Major Policy Address

Bush delivered what he hyped as a “Major Policy Address about Terrorism”.

Here, for whatever it’s worth, it is.

Reads a lot like the “Major Policy Address” he delivered two weeks ago in Pennsylvania. Example:

Oh, I know it might surprise some to see a Republican presidential candidate in New Jersey in late October. (Applause.) The reason why I’m here, with your help we’ll carry the state of New Jersey in November. (Applause.)

We are now 15 days away from a critical election. Many important domestic issues are at stake. I have a positive, hopeful agenda for job creation, broader health cove


In this campaign, Senator Kerry can run from his record, but he cannot hide. (Applause.) Thank you.

Reportedly, Fox News had on its, as they aired the speech, “a major speech on war on terror.” No word on how MSNBC and CNN handled it.

I vaguely recall Clinton sneaking in “Major Policy Speeches” that were thinly disguised swing-state campaign speeches. But in his case, the speeches actually had substantial “policy” markers (Clinton’s generic list of small ticket items).

How many more “major policy speeches” does Bush have left in him? Frankly, I think the media should ignore this designation — and assume that if anything comes out of any worth, it’ll come out in other ways.


I posted nothing on the Meet the Press Senatorial debate this time around, because frankly, I actually liked the Democratic candidate. (Which may go to explaining why, in general, she’s the only one of the batch of Democratic candidates behind in the polls.)

But, some excerpts from REP. JIM DeMINT, not a Bones member. (a few blog entries downward.)

MR. RUSSERT: But what is our exit strategy?
REP. DeMINT: Our exit strategy is to help the Iraqi people set up a democratic government, a stable democratic government, and we can’t leave until we make sure that they’re free and that they have a stable government.
MR. RUSSERT: If the Iraqis choose to have a fundamentalist Islamic regime, would that be acceptable?
REP. DeMINT: Well, they need a democratic government and if they choose, whatever their leaders are, they’re going to choose that, and I think the president supports them setting up the government that they want, but we just need to make sure it’s a democratic, accountable government, and that they can defend themselves against terrorists.
MR. RUSSERT: But if they vote for an Islamic republic like Iran, that’s their vote, we would accept that?
REP. DeMINT: Well, that’s not a democracy if it’s like Iran. It needs to be an accountable government and they’re going to have elections and they’re going to have an accountable democratic government.
MR. RUSSERT: So we would resist the will of the Iraqi people?
REP. DeMINT: That–we wouldn’t–no, if they get a chance to vote, Tim, they would not be voting to set up a regime like they have in Iran where they don’t have a vote.

Uh… huh. There you have it: forward thinking in action. Also, the very next line of questioning:

MR. RUSSERT: You mentioned the South Carolina reservists. This is articles all across the paper, “All of us refuse to go”; 19 members of the South Carolina-based 343rd, a quartermaster reservist unit, refused to go on a mission because they had ill-equipped trucks and no air cover. What should happen to those men and women?
REP. DeMINT: Well, that is under investigation, and we really don’t know what the facts are there. But it does bring out how important it is that we give the president the money to have the equipment, the resources, the body armor. This is one example of what John Kerry did to vote against that in the Senate, and that’s one of the reasons that we have to worry about my opponent’s support of John Kerry, because that is exactly the problem we’re having.
MR. RUSSERT: So are you tolerating insubordination, near mutiny?
REP. DeMINT: That needs to be investigated, Tim. We don’t really know what happened there, and we need to find out before we start making statements.
MR. RUSSERT: Well, they–no. All of us of them refused to go. They disobeyed a command.
REP. DeMINT: We don’t know the facts behind that, so I think I really need to wait and see what actually happened.

In other words: I cannot risk alienating the South Carolina voter, who have severe mixed opinion in their mind about the situation with sympathy for these reservists along with a sense of military hawkishness.

Where Inez Tenenbaum finally got some traction in a race that had been heading toward the Republican. DeMint’s troubles are summed up with:

RUSSERT: When you talk about federal social welfare largesse, you’re talking about Social Security, Medicare. The fact is there are 500,000 taxpayers in South Carolina who do not pay federal income tax because they don’t make enough money. That’s one out of four South Carolinians. And if you take away the income tax and replace it with a 23 percent sales tax, they will pay that sales tax on everything. When George Bush was asked about a national sales tax a couple of weeks ago, he said it would hurt the middle class. That’s an idea that you co-sponsored.

The show ends with Tenenbaum sitting by while DeMint explains himself Abortion — unable to answer who should be prosecuted if we make Abortion illegal — and backtracking on comments he had made that Single Mothers and Gays should not teach in our schools.

MR. RUSSERT: You also, when asked about your comments about gay teachers, said this: “I would have given the same answer when asked if a single woman, who was pregnant and living with her boyfriend, should be hired to teach my third-grade children.” Do you also still believe that, that a single mom should not be a teacher in South Carolina schools?
REP. DeMINT: I believe that’s a local school board issue. And, Tim, I was answering as a dad who’s put lots of children in the hands of teachers and I answered with my heart. And I should just say, again, I apologize that distracted from the real debate.
MR. RUSSERT: But you apologize for distracting but are you apologizing to gay teachers or to single mom teachers?
REP. DeMINT: No. I’m apologizing for talking about a local school board issue when the voters want us to talk about how we’re going to make them safer, win the war on terror, how we’re going to create jobs, how we’re going to fix our health-care system. And these are things I’ve worked on in the Congress and that’s what I plan to do in the Senate.
MR. RUSSERT: Do you think that non-citizens should be teaching in South Carolina schools?
REP. DeMINT: I think that’s up to our state superintendent. I know that we brought in thousands of teachers from other countries. That’s a decision my opponent has made, and I think that should be a state decision who’s teaching in the schools.
MR. RUSSERT: But you’re making judgments about gay people or about single moms and, in effect, disqualifying them. Are you certain that you never had a gay teacher?
REP. DeMINT: Listen, I have my personal beliefs, Tim, but I honestly believe that the teachers should be hired by local school districts. They should be making the decisions on who should be in the classroom.
MR. RUSSERT: But don’t the voters have a right to know about whether or not you still stand by comments you made in the campaign? Do you stand by your comments?
REP. DeMINT: I apologized for answering a local school board question.
MR. RUSSERT: No, you’re apologizing for the distraction, but it’s a simple question. Do you believe that gays should be able to teach in South Carolina schools?
REP. DeMINT: Well, Tim…
MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe that single moms should be able to teach?
REP. DeMINT: It’s a very simple answer. I think the local school board should make that issue, not Senate can–I mean, make that decision.
MR. RUSSERT: But you didn’t think that a month ago when you answered the question.
REP. DeMINT: And I apologize for that, Tim.
MR. RUSSERT: For answering the question?
REP. DeMINT: Yeah, for distracting from the real thing.
MR. RUSSERT: But not for the substance of your comments.

Everything seems to need to be decided on the local local local level, apparently.

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