Saturday, July 31, 2004

Brooksy Can't Take His Own Medicine
Uniters with a (D) piss him off

David Brooks has been ranting incoherently on the New York Times opinion page for quite a while now about how Americans should just get along. How we should put aside partisanship and work toward our common goals.

As long as those are the goals of Republicans, it seems.

For while the Great Prevaricator was very, very disturbed by Howard Dean and all those angry masses of people criticizing his President, he's equally disturbed when the Democrats use their convention to try to reach out to the American people and emphasize our similarities:

[Kerry] has to play to the 86 percent of the delegates who say the U.S. should have stayed out of Iraq, as well as the Clintonite foreign policy elites who supported the war. He has to play to the Sharptons as well as the Liebermans.
Well, yes, that's what America is about. Brooksy pretends he's "disillusioned" after reading Kerry's speech, but a better word would be "disingenuous."

Maybe he just knows his guy is going to lose come November.

- Marc

Friday, July 30, 2004

Kevin Drum Is Brilliant
Bush, Hoover connection grows

Now this is just getting scary.

Herbert Hoover, 1932: "Prosperity is just around the corner."

George W. Bush, 2004: "We've turned a corner, and we're not turning back."
Between this and Bush's new "results matter" line, being John Kerry's ad guy must be the easiest job in the world.

- Marc
Bounce Wit' Me
Zogby, Kerry get jiggy

Atrios has the latest Zogby numbers. And they're beautiful. Read them, and forget I ever made a Will Smith reference on this site. (Hey, we can't all be Matthew Yglesias and make Rainer Maria references, although I've actually interviewed their singer -- no link available, sorry -- and I bet he hasn't... she's nice). Anyway, Zogby gives me some more audacious, bodacious hope.

- Marc
Bush: Dems Are 'Clever'!
Swing voters rush to embrace ignoramus

The President has resumed his attacks on Kerry, and man, Democrats are so doomed. Not.

Meanwhile, contrast the Treasury Department's happy talk on GDP with this report from those wacko, outside-the-mainstream, America-hatin' liberals at Forbes (well, the AP, via Forbes... the Wall Street Journal was equally downbeat, but that's subscription-only so I can't link you).

- Marc
Iraqi Prez Parrots Karl Rove
"Failure is victory" makes triumphal return!

Iraqi president Ghazi al-Yawer says:

The bad guys, the army of the darkness, are getting more helpless and hopeless. That's why they are stepping up these things.
As we reported here and here, the Republican spin point for more than year has been that increased attacks only means the attackers are growing more "desperate."

If the insurgents are really at the end of their rope (and have been since March 2003), why haven't we beaten them yet?

The politics of failure have failed. The Bush administration must make them work again!

- Marc

Thursday, July 29, 2004

It's a Beautiful Day
See the world in red, white and blue

From where I sit, Kerry's speech started a little slow, but he did what he needed to do. And at the end he was pretty damn convincing. I couldn't help but think he reminds me of the Jed Bartlett gold standard of what it means to be "presidential."

The highlight for me was his series of "what ifs" at the end. I actually clapped at his reference to Abraham Lincoln hoping that we are on God's side, as opposed to Bush's cynical belief that God is automatically on his. In the words of Bob Dylan, "if God's on our side, he'll stop the next war."

I'm not sure what it means that Kerry opened and closed his speech with songs by the two much-beloved musicians that completely set off my reactionary music-critic switch. I do think he could have picked a more immediately recognizable, uniting tune than the Springsteen song (was that "No Surrender"?). But "Beautiful Day" is U2 at their best, and even if it's a pretty generic song content-wise, it's insanely catchy and uplifting. He's been using that one for a while, but it remains a wise choice.

Oh: I also love how Obama, Edwards and Kerry all harped on the stupidity of dividing America by red and blue states. Eat that, Brooksy! We don't need to have a rap battle, because John Kerry is going to win, and David Brooks and his fellow experts in divisiveness won't know what hit 'em.

More from Kevin Drum, TalkLeft and Atrios. Help is on the way!

- Marc

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Leave No Fact Unspun
Doesn’t Bush have better things to lie about?

A revealing graf in an already interesting preview of Edwards' speech:

The White House abruptly switched its tune on the Democratic convention, with Duffy saying Bush has been "monitoring closely" and has "watched some of it from time to time" on television. An aide had said earlier in the week that Bush didn't watch on Monday and had no plans to do so on Tuesday.
Steady leadership in times of change, eh? If only the aides tweaking and poll-testing Bush's public stance on DNC-watching were busy making sure the President doesn't dismiss this summer's equivalent of the August 6 PDB... eh, they'd probably just deem it "historical."

- Marc
Name That Tune

Does anyone know the name of the song that Barack Obama used as his intro/outro last night? It blew the doors off the typically milktoast light FM stuff that politicians favor.


Update: I've read it was "Keep on Pushin'" by the Impressions, with Curtis Mayfield. Can anyone with access to file-sharing software confirm?

- Marc

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Obama Rules!
The audacity of hope

Just go read the transcript (reg. req'd; use

The clincher:

John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope ... It's the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs; the hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores; the hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta; the hope of a millworker's son who dares to defy the odds; the hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.
I thought he went on to say we have a "righteous wind at our backs," but I can't find it in the transcript. Was this ad-libbed? I'll have to watch the video...

In sum, let's quote our usual nemesis, David Brooks, on PBS: "Wow. That's why we are here. To see stuff like that." More from Kevin Drum, Island Dave, Electrolite, Pandagon and Atrios.

I must say, I wish I was still in Illinois if only so I could vote for this guy. Fritz, please vote early and often.

Update: Found it (from this video)!

I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs, and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us.
- Marc
Bush was against the $87 billion before he was for it

In MSNBC's DNC coverage, Chris Matthews repeated an oft-stated, erroneous Republican spin point. John Kerry said he voted for the $87 billion before he voted against it," Matthews reminded us.

Max Cleland gave a long answer that failed to challenge Matthews' fallacious premise. Americans everywhere are getting spun the same way, and high-paid talking heads are ignorant of the truth. Based on Cleland's example, so are leading Democrats -- not a positive sign. As Dean's candidacy showed, it doesn't matter how united Democrats are if they're unable to coherently stand up for themselves.

The truth, then? Bush threatened to veto the $87 billion before he supported it. In other words, his position was just as complicated as Kerry's. For more, see Bob Somerby's wonderful posts on the topic.

If lowly bloggers understand these facts, when will fancy-pants Washington journalists. Hell, when will leading Democrats? I wouldn't stay tuned...

- Marc
Pour Him Another One:

Brooksy tells the bartender to leave the bottle in one of his "funny" columns. At least he owns up to what anyone with half a brain already knew about him:

If [Kerry] becomes president, I have to stop being a pundit because I know nothing about politics.


Monday, July 26, 2004

Peanut Farmer Blasts Brooksy
Is Georgia a red state? Brooks' head hurts

After former President Jimmy Carter's speech tonight at the Democratic National Convention, conservative pundit David Brooks had complaints. He was "disappointed," he said.

Host Jim Lehrer, in an interview with Carter, mentioned Brooksy's worries. Carter's response?

"I'm not surprised that David Brooks would be disappointed with my speech."

Thus proving the adage of my favorite political philosopher, Homer Simpson: "Scooby Doo can doo-doo, but Jimmy Carter is smarter."

- Marc

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