Category Archives: Election 2004

Really Dumb Young Liberal Spin

I was going to mention this earlier, but I completely forgot. However, it is still relevant.

Someone in one of my classes, after Bush’s victory, criticized Bush because his electoral map was the same as 2000, and it meant that he hadn’t convinced anyone new.

Hm… Let’s see. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000, and won it this year. Even with Bush’s bad job as president, he still won. Who is it that didn’t convince the electorate?

That’s some of the worst spin ever. Bush didn’t convince anyone? The winner didn’t convince anyone? The winner who got a clear popular majority? The winner with the most votes for president ever? Methinks it was John Kerry and the Democratic Party who didn’t convince anyone.

I doubt my experience is a truly isolated one. If you know anyone who embraces this myth, please set them straight.

It takes two to polarize the nation.

Calling it For Bush

Goddamn it. Just call it for Bush already. We already know he won. Fox called Ohio for Bush, CNN called Nevada for Bush. Put it together… I know no one wants to get it wrong, but if y’all are afraid, I’ll officially call it for Bush, for you.

And Mr. Kerry, please don’t try to litigate your way to victory in Ohio. Once they’re completely done counting, concede. For the good of the nation, for the good of the Democratic Party, and to maybe instill some confidence in the American people, that we still are a democracy.

Caveat: What if I’m wrong and Kerry actually wins? Psh. I doubt it.

I just want it to be over.

Agnoiologist Endorses Kerry

WHY I CAN’T VOTE FOR BUSH — Conscientious Objector, by Robert A. George. This article explains it best, at least according to my thoughts.

Am I jumping ship? Damn right I am. Jumping from a ship that has been hijacked by neocons and evangelicals.

The issue with Rehnquist also tipped my decision. I’d rather have Kerry appointing our next Supreme Court judges. If Rehnquist dies, that could leave Bush appointing the next Chief Justice and I would not like seeing someone like Scalia in that position.

I think a Kerry victory will better position the Republicans for a victory in 2008. Notice the bounce after the Republican convention, versus the no bounce from the Democratic convention. Republicans did a better job of appealing to the middle. If this hijacked ship crashes with Bush at the helm, it will be easier to rebuild a better ship, a better party.

I don’t believe Kerry will be a great president. Far from it. I think the president he will be most similar to is Jimmy Carter.

Plus, with all that’s going on, Kerry is trapped by these circumstances. I don’t think he’ll be able to keep all these promises, especially when he said he wouldn’t raise taxes. How’s everything going to get paid for when the baby boomers start getting their social security?

Kerry’s plan for Iraq isn’t all too different from Bush’s plan. I mean, France and Germany already said they wouldn’t send any troops. Kerry’s not going to be able to build a giant coalition. But the echo plan is a reason to vote for Kerry! It provides reassurance for me, at least, that we won’t simply abandon Iraq. You can get the Bush plan without the Bush. However, he will be bogged down by the situation in Iraq. In a way, I feel sorry for him and this mess he could inherit. Kerry won’t bring anything grand to the table, but at least it’ll be a fresh start, and maybe there’ll finally be some accountability.

Speaking of accountability:

How come after 9/11, no one got fired?

How come after Abu Ghraib, no one got fired?

How come after the intelligence failure in Iraq, no one got fired?

President Bush, I thank you for what you’ve done (after all, I respect the office of the presidency), but… “You’re fired.”

Kerry’s Dirty Trick

People have been saying that in the third debate, Kerry’s mentioning that Dick Cheney’s daughter is gay was an underhanded and dirty political trick to manipulate the Republican base.

Well, so what if it’s dirty… because it worked. I’m telling everyone I can to vote for John Kerry now. How can a president protect us from the evils of homosexuality and secularism (a threat greater than Islamofascism), if his own vice president has a gay daughter? I just don’t feel safe with a president who allows his vice president to have a gay daughter. Don’t vote for Bush.

DISCLAIMER: If you don’t know me too well, you might not know that this is a joke. So, I’m telling you that it is a joke, and I don’t care if it offends you.

Election 2004 Bad Joke Time

Bored of actual election issues…:

What’s worse than a tax and spend liberal?

A tax-refund and spend conservative.

*cue canned laughter*

Still not convinced Iraq is just fine?

We’re making progress. Oh wait, did that link you to a news story on an attack in the Green Zone? I meant, they’re making progress.

Non-joke topic

You know, when they mention how the children and grandchildren are going to be paying for this mess… I’m one of those children, and I don’t believe either candidate will cut the deficit in half.

Bush Makes Error in Last Friday’s Debate

Bush made a crucial error in last Friday’s debate in referencing the Dred Scott case. With the election so close, no candidate can afford to alienate any constituency, and President Bush has done just that.

By saying he won’t put anyone on the Supreme Court who supports Dred Scott, he has alienated the White Supremacist/Slave-owning vote. With every group so important in this polarized nation, this move could cost him Florida and other crucial swing states.

When queried about this, Bush said, “Sometimes, as president, you have to make decisions that aren’t popular.”

Unpopular, indeed. One white supremacist commented, “I want a president who won’t appoint any nigger-lovers to the Supreme Court, goddamnit. White power!”

Will it cost him the election? Only time, and the ballot box, will tell.

Judging the Second Presidential Debate

The second debate was the same as the first one, only the candidates were meaner… oops, I mean, more lively and stronger in their convictions.

The debate definitely goes to Bush if you consider The Lie Factor. When I came away from the second debate, I was completely convinced that Kerry had said the world was not safer without Saddam Hussein. Only, at the first debate, Bush said, “[Kerry] also said in December of 2003 that anyone who doubts that the world is safer without Saddam Hussein does not have the judgment to be president.” The final flip flop?

Kerry’s money quote: “The world is more dangerous today. The world is more dangerous today because the president didn’t make the right judgments.”

But I was so convinced that Kerry said the world was safer without Saddam that I was searching the second debate transcript for a direct quote for something to that effect. Not a roundabout allusion, but a direct quote.

Was it the association effect? The same thing the administration did with 9/11 and Saddam, not directly stating they were connected, but associating the two? Or was it just me?

Miscellaneous election comment

I still hate the “we have a plan” line. Why? Because I tried reading their “Our Plan for America” and couldn’t get through it. I think there was a plan in there somewhere, but I got sick of reading we have a plan over and over again. I wanted the meat right away. It’s just that I think if Kerry wins, when the next elections roll around, Kerry’ll still be saying, “we have a plan…”

The Lie Factor

The problem with judging debates is that since the nation is so polarized, we have developed a rather acute case of selective hearing.

However, that’s not the biggest problem with judging debates: it’s the multiple levels of judging. You gotta look good. You gotta speak good. You gotta attack on just the right level, not to harsh, not too soft. If you win, but don’t win enough, you lose according to some people. If you do better, but appeal to the wrong demographic, you lose. You gotta be consistent. You gotta say not the same thing over and over. You gotta convince the pundits after the debate is over.

TOO MUCH INFORMATION! IT’S TOO MUCH TO BE USEFUL! There’s so many subjective levels that you can’t get an objective reading.

Luckily, I’m here to simplify it for you.

I present to you, my simple test, which I like to call “The Lie Factor.”

It is as such: Whoever told the most convincing lies is the winner.

Note: I use the word “most” both in the sense of quality and quantity.

The brilliance of the lie factor is that you can do further analysis, and judge on the spot at the same time. You see who convinced you the most, and then it can be confirmed by the lie count. The common people, and the pundits can be happy.

Presidents are human and therefore fallible. However, we cannot let a leader be so. It is American nature to deify our heroes. Thus, whoever can convince us that he is invincible is the most invincible! Whoever can best mislead you is the most qualified to lead this country! You will feel safer, more placated, and happier. America is never wrong!

Posting the Flow of the 2004 VP Debate

I took notes of some things that caught my ear as I was going along… [note, these are definitely edited from their original form, but the gists are the same]

  • Cheney sounded good when I first walked in, but I missed the question
  • Edwards can pronounce “Colin Powell” correctly
  • Cheney said Edwards said Afghanistan was falling about earlier, but they’re about to hold elections now… what’s the real state of Afghanistan?
  • Cheney mentions women in Afghanistan, good
  • “the reality is” — Edwards keeps saying that over and over
  • Hm… I’d rather have these guys running for president than vice president
  • “more of the same” Edwards says it as an aside when mentioning the plan for Iraq, not as effective since it was an aside
  • Edwards taking security forces out of Iraq to train them, good specifics
  • Cheney says Edwards is not counting Iraqi sacrifices… even though Edwards was making a valid point about one thing, I thought Cheney’s line hit hard
  • Edwards mentions Halliburton and Enron, slick association
  • Cheney says… it’s… I should know, it’s a link on the side. Too bad the average person listening doesn’t know Cheney has cut Halliburton ties since becoming vice president (Yes, I do know that Edwards was also mentioning stuff when Cheney was CEO)
  • Cheney’s “First time I met you” line… OUCH! (Too bad it turned out to be a lie)
  • Cheney says removing the tax cuts would hurt small businesses, appealing line (too bad he had inflated figures)
  • Cheney did not do well at all answering the Marriage Amendment question… does he disagree with Bush?
  • I was most impressed with Edwards when mentioning the lawsuit reform, etc, because he said “we have a plan” and then actually went into specifics!!! I like the 3 strikes thing!
  • Edwards says the best defense is a good offense — totally yoinked Bush’s war on terror line
  • Edwards was prepared as hell for that flip flop question. He was waiting for something like that.
  • Good closing statements, lost me with “we have a plan” then back on track with “you get to decide”
  • I really really really hate the “we have a plan” line. Don’t say, “we have a plan,” tell us, “we will”
  • Cheney’s closing statements emphasized the homeland security/war on terror angle, very good
  • Cheney didn’t thank Edwards. What the hell? I think it was intentional.

About Saletan’s article on how Edwards destroyed Cheney:

“Cheney seemed to think most viewers were tuning in to judge the vice presidential nominees. Edwards seemed to think they were tuning in to hear about the presidential nominees. [new paragraph] If Cheney guessed right on that question, he probably won.”

We are not in 100% disagreement. I watched the debates to judge the vice presidential nominees, and I thought Cheney won. I agree with Cheney that the most important thing about a vice president is that he could take the reigns in a moment’s notice. So what? Am I watching the debates wrong now? I think the debate about the debate is getting out of hand. Tune in tomorrow for the discussion (discussion, what the hell am I talking about, I mean: post) on that exciting topic!

“Watching” the VP Debate

[5:40] I put “watching” within quotation marks because I do more listening than actual watching. Maybe that’s why I scored the debate the same for the presidential candidates… I didn’t notice Bush supposedly looking irritated and the like. (Note: Supposedly, the networks weren’t supposed to show the reactions of the candidates, but I guess they went against their agreement.)

[7:50] Watched the debates, took notes. Will add more later. Maybe not even until tomorrow. I think I might score this debate as slightly favoring Cheney, but I wasn’t able to think completely objectively, so I can’t say.

Some More Thoughts on the Debate

When they first brought up the warning lights thing, with the yellow and red lights, I almost laughed aloud. I imagined a gameshow type environment. After the lights went red, the room went black. “I’m sorry Mr. [Bush or Kerry], you have been eliminated.”

Also thinking about Kerry’s position on Iraq, and I think he’s still sending “mixed messages.” He says Saddam was a threat. But then, he also says the war’s a diversion and the wrong war at the wrong time. So is Saddam really a threat, or not? Kerry’s answer is yes. He’s such a threat that we should’ve slapped another resolution on him.

[1:30PM] EDIT: John Kerry plugged his website,, during the debate. Milestone. Remember way back when, when companies didn’t even have websites? Now, every company has one. The influence of the web is growing. Is this the first time a website has been mentioned during a presidential debate? I have no idea if any were mentioned, or not, during the 2000 debate.

About the Debate

Definitely no clear winner in the debate. To clarify: It ain’t gonna convince anyone who ain’t already convinced. They kept talking, and I kept forgetting what the damn question was. It’s similar to the feeling you get when you’re listening to the radio and there are so many commercials that you forget what you were listening to — only, these were self-commercials for the candidates.

Additionally, the candidates kept repeating the same things over and over, using the same buzzwords and catchphrases. It was a 90 minute debate over a few minutes worth of various soundbites. In fact, I’m sure Bush used the same exact rebuttal during the extensions for different questions.

A few good points for Kerry:

  • asserted his solidified position on Iraq
  • the “more of the same” line — that one hit hard

Also, I noticed one time Kerry saying that he was being consistent, and when Bush replied, Bush said nothing of substance, only repeating the rhetoric that Kerry was shifting his positions and sending mixed messages.

I felt as if Kerry missed a big opportunity to attack Bush during the discussion on Darfur, but I don’t remember exactly what. Note to self: Take notes during next debate.

I guess people were really hoping for one clear winner during this debate. Hardcore Republicans went in expecting Kerry to flip flop like no tomorrow. Hardcore Democrats went in expecting to see Bush be the bumbling idiot with no speaking skills whatsoever. Instead, all we got was more of the same. There were instances where there could be perceived Kerry flip flops, if you were searching really hard for them and expecting them, but I don’t think Kerry committed such gross atrocities as to lose the debate. I don’t believe there were any real flip flops during the debate, and at one point, you could really tell Kerry was frustrated, when he said, “that’s not the issue” and proceeded to say the president was wrong in his approach to Iraq.

Now, readers may come across this and think I’ve shifted my position to support Kerry (or have always supported him, which is not the case), but I must remind you that I said there was no clear winner. I just don’t see Kerry as the anti-Christ who will doom us all.

My position now? I don’t see Kerry as the anti-Christ, nor do I see him as a savior. Kerry insinuated that reelecting Bush would bring us four years of more of the same; with Kerry, we probably still won’t be getting much more of the different.

Johnny-Come-Lately Attack Politics


“You’re stupid.”

“Yeah, well you’re stupider!” (high-fives all around)

I question the so-called Texans for Truth, as much as I question the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Personally, I don’t think it’s a very slick tactic. “I’ll show you, I’ll stoop lower than your level!” isn’t very impressive. In fact, it seems more like, “Ah crap, they got us good, let’s try the same exact thing!”

That’s not the only reason I don’t think this latest batch of attacks on Bush’s time in the Texas Air National Guard is going to work: This story broke months ago. It’s old news to the American public. The Democrats made a mistake with that. They should’ve sat on the story until now (or a little bit before the whole Swift Boat deal); it would’ve had a bigger impact, instead of fading into the dust so quickly.

Bush is handling the attacks better than Kerry, I think. Honorably discharged, end of story, they say. It kind of does it for me. Besides, I don’t think spending 4 months in a war you didn’t believe in makes you qualified to be president (not that dodging the war does). What I’m trying to say is: More issues, less mud.

I’m reserving judgment on the memos. I wasn’t alive in the 1970s, and have almost zero experience with a typewritier. However, this article brings up some guy who was already discharged by the time the memos mention him. Plus, the person who wrote the memos supposedly had very crappy typing skills. Anyway, where are the originals?

While we’re on the topic of attacks: I bet most of you’ve heard the latest Cheney quote, that says if we elect Kerry, we’ll be “hit hard”, but did you know the Cheney quote was taken out of context?

Gun Ban Opportunity

Congressional Republicans Say Gun Ban to Expire.

First: “‘I think the will of the American people is consistent with letting it expire, and so it will expire,’ Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Tennessee Republican, told reporters.”

Then: “Asked why Congress wanted to legalize the military-style weapons again when public opinion polls found broad public support for keeping them illegal, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican said, ‘We don’t do things by polls.'”

I’m thinking maybe the will of the American people is to continue the ban on assault weapons. At least, that’s my will.

So, opportunity for Mr. Kerry. Only, don’t say it’s because of the polls, play into the “will of the American people” line.

And I guess Bush could also use it with his “passionate conservative” deal.

Shifting CW

It’s very very interesting how the Conventional Wisdom shifts so suddenly. Before, it was Kerry’s race to lose. Now, Kerry has to switch to talking only on domestic issues to beat the Bush post-convention bounce (saw this on The O’Reilly Factor too!). Correspondingly, Bush is now supposedly invincible on Iraq and security.

There’s a few factors they’re missing.

1) At least before the Republican convention, Kerry was beating Bush on the issues, but not overall. Kerry is a bad candidate!

2) Bush is not invincible on the war in Iraq. One thousand soldiers dead. Shouldn’t that count for something? Maybe if Kerry actually took a real stance, he could do substantial damage. I will flesh out my latest ideas about Iraq in later entries.

2) b) In fact! I predict that if Kerry only focuses on domestic issues, he WILL LOSE! I am 100% sure he will if that becomes his course of action. The American people want to vote for the president who they will feel safer with. Which president will make America safer, will make them safer? A presidential candidate who ignores the issue of terrorism will not make Americans feel safer.

One more thing about this race: The American People! I want more talk about what the candidates are going to do for us.

NOTE: Will provide more links later.

Is Kerry Finished?

Bush now has a double-digit lead, according to the latest TIME poll.

[Tracing this link: I got it from kausfiles, which got it from blissful knowledge.]

Seems like the early primary isn’t helping the Democrats. Sure, the candidate came through the primary primarily unscathed, but the candidate wasn’t tested enough to know if he could have run a good campaign.

If the Democrats had a stronger candidate, this would be a definitive victory for them. Instead, they have Kerry. I remember when I was in DC, and some girl asked me to contribute money to their Beat Bush something or another, she didn’t put up any disagreement when I mentioned that Kerry wasn’t a very good candidate. Yet, that’s just an anecdote; she doesn’t speak for everyone.

But it’s hard to tell — Kerry could still pull off a victory.

I wonder how much damage came from the so-called “Swift Boat Controversy.”

You hear about people who voted for Bush who aren’t voting for him this time, but I think the Republicans did a pretty good job picking some people to speak at their convention to combat this. They picked perceived moderates such as Schwarzenegger and McCain; they picked Democrats who had jumped ship.

I can’t watch conventions too long, though. I feel weird… like I’m watching part of a pro wrestling broadcast. However, I did manage to catch the tail end of Schwarzenegger’s speech, and I was impressed.

To Not Pull a Grover Cleveland

I guess I should warn you that I’m going to Las Vegas today. I don’t know how often I’ll write in this weblog whilst I’m gone. But never fear… I will be back again.

Let’s revisit the Grover Cleveland scenario…

That was fun thinking back in history, but it seems as if people have shorter attention spans. In four years, will people even remember who Bush is? Here we are, getting news up to date to the second, in this day and age. I think this constant barrage not only shortens our attention span, but overloads our minds. Even if all my reasoning is wrong, the American people still have a notoriously short attention span, and I am seriously doubting that there is even a tiny tiny remote chance Bush will run in ’08 if he loses this time around.

Plus, there’s this issue of rebranding that I found via kausfiles.

So, I’ll reiterate, it was a fun exercise of the mind, but that was all.

To Pull a Grover Cleveland (Historically…)

Continued from the entry, To Pull a Grover Cleveland

Historically, there have been rematches. Stevenson faced Eisenhower twice. William Jennings Bryan faced McKinley twice (and then went on to face Taft). Dewey couldn’t defeat Roosevelt, but tried again against Truman (and was thought to be a shoe-in at one point). Yet, none of these men were president first. They lost every time they ran. Still, it leaves room for someone to run again.

William Henry Harrison was unsuccessful in his first bid against Martin Van Buren. Then, the Whig Party consolidated its power, and Harrison became president in the rematch. Nixon had a similar fate. He lost to Kennedy, but then came back and defeated Humphrey. It’s funny, however, how both these presidents met ignominious endings. Nixon resigned, and Harrison died only a month into the presidency after the longest inaugural address. Yet, these men did not start out as president.

Martin Van Buren, after losing to Harrison in 1840, ran again in 1848, but as a third party candidate, and garnered no electoral votes. TR’s results are better. TR did win a second term, but did not run again, as was the tradition. Yet, he did not approve of his successor’s record (Taft) and once more ran for president. After failing to gain his party’s nomination, he too, ran as a third party candidate. This third party did better than the Republican party in the election, but the Republicans were split, and Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, was victorious. (The combined popular vote is greater than Wilson’s popular vote.)

The only real precedent that backs me up is Grover Cleveland’s presidency.

I know these conclusions are a little different than what I put in the original entry, but bear with me… So, although history isn’t in Bush’s favor to win, it isn’t altogether unlikely that he will at least run again.

To Pull a Grover Cleveland

I’m not going to say there’s a very real possibility, but there is a chance that Bush might pull a Grover Cleveland, that is, if he loses in ’04, he’ll win in ’08. I remind you: I’m not saying that it will happen, just that there is a slight possibility.

The election will be close and if Bush loses, don’t expect him to fade away. How effectual a president will Kerry be? If Kerry can’t play good cop to Bush’s bad cop, that sets the stage for a Bush victory in ’08. If we lose what we have, such as if Iraq turns really sour, or, especially, if there’s another terrorist attack (and it’s handled ineffectively), more Americans may re-flock to Bush. From what I can see now, it doesn’t appear as if Kerry will be a very effective president.

I first considered this possibility upon reading kausfiles. Kaus is voting for Kerry to take a “break” from Bush. Others have shared this sentiment. This terminology leaves room for a return of Bush.

Historically, [this paragraph to be created at a later date continued at To Pull a Grover Cleveland (Historically…)].

So, all you Bush haters out there (not you mere Bush-dislikers), be prepared. Perhaps we will see a repeat of Bush I, and you will cheer when he is out of the White House. However, that might not be the end of the war. If you do not remain vigilant, there may be a different repeat in store: that of the feat of Grover Cleveland.

Can’t Vote Next Election… Kind of Glad

I’m kind of glad I still won’t be old enough to vote in the next elections. I don’t want to choose between two candidates I know too much about, or a random candidate I know nothing about.

Perhaps that was the reason why there was so much coverage about Reagan after his death. People felt he was strong in his convictions and stood up to the “Evil Empire.” Was there some sort of subconscious yearning for a strong candidate?

I’m most definitely wrong in my musings, but I know that I want a strong leader for America. Someone who will lead. I want someone I can vote for because of who he is, not because of who he isn’t.

I fear we are entering a new Gilded Age.

Lesser of Two Evils

Every election, people complain about the two-party system. “Oh, I hate having to choose between the lesser of two evils.” Yet is the third party choice really the perfect candidate? Okay, maybe you agree with him more, but you can’t cry that you’re choosing between the lesser of two evils.

Why? There is no perfect candidate. Do you agree with your best friend on every single issue? Then, how are you going to agree with an astronomically more distant presidential candidate. There will never be a candidate whose decisions you can be 100% satisfied with. Never. Not even if you vote for yourself. It’s true.

Candidates are human, and, therefore, imperfect.

You just got to pick one you like the best.