CHENEY FLIP-FLOPS—BIG-TIME! A phony man pulled a major flip. But will pundits dare to discuss it? // link //
TUESDAY, AUGUST 17, 2004
CHENEY FLIP-FLOPS—BIG-TIME: We all know how our Big Pundits hate flip-flops! But are they prepared to report Cheneys flip? Last week, the dissembling veep kept telling voters that Kerry recommended sensitivity toward terrorists. Everyone knows that this claim is pure bunk, but pundits hid beneath their desks, too afraid to challenge Cheneys fake statement. Result? By Saturday, the veep was playing the rubes extra hard. He played them in Elko, Nevada:
CHENEY (8/14/04): Senator Kerry has also said that if he were in charge he would fight a more sensitive war on terror. (Laughter.)Shocking, isnt it? According to Cheney, Kerry thinks the problem is us, not the terrorists. They wont be impressed by sensitivity, he said, implying that Kerry had said something different. What a truly remarkable slander—a slander acceded to by your press corps, who cower and hide behind their chairs when Cheney plays games like this with the rubes. And by the way, is the following statement accurate? America has been in many wars, but not a one of them was ever won by being sensitive. Readers, did we learn nothing from watching Patton? Every American war has involved diplomacy—sensitivity to allies interests. But those voters—laughing, applauding—didnt know Cheney had played them for fools. And pundits were simply too afraid to notice the plain and the obvious.
And thats where Cheneys flip-flop comes in! On Thursday, the VP spoke with conservative talk host Hugh Hewitt (click here, then scroll down for transcript). He started with the weeks prescribed drivel about how the two words dont really go together, sensitive and war. But moments later, Hewitt asked about the current stand-off in Najaf. And wouldnt you know it? Surprise of surprises! Accidentally telling the truth, Dick Cheney flip-flopped—big-time:
HEWITT (8/12/04): Will the Najaf offensive continue until that city is subdued even if that means a siege of the Imam Ali shrine?Good God! As Cheney dumbly but honestly noted, the army hasnt taken that mosque due to sensitivity about cultural issues. Dumbly, Cheney used the very word he had just trashed Kerry for using. Dumbly but honestly, Cheney showed how utterly fake his week-long assault has really been.
But then, the U.S. army has been sensitive to allies and potential allies in every war it ever has fought. And Bush and Cheney have pursued the same sort of sensitive war for which theyve assaulted Feckless Kerry. Yes, Cheney has played the voters for fools in his ugly trashing of Kerry. But now, this fake man has flip-flopped—big-time. We know how our pundits just hate those big flips. Will they dare mention this one from Cheney?
ITS TIME FOR THE PRESS CORPS TO ACT: We know! Washington pundits get very scared when faced with the Bush Admins endless faking. But this latest example is so extreme and absurd that it simply must be reported. For the past week, Bush and Cheney—and Cheneys wife—have trashed Kerry over this gimmicked-up scandal. They have baldly misstated what Kerry said—and theyve played the voters for fools in the process. And now here he is, the great Dick Cheney, expressing the very same view hes been mocking, even using the very same language! But will your frightened, startled-deer pundits dare discuss what the great man has said? The answer to that is perfectly clear; unless theyre forced, they wont likely act. Theyll micro-nitpick Kerrys statements—but run in fear from Cheney and Bush. Your Washington pundits—your Sangers; your Simons; your Meachams, your Kornbluts—these foppish scribes become scared rabbits when it comes to telling the truth about power. Youre going to have to scream and yell if you want them to talk about Cheneys big flip. Theyre very frightened, and weak (more below). Youre going to have to scream and yell if you want your weak pundits to act.
CHRIS MATTHEWS ACTS: We were startled—and very pleased—at the way last nights Hardball segment began. Land o goshen! Chris Matthews played tape of Bushs latest misstatement—and Kerry aide Tad Devine came out swinging! Ignore the specifics of the case for a moment. Just take in what Devine finally said:
MATTHEWS (8/17/04): Let me to go Tad Devine. Do you believe that that was an accurate portrayal by the president to say that your candidate declared himself the anti-war candidate in that interview?Hallelujah! For months, Bush and Cheney have played voters for fools, with the pundit corps too frightened to notice. Finally, the Kerry campaign stood and fought—and said what the Bush camp has done!
How was Bush misleading the people? Matthews challenged a standard Bush claim about something Kerry once said on Hardball. Throughout this part of last evenings show, Matthews hammered Bush aide Matthew Dowd about the presidents phony statement. Amazing, isnt it? An American pundit showing concern when a sitting president makes bogus statements? No, you wont find that kind of concern from the Simons, the Meachams, the Kornbluts, the Sangers. Weak and trembling, theyre schooled in avoidance—and even applaud distortions (see below). But last night, Matthews behaved like a journalist! Why, you might even say that Matthews behaved as an American should.
You can read the transcript yourselves to see the issue under discussion. Bushs statement is patently false—but comically, Dowd kept insisting it wasnt. For the record, this misstatement by Bush is less significant than many others he has made. Yes, Bush and Cheney have distorted the truth and misled the American people on a wide range of issues about Kerry, for months. The Sangers and Meachams know not to care. Last night, Matthews actually stood and complained. And so—Hallelujah!—did Devine.
Do you mind if we make an observation? Bush and Cheney already have reputations for being untruthful. Despite this, the Kerry campaign has failed to complain when these men go on the trail and baldly distort and mislead. Its time for Kerrys campaign to fight—for the publics interests, if not for their own. Last night, Tad Devine stood up and fought. Hallelujah! And so did Chris Matthews!
WASHINGTON, WEAK: We were shocked when we saw Matthews fight—because weve seen how his cohort behaves. Example? Last Friday, the pundit corps foppistry was on full display on Washington Week. Guest host Alan Murray cited Bushs complaints about that sensitive war Kerry wants. And watch the way your pundit corps thinks! Watch the way they congratulate Bush—for saying something they acknowledge is phony:
MURRAY (8/13/04): Speaking of code words, the other code word that came out this week was sensitive. That was the big debate on the campaign trail, believe it or not. John Kerry talking about waging a sensitive war on terror. Here's what he said, and here's what Vice President Dick Cheney said in response.Take a good look at what happened here, readers. All the pundits agreed, sotto voce, that Bushs complaint was a big load of crap. Sanger mildly noted that Bush says the same thing that Kerry said. Indeed, in his best milquetoast manner, he noted the obvious—Kerry wasnt recommending sensitivity to terrorists, the ridiculous claim that Cheney has made. And Calmes quickly said that, in her opinion, Kerrys statement makes complete sense. But who ends up being completely applauded? Of course! George Bush does, for fooling the voters! Neither Sanger, nor Calmes, nor Murray, nor Michael Duffy complained about Bushs fake/phony statements. None of them voiced a bit of concern about Cheneys use of one word taken in two different contexts. (Note to readers: We return you now to English.) No, the strongest view any pundit expressed was Calmes statement of praise—for Bush! So gaze on the soul of your Washington press corps! Well-fed; well-wined; overpaid; overpraised; theyve reached the point where they completely applaud a sitting president—when hes misleading voters! Kerrys statement makes complete sense, Calmes said. And just like that, she applauded Bush for making the voters think otherwise!
The Duffys; the Calmeses; the Murrays; the Sangers? These pundits know theyre now cast as fops. By contrast, Matthews actually stood and complained when he saw a president fooling the voters. Our civics books tell us, Thats how the press acts. They havent met Duffy and Sanger.
SO SIMPLE THAT EVEN A PUNDIT CAN GRASP IT: Congratulations to Fareed Zakarai, another scribe now stating the obvious. In this mornings Post, he derides the notion that Kerry has a nuanced, sophisticated position on Iraq. But listen one more time to Sanger, reciting on Washington Week:
MURRAY (8/13/04): Good evening. While fighting heated up in the Iraq city of Najaf this week, a new war of words was being waged on the campaign trail here at home. President Bush and Vice President Cheney were taking challenger John Kerry to task over his position on the Iraq war and his call for a more sensitive war against terror.Kerry doesnt have a bumper-sticker position? As a matter of fact, yes, he does. Here it is, simple enough so that even Sanger can grasp it:
KERRYS POSITION: I voted to give President Bush the authority. Then President Bush f*cked it up.So simple that even a pundit can grasp it! But the Bush campaign has a favorite tale—Kerrys position is very confusing—and pundits like Sanger all know to express it. Did we mention the fact that these people are fops—that they never will act in the ways the civics texts describe to your children?
By the way, earth to Sanger: Kerry plainly didnt say that he would have gone in anyway. He said he would have voted for the authority. Heres what Kerry actually said in the statement which Sanger butchers:
KERRY (8/9/04): Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it was the right authority for a president to have, but I would have used that authority, as I have said throughout this campaign, effectively. I would have done this very differently from the way President Bush has.No record exists of what Kerry was asked. But we plainly can see what the dude plainly said. I would have voted for the authority, Kerry said. Question: Why does the Times keep hiring scribes as weak and inept as David Sanger?
POSTPONEMENT: Were postponing the start of our four-part series RE the Times trashing of Bill Clintons book. Today, readers should focus on Cheneys big flip. How can we get this discussed?