The Voting Mango

All Presidential Politics from here till November

Thursday, February 12, 2004


From the Department of Money Grubbers

I just got an email from the now defunct campaign of Wes Clark, strangely, asking for money.
"With a contribution of $100 today, we will add your name to a special plaque to be presented to General Clark, commemorating the American patriots like you who have fueled his campaign and will stand with him in the months and years ahead. Your name will appear alongside hundreds of others who have been integral to the success of our effort and pledge their ongoing support to Wes Clark."

Gee, that's worth a hundred bucks! Where does that money go? Can we get a list of those people and either neuter them or hose them for money? Maybe both?

posted by mango  # 4:12 PM

More on the Kerry story -- I have no idea whether there's truth to it, but as seems to be about par for the course with Kerry, and Drudge tends to be right, I'm not inclined to dismiss it off-hand. Obernews has a fun post on Theresa Heinz Kerry's (understandable) desire to maim her husband if he cheated. This could be fun...
posted by mango  # 2:50 PM

From the Department of Free Speech

The interesting thing about liberals (and I'm not talking about all liberals here, just a certain flavor) is that you are free to say anything you want -- be it profane, obscene, madonna-of-dung, whatever, as long as it's liberal. All opinions and beliefs are equal and good, unless those beliefs disagree with theirs, in which case the person with the "incorrect" beliefs is a bigot, a racist, or in the case of the campaign blogs, trolls.

Especially on the Dean blog, anyone who expresses the slightest reservations about the delusional group-think of the comment threads is labeled a troll, a term derived fishing, when one slowly drags a line through the water, waiting for someone to bite. In other words, the blogs consider trolls to be those kids in middle school who picked on you and your mother told you they were just trying to provoke a reaction from you, but you knew in your heart they were evil. Instead of encouraging debate, which might actually make the campaigns stronger, anyone who expresses doubt (as in, "Since we haven't won a state yet, I'm afraid we might not win the nomination!") is quickly denounced.
Some great quotes from the Left, that bastion of the 1st Amendment:

"Drudge and his evil ilk need to be disenfranchised at every opportunity."

"PDX is a troll. go away."

"Go AWAY PDX Troll! No one wants your negativity here."

"I am so glad that we will be able to keep those trolls out. It is about time! "

Incidentally, this is the same demographic that is apoplectic over the idea of "free-speech zones."

Apparently The Blog occurs in a warped parallel universe where Dean has a chance and gravity is optional, and other general laws of the universe do not apply. For example:
"The DrudgeReport isn't true. He usually is right, but this time he isn't. " Why? Do you know? Generally, if someone is usually right, it's safe to believe them, unless you know something to the contrary.
posted by mango  # 2:47 PM

From the Department of Holy Garbanzo Beans!

Drudge is in beside himself, complete with flashing red and blue light graphic, about this, and if it's true, he has full rights to be. Apparently some Kerry+intern story is breaking at the moment. I have no idea what's going on, but I'm sure I'll write about it when I do. Kerry does have a history of womanizing though...
posted by mango  # 1:16 PM

From the Department of Things that Merit Further Investigation

Today there's a new article from the devil herself, Ann Coulter. She talks about Max Cleland, and explains his story in a way I'd never heard before. She claims that he didn't lose his legs and an arm to a grenade in battle, he lost them because he was drinking one night and he picked up a grenade that was lying on the ground. Now, the tone's a little shrill (this is Ann Coulter, after all -- that's what makes it fun to read) and I don't know if this is true or not. But it's very interesting.

"Cleland also expressed outrage that Bush left the National Guard nine months early in 1973 to go to Harvard Business School. [...]When Bush left the National Guard in 1973 to go to business school, the war was over. It might as well have been 1986. [...] If Bush had demanded active combat, there was no war to send him to. To put this in perspective, by 1973, John Kerry had already accused American soldiers of committing war crimes in Vietnam, thrown someone else's medals to the ground in an anti-war demonstration, and married his first heiress.

Moreover, if we're going to start delving into exactly who did what back then, maybe Max Cleland should stop allowing Democrats to portray him as a war hero who lost his limbs taking enemy fire on the battlefields of Vietnam. Cleland lost three limbs in an accident during a routine noncombat mission where he was about to drink beer with friends. He saw a grenade on the ground and picked it up. He could have done that at Fort Dix. In fact, Cleland could have dropped a grenade on his foot as a National Guardsman –- or what Cleland sneeringly calls "weekend warriors." Luckily for Cleland's political career and current pomposity about Bush, he happened to do it while in Vietnam.""

posted by mango  # 10:00 AM

From the Department of Keeping Clark out of Public Office

Susan just posted a bit of an article talking about how perhaps Clark should be secretary of state, or maybe be veep for Hillary in 2008. My opinion: Good God, no! There are few things scarier to me than having Clark within one or two people of being leader of the free world. He's demonstrably loopy, and as voters, we should take it as our duty to keep this man out of office. And in any case, just because Colin Powell was a general and now is secretary of state, that doesn't mean that's a career pathway that he should expect to emulate. I don't know if this matters, but as far as I can tell, Colin Powell is very different in that he's a) far more humble (or so it seems) and b) he's not ambitious (he doesn't want to be king). In any case, Clark is a lobbyist, and now obviously not competent as a campaigner, and I would also argue that he's be a poor diplomat on the grounds that he's insane. You think DoD and State have a hard time getting along now, imagine of State was run by Clark; in Kosovo, he co-opted the air control, micromanaging it himself, even though he's an Army man, much to the chagrin of the people with some competency in the area. Also, he tended to go around the chain of command and call Clinton personally, which made his superiors apoplectic. I feel like if he was SoS, something similar would happen. And that would be bad.

Tangentially, I heard Clarks resignation speech last night on NPR, and was struck by two things. First, the man sounds like he swallowed a Speak-and-Spell with limited memory capacities. He says his two words or so, and then has to stop and reload. Second, he doth protest too much. With politicians in general and Clark in particular, if he goes on an on about how he really didn't want to be President, what with the power and the fame and the personal 747 and power and gifts from other soverign nations and the nuclear launch codes and all, but he was doing it for the American people-- he really really wants to be President.

posted by mango  # 9:46 AM

From the Department of Curious Blog Comments

On the BlogForAmerica, often the grassroots do cute (read: stupid) things in the comment threads to get the word out.
For example, TK in PA posts:

My name is Thad.
I live in Springfield, PA (Philly suburb).
My vote is my voice.
I will not be silenced!

Me llamo Tadeo.
Vivo en Springfield, PA.
Mi voto es mi voz.
¡No seré silenciado!

Mi chiamo Taddeo.
Abito a Springfield, PA.
Il mio voto è la mia voce.
Non sarò silenziato!

Anyone who speaks foreign languages, feel free to post the "My name is . . . " message in those languages!"

Why, exactly? What are the chances, exactly, that someone who only speaks, say, Polish will be cruising through the comments of the Dean blog, and suddenly be converted when the knowledge that there is a man named Thad in Springfield, PA who's vote will not be silenced is brought to him in the mother tongue? Are we trying to reach out to other countries? There are a decent number of non-citizen types on the blog, just random people from, say, the Netherlands trying their hands at American politics. But why reach out to them? They can't vote, they can't contribute -- they can blog and meet-up and do all those other Deany things, but they can't make it count. The whole Dean blog is like this. Odd.

UPDATE: Inspired by Thad, that comment thread also featured the following:

"My name is Patti.
I live in Dallas, Texas.
My vote is my voice.
I will not be silenced."

"My name is Liz.

Dean won a delegate from my Congressional district in Tucson (thanks in no small part to the blog's support of last-minute radio ads).

My voice will be heard again and again.
Because of this campaign, I am joining the Arizona Women's Political Caucus.

Hi, Liz.

"My name is Renee
I live in Columbus, Ohio
My vote is my voice
I will not be silenced

I still plan to win this thing
and trolls can bite me!"

Trolls are those who do not believe in the good doctor. Or the tooth fairy. Dean bloggers use this word much like BAMN uses "racist."

"My name is Dan
I live in the Boston suburbs, Massachusetts
My vote is my voice
I will NOT be silenced!
We gonna open up a barrel-'o'-whup-a$$
...for our own corrupt waffler...
......in his home state!"

And this:

" My name is Reality
I live directly behind Karl Rove
I hope he doesn't stop too quickly
or I will be silenced"

...which I don't entirely understand, and this:

"What a great idea for a super ad!!! 10-15 people repeating this:
My name is ABC
I live in X, Y
My vote is my voice
I will not be silenced

I wonder what song could go best with this message..."

With grassroots ideas like that, it's a shock Dean's not got this locked up already. Honestly. I guess the trouble is that the Deaniacs see themselves as the most attractive part of Dean, whereas the rest of the world sees them as one of the more frightening parts. And then it grows:

Can we work with truthandhope to get a few radio ads made from our "My name is... I will not be silenced"
Add in some comments about the media trying to coronate a nominee...
We can have people call in and record their statement, and put together a few different spots...
I'll kick in some $ to T&H if we get this moving... What do u think?"

Somehow I assume this one will not fly, in part because it's about America, not about the Blog, and in part because it seems to support Bush.
"I am an American.
I love my country.
I love my Constitution, which is the very lifeblood of my country.
I will stand up and fight for Liberty, even when it's inconvenient, even when it's hard, even when others call me "traitor", because I know Liberty's value.
I will speak when others cower.
I will serve my nation gladly, whether in the voting booth or in the jury box.
I do not love war, nor do I seek it, nor support those who do, but neither will I shy from it if it is brought upon me. I will defend America with my life.
I am an American.
I love my country."

I wish I had written that.

posted by mango  # 1:46 AM


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