Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

... seems to be the greatest skill of the Dems. (being a Dem. is like being an Angels fan back in the day): the political stars are all aligned for the Dems -- because people are tired of the antics of Bush & CO and want some opposition in Congress. And what are so many Dem. candidates doing? They are trying to sound moderate, unpugnacious and friendly! Wha?! It's as if they've listened to too much GOP spin and are themselves afraid of Nancy Pelosi or something. It's bad enough when you believe your own spin -- it's horrid when you believe your opponants.

And yet, we have Sen. Nelson sounding so fatuous he makes Rep. Harris sound intelligent and well-spoken. We have Bob Casey talking a good talk about bench-marks but then making "bench-mark" into the "lock-box" of 2006 by bringing up the word as if the very existance of some goals is supposed to keep the President in line. If people were paying me the big bucks to be a campaign consultant, I'd tell Casey, you go on the air in your interview and say this, if they ask you about what Congress should do if proposed bench-marks are missed ... for heaven's sakes don't dodge the question and sound like a mealy mouthed politician: IT'S THE LAST THING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR! Instead, give an actual answer (that will be good politics because it seems like it's such bad politics -- and since people hate politics, it'll actually score you political points):

It's probably gonna be politically disastrous for me to say this, but I feel that as someone asking the voters of the state of Pennsylvania to be their public servant, I gotta be honest. And the honest truth is that we need accountability in Washington: so if the President misses a bench-mark, we need to hold him accountable. We need to be flexible in terms of how we do this -- perhaps we could use Congress's power of the purse. Of course, that would be politically disastrous for us as the President would accuse us of not funding the troops. But if he fails at his job -- does it make sense to give him more money so he can continue to fail at it? If we cut the funding because he didn't do his job, then it's his fault if he wants to keep the troops in Iraq. After all, Congress never declared war -- Congress gave the President the authority to use troops if necessary. The President said: "trust me". And Congress -- and the American people -- did. And now it's obvious our trust was misplaced. The President put the troops in Iraq -- that was his decision -- Congress just said "ok we'll go with whatever you do, chief". But if the President is failing to do his job, it's time for Congress to fulfill its constitutional rule and provide some checks and balances on the President. I probably shouldn't be saying this ... I'm probably turning off some voters who are saying "the President is our leader, we're at war ... we must follow him". Well, if you feel that way, you can vote for my opponant, Mr. Rick Santorum. If you, on the other hand, feel that the President must, like anybody else in this country, be held accountable for his decisions: you can vote for me, Bob Casey.

And if they ask "are you proposing we 'cut and run'?", don't respond with a simple "no" ... here's where you want to dodge the question:

I personally happen to agree with those who want to keep our troops in Iraq in order to build peace there, but if the troops are not accomplishing anything -- and this would be the fault of the civilian leadership not our military, which is the best in the world[*] -- there's no point in risking the lives of our boys and girls by having them there. Let's be honest here -- this demonization of people who want a scheduled withdrawal as wanting to "cut and run" is deeply unfair and dishonest. While reasonable people -- and myself as well: do I get to count as reasonable? -- may disagree with having a time-table for withdrawal, those who want to place a time-table are not "defeato-crats" or un-patriotic: more often then not they are battle-tested patriots like Jack Murtha who certainly know more about how military action works than people like George W. Bush. While I disagree with Rep. Murtha's approach, to impugn the motives of a true American patriot who maintains regular contact with those still serving our country as many have been doing indicates ... well, I just cannot say that sort of thing on the air ... let's just say people who've been tarring and feathering American patriots for political gain while wrapping themselves in the American flag and the mantle of patriotism and national security ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Ya know ... if Dem. candidates actually stood for something (or even now stood against something), they'd get people to the polls and we'd have a Dem. congress come Jan. But the way things are going, why should people go out and vote for Dems? Yet again, the Dems. are working to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Why? Who knows. All I know is that our country deserves better.

[* doesn't matter if it's true or not ... it's necessary spin ... you cannot be the bearer of too much bad news and expect to do well politically: it may be a bug and not a feature of democracy, but, as my gf would say, "it is what it is".]

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