Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Rant of the Week: It's the Incompetence, stupid!

Democrats repeatedly make the claim that Bush and his administration are liars. The media reports this claim, but then reports the outraged denials of the Republicans and that is as far as it goes. Why? Because there is absolutely no way that the media could verify the claim even if it wanted to since lying is a subjective, not objective activity. That is, if a person says something that they think is true, but it isn't true, is that lying? Most people say no because it is the subjective intention of the person making the statement that matters, not the objective truthfulness of the statement.

As you can see, this lets Bush off the hook. There is very little evidence in the public domain, so far, for the proposition that Bush knowingly lied about Iraq, Hurricane Katrina response, the effect of his tax cuts on the deficit, and the effect on public education of his No Child Left Behind Act, just to name four huge mistakes his administration made. Indeed, the media probably believes that he didn't lie because the media considers him to be a man of little, if any, intellectual curiosity and therefore likely to believe what he is told by his advisors.

Imagine, however, if the Democrats argued that Bush isn't a liar, he is just terribly incompetent. That is much harder for the Republicans to defend, or the media to ignore, because the evidence is so overwhelming. Just consider the following:

Bush told us his tax cuts wouldn't increase the deficit, he was wrong.
Bush told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, he was wrong.
Bush told us that our troops would be greeted as liberators by the Iraqi people, he was wrong.
Bush told us that Iraqi oil revenue would pay for Iraq's reconstruction, he was wrong.
Bush told us that the "mission was accomplished" in May of 2003, he was wrong.
Bush told us that his FEMA director was doing a "heck of a job," he was wrong.

The list could go on, but you get the point. Democrats need to start stressing his incompetence and to use that word. Senator Hillary Clinton did it in the speech that also compared the House of Representatives to a plantation, although those part of her comments were overlooked in the media because of the attention the Republicans focused on the plantation comments. Indeed, we think that is why the Republicans responded to the plantation remarks so forcefully because they wanted to shift the focus away from her incompetent line.

Democrats need to start singing the same tune. That tune is this: "This administration is incompetent and that incompetence is hurting America and all Americans. They are aided and abetted in their incompetence by a Republican Congress and a Republican Party that refuses to hold it accountable for their mistakes. The solution? Elect Democrats."

We have about nine months to get that message out. The time to start is now. America needs competent government and we aren't getting it.
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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Rant of the Week: Why is Bin Laden Still Alive?

Why is Osama Bin Laden still alive over four years after the horrible events of September 11, 2001? That's the first question and here's the second: why aren't Democrats in Washington asking that question? Why? Are the consultants that advise Democrats in Washington so mesmerized by Karl Rove that they believe that any reference to Bush's failures to capture Bin Laden are bound to backfire? We just don't get it.

Here's how we see it. Bush and Rove are going to beat up Democratic candidates in 2006 on questions of national security. They are going to imply, and through their media surrogates come out and expressly say, that Democrats can't be trusted to protect the American people. They are going to continue to link the increasingly unpopular Iraqi war with their "War on Terror" and use that connection to get votes. They did it in 2002, they did it in 2004, and they are going to try and do it in 2006.

One way to address this issue is to point out to the American people that it's been over 1500 days since 9-11 and Osama Bin Laden is still alive to taunt Americans. Our first concern should have been to destroy the leadership of Al Queada. We successfully overthrew the Taliban government of Afghanistan, which had sheltered Bin Laden, but then, failed to capture him at the battle of Tora Bora. We allowed him to escape by depending on Pakistani and Afghan warlords instead of using American troops. After his escape we got embroiled in Iraq instead of finishing the job of capturing and killing Bin Laden.

It seems to us that Democrats should call the Bush Administration on its incompetence in both not capturing Bin Laden and in how it has prosecuted the war in Iraq. Instead, we allow the Republicans and the Bush Administration to paint our party as being not trustworthy with the nation's security. This is our suggestion: when Republicans talk about Bush's success in handling terrorists, they should be asked again and again, "Where is Bin Laden and why is he still alive?"
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Rant of the Week: The Alito Hearings

Okay, so maybe it is asking too much for Democratic Senators to be trial lawyers and ask intelligent questions, but is it too much to ask that they call Republicans on their shameless demagoguery? We are talking about Senator Lindsay Graham's "apology" to Judge Samuel Alito about the supposed "abuse" he was taking at the hands of the Judiciary Committee's Democratic Senators.

Let's see if we have this right: Judge Alito wants to be on the Supreme Court of the United States. He wants a lifetime appointment to the most powerful court in the world, and one of the most powerful institutions in our society. To get this position, he had to endure about 12 hours of questioning from the Judiciary Committee. That's abuse? Well, if that's abuse, then sign us up for some of it. We will gladly take 12 hours of questioning to be on the Supreme Court of the United States.

When Sen. Graham made that remark, which led to the tearful exit of Mrs. Alito from the hearings, why didn't the next Democratic Senator ask Judge Alito the following: "Judge, you don't consider our questions to be abuse, do you? You understand that we have a constitutional right to ask questions? You are willing to put up with this process to get confirmed, aren't you?"

He would have answered that he didn't consider the questions abusive and that the Senators had a right to ask their questions. His answers would have shown just how stupid Graham's comments were and, more importantly, taken away the sting of Mrs. Alito leaving in tears.

Instead the next Senator allowed the opportunity to slip away and Mrs. Altio's exit dominated the cable TV news outlets. Our suggestion to Democratic Senators? Get some trial lawyers to give you questions to ask appointees of the Bush administration.
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