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Ridiculous Item of the Day #1: Kerry Hates Hitler!

My daily email from the Bush campaign:
On Thursday, the campaign launched a web video titled Kerry's Coalition of the Wild-eyed. The video featured Democrats who support John Kerry making negative and baseless attacks against the President. Interspersed in the video were segments of two ads that appeared on a website sponsored by MoveOn.org - a group campaigning for Kerry - in January. On Friday night, John Kerry's campaign denounced our use of these ads, and called that use "disgusting." The Kerry campaign says, "The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong."
This can't be right. It's almost funny, it's so disturbing. The Bush people use images of liberals basically associated with the Kerry campaign comparing Bush to Hitler, and Kerry goes off on them for using Hitler images. Does anyone see the dishonesty here? Oh, it gets better. I see now that the Kerry campaign took this to their people in an email, as reported at Oxblog. bq. Yesterday, the Bush-Cheney campaign, losing any last sense of decency, placed a disgusting ad called "The Faces of John Kerry's Democratic Party" as the main feature on its website. Bizarrely, and without explanation, the ad places Adolf Hitler among those faces.
The Bush-Cheney campaign must pull this ad off of its website. The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong. I suppose that included Al Gore and his brownshirts remarks? Everyone knows that one of the main mantras of Kerry supporters is the whole Bush/Hitler comparison. For them to send out this email and feign indignation make both Kerry and his staff look incredibly - and knowingly - dishonest. The fact that they end the email to supporters by asking for money just makes it all the more ridiculous: Hey, Bush said something about Hitler, quick, send us some money! If Kerry truly wants to denounce the use of Hitler imagery, if he truly believes that The use of Adolf Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong, then he will denounce those who are even unofficially campaigning for him who have used such images or words. Al Gore. Michael Moore. George Soros. He would also direct his campaign staff to remove the link to Democratic Undeground from his official site, as they folks at DU are some of the most prolific usurpers of the Hitler image in regards to Bush - and most of them are Kerry supporters, using Kerry buttons, stickers and images in their signature lines on those message boards. And let's not forget that Kerry hired Zach Exley to his staff. Zach was formerly head of special projects for MoveOn.org. You know, those people who helped get those Bush=Hitler ads out there. On the Kerry blog, campaign spokesperson Phil Singer issues this statement: bq. The fact that George Bush thinks itís appropriate to use images of Adolph Hitler in his campaign raises serious questions about his fitness to spend another four years in the White House. Adolph Hitler slaughtered millions of innocent people and has no place in a campaign that is supposed to be about the future and hope of this nation. The Presidentís use of these images during a month that evoked the memory of World War II is remarkably insensitive to the sacrifices of the millions of people who lost their lives during Hitlerís reign of terror.
ďThe Bush Campaign should immediately remove these hateful images from its website and apologize for using them. The use of Adolph Hitler by any campaign, politician or party is simply wrong.Ē Either they don't get it or, in their rush to smear Bush with something terrible, have eschewed honesty for a quick stab at Bush's campaign. I think I will send an email to Phil Singer explaining to him in as simple terms as I can just what is going on: Kerry supporters liken Bush to Hitler. Bush ad shows Kerry supporters likening Bush to Hitler, to show that Kerry supporters are from the dark side. What part of this do you not get? Hey, but don't forget to send your money to Kerry, kids. Because he vows to keep Hitler out of the campaign! So I'll just sit here and wait for him to denounce every single one of his supporters who have used the image/idea of Hitler and Nazi Germany in describing George Bush and his adminstrations. Waiting.....
As far as the Bush ad goes, I don't think it's a very good ad. I see what they were trying to convey, but I think it would have come out better and sent the message in a clearer way if the negativity of the Kerry supporters was interspersed with shots of Bush being positive.

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» Oh, really? from Inoperable Terran
This is great. The Bush campaign has a new ad showing a bunch of prominent Donks saying that Bush = Hitler. Kerry has retaliated by saying that Bush shouldn't be calling people Hitler. Wha?!... [Read More]

» Rubber roads that lead nowhere! Digital Brownshirts that won't melt! from Who Tends the Fires
The Word for the Day is: "Mendacity" Spam-Lite today. ;] This is good stuff over at Spiced Sass: Hillary vs the Internet. Fascinating. A little plain ole humour, errr... Plane ole humour from John of Argghhh. ;] Jim at Smoke... [Read More]

» Hypocrisy Much? from The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
The Bush campaign has launched a new ad displaying some of the many outrageous comparisons and statements made by Fuckface... [Read More]

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» More Hitler, please! from E Pluribus Unum
Bush apologists here and here are peddling as fast as they can to try to "explain" what the Hitler ad is all about over there on the Bush-for-President web site. Their best explanation?Kerry supporters liken Bush to Hitler. Bush ad... [Read More]

» Why Hitler, of course! from Hellblazer
I'm with Ara on this one. There seems to be quite a bit of explaining on the Right, here, here, and here, regarding why Hitler appears in the latest Bush ad. If you haven't seen the ad itself, you should... [Read More]

Comments

Ummm... the clip of the Hitler ad was from the MoveOn.org contest... an ad that MoveOn immediately deleted and acknowledged as distasteful and against their positions. I believe the whole controvery about it started when... oh, right... when some Bush people "rushed to smear people with something terrible." But please, do go on about the Kerry campaign's dishonesty.

Trying to get the left to understand their hypocrisy is like talking to a wall. Great observation, and that ad is spot-on in showing the reasons why old school Democrats like Zell Miller are turning their backs to the party.

Oh, please John. It was only after an uproar that they were removed. The fact that they made it to the website in the first place shows that the organizers couldn't have found them too distasteful.

So, about addressing the issue of the Kerry campaign making it sound like Bush was using Hitler in his ads (rather than Bush showing Kerry supporters calling him Hitler)?

Nevermind. Let's just stick with the "you did it, too" thing. It's all I've come to expect.

I agree, I think the Kerry statement was stupid, but I think the Bush campaign's use of that video was as dishonest. I've been making fun of Hitler analogies as silly and pointless for over two years in my strips. My point is that in light of both sides abusing and subsequently mocking such an analogy (scrolls down one post, blinks) I don't really see how either side of the aisle gets moral authority here. Making straw men demands for Kerry to "disavow" this and that is just pandering.

And frankly, saying that "one of the main mantras" of a Kerry supporter is comparing Bush to Hitler is like saying "one of the main mantras" of a Bush supporter is shooting abortion doctors. Give me a break.

Bush's campaign making use of the MoveOn.org ad to showcase the left is absolutely not dishonest. Just this past week Al Gore was referring to 'digital brownshirts,' and a leftist judge had to issue an apology for comparing Bush to Mussolini. The Bush/Cheney web ad is right on target.

John, I think the ad would be dishonest if it was claiming that Kerry called Bush Hitler. But it's not; it showing what Kerry supporters have been doing to drum up negative feelings towards Bush.

Like I said, the ad really isn't that good. But it's not dishonest.

Why did he hire Zack Exley of MoveOn then?

I'll grant you that the Kerry statement was pretty lame, but that doesn't excuse the Bush folks cherry picking content from an extremist group that happens to support Kerry. It is unreasonable to hold Kerry accountable for actions that his supporters might take. An analogy would be the Kerry campaign using clips from some extremist Christian fundamentalist group. To stretch the point, it wouldn't be hard for Kerry to find a group of Bush supporters advocating the imprisonment of homosexuals and making possesion of porn a felony.

MoveOn are a bunch of nutjobs and do not represent the views of this Democrat or any other potential Kerry voter I know. My party would have a much easier battle if MoveOn and Moore would just go away, Bush's record speaks for itself and as long as Cheney is running around unmuzzled we'll never lack ammunition.

The ad also sucks. It is bad politics to depend on a blurb at the end to make your point. This thing is going to backfire anyway and it seems foolish for Bush to dignify this ridiculous comparison. I care about what the candidates stand for, not absurd comparisons drawn by some fringe group nobody with a lick of sense takes seriously -- I would like to think my President feels the same way.

Al, valid points all. But: It wasn't just fringe groups represented in the ad. I would say that Dems and Kerry supporters in general do take Gore, Moore and Gephardt seriously. They aren't exactly fringe and they have all used the Hitler/Nazi scenario.

I have no use for ads that do not tell me what a candidate wants to do for me, but rather what the other candidate is doing/not doing. But even though I don't like this ad, I think Kerry's response to it is still very dishonest, especially being that his campaign site still links to the largest fringe group of liberals out there, Democratic Underground.

Yeah, there was a reason I didn't address the DU part of your post. That reason being -- I don't have an answer. I find it unfathomable the Democratic candidate, who according to recent polls may actually have a chance at being President, would allow his campaign to maintain ties with such people.

I don't see how it helps him. DU readers, if they vote at all, are not going to vote for Bush. It's a no-win situation for Kerry and only emasculates his criticism of Bush administration ties to special interests and pandering to big dollar corporate fundraisers.

I'm pretty disgusted with politics at the national level regardless of party affiliation. These people seem incapable of taking the high road and dignity seems to be a forgotten concept. They are turning our system, a system that has worked well for hundreds of years, into some sort of Springerish sideshow. We may as well be Argentina.

I think we can all agree that both Mr. Kerry and Mr. Bush are anti-Hitler. If we start to argue about which one is MORE anti-Hitler we devolve into the same kind of anti-intellectual bloviating that dominates the right-wing media. Do we really want to sink that low?

The point of the Bush/Cheney ad is that George is more sunny and optimistic than Kerry. This is such a ridiculous way to choose a leader that I just have to roll my eyes---"likability" is how you cast a sitcom, not how you choose someone to have his own nuclear weapons!

Since Bush cannot run on his record---an unbroken chain of lies and failures---he's running on his smile and a handshake. It's pathetic and insulting.

And if the Bush campaign is upset that we're mad....Fuck them. We have DAMN GOOD REASON to be angry!

Clinton laid the basis for the War with Iraq. He was the one who made 'regime change' official U.S. policy towards Iraq in '98. His administration first linked al Qaeda and Hussein. Democrats under his administration were beating the war drums - do I have to pull out Kerry's comments from the senate floor in November of '97?

What lies? WMD's? Look in the mirror before you look to the right. What failures? Freeing over 50 million people in three years?

I would say that Dems and Kerry supporters in general do take Gore, Moore and Gephardt seriously. They aren't exactly fringe and they have all used the Hitler/Nazi scenario.

Talk about dishonesty. When has Gephardt used the "Hitler/Nazi scenario," Michele? Or does referring to someone as a "miserable failure" now mean that you're also calling them a Nazi?

George, I'm not clear on what Clinton has to do with advertising by the Bush campaign. Aside from that, a case could be made that hostilities with Iraq began when George Sr. went to war against them. Of course before that, even though Saddam gassed the Kurds, he was a US ally during the Reagan administration against the greater evil of Iran. But that's neither here nor there, except that your comment highlights the rights consistent playing of the Clinton card. You may not have noticed but Clinton isn't running for anything and in terms of this election he is about as relevant as Nixon.

As hard as it may be for you to believe, not all Democrats or Kerry supporters are anti-war. As you point out the Clinton administration wasn't exactly pro Saddam. I don't agree with the timing of the war and think that it diverted resources from homeland security and more imminent threats (God, it kills me to use that phrase), but I am far from convinced that Gore or Kerry would have acted differently. It's not like we're choosing between the fascists and the Communists. Kerry and Bush aren't really all that far apart if you step back and look at thier actual positions.

That is a big part of our troubles in Europe and elsewhere. They just don't understand what we're arguing about. In some countries the wrong vote means the end of your business, imprisonment or possibly death. Here it means a nickel more for gasoline or a couple of prime rate points. To portray either Bush or Kerry as Hitler is absurd, it's pure hyperbole and the stream of exagerration from both sides of the aisle diminishes the process. In the end it's the process that matters, there is only so much damage a candidate can do in four years -- that is, providing the system of checks and balances remains in place. That, my friends, is something we'd best be focusing on rather than the current idiocy from both campaigns.

I never thought Godwin's Law would be invoked in an election.

Angela, you are right. Gephardt did not say anything about Hitler in that montage, nor do I know if he ever has.

That's Zach "Neck Bolts" Exley to you private!

I saw him once on tv, and yes I was looking for the neck bolts :-)

August

Kerry campaign hired Zack Exley of MoveOn.

Tell me, did the GW campaign hire an OperationRescue operative as THEIR director of Online Communications and Operations? No?

Then it is totally legitimate to point out Kerry's high profile connection to MoveOn and that their fringiness is welcome in the Kerry campaign.

Kerry doesn't want to be linked to MoveOn? Then fire Exley and disavow the group.

I'm still waiting for Kerry to disavow Gore's Bush/Hitler remarks, or the comments from Uncle Teddy and Pat Leahy.

Al, you- and all the others wo talk about MoveOn, Democratric Underground, and ANSWER being "extremists" who we shouldn't judge the simonpure Kerry campaign by- might have more of a point if Kerry (or ANY other national Democrat) had EVER disavowed them or denied their aid. As is, people like Kerry and yourselves feel most happy to take advantage of their fundraising and 'voter education' services while announcing your moral superiority and demanding that no Republican dare make the mistake of judging you by the company you keep.

Dave, I think Al made it pretty clear that he does not keep that company.

Actually Dave, I don't feel superior at all. I find myself dismayed that John Kerry is the best my party has to offer and sincerely hope that he distances himself from the extremists on the left.

One is certainly judged by the company one keeps however it's not like Kerry really has a say in what MoveOn or ANSWER does. They are certainly free to endorse any candidate they like. DU is a little thornier because of that unfortunate link on the official campaign site but I expect that won't be there much longer as the grass roots Dean legacy shifts into high gear for the home stretch. Anyway, considering the number of indicted, convicted and pardoned felons in the Bush administration I'm not convinced this is the route to go. It will inevitably lead to another round of mudslinging while both candidates do everything in their power not to address anything of substance.

That said, I will continue to support John Kerry for a variety of reasons. Michele and I have different priorities in selecting our leadership, I happen to believe that the erosion of states rights, civil liberties and tripartate government that has begun under Bush/Ashcroft poses more of a threat to us in the long term than Islamic fundamentalists.

Al,

While I understand your priorities, I just have to ask

What errosion of civil liberties are you talking about? I'm not being antagonistic, truly, but I've never been able to get a Democrat who uses that "priority" to give me actual instances of this so-called "trampling of civil rights." Too many people (and I'm not including you in this, but only the people I've encountered) who use such a meme as a figleaf. They just know they viscerally hate GW but actually have enough self-awareness to be embarrassed by such "reasoning" creeping into their vote-choice.

The Bush people use images of liberals basically associated with the Kerry campaign comparing Bush to Hitler, and Kerry goes off on them for using Hitler images. Does anyone see the dishonesty here?

I absolutely agree, Michele, the dishonesty here is beyond belief. The Kerry campaign is, of course, utterly and totally responsible for the actions of their supporters, especially those of MoveOn.org which, by law, must be completely seperate from the Kerry campaign. So when an Internet poster enters a contest by MoveOn.org with an offensive entry (which they quickly pull and apologize for) it's perfectly reasonable to both 1) loudly and harshly criticize Kerry for using Hitler to bash Bush and 2) use Hitler to bash Kerry.

Actually, I think this is almost the most ridiculous, dishonest, and hypocritical campaign ad I've seen. The fact that President Bush can even say that last line about being positive after this tripe almost caused my head to explode. I think the Kerry campaign should offer to pay for it to be run in more states, because I can't actually imagine anything they could possibly run which makes President Bush look worse then just letting him deliver that line with a straight face.

I would dearly love to see anyone here defend this ad on its proclaimed merits:
1) That the Bush campaign is being positive here.
2) That it's fair to use a discarded and denounced Internet contest entry to criticize MoveOn.org.
3) That even if you can find a justification for #2, it's fair to use that to complain about the Kerry campaign, which legally must remain totally seperate and cannot, by campaign finance law, give advice to MoveOn.org.

Kerry supporters liken Bush to Hitler. Bush ad shows Kerry supporters likening Bush to Hitler, to show that Kerry supporters are from the dark side. What part of this do you not get?

It's perfectly fair to show Kerry supporters and what they are saying. I have no problem at all with that. No one is objecting to that. However, the images from an Internet contest submission that has already been denounced do not fall under this cloud. What part of this do you not get? You don't have to 'wait', it's already happened.

So, the Bush campaign is running images of Hitler in an official campaign spot, while claiming to be positive. These images have no relation at all to the Kerry campaign, and have already been denounced and apologized for by the Kerry-supporting organization that inadvertently hosted them. What part of this can I possible support? It's disgusting.

Hey, but don't forget to send your money to Kerry, kids. Because he vows to keep Hitler out of the campaign! So I'll just sit here and wait for him to denounce every single one of his supporters who have used the image/idea of Hitler and Nazi Germany in describing George Bush and his adminstrations.

When Kerry uses Bush + HItler in an official campaign spot, this will be a valid complaint. How would you react if someone tried to hold President Bush responsible for everything his supporters say? I'd laugh, it's a stupid argument. The fact is, this is an official campaign spot that President Bush personally endorses, and that makes it his direct responsibility.

Soli

What is it that the Kerry campaign hiring a Exley that you don't get?

Do tell me where the Bush campaign has hired, in director positions people from OperationRescue.

Otherwise, the GW ad was spot-on. Kerry has to either distance himself from MoveOn and DU or own them. Period.

"What errosion of civil liberties are you talking about? I'm not being antagonistic, truly, but I've never been able to get a Democrat who uses that "priority" to give me actual instances of this so-called "trampling of civil rights."

Hard to know where to start.

Librarys are now required to surrender records and are forbidden to even acknowledge a request for same. As are ISPs and cable broadcast providers.

Search and seizure is being rewritten as we speak. Warrants are easier to get and open ended. The Supreme Court just decided that we no longer have the right to refuse, probable cause has been changed to "any reason we might suspect you".

The right to peacable assembly is restricted to designated areas, during limited hours.

People are being held without charges, the ability to confront thier accusers or due process. Habeas Corpus is dead in this country.

As much as I desire personal safety the Justice Dept. is overreaching and using 'security' to further an agenda that includes stomping out porn and hindering the dissemination of information. It's all well and good to root out terrorists, but it's not an excuse to use Constitutionally guaranteed rights to further social policy.

All of this chips away at the presumption of innocence and is a fundamental change in the way governmental authority interacts with the citizenry. People need to remember that our rights exist to protect us from governmental intrusion into our private lives, not to protect us from outside threats. There is a difference.

Al

You think that libraries weren't subject to search warrants before? You think sneak'n'peek warrants were never issued prior to the PA?

Um...you'd be wrong.

What you get amongst all the hundreds of pages of the PA is fine-tuning statutes already on the books that pertain to criminal enterprises now being extended to terrorist organizations. What, you think that a separate search warrant should be issued for each separate phone # a terrorist uses (pre-PA) rather than just issuing a warrant for wiretap on the suspect him/herself?? (PA) In today's world of disposable cellphones????

BTW, can you cite a case of library "crushing of dissent"? How many have taken place since the PA passed? (you probably know as well as I do, it's been zero.)

People are being held without charges, the ability to confront thier accusers or due process.

Who? Name names. Cite cases. Provide a credible link.

Habeas Corpus is dead in this country.

I'm sorry. That's it. You're just not serious if you post something like that. Excuse me, but your figleaf slipped.

Jaysus on a pony!! Save us from the kool-aid drinkers.

Oh...and btw

The right to peacable assembly is restricted to designated areas, during limited hours.

Terrible how SCOTUS abbrogated the 1st amendment rights of anti-abortion protesters in 1997.

That IS what you were talking about, eh?

Michele: Al is marching in the parade. If he didn't like the people he is marching with, he'd leave the parade. Until he does, all assertations by him that he does not associate with "those people" should be taken with a grain of salt. If enough Democrats left the parade-and made clear why they did-than the DNC would distance itself from organizations that encourage behavior and views that moderates on both side abhorr. By holding their noses and staying in, Al and those who think like him encourage more of the same from the "kill your officers" and "Bush is Hitler" factions and their allies in the DNC.

Al, think about this. If your candidate, Kerry, is elected... MoveOn and ANSWER will expect to be rewarded for their efforts. They'll also redouble their efforts for the next election, because THEY WILL HAVE HAD PROOF THAT THEIR METHODS WORK. Thanks, guy.

"What, you think that a separate search warrant should be issued for each separate phone # a terrorist uses (pre-PA) rather than just issuing a warrant for wiretap on the suspect him/herself??"

You seem to missing the simple detail that there is no definition of 'terrorist'. A terrorist is whoever they say is a terrorist. That's not good enough for me. I afraid I lack confidence in the decision making process, that's what evidence is for and right now they don't need any to declare you a terrorist. Extend this to 'domestic terrorists' and all of a sudden it's a much broader field.

"BTW, can you cite a case of library "crushing of dissent"? How many have taken place since the PA passed? (you probably know as well as I do, it's been zero.)"

Actually, I don't know (and neither do you). It's a secret.

"Name names. Cite cases. Provide a credible link."

I hate trot out Padilla but as far as I know he has yet to be charged. Regardless of what he may have done, this man is a US citizen arrested inside our borders and is therefore entitled to all the protections of any other citizen.

See, that's the problem. We have created a second legal system, a secret one where it is against the law for people involved in it to discuss it. Of course warrants were issued before the Patriot Act, however the bar was much higher and there was judicial oversight. Patriot Act II actually allows for law enforcement to draft warrants all by themselves. There is something very wrong when the people making the laws are tasked with enforcing them.

None of this is the end of American civilization, but it is a matter of concern to me. Fortunately, these things can be repealed as quickly as they were created and things always swing back the other way eventually.

"If enough Democrats left the parade-and made clear why they did-than the DNC would distance itself from organizations that encourage behavior and views that moderates on both side abhorr."

Please. I don't see the Bush administration distancing themselves from the Evangelical right. They're politicians, they take what they can get and I don't see Kerry speaking to groups of MoveOn members.

We are 'leaving the parade'. In droves. If you think mainstream Democrats are represented by MoveOn you are sadly mistaken. I live in a heavily Dem district, if I was to poll ten Dems at random from this district I have no doubt that nine of them haven't even heard of MoveOn.

Like webloggers what they are is a very vocal minority and most rational people are aware of that.

"Terrible how SCOTUS abbrogated the 1st amendment rights of anti-abortion protesters in 1997."

I think maybe your missing the 'peacable' part of assembly. Interfering with women seeking a legal medical procedure and picking off doctors from hiding isn't very peaceful.

Al

The SCOTUS decision was on any anti-abortion protest. And the vast majority of them ARE peaceful, regardless of your political opinion of them.

The kerfluffle over making organizations such as the Stalinist ANSWER or the Maoist NION get permits or being held to places so they can't interfere with people seeking to exercise their rights or picking off ANSWER enemies from hiding, certainly didn't start in 2000.

Kinda reminds me of how the "homeless problem" only gets coverage under Republican presidents.

Poor baby that you can't define a "terrorist." Guess you work for AP or Reuters. That would explain a whole lot.

Well, Darleen, it's been real. But in my ongoing attempt to remain civil I think it's best I move on. Move on, get it? I kill myself sometimes. It really isn't fair for me to monopolise someone elses comments, hell, I knew there was a reason I didn't do politics anymore.

BTW, I wasn't talking about my definition of terrorist. Mine isn't particularly important being that I don't have the power to arrest people based upon it -- but if you could point me to the Justice Departments I'd be grateful.

Well Al

If you are really interested (be real...get it?)in a base grounding of the legal precedents and analysis over enemy combatants, how about starting with The American Bar Association Task Force on Terrorism and the Law, Report and Recommendations

Soli
Darleen,

What is it that the Kerry campaign hiring a Exley that you don't get?

Do tell me where the Bush campaign has hired, in director positions people from OperationRescue.

Otherwise, the GW ad was spot-on. Kerry has to either distance himself from MoveOn and DU or own them. Period.

Exley's position (also the position of MoveOn.org) on these images: denounced them. Oops, sorry to blow your whole argument away in 2 seconds, Darleen. Yes, Exley created a contest where people could submit and review online ads, so it is technically accurate although typical politicial weasel-speak to say something like "he encouraged the production of these ads." Did the contest in any way suggest that people use the Hitler theme? No. Did they pull them immediately when it was brought to their attention? Yes. Did the apologize and denounce the spots? Yes. Do tell me where people in Kerry's campaign run official campaign spots with Hitler + Bush. Sorry, DU postings do not count.

Summary: Bush official campaign uses Hitler audio and video to attack political opponents while claiming to be positive. Kerry official campaign does not. Neither Bush nor Kerry campaigns have denounced this sort of rhetoric by their own supporters. The Kerry campaign blog does link to a large number of "lefty" blogs, including some offensive ones like the DU, which is a site that is offensive and stupid to a degree almost impossible to replicate in any non-internet medium, while the Bush campaign site does not link to any of Bush's offensive internet supporters.

Take a second and look up the state by state vote tallies for the 2000 election.

Look at the breakdown by candidate in just Florida. If you have time, look at them all.

Today's Democratic leadership is clearly trying to reel in some of the vote they lost to Nader in key states without driving moderate to conservative Dems and Independents towards the President.

They can't have it both ways.

I say, tie the Moveon.org, A.N.S.W.E.R, and Michael Moore cans to that hound's tail!

I am a former left of center independent. 9/11 forced me to reevaluate many aspects of my life.

I now stand with the President.

Will someone post (verbatim) Kerry's personal denunciation of the Hitler MoveOn ad? And Exley's? And MoveOn's explanation for how the ad was ever disseminated under their banner? And how many hits it got while on their site?

Thank you.

Every "erosion of civil liberties/attack on the Constitution" I've seen happen in this country since I moved here 20 years ago has come direct--Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200--from the left. Right to fire people for non-PC speech? Check. Zero-tolerance policies? Check. Banning smoking in private areas? Check. "Free speech ZONES" (gag) in universities? Check. Wholesale rewriting of history in textbooks? Check. "Campaign Finance Reform"...? Okay, bipartisan...but who started it? Democrats.
Yeah, a few right-wing nuts TRY to get creationism into textbooks and such, but guess what? They almost always lose.
Try and find a university campus in America now without "speech and behaviour codes" that read like an excerpt from Orwell's 1984.
So, no: I'm not afraid of the PA. Can't possibly be any worse than what the lefties have given us, and at least it'll be useful. I've also noticed that there simply don't seem to be any significant number of cases anyone can point to as "horrible results of the PA." Can it use some fine-tuning? Yep. Should we keep a sharp eye on how it is used? Double yep.
But if any tiny scrap of information emerged from the putrid embarassment of the 9/11 Commission, it was that certain aspects of the PA (especially increased data-sharing and interservice cooperation) are necessary if we are really serious about this war.
Right now the lefties don't strike me as serious people.
The PA is an attempt to deal with the awful fact that our laws and Constitution have no adequate mechanism to deal with an undeclared war fought on our soil by non-states. It was, alas, one of the few things the Founding Fathers did not forsee.
Treating terrorists as some sort of weird sub-species of gangbanger who deserves Miranda Rights and a free lawyer is going to get a lot of Americans seriously killed in the near future.

DrSteve,

We agree that the two ads in question were in poor taste and deeply regret that they slipped through our screening process. In the future, if we publish or broadcast raw material, we will create a more effective filtering system. - Wes Boyd, Founder of MoveOn.org Voter Fund

I don't know where you can find Exley's response that the RNC says you should look at online ... it's Newsweek, 1/13/04. They quote him as saying "Typical Republican Bullshit" or "Bullshit," which could really be taken several ways. I'd say it's a safe assumption that if it actually meant what they want, they would have quoted more of it, but anyone who wants can go ahead and look this up. Here's an except from an email that went out from the MoveOn.org team that specifically included Exley in the from tag:

RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie launched the attack on "Fox News Sunday," and the RNC followed it with press releases and calls to reporters. The charges centered on two ads posted on the Bush in 30 Seconds website which compared President Bush's tactis with those of Adolf Hitler. Mr. Gillespie repeatedly referred to the ads as 'the MoveOn ad' or 'MoveOn's ad,' implying that we had sponsored or perhaps even commissioned the ad. And he also claimed that we might spend $7 million to run it on TV. This is a lie. MoveOn.org hasn't sponsored such an ad, and we never would -- we regret the appearance of these ads on the Bush In 30 Seconds site. The two ads in question are from more than a thousand posted by members of the public, and they were voted on by MoveOn members through December 31st. Obviously the few hundred of you who viewed these ads agreed that they were not worthy of further broadcast or recognition, because they got low ratings. Yesterday we announced the 15 finalists -- all good, hard-hitting and fair appraisals of the Bush record, in the judgment of the members and others who rated them. The two offending ads can only be found one place now -- on the RNC website! [emphasis mine]

The Hitler spots never appeared on the Moveon.org site, only on the bushin30seconds.org contest site. The way it worked was you clicked the "I want to vote" link, you were randomly shown a small selection of the 1500 internet submissions to rank. There was no actual way to get to it directly, just random chance. I'm not sure how many hits ... if we say 100,000 people decide to judge and .5% randomly got that one, then we could say 500 hits. Most people that saw it probably got it from the GOP, who started distributing it the second they found out about it. You can also get them from the Memory Hole.

The denouncement from Kerry for the ad that was never run or sponsored by the organization that was unofficially supporting one of his primary rivals (6% short for "official" Dean support in their vote) is probably lacking. If he did say anything about it, it was probably a punch at Dean (Dean 44% vs Kerry 15% on MoveOn at the time). You can, of course, take everything Kerry says about the Bush ad as a denouncement of the 2 that were never run by MoveOn. All three were equally grotesque, although only one man had the lack of integrity to run one of them.

George, I'm not clear on what Clinton has to do with advertising by the Bush campaign. Aside from that, a case could be made that hostilities with Iraq began when George Sr. went to war against them. Of course before that, even though Saddam gassed the Kurds, he was a US ally during the Reagan administration against the greater evil of Iran. But that's neither here nor there, except that your comment highlights the rights consistent playing of the Clinton card. You may not have noticed but Clinton isn't running for anything and in terms of this election he is about as relevant as Nixon.

Whenever leftists start up with their usual screeches it usually starts up with 'Bush lied!' and it's generally in regards to Iraq - which was what I responded to, a self-described angry leftist who was saying 'Bush Lied!' My point is that it is the completey hypocritical and disingenuous for leftists to claim this - where was there outrage when Clinton was using WMD's as the basis for 'regime change' (a term he first started using in regards to Iraq) as official U.S. policy? For any leftist, including Kerry and especially Gore, to claim that Bush lied about WMD's or links to al Qaeda and Hussein are absurd because when Clinton was in office the leftists were backing him up with the same claims. The intelligence the Bush Administration had was the same intelligence that Clinton had. Where was the left's outrage then? They didn't become outraged until a Republican was elected that took the ball and ran with it in regards to Iraq on a foundation that the left themselves helped create.

Soli

Supposedly Exley is some sort of online guru, and that is why he's been hired by the Kerry campaign.

So, you have two choices...either he was so incomptent as to not vet "ads" submitted before allowing the online under his banner (or whatever proxy banner MoveOn was using), or he (or staff) knew exactly what was going on and was waiting for the reaction before THEY figured out what they were going to do in a CYA move.

Either way, if Kerry doesn't want to be linked to MoveOn..a highly partisan anti-Bush group with decidely questionable tactics, then he shouldn't have hired Exley or he should get rid of him.

As it is, pointing out the ties between Exley and Kerry are pertinent and correct.

Sorry your panties are in such a knot about that.

Darleen,

You seem to be missing the point. The Kerry campaign has absolutely no reason to "distance itself" from MoveOn.org because of 2 entries in an internet contest which they never endorsed and specifically denounced. President Bush has a need to distance himself from his own campaign which specifically produces and paid to air an advertisement using Hilter to attack John Kerry and MoveOn.org.

Pointing out ties between Exley and Kerry are very pertinent, correct, and absolutely pointless. I dare you to prove that Bush does not have connections to the people who actually put this filth on the air, espcially the "and I endorse this message" bit. I dare you to prove, as President Bush himself claims in his pathetic attempt to smear Kerry with Hitler, that President Bush is giving a positive, optimistic message. I dare you to, just once, attempt to apply your own moral values to your own candidate.

I don't have your problem. I can say, and I will say, that using images or video of Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, or any other widely hated mass-murderer in campaign spots to smear your opponent is disgusting and wrong. I have always applied this value judgement to any politician regardless of party, race, or creed, and I will continue to do so. On the facts, only one man has done that in this case, and that man is President George W. Bush. Hold him accountable.

I challenge you to research the facts of the MoveOn.org case and see if they match up with what Ed Gillespie claimed in his news appearances. I challenge you to back up the view that employers should deny employment to Zack Exley based on 2 submissions to an online contest he ran. I challenge you to make an argument strong enough that similar circumstances could make you apply it to a politician you like or admire. I would love for you to be able to tell me something that would make the actions of the Bush campaign acceptable. I've looked and looked, and the more I research, the worse this looks for President Bush.

Soli

You had me at "his own campaign which specifically produces and paid to air an advertisement using Hilter to attack John Kerry and MoveOn.org.

Jaysus on a pony... MOVEON, whether through incompetence or design were the sponsors of those images, not the Bush campaign.

Soli, step up to the plate and OWN THE FACT that the Bush=Hitler meme is from the contemporary American Left. Pointing out the ass in the room is NOT the responsibility of the messenger.

What is all that roar and huff from the usual suspects about "appearance" of impropriety?

Either fire Exley or accept that HIS organization sponsored Bushitler ads. The so-called apologies for it make as much sense as the NYTimes having little explaination for sitting on documents demonstating a connection between Al Qaeda and Saddam while, at the same time, demanding an apology from the Bush admin for pointing out those same connections.

And where has Kerry been as Algore has entered the Bushitler ad hominem universe?

Do show me an OperationRescue higher-up appointed to a directorship in the Bush campaign. Otherwise it's time to stop your abjectly transparent spinning.

Kerry's been exposed, yet again..just as with the DU link and the "I don't fall, that SOB [secret service agent] cut me off."

He's Clinton, with absolutly none of the charm and optimism.

Darleen,

Every time I talk to you, I answer your questions, but you never even attempt to answer mine. I wonder why that is.

If by sponsor, you mean put on a webpage raw content that they specifically said they did not sponsor or endorse from an internet competition ... I guess you're right. They also took it down voluntarily and apologized for it, unlike the Bush campaign, which apparently is proud of the Hitler=Kerry meme they are personally supervising.

The extremist left is indeed completely responsible for the Bush=Hitler meme. Totally. I never said otherwise. Geez, that was easy. Pointing out that Bush is the only Presidential candidate in the race to run negative campaign spots with the Hitler=Opponent meme is not, however, the responsibility of the extremist right. It is the responsibility of the Bush campaign and specifically endorsed by the man himself while claiming to be passing a positive message. Do you have the courage to own up to that fact?

"Appearance" of impropriety ... I don't really know what you're talking about.

Neither Kerry or Bush are condemning their supporters for ad hominem attacks. Again, if you don't have the courage to condem the guy you like for it, don't bother making the argument with me, I just laugh. Based on Al Gore's recent performances, I have no intention of ever supporting him for any office.

As far as I know, Operation Rescue does not have any Bush directors. Once more, there is absolutely no reason to be ashamed of a link between MoveOn and the Kerry campaign unless you can prove that MoveOn has done anything wrong, which you haven't even attempted to do. Hosting an Internet competition which people make objectionable submissions is not bad, unless you refuse to take those submissions down when they are pointed out.

You are correct that the Kerry blog should not be linking to the DU.

Interesting info i pulled from a whois site concerning ownership of moveon and bushin30seconds:

CustName: MOVEON.ORG/WESLEY L. BOYD
Address: P.O. Box 9063
City: Berkeley
StateProv: CA
PostalCode: 94709
Country: US
RegDate: 2003-01-27
Updated: 2003-01-27

This info came up for both sites as owner. Let's talk about culpability.

You guys crack me up!

I'd like to see MORE pictures of Hitler on the Bush web site. More, more, more.

More.

All Hitler, all the time, on the Bush-for-President web site.

Heh.

P.S. More Hitler, please.

MJLange,

Yes MoveOn.org was the sponsor of the the "Bush in 30 Seconds" contest. No, this was never in question by anyone.

I would love to talk Hitler advertisement culpability with you. A great starting place would be if you went and read some of the transcripts of Ed Gillespie talking about MoveOn.org on TV, then tried to find out for yourself what the facts of the MoveOn.org Internet contest. If you want me to take you seriously, you need to start with the facts of the case (including things like 1) Bush in 30 seconds was an internet contest in which the 2 Hitler spots were entries along with 1500+ others. 2) The spots were denounced and removed when they were brought to attention of MoveOn.org (A good starting place would be to compare this to Michele's comment policy ...) 3) Show how hiring Zack Exley makes John Kerry responsible for 1 and 2.

I'm not holding my breath, since all the facts seem to be against you. However, it's rather easy to see who is resonsible for the Kerry=Hitler advertisment now running on TV (not even being apologized for or denounced). Just watch it and see who the guy is that says "and I endorse this message." I'd encourage you to come up with a series of questions showing that President Bush is not resonsible for that ... if you did, I would be happy to look into it further.

I never thought Godwin's Law would be invoked in an election.

It's not even Godwin's Law; it's a take-off on a take-off. The original Godwin's Law merely pointed out that as a discussion progresses, the probability that someone will bring up Hitler or the Nazis approaches one. The idea that the person who does so has lost the debate is a reasonable one, but it's not Godwin's Law.

The second derivative of Godwin's Law - that one can lose an argument by bringing up the fact that someone else brought up Hitler - is taking things way too far.

No Soli, what is interesting is that you vehemently denied everything and now when provided with irrefutable evidence you pull the democrat mantra of blame everyone else for your own stupidity.

Your people were caught with their pants down and are now in spin mode trying to sling so much mud that they can only look better if everyone else looks dirty. Typical.

No, i am not doing any more research for you. You will have to do your own legwork from now on. I challenge you to prove your comments are true. Go on. You're very good at throwing blanket condemnations without fact, let's see some links and quotes to back up the garbage fest you seem to spew for ideology.

Come on, prove your statements true or go away. Let's see some facts, not innuendo or hearsay. No links from the Democratic underground sites. I want Reuters, AP, UPI, or another accredited news agency. Let's see your proof big mouth. Put up or shutup.

MJLange,

Here's a fact filled post for you which I already made in this thread. I dare you to find one single DU link on there. I don't need you to do any research for me, so you can just leave it as it is with all the facts on my side. If you actually want to make a point, I've given a few suggestions of questions you might want to attempt to answer.

Congratulations, you managed to cite exactly one fact (in TWO whole posts) which backs up something I already agreed with ... that MoveOn.org was the sponsor of the Bush in 30 Seconds contest. Now how about you follow your own advice. Try to find a useful fact, mmmmkaaaaay.

Soli, I found the particulars you posted satisfactory! Thanks.

I think I know what the Bush folks were trying, but they muffed it. They could have and should have used some of the other morally idiotic comparisons the extreme Left use against Bush, which are more and more infecting the mainstream Left (unless one thinks Al "argument = brutal intimidation" Gore isn't mainstream). Hell, Dean's "the enemy here is George Bush" was bad enough.

I think Kerry's reaction fits squarely in the "ridiculous" column, though. Grabbing at something like this is what a desperate candidate does.

DrSteve,

But you think Kerry's reaction to everything is ridiculous ;). Actually, I think Kerry's reaction is about the same as mine would be if I was the target of this sort of attack, which is, sad to say, really just to whine about it for a couple days to anyone who will listen. I really doubt this helped President Bush at all, but it may push Kerry towards some sort of Goreish persecution complex.

Just saw this on Newsweek:
NEWSWEEK asked an interactive content developer for a large New York City advertising firm to view the video and offer his professional opinion. After laughing out loud at the video, he said the picture of Hitler overwhelms any other message and that the entire advertisement seemed poorly conceived. ďIf youíre not aware of the MoveOn.org campaign, it seems like a ridiculous point. Itís picking up a spitball, polishing it, and throwing it back at them. Itís like saying: 'Iím like Hitler ? No youíre like Hitler '.Ē

ed note: The links that Ara originally inserted into this comment have been changed to something different, as Ara is using my website for his personal games and I won't stand for that.

Ara, stop using my comments for your Googlebombs. Once again, I am going to change your links to something more appropriate.

I'm sorry to say that I am going to have to ban you the next time you pull this. You're just being belligerent now. I always had respect for you, Ara. When did you become such an asshole?