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i was wrong

in my post below on bush's convention speech, i said that there would be a bounce of "a couple of points."

never let it be said that i'm not man enough to admit my mistakes.

and on that note, locdog bids you all a pleasant holiday weekend


the speech and the convention

as i peruse the idiotic criticism emanating from kerry's supporters, i can't help but feel vindicated in my assessment of bush's speech and of the convention in general: they were both fine.

but first, the criticism and what makes it idiotic. here's what doesn't make it idiotic. it's not idiotic simply because it's criticism, i.e., this isn't a partisan knee-jerk defending-my-guy type thing. it's not idiotic simply because it's coming from kerry supporters, although that certainly doesn't help. and it's not idiotic because the people who are offering are themselves idiots, although i'm sure many of them are. what makes it idiotic is that it lacks any semblance of an understanding of the average american voter.

the problem for many kerry supporters is that they themselves hate bush so much that it's hard for them to fathom how anyone could feel any differently. but people like bush. people trust bush. when bush says something, most people believe that he means it. if he committs to something, most people think he'll follow through. that doesn't mean they like what he's committed to per se, only that they believe he says what he means and he does what he says.

now that's an extraordinary thing. evidentially kerry supporters needed to be reminded that there is a mile-deep layer of cynicism politicians must swim up through if they ever hope to break free. the very word "politician" has become an epithet. it is, at the very least, synonymous with crook and cheat and liar--all things kerry supporters believe about bush now and always have. but step away from that hard core and what you find is that about 55% of the american people still like the guy. despite the economy and iraq, they like george w. bush.

why? a contrast with john kerry's convention performance might be useful. kerry's convention speech was, quite literally, the speech of a lifetime. some long-time observers said it was the best they'd ever seen him give, and while i've only been paying attention to him for about a year, i'd have to agree. his delivery was flawless. bush, on the other hand, sounded tired at times. stressed. he stumbled over a word to two, botched the delivery of a couple of jokes. when pulpit-pounding hellfire was what the delegates were begging for, he sometimes seemed timid. it goes without saying that the entire first half of his speech was a total snoozer.

so why was this not an utter disaster for george w. bush? because nobody cares. when people look at john kerry, they see a very slick, very disciplined, very well coached, and, certainly, very skilled performer. they see a politician. but the presidency isn't about being captain of the debate team (as al gore could surely attest) it's about trust and leadership.

few but the most rabid republicans would have found bush's speech exhilarating, but i can see how a lot of people might have found it reassuring. i can see why people unlike myself, people who disagree with bush on key issues--let's just say it: iraq--would have been comforted nonetheless. when bush says he's never going to let down his guard, never going to let up in the defense of our nation, i believe him, and i think that, whether they agree with his methods or not, most other people do too. when he struggled to get through stories of hospital visits to the war wounded or of meeting parents who lost sons in iraq, i think they can see real emotion there. i think they can see in his eyes that the man has hefted the weight of the thing upon himself, and not all the "bush lied" protest signs or democratic inquisitions into prewar intelligence combined can undo that.

bush's greatest strength as a politician--and as a leader--is that people believe in him. that's the fundamental prerequisite for leadership, and bush's speech played to that strength in a big way which is why the speech was a winner, warts and all. and have no doubts about this: bush will get a bounce. it will be a small one, a couple of points maybe, but it will be there. and i'm sure kerry's core will be mystified by it, and equally puzzled at how, for all john kerry's forced bluster and cheesy machismo, he hasn't been able to command the same respect.

a brief word on the convention in general--success. conventions are media events, and on that level this one worked brilliantly. holding it in new york, the line up of speakers, even the terms of media fodder, the democrats didn't even come close. and as to the also idiotic criticisms by kerry's supporters on the convention itself, let me just say that if you don't think a bunch of handsome, famous people speaking with passion and shameless optimism as to the future of our nation wins votes, then you'd better find yourself another hobby, because believe me, politics ain't your bag.

locdog's $0.02



kerry quickie

"When it comes to Iraq, it's not that I would have done one thing differently," said would-be president john kerry to the nashville american legion. "I would have done almost everything differently."

dontcha just love it? here we are two months out from the presidential election with the RNC in full swing and bush surging in the polls and kerry is STILL trying to explain his iraq position. the WaPo, thrilled, describes it as one of kerry's "sharpest and most detailed explanations" yet. reminds me a bit of an art critic praising a jackson pollack as his least splatteriest painting yet.

seeing how senator kerry would have done "almost everything" different, it should be easy for him to come up with a few specifics, right? right. like your obnoxious uncle who won't shut up while the game is on, kerry looks at the interception and says that if he were on the field, he wouldn't have thrown the ball over there.

He faulted Bush for stubbornly ignoring the advice of military commanders on the ground and politicians back home, dismissing the State Department's concerns about a postwar Iraq, and failing to secure Iraq's borders and draw in allies to relieve the burden on U.S. troops. Once inside Iraq, he said, the president botched opportunities to share responsibility with NATO or the United Nations, train indigenous Iraqi forces, safely secure prisoners of war and adequately guard nuclear waste and ammunition storage sites. Kerry said he would have not made those mistakes.

emphasis added.

locdog's yet to see a monday morning quarterback throw a bad game



second major gaffe of bush's campaign

i don't like this. not one darn bit.

bush had gone to the FEC to get them to clean up the 527's long before anyone had even knew what a swift boat was--march, in fact. since the FEC has done absolutely nothing in response, bush has now gone to the courts.

rove is quick to point out that the bush camp has been consistent on this issue, opposing 527's all along. and they have--why shouldn't they when nearly 90% of 527 donations have gone to liberal groups? (although that's probably changing now that the swiftees are hitting their stride.)

i don't really care who's been consistent on what, my problem is that the republicans ought to be the party of free speech. what the bush camp wants is for the FEC to enforce the law as written. these 527s aren't supposed to attempt to influence the outcome of an election, but they all do, and bush wants them to cut out the lawbreaking. so why not take the high road and ask that the campaign finance laws be revised to allow for unlimited political speech by any group so long as they give full financial disclosure? if bush had held out for this the first time rather than caving to media pressure over so-called campaign finance reform, he wouldn't be in this situation.

the 527 flap is the result of a government-inflicted thorn in the side of free speech, one that bush (and kerry) are now trying to use government to smooth out. it's natural for a democrat to want to use government to fix government-created problems, but aren't republicans supposed to be about fixing government-created problems by getting out of the way?

locdog's $0.02


if liberals are so in favor of free speech

then why are they so opposed to its exercise? harassing delegates all over new york--at times physically assaulting them--infiltrating the convention and attempting to shout down speakers (or the vice president), clashing with police officers in unruly protests...the list goes on and on.

new york has been overrun by a bunch of ignorant, mostly unemployed (through choice, not economics) thugs with nothing better to do than insult, curse, punch, kick, flip off, spit at, or otherwise molest those who don't agree with them--and the real gasser is that the tactics kerry's brownshirts employ are the clearest manifestations of the very oppresion they think they're protesting. liberal activists have some sort of sixties holdover perpetual martyr complex, some masturbatory rot about being a small, deperate band struggling against darth vader's own police state. truth is, it's a pinstripe suit, nice wingtips, red tie, and a neat and tidy head of hair as opposed to last night's t-shirt, a pair of worn birkenstocks, a hemp necklace, and a crop of dreadlocks that's apt to get you an ass kicking circa new york city these days.

great example on n.y. based fox and friends this morning, when one of the hosts told of how a liberal group with a name along the lines of "somethings for free speech" (may have been lawyers, but it was early and i've been off coffee for three days) invaded their newsroom chanting "fox shut up!" at the top of their lungs.

free speech for me but not for thee. for thee it's violence, harassment, fear tactics, book burnings--yes, book burnings. why the hell not? if you sneak into a lawfully held rally for the sole purpose of drowning out someone else's political views, why not burn his books? what's the difference? a pound of pulp and some lighter fluid, that's what.

after ahnie and laura last night, locdog thinks you libs are right to be afraid



bush's first major gaffe of the campaign

a couple of weeks ago, i was criticizing john kerry and his calls for a "more sensitive war on terror." not surprisingly, most democrats reflexively defended kerry, trying to unpack the hidden nuance in his remarks and all of that, as if i or anyone who wasn't already a staunch kerry supporter actually cared.

the point was that regardless of what he meant, kerry shouldn't have said it like that. he shouldn't have put a club in the hands of his enemies. it's through this sort of ruinous stupidity that elections are lost.

but if "sensitive war" was dumb, then this is just plain dumber. can we win the war on terror, mr. president?

I don't think you can win it. But I think you can create conditions so that the — those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.

anyone who thinks george w. bush is a fool is himself a far greater one. the president has been shown an able, at times brilliant, politician again and again...which is why it's just not possible to excuse a blunder of this magnitude.

as with kerry's "sensitive war on terror," there's more to bush's "we can't win" than meets the eye. in context, it's clear that bush meant the same sort of thing that he and basically everyone else have been saying about the war on terror since day one: we're going to be fighting it forever. terrorism itself cannot be completely eradicated. most americans intuitively understand and accept this, and see "victory" in the war on terror as an endless succession of blows to international terrorist organizations and, more importantly, their friendly governments, that severely curtails their ability to conduct 9/11-scale operations against us again. bush carelessly--lazily--opted for "we can't win" as a way of explaining this rather than unpacking the meaning of "win" properly and saying that, yes, in fact, we could.

but, as with kerry, so what? does bush expect kerry/edwards to explain that for him, or does he expect them to clobber him senseless with their shiny new club--precisely what they've done. never mind that their criticisms are only marginally less stupid than the blunder itself, camp kerry has been desperately seeking ways to criticize bush over the war on terror without drawing the ire of an american public which still largely respects bush's abilities in that regard and that's exactly what bush gave them. and on the eve of the republican national convention, no less.

bush has wisely decided to correct himself, and we can only hope it gets the same attention as the gaffe itself, although that seldom happens. i can hear the hacks in camp kerry hashing out the stump speech jokes now: "first bush says we can win the war on terror, then he says we can't, and now he's saying we can again. talk about a flip-flopper har dee har har..."

locdog thinks bush brought it upon himself


moore good news for bush

add an ABC/WaPo poll to the plethora of pollsters proclaiming august the president's pinnacle. face it, folks, kerry is losing ground. first the amazing bounceless convention, then the takes it's toll. bush has closed the gap in all polls and is now leading in some.

...which is really, really strange when one stops to consider that the republicans are so out of touch with america.

that's right, he's back. usa today has dispatched michael moore to the RNC in the hopes of generating some interest in what promises to be another bland, scripted affair. some of you may recall that mcpaper played a similar game during the DNC, sending "controversialist" ann coulter to rankle the democratic partisans, then peremptorily spiked her columns. no accounting for taste, i guess. whatever you think of her politics, coulter's writing is a hoot, but the only thing more bloated than michael moore the filmmaker is michael moore the columnist. more on that in a sec.

but first, the democratic response to the RNC thus far has been hilarious. unable to press the attack against the likes of rudy freakin' giuliani, ahnold schwarzenegger, john mccain, and laura bush--four of the best-loved political figures alive today--the democrats have had to drop back and punt, saying instead that the conventions speakers aren't really representative of the republican party en toto. the real republicans are stuffed away in dark corners, where they busily plot ways to pollute your water, send your children off to die, and give tax breaks to their fat cat friends.

what's so funny about that, you wonder. well i'm glad you asked. let's get back to mr. moore, who, after reminding us all that "Even though only a third of the country defines itself as 'Republican,' you control the White House, Congress, Supreme Court and most state governments," goes on to eviscerate the GOP thusly

The Republican Party's leadership knows America is not only filled with RINOs [Republicans In Name Only], but most Americans are much more liberal than the delegates gathered in New York.

The Republicans know it. That's why this week we're seeing gay-loving Rudy Giuliani, gun-hating Michael Bloomberg and abortion-rights advocate Arnold Schwarzenegger.

As tough of a pill as it is to swallow, Republicans know that the only way to hold onto power is to pass themselves off as, well, as most Americans. It's a good show.

part of the gag is that this is exactly wrong. wrong on all levels, in fact, for not only is it wrong in the sense that the RNC speakers aren't true republicans, it's wrong in the sense that true republicans aren't americans, which, let's face it, is moore's entire point. republicans are the unamerican party, a point which he underscores with achingly hackneyed references to the great class struggle, corporate america, oppression of minorities, so on and so forth. for all their whining should a conservative brand a liberal's conduct unamerican, the left is only too happy to turn the tables, and moore has done more than his share of both.

as to republicans being unamerican, i merely point out that, since reagan, more americans have voted for republicans or, at least, fiscal conservatives in presidential elections--the closest thing we have to a national referendum on the issues--than not. i through in "fiscal conservatives" for the sake of ross perot, who twice cost republicans elections. need i remind mr. moore that clinton never took more than 49% of the vote in a presidential election, i.e. his "mandate" was never any greater than dubya's? and although he's well-versed on evil republican domination of state governments, the fact bears repeating: for the last twenty years throughout the united states at all levels of government, more americans trust the GOP. moore's explanation? the american people are stupid. they don't realize that they're really liberal democrats like him. they only think they're republicans, but they're Republicans In Name Only. that or they're greedy and willing to sell out their principles for a tax break. either way, it doesn't seem like mr. moore has much faith in american democracy.

but the real howler is that this is coming from the democrats, the party that couldn't possibly be more out of step, the party that took howard dean and al sharpton and dennis kucinich and sternly admonished them not to act like themselves. don't bash bush! don't scream! don't go off the deep end! don't do this! don't do that! don't! don't! don't! the only one they didn't have to coach was the longsuffering joe liebermann, the one who, more than any other, was rejected by his party. in contrast, the republicans have selected four prominent, nationally known figures, stuck them up on stage, and turned them loose. go for it, guys. be yourselves.

i'd be the last person to dispute that the republican party is predominantly conservative, but we're also the party of the moderate, the party of the thinking man who isn't willing to buy into shallow class warfare rhetoric or weepy appeals to social justice which thinly veil the cynical political motives lying beneath. california has had two republican superstar governors in the past few decades, new york city two republican mayors and a governor, massachusetts, new jersey, it goes on and on. when's the last time the democrats made serious inroads with southern-fried u.s.a or heartland voters? it doesn't happen because the democrats are a) hopelessly out of touch with the american people as evidenced by the fact that a lunatic like michael moore is now a mainstream dem, and b) unwilling to embrace conservative or moderate voices like joe liebermann or former pennsylvania governor and social conservative bob casey, famously shunned at clinton's democratic national conventions only to have a coldly calculating "tribute" offered up post mortem at gore's in 2000.

there have been a lot of factors involved in bush's poll resurgence. the aforementioned swiftvets and a poor showing at the DNC playing no small part. but when it comes right down to it, more americans trust the republican party to do the job in time of war or peace, little or plenty, because the republicans appeal to more americans.

locdog lives under a big tent



scott free

can someone help me out here?

a nitwit in a skirt jumps into a pool after an event, disrupts no one, hurts no one, harms nothing, and is given five months in prison.

a nitwit in a skirt assaults a marathon runner, knocks him to the ground, has to be wrestled off by a police officer, costs the guy thirty seconds, and is let off without so much as a tap on the wrist.


one more word on the second nitwit in a skirt. if it were up to me, that guy would be publicly horsewhipped then locked away for twenty years.

twenty years, you say?

yeah, twenty years. because that's probably about how long vanderlei de lima, age 35, had vested in what nitwit no. 2 took from him.

i hate that we live in a world full of terrorism and disease and murder, but only slightly more than i hate the fact that someone can work and bleed and sweat and cry and sacrifice their entire lives to have it snatched away in half a minute by a raving kiltoid maniac.

why is it so hard to build up and so easy to tear down?

locdog doesn't care if the guy would have gone on to win the gold or not because that isn't the point