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View Diary: Oliphant: "Phase 2" of Kerry Counterattack To Begin (190 comments)

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  •  Did Oliphant (none)
    detail exactly what "phase 2" is going to look like?

    The United States has a conservative political culture defending a liberal heritage. The modern Republican Party's problem is that it is neither.

    by Ben P on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 08:24:41 PM PDT

    •  no (none)
      he didn't say anything about what it would look lilke. from The Note, it seems like it will be, at least, a further charge from Kerry that Bush is and has always run smear campaigns like this, and an accusation that Bush has no issues to run on.

      It will probably entail more than that. The main point was that Kerry has a plan to keep this issue in the news. Which certainly goes against the CW.

      •  Focusing on issues (none)
        The race is now getting bogged down in this ridiculous ad campaign, and I sincerely believe that your average Joe will tune out. Kerry really needs to bring this back to the issues.

        I think his best argument is to point out that this whole Swift Boats bullshit is getting in the way of a real discussion about the sorry state of affairs that exists right now. He needs to draw attention back to the shitty job Bush has been doing, and fire up the public over it. That will be what gets people motivated to come out and vote in November.

        •  No (3.75)
          After the GOP Convention - then fire with both guns blazing - on the Issues.

          One problem - Iraq - Kerry has to define himself.  hope he's figured out what to say on that.  For all the good things this campaign has done - on Iraq, they've sucked.

          "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Wes Clark (hopefully in the future J. Kerry)

          by Armando on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 09:28:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  and (4.00)
            I'm convinced that Iraq will be the issue that decides this campaign. Kerry may still win without putting together a clear and coherent answer to the Iraq question, but he'd win by a landslide if he was able to.
            •  Agreed (none)
              It's time - unveil it after the Convention I guess is the plan. I gotta believe they have one somewhere.  

              "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Wes Clark (hopefully in the future J. Kerry)

              by Armando on Mon Aug 23, 2004 at 09:52:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  There's only one problem (4.00)
              Here's the thing.

              There is no clear and coherent answer to the Iraq question.  There isn't even a clear and coherent question.

              Among the reasons why so many military people (only the retired ones) and foreign policy advisors from Bush I were very vocal in their opposition to the Iraq invasion was that once we had our troops there, once we eliminated the existing government, we would have a situation pretty much like we have now, with no clear and coherent way to get out.

              You can blame Kerry for voting for the resolution, but even if he had voted against it, it would have passed and we'd be exactly where we are today.

              You cannot blame Kerry for the fact that getting out of Iraq without leaving it in flames is going to be damned difficult and damned expensive.

              •  Talking about Viet Nam may be answer (4.00)

                There is no clear and coherent answer to the Iraq question.  There isn't even a clear and coherent question.

                That is why he may be able to have "Phase II" of the counter attack on the SBVT gang deal with Kerry's objections to what what we tried to do in Viet Nam.  It seems to me that he is going to have to admit in some public way that he thinks we made a big mistake in Viet Nam and that we took way too long to recognize that fact.  By discussing this he can imply, without directly saying so, that the same is true in Iraq and that he is the candidate who can recognize this and bring things to an acceptable conclusion.

                The problem is that in the case of Viet Nam there was a powerful nationalist movement ready to take over and it, in fact, never had any intention of sending its troops swarming up the California beaches.  In the case of Iraq the the danger is that if we let our government there fall the way the one we set up in Saigon did, we will not have a unified nationalist government focused on rebuilding as in Viet Nam, but a failed state filled with Islamist radicals.

                That is why there is no clear answer in Iraq and why Kerry might do better talking about why he was against dragging out Viet Nam the way we did rather than talking about Iraq.

            •  Plan of Action (4.00)
              The problem with articulating a clear and coherent plan for Iraq is that Kerry can't. He can say things like "Get the UN involved," but until he is actually elected and sworn in, he has no way of knowing just how willing the UN would be to work with a sane American president, or how much the situation may have changed by then.

              There are just too many variables in motion all at once for anyone to clearly articulate a detailed policy this far out, let alone someone who presumably would be bothered by deliberately BSing the public; and since he's not in charge yet, he can't go making any actual foreign policy.

              If he talks in vague generalities, his plan sounds a lot like Bush's by now. If he tries to be precise, all nuance will be seen as flip-flopping.  On the other hand, look at Bush's play: He speaks in high-sounding platitudes, not policies; so he has no policy positions to attack. All he has is his peculiar sock-stuffed flightsuit approach to looking like a bad-ass action figure. Boo-yah! Go America! Eat Hot Lead, Bad Guys!

              How can Kerry effectively attack that?

              Well, he could try pointing out that he, John Kerry, actually is a bad-ass war hero who jumped off a fucking speedboat to run straight at a guy with a rocket launcher, like some combination of Rambo and every gun-wielding private eye in television history; but bringing it uo himself would seem kind of like, you know, bragging, which Real Men don't do.

              So — let's think here — how can John Kerry get his Sgt. Rock Combat History mentioned constantly without bringing it up himself? If only... if only he could somehow get his opponent to keep bringing up Kerry's manly and heroic adventures in combat! That would be perfect!

              Oh, hold on. Wait. That would never happen. There's no way that he could possibly trick his opponent into constantly mentioning John Kerry running in slow motion into a hail of bullets while bright orange technicolor explosions go off all around him, plucking wounded soldiers from the jaws of death and tearing apart entire armed compounds with his bare hands while the music swells and lines of bright tracers arc across the sky and oooooh lookit that huge mother of an explosion over there did you see that guy go flying wow!

              Yeah, it's too bad that there's no way he could possibly trick his opponent into reminding everyone that John Kerry is one hundred times the badass mofo that he is. No one would be that stupid.

              •  Wish I could give you a 5! (3.00)
                Your comment is very sharp, insightful, graphic and funny.
                Linking the Iraq-problem to SBVFT: Genius!!
              •  john kerry: SFTD (4.00)
                Well, he could try pointing out that he, John Kerry, actually is a bad-ass war hero who jumped off a fucking speedboat to run straight at a guy with a rocket launcher...

                yup. works for me.  back in january people were saying kerry would be a "seven-foot tall dukakis." well, he wasn't my first choice either, but after hearing all about his time in vietnam i'm becoming more and more convinced he's actually a seven-foot tall du-KICKASS.

                get US troops out of iraq and into sudan

                by zeke L on Tue Aug 24, 2004 at 11:14:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  no (4.00)
          This is about the character of the candidates. I was upset at first but it's playing out fine. It's better to get some of this out now. You knew it was coming.
          Bush started this and now he can't get a word in edgewise. They're dragging out NY protester stories to remind us they're having a convention.
          And we are talking about John Kerry on a boat in Cambodia. And we will also be talking tomorrow about torturing children in Iraq. How will that play off of the attack on Kerry's testimony to Congress about that very topic?
          And Kerry's speech in NY will carry it on another day, along with his appearance on Stewart to defend himself. Sweet.
          •  I would say it is beautiful timing (4.00)
            So maybe Kerry DOES know what he is doing

            after all, the talk of wartime attrocities in Vietnam started just in time for the report that lays blame at the doorstep of Donald Rumsfeld

            Let the comparrisons between Rumsfeld and MacNamara commence

            The biggest problem Kerry has right now is the harping of Democratic Monday morning quarterbacks

            Let Mr. Kerry slaughter this fool any way he wants too, and stop trying to second guess things to be

            Does anybody think Iraq will get better for Bush ???

        •  He's ahead, so why not stall? (4.00)
          Unless the SBVFT stuff is actually moving a significant number of swing voters in swing states, it doesn't seem to me to hurt Kerry to have the clock running.  If the election were held today, he'd win.  So whatever issues people are thinking about are apparently on his side.  I can't imagine many swing voters are going to be swayed by this stuff.

          Also, I like that Kerry is now playing rough and going after the sleazy Ailes/Atwater/Rove history of both Bush I and Bush II.  (Remember Bush I in 1992 telling Larry King that he didn't want to say what he thought Clinton was really up to when he visited Moscow during his Rhodes Scholar days -- implying that Clinton was a Soviet agent?)    

          Here's a way for Kerry to show that he's tough enough to lead America when terrorists are gunning for us: ruthlessly blast the shit out of Bush in this campaign.  Don't be a wimp now against Bush, and people will know you won't be a wimp as president.  You fight like a political terrorist now, and I will isolate you and destroy you, just like I will isolate and destroy the terrorists.

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