Maybe this has been diaried before and I just missed it, but 2008 isn't the first time Michigan jumped the gun in a presidential primary season. There was a post a few days ago about the blatant hypocrisy of Terry McAuliffe, who as DNC Chair stared down Michigan's threat to move up their primary in 2004, but as a Clinton surrogate believes that all Michigan delegates should be seated in 2008.
But I didn't know until this morning, when a commenter mentioned it in passing at TPM Election Central, that all the major candidates removed their names from the Michigan ballot in 2000... because Michigan broke the rules that year too.
Today Senator John McCain (pictured) declared that Iran is supporting Al Qaeda, reversing his earlier correction of a mistake he'd made repeatedly, and further demonstrating that McCain is not "ready on day one" (or any other day) to deal with real and complex issues like the Middle East.
If McCain were fighting World War II, he'd be bombing the French Resistance and embracing our allies the Italians.
It'd be one thing if McCain's gaffe were just a slip of the tongue, but when he repeatedly makes it plain that he doesn't know Shi'ite from Sunni, doesn't know economics from a hole in the ground, and the "Straight Talk Express" (also pictured) is taking lobbyists and pampered reporters for a ride, then it's time to point out what Senator Magoo is really offering: The policies of George W. Bush, but with even less of the vision thing.
This diary is a response, in part, to ddigioia's "Memo From a Disillusioned Progressive".
I joined the Democratic Party in late 2003, when a doctor by the name of Howard Dean showed up and performed a backbone transplant. Dean was my first choice for the nomination, and John Edwards was my second, because I thought they'd stand up to the Republicans — and because they were both campaigning with stories rather than laundry lists. The mistake Democrats had made over and over, in my view, was to nominate what I call checklist candidates — candidates who have a whole list of reasons why you should elect them, but who can't turn that list into a compelling theme.
So when the rest of the party made the decision to put John Kerry at the top of the ticket, I was more than a little disappointed.
It may be a while before anyone asks Obama about public financing again, given the NYT's bombshell about McCain and his yet another inappropriate relationship with a lobbyist — McCain is doing pure damage control now, and if the Iseman story has legs it could be weeks before McCain can play offense again.
But if we do revisit the topic, I've thought a little about how Obama ought to respond. Keep in mind that I'm no speechwriter, but I've tried to hit the points I think Obama should hit — and tied in some of Obama's strengths, and McCain's weaknesses, along the way.
To set the stage here, imagine that Obama is speaking to a large audience on the day that his campaign receives its one millionth donor (which will likely happen between now and March 4th).
One of the most frustrating things about being a Democrat is watching the party repeat its mistakes: We keep nominating candidates who can get the vote of every thinking man in the U.S., only to watch them lose to hucksters and hustlers who can hoodwink the voters with a tall tale and a smile.
Al Gore had the best résumé of any Democratic candidate in a generation - eight years in the White House, decades of experience in government - but he came across to voters as stiff and cerebral, and he lost to a dry drunk doing a fake cowboy routine. John Kerry was a great nominee on paper, with excellent credentials - but he couldn't do a sound bite to save his life, and he lost to a dry drunk doing a fake John Wayne routine. Dukakis and Mondale also wore the "thinking man's" cap, for all the good it did them; on paper the Democrats should have held the White House from 1908 to the present, if the "better" candidate always won... but here we are instead.
In 2004 George Bush framed the issue of whether America should repair the damage his first term did to our international prestige — of whether we should try to recover the sixty years of diplomatic capital the Bush administration squandered in just four years — by saying we didn't need a permission slip
to defend ourselves. It was one of those rhetorical dirty tricks that Karl Rove's GOP delights in, insinuating that anyone who let legal technicalities
stop him, anyone who stopped to consult
or ask permission
when bold, direct action
was called for — well, that person just wasn't manly enough to lead.
But when it was time to rescue the thousands of Americans who are slowly dying in New Orleans, Bush's excuse for five days of inaction is that he didn't have a permission slip from state and local authorities.
...and help DNC Chair-Elect Howard Dean get off to a strong start.
CNN.com, February 11th, 2005:
"Do you think Howard Dean is the right person to lead the Democratic Party?"
Current totals are 53% yes, 47% no, with 39,508 votes cast. I don't know whether anyone here has an opinion on this subject — wait, who am I kidding? Go vote in the poll.
Republican biologists have announced a breakthrough that may lead to salvation for holier-than-thou hypocrites: A camel small enough to pass through the eye of an ordinary sewing needle. The "micro-camel," as it's been dubbed by GOP researchers, is their first discovery after decades of work in the field of Intelligent Design Theory.
I noticed the wonderfully descriptive phrase "retirement tax" from Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), as quoted in Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo
, as a description of how Bush's Social Security plans will affect seniors. When we talk about framing our issues, we need to be on the lookout for gems like these -- we should watch not only for bad GOP frames to avoid, but also for good frames to adopt.
So, I suggest using the following words or phrases when describing Bush's Social Security plans:
For me it started about a year ago, when Joe Trippi and the Dean campaign figured out how to use the internets. If you thought Dean's use of meetup.com did wonderful things for his campaign in the United States, you should have seen what it did among the six million Americans living overseas: Meetups worked just as well in Sydney and Melbourne as they did in Philly or Phoenix, and for a short while in early 2004 the Australia branch of Expats for Dean was larger and more active than the Democratic Party itself here.
When the Dean grassroots turned into Democracy for America, his team Down Under took a more direct approach: We merged with, and largely became, the Australia chapter of Democrats Abroad. Dean organizers became Dems Abroad officers, and the meetups continued under a new banner; riding the momentum of the primary campaign, and the enthusiasm among Democrats to take our country back, Democrats Abroad Australia grew from a paper list of 50 names to over 300 active and involved members.
After watching both the presidential and vice-presidential debates, I can safely say that, out of the four candidates, Bush is now in fourth place.
Bush: "You forgot Poland."
Kerry: "You forgot Osama."