Skip to comments.THe Full Frontal Assault (Dems in Full Attack Mode - Wash Post, NY Times, CBS Coordinate Attacks)
Posted on 03/22/2004 4:53:53 PM PST by NYC Republican
I don't recall seeing a more well-orchestrated, well-timed, full frontal assault on a political figure than what we're seeing the Democrats do to President Bush right now. Forget references to Richard Clarke as "a Reagan appointee," that's nothing but window dressing.
Democrats are well aware that President Bush's most favorable political attribute is his determined pursuit of the War on Terror. Approval for his leadership in the War on Terror remains well above sixty percent and he holds a substantial lead lead over John Kerry on the issue.
For Kerry to have any chance at all of winning in November, Democrats know they have to destroy Bush's standing as a War President and they have to do it fast - before the Bush team can plant the image in the public's mind that John Kerry is soft on national security.
To accomplish this daunting task, Democrats have resorted not just to an argument of process (i.e. Bush has made progress battling terrorism but would be doing a better job if not for mistakes X, Y & Z) but have coalesced around what I would call "The Big Lie:" that Bush is and has always been soft on terror.
Here is the anatomy of the assault. Paul Krugman launched the attack last week (duly noted on this very blog) accusing Bush of being "weak on terror." Matt Yglesias followed up shortly thereafter repeating the Big Lie in The American Prospect online - saying on his blog, ironically enough, that the only problem with Krugman's effort was that "he's just not shrill enough about it."
The attacked moved into high speed over the weekend. Leading up to his testimony before the 9/11 commission, Richard Clarke appeared on 60 Minutes and laid into Bush. There was no discussion of the terrorist attacks during the Clinton administration, no critical analysis of how the previous administration's response (or lack thereof) to those events may played a role in changing Clarke's mind about the urgent nature of the threat posed by al-Qaeda. Nothing but blame for Bush.
Meanwhile, on the other side of town former Clinton Chief of Staff John Podesta got his hands on internal FBI and DoJ budgetary memos showing the Bush administration not fully acceeding to the FBI's request for an additional $1.5 billion funding for counter terrorism. Podesta leaked the documents to Dana Milbank at the Washington Post, who wrote the story up today on page A6 in a tone not much different from the partisan hit job that appeared on the Center for American Progress' own web site.
We've got The New York Times, CBS News and The Washington Post flooding the zone with interviews featuring and talking points distributed by former Clinton officials. And liberals complain that Fox News is a pipeline for the RNC? At least Condi Rice got a chance to respond on the WaPo op-ed page.
The question is whether Richard Clarke's dog can hunt. I don't think it's necessarily fair to paint him as just a "disgruntled employee" but it is fair to note that he's out to try and sell books. I will say this: I can understand that someone who's job is to walk around and bang the drums about terrorism all day might get good and upset when people don't give him the attention he thinks he deserves.
The truth of the matter is that Clarke wanted to push the same plan (actually it wasn't even a cohesive plan but a set of ideas) already rejected by his former bosses in the Clinton administration, that I believe included trying to assissinate Osama bin Laden and forcibly remove the Taliban.
Given the way we've seen liberals react to George Bush's aggressive handling of the War on Terror, I think it's fair to say we would have had a national vein-popping epidemic on our hands if Bush had said to Clarke in early 2001, "you're absolutely right Dick, OBL is an imminent threat to our national security and we need to preemptively bomb the piss out of Afghanistan, invade the country and take him out."
That's what is so ridiculous (and audacious) about this entire ploy. For the better part of three years we've been listening to liberals whine that Bush is an overly aggressive cowboy, a unilateralist Nazi trampling on our civil rights at home and the feelings of our European friends abroad in pursuit of a "war" that many on the left have repeatedly said did and does not exist.
Now eight months before the election and we're getting a full 180 degree pivot from the same people accusing Bush of being soft on terror. It's as fake and phony as the wrinkle-free skin on John Kerry's forehead.
............and that is bad.......really bad.
Kerry is already falling too far, too fast. These coordinated media attacks may help him remain as the Dems' candidate, however. Otherwise, if he continues to fall, the Dems will backstab him and replace him at their Boston convention this Summer.
I guess the author missed the Newt Gingrich episode. - Tom
If this is their big gun, why shoot it now?
Mr. Clarke, Mr. Clarke, we can take out Osama? Please!!! .
Clarke: Nope. Forgetaboutit.
PARTIAL LIST OF TERRORIST ACTIVITIES IGNORED BY CLARKE
1993 Attempted Assassination of Pres. Bush Sr., April 14,1993
1993 First World Trade Center bombing, February 26th, 7 Killed, Hundreds injured, Billions
1995 Attack on US Diplomats in Pakistan, Mar 8,1995
1996 Khobar Towers attack
1998 U.S. Embassy Bombing in Peru, Jan 15, 1998
1998 U.S. Kenya Embassy blown up, 100's murdered
1998 U.S. Tanzania Embassy blown up, 100's murdered
1999 Plot to blow up Space Needle (thwarted)
2000 USS Cole attacked, many U.S. Navy sailors murdered
The above link is the FreeRepublic discussion thread.
The actual article is :
It is a pdf document with substantial footnotes and put together by Dewey Murdock of the Hudson Institute.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.