Archive for February, 2004


Sunday, February 29th, 2004

My mother is dismayed when Pat Buchannan wins the New Hampshire primary. “What is wrong with the Republican party?’

I have no idea what her thoughts were in 1988 when Pat Robertson won the Washington Caucuses.

Flash forward a few weeks. Bob Dole either firmly reasserts himself from the Steve Forbes — Pat Buchannan (Lamar Alexandar is a distant memory), and my mother is satisfied.

Flash forward to November. Jack Kemp has waved his influence on the campaign, or maybe Bob Dole is just getting a little desparate. Bob Dole has offered a 15% tax cut.

Clinton is out of the question. (I know I wouldn’t vote for him.)

I say (probably best described during my teen years as a political nihilist), “You could vote for Perot.” (I do know what she thinks about Perot.)


“You could vote for Nader. He once crashed a Pinto!” (My high school Auto teacher did a rant on Nader, though I don’t know what pushed him to rant about Nader.)

“I may just well do so.”

If I had to guess I say she voted for Dole. But it doesn’t really matter anyway, because she voted after the national media announced that Clinton had won the thing…

Fox News Watch

Friday, February 27th, 2004

I’m reading through a recent issue of The Nation, and there it is… an advertisement for the Fox News Channel.

It’s not the first time Fox News has placed an ad in the magazine, to the laughter of the magazines liberal-left clientele. I can’t figure out what the game Fox News is playing here.

The ad? The ratings for Fox News’s coverage of the Democratic Primary has beaten the ratings for CNN’s coverage. Handy bar graphs. The debates that Fox News showed beat the debates that CNN showed. The ratings for the night of Iowa’s caucusses defeated the ratings for CNN’s coverage. Like that.

Perplexing, though, was the significance of a quote from a Boston Herald story found here, “He said he learned from Fox News that he was the likely winner, and celebrated with supporters and advisers like Senator Edward M. Kennedy, manager Mary Beth Cahill (another Dorchester native), strategist Robert Shrum, and Kerry’s brother Cam.”

What is the reader of the Nation supposed to do with this quote? “John Kerry finds Fox News credible (or something, and there’s a mention of Edward Kennedy’s name, so we should too!”

I flicked past Fox News the other day, and spotted Oliver North talking with Alan Colmes. On the bottom of the screen, there was the “Fox Factoid”: Oliver North was awarded 2 purple hearts. Uh huh. Might not have been the “factoid” that I would’ve selected, (mine would probably have been culled from herebut to each their own.

All I caught was Oliver North saying “It’s typical John Kerry. He’s sliming the National Guard.” (uh… huh. So the National Guard of the Vietnam era was, to paraphrase Colin Powell, a place where the sons of the powerful could wrangle themslves to avoid actual fighting, and has become since then, probably since “Operation Just Cause”, a deployable military arm much to the surprise of some of its recruits who were expecting just to throw out a couple weeks a month for college money… slime that if you must.)

Fox News. Fair and Balanced.

Passion of the Christ — some connections that I’ve made

Thursday, February 26th, 2004

#1: The movie, Passion of the Christ. One critic refers to it as “The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre”.

#2: That g-d-mned nail necklace

#3: Two editorials I’ve read about Bush’s re-election bid, one from Dick Morris the other from David Broder. Morris says Bush is behind Kerry by an even larger margin than it appears right now, and he needs to re-assert his successes on terror. Broder says that Bush politically needs to remind the nation of where it was on 9/12.

#4: Richard Perle and David Frum’s suggestions on how we need to proceed after 9/11 as articulated in their book An End to Evil.

#5: A Portland Mercury editorial from the 1-year anniversary of 9/11 saying that Cermonies of the anniversary and the coverage on television is over-indulgence… chocolate covering.

#6: During the era of the Bubonic Plague, religious art re-shifted toward a focus on Christ’s suffering.

#7: That church sign saying “The Jews Killed Jesus” that was spotlighted on the news recently.

#8: My suffering is bigger than your suffering, see it right here, and I’m out for blood. Got that?

Maybe I’ll flesh these thoughts out later. I don’t know.

Am I going crazy here?

Did Nader make a play for Dean’s VP slot?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2004

From the Jerry for Ohio Campaign Site:

Hi All, it’s good to know you are out there thinking and writing. I’m Mike Ford and I’ve been a manager and advisor to Jerry since he started in elective politics in  1970. For the last 6 months or so I was a senior advisor to Howard Dean.

Bout three months ago Ralph Nader and his entourage walked into our Vermont headquarters off the street to “dialogue”.

He was quite impressive intellectually and the firmness of his vision was also impressive. At the time of the visit, Howard was still the front runner and the Nader entourage made a blatant pitch for a Nader Vice Presidential nomination.

The point of all this is to say that the only thing that impressed me more than Nader’s brain was his outsized ego. Got to say, that’s what seems to be the driver here and it’s more about his personal agenda and, I think, about that huge ego rather than beating Bush. Who died and made you King Ralph? To each her own, EH? What do you think?


Flash back to comments made in November, found here:

While he recognizes that many Dean supporters may well have been Naderites in 2000, he calls Dean a “middle of the road” Democrat too friendly to corporate demands, and dismisses progressive enthusiasm for Dean’s candidacy with this metaphor: “Everybody is starved. If you have a garden and if it rains, you’re not excited, but if you’re in the desert and it rains, you’re delirious. But you know what rain in the desert produces? A mirage.” Repeating an old refrain, he says it doesn’t even matter if Dean is for real: “He can’t deliver–he can be George McGovern on steroids, but when he gets into the corporate prison called the White House, he can’t deliver.”

If I’m not mistaken, he refers to Dean, quite correctly incidentally, in his 2001 book Crashing the Party as “bland centrist to right Democrat.”

Sometime after those Nation comments, Nader was much more congenial toward Dean, perhaps gauging the reaction from his exploratory campaign website where he featured the question “Would want Nader to run if which candidate(s) win the nomination.”

For his part, Dean made the comment in December or January that “not all of my voters may not necessarily end up voting for the Democratic candidate.” (Later, he clarified that he himself, of course, would definitely support the nominee… Though murfed members of the chattering class carried on with inanities about the meaning of a Dean-third party run.) Whether the above exchange factored into Dean’s rather hard-nosed comments (I guage as a response to rival’s attacks of “unelectibility”) is unknowable.

Round One is Over

Wednesday, February 25th, 2004

I’m thinking of the presidential election in terms of a boxing match. Round One began roughly when the Democratic probable emerged in the wake of the New Hampshire primary. Ladies and Gentlemen: John Kerry. I’ll arbitrarily end Round One right now.

So, where are we? Bush’s strategy had, by insider’s accounts echoed through the chattering classes and actually manifesting itself in comments made in his Meet the Press appearance, been to “stay above the fray” as LONG AS POSSIBLE (note the early September Republican Convention date, which also correspond to winding himself up with the military) — with his minions doing the dirty work — and generally work on a soft-focus campaign that worked well for Reagan (“It’s Morning in America, dontcha know?”) and Bill Clinton (Triangulate = Be an Amorphous Blob), and to wind himself as tightly to the military as possible (as well, for that matter, to NASCAR.)

Where are we now? Yesterday, Bush ran right into the muck of campaigning and slammed John Kerry as a flip-flopper before the Republican Governors Committee. And he endorsed a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, which even Tom DeLay voiced hesitation on.

Granted, he still has his NASCAR appearance, but with regards to the other parts of his strategy… well, the plan has evidentally rather dramatically changed.

Round One goes to Kerry.

Log Cabin Republicans SHOCKED, I tell you, SHOCKED

Tuesday, February 24th, 2004

From the Pre-eminent Gay Republican Organization.

“As conservative Republicans, we are outraged that any Republican—particularly the leader of our party and this nation—would support any effort to use our sacred United States Constitution as a way of scoring political points in an election year,” Guerriero said.


Today the President has embraced an amendment that is the product of the radical right. They have mastered the art of gay-bashing after decades of practice. Log Cabin bases our opposition to this anti-family amendment on the principles of American freedom outlined in our Constitution. History will not look back kindly on this assault of our Constitution,” continued Guerriero.

No matter what happens in the coming months, Log Cabin will stay in the GOP and fight—fight for fairness, liberty and equality. Hundreds of Log Cabin leaders will gather in California this April for our largest national convention ever. And in August, Log Cabin will have a strong presence in New York for the GOP’s 2004 national convention. We will mobilize all our resources and grassroots strength to fight this anti-family Constitutional amendment.


Yes. The Bush Administration is going to heed the rumbling sound of the powerful gay Republican lobby. Yes.




Judge Roy Moore

Tuesday, February 24th, 2004

I keep getting this echo that “hopefully Judge Roy Moore (who is sending signals that he may be running for president on the Christian Reconstructionist — er Constitution Party banner) will become the Nader of the Right.”

I don’t know. Is there a huge constituency of disaffected Christian Right members who think constitutional amendments to bar gay marriage is appeasement, and demand biblical stoning of homosexuals?