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It's generally understood that any incumbent suffering reelect numbers below 50 percent are in trouble. That is because people have generally made up their minds about the candidate.

And someone like Bush is the ultimate incumbent -- higher profile than any other human being on the planet. If half the people don't want him reelected by this point, it's tough for him to convince voters otherwise.

There's essentially only one tactic open to him to win this thing -- drive Kerry's negatives higher than his. And to raise an opponent's negatives, you have to run negative ads. And given Bush's downward spiral, Rove has apparently decided that sooner is better than later:

President Bush will unleash his first negative ads against John Kerry on Thursday, accusing the Democrat of seeking to raise taxes by $900 billion and wanting to "delay defending America," the Associated Press has learned.

"John Kerry: Wrong on taxes. Wrong on defense," says a female announcer in a new 30-second ad that will begin airing in battleground states.

A second ad, also premiering Thursday, tells voters they face choices on the economy, health care and the war on terrorism.

"We can go forward with confidence, resolve and hope. Or we can turn back to the dangerous illusions that terrorists are not plotting and outlaw regimes are no threat," Bush says in the second ad, without mentioning Kerry by name.

Bush's toughest ad, titled "100 days," envisions Kerry's first three months in office. "John Kerry's plan: To pay for new government spending, raise taxes by at least $900 billion."

"On the war on terror: Weaken the Patriot Act used to arrest terrorists and protect America. And he wanted to delay defending American until the United Nations approved."

We've got eight months of this ahead of us.

Kerry responds:

After losing nearly 3 million jobs, watching health care costs rise out of control, turning record surpluses into record deficits, and breaking his own promises on everything from improving schools to making America secure, this President has now decided to launch a negative advertising campaign against me.

What’s most interesting about this new ad is what’s not in it. This President can’t talk about his positive vision for America, because at each turn he has put this nation on the wrong track. It’s time he pays attention to that old saying, when you’ve dug yourself into a ditch, stop digging.

I am running for President because I want to change the direction of this country. If I’m elected, we’ll create new and better jobs, lower the cost of health care, and get Bush’s runaway deficits under control.

What you’re seeing is the last gasp of air from the failed Bush Administration that has no record to run on and nothing but more of the same failed policies to offer the American people.

Do we have the money to respond?

Donate to the DNC or the Kerry campaign.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 06:59 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Criticism from Bushies is nonesense (3.50)
      The immediate response from Bush spokesman Scott Stenzel was, "Throughout the primary process and obviously now, Democrats have used some of the most harsh, angry, bitter rhetoric that we have seen in our country's history."

      Now there's some Kool Aid for you!  Is this really what the GOP is gonna come back with?  I expect better from the Kool Aid Krew.  The lowest the primary got was "deserter."  In 1828, the first Pres-child to win, JQ Adams, was given the nickname "The Pimp."

      Hmmmm.  "Deserter" or "The pimp"?  For a history of negative campaigns, and how the 2004 primary is pale in comparison, check out my blog,

      •  WAAAAAH!!!!! (none)
        "Throughout the primary process and obviously now, Democrats have used some of the most harsh, angry, bitter rhetoric that we have seen in our country's history."


        The polls don't tell us how a candidate is doing, they tell us how the media is doing.

        by Thumb on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 08:36:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Harsh? (none)

        "Throughout the primary process and obviously now, Democrats have used some of the most harsh, angry, bitter rhetoric that we have seen in our country's history."

        Harsh? Angry? Bitter? Heh, come to Australia, where our opposition leader Mark Latham called Bush "the most incompetent and dangerous president in living memory", and described our PM as "an arselicker", leading a "conga-line of suckholes" to suck up to Bush.

        People have been saying "how will he deal with the USA if he becomes PM?". My answer: I think he will deal with President Kerry just fine. :-)

  •  The PATRIOT Act... (3.50)
    ...has yet to be used to arrest a terrorist.

    On the other hand, it has been used to arrest American citizens on charges unrelated to terrorism.

    They're so screwed. I love life again.

    *Catch of the Day: theoria* "I'm into gender inequality, book-burning, and killing baby seals."

    by theoria on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:02:12 PM PST

    •  And Kerry voted for it (2.28)
      Good thing he rode the fence and helped to get the sunset clauses in.
      •  give it up (3.00)
        you're becoming a parody of yourself.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:09:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right On (none)
          I know it's not in vogue to criticize Kerry, so I commend anyone who has the balls to speak the truth:  Kerry is a moral coward.

          A war of aggression, a compromise on the Bill of Rights, a paradigm shift of the tax burden distribution towards the wealthy; are these the agenda of a right-wing administration?  Yes.  Did any democrats actually support this agenda?  Yes.  One of them is named John Kerry, and he has the spine of a jellyfish on valium.  

          "She'll come back as fire, to burn all the liars, and leave a blanket of ash on the ground" --Kurt Cobain, Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle&l

          by Subterranean on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 11:06:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  thanks for posting... (none)
            you've inspired me to give Kerry some bucks credited to Markos.

            And you would recommend voting for...???

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 11:30:29 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  to those who troll rated me: (none)
           1. I spend much time defending Brassmask from being called a troll.
           2. When he's being Brassmask (ABK with nothing else positive to say), I'll call him  on it.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Fri Mar 12, 2004 at 08:38:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Trying to understand (4.00)
        I try to understand the fact that he (and lots of others) voted for the PATRIOT Act. I understand that it was a desperate time, and that Americans were frightened and looking to their leaders to protrect them. I won't forgive him for it... nor will I forgive any of the others. Same goes for the War Resolution votes. However, I also feel that we have to play with the cards that have been dealt.

        Over here we have the bastards that were writing up the PATRIOT Act before the planes even hit the towers. Over here we have the guys that voted for it while smoke was practically still rising from Ground Zero.

        The latter gets my vote. The former can suck my **.

        *Catch of the Day: theoria* "I'm into gender inequality, book-burning, and killing baby seals."

        by theoria on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:25:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  In the political climate of October, 2001 (none)
        Who could NOT vote for the Patriot Act in Washington? Think back. This was a very angry country, and not a country that was thinking very clearly.

        Sunset clauses were the best defense available. It's time to make them stick.

      •  lose the Br on your username (2.50)
        it will fit better.Either bring something here or leave.I really hate troll rating anyone but you make it easy.
  •  Bushism (none)
    Does the ad really say "defending American"? I hope so.

    "Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right!" - Salvor Hardin

    by Zackpunk on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:02:44 PM PST

  •  Channelling Dean (none)
    "I'm George Bush, and I approved this ad because you're not trying to stop him - you're trying to stop me."
  •  What kind of test is there for truth? (3.00)
    I keep seeing GOP folks talking about how Kerry voted against 15 different weapons, when in fact it was one bill he (and many Republicans) voted against, and I know they are sending out Medicaid information to 41 million senior citizens that omit major facts, all on the taxpayer dime, and this could easily swing states like Florida I fear. What culpability do they have for lying?

    I mean, I know that lying is second-nature to them, but at some point they have to get slapped for it...right?


    - naive greebs

    •  Its Republicans... (none)
      Making sense is definitely not their thing...

      Democratic Meetups Since the netroots are the grassroots!

      by audibledevil on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:07:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe (none)
      The weapons he voted against never showed up:

      Ya think?

      The Department of Defense, already infamous for spending $640 for a toilet seat, once again finds itself under intense scrutiny, only this time because it couldn't account for more than a
      trillion dollars
      in financial transactions, not to mention dozens of tanks, missiles and planes.
      •  There was no $640 toilet seat (3.66)
        This is a myth that drives me crazy.  I hate runaway military spending as much as anyone (cf. the stupid missile defense system), but those inflated prices for toilet seats and hammers are a paper artifice relating to military accounting practices in the 80s--they would have an itemized list for several hundred items, and rather than track the individual items, would simply divide the total cost by the number of items.  Since a toilet seat is about the cheapest thing in, say, a navy ship, it looks absurdly expensive, while that $640 engine looks like a steal...
  •  No Cattle (none)
    The Demos should be able to take those vacuous arguments apart with a good firm...laugh.  They are pathetic.  Like everything else mouthed by this administration <spit, spit>, those are just empty phrases with no substance; all hat and no cattle.

    And to think the Demos get the "worst" of it so early!  Let the wild rumpus (romp-ass) begin!!

    "I wasn't lying, I was writing fiction with my mouth." - Homer Simpson...or is that GWB?

    by Long Haul on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:06:43 PM PST

  •  no problem (3.50)
    make an add specific to each state with photos and bios of w's rangers and say"these are the people who's taxes we are going to raise,if your picture is here I don't expect to get your vote if it's not you have nothing to FEAR but 4 more years of W
  •  Makes my day. (none)
    I can't help but smile with glee that Bush is on the defensive this early in the campaign...heck, even before we Democrats have held our convention!  At this point in a campaign, the incumbent should be ABOVE such attacks.  The Bushies, however, have NEVER been above such tactics.  Witness their responses towards dissent in the past.

    I predict that Bush's ads, while effective with some, will remind others of just how much he HASN'T done for this country, and they will then view this administration through the proper lens:  a wounded animal desperately clinging to life and scrabbling to inflict as much harm as it, itself, is brought down.

  •  those SOBs (4.00)
    That last advertisement one is a complete lie. Check the facts. Not one terrorist has been arrested via the new powers granted to law enforcement by the PATRIOT Act. You can take that one striaght to the bank. Not one. That last ad contains an outright falsehood.
    •  Fact checking the crooked liars (none)
      I am not able to keep up with the daily media saturation of Big Lies. Of course that's the point, to overwhelm scrutiny. We need Rapid Response for the masses like Googling a crooked lie and getting back links that refute it. Or an issue directory, go to an issue select a lie and get refutation.

      A Republican Attack Machine who's who cross-referencing their web of think tanks, GOP politicians, government appointees, lecture fees etc. would un-mask professional propagandists.

      Maybe Al Franken's new network could give prizes to the tenth caller who knocks down the hours Big Lie.

  •  I can't believe (none)
    I can't believe Bush is trying to run on his support for the Patriot Act.  This should be a winning issue for us.  It's not just Democrats who hate the Patriot Act.  Libertarian Republicans are pissed too.  But we have a lot of work to do educating the public on this issue.  In the recent WaPo poll,  despite voters' preference for Kerry over Bush on eight of twelve issues including the economy, health care and education, Kerry and Bush are tied when it comes to civil liberties.  A full 61% of voters approve of the way Bush has handled civil liberties.  That number should be far, far lower.  We've got our work cut out for us.

    if you like this post, you'll like my blog, odd hours.

    by exponential on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:09:25 PM PST

  •  Hide the Women and Children... (none)
    • Tell the wife to spend some time with the family upstate,
    • Send the kids to summer camp in the mountains,
    • Put the dog in the kennel,
    • Tape up the windows,
    • Buy food rations
    You get the point:

    The Mother of All Elections has begun and the Republican terrorists have been unleashed. Beware of dirty bombs...

  •  Top Ten negative attacks on John Kerry (4.00)
    1.  He hangs around with that crazy "WRRAAAH" guy.
    2.  Probably slept with Jane Fonda.  (We've got pictures.)
    3.  Went to Vietnam only to get out of grueling duty in Texas Air Guard.
    4.  Voted to strangle puppies (Ann gave us that and we are looking into it.)
    5.  Did you see that wicked hit he put on Steve Moore?
    6.  Will allow Clinton back in the White House to steal towels and stuff.
    7.  We have pictures of him naked with a goat (that's all we can say and no we can't show you them.)
    8.  Wants you, not your grandchildren, to pay for defending our country.
    9.  Alan Greenspan has a gun to the market's head, baby.
    10.  When you go to the polls, think: What would millions of French-type-people want you to do...
  •  I hope that the spirit of ... (none)
    ...Bill Clinton's instant and massive political rebuttal is alive and well in the Kerry campaign. Every time Dubyanocchio's team squirts that shit out of their lying mouths, the Democrats need to get out the firehose and blast their own crap right back down their throats.

    As smartone notes below, Kerry doesn't seem to be pulling any punches, including the ones already delivered, which is a very good sign.

    "All those people who hate America love Michael Moore." - Bill O'Reilly

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:12:05 PM PST

  •  Kerry is landing every hit. (4.00)
    He knows Bush is weak, and he's pummeling the living shit out of him.  I LOVE IT!!!!!!!
    •  Finally... (none)
      ...we have a Democrat who isn't a cowering weenie!

      And it feels good.

      "In the long term, it's not in anybody's interest to diminish whoever the Democratic nominee may be." -- Howard Dean, 2/16/04

      by Go Vegetarian on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 08:41:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ...he's pummeling the living shit out of him. (none)
      At this rate, Kerry's arms will get tired by, say, June. It's a classic rope-a-dope. Hell, I'm already tired just watching it. How much more punishment can Bush take??

      Or... maybe this "lying crooks" think will work just like the movie "Memento." Folks will watch Bush's ads, consider them for a moment, then flip them over and realize: "Don't believe his lies."

  •  "Crooked liars" (4.00)
    I think this "crooked liars" thing is going to be like Moore's "deserter" remark.

    The first reaction was outrage, "How dare he say that, apologize now," etc.

    Then it was, "Well, what about it? Is there some truth to it?" And we all know what happened next.

    Next week the media will be asking "Are the Republicans crooked liars, or not?"

    And then the Plame Affair will break.

    •  What I am waiting for is Dubyanocchio ... (4.00)
      ...coming on television and saying:

      "I am not a crooked liar."

      "All those people who hate America love Michael Moore." - Bill O'Reilly

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:19:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Crooked liars or lying crooks? (none)
      It's so hard to tell with these guys.
    •  major league assholes (none)
      Isn't it remarkable what a short memory the Republicans have?

      I don't seem to recall Bush apologizing to Adam Clymer about that little remark.  Shocking that the SCLM hasn't brought this incident up in their coverage of Kerry's remark about those lying, crooked Republicans.

      •  He didn't exactly apologize... (4.00)
        Here was Bush's non-apology apology back in 2000:

        "I regret that the private comments made it to the public airwaves."

        Asked if he planned to apologize to the reporter, Bush answered, "I regret people heard the comments."

        There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. --Benjamin Disraeli, cited by Mark Twain

        by sheba on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 08:25:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  they have (none)
        ...just saw it on Hardball.

        BTW Mario Cuomo tore Bush a new one tonight. Very powerful interview... a well reasoned discussion not shouting talking heads. It was great. We need more Dems like Cuomo. He's a national treasure.

        Please, won't someone think of the children and visit my blog?

        by chimperor on Fri Mar 12, 2004 at 01:51:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This reminds me of Kerry's hit on Dean (none)
      ...when he said, and it sounded off-the-cuff and sincere though it surely was scripted, that the Rs would "just kill us on defense" if Dean were the candidate.

      I think that punch really landed, and accelerated the 'electability' theme. It sounded so sincere and true when he said it (even though it wasn't).  

      As with his comment on Dean, the "crooked liars" punch really connects because it is what everyone has in the back of their minds anyway.

    •  EXACTLY (3.66)
      This type of stuff is RED-MEAT.  And when you can hide under the umbrella of "a candid comment in what the Senator thought was a private conversation" there is minimal, if any backlash.  You'll remember Wes Clark's response to a New Hampshire supporter who asked what the General would do if/when W attacked the General on his patriotism.  The question was asked after the General finished his speech and stepped off-stage.  The C-Span mic caught him replying, "I'll beat the shit out of 'em."

      This one is even better than the General's remark, because it will generate loads of legitimate discussion and it's being handled by a better campaign.

      You correctly liken this to Moore's statement, which you'll recall were made on stage at a rally with Wes Clark!  It was the General's campaign who backed away from the comment and Kerry's camp that rightfully picked it up - highlighting the deference between political pros and a political amateurs.

      Nonetheless, if this statement was intentional I say "Way to go John!"  It's an old-school move, and still a very good one.  At a time when everyone's talking about Bush's new negative ads, it's probably good to have the lead political story focus on Bush's/the Republican leadership's character/credibility.

      Point Team Kerry.

      A progressive Illinois Democrat who would be the only African-American member of the US Senate: Support Obama on 3/16

      by DWCG on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 08:19:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If this comment was intentional, LOL.... (none)
        I remember a West Wing episode that involved such an "unscripted, mike still on" comment.

        ROFLMAO! And the Republicans fell for it, hook line and sinker. I knew what it was as soon as I heard it ... but they went for it and pushed it into at least 3 days of news cycle.

        It is unravelling....

    •  Crooked lier (none)
      I'm loving this scenerio.  You might be right.  Have the press and pundits mull this one over a bit, and then whamo!!!!!  The Plame thing.  They must be dying right now knowing this thing is out there.

      I can't wait.

  •  Keep your eyes on their surprise (none)
    Gotta love the hysterics...

    •  Finders keepers, losers weepers. (none)
      Rightmarch, eh?  Glad I hadn't heard of it before.  They seem to have set themselves up purely to counter  Another testament to the MoveOn juggernaut.

      I particularly like this quote from the RightMarch front page:

      "It's obvious that the far left just HATES President Bush (ever since they couldn't steal the 2000 election!)"

      "We stole it first.  Nyah, nyah."

    •  The most hidous looking website (none)
      It hurts your eyes from the moment you open the say nothing of the content
    •  My favorite (none)
      The effort by to censure President George W. Bush for "misleading" the U.S. has not been taken lightly by The conservative online group is asking supporters to visit their site and take part in an action item to "show Congress that these radical liberals are wrong, and put a stop to the efforts to censure our President."


      Should we censure Bush for misleading the country or not?  These guys know how to frame the debate!

      I love Big Brother.

      by C S McCrum on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 08:32:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow (none)
      How could you get more facist sounding then that?  Might as well be "ReichMarch".  It's not bland like "Americans for the American way," or "American civil liberties union" or "American Enterprise Institute."  but they should have picked a better name, for sure.
  •  More god news... (none)
    The 16 or so million that Terry McAuliffe has set aside will show up next week once Kerry gets his nominee-qualifying delegates in Illinois.

    Tha should tide him over until he can get the fundraising up and running.

    Bring. It. ON.

  •  Kerry is Tough (none)
    Kerry has a lot more "machismo" than the Dork. I think that as time goes by this will become more obvious to more people. Kerry has a lot more stature.

    *Democrats need to be ruthless*

    by John Masotti on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:16:41 PM PST

  •  Negative everything (4.00)
    I assume Kerry will be at least as negative ans W, albeit with better reason.

    Many industries avoid negative advertizing in general, because they know it's bad for the whole industry. Imagine Burger King charging McDonald's with serving "artery-clogging, pimple-causing carrion-burgers laced with roach droppings" and McD responding by releasing every last health-code violation it could find at a BK. Both would be "right" to a point and both would lose a lot of business. Fine by me, but you see why neither would start it.

    US politics has worked the same way for quite some time, which is why I think Kerry should address the whole issue of advertizing and its pernicious effects on everything in our culture. It appalls me no end that US pols spend half their time soliciting legal bribes so they can spend the money on ads that poison public life while enriching the TV megacorporations. I'd be pleased if Kerry at least acknowledged how destructive the game is, even as he plays it

    •  Not negative, lying negative. (3.50)
      While your analogy about fast-food advertising makes sense, I think the new Rove blitz is more like an advertising style once associated with a brand of detergent.  I don't remember the details well, but the idea was this:

      "New Spiffy(tm) Soap Flakes.  Contains no brain-tumor inducing agents!"

      Neither did the other soap flakes, but now the seed of doubt is planted.  The bolder the lie, sometimes the harder it is to challenge.

      I don't think this worked well for the soap flake company, either.

      •  Yogurt (3.50)
        A real recent example of the type you cited involved a yogurt company promoting its product as "cholesterol-free." They got a warning from the FDA since no plain yogurt has cholesterol, and they were by implication smearing their competitors. They protested, saying not all customers know offhand there's no cholesterol in yogurt. They were right--I didn't know that. Did you?

        Doubtless Rove will use the same trick, saying "Bush won't negotiate with terrorists," as if Kerry would (Would he? It might be the wisest strategy depending on the circumstance, but Kerry can't be that "nuanced" during this election, and that's the sort of overall poisonous atmosphere I was talking about).

  •  Now the who goes negative first fight begins (none)
    We should have a pool to see who is the first Republican that Bush didn't go negative first.  I suspect it will happen tomorrow, and thye will point to Kerry's off the cuff (mic on) comment.
  •  Don't be so smug (none)

    Last time I checked, negative ads WORKED.  This is nothing to laugh at or look forward to.

    My money went to Kerry yesterday because it finally hit me that this is a deadly serious election year.  He needs every penny we can spare.  I intend on making more donations.

    As we've seen, so far in this weird election cycle, there's not much that is what it seems.  Kerry may be tied or slightly ahead now, but it's a long, long way to November.

    Contribute.  And may God bless the 527s out there doing so much of the heavy lifting.

    •  A snarky ad turneth away wrath (4.00)
      Kerry definitely has to respond to negative advertising, but I wonder if he has to do it in the same stereotypical negative ad fashion (the ominous voice-over, jarring music, unflattering photos, etc).

      I'd like to see them try using some humor to attack Bush and the whole negative ad genre. Feingold did something like this (very low budget) in his first Senate primary race in '92 and went from an unknown in 3rd place to winning with 70% of the vote. Negative ads work, but people don't really like them, or the candidates that run them.

      Something like showing frightened GoOPers in the Oval Office (they can get the "West Wing" set) ringing their hands trying to figure how to attack Kerry and salvage W's campaign. Or the "Daily Show" Bush vs. Bush debate. Or just a montage of Bushisms from various speeches. Or a 30 second "Wag the Dog"-type commercial.

      It'd be great to see Kerry end an ad with "I'm John Kerry and I approved this ad because, frankly, George Bush's negative ads against me are laughable bullshit" - perhaps with a little better choice of language.

    •  Yes. (4.00)
      Negative ads totally work.

      Fortunately, the best ones are ones that can be backed up with some facts and I don't see any of that in Bush's ad.

      Kerry and the DNC should be painting the massive deficit as a fucking tax increase.

      Brought to you by good ol' Junior.

      "How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?" -John Kerry, 1971

      by Demise on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 08:11:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Does he need ads? (none)
      The press is doing the work for free. All that seems necessary is to make a "bold" Dean-channeling remark where the press hears it. This is working for now. Unless the polls turn the other direction, I would keep on going as he is. It kinda points up the phoniness of the Bush thing. Lots of rich people giving him money to put out slick phony commercial that are somehow magically supposed to change people's opinions.

      I think they are deluded. $500M won't be half enough to win with commercials like the ones he's doing. Marketing people always underestimate the public's intelligence.

      Nonetheless, I've kicked in $200 this week. Kerry's doing good. I reward good behavior.

      Only small minds want always to be right - Louis XIV

      by Jamais Vu on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 10:53:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  You can also send (4.00)
    love to moveon to keep and expand the reach of their great "worker" ad (beware: mpeg file). Unsheath your plastic and contribute here.

    PS: "Unsheath" sounds definitely dirty. Wonkette would approve.

    Ok. Party's over. Time to fall in line. Give $100 to Kerry, Congressional Candidates, or both.

    by aleand on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:22:47 PM PST

    •  Very nice. (none)
      That "Worker" ad is a great piece of work. It's amazing to me that more wasn't made of this issue - it's such a great starting point for stabbing away at Bush's credibility in a time of such crappy job prospects. Have the GOP efforts to bully broadcasters into not playing it actually succeeded at all? I hope not.
      •  RNC's efforts... (none)
        have been in vain so far.  At least that's what the moveon people claim in their email requesting support to expand the ad buy.

        I have been unable to find any news report to that, though.

        Ok. Party's over. Time to fall in line. Give $100 to Kerry, Congressional Candidates, or both.

        by aleand on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 08:03:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Here's a 4 (none)
      for referencing wonkette!

      There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. --Benjamin Disraeli, cited by Mark Twain

      by sheba on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 08:35:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cleland on the smear machine (4.00)
    quoted in S. Blumenthal's article in Salon:

    "They have been shown to trash anyone, anywhere, anytime," Cleland told me. "They seek to slander a noble veteran's record who was wounded and the only member of his division in the Navy who won a Silver Star. Use 9/11? Have they no shame? Listen, John Kerry knows that the slime machine is targeting him and his family. We discussed this before the race -- somebody's got to fight. That's the way it's turning out, the band of brothers against the slime machine."

  •  under 18 (4.00)
    Both Kerry and DNC say I have to be 18 or older to donate.  Where can I send my money legally?
  •  There's should be little doubt that these new ads (3.75)
    suggest that Karl Rove and company aren't sleeping that well right now, but there should also be little doubt on the Democratic side that countering this demagoguery with talk of jobs, health care, and education is not going to be enough this year to put John Kerry over the top. I'll probably never be able to convince a great many Kossaks that Kerry is not going to win unless he runs to the right of Bush in some fundamental way on national security, but there's no doubt in my mind that that's the case.

    At the risk of regurgitating what I wrote in a diary the other day, this race is not going to be decided by Democrats or Republicans, or by getting out "the base." An overwhelming percentage of Republicans are going to vote for George W. Bush because they adore the SOB and his policies, and an overwhelming percentage of Democrats are going to vote for John Kerry (though not because they adore him or his policy positions, but because they hate George W. Bush). This election is going to be decided by independents, and particularly independents in key swing states - Ohio, Arizona, Florida, etc. They're the only people who are going to vote on the basis of the issues. And what independents want this year is a candidate who is moderate on domestic policies and hawkish on foreign policy and national security, but they're more likely to settle for a candidate who's conservative on domestic issues and hawkish on foreign policy than for a candidate who's moderate on domestic issues and who they perceive as weak on national security, which is to say that Kerry needs to do more than clear the national security threshold.

    In order for Kerry to win this thing - Osama or no Osama, job creation or little job creation, another attack on American soil or no attack on American soil - is put forward a fiscally sustainable version of neo-conservative foreign policy. Kerry needs to commit himself to democratization and economic and cultural liberalization throughout throughout the Arab world, and the Muslim world more generally (and indeed the entire world), while at the same time pointing out (as most Americans know already) that Bush's unilateralism is fiscally unsustainable. Hence, what he must say, and what most Americans will certainly embrace, is a continued commitment to democratization, and economic and cultural liberalization, but by primarily multilateral, rather than unilateral means. This may mean altering the NATO charter to reflect these new goals - the promotion and protection of global democracy - and opening NATO membership to all world democracies that meet certain basic standards of human rights and the rule of law, or it may mean establishing some entirely new muscular, multilateral framework for achieving these ends. He must make clear that he is willing to go outside this framework and act unilaterally if necessary, but that military action (both multilateral and unilateral) is only one dimension of this enterprise. Americans broadly, and particularly independents, understand the connection between religiously based political violence, and the lack of political freedom and economic oppurtunity in the Muslim world, and they need to know that the Democrats understand that connection as well.

    •  What if... (none)
      Kerry announces that if he wins the election he will ask McCain to be Secretary of Defense?

      Would that go very far toward helping Kerry win over Independents?

      And how likely is this to happen?

      Would it turn off progressives too much?

      Would McCain accept?

      "Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when you only have one." - Alain Chartier

      by crayons on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:45:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Might not be (none)
        a bad idea . . . but whether he takes such a step or not, Kerry definitely needs to fight back on defense.  The first thing I noticed about his response was that it said nothing about protecting the country.  Kerry absolutely cannot cede that ground to Bush.  His response should have included the assertion that Bush has failed to provide true security for the American people and that we will actually be safer with Kerry as President.  He has to say that every single time, no exceptions, countering the Rovian mantras with his own incessant repetitions.

        "The truth which makes men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear." -- Herbert Agar

        by Leslie in CA on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 11:02:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  whoa.... (3.75)
      what most Americans will certainly embrace, is a continued commitment to democratization

      I don't find this persuasive, because I (like many Independents) don't want to make the world over in my image.  You cannot impose a 200-year old foreign formula on a culture that's over 4000 years old.  And I certainly don't intend to pay for it, not at the cost of my own country's well-being and my own family's education, housing, health care and employment prospects.
      To say nothing of my own retirement.

      I think Kerry is gaining incredible traction because ordinary people are beginning to connect their own sufferings to what Bush has wrought.  Frankly, I think the neoconservative agenda has become radioactive.   We can always use an enlightened foreign policy that attempts to nip terrorism in the bud, sure, but that idea's been tainted by its association with our own homegrown zealots.

      • (none)
        Neoconservatism is thrashed and discredited, increasingly so even among Republicans.  Americans are isolationists.  Kerry is on exactly the right track allying with firefighters and supporting true "homeland security".

        If and when he becomes president, I fully expect Kerry to restore what used to be America's bipartisan multilateral foreign policy, but politically, supporting interventionism is an electoral loser.  People supported Iraq because they were bamboozled into thinking it was a threat.  They are growing increasingly disenchanted now that "building democracy" is the last card to play.

        •  I don't mean to be a complete asshole (2.66)
          about this issue, because believe me I would really, really like for what you say to be true, but it's just not the case. The neo-cons are right - 9/11 really did change everything - and the key to ending the scourge of Islamist political violence against the west is bringing democratization, and economic and cultural liberalization to the Arab and broader Muslim world. Republicans know this. Independents know this. Many Democrats still haven't gotten the memo. Americans may be gut isolationists, but they're also gut unilateralists, because both are much, much sexier than multilateralism. But they know that a) in the post-9/11 world that isolationism now amounts to living in a far left (and in some cases far right - ie Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul) fantasy world, but also that b) military unilateralism is fiscally unsustainable. Democrats have two choices this election cycle : if they embrace the realities of the post 9/11 world and commit themselves to the goals of democratization and economic and cultural liberalization in the Arab and Muslim world it will be 1932 all over again, the beginning of a a multi-decade political era dominated by Democratic presidencies (that are moderate on domestic policies and hawkish on national security), or they can pretend that 9/11 really didn't change everything, and it will be 1896 all over again, and Republican presidencies will likely dominate the next several decades. Take your pick.
          •  I have 87 billion reasons why your analysis... (none)

            The minute Bush gave that $87 billion speech, his numbers tanked and they have never recovered.

            I'm not talking should be's here, I'm talking what is.  There's a reason this was sold as a "war" on terrorism.  An open ended, unending commitment to fuzzy goals of "building liberalism in the Middle East" is an electoral loser.  If it was a winner, Bush would be running on that platform.

            •  You missed half my point. (2.50)
              Part of what I said was that the only real card the Dems have to play against the neo-conservative agenda doesn't have to do with the goals, but the means. Americans understand that unilateralism is fiscally unsustainable, but they also understand that radical Islamism will not lose its appeal until the Arab world, and the Muslim world more generally has political freedom, economic freedom, and cultural freedom, and that those changes are not going to take place by osmosis. This doesn't mean that we are going to invade and occupy every last Arab and Muslim country - of course we're not - but John Kerry needs to let the American people know that he understands what the post-9/11 world is about. Republicans, independents and (mostly secretly) a majority of Democrats forgive Bush for the failure to find WMDs in Iraq, and the lack of any connection between Saddam and Al Qaeda, because they suspect in their gut that the democratization of Iraq will be a success (albeit a bloody one) and that the democratization of Iraq will mark the beginning of a broader transformation of the region. As to the notion that Bush isn't running on the neo-conservative agenda, of course he is. Every time he or one of his lackies calls Kerry weak on security what he's really saying is that the only way to make us safe from radical Islamism is to continue what he's started. And Kerry needs to demonstrate that he understands all this, or he's going to lose in November. It doesn't mean that there aren't aspects of this agenda for even the postmodern left to appreciate. What I didn't mention in today's posts is that in addition to supporting the objectives of the neo-cons, Kerry also needs to hammer Bush on his coddling of Saudi Arabia, Egpyt, and central Asian dictators (particularly in Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan) and commit to a Manhattan Project on alternative energy aimed at ending our dependence on not only Gulf oil, but oil period in twenty years. It's doable, it's the right thing to do, and even conservative Republicans would support the massive expenditures necessary.
              •  Troll me all you want, (none)
                but I know that all of you know on some level (even the most dovish of you) that Kerry cannot win in November unless he runs to the right on foreign policy, national security, and the war on terror.
      •  While the argument you make (none)
        resonates glowingly with the left-wing of the Democratic Party, and certainly has a gut appeal with me, but it's just not where 2/3 of the country is now, and if Kerry runs on it we are only going to wake up very sorry in November - you can count on that.
    •  Democracy (none)
      I agree.  Kerry should say that if elected he will pressure Israel to give the vote to everyone -- no matter what their religion is -- in all territories Israel controls.  

      Revolution in our lifetime

      by kaleidescope on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 11:55:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe if we just walked the talk (none)
      How about this for a "hawkish" democratization stand: we are less safe when we tell the world one thing and act in the opposite fashion. We create more terrorists when we speak in glowing terms of democracy and then support middle-eastern dictatorships. We create more terrorists when we lie to the UN and then launch wars in defiance of their unfooled opinion. We create more terrorists when our foreign policy is run by crooked liars,

      Deaniac, Bradleyac, Tsongasac, Mondaliac. Can I pick 'em, or what?

      by Mo MacArbie on Fri Mar 12, 2004 at 04:28:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How much? (none)
    Does anyone know how much this ad buy is?  The first ("positive") one was $10 million and utterly useless.  I'm assuming this one is on a similar scale?

    The upside here, of course, is that these guys are pissing away their campaign money like they piss our tax money.  It's pretty early, and while I understand the whole "let's define Kerry early" theory, by the end of this quarter they will have spent >$50 million ($36 million as of 1/31 + 2 big ad buys + regular burn rate of a few million/month).

  •  hmmmmm (none)
    Doesn't Shrub hafta say "I approved this message"
    at the end of these attack ads?  It should be
    interesting to see how they walk that tight-rope.
  •  A conscious lie? (none)
    "Or we can turn back to the dangerous illusions that terrorists are not plotting and outlaw regimes are no threat...."

    Do Bush and his gang really believe that the Democrats are completely indifferent to or ignorant of the danger of terrorism, that they believe that "terrorists...are no threat"?  I'm inclined to think that they know this isn't true, but maybe...

    After 11 September Bush started talking as though nobody had ever heeded the danger of terrorism and the United States was the first and only world power ever to take the danger seriously.  (Well, maybe Israel.  But no one else!!)  Was this a lie too?  It's quite likely that Bush himself, titanically ignorant of the world outside of the United States and even of the world outside of the imaginary "heartland" he loves to talk about, really does believe that the history of terrorism began on 11 September 2001--but nobody else in the administration could be that blinkered...could they?

    My salad days, / When I was green in judgment, cold in blood, / To say as I said then.

    by Ernest Tomlinson on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:41:30 PM PST

    •  I Strongly but cautiously disagree (3.50)
      ---the subliminal issue that you are talking about is FEAR.   Unfortunately, to blindly do what you are requesting Kerry to do is to PLAY INTO BUSH's GAME....If Kerry goes there without thought, it will be Bush defining the terrain.  It has to be much more sophisticated than has to be about what Bush didnt do that brings us to FEAR...not just...WE ARE AFRAID and this is what I, John Kerry am going to do.  Also, Kerry has to come up with some ideas about what BRAVERY means - not just against terrorism, but about all the challenges that we confront...maybe that's his theme - standing up, taking up the fight for.....transcending, overcoming FEAR....
    •  Bingo. (3.00)
      You should be applauded for your comments, because it's sadly very clear to me that not only are a great many of my fellow Dems living in a left-wing fantasy world with respect to the issue of national security, but that our newly coronated nominee might himself not get it. We ceded the White House to the GOP for 24 years, from 1968 to 1992 (the only reason Carter was elected was because of Watergate), and part of that was because of inflation and crime and the GOP's cultural populist demagoguery, but no small part of it was also because of the Democrats' perceived weakness on national security during the waning years of the Cold War. And it was, unfortunately, a well-deserved reputation. The baby boom generation has done wonderful work to advance social issues in this country (abortion rights, gay rights, etc), but liberal Democrats from that generation still by and large don't get it when it comes to national security. It didn't matter in the 1990s, after the end of the Cold War, but before 9/11, but nothing matters more from a political point of view now. And cosmetic fixes won't cut it. Making John McCain our sec of defense won't matter, unless we embrace his foreign policy agenda as well. Even if independents find the GOP odious on domestic issues, there is no question in my mind that they will vote for Bush by at least 55% this year unless Kerry and my fellow Democrats wake up and realize that national security is more important than anything else.
  •  Copies of the ads (none)
    I'd like to review the ads for my site, but I haven't see copies anywhere online. Please let me know if you find them. Thanks!

    BushOut.TV - 2004 campaign ad news and views

    by LFinMN on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:44:08 PM PST

  •  Hey Wingnuts! (none)
    BRING IT ON!!!
  •  Kerry campaign fact checks ads (none)
    See Kerry campaign's press release on the ads.

    BushOut.TV - 2004 campaign ad news and views

    by LFinMN on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 07:48:51 PM PST

  •  The Most Lying, Crooked . . . (none)
    yeah, I meant Rove.

    Not Bush of course, the puppetmaster Rove.

  •  Too Much Advertising? (none)
    Ever consider that the record millions that Bush will spend attacking Kerry and pitching himself as the Second Coming (copyright M.G.) will actually backfire?

    Example: At a friends house the other day, with CNBC on and myself and a couple friends (ages 28-35) watching the closing bell and the bloodbath on Wall Street a Bush ad ran. Immediately after the closing bell to comercial break, Bush's voice and various pictures of good 'Mericans' filled the screen. The people I was watching with are pretty conservative and often defended the president when I ripped him (often) in the months prior too and during the Iraq Invasion but they had nothing good to say. "Who's he kidding?" was the most positive response. One guy, who is entertaining a job at Heritage actually change the fucking channel.

    Now, an ancedote obviously doesn't mean a fact but isn't it possible that people will just get sick of the daily subterfuge? If someone entertaining a job at Heritage can be so dismissive of the president how will Democrats and other anti-Bush elements respond?

    Let them advertise I say. They're all a bunch of snakes and liars and the more they bullshit the more clear it becomes.

    "How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?" -John Kerry, 1971

    by Demise on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 08:07:47 PM PST

  •  Talk about tired sloganeering... (none)
    I love that "Wrong on this, wrong on that" sloganeering these Repugs trot out every election cycle. I just finished hearing the EXACT SAME ad every day from a local corrupt county Repug legislator up for some special election. It's always said in a scolding, yet sorrowful voice. It is THE hallmark of complete bankruptcy in the ideas and policies department. Translation: I have nothing but the same old shit to offer you, but my godless opponent is just wrong. Ergo, I must be right. Vote for me.

    So the Bush campaign? Taxes taxes taxes. Terror terror terror. Wrong wrong wrong. Bush wins the knee-jerk vote, with the emphasis on jerk.

  •  Send $100 to Kerry (4.00)
      Kerry hopes 2 million people will send him $100 durnign the time he has to raise funds before the convention.  Meanwhile, train bombings in Madrid.  You know who takes responsibility.  Do you feel safer living under the Bush regime?  I've sent some money to Kerry and will again next month.  Send him some cash, even if he's your second choice.

    Winning without Delay.

    by ljm on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 08:20:19 PM PST

  •  Whoa. It's Willie Horton Time. (none)
    Sorry for linking to TNR, but hey...
  •  That ad (none)
    According to the TNR campaign blog, includes a shifty-eyed dark-skinned man (a terrorist!), a plane taking off, people looking at the arrival/departure screens in an airport. Jeez. TNR gives us a screenshot. Obviously the subtext (and not very sub at that) is "If you vote for Kerry the terrorists win."

    What did Big John say? Lying crooks? Oh yeah. And slimy, too. And racist. And fearmongering.

  •  I just donated, $33.76 (none)
    Kos you bastard, you brainwashed me with your demagoguery!
  •  Fun with Numbers (none)
    But when has the Bush administration ever got it's nubers right?  And if they got these right, than does that mean the 12% of americans who are NOT middleclass got 900 billion in tax cuts?  And the deficit is . .  what?  
  •  Watching Tweety (none)
    who asks the Kerry guy to name the liars - I think these guys should not be shy to name one name - Karl Rove.

    That won't offend one swing voter.

  •  Kerry 100 Club (none)
    A million $100 contributors? Well, they started piling up a week ago, at Kerry 100 Club

    Pump it up.

  •  Tweety showed the ad (none)
    it's bad.  Really a pack of lies, particularly the part about waiting for permission from the UN.

    Time to try out a Clark line - 'I'm not crticizing Bush for attacking the terrorists, I'm criticizing him for NOT attacking the terrorists." and 'the War in Iraq didn't help us defeat the terrorists, it has hindereed the War on Terror.'

    •  Bad? (none)
      You mean bad like damaging to Kerry, or bad like stupid and not effective?
      •  Bad as in (none)
        despicable.  But also potential for effectiveness, particularly on national security.  So potentially bad for Kerry.

        The broken record that has been my diaries has  always talked about the need to be on the offense on Iraq and the War on Terror, the need to hammer home that the Iraq Debacle has damaged the War on Terror (I do believe Clark did this better than anybody).

        Thisad brings home that thought for me.

  •  Wes Clark's VP chances increase with every Bush ad (none)
    It's clear.  Kerry has a lot of liabilities, but the only he can actually do something about is this whole "soft on defense" thing.

    A progressive Illinois Democrat who would be the only African-American member of the US Senate: Support Obama on 3/16

    by DWCG on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 09:03:33 PM PST

    •  Not gonna happen (none)
      Wes Clark said he has "absolutely no desire" to be Kerry's VP just a few days ago. At this point I see no reason he of all people should say that if it's not true - folks like Richardson have a constituency that they need to be responsible to, but Clark doesn't. If he's at all interested, he wouldn't be saying that stuff.
      •  I never suggested he was interested (none)
        I'm only arguing that Clark is turning out to be Kerry's best compliment as VP.

        You see, the disgust among our base of George W. Bush is great.  But if it's enough to turn people out, why didn't we cruise to victory in 2002?  

        While everything looks good now - while we can feel good about bringing new people into the party through a new massive voter project, and while we can speak of "change coming to America," and all that other feel-good stuff Dean was talking about before he was spanked (despite raising twice as much money as his nearest opponent), reality is still, well...real.

        There are good reasons a lot of smart people stayed on the Edwards and Clark wagons even though prior to mid-January it looked like Edwards was going no where, and the Clark campaign continued to prove to be amateur-hour.  Those reasons don't disappear simply because John Kerry's is now the nominee.

        Now don't get me wrong, we're doing a lot of great things - almost everything we can do, and we've got a damn good team being lead by Mary Beth Cahill.  But there is no indication that we're going to have an advantage in our field program in 2004 significant enough to overcome a quarter-billion dollar war chest and message of steady and decisive leadership at a time of change...oh and don't forget about the sunset on the horizon.

        The people eat that stuff up - they actually believe the crap.  And if they don't explain to me why Bush's approval ratings aren't in the 30s after receiving a most brutal beating during the Democratic nominating season?  

        3 million lost jobs - the first president since Hoover to lose jobs, coupled with an average loss of $2000 in family incomes and this guy still has a good chance of being "re"-elected?

        Yes, because the reality is a great many Americans still like, identify and believe in Dubya.

        It's his confidence.  

        It's his defiance of those cricket-playing, wine-drinking Europeans who think they're so much better than we are.

        It's his belief in faith.

        It's his strong opposition to those Berkeley and Boston liberals who want nothing more than to dictate every facet of our lives and take our money to give it to illegal aliens (the black welfare mom of the 21st century)...oh and let's not even think about that whole gay marriage thing.  

        It's the underlying belief that Dubya deep down is still a decent guy who says what he means and means what he says.  Heck he even likes Nascar and actually knows what a hard day's work is like - haven't you seen him hop out of his Dodge Ram pickup to clear brush at his ranch?

        And's about the "turrist".

        Kerry can't beat him on likeability, and at best he's even on leadership and vision.  Nor do I think any VP could give him a significant boost on vision and likeability.  He's good with policy - he wants a policy debate as he should.  And to do that most effectively he needs to be strong enough on all time-relevant policies.  And right now neither he nor the party is strong enough on defense.

        It is in our best interest to field a ticket and credibly state in the eyes of Citizen Joe the Swing Voter that we are better or as good on national security as Georgie and the Republicans.  And that is easiest done by articulating that internationalism is in our best interest.  

        General Clark gave us legitimacy on the issue; he began the debate.  Prior to his entry into the race Democrats had no voice on the issue - we were simply complaining about the America's military success for partisan political gain...being typical unpatriotic liberals.  And now Kerry, the party, country and the world needs him to finish it.

        A progressive Illinois Democrat who would be the only African-American member of the US Senate: Support Obama on 3/16

        by DWCG on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 11:16:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  i can't help it (none)
    I'm mildly addicted to the Kerry war ads. I've seen some of them several times. I was even watching them when I supported Dean. They're just, so real (and yet, like all tv/video, totally fake). No wonder the guy won Iowa. I'm against the Iraq war, and armed conflict in general, but I (sheepishly) find the war hero angle undeniably compelling.
  •  Well Kerry better put TV ads on now to refute (none)
    these claims a la the Rapid Response Team that Clinton used.
  •  Huh? (none)
    Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., said Kerry should apologize for a comment "outside the bounds of where people who want to hold the highest office in this country should be making."

    What a maroon!

    Folly is wont to have more followers and comrades than discretion

    by Don Quixote on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 09:17:55 PM PST

    •  Santorum (none)
      He's just upset because Kerry won't address issues that matter, such as mens' desire to marry dogs and have man-on-dog sex.  Santorum actually believes that Kerry wants dog-on-man sex, which is filthy and inhuman!  Keep it real, the man should be doing the work, not the dog!

      "She'll come back as fire, to burn all the liars, and leave a blanket of ash on the ground" --Kurt Cobain, Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle&l

      by Subterranean on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 11:13:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kerry's response (none)
    Or at least, what it ought to be:
    Looks like Mr. Bush has decided to try running on my record. Can't say as I blame him, actually. Who'd want to run on his record?

    Yes, I'm still for Dean.

    by Mike Jones on Thu Mar 11, 2004 at 11:36:56 PM PST

  •  Donate (none)
    Thanks...pulled out my checkbook and made a donation to the Kerry Campaign .  These crooks make me so made I'll be broke by the time it's November.
  •  Make them regret those ads (3.66)
    Don't let's get distracted.

    Bush has thrown his first real punch.  What's important now is making clear how we're going to respond.

    We punch back.  With dollars.  Immediately.  

    I just made my first donation to Kerry a few minutes ago.  Not much.  $15.  But I'm hoping that other Dems are doing the same tonight.  Time is important here.  We don't just want to give Kerry the means to respond, although that's a nice bonus.  We want to force the GOP to consider whether the attacks do them more harm than good.

    Remember Dean.  Everytime he was attacked, his fundraising spiked.  Eventually, people caught on to the pattern, and the attacks dwindled.  Now, obviously, we'll never convince Rove to stop.  This is what he does.  He attacks and smears.

    But we can raise the cost of business for him.  He wants to flirt with racism?  Fine.  But it'll come at a price, and it's more than just the airtime.  Punch.  Counterpunch.

    This is my first comment.  Hope it passes muster.

  •  True Cost of a President (none)
    When Washington spends money, people pay for it with tax dollars. When they spend money responsibly, we pay for it now. When they spend money irresponsibly, we pay for it later with interest. Therefore, when Bush increases spending, he increases taxes though it may be taxes after he leaves office. He has increased spending like crazy on farm subsidies, Defense, education, and health care, and is trying to do it on Energy as well. Much of this money has been spent in ways that do not help farmers, citizens, students, patients, and consumers.

    Is this argument too subtle for Democrats to make? Is it too subtle for Americans to understand?

    Democrats (mainly Dean) have already made the argument about cuts to state and local governments leading to higher taxes and fees and less services, but this is a different argument.

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