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OK, so how does this hurt Dean?(21 posts)

OK, so how does this hurt Dean?OldEdScott
Dec 15, 2003 6:27 AM
Except briefly, emotionally, I mean? As soon as this universal national high wears off, what's the damage?

If the war was wrong before we caught Saddam, it's still wrong -- unless you were running around saying 'This war is wrong because we haven't caught Saddam.' Dean never said that. No one has, as far as I know.

None of the treasonous reasons Dean has given for opposing the war changed yesterday. Bush still got us in the war on false pretenses, we're still up to our armpits in 'nation buiding' in an Arab country, Bush's cronies are still looting the national treasury in that doubtful undertaking, and the real terrorists are still running around loose in the hills of Pakistan/Afghanistan.

Lieberman, a desperate man, was shamefully guilty of emotional pandering yesterday when he said 'If Dean had his way, Saddamn would still be in power.' Huh? Saddam's been out of power for, what, 8 months now? Yesterday didn't remove Saddamn from power.

Hey, I was on the universal national high myself yesterday. But as far as I can see, catching Saddam in his scum pit didn't change even one fundamental reality, whether you're for or against the war. Frankly, once past the emotional gratification, it was just a detail.
It hurts him (or for that matter any other dem.)...Dwayne Barry
Dec 15, 2003 6:39 AM
because they can no longer portray one aspect of Bush's Iraq war as a failure. No one disagrees that Saddam was a bad man who should have been removed from power, as long as he was at large, this in some sense wasn't a completed mission so Bush looked bad. Even if in reality in makes little difference to the big picture if he was ever caught or not.
Symbolically.128
Dec 15, 2003 6:45 AM
From which the President will get a lot of praise even if his capture makes little substantive change in this foreign policy or war.

We'll see what they do with it. I'll bet he is very unlikely to be tried. The US probably does not want to let this guy go on about the last 30 years. Just a guess.

How about Gore? One day after his big move he looks like he picked the wrong guy. Now he'll have to stand behind his word. The fun never ends. Dean can just soldier on.
It doesn't, much, yet...TJeanloz
Dec 15, 2003 6:47 AM
The latest relevation doesn't hurt Dean very much. It does make the Administration look a little less incompetant, because the: "you can't even catch Saddam Hussein" argument (which was out there) goes away. But Saddam's capture was not cornerstone to the war.

Down the road, it could be devastating. If this serves to pacify Iraq, it would damage the imagery of a second Vietnam - which Dean has been all too willing to project. That would be painful for Dean, but not terminal. If Hussein himself, or a clue found as a result of his capture, leads to cache of WMD, Dean might as well move to France. While neither of these scenarios are likely, both are possible (the former moreso than the latter).

The bottom line is that the capture itself does very little damage to Dean. It does make the war look slightly more successful, but not much, especially if soldiers are still dying. But the repercussions of the capture could be the end for Dean.
I think that's a good analysis.OldEdScott
Dec 15, 2003 7:22 AM
If next September, Iraq is pacified, elections are being held, WMDs are being dug up and destroyed, and Saddam's personal scrapbook has been found, replete with photos of himself and a smiling Bin Laden drunkenly playing with model airliners ... well, Dean (or any Democrat) is hopeless.

Point is, yesterday changed about as much as the toppling of Saddam's statue last April -- looks good, sounds good, feels good, people say, Ah, this is the big moment ... But who knows, eh?
I think that's a good analysis.eyebob
Dec 15, 2003 7:47 AM
I'd be interested in several things that could help/hurt Dean.

1) The money cache that was found with him was US dollars. Trace the serial numbers to see where it came from......another "follow the money" if you ask me. From a Nat. Security standpoint this could be interesting to follow.

2) If they let him go to trial, a public trial and he defends himself, he could screw with the US in unimaginable ways. If they don't televise it, I'm not sure how that'd play. Obviously the militant faction would cry foul, but they'd cry foul anyway (did you hear what Hamas had to say this weekend?). I'm not sure that the average Iraqi expects a fair trial with all that the US (even military justice) offers. They never saw it before, why now.

3) If Saddam starts yappin about his cronies and any stash of stuff (to save his hide) then this would be a boon for Bush. I believe (without any proof) that the BUshies are probably offering some sort of deal to get him to talk. Sounds awful, but I believe that most politicians would prefer that their ideologic forees pan out than true justice served in this case. It seems as though this would play into Bush's hubris. IMHO of course.

4) Dean will have a big push if the insugency continues well into next year when Saddam is dead and gone.

Better question. What do the demos do with the possiblity of a public execution? Where will the death penalty opponents (including yours truly) fall on this one?

BT
No biggie. When they get what they want from him,OldEdScott
Dec 15, 2003 7:54 AM
an embittered Iraqi nighclub owner named Yalik Rubi will shoot him in in a hallway somewhere when he's being transported. There'll never be a trial. Jesus.
I agree, I think both you & TJ did a good analysis.Len J
Dec 15, 2003 2:01 PM
However, I think there is an unspoken wild card in the elections, and that is AlQuida & Bin Laden.

2 scenarios and then ask your question:

1.) Between now & the election, Bin Laden is caught or killed. Dean (or any democrat is toast, no matter what happens in Iraq).

2.) Between now & the election, there is a mjaor terrorist act on US soil linked to AlQuida. In this case, I think Bush and his merry men are toast, especially if the terrorism is somehow linked to a key event in Iraq, say Sadam's execution (or jack ruby murder LOL).

Bin Laden & his group are what the American people want. I don't think Americans are naive enough to belive that Iraq was about terrorism.

My .02

Len
Resolve and perseveranceContinental
Dec 15, 2003 8:01 AM
It was just a detail, which is "on message" for Bush: American resolve and perseverance will root out tyrants and terrorists. We will look under every rock, search every cave, and win this war on terror one detail at a time. We won't let the political machinations of France, Germany, Russia, or the UN distract us from our mission. This new type of war will take time and steady leadership. This strength makes the Democrats look like a bunch of pansies.

Dr. Dean must have had the strongest ambivalence in his life yesterday.

Your truncated Lieberamn quote shows that you're really spinning. The entire quote is "If Dean had his way Saddam would still be in power, not in prison." Yesterday did remove Saddam from huge psychological power.

We've now reached a point where most Americans will credit the war in Iraq with preventing domestic terrorism because Al Qaeda has to focus on Iraq and Afghanistan. If there is a terror attack in 2004, it will be perceived as Al Qaeda trying to elect a Democrat.
Blame Doug for the spin.OldEdScott
Dec 15, 2003 8:28 AM
I pulled the 'truncated' Lieberman quote from his post below.
Lieberman's statement was more broad than thatLive Steam
Dec 15, 2003 8:35 AM
He obviously meant that if the US didn't go into Iraq, Saddam would still be in power. Yesterday's news was the acme of the efforts Dean opposed. Come on Ed get with it. I know you knew what he meant :O)

As for his capture not changing one fundamental reality, you know that isn't the case either. Saddam was like a ghost who would haunt the Iraq situation until he was either found dead or captured. The Iraqi people would have had a much tougher time moving on without it. Now the threat of his return is gone for good. No sons to assume his place either. Iraq may have a real shot at a successful transition. It is certainly going to have a greater chance of success with Saddam out of the way, than with him overshadowing the efforts. I am surprised at you my friend. I know you know all of this, but I guess the shock is hurting your judgment. Even though I know you, Cory and Mr. Dean are good Americans, I understand how this information could be, shall we say, less well received by yall than say, supporters of GWB :O)

All I have to add is GO GEORGE BUSH! Congratulations! You took the risk and deserve kudos. The job isn't done, so let's not get too overjoyed. Bin Laden is next. You may or may not agree with the course of action Bush has taken, but you have to admire his political guts. He took a stance and never once flinched even when the attacks were coming fast and furious. That is the true mark of a great leader. Stay the course when those around you are losing their heads. The man has risen to the salience the Office of the President deserves. He understands the Office deserves a leader and not a weatherman. He will have a great legacy, especially when Bin Laden is caught. And unlike his predecessor, he won't have any untoward baggage to drag him down!
What I was trying to get across wasOldEdScott
Dec 15, 2003 8:46 AM
old Joe leapt up and droned that statement as if it represented a new reality, created by Saddam's capture. He could have made the same statement 8 months ago. He was being craven.

I say again: Dean's opposition to the war, if it was ever valid (and a lot of people obviously thought is was) had nothing whatsoever to do with whether SH was captured or not, and so remains as valid today as it was yesterday.

Lieberman is a twit. His desperation move was almost as bad as that goddamn worthless commissar the French-looking John F. Kerry suddenly doing a breathtaking triple lutz yesterday and landing it cleanly by BRAGGING how he had voted for the war resolution! What a putz.
I agree on Kerry. He .....Live Steam
Dec 15, 2003 9:01 AM
is a slimy opportunist. Lieberman has never veered from his support for the war. He has never changed his tune and never made the "Where's the WMD?" claim. He has always said he would still vote as he did for the war. Kerry is a weak individual. I actually used to have much more respect for him prior to his candidacy. Since his run started, he has revealed himself for what he really is. Joe Lieberman seems to be a good man, though I don't think he is a good candidate for president.

Your party is in real trouble. Dean is not the answer. If you remember, angry candidates are not what the public wants to see. They don't like partisan political badmouthing. That is all Dean has going for him with the rabid leftists of your party. When the broader election is on the horizon, and he continues his diatribe, he will get turned off and tuned out by most moderate democrats and certainly by any left leaning republicans. George Bush is getting results from his initiatives even if you don't agree with them. To run and say I would have done things differently, when they are working is dumb!
Agree on one thing:OldEdScott
Dec 15, 2003 9:18 AM
Pure negativity does not win elections. People want optimism, positive vibes, and you have to give them enough of those sweet things that they forgive the negative stuff.

A friend of mine was asking my counsel about a job. A statewide official I won't ID here wanted to run for gov in four years, and was courting my pal to come work for him, four years of positioning him politically for the run.

Mt friend says to me: I dunno. This guy seems a little light. Do I want to spend four years on a campaign that'll be blown to smithereens right out of the gate because there's no heft?

I said: Don't think of it as lack of weight. Think of it as sunniness. Your guy's sunny. People like sunny. It's your job to give him the weight. Anyone can acquire weight. Not everyone can naturally manage sunny.

Lack of sunniness is a major problem for Dean, no doubt.
Let's get one thing straight.eyebob
Dec 15, 2003 9:26 AM
Duhbwa doesn't deserve kudos for any "risk" that he took. The kudos go to the War Fighters on the ground, in the air and at sea. Duhbwa is taking a "political" risk not a life and death one.

BT
Your comprehension skills are immeasurable because ...Live Steam
Dec 15, 2003 9:32 AM
you have none. Did you read each word in my post or were you blinded by your hatred of Bush, and saw only what you wanted to see? I said he has "political guts".

Yes the men and women who serve voluntarily in our armed forces deserve all the accolades for their professional and heroic efforts.
Classy response.eyebob
Dec 15, 2003 9:58 AM
Superlative retort. I'm really not very smart am I? I don't hate Bush, where'd you get that?

BT
Your "Duhbwa" response was ...Live Steam
Dec 15, 2003 11:37 AM
rather pejorative in tone. Sorry if I jumped the gun on you. I guess we can put you down as a Bush supporter :O)
No worries, I'd vote for him every time if..eyebob
Dec 15, 2003 1:08 PM
he'd nominate the same good justices to the Supreme Court that his dad did.

BT
PR-wise, it hurts.rufus
Dec 15, 2003 9:06 AM
but as you pointed out, dean has been much more against the way we were pushed to war than the goals of that action. the ends still do not justify the means, and who is to know whether political and economic pressure, the weapons inspections, etc., if pushed with the same vigor as the war effort has been, would have achieved the same effect?

and it still doesn't solve the lack of planning for the post-war iraqi rebuilding. iraqis have been screaming to be able to hold elections now, and being held back by the US coalitional government. just last week, they removed an american appointed regional governor, and are still, i believe, protesting the appointment of his successor by the americans, saying they want to elect the new governor themselves. they don't want the american plan of electing representatives who will elect the leaders, they want direct elections themselves, now. if those sentiments continue to grow, if the coalitionl government continues to stymie the transition to free elections, if the attacks continue, and broaden into an "american soldiers out" resistance, then the capture of saddam won't mean much. especially if despite whatever we do there, a working democracy fails to ever blossom, but that's something we'll not have the answer to for five years or so at best.
win wingtx
Dec 15, 2003 9:11 AM
First off, the guy was hiding in a dirt hole. Which means he's probably not helping to direct the war being waged against our troops. Now, MAYBE being captured will make some of these Iraqi attackers lose motivation, but I doubt it--we're still a foreign occupying force. The coming weeks will tell. But let's assume for the moment that the attacks on US forces decline significantly in the next month or three. It's good for Bush, but it's good for everyone, especially the Iraqis and our poor troops who are getting shot at and blown up on a daily basis. Ok, so Bush gets off the hot seat on Iraq, but he never proved a link to 9/11 or really explained why we went in the first place. The timing isn't that great, really--if they got Saddam closer the election it might help, but now...plenty of time to forget, plenty of time to shift focus back to domestic issues, which is where I think Dean can really get Bush. Unless, of course the economy really does bounce back in a meaningful way--i.e. for everyone, not just the shareholders in major corporations that are moving their operations overseas. It's still the economy stupid.

The Iraq thing helped Dean differentiate Dean from the other Dems. He's not going to need any help differentiating himself from Bush. In the final analysis capturing Noriega didn't really justify us going over to Panama and killing a bunch of people. Same goes for Iraq. Finding Saddam in a dirt hole isn't nearly as good as finding him in a hidden command center, surrounded by WMDs. And chances are Iraq is still going to be a mess with or without Saddam.