LULU by John Linton Roberson (c) 2012.
I Didn't Write That!
28 July 2004
  Best Convention Ever...
 
...at least so far. So good, in fact, that Fox has been doing everything it can to dismiss it or to favor pundits talking rather than the speeches. During Ron Reagan's gutsy and eloquent veiled attack on the Bush administration regarding stem cell research, the crawl underneath him reminded the audience that he was a talk show host and an editor of Playboy, as though this was supposed to undercut the standing of what he was saying. Afterward Sean Hannity asked Michael Reagan if Nancy Reagan would have approved of this(as she's been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration for their stance on stem cell research, I think we can assume she approved), and Michael whined, "Ron can do no wrong. He's always been her favorite." Aww, poor Michael. All the other presidential children acting as pundits got to go on real networks like ABC or CNN. But Fox is always willing to pay a few bucks for a handjob, aren't they?
 
Then there was Newt Gingrich during another speech attempting to use the word "liberal" as many times as he could in a sentence. Scared yet? Such a horrible, horrible word! And then Brit Hume reads aloud response e-mails from the Bush campaign, as though there had been any doubt before that Fox News is no more than the voice of the Bush White House.The tone of the Republican response has mostly just been dismissive and "don't be fooled" stuff. That means that a message must be getting across to the US and they want to marginalize that message. So then the Democrats must be doing something right here. 
 
Very powerful speakers, from Clinton's excellent wonkonomic and careful indictment of Bush, the dignity and strength of Teresa Heinz-Kerry's speech(to a stupid conservative journalist: you just try to keep someone who came from a police state from speaking her damn mind, and "shove it" from me as well), the brilliant debut of Barack Obama(who a CNN wag attempted to confuse with "Osama") and The Democrats are almost insanely disciplined in the Clintonesque-positive mode of criticizing Bush purely on the facts, avoiding cheap shots, and focusing on the actual problems in need of solutions. It's the playbook from 1992 and it's the strategy that works for the party. Republicans perceive Democrats as weak. If you follow the punditsphere enough you'll notice that the way conservatives take over the argument from liberals is attempting to put across the idea that if a liberal disagrees with them it's due to bias. This is because liberals are supposed to be accepting of all points of view. If a conservative's point of view is that theirs is the only right one then the liberal is not being a good liberal if they do not respect it.
 
That's not working anymore. Now the Democrats realize that the corollary to this is that they're the ones you run to for hope. Negative campaigning doesn't work for anyone but the GOP because it's them one runs to out of fear. But when you're sick of the way the GOP uses your fear in aid of their own agenda and notice gee, I've been out of work for a long time even though I supported this Republican president, you're an idiot not to vote Democrat. And particularly with this president, who is driving this nation into the ground and has squandered each chance to do good.
 
No, the Clinton technique is a simple one. Stick to the main point. When the GOP starts throwing negative spew at a Democratic candidate the stupidest thing that candidate can do is respond. The GOP wants their opponent to waste their time, energy and money answering such accusations, as Dukakis did or many of Nixon's potential opponents in 1972 did. This way the GOP controls the terms of debate, which ends up being no debate at all. The last thing the GOP wants to debate this time around--or ever--is issues. Their expertise, if anything, is in types of propaganda, generating false images of character.  Therefore they want to confine the playing field to false questions about false definitions of character. Whereas in 1992 Clinton knocked many of those issues out of the debate firmly and stayed on message, so that by the time November came Clinton was talking about the economy and Bush was talking about Clinton. So with this Bush: just see what happens when you make him run on his record. And by September the Republicans will be stuck defending said record; as far as the last Democratic administration is concerned, it's kind of hard to make people remember peace and prosperity with dread.
 
I think that the Republicans will regret bumping their convention up to September in New York. They're doing this to take advantage of the September 11 anniversary. But meanwhile the Democratic message is going through all the media and will dominate much of the rest of the summer, leaving the Republicans with nothing to do but attack. And be stuck having a tastelessly timed convention that will do nothing but remind America how much Bush has not done to make any of us safer and what pain and fear he actually brought us.

Sure, Karl Rove could have our defenses stand down again and allow one of the average of 600 terrorist attacks that our country routinely bats aside through again to Manhattan as he did before, but that would look kind of funny. It would only work if Bush was willing to go through with calling himself a dictator.

More political fun tomorrow!

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