
So I think this is a seminal issue, this is one that explains or ties together a lot of things that we’ve talked about. Even this notion that the Kerry campaign was so upset that the Vice President and others were saying that he doesn’t understand the threat of terrorism; that he thinks it’s just a law enforcement action. It turns out the Vice President was right. He does and maybe this is a difference, maybe this is an honest difference that we really should debate straight out. He thinks that the threat is not as great as at least the President does, and I do, and the Vice President does.
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Moreover, it looks like John Kerry has never thought we were in a war or should be prepared for war.
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WaPo Looks at Clarence Thomas
This week, WaPo has a two-article series on SCOTUS Justice Clarence Thomas:
Why Does John Kerry Have So Many Citations for Some of His Medals?
Not a question the New York Times will care to answer or even to ask.
Numerous anomalies surround Kerry's service medals; see, for instance, Purple... Bronze... and Now Silver, "Criticism of Kerry's Purple Heart is Just", Boston Globe Broaches Controversy Surrounding Kerry's First Purple Heart, and No Record of Bush Military Claim: Media Feeding Frenzy Starting Again.
Now comes an article by Thomas Lipscomb at the New York Sun, today:
An official Navy document on Senator Kerry's campaign Web site listed as Mr. Kerry's "Honorable Discharge from the Reserves" opens a door on a well kept secret about his military service.
The document is a form cover letter in the name of the Carter administration's secretary of the Navy, W. Graham Claytor. It describes Mr. Kerry's discharge as being subsequent to the review of "a board of officers." This in itself is unusual. There is nothing about an ordinary honorable discharge action in the Navy that requires a review by a board of officers.
According to the secretary of the Navy's document, the "authority of reference" this board was using in considering Mr. Kerry's record was "Title 10, U.S. Code Section 1162 and 1163." This section refers to the grounds for involuntary separation from the service. What was being reviewed, then, was Mr. Kerry's involuntary separation from the service. And it couldn't have been an honorable discharge, or there would have been no point in any review at all. The review was likely held to improve Mr. Kerry's status of discharge from a less than honorable discharge to an honorable discharge....
There are a number of categories of discharges besides honorable. There are general discharges, medical discharges, bad conduct discharges, as well as other than honorable and dishonorable discharges. There is one odd coincidence that gives some weight to the possibility that Mr. Kerry was dishonorably discharged. Mr. Kerry has claimed that he lost his medal certificates and that is why he asked that they be reissued. But when a dishonorable discharge is issued, all pay benefits, and allowances, and all medals and honors are revoked as well. And five months after Mr. Kerry joined the U.S. Senate in 1985, on one single day, June 4, all of Mr. Kerry's medals were reissued.
See also this monumental blog at Beldar's place.
Thanks to Margaret for calling our attention to this article about voter-registration fraud in Colorado:
.... 9News has discovered a record number of fraudulent voter-registrations across the state. Secretary of State Donetta Davidson tells 9News she is concerned about what the I-Team has uncovered and wants those responsible prosecuted. "It has just gone rampant," she told reporter Deborah Sherman in an interview Monday afternoon.
Most of the fraud has come from registration drives, where people at grocery stores or on the streets ask you to sign up. 9News has learned many workers have re-registered voters multiple times by changing or making up information about them. 9News has documented 719 cases of potentially fraudulent forms at county election offices show fraudulent names, addresses, social security numbers or dates of birth in Denver, Douglas, Adams, Boulder and Lake counties. Information from other counties is still coming in....
Somehow, though, the groups responsible are... victims!
.... Some of the registration drive workers earn $2 per application or about $10 an hour. One woman admitted to forging three people's names on about 40 voter registration applications. Kym Cason says she was helping her boyfriend earn more money from a get-out-the-vote organization called ACORN or Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. ACORN works with low or moderate-income families on housing issues. Cason said her extra registrations earned her boyfriend $50.
Gerald Obi says workers pressured him to keep registering to vote so they too could earn extra cash. When asked how many times he had registered this year, Obi said, "about 35 times."
ACORN's state director said they are victims of the fraud as well and told 9News the group is cooperating with local investigators. Ross Fitzgerald says the group has fired workers for the fraud. "Our goal is to register as many people as we can," said Fitzgerald. "If they're fraudulent, that hurts our numbers." ....
Come on. They didn't fire anybody for fraud: if they fired anybody, they fired them for getting caught at fraud.
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|Needless Commentary from Small-Town America|
|The View from the Core, and all original material, © 2002-2004 E. L. Core. All rights reserved.|
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