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I just realized, belatedly, that one of this site's most oft-repeated predictions did not come to pass. Now there's nothing surprising about that per se, but this prediction seemed like such a no-brainer that I am a bit surprised.

I predicted (most recently here) that the Kerry campaign, having won the nomination decisively, would stage a highly visible "Sister Souljah" moment, in which Kerry would distance himself and his party from the likes of Michael Moore, George Soros, and MoveOn.org.

Never happened. What is wrong with these people? How can they so utterly fail to learn the lessons of Bill Clinton, the most successful Democratic president since (at least) Truman?

In that same post however, I also predicted that Michael Moore might end up benefiting Bush more than Kerry. I tend to believe that was in fact the case. I think Kerry's refusal to distance his party from the wacko Left, more than any other single misstep, very likely cost him the election.


Yes, surely the courage George Bush showed when he stood up this past Spring and denounced his friend Rush Limbaugh for his part in passing on the unproven intern sex story was what won the election for him.

Throughout 2004, George Bush forthrightly acknowledged his mistakes and, when facts were ever proven to be in error, he refused to repeat them. Just as in 2000 when George Bush, while standing behind Ted Sample speaking in South Carolina, finally said "Enough! Enough! McCain's service is honorable and I will not stand behind you while you continue these smears!", George Bush has proven himself to be a man of a thousand Sister Souljah moments. "Al Gore didn't said that he invented the Internet," George Bush was always heard mildly repuking his aides during even the hottest moments of Campaign 2000.

Actually, Bush would say "Al Gore didn't say.." or "Al Gore never said.."

PE, you can maintain that Kerry was not obligated to denounce his party's fringe simply because it can be argued that Bush didn't do likewise. Well, I guess that's a reasonable position. Just don't expect to win many elections with it.

You see, there's a difference here. Michael Moore is a bigger albatross for the Democrats than Rush Limbaugh is for the Republicans. It may not be fair, but the truth is it's harder for a doctrinaire liberal to be elected president than a doctrinaire conservative. Democratic candidates therefore carry the extra burden of proving (as Clinton did) that they are not governed by their party's leftist elements.

I'm not comparing Kerry's behavior to Bush's, either favorably or unfavorably. I'm merely pointing out something I think Kerry needed to do in order to win. He didn't do it.

But so what? It's just the worthless advice of a third-rate blogger. You and your party are more than welcome to ignore it. In fact, I'd be really happy if you did.

Personally, I think that Michael Moore had little effect on the race. The Democratic Convention was relatively positive in its tone and people like Mr. Moore were kept on the sidelines. (The harshest speech was given by Carter, but he was a former President.)

The one missed opportunity that others have pointed to was when Tim Russert replayed Kerry's 1971 testimony on Meet the Press back in April. I believe, as others have, that Kerry would have been well served to apologize back then for the pain he caused the POWs by that testimony. He could've explained his intention at the time while expressing sorrow that it was used in propaganda purposes against the country. Obviously, whatever he would say would've had to be carefully crafted, but I think some kind of statement would have helped put the past in the past and would have served as a preemption against an attack he had to know was coming.

But I disagree that he had to speak out against Michael Moore and I doubt that it would have held much meaning if he had done so.

"The Democratic Convention was relatively positive in its tone and people like Mr. Moore were kept on the sidelines. (The harshest speech was given by Carter, but he was a former President.)"

Riiiiight. Moore sat beside Carter at the Dem convention, and Carter praised Moore's movies, not in his speeches, but later in interviews.

Moore was on the sidelines. Carter may have praised him, but Kerry didn't and there was far less Bush bashing at the Democratic convention than there was Kerry bashing at the Republican convention.

Once again, this is a case of "Do as we say, not as we do", demand for outrage over what Michael Moore says and does, but ignore what right wing talk radio says and does. Rush Limbaugh can talk down the Kosovo War and Bush and Cheney grant exclusive access, but Michael Moore must be denounced.


PE, who was the bigger newsmaker during the 2004 campaign, Michael Moore or Rush Limbaugh?

Again, if you guys don't want to denounce Moore, that's more than fine by me.

Rush Limbaugh is well past his "best used by" date, and these days Michael Moore is a bigger asset to the GOP than Rush. :-)

I have always questioned Michael Moore's distorting of reality. I questioned it well before his recent movie. He's a talented guy who can tell a story well. Unfortunately, he just seemed obligated to tell the facts as they are, but will twist the facts to tell the story that he wants to tell, something I noticed first hand when he was filming his TV show here in New York. Because I can not trust him to get his facts right, I waited months before seeing F/911. When I did watch it, I had many problems with how he presented his facts. When exposing the truth, it is important to tell the truth. Moore misled, in my view, at many points throughout his movie.

What we are talking about here is your assertion that John Kerry needed/should have denounced Michael Moore while George Bush has not (nor has he ever) questioned Rush Limbaugh. I am merely pointing out that, despite who had the higher media profile in 2004, it is George Bush and Rush Limbaugh that have an active partnership in that Bush and Cheney grant him exclusive interviews that others in the media do not get. I did not notice the same active relationship between Kerry and Moore. Furthermore, it was George Bush who stood behind Ted Sample as he told his lies about John McCain.

So, yeah, I think you are being hypocritical. I'm sorry, but, just because you're party won, you don't now get to the other side to standards of conduct that you don't deem relevant for your side.

That's hypocrisy and I don't give a flying whatever whether your side won this election or whether you win all future elections to come, it is still hypocrisy, and to say Rush Limbaugh is no longer relevant... the guy still has the #1 radio shows and he still receives access to the White House that is denied to correspondents of similar stature.

CORRECTION: Unfortunately, Moore does not seem obligated to tell the facts as they are

PE, I think you misunderstand my point. I'm not saying that Kerry "should have" denounced Moore for moral or ethical reasons. I'm saying he should have denounced him for *pragmatic* reasons -- it would have helped him win. It has nothing to do with fairness, honesty, hypocrisy or integrity, but simply as a *campaign* tactic, such a move would probably have helped Kerry out. That's all I'm sayin'.

Well, I disagree on the "pragmatic" point as well as I don't think Kerry denouncing Moore would have gained much favor. Your offer of help here is about as welcome as if I were to offer helpful hints to George Bush, such as suggesting that he sometime admits a mistake (other than regretting hiring ingrates such as Paul O'Neill.)

Furthermore, your ongoing description of the wacko left includes your mockery of notions I consider to be quite reasonable, such as what I consider to be a defensible notion that there was a "rush to war" as the buildup and the making of the case basically took six months (September-March) and the twenty months since then have proved that we did not have the coalition and planning in place to put down the insurgency once we gained control.

As much as I wanted McCain to be the Republican nominee in 2000, I recognized that the base of the party (and particularly the religious right) were closer to Bush in their ideology. So I have always restrained myself from advising them to pick a nominee that they don't want. I also don't give them political advice as they do quite well without my help. Besides, any help I would offer would rightly be viewed with suspicion.

Your guy won. The party made of people whose notions you mock and deride lost. Be happy about that. But don't expect us to take your advice on how to win. You don't want us to win.

Is this the right place to ask questions about this?

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