Topic: Election Notes
Political Theater: Our President Doesn't Deal with Losers, or Cripples, or Whiners
Here's the barebones store as reported by the Associated Press -
Cleland unable to deliver letter to Bush
Wednesday, August 25, 2004, 2:09 PM
And AP provides much additional he-said she-said detail.
Oh, these Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are causing no end of problems.
Of course this is all over the news.
As Digby over at Hullabaloo comments, this was made for the evening news and cable "analysis" shows.
But perhaps this was calculated. Our president doesn't deal with losers, or cripples, or whiners. Call it tough love.
Cleland had with him that Rassman fellow - who famously said John Kerry saved his life way back in 1969 in Vietnam, pulling him from the water under enemy fire, even though Kerry himself was wounded. The Navy gave Kerry a medal. The Navy says it happened. Everyone who was there said it happened, just like that. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth say it just isn't so, as that is not what they heard. Everyone is lying, including the Navy. Oh well.
And the Bush folks tried to give Cleland a counter-letter, saying the Democrats should stop picking on George Bush. Cleland said no thanks.
Atrios at Eschaton says sure, Cleland ambushed Bush for a bit of theater, but a real man would have known how to handle it.
And then Atrios points to this comment - from Steve Gilliard:
Really? Maybr it is good politics. As was pointed out previously here it seems half the country likes this child bully who can sucker-punch the skinny, brainy wimp and get away with it. The same probably goes for crips and losers. This is know as playing to your base, in many senses.
Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo has a number of things to say about this, and about this guy Patterson (not our Bob) he sent out to meet Cleland and hand Cleland the counter-letter.
But Marshall hones in on another detail.
Well, gee, these triple-amputees can be damned tricky! And rude like you wouldn't believe. And insulting. Cleland wouldn't even face Patterson.
The nerve of some people - as you'd think they'd show the third string substitute representative of the president (who was no doubt busy running the country) a little more respect. Cleland must think he's a big shot because he was stupid enough to actually go to war, and then careless enough end up in a wheelchair with no legs and only one arm. Hell man, the guy could have joined the Texas Air National Guard way back when. It's his own fault. What a loser.
You have to love political theater.
Of course, you have to grant that the Bush folks are under a lot of pressure and we should understand if they are a tad short-tempered. Tuesday Vice President Cheney said Bush's call for a Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage was something he thought was the wrong thing to do. And also on Tuesday the commission headed by a former secretary of defense released its findings - and said the responsibility for the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere went all the way up the chain of command to Rumsfeld - crappy planning and lousy resource planning (not enough folks for much of anything that was done in Iraq) and not much oversight at all. Just bad management. And then John Kerry again called for Rumsfeld to resign, or be removed. Then on Wednesday morning a second commission reported its findings - the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib was far worse than reported and did indeed include actual torture, and some senior commanders needed to be brought to courts martial. Geez. And then Wednesday evening, after Cheney had floated his idea that maybe the administration could be a bit more moderate on this business with the gay folks (Cheney has a daughter who is a lesbian) - well, the Republican National Committee finalized its plank on this matter, the official party position. No gay marriage should be allowed anywhere, and the constitution really should be amended, and further, no "civil unions" should ever be allowed for gay couples in any state - no contracts, no shared insurance, no tax breaks like "real" married folks get, no "family" hospital visitation rights when one or the other falls ill - no nothing. Now the party may fight itself, and the gay wing, the Log Cabin Republicans, may bolt.
And then too on Wednesday we discovered that the Bush campaign and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth shared an election lawyer - one Benjamin Ginsberg who helped out with the Florida recount arguments in 2000 - and he resigned from the Bush campaign. That's against the law. These independent "527" opinion organizations are not allowed to coordinate with candidates - or they fall under the traditional spending restrictions. What was Ben thinking? He told Reuters he was thinking this - "I was at the nexus of making sure (coordination) didn't happen. To suggest otherwise is flat wrong." Huh? He was coordinating the non-coordination? Guess so. So the Bush campaign lost its top outside attorney.
Max Cleland just showed up on a bad day.
Ah yes, and here's the latest (via Josh Marshall) from the Bush folks (at gopusa.com) - If Kerry Can't Handle the 'Swiftees,' How's He Going to Handle the Terrorists?
So the high-minded discourse continues.