- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Pep talk

“Enough of the hand-wringing! Enough of the doomsaying! Do I have to come there and personally calm you down?” Bush-bashing filmmaker Michael Moore writes at his Web site (www.michaelmoore.com).

“Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush IS a goner — IF we all just quit our whining and bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous ninnies. Geez, this is embarrassing! The Republicans are laughing at us. Do you ever see them cry, ‘Oh, it’s all over! We are finished! Bush can’t win! Waaaaaa!’

“Hell no. It’s never over for them until the last ballot is shredded. They are never finished — they just keeping moving forward like sharks that never sleep, always pushing, pulling, kicking, blocking, lying,” Mr. Moore said.

“They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them — they just simply never, ever give up. Only 30 percent of the country calls itself ‘Republican,’ yet the Republicans own it all — the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they’ve been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It’s because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet.

“Look at us — what a bunch of crybabies. Bush gets a bounce after his convention and you would have thought the Germans had run through Poland again. The Bushies are coming, the Bushies are coming! Yes, they caught Kerry asleep on the swift boat thing. Yes, they found the frequency in Dan Rather and ran with it. Suddenly it’s like, ‘THE END IS NEAR! THE SKY IS FALLING!’

“No, it is not. If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can’t win … ”

A revealing speech

“In the midst of all the committee-produced and consultant-shaped verbiage of John Kerry’s ‘major’ speech on Iraq [Monday], one paragraph stands out as being truly Kerry’s own,” William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, writes at the magazine’s Web site (www.weeklystandard.com).

Here’s the Kerry paragraph that Mr. Kristol cites: “It is never easy to discuss what has gone wrong while our troops are in constant danger. But it’s essential if we want to correct our course and do what’s right for our troops instead of repeating the same mistakes over and over again. I know this dilemma firsthand. After serving in war, I returned home to offer my own personal voice of dissent. I did so because I believed strongly that we owed it to those risking their lives to speak truth to power. We still do.”

Said Mr. Kristol: “When Kerry returned home to voice his dissent in 1971, his message was clear: ‘We should be out of Vietnam now.’ Kerry speaks of today as an analogous moment. This confirms what is in any case evident from the bulk of his speech: Beneath all the phony talk of international summits and making Iraq ‘the world’s responsibility,’ Kerry’s policy would be to get us out of Iraq. That’s why Kerry never says we need to win the war in Iraq, or that we can. Instead, he now explicitly says we would be better off with Saddam [Hussein] still in power.”

Daschle’s record

“We take it as a compliment that Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle saw fit to rebut one of our editorials on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ on Sunday,” the Wall Street Journal says.

“At the very least, it means Mr. Daschle’s record is finally getting the attention it deserves,” the newspaper said in an editorial.

“More than that, it means that the obstructionism of the Democratic Senate will be on the ballot this fall. Mr. Daschle’s bid for a fourth Senate term is the second-most important race in the country this year, after the one for the White House, and whether Mr. Daschle prevails may well determine how much President Bush could accomplish if he wins a second term. A Daschle defeat would show that there is a price to be paid for blocking conservative reform.

“The South Dakotan has been doing a political two-step his entire career. At home, he presents himself as a cultural conservative, a uniting force in Congress, and a prairie populist who only does what is ‘good for South Dakota.’ Yet back in the Beltway, Mr. Daschle is an iron-fisted partisan who leads (or follows) his liberal caucus in attacking most of Mr. Bush’s agenda.

“The difference this year is that voters are being told about this Jekyll-and-Hyde routine. His GOP challenger, former Congressman John Thune, has been hitting the theme hard.”

Just say no

Al Gore’s 2000 presidential team heard, but did not pursue accusations about George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service, similar to the information in discredited documents aired by CBS’ “60 Minutes” this month, a Gore campaign official told the Associated Press yesterday.

Tony Coelho, who ran the then-vice president’s campaign for several months, said he did not follow up on the claims because they were not serious enough to demand further attention.

“Of everyone I talked to, no one had anything that rose to the level that we should get ourselves into,” he said.

Mr. Coelho said he remembered taking phone calls from several Texans with charges about Mr. Bush’s Guard service. He said he did not remember if any were from retired Lt. Col. Bill Burkett of the Texas Air National Guard.

“I never felt there was anything substantive for us to try to deal with or not, so we never pursued it,” Mr. Coelho said. “We never had any documents given to us. That would have been something different. We would have had to check it out.”

Arnold’s stance

AIDS activists praised California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for signing a bill allowing pharmacies to sell hypodermic needles to drug users.

The Republican on Monday signed legislation allowing the sale of up to 10 clean syringes over the counter, Agence France-Presse reports.

California had been one of five states that require a doctor’s prescription to legally purchase syringes.

“The consequences of sharing contaminated needles and syringes have taken a significant toll on the public’s health,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said.

“My administration supports this measure because it will prevent the spread of HIV, hepatitis and other blood-borne diseases among injection-drug users, their sexual partners and their children.”

A sinking ship

“I don’t accept the apologies of [Dan] Rather and CBS News, in part because they haven’t really been offered,” New York Post columnist John Podhoretz writes.

“They’re trying to get themselves out of a hole, and they’re only digging it deeper,” Mr. Podhoretz said.

“And what Rather did [Monday] was beyond forgiveness. He is continuing to argue that the airing of a patently fraudulent effort whose purpose was to change the results of a presidential election was an act of ‘good faith.’

“You know what I hope? I hope Rather doesn’t quit. I hope he isn’t fired. He is indeed the CBS anchor — and now that the boat is taking on water, his dead weight is going to sink it for good.”

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes.com.

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