Al Gore 'lost' election 2000 because he shelved the First Commandment of modern politics: "expose your opponent's weakness, and exploit those weaknesses in your campaign strategy."
Meanwhile, the Bush-Cheney campaign team, in typical Karl Rove fashion, could not only exploit their opponent's weaknesses, but could MAKE UP shortcomings out of thin air when needed, as for example the Rove-inspired South Carolina "push polls" that portrayed John McCain as "fathering a black baby" (when in fact McCain and his wife had adopted a Bangladeshi baby) in the Republican primary which with finallity ended McCain's presidential hopes that year.
But in Al Gore's defense, he was being attacked on the left as being "too negative," first by the Bill Bradley campaign, and then by the Ralph Nader campaign. (Make no mistake about it: the "left" wing of the Democratic Party and American politics worked very energetically to put the Right-Wing Bush-Cheney-Scalia-Roberts administration in the White House.)
John Kerry took all of Al Gore's mistakes - and DOUBLED them! Kerry, like Gore, gave Bush's "MORE BIPARTISAN TONE IN WASHINGTON" pledge a FREE PASS - even though PARTISAN ATTACK ADS and 'bash Democrats!" campaign photo-ops were the bread and butter of Bush's 2000 campaign and first four years of office, the very signature of the Bush-Cheney White House!
Kerry likewise stood there like a stupid punching bag as the Bush-Rove-Cheney team portrayed him (Kerry) as a "FLIP-FLOPPER!" Kerry was too stupid and clueless to reply the obvious - that the President who did nothing to prevent 9-11, then pledged to get Osama bin Laden "DEAD OR ALIVE!" - then, at a White House press conference, told the American people "I'm NOT THAT CONCERNED WITH bin Laden anymore" - that president has a hell of a lot of nerve accusing anyone of being a "FLIP-FLOPPER"!
The facts are that John Kerry realized that if he won the election of 2004, he would OWN the Iraq war for all eternity. We believe it is for these reasons that Kerry "pulled" his campaign punches in the long summer of 2004, not waging even a minimally competent campaign. Certainly, Kerry's wife and VP running mate were far more outspoken in their comments than the reasoned, senatorial "leader" of the Democrats ever was.
But there is an element of FRAUD to this analysis, if indeed our assesment is correct. To fight energetically and aggressively for the Democratic presidential nomination, then immediately go into "VACATION MODE", is ROBBING Democratic voters and activists of a FIGHTING candidacy. In boxing the terminology is "taking a fall."
WE HOPE THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP will not REPEAT the shortcomings and mistakes of the Kerry and Gore campaigns in this vital year between the 2006 campaign and the 2008 campaign.
Unfortunately the Democratic presidential front-runners ARE, INDEED, ALREADY REPEATING the lame tactics of Kerry and Gore - neither Hillary nor Obama nor even Edwards are exactly outspoken in calling the President and his Vice President LIARS - as they (Bush and Cheney) feel so free to call Democrats "OBSTRUCTIONISTS" and even impugn their patriotism.
WE AMERICANS DESERVE FIGHTING CANDIDATES and leadership - and WE DESERVE to have SOME OPPOSITION to the hubris and incompetence (if not criminal corruption) of the Republican administration!
The Democrats do indeed have FIGHTING candidates in this Congress - most of the freshmen Congressmen, Congreswomen, and Senators were far more outspoken in their individual 2006 campaigns as OUTSIDERS, than they now are as part of the Democratic congressional establishment. It is past time for the Democratic Party to ENCOURAGE, and not smoother, outspoken opposition to the Bush-Cheney-Rove White House!
President Bush's infamous "I'm NOT THAT CONCERNED about bin Laden" comment, from the official White House (WhiteHouse.gov) website (slightly more than 1/3rd down)that John Kerry REFUSED TO USE in his pathetically lame 2004 campaign:
<< I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run. I was concerned about him, when he had taken over a country. I was concerned about the fact that he was basically running Afghanistan and calling the shots for the Taliban. >>
<< Terror is bigger than one person. And he's just -- he's a person who's now been marginalized. His network, his host government has been destroyed. He's the ultimate parasite who found weakness, exploited it, and met his match. He is -- as I mentioned in my speech, I do mention the fact that this is a fellow who is willing to commit youngsters to their death and he, himself, tries to hide -- if, in fact, he's hiding at all. >>
NOTE: IF, as President Bush said, bin Laden's NETWORK HAS BEEN DESTROYED" in this MARCH 2002 White House press conference - then why is the President today in 2007 blaming Democrats for Al Qaida attacks in Iraq - a country that had almost zero Al Qaida presence before this president's invasion of that hapless country?
Note 2: Sure enough, FRESHMAN Senator JAMES WEBB takes exception to Republican Senator John McCain's attempts to PORTRAY DEMOCRATS as UNPATRIOTIC.
THIS SHOULD BE THE _STANDARD_ RESPONSE of Democratic Leaders EVERY TIME Republicans or the Bush White House try to impugn Democratic leadership!
During his major Iraq speech last week, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) SMEARED congressional leaders who won the passage of legislation setting a timeline for withdrawal. “What were they celebrating? Defeat? Surrender? In Iraq, only our enemies were cheering,” McCain intoned.
Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA), a former Marine and decorated combat veteran, responded aggressively to McCain’s comments during an interview with Bloomberg television:
WEBB: I, you know, I think that John McCain has been impugning people’s patriotism and I really regret that he’s doing that.
I’m disappointed in John McCain. I’ve known him for many years. The day before we begin the debate on the Iraq bills, he pulled me aside on the Senate floor and said, Jim, we do not want the situation we had in the Vietnam War. We do not want one side impugning the patriotism of the other side, and John McCain has been doing this consistently since that time. I don’t believe that it is in anybody’s interest for members of the Senate to be impugning the other side’s patriotism, or by the way, to be hiding behind the troops as political justification for what we’re doing.
It's Time to Name It: Dems Should Now Call the Bushites the Liars That They Are
by Andrew Bard Schmookler
April 15, 2007
On Countdown (on Tuesday, April 10), President Bush was shown fully engaged in the dishonest game his regime is playing in Iraq. Bush was trying to pin on the Democrats the blame for the situation he himself has created. More specifically, he was saying that it is because the Democratic Congress hasn't agreed to give him the blank check he demands for his war that some troops will have to stay in Iraq longer, and some other troops will have to go to Iraq sooner, than they'd expected.
The message here was: If the troops and their families are suffering, it's because the Democrats are trying to influence policy. The overall message the Bushites are working to sell to the American people is: whatever is wrong in Iraq is the fault of the Democrats.
It is, I believe, the fear of this phony propagandistic move by the Bushites that most inhibits the Democrats from putting their fingerprints on this disaster in Iraq. Understandably so. But the time has come for the Democrats to be bolder, not more cautious, in approaching the Bushite propaganda. Not, perhaps --at least at this stage-- by taking greater ownership of the Iraqi debacle. That might play into the Bushites hands. But by counteracting the propaganda itself.
It is time for the lies to be boldly named as such and --thus discredited-- to be robbed of their power.
THIS IS AN ADMINISTRATION THAT HAS LIED TO AMERICA AT EVERY TURN
It is time for the Democrats to call the attention of the American people, by strong statements made through the mainstream media, to the whole pattern of dishonesty plain to see in the Bushites records.
"The president is lying here, when he claims that the way he's stretching our military to the breaking point has anything to do with what Congress has done. This is what they've been doing right along. And so also is the lying.
"This is the same president who "fixed the intelligence" to deceive the Congress and the American people to support a war, concocting a threat to justify what they wanted to do for other reasons they kept to themselves."
And this bold indictment should lay out some of the pattern of deceit on issues that go beyond Iraq as well.
"This is the same administration whose memoranda surrounding the firing of the U.S. Attorneys talked about stringing Congress along, making efforts in 'good faith' --with 'good faith' put in quotation marks.
"This is the same administration that has pressured its scientists not to speak the scientific truth when it runs counter to the political agenda of the White House."
The sooner the American people --or at least the 2/3 who are not under the Bushite trance-- stop giving any credence whatever to what this Bush White House says, the sooner American policy --not just on Iraq but generally-- can become sane.
BRING ON THE DESIGNATED HITTER
It would be good for the Congressional leadership to work toward naming this persistent LYING by the Bushites and toward thus discrediting --in the eyes of the public-- whatever the White House says. But it might be good for this perception to be given a secure beachhead in the American consciousness by being delivered by someone not directly in the partisan fray, and in a better position therefore to speak boldly.
This would be one excellent occasion for Al Gore to play that role as "designated hitter" about which I wrote not long ago (at www.nonesoblind.org/blog/?p=537).
If not he, then perhaps Jimmy Carter who has some moral authority, and has shown himself willing to speak plainly about the disreputable nature of this regime.
And then perhaps there are the presidential candidates. In particular, perhaps Barrack Obama could be the one who delivers this message in a powerful way. This would require him to get beyond his stance as the man of hope and add to it a more prophetic dimension-- an addition that might carry some risk but that could also make him a more full-bodied spokesman for the opposition to these Bushites.
"To the American people, then, I say: Do not allow this administration to deceive us further. It's time for us to ignore the smoke-screen this administration creates to obscure our real situation and its real purposes.
"And to the president, who is trying to put the blame for his own failures and blunders onto others, who continues to insist on playing politics when American lives are at stake, I ask: At long last, sir, have you no decency?
"When will you --who spoke so glibly about bringing integrity to the Oval Office-- start taking responsibility for what you have wrought?"