Mail Bag - -
Some recent feedback from my latest columns has been a mixed bag of opinions.
In response to my Bureaucrash.ca column on the state of Canadian journalism
“The report was nothing but an extreme conservative piece of ‘#$%&@’ rag. Good riddance.”
“The loss of The Report is just another sign this country is going to hell in a handbasket. I'm not saying I liked their social conservatism--hell no--but hearing at least one voice in favour of the market is music to my ears.”
Thanks! And in response to my series for American Daily on the Democratic Field for 2004:
“Here's what I comfort myself with - Bush looked like an idiot most of the campaign and he almost won the popular vote.
Clinton the candidate didn't look particularly presidential, and he made it into the White House. Bush "pere" was Doonsbury cartoon character. Reagan seemed like a joke campaign - a B movie
actor - and yet there he was in the oval office.
And don't even get me started on Nixon.”
I figure that the email I got about Kucinich
was a from someone who thought Kucinich might be next on my hit list.
And from Bill Breen on my “Meet Howard Dean: Maple Powered Howard” article
“Have to say, I was googling and your article made me laugh.
Seriously though, you're going to attack a candidate for the president on their foreign policy given the current occupant of the white house? I mean, how many countries did GWB visit before becoming president? And better yet, how many of them could he have found on a map? Every time he opens his mouth its an embarassment to the education system that he underfunds.
And really, an icecream company endorses someone else and that is a crisis? I guess in conservative circles, maybe. He'll never (nor will whatever democrat wins the party nomination) be able to say that the government was brought to you by haliburton.
"But already Dean seems to be dumping the
anti-war lefty stance that brought him into the first tier of candidates for the Democrats. So he wasn't left, then he was, now he isn't, but he could be again. His new stance casts the nation in perpetual crisis under Bush with his as savior could hurt him too. Candidates who stress the negative most of the time tend to be left behind in the polls."
So do you just make this stuff up as you go along? Being negative works, anyone with half a political science degree will tell you that. Hell, everytime a democrat calls the president to point on his dangerous agenda he's labeled something (revisionist historian is the most recent example). Anyway, being negative works, its why you see so many attack ads during campaign season. If it didn't work, if it wasn't effective, candidates wouldn't use them.
Personally, I've love to see a Howard Dean/GWB election season, irreguardless of whether or not Dean would have a chance or not. It would be nice to see Some issues debated (assuming Bush would agree to a debate of issues, it doesn't seem to be his strong suit).”
Dear Mr. Breen:
Only two thought from me, on Mr. Breen’s comments. First, the ice cream business wasn’t a serious shot about that being a ‘crisis’ only insofar that if you can’t get the support of your own state people who are making an ice cream flavor based upon you, and you are losing it to an even nuttier left winger, I would say some trouble is brewing. Not least of it, that you aren’t left enough for the state of Vermont.
And second, on going negative. Thanks for sending me the link to his speech the day the article was published. I hardly was making ‘this stuff’ up, only responding to the stump speeches and information at hand.
When I was speaking about negativity in politics, I sould have been clearer. I was thinking about the candidate who goes negative on the nation, painting it as being in crisis (Dean is saying this daily-if you listen to him daily, he uses the words, and come on, the nation is hardly in crisis right now).
Negative ads surely work, you are absolutely correct, but basing your candidacy on the nation being in some sort dangerous irreparable doomsday situation doesn’t work. Bush won because he was more or less positive in his “message”. Negative ads work, we all remember Willy Horton, which disemboweled the Dukakis campaign in 1988! But the Bush campaign was more than the sum of its attack ads. Clinton was positive in 1992 and he won. Dole lost in 1996, trying to run against the good times during Clinton-just a hard sell. How about the 1998 mid term elections where the Republicans were still hot on the Clinton-Lewinsky thing, going pretty negative about the state of the nation? Dean is in the same boat. How bad are things? They aren't bad enough for Howard Dean to be president that is for damned sure.
I too would love to see a Bush-Dean race. It would be fun.