Like I Said

As I have stated repeatedly, the Democrat response to the Bush campaign commercials and the faux outrage about including 9/11 imagery was preposterous and hypocritical. So preposterous and hypocritical that the Democrats have stopped mentioning it. Unfortunately, the mainstream press is now on the story, and they show that if anything, Bush is out of his league when it comes to ‘exploiting’ tragedy:

But is it, as supporters of John Kerry and other critics suggest, wrong for Republicans to convert the emotions of that national tragedy into grist for a political campaign?

To answer that question, I went back, with help from Washington Post researcher Brian Faler, to 1944, when Franklin D. Roosevelt, almost three years after Pearl Harbor, was running for reelection. What you learn from such an exercise is that Bush is a piker compared with FDR when it comes to wrapping himself in the mantle of commander in chief.

Item: FDR did not go to the Democratic convention in Chicago where he was nominated for a fourth term. A few days before it opened, he sent a letter to the chairman of the Democratic Party explaining his availability for the nomination. And what an explanation!

“All that is within me cries out to go back to my home on the Hudson River, to avoid public responsibilities and to avoid also the publicity which in our democracy follows every step of the nation’s chief executive.”

But, he wrote, “every one of our sons serving in this war has officers from whom he takes his orders. Such officers have superior officers. The President is the Commander in Chief, and he, too, has his superior officer — the people of the United States. . . . If the people command me to continue in this office and in this war, I have as little right to withdraw as the soldier has to leave his post in the line.”

Item: Roosevelt delivered his acceptance speech to the convention by radio from where? From the San Diego Naval Station, because, he said, “The war waits for no elections. Decisions must be made, plans must be laid, strategy must be carried out.”

Item: If FDR’s politicizing of his wartime role seems blatant, what does one say of the main speakers at the convention? Keynoter Robert Kerr, then governor of Oklahoma, declared that “the Republican Party . . . had no program, in the dangerous years preceding Pearl Harbor, to prevent war or to meet it if it came. Most of the Republican members of the national Congress fought every constructive move designed to prepare our country in case of war.”

Read the whole thing.








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Where Ted Kennedy Gets His ‘Intel’

Ever wonder where Ted Kennedy gets the information for his increasingly stupid and increasingly ill-informed charges? Max Boot tells all:

Ted Kennedy delivered another stemwinder last week, accusing the Bush administration of lying its way into Iraq for political gain. Ho-hum. Nothing new there. But one paragraph caught my attention.

In trying to buttress his charge that the president twisted intelligence about Saddam Hussein, Kennedy cited “Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, a recently retired Air Force intelligence officer who served in the Pentagon during the buildup to the war.” He quoted her as follows: “It wasn’t intelligence – it was propaganda … they’d take a little bit of intelligence, cherry-pick it, make it sound much more exciting, usually by taking it out of context, usually by juxtaposition of two pieces of information that don’t belong together.”

Sounds pretty damning, doesn’t it? Those aren’t the words of a political opponent; that’s the judgment of a presumably disinterested military professional. Except that Kwiatkowski’s judgment doesn’t look so disinterested when you examine her views more closely.

Since her retirement in March 2003, she has become a prolific contributor to isolationist publications like the American Conservative, Pat Buchanan’s magazine, and lewrockwell.com, an ultra-libertarian website. Pretty much all her work is devoted to uncovering “neoconservative warmongers” who have supposedly taken over U.S. foreign policy.

She is not subtle in denouncing “Dickie Cheney, Richie Perle and Dougie Feith” (as well as, occasionally, “my pal, Max Boot”), whose “neoconservative philosophy is hateful to humanity, anti-American, statist and anti-free trade.” (Anti-free trade?) She thinks the United States is a “maturing fascist state.” And she predicts a dire fate for those who led us into the Iraq war: “Some folks on the Pentagon’s E-ring may be sitting beside Hussein in the war crimes tribunals.”

Who else?

Equally biased are the former CIA officers who call themselves Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity – a name that implies the administration, which they oppose, is insane. Ray Close, David MacMichael and Ray McGovern, who make up VIPS’ steering committee, have many decades of intelligence experience among them, which is why they are often cited as sources by news organizations like the New York Times when they write stories about how the Bush team has run roughshod over “objective” CIA analysts.

What is seldom mentioned is where the VIPS-ters publish most of their anti-Bush screeds: on Counterpunch.org, a conspiracy-mongering website run by Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn. VIPS even has an e-mail address at Counterpunch, which is so extreme that it has run an article suggesting that the only major difference between George W. Bush and Adolf Hitler is that “Bush simply is not the orator that Hitler was.” But then, that wouldn’t bother someone like VIPS’ McGovern, who in an interview equated the administration’s selling of the Iraq war with the techniques employed by “Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels [who] said, if you repeat something often enough, the people will believe it.”

I guess he just doesn’t know Justin Raimondo’s phone number.








Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Maureen Dowd’s rambling column about John Kerry and Botox prove once again that while she may be an idiot with nothing to say, she at least a6ttempts to appear bi-partisan. All through the 90’s, she did nothing but take cheap shots at Clinton, Gore, and since 2000, it has been Bush and Cheney taking most of the hits. She has been so mean and vicious to the current administration that many people forget how obnoxious she was to the previous administration.

While I like neutral sources of news and opinion, or at least sources who pretend to shoot straight, I have no use for the mindless drivel and endless psychobabble that seems to flow forever from MoDo’s pen.

Who cares whether Kerry used Botox? A better question is why does middle-age Manhattan cheerleader have some of the world’s most valuable newspaper real estate? Maureen Dowd adds absolutely nothying to the public debate, and she is as over as Sex in the City.








Another Spy?

This just up on Drudge:

An American citizen was arrested Thursday on charges she acted as an Iraqi spy before and after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, accepting $10,000 for her work, prosecutors said Thursday.

Susan Lindauer, 41, was arrested in her hometown of Takoma Park, Md., and was to appear in court later in the day in Baltimore, authorities in New York said.

She was accused of conspiring to act as a spy for the Iraqi Intelligence Service and with engaging in prohibited financial transactions involving the government of Iraq under dictator Saddam Hussein.

According to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Lindauer made multiple visits from October 1999 through March 2002 to the Iraqi Mission to the United Nations in Manhattan.

There, she met with several members of the Iraqi Intelligence Service, the foreign intelligence arm of the government of Iraq that allegedly has played a role in terrorist operations, including an attempted assassination of former President George H.W. Bush, the indictment alleged.

Is this the same Susan Lindauer that was involved in the Lockerbie bombing?








Compare and Contrast

In a quiet, unscripted moment, President Bush calls John Kerry congratulates him for his primary victory, and wishes him good luck in the upcoming election.

In a quiet, unscripted moment, Democratic candidate John Kerry states the following to supporters.

“We’re going to keep pounding, let me tell you. We’re just beginning to fight here,” Kerry said. “These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group I’ve ever seen. It’s scary.”

To date, one side of the debate has been nasty, vile, dirty, obnoxious, and immature- and it has not been the Republican party’s vaunted smear machine, either. The Democrats have been disgusting in the last six months.








For the Slow Learners

Since this nonsensical meme was beaten to death by me and others yesterday, this is the last I will say about the idiotic attempts to claim that Bush has done the same thing as Clinton did with the Lincoln Bedroom and donors. In fact, I won’t say anything at all, and simply guid you to this post by Mark Kleiman. Mind you, Mark does not come naturally to Bush’s defense.

By the way- remember we are dealing with Democrats, so even though this attempted meme should remain stillborn, look for attempts in about a month to recycle it. That is how it works- the Democrats level an accusation, it gets beaten down, but they have planted the idea. Then they will bring it up again about a month or two later when they are losing an argument on a totally unrelated issue. Oddly enough, when you call them on it, they argue stronger the second time- even though they know it is nonsense.








Amen, Brother

Regarding the non-controversies ginned up by the media regarding Justices Scalia and GInsburg, I don’t think I could have said it any better than the Calpundit. In fact, I am willing to be I wouldn’t have, and ten people would have flamed me in the comments for trying. Such is life.

Ezra has some fair points, as well.








Things That Make You Wonder

So John Kerry wants to “blow Osama bin Laden’s brains out.” Good for him- welcome to a BIGGGGGG club. I wonder if we will see any reactions like these to Mr. Kerry’s rhetoric:

1.) “He uses a lot of cowboy terminology,” said Marwan Bishara, a lecturer in international relations at the American University in Paris. “He seems like a guy who makes too many statements from his ranch.

“He comes up with all kinds of metaphors which are way off the mark, not just for the Arabs but also for the entire international community,” he said.

2.) Thus, today, we confront an America, with wide Western support, applying the law its way. Faced with this horrendous crime against humanity America has chosen to try and capture Osama bin Laden, in Mr Bush’s words, “dead or alive”. There is no public discussion of where to try him and certainly no push by America’s allies to compel America to be more forthcoming on the subject.

3.) President Bush invoked the Wild West in claiming that the federal government would do whatever it takes to apprehend Osama bin Laden, even though a 26-year-old executive order outlaws assassinations by government personnel.

“There’s an old poster out West as I recall that said: ‘Wanted, dead or alive,'” Bush said Monday in a press conference.

The executive order was signed by President Ford in 1975, and it was later amended by Presidents Carter and Reagan. It now reads, “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.”

4. Perhaps it was only to be expected that the Bush administration, and the U.S. President himself, would react with the very strong language that has already been used (although the relative restraint, at the time of writing, with regard to the actual use of force is a cause for some relief). Of course, the immediate identification of Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect may appear a bit too pat. Similarly, George Bush’s Wild West-type statements about wanting him “dead or alive” without needing to display any proof or showing any regard for due process are obviously problematic in terms of the long term implications for international law.”

5.) Bush said he wants bin Laden “dead or alive.” While such words may be music to American ears, to others’ they are tantamount to a war cry and smack of vengeance. Just after the attack, there was worldwide sympathy for the U.S. With the recent rhetoric, however, it is morphing into a sense of concern that an American-led all-out war could inflict further, heavy, unnecessary civilian casualties. We strongly oppose terror, but we aren’t ready to support such a response.

6.) “Two surprising incidents happened yesterday…. One was the reopening of Wall Street in an atmosphere of near-hysteria…. The other unpleasant happening that needs to be noted is President Bush’s metamorphosis into the character of a Western film sheriff as he spoke to the press…and called for Bin Laden, ‘dead or alive.’ The lightness of the apparent joke leaves us with a bad aftertaste as one thinks of the man responsible for the apocalyptic carnage and about the thousands of soldiers who will track him down and will probably never come back. If President Bush sees the operation as a simple attack on a stagecoach, we can honestly wonder about his capacity to lead a war between good and evil.”

7.) “This (dead or alive speech) is President Bush’s first mistake since the start of what he chose to call a war, but it’s a mistake that will cost him dearly. That’s a shame, because all the headlines will carry those words instead of the very fine speech he made a few hours later at the Washington mosque, where he spoke of tolerance and reassured members of the United States’ Muslim community…. But when he said he wanted Bin Laden ‘dead or alive,’ just like in cowboy movies, Bush committed two mistakes. First, he will alienate the international community–especially the moderate Arab states whose support he desperately needs…. The declaration is also a mistake in the United States because it raises the bar very high: Nobody knows for sure if bin Laden will be captured. After all, the man has been wanted since Bush Senior was president… Recent history shows such a situation is dangerous for Mr. Bush. Popularity acquired during a crisis does not last forever.”

And so on, ad nauseum. Anyone want to bet Kerry’s comments get ignored- and don;t get me wrong- I find nothing wrong with Bush’s or Kerry’s comments.








Laptop/Keyboard Drive

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How Bush Hate Blinds

For years I have been claiming that the Democrats hate Bush so much they are losing their senses, and coming from a reformed Clinton hater, I know the illness when I see it. Enter exhibit A of said sickness:

Today, I note that numerous people are peddling the notion that Bush is somehow ‘selling the Lincoln bedroom.’

I started the post with these sentences:

One of the most annoying things about arguing with Democrats is that they simply refuse to argue honestly. Whether it be denying facts in favor of suspicions, leveling ad hominems in lieu of facts, or, as is the case with this Calpundit post, comparing things that just aren’t the same.

The bolding will be obvious in a moment. I then spend the entire post explaining, complete with links, how this is absolutely not the same thing, as all of the people who stayed in the White House are old friends and associates, who later on in life have become campaign donors, but who are still “LIFELONG FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES,” including one man who introduced Bush to his wife. Clinton, on the other hand, merely sold the White House to ANYONE WHO DONATED. Get the difference?

Oliver doesn’t, and as one of the people I linked to as peddling this nonsense, quickly comments:

Yes, John, I’m sure their campaign contributions had nothing to do with staying overnight at the WH. Frankly, energy meetings to the highest bidder worry me more than a night at the Lincoln, but this is just the latest in the GOP’s “do as I say” policy.

LikeI said- arguing with Democrats is pointless- they simply deny facts in favor of their suspicions. You really can’t make this stuff up. Keep drinking the kool-aid, guys.

BTW, Oliver- There was no quid pro quo with the Energy Bill. Unlike Clinton’s pardons, the bill was put before the public and voted on- no trickery involved at all. You can disagree with the bill all you want, but being pissy and labelling silly accusations about how the bill was written is, well, silly and pointless.








Here We Go Again

One of the most annoying things about arguing with Democrats is that they simply refuse to argue honestly- whether it be denying facts in favor of suspicions, leveling ad hominems in lieu of facts, or, as is the case with this Calpundit post, comparing things that just aren’t the same. Today, Kevin notes this news story, which he came to by way of the ‘Crockmeister‘:

President Bush played host to dozens of overnight guests at the White House and Camp David last year, from world leaders to some of his most loyal supporters, including friends who double as campaign fund-raisers.

Bush and first lady Laura Bush have invited at least 270 people to stay at the White House and at least the same number to overnight at the Camp David retreat since coming to Washington in January 2001, according to lists the White House provided The Associated Press…

Bush’s criticism of the Clinton fund-raising scandal is one of the reasons the White House identifies guests. In a debate with Vice President Al Gore in October 2000, Bush said: “I believe they’ve moved that sign, ‘The buck stops here,’ from the Oval Office desk to ‘The buck stops here’ on the Lincoln Bedroom. And that’s not good for the country.”

Bush’s overnight guest roster is virtually free of the famous pro golfer Ben Crenshaw is the biggest name but not of campaign supporters.

At least nine of Bush’s biggest fund-raisers appear on the latest list of White House overnight guests, covering June 2002 through December 2003, and-or on the Camp David list, which covers last year.

The bold letters are for the nuance impaired, which would include the Crockmeister. At any rate, the ‘crock’ they are trying to peddle is that this is just the same thing as the Clinton Lincoln Bedroom firesales. OF course, it isn’t. From the story, the list of the nine donors includes:

-Mercer Reynolds, an Ohio financier, former Bush partner in the Texas Rangers baseball team and former ambassador to Switzerland.

-Brad Freeman, a venture capitalist who is leading Bush’s California fund-raising effort, has raised at least $200,000 for his re-election campaign and is also a major Republican Party fund-raiser.

-Roland Betts, who raised at least $100,000 for Bush in 2000, was a Bush fraternity brother at Yale and a Texas Rangers partner.

-William DeWitt, a Bush partner in the oil business and Texas Rangers who has raised at least $200,000 for Bush’s re-election effort, stayed at the White House.

-James Francis, who headed the Bush campaign’s 2000 team of $100,000-and-up volunteer fund-raisers and was a Bush appointee in Texas when Bush was governor.

-Joseph O’Neill, an oilman and childhood friend who introduced Bush to Laura Bush and raised at least $100,000 for each of Bush’s presidential campaigns, stayed at the White House.

-Colorado Gov. Bill Owens and New York Gov. George Pataki, who each raised at least $200,000 for Bush’s re-election campaign, were White House guests.

-James Langdon, who raised at least $100,000 for Bush, is a Washington attorney specializing in international oil and gas transactions. Langdon, whose clients include the Russian oil company Lukoil, is a member of Bush’s foreign intelligence advisory board and served on Bush’s 2000 presidential transition team on energy policy.

Wow- it really is the same thing as the Clintonian firesale. Except, of course, it isn’t. Who are these mysterious people? Sayeth google:

Mercer Reynolds

It was a hot summer day in 1979 when Mercer Reynolds met the future president of the United States. The Cincinnati financier was at a business club in Midland, Texas, when George W. Bush came bounding in after an afternoon jog.

“He came in and introduced himself in the exact same manner that he would greet me today — a warm, friendly smile, a strong handshake and a big pat on the back,” Reynolds recalled.

It was the beginning not only of a lasting friendship, but of a long professional partnership that would lead Bush to the White House and Reynolds to Switzerland as the United States ambassador.

They remain good friends — and partners — to this day, with Bush preparing to run for a second term and Reynolds serving as the chief fund-raiser for his campaign.

Brad Freeman

Chief among the L.A. Republicans who took off last week for the party’s convention in Philadelphia is the man in charge of raising money for George W. Bush’s California campaign: Brad Freeman, a founding partner at L.A. private equity firm Freeman Spogli & Co.

Freeman, a friend of Bush’s since the days before Bush entered politics, heads up the fund-raising arm of the Bush campaign in California, chaired by Gerald Parsky.

Roland Betts

When Gov. George W. Bush of Texas was, by his own admission, the party-animal-like president of his Yale fraternity, Roland Betts was his rush chairman. When Mr. Bush needed a political launching pad, Mr. Betts helped buy the Texas Rangers and set Mr. Bush up as managing partner. And now that Mr. Bush, a Republican, is expected to run for President, Mr. Betts is warming up as his unofficial finance chairman and head cheerleader in New York.

”I’ve been a Democrat my whole life,” Mr. Betts said the other day, ”but I’m George’s biggest fan.”

William DeWitt

This time he turned to an old Yale classmate of his, William DeWitt, Jr., who owned Spectrum 7 Energy Corporation, an Ohio oil exploration company. DeWitt came from a wealthy background; his father once owned the Cincinnati Reds baseball club. DeWitt and his investment partner, Mercer Reynolds, later became donors to the elder Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign and to the Republican National Committee.

James Francis

Jim Francis, head of the Bushs Pioneer operation, says he started the Pioneers after people kept saying, I really want to do something for George and I want to give you a big portion of my life. Francis has been among Bushs closest political confidantes. Bush appointed Francis in 95 to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Joseph O’Neill

A childhood friend of Bush, ONeill introduced Bush to his wife, Laura. ONeill manages his familys oil properties. His late father, Joseph I. ONeill, Jr., was an independent oil producer and the first president of the once-powerful Permian Basin Petroleum Association.

James Langdon

Just who is this man who will lead the nation now? Joining us to answer that question are two old and intimate friends of the new president, James C. Langdon Jr., a Washington lawyer, met Bush here about 25 years ago. Brad Freeman is an investment banker in Los Angeles, who met the new president in Midland, Texas some 21 years ago. He is chairman of the Inaugural Finance Committee.

I refuse to even google Gov. Pataki and Gov. Owens, because if elected officials from the same party can not stay in the White House, we have v entured into the absurd. So, by my count of the other 7, Bush’s list of donors/and stay-over guests includes seven friends, three of whom are described as either ‘lifelong’ or ‘childhood’ friends, one of whom introduced him to his wife, numerous business partners, and three classmates. Which, I might note, is exactly what is stated in the article and ignored by the Calpundit and the ‘Crockmeister. ‘ To the article again:

“Some of these guests are old classmates, some of them have been friends of theirs for many, many years,” White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said. “They enjoy the opportunity to spend time with them.”

Langdon, who stayed at Camp David a few weeks before Russian President Vladimir Putin did last September, said Bush’s invitations to him and the other fund-raisers differ from the allegations of the Clinton years.

“Of course I’m a fund-raiser I support him in every way I can. But my relationship with him and his wife and his family spans more than three decades,” said Langdon, a friend since Bush’s early years in Texas. “I certainly don’t need to be rewarded with a trip to Camp David for doing what I’m doing.”

Since the distinction between these guests and Clinton’s guests is not crystal clear, despite Democrats being the smart people, let’s go through some of the Clinton donors:

Among the biggest donors were investor Dirk Ziff, who gave $411,000; movie producer Steven Spielberg, $336,000; retired businessman William Rollnick, $235,000; and Hollywood mogul Lew Wasserman, $225,000.

The CNN study found 24 overnight White House guests who gave $100,000 or more to the DNC. CNN’s $5.4 million figure does not include money given to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, or any state party committees.

What else was Clinton doing? Oh- then there is this:

In other developments:

The New York Times reported that some Democratic fund-raisers say they explicitly sold invitations to White House coffees, arranging invitations for $50,000 to $100,000.

Party leaders allowed officials to entice wealthy prospective donors by asking for contributions in exchange for putting their names on White House guest lists, the Times reported.

“I think it is fair to say that there was an understanding that if we became a trustee member [a member of the Democratic National Committee’s managing trustees program], there was going to be an invitation to a White House coffee,” Thomas J. Tauke, a Nynex Corp. executive, told the newspaper.

Yeah- clearly it is the same thing. Kevin has this exactly backwards when he states:

You know, I always thought the “scandal” about Bill Clinton inviting supporters to spend a night in the Lincoln Bedroom was a crock. Who cares? Political supporters of all stripes get special treatment from politicians of both parties and always have.

What Clinton was doing was a big thing and a scandal, and what is happening under Bush’s watch is not.

*** Update ***

You too, Oliver. Nice try.








Be The First

Be the first to find someone blaming the US for the death of Abu Abbas.








For Those Who Disagree

For those who may disagree with what I havestated below regarding the Kerry campaign’s relationship with thepress, you need look no farther than this statement from the horse’s ass:

And, in a remark that drew a rebuke from the Republican National Committee, Kerry told the donors that the world awaits his ascent.

”I’ve met foreign leaders who can’t go out and say this publicly, but, boy, they look at you and say, you gotta win this, you gotta beat this guy, we need a new policy,” said Kerry, who has talked about taking a trip overseas as part of his campaign.

This is the sort of shamless self promotion that got Al Gore in deep trouble. Not only can the press not verify the remark, thus fueling their suspicion about the honesty of the statement, but they find it, like most Americans, to be a little bit bizarre that someone might be endangering foreign policy objectives of the current administration.

This statement is not much different from “I took the lead in creating the internet,” and we all know how that turned out for Al. And, btw- in amost unfortunate turn of events for John Kerry, it doesappear that some foreign leaders are indeed rooting for a Kerry win:

“In the past few weeks, speeches by the Massachusetts senator have been broadcast on Radio Pyongyang and reported in glowing terms by the Korea Central News Agency, the official mouthpiece of [Kim Jong-il’s] communist regime,” the Financial Times newspaper of London said last week.

At the same time, the Pyongyang government, which Mr. Bush has labeled part of an “axis of evil,” has continued to hammer at Mr. Bush in unusually personal terms. A Dutch TV crew touring the country found schools were using the “Diary of Anne Frank” to teach students that the United States is a Nazi dictatorship with Mr. Bush its contemporary Adolf Hitler.

That should make for an amusing SNL skit.








Creating Their Own Worst Enemy

Most mature political parties would have become slightly introverted after the recent succession of electoral defeats, recalibrated their message, analyzed, and then attempted to mainstream their message and attract voters to their position. The Democrats, while many things, are not very mature. Instead, as we all know, they decided to lurch leftward, electing Pelosi as their Minority Leader, and fielding a Presidential primary that had a voice for even the looniest of the loony. Not realizing that it was the message that was bad, the Democrats decided to just jack up the volume. Shrill and obnoxious, we all know, sounds so much better at ear-bleeding volume.

At any rate, the absurd reactions to the Bush campaign ads last week were entirely predictable. Even the ‘moderate elements’ within the Democratic party found nothing wrong with the ads, although the Calpundit is now proving why he is indeed a political hack animal. Compare and contrast:

Kevin Drum, on March 4thbefore reading the party talking points:

You know, I’ve been trying to work up some outrage over the use of 9/11 imagery in the new Bush ads, but it’s just not happening. I really don’t see anything wrong with it.

Kevin Drum today:

Bush immediately begins running ads exploiting 9/11 imagery to demonstrate what a firm leader he is.

Charming. I guess you are up to speed with the specious talking points now, ehh, Kevin? At any rate, the outrage, as noted by and others, was manufactured, and the Democrats knew it. Not only did they know it, but they were thrilled that they had manipulated the press so effectively. Check out Matt Yglesias and Ezra Klein crowing about the deception. States Ezra:

The most shocking thing about the ads was how tasteful they actually were. The Bush Campaign merely dipped their toe in the water of 9/11 invocations. The media, of course, is covering how their toe looked. The real story here is that the toe immediately got bit by a shark.

The coordinated response to these ads has been absolutely spectacular. Head on over to Google News and check out the headlines. The number of people who’ll see Bush Campaign Defends Use of 9/11 in TV Ads far outnumbers those who’ll see the ad, and the direct accusation of politicizing 9/11 is far more effective than the subtle suggestion of leadership on that day. The Kerry Campaign has been employing a scorched earth strategy; whatever Bush does, they attack so hard and so fast and so mercilessly that the Bush Campaign is left in the rubble of their original intentions. Now people are on watch for Bush politicizing 9/11, Kerry just framed the media! It’s a level of efficacy I’ve never seen from Democrats; it’s so powerful that Bush has brought Karen Hughes back onboard to help out.

Matt, understanding the depths his party has sunk to, seems a little rebuffed, but oh well. In the end he comes to his senses:

There’s always something a bit discomfiting to me when I see a Democrat pull a really sharp campaign move — think of Max Baucus and the barber school ad, Mary Landrieux and the “secret plan” to destroy American sugar, Chuck Schumer and the putzhead controvery. It’s like . . . I thought we were the good guys here.

As the blogosphere knew already, this was nothing more than a masterful manipulation of the lazy news media. Today in the NY Post, it turns out that the staged outrage all came from a small group of political charlatans who are, as I stated before, whoring their loved one’s memories for short term political gain.

Leading the rhetorical charge has been an outfit called September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows – which, the group admits, has only a few dozen members and represents relatives of no more than 1 percent of the 9/11 victims.

More to the point, the group was formed specifically to oppose the entire War on Terror: Not just the campaign against Saddam Hussein, but also the toppling of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Indeed, the group’s leaders traveled to Afghanistan, drawing a detestable moral equivalence between the 9/11 attacks and U.S. bombing of the Taliban and opposing “violent responses to terrorism.”

Then, before the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, a Peaceful Tomorrows delegation went to Baghdad to “demonstrate solidarity” with Iraqis – a move that Saddam’s deputy, Tariq Aziz, termed at the time “a very important international development.”

They also demanded that Congress set up a $20 million fund to compensate Afghan “victims” of the U.S. military.

And back in January 2003, the group said had it had gotten a “verbal commitment” to the fund proposal from the junior senator from Massachusetts – John F. Kerry.

Little surprise there – because Peaceful Tomorrows’ parent group, the San Francisco-based Tides Foundation, has received millions from foundations controlled by Kerry’s heiress wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry.

In the 2000 election, the press, after being lied to for eight years by Clinton, and after Gore’s campaign started pedlling the same bullshit, became more suspicious of Gore and actually began to fact-check his news releases before simply cutting and pasting them into the daily copy. This is why questions abut Gore’s honesty began to stir- not because the media is a tool of the right wing conspiracy. And now the Kerry campaign, which already has a major problem regarding the waffling of John Kerry, has burned the major media players- exposing them as lazy fools. This, I predict, was the last free pass the Kerry campaign will get- and it is 8 months before the election.

Too smart by a half. And they have no one to blame but themselves.

*** Update ***

Some think I have misrepresented Kevin’s posts.

He states there is nothing to it initially. Then he states that Bush ‘exploited’ 9/11 in his commercials. You decide if I was unfair.

*** Update #2 ***

I am an idiot. Kevin wasjust listing rhetoric from both sides. I amused to him getting the vaoprs over the ppearance of any scandal, and generally when he is moderate about an issue, his commenters beat him into an about face. My apologies- I was wrong on this one.