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Old 09-02-2004, 11:38 PM   #16
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Originally posted by Flying FuManchu
Kerry needs to focus on winning his debate with Bush, stop acting like a doofus by giving the Repubs ammo (such as the authority statement), leave Vietnam alone for a bit, and put out what his poilcies will be.
He needs to stay out of those space suits too.

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Old 09-03-2004, 12:01 AM   #17
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Originally posted by verte76
We need to pitch Vietnam
YES! vietnam is so insignificant to what is going on now. so what if kerry exaggerated his injuries to get his purple hearts or the fact that bush or cheney didn't go to vietnam? the whole thing needs to be dropped.

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Old 09-03-2004, 12:24 AM   #18
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Originally posted by achtung_zoo
So what if kerry exaggerated his injuries to get his purple hearts
Because that's a lie that needs to be addressed. If you let it go, they'll just lie about more and more things. Look what happened to Gore in 2000. You can't sit back and let things like this go.

Whether or not it means something to us or not is irrelevant if it means something to 100 million voters. It's a lie that could cost Kerry the election, so it needs to be dealt with.
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Old 09-03-2004, 12:24 AM   #19
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Sadly the time to fix both candidates has passed....they've already reproduced.

* too bad we can't go back in time and fix Bush Sr. though.... Now that would be worthwhile!
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Old 09-03-2004, 02:13 AM   #20
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Originally posted by cydewaze

"John, I didn't want you for my candidate, and I don't think you can win. You're a Bush-Lite, and the fact that you don't fight back against the attacks on your service record disgusts me. You voted to give the monkey the power to wage unending war, and you voted for his tax cut that wasn't. This November, please do not confuse my vote for you with support. You'll receive it because my concern for my country is stronger than my disdain for you. May you be a one-termer so we may elect a true leader in 4 years."
I actually agree with quite a bit of that. Well said.
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Old 09-07-2004, 02:41 AM   #21
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Seems like Paul Krugman's article was inspired by this thread

September 7, 2004
A Mythic Reality

The best book I've read about America after 9/11 isn't about either America or 9/11. It's "War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning," an essay on the psychology of war by Chris Hedges, a veteran war correspondent. Better than any poll analysis or focus group, it explains why President Bush, despite policy failures at home and abroad, is ahead in the polls.

War, Mr. Hedges says, plays to some fundamental urges. "Lurking beneath the surface of every society, including ours," he says, "is the passionate yearning for a nationalist cause that exalts us, the kind that war alone is able to deliver." When war psychology takes hold, the public believes, temporarily, in a "mythic reality" in which our nation is purely good, our enemies are purely evil, and anyone who isn't our ally is our enemy.

This state of mind works greatly to the benefit of those in power.

One striking part of the book describes Argentina's reaction to the 1982 Falklands war. Gen. Leopoldo Galtieri, the leader of the country's military junta, cynically launched that war to distract the public from the failure of his economic policies. It worked: "The junta, which had been on the verge of collapse" just before the war, "instantly became the saviors of the country."

The point is that once war psychology takes hold, the public desperately wants to believe in its leadership, and ascribes heroic qualities to even the least deserving ruler. National adulation for the junta ended only after a humiliating military defeat.

George W. Bush isn't General Galtieri: America really was attacked on 9/11, and any president would have followed up with a counterstrike against the Taliban. Yet the Bush administration, like the Argentine junta, derived enormous political benefit from the impulse of a nation at war to rally around its leader.

Another president might have refrained from exploiting that surge of support for partisan gain; Mr. Bush didn't.

And his administration has sought to perpetuate the war psychology that makes such exploitation possible.

Step by step, the fight against Al Qaeda became a universal "war on terror," then a confrontation with the "axis of evil," then a war against all evil everywhere. Nobody knows where it all ends.

What is clear is that whenever political debate turns to Mr. Bush's actual record in office, his popularity sinks. Only by doing whatever it takes to change the subject to the war on terror - not to what he's actually doing about terrorist threats, but to his "leadership," whatever that means - can he get a bump in the polls.

Last week's convention made it clear that Mr. Bush intends to use what's left of his heroic image to win the election, and early polls suggest that the strategy may be working. What can John Kerry do?

Campaigning exclusively on domestic issues won't work. Mr. Bush must be held to account for his dismal record on jobs, health care and the environment. But as Mr. Hedges writes, when war psychology makes a public yearn to believe in its leaders, "there is little that logic or fact or truth can do to alter the experience."

To win, the Kerry campaign has to convince a significant number of voters that the self-proclaimed "war president" isn't an effective war leader - he only plays one on TV.

This charge has the virtue of being true. It's hard to find a nonpartisan national security analyst with a good word for the Bush administration's foreign policy. Iraq, in particular, is a slow-motion disaster brought on by wishful thinking, cronyism and epic incompetence.

If I were running the Kerry campaign, I'd remind people frequently about Mr. Bush's flight-suit photo-op, when he declared the end of major combat. In fact, the war goes on unabated. News coverage of Iraq dropped off sharply after the supposed transfer of sovereignty on June 28, but as many American soldiers have died since the transfer as in the original invasion.

And I'd point out that while Mr. Bush spared no effort preparing for his carrier landing - he even received underwater survival training in the White House pool - he didn't prepare for things that actually mattered, like securing and rebuilding Iraq after Baghdad fell.

Will it work? I don't know. But to win, Mr. Kerry must try to puncture the myth that Mr. Bush's handlers have so assiduously created.
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Old 09-07-2004, 05:10 AM   #22
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Very cool Klaus! I'm getting ready to read that book for my "War, Violence and Conflict Resolution" class in a week or so.

Cyde--here here. I see you're in VA. LMK if you're interested at all in helped out with voter registration. I love being in a swing state.


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