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So Mad

I'm really so furious about this whole situation that I don't know what to say. I'm taking out my credit card and making some donations and I would strongly advise any readers who don't feel like continuing to see a lying, cowardly, idiot who's willing to go to any lengths whatsoever to maintain his grasp on political power (and that's all there is to it, this isn't deception in pursuit of some higher goal, the man has no ideological principles whatsoever other than his own self-aggrandizement) so that the gang of criminals he's employed at the highest levels of government can avoid prosecution serve in the White House I would suggest that you do the same. The purpose of negative ads is to demobilize your opponent's supporters. Don't let it work. Give the DNC some money. Or your favorite 527. Whatever you can. It's increasingly clear that the bad actors have, quite literally, no shame whatsoever and will stop at nothing to maintain their grip on the government.

August 21, 2004 | Permalink

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» Extremism and Partisanship from Kalblog
Like Sean from Everything I Know is Wrong, I get sick of a lot of the blind partisanship that tends to rage around this time in leap years. Sure, we're all biased, but it seems that a lot of people... [Read More]

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» Extremism and Partisanship from Kalblog
Like Sean from Everything I Know is Wrong, I get sick of a lot of the blind partisanship that tends to rage around this time in leap years. Sure, we're all biased, but it seems that a lot of people... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 21, 2004 7:55:43 PM

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» This Rings Painfully True from Kautilyan
Blogger Digby in the comment thread at Matthew Yglesias discussing the Republican slime machine: But, sadly, I hate to say that winning will not solve the problem. I thought it would make a difference back in 1992 if we -- [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 22, 2004 1:24:22 AM

» Extremism and Partisanship from Kalblog
Like Sean from Everything I Know is Wrong, I get sick of a lot of the blind partisanship that tends to rage around this time in leap years. Sure, we're all biased, but it seems that a lot of people... [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 22, 2004 1:32:40 AM

» Matt Yglesias Is Making Sense from Three Guys
They're not even bothering to try to defend Bush anymore; their strategy is just to sling all the shit they can at Kerry and hope he can't deflect it all. And why not? The strategy's worked for 16 years. All that ever changes is the depth to which th... [Read More]

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» Dump Bush: The Red State Rebellion from Not Geniuses
Among other projects in the works out here in Montucky, we've got Dump Bush: The Red State Rebellion. The plan is for a large rally down in Caras Park, which played host to an anti-war rally of about 2,000... [Read More]

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» Abso-Fucking-Lutely from Opiniatrety
Matthew Yglesias captures my mood. I gave a lot of money a while ago and am in the midst of about 3 months without a paycheck, but I'll be doing some volunteering right soon. This Swiftboat Veterans thing is disgusting--pay... [Read More]

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» Bush Derangement Syndrome (oblivious edition) from QandO
Tim Blair and I spent some time this weekend discussing the hysterical state of the left side of the 'sphere, both agreeing that--for many of them--anger has led to some very self-limiting partisan blinders. Case in point: Matthew Yglesias' recent... [Read More]

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Some time in the last fifty years, I'm not sure when, the Republican Party decided that it's more important to be devoted to the Party than to uphold the truth or the public good. More and more GOPers decided they want to be Republicans first, Americ... [Read More]

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» Evenhanded Backhand from 24P
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» Dump Bush: The Red State Rebellion from Not Geniuses
--> Among other projects in the works out here in Montucky, we've got Dump Bush: The Red State Rebellion. The plan is for a large rally down in Caras Park, which played host to an anti-war rally of about 2,000... [Read More]

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» Dump Bush: The Red State Rebellion from Not Geniuses
--> Among other projects in the works out here in Montucky, we've got Dump Bush: The Red State Rebellion. The plan is for a large rally down in Caras Park, which played host to an anti-war rally of about 2,000... [Read More]

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» Extremism and Partisanship from Kalblog
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Tracked on Jan 23, 2005 8:26:08 PM

Comments

I hear you. If it helps, this article in The Weekly Standard (yes, The Weekly Standard!) actually made me feel better.

Posted by: alkali | Aug 21, 2004 7:39:25 PM

Just wondering if you saw something that's sent you over the edge, or if it's all just building up to a crescendo.
I don't doubt your convictions either way. I'm just curious.

Posted by: Chris | Aug 21, 2004 7:42:26 PM

Amen. You don't need to agree with everything Kerry does or says to realize that we are in some deep doo-doo with the Bush gang in the WH.

On the plus side, it's like watching something really big collapse, and Americans are usually ready to pay good money to see that.

Posted by: serial catowner | Aug 21, 2004 7:47:00 PM

Good heavens, Matt, what's Bob Kuttner stirring in your coffee these days?

I hate to say "I told you so," but now that you've joined the coalition of the shrill, I presume you can understand why so many of us have been members for so long. There really is something qualitatively different about the Bush gang - they are up to no good, and they don't give two good shits about this country's long-term well-being or about the things it stands for.

The signs were there all along, but in any case it's great to have you on board. Keep up the intensity, though, because you know they've got more dirty tricks up their sleeves. This homestretch of this wretched campaign is going to be - how can I say it? - a long, hard slog.

Posted by: El Gringo Loco | Aug 21, 2004 7:53:18 PM

Hey, now you liberals know how we felt when Michael Moore was strutting around, getting empowered by all the free publicity that Hollywood and the Democratic leadership gave him, by attending his movie's premier amidst a sea of flashbulbs. Not to mention his rockstar treatment at the Democratic National Convention, to include premier seating at the hand of Jimmy Carter.

You were OK with all this when George Soros was throwing his money around. Now you're mad...what a pity.

If you can't take it, don't dish it out. Grow up, children.

Posted by: smagar | Aug 21, 2004 7:57:26 PM

I've got a paper to work on and I haven't been able to get anything done in the last 24 hours, mostly because of sheer mind-eating fury at these liars.

But I've been feeling slightly better since I read the Rood article. Rood has a nice description of bold tactics that Kerry pulled off as a captain. You can get it here at the Chicago Tribune. (I've excerpted the relevant passage here at my place if you don't want to register with the Tribune.) Read it and think of how Kerry's now decided to pull a political 'Turn 90' on those Swift Boat Liars... you might feel better too.

Off to give money to some Democrats now. We can all be gunners on this boat.

Posted by: Neil Sinhababu | Aug 21, 2004 7:59:51 PM

Ummm Matt...weren't you the one who spoke last week so loftily of remaining a journalist, while Hugh Hewitt and the rest of the conservative opinion writers were just hacks?

Welcome to hackdome, dude. You're not holding any sharp instruments at the moment, are you?

Posted by: smagar | Aug 21, 2004 8:04:53 PM

"There really is something qualitatively different about the Bush gang"

This is not new.
1946 Nixon calling Helen Douglas a Pinko
HUAC, McCarthy,
I remember Bob Dole sliming anyone who questioned Nixon's integrity for two solid years in the early 70's. McGovern was a literal war hero, like Dole. Compare their current reputations. What did McGovern do that was so bad?

What are the reputations of Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton? Republicans destroy good people. They enjoy it. Now John Kerry will have a lower reputation for courage and honor than George W Bush. John Kerry, who went out of his way to seek out a dangerous assignment, will, for perhaps a majority of the American people, have a worse reputation than the dude who slacked off Guard duty. This will endure, for the David Adesnik's of the middle will always say "Well, I have some doubts."

When I say I hate Republicans not for their policies but for their behavior and character, now you perhaps see what I mean. There is so much history than this party should have died long ago of shame.

And when I say I hate every Republican, not DeLay and Bush, for they are animals without souls or conscience, but the enabling Adesniks and Tacitus and Moe Lanes, who should know better but avert their eyes from evil and somehow think they escape the responsibility.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Aug 21, 2004 8:12:31 PM

Jeez, Matt, is this true? Do you really think that the other side is a bunch of bad guys?

Smagar, did you know that Soros is a JEW? And he's not just a Jew, but a BIG FAT RICH INTERNATIONAL FINANCE JEWY JEW! And the dictator of Uzbekistan hates him too! And Belarus! And Malaysia! You have LOTS of friends out there.

Posted by: Zizka | Aug 21, 2004 8:18:31 PM

Yes. Michael Moore did invent the modern mud slinging campaign back when Nixon ran against Helen Gahaghan Douglas's pink panties and Joe Mccarthy purged the "commies" and he's been behind every single one of them right up through Clinton's corruption, Chinese espionage and criminal obstruction of justice witchhunts to the assault on the grieving members of the Wellstone family in 2002. That guy gets around.

Moore is not cause he is the effect --- from years of this crap coming from the republican slime machine and our side finally getting sick of it.

But, sadly, I hate to say that winning will not solve the problem. I thought it would make a difference back in 1992 if we -- you know -- won, but it didn't. Indeed, they are emboldened by their electoral losses (not to mention they make big bucks on the ongoing smear operation while they are out of power.) The only good reason for any Democrat to even try is a deep rooted sense of patriotic duty to save the country from these lunatics, even for a short while, and at great personal sacrifice.

I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that this kind of dirty politicking will only end when the beneficiaries --- the Republicans --- are hit repeatedly and ruthlessly with the same scurrilous style of character assasination. And I don't know if the country will be worth living in by then.

Posted by: digby | Aug 21, 2004 8:21:19 PM

MY: Why so unhappy? I heard that the budget for these swiftboat guys is less than one million and that the ad hasn't run in that many markets. Maybe I'm wrong since I don't watch the tube. Maybe its everywhere. I did hear the latest ad on the web and it seems to be using Kerry's own voice and perhaps his own words. Well, maybe the DNC will have some luck in suppressing the swiftboat guys book. They sure seem to be trying to. I think the DNC should just buy them all up and put them in a pile and burn them, don't you? Isn't that the way to handle these bad bad boys?

Posted by: Michael Murphy | Aug 21, 2004 8:24:44 PM

YOu've elicted no disagreement. But then all you've done is vent feelings, without supplying anyone anything to reply TO.
Better the Ferguson piece, a nice cite. Ferguson like you just assumes, doesn't argue, that the Republicans have crossed a line, but then goes on to provide an explanation: they're stuck with a candidate of whom they're ashamed, and they make it easier for themselves to prefer a faineant to a hero by contriving to deny the hero's credentials.

Posted by: Seeker | Aug 21, 2004 8:26:24 PM

This brings me back to a remark of yours in a post from a few days ago, where you said George Bush wasn't the worst president ever. Who's worse?

We have never had a president more corrupt, or one more dishonest, or one more misguided, or one more imcompetent, and that's on each of those charges individually; on all four at once Bush is unapproachable.

I've mentioned the Nixon test, right? It's fun. Whenever Bush 'n' friends do something absurd I ask myself, "Would Nixon have sunk this low?" Frequently the answer is no; it's a good way to keep things in perspective.

Posted by: EH | Aug 21, 2004 8:27:38 PM

I am 100% certain that Bush is the worst president of the last 100 years. Worst in history? Maybe. Maybe not. But definitely down there with the worst, and possibly the most craven and amoral ever.

The man really has no redeeming qualities. Even Nixon at least took public policy seriously.

I like that Weekly Standard piece. I think it makes a good point. This Swift Liars crap is designed to shore Bush up and weaken Kerry with military voters. The fact that Bush feels it necessary to pull Kerry away from military voters in LATE AUGUST shows how the dynamic of this race is going, against Bush. He still might be able to pull it out if Kerry doesn't counter well, but the last few days have made me feel better about that.

Posted by: FDRLincoln | Aug 21, 2004 8:34:45 PM

How did Patrick Henry put this? Gentlemen may cry Peace Peace, but there is no peace.

http://gotv.blogspot.com/2004/08/jack-pine-savage-on-2004-election.html

Posted by: Alice Marshall | Aug 21, 2004 8:42:29 PM

Prepare to go ballistic. Tonight on NBC news they repeated the idea that it is all- he said he said- they cherry picked one quote from Rood and used the dishonest Dobbs piece in the WOWPOO to justify their position. It is clear Oneill is a liar and it is clear from Roods statement to say otherwise as they did is crap. Then they tried to make it about the 527's and couldn't even cover that honestly. NBC is the worst in terms of honesty in reporting. A disgrace.
And then blamed Kerry for not speaking out. All the records were available. Senator's MCCain and Warner have supported the Navy REcords but none of that is good enough for NBC. They only believe John ONeill. NothingButCrap.

Posted by: Katherine Graham Cracker | Aug 21, 2004 8:42:51 PM

"How did Patrick Henry put this? Gentlemen may cry Peace Peace, but there is no peace."

Isaiah said it first.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Aug 21, 2004 8:50:01 PM

Michael Murphy, apparently over half of Americans have seen the Swift Boaties ad because the media run it supposedly to discuss the questions it raises.

Of course, there are no questions. The ad is lies and smears. One of the guys in it, Alfred French, has no direct knowledge of any of the events he is discussing!

But the media know what they are doing. Why let Republicans pay for their smear media when the shareholders of the media companies can pay?

Posted by: js | Aug 21, 2004 8:51:31 PM

alkali,

Thanks for posting that article. A very rare moment of political self-examination.

...Republicans have no such luck this time, and so they scramble to reassure themselves that they nevertheless are doing the right thing, voting against a war hero. The simplest way to do this is to convince themselves that the war hero isn't really a war hero. If sufficient doubt about Kerry's record can be raised, we can vote for Bush without remorse.

That's the sad gist.

I wish they'd stick to policy arguments. I mean, aren't statements like "he's a pro-gay, pro-abortion, pro-French tax hiker" sufficient to rally the base? The "fake" war hero thing is just boring to me.

BTW, I also like this passage: ...The same frustration led directly to the bizarre outcome of this year's primaries, when Democrats nominated a charmless and undistinguished candidate whom no one seemed to like very much and who displays a dazzling lack of the most elementary political skills, such as being able to deliver a speech without boring half his audience into paralytic catatonia.

I was an Edwards supporter. And as Kerry (falsely) reminded us during the primaries, Edwards was in "diapers" when Kerry was in Vietnam. I can understand why the SwiftVets - liars though they probably are - hate John Kerry.


Posted by: SoCalJustice | Aug 21, 2004 8:57:30 PM

"The purpose of negative ads is to demobilize your opponent's supporters."

Gee, I think this is going to remind people that Kerry stood up to Nixon and made that bastard sweat. If Kerry plays this right, it could work out pretty well for him.

Posted by: Everybody's Dark Secret | Aug 21, 2004 8:59:02 PM

Just so we can make something clear: the core problem with the Swift Boat Liars isn't anything about financing or 527 status. It's about how a few people can make up completely untrue stories and (potentially) change the course of American politics.

Posted by: Neil Sinhababu | Aug 21, 2004 9:00:04 PM

Neil S.

It won't be a problem if it backfires, which I think it will.

It gives Kerry's people the opportunity to highlight the fact that Bush dodged service and that his campaign is engaged in dirty politics.

I think this whole episode will be a net gain for Kerry come November.

Obviously it's a distraction, and not necessarily a welcome one, but Kerry can use it to his advantage without too much difficulty - at least I think he can.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Aug 21, 2004 9:06:16 PM

JS: The swift boat ad I heard on the web. It appears to be a bunch of veterans who were in Hanoi in prison at the time Kerry was broadcasting anti=war messages. The veterans are telling how they were steamed about it then and remain steamed about it now. Is this the ad that you are referring to? I don't know the names of the people in them and don't know if they are lying. At least one of the voices appears to be Kerry's relating stories about atrocities committed by the U.S. The veterans take issue with this. Maybe I am missed something.

Posted by: Michael Murphy | Aug 21, 2004 9:10:24 PM

bob mcmanus and others,

Good point about republican dirty tricks of the past...just to clarify, when I said "qualtitatively different" i also had in mind the fact that the bushies' appetite for power leads them to a complete and utter disregard for the public interest, for the creation of good public policy. say what you want about nixon - and there's a lot to say - he definitely had a head for policy, and it would never have occurred to him to make as much of a hash of things as bush has.

I think the "qualitative difference" with shrubco is that they have realized that one can simply cast the policy process aside altogether in pursuit of political gain. in the past, it was axiomatic for both parties that you had to devote at least some energy to running the country in a sensible manner. karl rove et al. have simply rejected this assumption...they've realized that the bills for bad policy won't come due until a couple of presidents later, at which point they'll have long since had their fun.

with that being said, i do think bob and digby are correct when they say that this cancer in the GOP didn't come out of nowhere - it's been growing for a long time, and i, for one, have no idea how we can kill it off.

Posted by: El Gringo Loco | Aug 21, 2004 9:15:54 PM

I want Kerry to say this:

"I stood up to Richard Nixon and his goons, and I will stand up to George Bush and his."

Posted by: praktike | Aug 21, 2004 9:16:21 PM

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