It's Time to Play the Music, It's Time to Light the Lights

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Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) is apparently pitching a minor fit over reports that former CPA spokesman (and informal Bush/Cheney '04 flack) Dan Senor helped draft Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi's speech to Congress. GOP campaign spokesman offer by way of rebuttal:

He's not a campaign spokesman, a consultant or a staff member. He's someone who speaks out on behalf of the president's policies. He's someone who supports the president's reelection.

So he's not on the payroll, but given that the campaign refers media to Senor for interviews, he's not exactly just an independent citizen who happens to support Bush's reelection, either.

Anyway, on the one hand, this isn't particularly surprising, or even something I'd be inclined to get that upset about. But it does rather pull the rug out from under all the righteous indignation over Joe Lockhart's crack that "you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips."

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  1. But it does rather pull the rug out from under all the righteous indignation over Joe Lockhart’s crack that “you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips.”

    Yes because politicians never employ speech writers…

  2. Julian, you’re ready to go big time.

    Here you have a story – the Bush campaign treating the PM of Iraq as part of their campaign team, while pretending that he as acting as an independent sovereign – and you report it as, “Democrats are upset that…”

    You know, one side says this, the other side says that, and what’s a poor journalist to do?

  3. By looking at the actual numbers, and realizing that its the Republican party that has increased the size (and cost) of the federal government faster than the Democrats.

  4. I should note that while my position is fairly obvious, I’m not the voice of the magazine, and several of my colleagues would disagree. Also, (1) what Agammamon said (Agammamon? Is that a cross between a Greek king and a money worshipper?) and (2) I’m not so much pro-Kerry as I am pro-divided government. What Kerry would do as dictator is distinct from what he’ll be able to get with a Congress that remains under GOP control.

  5. There are other libertarian positions besides “small government” as well. How about “anti-authoritarian?” Those of us who have spent the last four years in a clench-jawed rage over our president’s blithe dismissal of a suspect’s right to challenge his detention are hoping (against hope) that things could, maybe, get better under another man. Possibly.

  6. Austin,

    I’m a liberal Democrat so this is obviously self-serving, but I think that there is another reason for libertoids to punch the chad for Kerry this year.

    To wit, to prevent the government from growing more abusive to the public. The defining characteristics of this presidential term have been the dishonesty with which Bush got us into, and conducted, the Iraq War, and the sheer incompetance of the its security/intelligence operations prior to 9/11, and in regards to the Iraqi WMD program-related-activities.

    If you let your spouse push you, he’s eventually going to slap you. If you let him slap you, he’s eventually going to close his fist. Politicians only understand one thing – the will to power. It is vitally important that future presidents, when they look back on this term and this election, are given the message, loud and clear, that if you abuse your office, deliberately mislead the public for your ideological ends, and screw up to the extent that this president has screwed up, you will be voted out of office. They must not be allowed to learn that you can act as this president has acted, and continue to hold high office.

  7. Perhaps some Libetarians are voting for Kerry with the assumption the house and senate will remain in GOP control, and thus giving us gridlock that can result in a failure of getting these ourageous spending bills passed.

  8. “So I guess my question is: if you vote Democrat, can you truly continue to call yourself libertarian? If you vote for someone willing to grow the government with no end in sight, how does this jive at all with libertarian ideals?”

    I’ll echo Agammamon and c, and add that I’m increasingly stunned at how many people claim there’s a clear-cut “libertarian” choice between Bush and Kerry. Out of control spending, steel and other tariffs, a lot of PATRIOT, signing McCain-Feingold, the complete lack of transparency and general culture of extreme secrecy in this administration – what the hell is there to like about that? Kerry will be worse on some things and better on others, but I’m at a loss as to how Austin and others have reached the conclusion that Bush is so much better from a libertarian standpoint.

  9. But it does rather pull the rug out from under all the righteous indignation over Joe Lockhart’s crack that “you can almost see the hand underneath the shirt today moving the lips.”

    A Bush supporter helped write a speech… and that confirms that the guy who read the speech is a Bush puppet?

    Yeah, yeah, Julian, we get it already — you hate Bush, you want Kerry to win, etc etc. Enough with the incessant spinning, already.

  10. So using Julian’s theory, I would expect there to be a rash of Hit and Run posts pumping up Republican congressional candidates.

  11. Austin writes: “Granted, the Republicans are not exactly small government anymore – to my own personal lament. But they are still small(er) government than the Democrats.”

    The Republicans are not smaller government than the Democrats.

    They’re “Differently embiggened”.

  12. Well, NHMB, since we all are in a position to vote for president, but very few of us are in a position to vote for any given member of the House of Representatives or the Senate (and no one is in a position to vote for all of them), it makes much, much more sense to focus a divided government strategy on the presidency.

  13. “Go look at the sports he does.”

    Windsurfing = fondness for preemptive warfare???

  14. Dan H.: That was some vociferous advocacy on your part. Don’t worry. We’re winning this campaign. It’s tough. It’s hard work. I know … I saw it last night on the TV set.

  15. “So I guess my question is: if you vote Democrat, can you truly continue to call yourself libertarian?”

    Yes. Next!

    Or, to add more substance, if I had to score the modern Republican Party. . not the ideal one, mind you, but the one you’re actually going to vote for. . . it’d look like this:

    Economic: Liberal/Statist
    Social: Conservative/Statist
    Foreign: Aggressive Internationalist

    So the question here is not ‘how can a libertarian vote for Kerry?’, it’s ‘do the modern Republicans agree with the libertarians about anything>?’ Anything? Buehler?

  16. The current Republican establishment needs a smackdown. Throw out these pious men who care not for fiscal prudence, these religious freaks, and get a real conservative nominee.
    A President Kerry will undo the worst of Bush’s stuff, but it will
    come at such a political cost that he will serve but one term.
    No president can possibly solve the budget mess or get us completely out of Iraq within four years. Better that a) the current GOP mullahs be routed and b) a Democrat take the blame for the ensuing mess so that c) the Democrats tear themselves apart enough that we can get a true economic conservative/social liberal like Giuliani. We want the GOP base softened up the way the Democrats were this year, so that they will elect “a candidate who can win” — a social liberal who believes in smaller government. Giuliani is not the only choice, and perhaps he’s got some negatives, but he’s a Republican who Democrats will vote for.

  17. Austin,

    The notion that Republicans favor smaller government more than the Democrats is a flat out myth. A pox on both their houses.

  18. “Character matters, and Kerry doesn’t have it. Presidents without character are dangerous. Especially in times of conflict.”

    Right, it doesn’t take character to join the military when you could easily have avoided service.
    It doesn’t take character to stand up and say the war you actually fought in was wrong at a time when it was unpopular to tell the truth.
    It doesn’t take character to expose the President of the United States and members of his Administration for selling arms to a terrorist state and running guns and drugs to and from South America.
    It doesn’t take character to expose BCCI, at the time the largest drug laundering and terrorist supporting bank in the world, and go against, and after, prominent members of your own party to do so. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2004/0409.sirota.html
    BCCI, meanwhile, had its own connections. Prominent figures with ties to the bank included former president Jimmy Carter’s budget director, Bert Lance, and a bevy of powerful Washington lobbyists with close ties to President George H.W. Bush, a web of influence that may have helped the bank evade previous investigations. In 1985 and 1986, for instance, the Reagan administration launched no investigation even after the CIA had sent reports to the Treasury, Commerce, and State Departments bluntly describing the bank’s role in drug-money laundering and other illegal activities.

    No, to some, character is having the will to avoid fighting in a war you agreed with.
    Character is being the front man for a group of investors that got a local government to invoke eminent domain over private property in a land grab, and then get the taxpayers to pay for the land and the Stadium while you and your cronies reaped the profits.
    http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/vol17/issue19/pols.bush.html
    But Bush would have never gotten the stadium deal off the ground had the city of Arlington not agreed to use its power of eminent domain to seize the property that belonged to the Mathes family. And evidence presented in the Mathes lawsuit suggests that the Rangers owners — and remember that Bush was the managing general partner at the time — were conspiring to use the city’s condemnation powers to obtain the 13-acre tract a full six months before the ASFDA was even created.

    If character means cheating, stealing, and weaseling your way through life then Kerry has no Character, but by this definition, Bush has character in abundance.

  19. Bush—pro-torture. Really, it should be that simple.

  20. well,
    mr. rob pretty much nailed it, I think.
    a nice assist from daninalabama though.

  21. I consider myself, politically, to be a pragmatist. I lean libertarian in theory, but am hesitant to embrace radical changes in the status quo.

    That being said, I view libertarianism as being composed of 2 obvious parts: 1) economic, 2) non-economic. And, frankly, I weight the latter more heavily than the former. Having the govt. increase social spending pisses me off, but having the govt. trample on the Bill of Rights frightens me deeply.

    Regardless, I don’t see how the Republican party under its GWBush/Tom DeLay wing is “libertarian” in either aspect. Non-military spending has skyrocketed under Bush/DeLay, and it’s mostly going to things other than you’d expect after 9/11 (domestic security). The prescription drug bill was not only a huge expansion of govt. but also a really terribly crafted expenditure, even if you believe the govt should be creating this entitlement. The only ones who benefit are industry. As for non-economic rights, this is a party that seems to have zero respect for the Constitutionally guaranteed rights enunciated in the Bill of Rights and 14th amendment.

    I figure if Kerry’s elected, govt. expenditures ought to shrink a little bit, but more importantly (to me), government intrusions into our basic political rights ought to be severely curtailed. I would expect a discontinuation of the “free speech zone” policy, and of the Patriot Act, among others.

    On another note, those of you who are trying to define Senor’s speechwriting as simply political activity are being asinine or disingenuous, or both. Allawi is supposed to be the head of a sovereign state, representing that state’s interests. The fact that the Bush campaign wrote his speech, and in such a way as to attempt to enhance Bush’s prospects of reelection, is outrageous. If Jacques Chirac came over to the US, and gave a speech written by Terry McAuliffe which appeared to be crafted to help John Kerry win the election, echoing Kerry’s talking points, that would be equally outrageous and would lead to well-deserved claims that Chirac was a puppet of Kerry.

    Of course, none of this is surprising anymore in an administration that appears to have no principles other than that of maintaining power. What is surprising is that Senor was so clumsy that this ruse became so obvious. I’m sure the Bush administration, not to mention Allawi, would have preferred that the origins of Allawi’s speech not be revealed.

  22. Amen Minister, Amen!

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