July 31, 2004
Changing the tone

From John Kerry's acceptance speech:

"I want to address these next words directly to President Bush: In the weeks ahead, let's be optimists, not just opponents. Let's build unity in the American family, not angry division."

Headline in today's Chron:

Bush rips Kerry in Midwest tour

It's usually the frontrunner who promises to run a positive campaign and calls upon his or her opponent to do the same, isn't it? I guess we now know how both sides view themselves.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 31, 2004 to The making of the President | TrackBack

Yes, because one sentence and one link tell us all we need to know.

Glad you cleared that up for us.

We can just retire from following this election at all now, I suppose. No more speeches to listen to or records to examine. Good work cutting through it all with such parsimony!

Posted by: kevin whited on July 31, 2004 12:46 PM

And apparently the same holds true for each side's supporters...

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on July 31, 2004 2:10 PM

With a few slips, both candidates have generally been civil themselves. I thought Kerry's acceptance speech was civil. But certainly, he "ripped" Bush, if by that one means he criticized, opposed, and even mocked Bush's policies and record. Dubya has, can, and will give as good as he gets on this count, of course. Neither side is short of ammo to spin, and it's hopelessly naive to think that any modern candidate is going to focus only on his own merits and plans without picking apart his opponent's.

But there's no shortage of outright nastiness from the supporters, and sometimes the surrogates, of both candidates.

I expect that both campaigns view themselves as in a neck-and-neck race, but I'm not terribly interested in whether either candidate views himself as a frontrunner right now. By contrast, however, I am at least mildly interested in what each of them does with respect to the nastiest elements who support him.

For example, I assume it was not happenstance that Michael Moore was seated during some of the primetime convention hours next to President Carter and his wife. But I would be very surprised (and disappointed) to see, oh, say, Ann Coulter or Michael Savage sitting next to Poppy and Barbara at the Republican convention.

Posted by: Beldar on August 1, 2004 1:25 AM

That's funny coming from the "Bush is Hitler" crowd.

Posted by: Gary C. on August 1, 2004 3:20 PM

I don't know what "crowd" you're referring to, Gary. There's no such thing here.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on August 1, 2004 3:52 PM

Well, there is such a crowd, Kuff, but you're right that it's usually not posting here.

Posted by: Beldar on August 2, 2004 1:17 AM

That's funny coming from the "Bush is Hitler" crowd.

I believe that's a reference to the incident some months ago when MoveOn sponsored an ad contest, and one of the entries compared Bush to (or directly called him) Hitler (can't remember which). The ad was inadvertantly left up on the site for voting (there were tons of ads, so I can understand how it was missed) before MoveOn realized it and took it down. Meanwhile, the Republicans found it and fed it through the Wurlitzer as "Democrats using hate speech"; not MoveOn.org, not the producers of the ad, but Democrats, implying that the DNC officially sanctioned such filth.

Do I have a point, you ask? Why, yes - 3 actually:
1) Yes, there is a "Bush is Hitler" crowd.
2) The vast, vast, vast majority of Dems deplore this tactic, and it does not in any way represent the majority.
3) As Beldar says, it certainly doesn't represent the posters here, and it's deceptive to imply as much, Gary C.

(Incidentally, the Dems had a fun time with an official, produced-by-the-RNC Web ad that was mailed out to their supporters and for a short time was posted on the RNC site, IIRC. The ad had the familiar "The Dems are insane" line, with obligatory Gore and Dean clips, and then had some images of Hitler... which dissolved to a shot of Bush gesturing with his outstretched right hand, in a close approximation of Sieg Heil salute. While it was offensive for the ad to attempt to equate the passionate Dems with Hitler, it was amusing to see their clumsy editing actually make the association to their guy.

So, Gary C., I'd say neither party can take the moral high ground on the whole Hitler ad thing.)

Posted by: CrispyShot on August 2, 2004 10:11 AM

What, you expect them to drum up each other's strengths? It's a contest for the office of President, get real!

Besides, if I believed everything I read or heard in the media, I'd go insane.

Posted by: Matt on August 3, 2004 2:40 PM