June 04, 2004


Ann Coulter notes the latest manifestation of the Gore Effect:

Liberals' anti-war hysteria seems to have run its course. I base this conclusion on Al Gore's lunatic anti-war speech last week. Gore always comes out swinging just as an issue is about to go south. He's the stereotypical white guy always clapping on the wrong beat.

At least Gore is getting some applause, even if it’s off-beat and his own. John Kerry is clapless:

Kerry seemed alarmed by the complete absence of applause, or other audience interaction, he was receiving from a small crowd in Tampa, Florida, on Wednesday.

On several occasions, Kerry paused, seemingly expecting applause for his lines. For example, at one point he said, "I will do what I think is best for the country," then waited for applause that only developed after one of his advance staffers began leading a weak round of applause.

His lukewarm reception was so bad that Kerry lost his cool, telling his audience, "I know you don't want to be here anymore."

If only they had an exit strategy.

UPDATE. Reader Bill R. writes:

The St Petersberg Times had a picture of Kerry at my favorite Cuban-American restaurant - La Teresita - in Tampa. I eat there quite often and thank God I wasn't there when Kerry lurched in to press flesh.

The reference to "lurching" may have been subconscious.

UPDATE II. Because I love Cuban food and haven’t been to Florida for years, I asked Bill for some La Teresita menu highlights:

Main dishes are pork, more so than beef, white, yellow, and moro rice (rice mixed with black beans), platins (fried bananas), black and red beans, and cafe con leche that beats anything Starbucks offers. One of the best things is that a party of four can eat for about $30.00.


Posted by Tim Blair at June 4, 2004 05:06 AM

Kerry's pretty long winded; he probably bored them to sleep.

Posted by: Mario Mirarchi at June 4, 2004 at 05:18 AM

Does this mean that Kerry has....a case of the clap?

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 4, 2004 at 05:30 AM

``Among the criticisms: beyond arranging for an audience, organizers did little if any preparation to warm the crowd up, to have it ready to cheer on a presidential candidate.''

You mean people who are presumably Kerry supporters, and who presumably went to this shindig of their own free will, needed to be ``warmed up''? How pathetic is that? Let's hope they went home and decided to switch to Dubya or Nader instead.

Posted by: Annalucia at June 4, 2004 at 06:14 AM

While a sort-of Coulter fan, which is to say, I usually tolerate her exagerations as worth wading through to get to her great lines, the part about the Cuban Missile Crisis seemed particularly weak,especially considering that she was deriding liberal ignorance of history. She writes:

"If we have proof of nuclear and biological weapons," Daschle asked, "why doesn't [Bush] show that proof to the world as President Kennedy did 40 years ago when he sent Adlai Stevenson to show the world U.S. photographs of offensive missiles in Cuba?"

The answer is and was: Because by the time Saddam had nuclear weapons, we wouldn't be able to do anything. That's why it's known as the "Cuban missile crisis," not the "Cuban missile triumph."

Um, but we WERE able to do something during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Since a key end result of the Cuban Missile Crisis was that the missiles were removed, couldn't one argue that this was a success, if not a "triumph"?

Posted by: Ash at June 4, 2004 at 06:18 AM

Real Jeff:

"Does this mean that Kerry has....a case of the clap?"

No, it means that he'd really like to get a case of the clap, but is so unappealing that he can't.

Posted by: TomK at June 4, 2004 at 06:47 AM

Only if taking the world to the edge of a nuclear holocaust is your idea of success. Incidently wasn't the removal of the missles from Cuba linked to the removal of Nato missiles from Turkey? What concession would Saddam have demanded? Kuwait and Saudia Arabia for him, Israel for the rest of the Arabs? Notice also that 40 years after the Cuban missile crisis, dear old Uncle Castro is still torturing political prisoners and oppressing Cuba.

Hmmm, yes, the Cuban missile crisis, that is how we should have handled Iraq. What is the saying? 'Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it?'

Posted by: Just Another Bloody Lawyer at June 4, 2004 at 06:48 AM

It’s true, the missiles were removed. But it was terrifying for people at the time, there was the vertiginously heightened risk of nuclear war versus the Soviet Union. Given the unavoidable instability of such a confrontation, it was a close call, even though, given what we’ve learned, we came away with less than we could have. Ann is not that far off the mark, given some of the apples-&-oranges aspects between the two situations.

* * *

Re another point in Coulter’s article: Although it’s very true that in war issues one does not use legal-style standards of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, it is also true that, because of their already well established prior record of WMD pursuit, research, hiding, & use, & their signed agreements, Saddam & his regime had no presumption of innocence, none at all. So Saddam & his regime had no rights or legitimate grievances dependent upon a presumption of innocence, & had no right—not only to WMD—but also to any secrecy about it, any opacity. No right to occasion any uncertainty about it whatsoever.

Posted by: ForNow at June 4, 2004 at 06:54 AM

Just Another Bloody Lawyer:

The Russians put the missiles in Cuba because of the NATO missiles in Turkey. Both were removed as a condition of standing down from the crisis. However, it was a hollow victory for the Soviet Union, as the Turkey missiles were already scheduled for removal, due to the increased range of newer missiles.

But the original point of this thread was that Ann Coulter made (another) weak comment, where Daschle was using the Cuban missile crisis as another blunt object for whacking on Iraq.

Me, I saw the comparison by both Coulter and Daschle as weak. It is sort of like comparing World War I with the American Civil War. The similarities are few and far between. The same for Hussein/Iraq and the Cuban missile crisis. Some similarities, mostly not the same issues. The comparison is not logically valid, although it has a certain emotional appeal (surprise!).

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 4, 2004 at 07:04 AM

TomK, LOL!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 4, 2004 at 07:06 AM

Well, actually the Cuban Missile crisis was a (near) complete intelligence failure and it shows the limitations of technology.

What we didn't know was that the Soviets had placed theater or tactical nuclear WEAPONS in Cuba prior to their placement of the intermediate range ballistic missiles. Kennedy believed, as he was told, that those missiles - the ballistic ones - had not yet been delivered. Satellite photos showed the installations/silos but they were empty.

We didn't find out until years later that the Soviets had secretly sent in nuclear warheads for short-range missiles and artillery pieces. They were already there. Had we invaded, who knows what would have happened.

Nice information here:

By the way, at a meeting recognizing the 50th anniversary of the crisis, former Soviet officials (including Khrushchev's personal translation) told the assembled that Castro was pleading with Khrushchev to launch the weapons. Literally begging them to wipe out millions of Americans.

Posted by: SteveMG at June 4, 2004 at 09:03 AM

The missiles are gone. The Soviet Union is gone. Castro is still there but, in the larger game, Castro was a pawn.

Posted by: Fred Boness at June 4, 2004 at 09:24 AM

For example, at one point he said, "I will do what I think is best for the country," then waited for applause (...)

I think the problem here is that nobody in the audience was able to figure out just what it is that ol' flip-flopper thinks is best for the country, so they all ended up sort-of confused by his statement, rather than energized...

Posted by: PW at June 4, 2004 at 09:33 AM

SMG, nice link. Thanks!

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 4, 2004 at 11:10 AM

This incident is also confirming that Kerry better find a sense of humor real quick and rein in that temper.

Posted by: Bill Peschel at June 4, 2004 at 11:56 AM

From The Goon Show

Heaving-type strain! Pull-tug! Wrench, lift, wicky-wooky-wooky! Makes funny face, waits for applause, not a sausage. Pull-tug-lift!

Posted by: Alan E Brain at June 4, 2004 at 12:26 PM

Check the NSA archive further, and you'll find reports of missile shipments as far back as August; and men and material going six monthes
before. The resolution to the CMC was a disaster;
it ratified the use of nuclear blackmail by the
Soviets, and made any active support of the Cuban
resistance null and void. In addition, it probably
went some ways to accelerating the move toward military regimes in Latin America; that had been
on the decline since the late 50s; when Peru, Argentina, Colombia & Venezuela; all underwent
civilian transitions at that time.

Posted by: narciso at June 4, 2004 at 02:10 PM

Interesting tidbit on the intelligence failures of the Cuban Missile Crisis:

Satellite photos showed early on (1960/61) the construction of a number of soccer fields around open areas and military bases in Cuba.

No one really noticed and thought much about it until after the crisis had emerged.

Then someone realized: Cubans don't play soccer. They play baseball. Russians play soccer.

The soccer fields were an indicator of the growing number of Soviet technicians and other personnel building the missile sites.

Like 9/11, no one saw this tidbit of information until later.


Posted by: SteveMG at June 4, 2004 at 02:52 PM

If the Democrats were smart, they'd nominate Lurch as their candidate, and not Kerry. Lurch is more sellable.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 4, 2004 at 03:53 PM

“The reference to ‘lurching’ may have been subconscious.”

And pigs may fly.

Hark! A harpsicord!


They’re sneaky and they’re phony
Perjurious and moany
They’re complete baloney
The Kerry Family

Their house they jointly own
One half is hocked for loan
Finances won’t be shown
The Kerry Family


So get your slogans written
The liberals are smitten
They’re gonna take a whippin’
The Kerry Family
[snap fingers twice]

Posted by: ForNow at June 4, 2004 at 04:17 PM

Correction: that's platanos, not "platins." (Your reader may have been trying to spell "plantains," which is the English word for that delicacy.)

By the way, I'll bet Kerry wouldn't have gone into any Cuban restaurant in Miami; most of the Cubans down there are Republicans. The better Cuban restaurants are in Miami too. But there are a few Cuban places in Orlando that are pretty good, especially the one that serves Miami-style Cuban food.* If you ever come to the Land of the Giant Mouse, I will tell you their secret location.

*Tampa Cubans do their food slightly differently; for one thing, they put lettuce and mayonnaise on their Cuban sandwiches, ugh.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 4, 2004 at 08:06 PM

$30? US or A? Either way, I'm huuuuungry just thinking about it . . .

Posted by: chris at June 4, 2004 at 11:20 PM

Andrea, my "secret location" for Cuban eats is located in Key West, a place named "El Siboney". Their version of Ropa Vieja (translation Dirty Rags - the exact opposite of how it tastes) is the best ever. My wife and I eat there at least three times every time we're in Key West. A meal for two with a few Cuban beers, Cuban coffee, and more food than a couple can possible eat runs about $20.

Posted by: Brent at June 5, 2004 at 02:06 AM

Oops, I think Ropa Vieja is better translated as "Old Clothes". You get the idea. It is basically very flavorful and tender shredded beef piled high, served with Cuban rice and beans.

Posted by: Brent Smith at June 5, 2004 at 02:13 AM

Don't forget to factor in the cost of wine for Tim: do these outposts of culinary delights have adequate qualities at prices which meet Tim's needs?


Posted by: J.M. Heinrichs at June 5, 2004 at 04:37 AM

Sorry Andrea. Tampa does Cuban food *correctly*. We've had a Cuban community much longer than Miami, after all. :)

Posted by: DSmith at June 5, 2004 at 04:46 AM

Nothing with mayonnaise on it is "correct." (Shudder.)

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 5, 2004 at 12:04 PM