November 21, 2003


Talk about your brutality. Mike Dukakis remembers the time Ronald Reagan called him an invalid:

Dukakis said he hopes the current Democratic candidates are ready for similar encounters. "Whoever the Democratic nominee will, in my judgment, be subjected to a brutal attack campaign by Bush," Dukakis said.

I doubt it. Bush tends towards politeness in campaigning, possibly for the simple reason that it wins votes. His brutal attacks, if they can be so-called, are usually spoken privately or as asides.

He would also be aware that brutal attacks against himself havenít worked. Why imitate losers?

Posted by Tim Blair at November 21, 2003 04:06 PM

I love that comment:

"major league asshole"

who says he isn't eloquent?

Posted by: Rob at November 21, 2003 at 04:10 PM

Bush usually leaves his wrath for al-Qaeda.

Posted by: Jettison at November 21, 2003 at 04:16 PM

One problem Tim....those "polite" articles are from 1999 and 2000, prior to Sept 11 and the subsequent "you're with us or against us" ideology.

Posted by: Savvas Jonis at November 21, 2003 at 04:33 PM

Yeah, dammit!!! Those are old articles!!!!!! For some reason Bush hasn't been as polite since 3,000 people were killed on American soil. Maybe if Bush had been polite to them, Osama and Saddam would have surrendered themselves without incident.
Of course, compared to Chirac's statements on the American administration, Bush has been a little too polite concerning France.
As for "you're with us or against us": it's quite clear that Bush isn't referring to Americans (not even political opponents).

Posted by: Chuck T. at November 21, 2003 at 04:55 PM

Not ascribed to fellow Americans?


Not too sure about that. Perhaps we will have to wait until the presidential campaign really heats up.

I don't think there has ever been a major presidential candidate who has been accused of being "Unamerican" or "Unpatriotic" but 2004 could prove otherwise.

Was FDR or Woodrow Wilson ever so vitriolic against the enemy in WWII or I?

Posted by: Savvas Jonis at November 21, 2003 at 05:11 PM

G"Day Savvas Jonis,

Bush actually said "You are either with us or with the terrorists" not "You are with us or against us". Is it that you can't see the distinction between these two statements or you have been ill-informed.

Posted by: Russell at November 21, 2003 at 05:28 PM

Brutal attack? What kind of "invalid" thinks by announcing that he is going to raise taxes for everyone that his poll numbers will some how go up? SNL sketch, "What were you thinking?" Shelly Long: quiting a succesful TV show for her movie career, George Stienbrenner: breast implants, and Mike Dukakis (who by the way is the son of Greek immigrants): campaign platform based on raising taxes. What were you thinking?

Posted by: Charles at November 21, 2003 at 05:31 PM

Was FDR or Woodrow Wilson ever so vitriolic against the enemy in WWII or I?

Good God, man, have you never seen the official goverment propaganda during WWII? The Japanese were depicted as buck-toothed, near-sghted monkeys It goes far beyond anything George "Islam is a religion of peace" Bush has ever said about anybody.

The historical ignorance of the anti-war anti-Bush crowd never ceases to amaze.

Posted by: R C Dean at November 21, 2003 at 09:07 PM

If Bush or his administration attack another canidate publicly, does that mean you switch parties are not vote?

Posted by: Eric at November 21, 2003 at 09:21 PM

Dukakis is trying to re-write history as to the "invalid" remark; somebody asked Reagan if the Repub's were going to make an issue of Dukakis' health, and RR quipped, "oh, I'd never make fun of an invalid" (or words to that effect). I thought it was a pretty funny remark, and I remember it fondly, since it was so at odds with the press caricature of Reagan as a dimwit. Reagan *obviously* was being irreverent, as Dukakis was clearly not "an invalid." RR was instead pointedly satirizing the way the humorless press blows everything said during a campaign out proportion. Of course, the humorless press promptly went ape excrement and tried to blow the remark out of proportion . . . .

Posted by: Bud Norton at November 21, 2003 at 11:47 PM

I should think Bud's point is obvious, given the line about age that Reagan got off in the '84 campaign:

Asked if age would be an issue (Reagan was 74), he said "I will not hold my opponent's youth and inexperience against him" (quote very close, possibly not exact).

Besides, if the worst thing that Dukakis has to say about the campaign is the invalid line, he's got nothing to complain about.

Posted by: Ken Summers at November 22, 2003 at 12:03 AM

Bush actually said "You are either with us or with the terrorists" not "You are with us or against us". Is it that you can't see the distinction between these two statements or you have been ill-informed.

i'm confused. what is this distinction of which you speak? the only distinction i can see [which is a bit of a stretch, true] is that the misquote actually casts bush in a better light than your accurate quote. at least under the "...or against us" alternative, i can dislike bush without being at one with "the terrorists".

also, cue the dull comments of either andrea or tim [or maybe, if i'm lucky, both] to the effect that "yes, you really are confused".

Posted by: roop at November 22, 2003 at 12:15 AM

I like how the story on Bush calling Clymer a "major league asshole"--and Bush ran a major league baseball team, so he should know--describes the comment as an "embarrassing gaffe."

Wasn't it Michael Kinsley who said a gaffe was when a politician tells the truth?

Posted by: Ken Begg at November 22, 2003 at 02:34 AM

Well, according to everything I have read about Clymer, and everything I have read by Clymer, he really is a major league asshole.

Posted by: Ken Summers at November 22, 2003 at 03:19 AM

G'day roop,

I find it astounding that people can't understand that there is a difference between Bush's actual statement and its misquote.

Very simple example - Indonesia did not actively oppose the WOT - but it did nothing about it. Its inaction lead to the Bali bombing. If you don't actively oppose the terrorists you allow them to grow and prosper.

This problem with understanding simple distinctions seems to be a common feature of leftist thought. I wonder why?

Posted by: Russell at November 22, 2003 at 08:43 AM

"Was FDR or Woodrow Wilson ever so vitriolic against the enemy in WWII or I?"

Leaving aside the sheer idiocy of finding fault with vitriol against murderers, let's look at the record-

FDR - read the text of his speech to Congress after Pearl Harbor.

Woodrow Wilson - whipped up anti-German feelings to such a pitch that German-Americans in the midwest were lynched. The killers were acquitted by a jury that decided they were caught up in the spirit of the times.

Posted by: Dave S. at November 22, 2003 at 09:08 AM

No, I wouldn't say that you're confused, roop. I'd say that you were stupid.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at November 22, 2003 at 10:08 AM

> And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.
the actual quote form the State of the Union Address following 911

SO there you are assholes. You and your sickle and hammer t shirt are safe to vomit your propaganda to your hearts content without worry of interference from this or any American administration. But if your government starts training suicide bombers to send to Portland, watch the fuck out.

I'm not President I don't have to be polite.

Posted by: papertiger at November 22, 2003 at 10:12 AM

G'Day Mr papertiger,

You are being awfully unpleasant to people who are basically on the same side as you are. I made the same point as you did - why call me an asshole?

Posted by: Russell at November 22, 2003 at 10:25 AM

Russel. It's a cultural thing. You should hear me when I'm driving!

You ever notice how leftist blogs can't handle argument? Is it a universal illness, or just me that they continually delete?

I read a post on a British blog about the Canadian CBC and their coverage of the protest in London. One poster was congradulating himself on all the Americans who live close enough to the border to get CBC watched and were thankful that someone was finally giving Bush what for. Free press instead of the one sided Fox, CNN, MSNBC.(all three of which were going with the Jacko arrest story instead of the protests in England)
I had just looked through the 10 posts on that thread. I didn't see anybody declairing themselves as American. There were two or three that were agreeing that Bush needed his cummupance, and one opposed who wasn't giving very good arguement in favor of Bush.
(I think they kept him around so the regulars could feel superior by besting an inadequate wordsmith.)
They came with how Americans traveling abroad wear Canadian flags on their luggage to avoid harrassment. Canadians being respected the world over you see.
SO I came with, Did the Iranians ever send back the body of that Canadian reporter? You know the one they beat to death in their prison?

Moderator deleted it.

Then I came with We get CBC on the International News channel all over America. One of the beautiful things about having a free society. So how many Canadians get the Fox News channel?

Moderator deleted it.

This is just an example. I get that from every Democrat/left leaning website I visit.
Is it just my grating personality, or are they a wee bit intolerant?

Posted by: papertiger at November 22, 2003 at 02:29 PM

PS. I don't always call them assholes. At least not right away like I did here.

Posted by: papertiger at November 22, 2003 at 02:35 PM

I like paper tiger !
Ron from Australia.

Posted by: ron robertson at November 22, 2003 at 07:13 PM

You liked that Ron?

Good just because you liked it I'm gonna share something else I posted on that Brit blog. See if you can figure out who said it.

"There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable."

I want to discuss with you today the status of our strength and our security because this question clearly calls for the most responsible qualities of leadership and the most enlightened products of scholarship. For this Nation's strength and security are not easily or cheaply obtained, nor are they quickly and simply explained. There are many kinds of strength and no one kind will suffice. Overwhelming nuclear strength cannot stop a guerrilla war. Formal pacts of alliance cannot stop internal subversion. Displays of material wealth cannot stop the disillusionment of diplomats subjected to discrimination.

Above all, words alone are not enough. The United States is a peaceful nation. And where our strength and determination are clear, our words need merely to convey conviction, not belligerence. If we are strong, our strength will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help.

I realize that this Nation often tends to identify turning-points in world affairs with the major addresses which preceded them. But it was not the Monroe Doctrine that kept all Europe away from this hemisphere--it was the strength of the British fleet and the width of the Atlantic Ocean. It was not General Marshall's speech at Harvard which kept communism out of Western Europe--it was the strength and stability made possible by our military and economic assistance.

Our adversaries have not abandoned their ambitions, our dangers have not diminished, our vigilance cannot be relaxed. But now we have the military, the scientific, and the economic strength to do whatever must be done for the preservation and promotion of freedom.

That strength will never be used in pursuit of aggressive ambitions--it will always be used in pursuit of peace. It will never be used to promote provocations--it will always be used to promote the peaceful settlement of disputes.

We in this country, in this generation, are--by destiny rather than choice--the watchmen on the walls of world freedom. We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of "peace on earth, good will toward men." That must always be our goal, and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength. For as was written long ago: 'except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.'

Who said it?

Posted by: papertiger at November 22, 2003 at 11:25 PM

It was John F. Kennedy Dem. President from the 60's.

Moderator deleted it.

What an asshole!

Posted by: papertiger at November 22, 2003 at 11:31 PM