Thursday, May 31, 2007

Campaign Advice from Dummies

Republican stuffed shirt Rick Santorum was on Fox TV over the Memorial Day holiday bashing John Edwards' presidential campaign. Slick Rickie implied Edwards' anti-war stance is a tactic to get past his campaign mistakes.

Fox couldn't have picked a better person to talk about running a mistake-filled campaign. Between Rickie's foot in mouth statements on privacy rights, his flip-flop on the teaching of intelligent design in public schools, and the question regarding his Pennsylvania residency, Santorum's 2006 Senate run was a bungled folly. Santourm offering counsel on how to win elections is like the captain of the Exxon Valdez giving safe boating tips.

Given Santorum's crushing defeat last November, Edwards would be smart to do the opposite of anything Santorum advises.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Iraq Exploding with Success

During the revolutionary war, America defined victory as independence from British tyranny. The civil war it was preservation of the union and destruction of the institution of slavery. Crushing fascist dreams of world domination was the goal in World War II.

Today, American war success isn't defined by grand goals such as independence, preserving the union, or crushing Nazi plans. Rather, President Bush says it's "not no violence" in Iraq. What? Not no violence is what America has spent precious lives, billions of dollars and our national prestige fighting for in Iraq these past four years.

If "not no violence" is now the measure of success, it appears we've arrived at our Iraqi equivalent of Yorktown, Appomattox, Berlin or Tokyo in just the past couple of days. Evidence of our victory can be found here, here, here, here, also here, and this one too, oh yeah and here.

Odd, victory doesn't seem so sweet.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Democrats, Beware Luntz's Praise

Frank Luntz makes his living manipulating words and phrases for maximum political impact. Urging candidates to use terms such as "death tax" to describe what is more accurately an "inheritance tax" is an example of his type of work. The beneficiaries of Frankie's efforts are often conservative, right wing candidates and causes.

So it was a surprise to see Frankie on CSPAN late last month saying nice things about Democratic Senator Barak Obama. It seems, Luntz likes Obama because he's running for President while providing a "positive vision" for America.

At first blush this appears to be rare Luntz praise for a liberal candidate. But when one remembers Frankie's work is to spin words for political affect, the comments are seen as a none to subtle slap at the remaining Democratic field, as well as all liberal voters.

How so?

Luntz's statement clearly implies the other Democratic Presidential contenders lack a positive vision for the country. In fact, during the CSPAN debate Luntz contrasted Obama's campaign with candidates like Hillary Clinton who in his opinion are running mainly on "anger." Frankie’s hidden message is clear, every Democrat save Obama is an angry, dangerous person who must not be President.

However, besides insulting the Democratic field, Luntz's faint praise for Obama also contains the potential to smear all liberal voters. Luntz clearly knows Obama may not win the Democratic nomination. If this happens, he'll likely spin the result as progressive voters' rejection of a positive future for one based on hatred and anger. In the process, he will have tared the Democratic nominee as someone picked for his/her anger toward conservatives, Bush, republicans, the troops, America, etc. Again the message is clear, the Democratic nominee is someone who should not be President.

Well two can play Luntz's game.

Ron Paul is by far the best republican candidate. From the last two republican debates, its obvious Ron is the conservative providing a sane vision for the country.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Thrown into the Brier Patch

In the movie Song of the South, the hero Brer Rabbit uses reverse psychology to escape the clutches of his enemies Brer Fox and Brer Bear. In the story, Fox and Bear have caught Rabbit after years of pursuit. Yet before they eat Rabbit, Fox and Bear discuss with Rabbit their cooking preparations. Skinning and boiling are two of the grizzly fates that await Brer Rabbit. Surprisingly, Brer Rabbit is calm when confronted with these futures. In fact, Rabbit welcomes being skinned, but begs Fox and Bear not to throw him in the brier patch, a dense thicket of branches studded with thorns and barbs. Rabbit continues, by all means boil me but don't throw me in the brier patch.

However, Song of the South viewers quickly understand Rabbit wants to be thrown into the brier patch. Fox and Bear being somewhat mentally challenged, fall for Rabbit's trick and chuck him into the patch. Rabbit lands singing "born and bred in the brier patch" leaving Fox and Bear dumbfounded as their meal escapes through the tangle of branches.

Unfortunately, George Bush should have been reading Song of the South rather than My Pet Goat when America was attacked on 9/11. If he had, the United States might be on its way to "escaping" the Iraqi brier patch.

Case in point, in a recent statement Al Quaeda's number two man Ayman al Zawahiri trashed the bill passed by Congress setting a timetable for the pullout of U.S. troops in Iraq. Calling the bill evidence of American "failure."

RepubliCONS and other right-wing hacks pounced on Zawahiri's statements in an attempt to paint Democrats as playing into Al Quaeda's hands. "See," they say, "Pulling our troops out is exactly what our enemies want. We must stay in Iraq."

Yet, Zawahiri's statement should strike most thinking adults as akin to Brer rabbit's cry "Don't Throw me in the brier patch!" Zawahiri wants America to stay in Iraq and take more causalities. Like Brer Fox and Brer Bear, President Bush threw Zawhairi back into the patch when he vetoed the timetable bill. Sadly, American troops will likely pay for the President's lack of a well read childhood.