Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Among the bigger questions in tomorrow's debate is whether any substance will get through what President Bush calls "the filter." This year, Democrats as well as Republicans are ready with pre- and post-debate spin, but it's clear that Democrats are rank amateurs while Republicans are pros: They can tell lies with straight faces, secure in the belief that even legitimate (that is, non-cable, which already is hopeless) media is so tied up in a "he said/he said" model that it simply can't make itself call a lie a lie.
Still, Sen. Joe Biden offered some sharp debate "pre-spin" this afternoon in a conference call with Pennsylvania and Ohio reporters – and it sounds like Kerry and the Democrats are (smartly) going to focus on the (un)civil war that has been going on in the Bush administration for years. It’s the neocons – Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Cheney – vs. Powell in the State Department, the uniformed military, Republican senators like John McCain and Chuck Hagel - and even the CIA. The continuing struggle results in broad-based paralysis -Biden kept repeating the word - and that means mixed messages from the United States to the terrorists, the insurgents, the nuclear proliferators and even Russia's Putin. (Is one reason the Bush administration isn’t screaming at Putin's backsliding from democracy because W. is envious that he can’t do the same?)
One thing Biden said that impressed me. Imagine that another genocidal Milosevic emerged, or the North Koreans rattled their nuclear sabers. Can you imagine the international community, the Congress or the American people OKing military action led by these bozos? Bush knows it, too. When asked recently what he planned to do about North Korea's new nukes, he shrugged.
... But here's something Kerry ought to mention tomorrow: Yesterday in Springfield, Ohio, Bush said, "... the Taliban is no longer in existence."
Wow. Sure could have fooled us.
Wait: He has fooled a lot of us.
posted by Carol Towarnicky at # 3:31 PM
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