Now This

This blog is now read by more machines than humans: RSS robots, spam-laying insectopoids, echoes of blog-gathering .edu projects. This essentially is the state of affairs that all human activities w

Cleaning Up the Nation

Austin Bay:

If Air America were a conservative radio network its corrupt funding trail and cynical abuse of a poverty program would be front page news at the NY Times and full-time mega-scandal at

Rank Materialism

Freedom. I am now the proud new owner of a Gateway 6020GZ laptop, perfect for students and others with limited means. I can now go into a Starbucks or a Barnes & Noble and look like I'm doing some

Fallujah Fonda

Uh-oh. From the Telegraph comes this exciting news:

Jane Fonda is returning to anti-war activism and embarking on a cross-country tour to call for an end to US military operations in Iraq.


John Pilger: Partner in Terrorism

In an outrageous piece of terrorist propaganda appearing on the cover of today's New Statesman, John Pilger puts the blame for the 7/7 London attacks not on the terrorists, but rather on Tony Blair:

Permission to Vote Freely

The Time poll shows that Bush got his 11-point lead (not bounce- the bounce appears to be around 13 points) before Bush spoke Thursday night at the RNC. The poll was conducted Tuesday through Thursday, so unless some of the polling was done late Thursday night, none of those interviewed had seen Bush's speech. It was the earlier part of the convention, before Bush's acceptance speech, when the Republicans made their great gains.

One of the primary effects of the Republican convention was to give those people who wanted to vote for Bush, but who were basically shamed into not supporting him, permission to vote the way they really wanted to in the first place. Throughout the summer, the Bush = Hitler propaganda and other forms of shame-based campaigning by Kerry, the Democratic 527s, Michael Moore, and other leftist extremists had been depressing Bush's numbers.

To a significant degree, I suspect, those doubts about Bush did not come naturally to the political center. Seeing the triumvirate of McCain, Guiliani, and Schwarzenegger, who are generally well-respected by the center, fully and apparently honestly endorsing not only George W. Bush, but the war in Iraq too, allowed people who had begun to doubt both to put those doubts aside. This applies to liberal Republicans as well as independents.

I believe that part of this, perhaps the smaller part, is that people had been avoiding giving pollsters responses that people thought were socially and politcally incorrect. The Kerry numbers were artificially high due to this factor. The Republican convention acted in part as a sort of coming out party, where independants and some Democrats as well realized that it's OK to be for Bush; that there are others like us, including people that we respect, like McCain and Guiliani and Schwarzenegger, who support Bush. We can too, and we can admit it, even proclaim it proudly the next time a pollster calls.

Zell Miller is a bit different. I've heard some Democratic campaign operatives suggest that the audience for Miller's speech was the Republican base, as in throwing red meat to. I think this is incorrect. Miller's audience was exactly who Zell Miller wanted it to be: conservative Democrats. The Democrats have a point when they say that a few details in Miller's speech are arguable, or even factually incorrect. But the gist of it is unassailable, and those Democrats who are uncertain about or uncomfortable with Democratic softness when it comes to defense were hit right in the gut. As a tool to further the splitting of the Democratic base between those who are strong on defense and those who question the very nature and use of the American military, it was simply devestating.

So even before Bush's Thursday night speech, the Republicans had made very effective use of their time. Conservative Republicans were already on board of course, despite some grumbling over spending. Through the powerful use of moderate Republicans (McCain), liberal Republicans (Guiliani and Schwarzenegger), and one conservative Democrat (Miller), the Republicans have succeeded in giving the center the permission that they were seeking to vote for Bush in November.

Of the 13% in the bounce, perhaps half fall into the category of those who wanted to vote for Bush but needed to be assured that it's OK to do so. Barring extreme events, that half is unlikely to be swayed back to Kerry. They are where they want to be.



Check for new comments.

Add Your Comment

Name (required)

Email (not required, not displayed)

Web (optional - will be linked)

Comment (max 4000 characters)

Reload Image

Enter Code

Top Tags