Debateblogging: My Head Explodes

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"I don't know how he's going to pay for all these promises."

Yeah, we wouldn't want to be running massive deficits. And if all that money's tied up in actual homeland security measures, where are we going to get the cash to invade Iran or Syria or Iceland or wherever the Wheel O' Liberation lands next.

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  1. Well, it’s a valid point, even if it’s quite hypocritical of him.

  2. You’re right mtc. Kerry could actually rebutt…wait, it’s not really a debate. They can’t rebutt each other.

  3. Kerry blasts spending on building up Iraq’s infrastructure. Then he talks about how he wants to build a better infrastructure faster. So he’s telling you a government can do thing X better, faster, and cheaper. Yeah.

  4. Yeah, we wouldn’t want to be running massive deficits.

    The deficit is the one issue on which Bush is undeniably weak — he’s run huge deficits, and there’s no denying it. But that’s one of Kerry’s big weaknesses, too, since Kerry’s proposals would undeniably lead to massive deficits as well.

    The problem Bush faces is that everybody knows about his deficit weakness (it’s been in the headlines for years), and not everybody knows about Kerry’s. That’s why he hammers that point — he wants to make sure everyone knows that, on deficits, Kerry won’t be an improvement over him.

  5. Get both of these bastards out of our pockets!!!

    Oh… I needed to say that. At least I didn’t use all caps.

  6. Let’s pretend for the moment that I am George Bush (I’m not):

    Kerry is doing everything short of getting plastic surgery to look like me, desperate to prove that he is at least as badass as my texas-tiger self. He’s promising to turn the USA into the Fortress of Solitude. What do I do?

    Instead of whimpering like an injured puppy, I would have outflanked him on the right. Whip up some rhetoric about fiscal responsibility and protecting individual rights, about not sacrificing our freedom in the name of defending freedom.

    Sure he might bring up the Patriot act or the deficit, but that’s easy to gloss over. It’s the classic bait-and-switch. If only it were reality.

    -The one and only Psuedo

  7. Dan:

    “Kerry won’t be an improvement over him.”

    Based on his senate voting record…

    http://www.ntu.org/misc_items/rating/VS_2003.pdf

    …the evidence is that Kerry, left to his own devices, will be even worse. Hopefully the GOP will retain control of congress so that Kerry won’t be left to his own devices. And, also hopefully, they will exact some fiscal discipline on President Warbucks.

  8. …if President Warbucks gets reelected.

  9. That line jumped out at me for another reason. Kerry had just gone off on a riff about Bush’s fiscal priorities – high income tax cuts vs. homeland security. If you recall, he put together several sentences on the subject. Kerry was framing an issue the way he wanted people to look at it, as “Bush would rather give his rich cronies a tax cut than keep Al Qaeda from gassing your grannie.”

    And the first words of Bush’s rebuttal were to…agree with him. Yep, I think that stuff’s too expensive. Rather give rich folks tax cuts.

    Obviously, you libertoids are going to see Bush as getting the better half of that exchange, because he was on the side of some tax cuts. But Kerry would not have so carefully framed the issue that way, deliberately so, if he wasn’t damn sure it played well in Peoria. And Bush responded by agreeing with him. This, ladies and gentlemen, was Mike Dukakis holding up his ACLU card.

  10. The Bush administration backtracked from earlier claims that Cuba was making biological weapons.

    The Economist, Sept. 25th 2004

    or wherever the Wheel O’ Liberation lands next.

  11. Can’t invade Cuba — promised the Russians.

  12. Kerry was framing an issue the way he wanted people to look at it, as “Bush would rather give his rich cronies a tax cut than keep Al Qaeda from gassing your grannie.”

    There are two problems with that line of attack:

    (1): Most people who paid taxes at all have gotten tax cuts.
    (2): There have been no new attacks on America.

    Kerry’s line of attack boils down to “Bush has irresponsibly failed to spend enough on security”. With no new attacks in the last three years, though, that’s not a provable accusation. It’s not even credible accusation.

    Furthermore, everytime Kerry says “Bush tax cuts” we think “oh yeah! Bush cut my taxes”. The fact that “the rich” got bigger cuts doesn’t even factor into it.

    But Kerry would not have so carefully framed the issue that way, deliberately so, if he wasn’t damn sure it played well in Peoria

    The fact that Kerry is “damn sure it plays in Peoria” doesn’t mean much. The guy who thought making the Democratic National Convention into “Vietnam’s Greatest Hits” is obviously perfectly capable of making boneheaded political calculations.

  13. There have been no new attacks on America.

    1. For something to be considered an “attack on America”, does it have to be within the geographical boarders of the US? Isn’t an attack on Madrid an attack on American interests?

    2. If one thinks hacking off the heads of Americans with film-at-10 is an “attack on America”, is he wrong?

    3. Are car bombs targeting Americans and American allies and American aims “attacks on America”?

  14. Dan writes:
    Most people who paid taxes at all have gotten tax cuts.

    Then again, the disagreement between Kerry and President Blinky isn’t about tax cuts for most people. It’s about tax cuts for the rich.

  15. 1. For something to be considered an “attack on America”, does it have to be within the geographical boarders of the US?

    It should have been obvious that I was referring to the United States of America, particularly since this was in regard to alleged insufficient Homeland Security funding.

    Certainly Americans are getting killed in Iraq. John Kerry voted against sending them the funding they needed; that’s not a winning issue for him. His line of attack on Bush is that Bush has left the “homeland” less secure, and there’s no reason to believe that’s the case.

    Isn’t an attack on Madrid an attack on American interests?

    Why would you think that an attack on Madrid is an attack on American interests? More importantly, how many Americans do you think consider it the job of the President of the United States to keep Spaniards safe from Al Qaeda?

    Then again, the disagreement between Kerry and President Blinky isn’t about tax cuts for most people. It’s about tax cuts for the rich

    Right, but class warfare just doesn’t have much resonance with American voters outside of the fringe left, and they’re already in Kerry’s camp. What normal people know is that, under Bush, their taxes went down. Few people are vindictive enough to feel that REAL justice would be for their taxes to go down, while “the rich” (i.e., people making more than them) take it up the ass.

  16. 4. Would you consider the anthrax letters an “attack on America”? If so, would you consider them a “new” attack?

    Has that particular series of “new attacks on America” been solved yet?

    Why would you think that an attack on Madrid is an attack on American interests?

    Because Spain is an ally? Because Spain had troops in Iraq? Because the justification for this attack – despite the best efforts of the government at the time to blame the Basques – was that Spain was not only an ally of the US but had troops in Iraq?

    Because – though I am certainly not implying a cause-and-effect here – right after the attack the government which (despite the opinion of the majority of Spanish people) supported the US lost the election and was replaced by a government which promptly pulled Spain’s troops out of Iraq?

    More importantly, how many Americans do you think consider it the job of the President of the United States to keep Spaniards safe from Al Qaeda?

    Probably as many as think NATO does not exist for the defense and benefit of the United States alone. Probably as many as think that an attack on one ally is an attack on all.

    And probably as many Europeans as think it’s their job to keep Americans safe from al-Qaeda.

    Certainly Americans are getting killed in Iraq.

    In other words, there _have_ been new attacks on America. And these daily attacks are the direct result of the decisions of the Bush administration.

  17. So I guess the question is, who do you think is a better judge of what middle American swing voters think – the battalion of experienced, professional political consultants that John Kerry has been paying to research the subject, or “Dan?”

  18. well said, raymond.

    the world is most certainly NOT a safer place, regardless of where hussein is at any given moment. his fall and the ensuing chaos in iraq has provided another hiding place for terrorists…what with all the unsecured borders that surround iraq these days.

    instead of choking the last bit of life out of al quaeda, the american military machine AGAIN didn’t get a chance to finish the job…which allowed ample opportunity for al quaeda to regroup, scatter, and rebuild forces.

  19. “Right, but class warfare just doesn’t have much resonance with American voters outside of the fringe left, and they’re already in Kerry’s camp.”

    er, that’s crap. class warfare is popular with everyone…just depends on which class is being attacked.

  20. “invade Iran or Syria or Iceland or wherever the Wheel O’ Liberation lands next”

    Iceland’s Althing (their legislature) has been meeting for over a thousand years. Also, their only defense is provided by the US-manned Icelandic Defense Force headquartered at Keflavik. So, we’re kinda already there.

    Iran and Syria are still good to go.

  21. Because Spain is an ally? Because Spain had troops in Iraq? Because the justification for this attack – despite the best efforts of the government at the time to blame the Basques – was that Spain was not only an ally of the US but had troops in Iraq?

    I don’t know what you think the definition of “American interest” is, but I would define it as something we need. We don’t need Spain.

    Probably as many as think NATO does not exist for the defense and benefit of the United States alone.

    Nobody with any understanding of politics thinks the purpose of NATO is to defend the United States. NATO has always been utterly useless for defending the United States, as 9/11 and the years following it have proven. The purpose of NATO was always to protect western Europe from an invasion from the east.

    Probably as many as think that an attack on one ally is an attack on all.

    What does that even mean? Spain was attacked by Al Qaeda. We’re already at war with Al Qaeda, because they attacked us. Spain is not at war with Al Qaeda; they chose the path of cowardice and appeasement. So it is they who are failing us, not vice-versa. They have a duty to help us against Al Qaeda, and they’re failing in it. If they would like to join the war again, we would be happy to help them.

    “Certainly Americans are getting killed in Iraq.”

    In other words, there _have_ been new attacks on America.

    Iraq is not part of America, little brain, and the Department of Homeland Security does not protect Americans there.

  22. Herostratus:
    “Can’t invade Cuba — promised the Russians.”

    I think we actually made that promise to the Soviet Union, which is no longer around to raise an objection.

    Cuba is good to go.

  23. So I guess the question is, who do you think is a better judge of what middle American swing voters think – the battalion of experienced, professional political consultants that John Kerry has been paying to research the subject, or “Dan?”

    The problem with that empty-headed argument is that Bush also has a “battalion of experienced, professional political consultants” that he pays to research this subject, and they obviously don’t think Kerry’s tactic will work. So the real question is: “who are the better judges of middle-class swing voters, Bush’s consultants or Kerry’s?”

    Given the fact that Kerry’s consultants have repeatedly proven themselves to be incompetent — Kerry’s running against an unpopular President who can’t form a coherent sentence and LOSING to him — I’d bet on Bush’s consultants.

  24. instead of choking the last bit of life out of al quaeda, the american military machine AGAIN didn’t get a chance to finish the job…which allowed ample opportunity for al quaeda to regroup, scatter, and rebuild forces.

    Before the United States had even set foot in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda was already located in a host of other hostile or neutral countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Indonesia, to name a few.

    So “choking the last bit of life out of Al Qaeda” would have involved either (a) invading each of those countries or (b) getting them to wipe out the Al Qaeda agents within their borders. We have tried (b), and it’s not working. That leaves (a).

    And of course, you’re forgetting that Al Qaeda isn’t our only target by any stretch of the imagination. It isn’t like we’re planning to all the other Muslim terrorist groups a pass just because they have a different name from the one that hit us on 9/11.

  25. It’s about tax cuts for the rich.

    The notion of the tax cuts being for the rich is ignorant of mathematics. For y,x, such that y ~ x * 10^5, then x * n/100

  26. hm, looks like it got cut off. Anyway, n% of x is much much smaller (it doesn’t like the comparison symbols I think) than n% of y in those conditions above. When you contribute more, you get more back, and while it’s fun to pretend that rich people don’t pay taxes and hide it all in the Caymans, that’s a nonsensical political device.

  27. … NATO has always been utterly useless for defending the United States, as 9/11 and the years following it have proven. …

    … Spain is not at war with Al Qaeda; they chose the path of cowardice and appeasement. …

    What amazing statements. What an astounding post.

    Is this how the “middle American voter” thinks?

  28. Well, who on earth really thinks that NATO is vital to the defense of the United States?

    And if someone does, why?

  29. who on earth really thinks that NATO is vital to the defense of the United States?

    “Vital”? I can’t say. ” Useful“? It looks that way.

    Who on earth really thinks that the NATO is the offspring of altruism?

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