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Randy "Duke" Cunningham
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"Now Fear This!"


USA TODAY, September 9, 2002

























Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Exposes 2004 Election Fraud










































































Democratic Strategy 2006




















































































Congressman John Murtha (D-Pa.)










GOP's 'Divide America' Tactics Hit the Wall in 2006



By Robert C. Keating, Editor

On Election Day, November 7, 2006, the Democratic Party regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. A majority of State Houses went Democratic as well, with the American political center turning away from the "war president" and his party.

Those who dominated all three branches of government for six years are down but not out. The special interests which employed them have much to fight for, and much to fight with.

Meanwhile, the tactics that they used to dominate the American debate must be studied, and the tactics that were used to defeat them must be further honed, if America is to enjoy more than two years of checks and balances in government.

Posted June, 2006:

Few modern Presidential candidates have had a braver war record than John Kerry, who campaigned in 2004 with a guy whose life he saved while commanding a Swift Boat in Vietnam. But by the time the election came, many Americans' minds had been changed about Kerry's military service through a TV ad campaign called "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth." The men who actually paid for the commercials were oil billionaires like T. Boone Pickens who had never been anywhere near a Swift Boat, and whose agenda had more to do with keeping their oil President in the White House than determining military bravery. But the smear campaign against a real war hero worked, on behalf of Bush, a candidate who avoided serving in Vietnam by getting into the Texas Air Guard in front of hundreds on the waiting list.

Fast forward to 2006: Few public figures have met with more public humiliation than former U.S. Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, R.-San Diego. His home was raided by the FBI. He tearfully resigned his seat after pleading guilty in San Diego federal court to taking $2.4 million in bribes from defense contractors and evading more than $1 million in taxes. In the harshest penalty ever meted out to a former member of Congress in a corruption case, Cunningham was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison. The judge also ordered him to pay $1.8 million in restitution and even rejected his plea to remain free long enough to say goodbye to his 91-year-old mother and his estranged wife.

Political careers don't end with much more finality than that. So one might have thought that the June 6 run-off election to fill the last six months of Cunningham's term might have gone to the Democrats. But that's not how it turned out. Republican Brian Bilbray's narrow victory over Democrat Francine Busby in a heavily Republican district is a textbook lesson in what Republicans will do to win. And the Democrats had better study up now, because the national midterm elections are only three months away. This ain't gonna be a fair fight.

GOP Tactic #1: Smear

Days after Busby came in first in the election with 45% of the vote, and Bilbray led 14 Republicans with 15% of the vote [with another 5% Busby would have won outright and avoided a runoff], the National Republican Congressional Committee started airing a TV commercial alleging that his Democratic opponent Francine Busby was "dangerous" on the issue of teachers possessing child pornography. Busby, a Cardiff, CA school board member, called on Bilbray to ask the committee to take it off TV. "It's nothing but character assassination," she said.

Though his spokesman said "he totally opposes these things," Bilbray never asked the Republican committee to pull the ad.

The baseless charge was based on a comment Busby had made in 2004 about a teacher under investigation for allegedly possessing child pornography. She'd been quoted in a newspaper article as expressing "shock" that the teacher was being questioned by the FBI. The teacher was fired and later pleaded guilty to destruction of evidence and was sentenced to probation.¹

Francine Busby, who led her opponent by 30 percentage points in a field of 18, saw her word "shock" get put through a malicious grinder and come out to mean that she was somehow "dangerous" on the issue of teachers possessing child pornography.

That's no way to treat a lady.

GOP Tactic #2: Portray opponent as weak on your pet issue

There was another issue that Brian Bilbray cared about. After he'd lost his Congressional seat in 2001 he became a registered lobbyist and worked on behalf of FAIR, an anti-illegal immigration group. As a candidate, he kept up the cause, running on the issue of tougher border control. Whereas Busby supported the Senate immigration reform bill which includes a pathway to citizenship, Bilbray supported the tougher House version with no such provision.

His campaign made the most of a verbal blunder Busby made a week before the election. She told a Spanish-speaker at a meeting of mostly Latinos that "You don't need papers for voting." The GOP launched a radio ad that said, "That's right. Francine Busby says you don't need papers to vote." Busby said she flubbed her words and didn't mean to advocate illegal immigrants voting, that rather that people not registered to vote could help her campaign. She went down to defeat by about 5,000 votes in a heavily Republican district.

Fighting for a bribe-taking Congressman's seat, Busby had focused on the "culture of corruption" in Washington...and gotten beaten by a lobbyist.

The two will face off again in November.

It's not going to be easy, Democrats. Beside those GOP strategies, there are more:

GOP Tactic #3: Boast of what decent men would be ashamed of

As Tom DeLay gave up his congressional seat under heat from FBI agents and Texas prosecutors, he said, "This is a happy day for me," and then listed his political achievements to thunderous applause from his Republican colleagues in the House. "Mr. Speaker, as God is my witness and history is my judge...I acted honorably and honestly at all times....I did a good job. I helped build the largest political coalition in the last 50 years. The K Street Project and the K Street strategy I am very proud of."

"As well he should be," writes columnist Robert Scheer, "for it was no easy task to harness the money of lobbyists milking big government for all it's worth to a conservative movement that pretended to be against government waste while racking up the biggest deficits in our nation's history."²

Say it loud, say it proud, Tom. You have helped double the number of lobbyists since George W. Bush took office. But others see your "achievements" differently. Decrying the revolving door of public and private influence-peddling that the K Street Project has brought about, Bill Moyers recently declared, "Money is choking democracy to death."³

GOP Tactic #4: "If you elect a Democrat, we'll get attacked again"

Vice President Cheney came out and said it in the 2004 campaign. Karl Rove continues to refer to the Democrats as the "permanently pre-9/11 party." And people keep buying that the America is safer under Republicans...even though 9/11 happened on Bush's watch, after he'd spent a month on vacation on his Texas ranch, and taken absolutely no action when Condoleezza Rice gave him a security briefing that Bin-Laden was determined to attack in the United States.

Four Augusts later Bush sat at the same ranch and ignored another warning--that Hurricane Katrina could destroy much of New Orleans by breaking the levees. After that actually happened, Bush's FEMA Director Michael Brown--the one who supposedly did such a heck of a job--"made an incredible announcement, actually directing emergency responders outside the region to stay home until specifically summoned by local authorities."4

After Republicans' utter failure to protect Americans through two big disasters after two ignored warnings, it's hard to imagine how so many people can fear giving the other party a chance...but as John McLaughlin said on The McLaughlin Group July 1, "Fear trumps hope."

A well-documented study showing that America is less, not more, safe under Bush, was released on September 5, 2006, by Third Way, a strategy center for progressives.

GOP Tactic #5: "If you elect a Democrat, America will 'cut and run' in Iraq and terrorists will take over the world"

This is the most bizarre argument of all...and it's still working! With America's death toll in Iraq soon to surpass 9-11, and the photographing of the soldiers' coffins still not allowed, and the President still not attending any of their funerals, Iraq is in no better shape after the death of Zarqawi than it was after the capture of Hussein, the killing of his sons, the "free" elections, the formation of a government, and every other "turning point" the Republicans have fed America in this horrible, pointless war. Al Qaeda had few terrorists in Iraq until we got there and gave them a reason to come, yet a significant portion of Americans still believe we're in Iraq because of 9-11.

Democrats should stop being cowed by such stupidity, and follow their leading lights John Murtha in the House and Robert Byrd in the Senate, and say with conviction...

Support the troops...Bring them home!

If Democrats don't feel up to that message, they should give their p.r. handlers the day off and ask themselves what a brave young Navy officer--one of their own--once asked Congress: How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?


GOP Tactic #6: "If you elect a Democrat, your taxes will go up and the economy will fall apart"

It takes chutzpah for a political party that has taken record budget surpluses and turned them into record deficits to warn voters that the other guy will do a worse job managing the economy. Cutting taxes while waging two foreign wars has left America beholden to foreigners to carry its debt. Maintaining that high foreign investment while paying the ever-increasing cost of servicing the debt will pose national security as well as economic problems for this and future generations.

Yet Republicans are betting that voters will dismiss deficits, and voted again in March to raise the debt ceiling and deficit spending, so they could pander to the public with billions in election-year promises. According to the Los Angeles Times, "spending has grown more in Bush's five years in office than it did in President Clinton's eight, even excluding the boom in defense spending under Bush. Altogether, spending rose about 4% a year under Clinton and has risen 9% a year under Bush."5 The latter's failure to veto any spending measure makes him unique among American Presidents, the same way his record vacation time does.

President Bush keeps his version of reality simple, his voice rising to a near-shout at campaign rallies: "The difference is clear. If you want the government in your pocket, vote Democrat. If you want to keep more of your hard-earned money, vote Republican."6

Actually, the difference is that Democrats tax and spend the money they get, whereas Republicans give tax rebates and spend the money they don't get.

GOP Tactic #7: "With liberal Democrats, government will have more control over people's lives and decisions"

This is what Tom DeLay and his cronies say, though it's the Republican Party that has been intruding everywhere from the bedroom to the Intensive Care Unit. As a GOP party boss DeLay "fought for the expansion of federal government influence over all areas of Americans' private lives up to and including when to pull the plug on brain-dead relatives [as he] castigated liberals for wanting 'more control over people's lives and decisions.'"²

GOP Tactic #8: Steal it

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has published a well-researched article in Rolling Stone entitled Was The 2004 Election Stolen? Evidence is overwhelming that the Democrats had another national election stolen from them through a combination of dirty tricks...and this time didn't even get to the Supreme Court because they didn't contest the implausible outcome. Article:


"Even Democrats who have been slow to question the election returns were convinced by Kennedy's exhaustive report," Rolling Stone reports. "Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who serves as the party's chief deputy whip, said in a speech on June 14, 'I apologize for not taking seriously enough the allegations that the 2004 election was stolen. After reading Bobby Kennedy's article in Rolling Stone--Was the 2004 Election Stolen?--I am convinced that the only answer is yes.' Schakowsky promised that the Democrats would move aggressively 'to ward off a repeat performance."

They'd better because the likelihood of more stolen elections this November looms large. Kennedy, an attorney, is doing his part to keep the issue very alive by filing two whistle-blower lawsuits this month against the voting machine manufacturers who he believes abetted the Republicans' theft. According to Kennedy, company insiders are prepared to testify that the firms knowingly made false claims when they sold their voting systems to the government--misrepresenting the accuracy, reliability and security of machines that will be used by 72 million voters this November.7

It would be nice to see the mainstream media take at least a little peek at this theft of democracy. But the Democrats had better not hold their breath waiting for that. Given stinky election results in 2000, 2002 and 2004, they should leave enough money in the 2006 war chest to challenge any and all such results in court, while the stench is still in the air.

GOP Tactic #9: Use diversionary issues, e.g., Pick on homosexuals

A threat to America second only to terrorists are homosexuals, in the GOP play book. Just the suggestion of them is enough to taint a Democratic candidate, as long as America goes along with the gag. Garrison Keillor writes, "Republicans want to make an issue of Nancy Pelosi in the congressional races this fall: Would you want a San Francisco woman to be Speaker of the House?...San Francisco is a code word for g-a-y, and after assembling a record of government lies, incompetence and disaster, the party in power hopes that the fear of g-a-y-s will pull it through in November." (Salon.com, June 7, 2006)

The answer to the question is, Of course we want this woman from San Francisco to be Speaker of the House! Nancy Pelosi was the first national leader to describe President Bush as "incompetent" and "dangerous." Nancy Pelosi will bring leadership and backbone back to the United States House of Representatives. Bring her on! Farewell, Dennis Hastert. Go play with Jack Abramoff.

Even though it stood no chance of passing the Senate, the push for a constitutional amendment against gay marriage got the full White House treatment on June 5, 2006 as President Bush spoke in front of assembled VIPs for the TV cameras. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) kept a pledge to bring the proposed amendment up for debate, even though no one gave it any chance of getting the 2/3 vote needed to pass the Senate.

What was really going on here? "Like so much else in contemporary politics," wrote Ronald Brownstein in the Los Angeles Times, "the Senate vote [wasn't] designed to produce a law; it [was] intended to pick a fight. The White House and Senate GOP leadership [were] betting that a noisy confrontation over gay marriage [would] encourage turnout this November from conservative voters."8

Bush's hypocrisy on the issue was typical. "As this debate goes forward," he intoned, "we must remember that every American deserves to be treated with tolerance, respect, and dignity. All of us have a duty to conduct this discussion with civility and decency toward one another....America is a free society which limits the role of government in the lives of our citizens. In this country, people are free to choose how they live their lives."

"Never mind," writes Hendrick Hertzberg, "that he was proposing to use the very taproot of American government, the Constitution, precisely to prevent people from choosing how to live their lives."9

"Our country faces great challenges: record high gas prices, skyrocketing healthcare costs and an intractable war in Iraq," Senate Minority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said. "Yet instead of addressing these issues, Sen. Frist has chosen to put the politics of division ahead of real progress by pushing for a debate on a divisive amendment that will write discrimination into the Constitution."10

As it turned out, Hertzberg writes, the Constitution was "not...to be defaced by the 'Marriage Protection Amendment,' as its supporters style it. In the Senate vote, it failed to attract even a majority, let alone the sixty-seven votes that would be required for actual approval. But the President's hypocrisy is not cost-free. He has stirred up prejudice. He has lent his imprimatur to an effort to make gays and lesbians--specifically, gays and lesbians who would like to formalize and solemnize their commitment to their partners and, in some cases, to their adopted or natural children--the scapegoats for the real troubles that afflict American families.

"In the past forty years, the definition of marriage has indeed been changed, not by any homosexual master plan but by an epidemic of heterosexual divorce. Marriage is a social good--Bush is certainly right about that--but it has become a disposable good. The causes of divorce are manifold, and they do not include gay marriage. (The state with the nation's lowest divorce rate, Massachusetts, is also the only state where gay marriage is legal.)"9

The Republicans are using homophobia again because they believe it helped them in 2004...even though it took some dirty voting machines to get the job done.

The likelihood is that eventually the United States will join the countries that allow gay marriage because the debate goes along generational lines, with young people in favor. Meanwhile, though, Republicans will continue to play a cynical game in turning Americans against Americans who seek a civil right whose passage may someday stand with a slave's right to be free, and a woman's right to vote -- both of which were vigorously opposed on 'moral' and 'religious' grounds as well.

GOP Tactic #10: Drag God into it

We hate to keep going back to Tom DeLay but he best telegraphs Republican tactics in so many areas...and taking the name of God in vain is no exception. As he left Congress in what most folks would consider disgrace, DeLay announced, "In this House, I found my life's calling and my soul's savior."²

GOP Tactic #11: Fear

Recognizing the challenge ahead, GOP pollster Glen Bolger said, "We are going to have to make this into [an election]...where people say, 'I might not be happy with Republicans overall, but this Democrat is too risky.'" Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), who has been battered over reports about his links to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, has demonstrated one element of that strategy. He is running an ad criticizing both of his potential Democratic opponents as weak on national security."

Even though 62% of Americans in a recent ABC News poll said that the war in Iraq was "not worth fighting," Karl Rove's strategy is to go on the offensive with Iraq. "Republicans still believe that no matter how much people are unhappy with what happens in Iraq, that when the crunch time comes with voters...the Democrat Party can be portrayed as a weak party."

In fact, the Republicans are already planning to use the Supreme Court decision overturning Bush's military tribunals in Guantanamo Bay against the Democrats, though the justices who handed down that decision can hardly be called bleeding heart liberals or soft on terrorists.

The real strategy of Karl Rove and the Republicans can be summarized, according to Harold Meyerson, as: "Hey, guys. We have nothing to run on except 9/11. We can't run on the war, or the economy, or our competence, or our ethics. The only line we can draw that puts us on the side of truth and justice and the Democrats on the side of cosmic wussery is that we're tougher than they are; that we don't think we need a court order to wiretap anybody when our security may be at stake, or even when it's not. If you oppose us on this, you slit your own throats. IT IS ALL WE HAVE TO RUN ON!" 11

Against all of these dirty tricks, the Democrats need some hardball tactics of their own.

Democratic Tactic #1: Run on "Throw the bums out"

Democrats are running on a "culture of corruption" in Washington but it sounds so demure. Even the word "culture" gives the devil more than his due. A National Public Radio poll shows that Democrats will not make any hay with the corruption issue unless they are perceived as reformers. Democrats should tell voters we need to throw the bums out.

Here's why...a look at the Republican resume:

  • Lapdogs for an administration that holds power illegitimately
  • Bungled the war on terror by letting Osama Bin Laden escape
  • Wrecked the U.S. Treasury with tax cuts for the super rich at a time of two wars
  • The only war they're winning is the war on the environment--Killing the planet after throwing away the environmental reforms of the last thirty years
  • Tried to destroy Social Security
  • Determined to overturn Roe vs. Wade and a woman's right to choose
  • Killing and maiming thousands in Iraq
  • Torture
  • Rampant corruption--with no bid contracts for Iraq and Katrina going to the firm the Vice President ran
  • Claim to "support the troops" while sending them to war without adequate armor and cutting their veteran benefits
  • 5 current investigations of Iraq war crimes committed by U.S. soldiers--get them out of there for everyone's sake

Democratic Tactic #2: Run on "values"

There are some really good values that no one's run on lately...like:

  • Thou shalt not kill
  • A man is innocent until proven guilty
  • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
  • Love thy neighbor
  • Let he who is without sin cast the first stone
  • Don't go off half-cocked
  • Measure twice, cut once
  • America shouldn't be policeman to the world
  • Treat all human beings with dignity and respect
  • It's not nice to fool Mother Nature
  • Save the planet
  • Be kind to animals
  • Keep government out of the bedroom
  • Don't spend money you haven't got
  • Do something for someone less fortunate than yourself

Americans have been subjected to the same narrow-minded "values" on talk radio for many years now. It's time to broaden the dialog...for the nation's mental health. Whatever else Americans may think about gay marriage, for example, few consider it one of the country's most serious moral challenges, according to a poll conducted in late February by the Center for American Progress: Nearly 3/4 of those polled said they prayed at least once a day, and just over half said they attended religious services at least once a week. Concern that the country had lost its moral compass was widespread.

"But the survey demonstrated again that the moral issues people worried about most in their daily lives were very different from the ones dominating political debate. The survey asked Americans to name the most serious moral crisis in America today. Atop the list, 28% cited 'kids not raised with the right values.' Next came corruption in government and business, followed by greed and materialism, people too focused on themselves, and too much sex and violence in the media. Only 3% named abortion and homosexuality as the nation's top moral challenge. Even among those attend religious services most often, just 6% picked abortion and homosexuality."

"There is a deep hunger to get away from religion being associated solely with the antiabortion and anti-gay marriage agenda--there is a deep public yearning for an alternative moral vision," said John Halpin, a senior fellow and opinion analyst at the Center for American Progress, in analyzing the results of the poll that showed how few Americans prioritized abortion and gay marriage as their most concerning moral issues. "But it's not just talking about the left's issues and tagging the word 'moral' on it. You have to talk to people at a personal and family level about what faith and values mean."6

Democratic Tactic #3: Run on high gas prices

Since the administration's secret Energy Council meetings held as it came to power, gas prices have been in a major up trend, with no signs of coming back down. Bush and Co. have resisted all calls for windfall profits taxes or any other measures that might get the beast in check...using the crisis only to push for more oil drilling where Americans have consistently resisted it...such as offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Republicans are highly vulnerable here.

Democratic Tactic #4: Run on saving the planet

People don't like hearing that polar bears are drowning as the ice melts up North. Show lots of polar bears. Americans can show extraordinary interest in an issue once it is personalized...and extraordinarily little interest when it isn't.

Similarly, show the faces of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln on Mt. Rushmore seen through a brown haze. People won't like learning that between 26 and 180 days a year, it will "soon become harder to see the faces of the Presidents on Mt. Rushmore through the man-made haze generated by the addition of 50,000 gas wells in northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana."11

Mt. Rushmore is our national monument, but here's how we're losing it: "The Federal Bureau of Land Management, under pressure from the White House to fast-track energy production, approved the drilling plan two years ago without incorporating any requirements to reduce the resulting air pollution," according to the Los Angeles Times. "Government scientists expect that the drilling expansion,combined with a planned increase in coal mining and oil drilling in the northern Great Plains, will nearly double smog-forming emissions and greatly increase particulate matter pollution in a thinly populated region...that today has the clearest skies in the lower 48 states....'Let's be honest about the consequences,' said John Molenar, an air pollution consultant who has worked for the National Park Service. 'There will be an observable brown cloud at some times of the year that people will get mad about.'" The Bureau of Land Management is moving ahead with the drilling project "despite its own air quality analysis, which concluded that the pollution would cloud views at more than a dozen national parks and monuments, exceed federal air quality standards in several communities and cause acid rain to fall on mountain lakes, where it could harm fish and wildlife."12

For the repulsion that most Americans would feel upon hearing such news, it is odd how little the Democrat Party chooses to share it. Many analysts believe that Al Gore could have tipped the balance in Florida by vigorously opposing a new airport in the ecologically sensitive Everglades, but he kept his strong feelings on the subject to himself on the advice of his handlers. But Gore is now making up for lost time. He has brought the issue of global warming to the public's attention with his new film, An Inconvenient Truth. Though Republicans will try to twist it into something unrecognizable (George H. W. Bush called Gore "nuts" in 1992), saving the planet is as apolitical a priority as breathing...and this could make Gore the strongest possible candidate the Democrats could nominate in 2008.

Democratic Tactic #5: It's a street fight--Ridicule the opposition and kick them when they're down

With conservatives in charge of talk radio and much of cable news, Democrats will be subjected to casual lies and sneering ridicule (remember Howard Dean's "scream"?) They're in a street fight and they must learn how to win.

There's plenty to ridicule:

  • The administration is in the oil/energy industry's pocket, yet Bush actually calls himself a "good steward of the environment"
  • Almost no one in this war-mongering administration ever fought in a war himself
  • The Vice President shot a fellow hunter in the face
  • The President learned so much from 9-11 that he tried to have an Arab firm manage ports from New York to New Orleans, and threatened a veto when Congress tried to stop him
  • The "war president" who never fought in a war thinks America should be able to torture anyone it wants to
  • The "war president" who never fought in a war thinks it's okay to send the same troops back to the same war over and over, even if they're reservists
  • The president who can't pronounce "nuclear"
  • The president who ridicules our allies like France and Germany, and cozies up to dictators Chinese President Hu and Russian President Putin
  • A President who refuses to admit mistakes when he's done so little right
  • The "war president" who doesn't attend military funerals
  • ...And the lapdogs in Congress who support his every whim, and have abdicated their Constitutional responsibilities in the process

Going way back to 1988, Michael Dukakis failed to respond to George Bush Sr.'s character assassinations--to the point that it looked like he purposely threw the election. Years later, John Kerry failed to respond quickly enough to the "Swift Boat Veterans For Truth" attack ads. Hopefully Democrats everywhere learned something from Bill Clinton's smackdown of Fox News reporter Chris Wallace on September 24. In order to win elections again, Democrats must go for the jugular vein--which on a pumped up opponent is pretty easy to find.

Democratic Tactic #6: Ridicule their "War on Terror"

We certainly aren't getting anywhere fast in this "War on Terror" that has no end--led by people like Bush, Cheney, and Rice who never fought in a war themselves, and don't seem to understand that it's not right to keep sending the same people over and over again to fight.

To put this in perspective, in less than four years, from December 1941 to August 1945, the U.S. government mobilized an entire nation; manufactured a mighty arsenal; played a huge role in defeating the armies, air forces, and navies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan; and emerged from battle poised to shape the destiny of half the globe. (jsp.org) By comparison, in over five years since September 11, 2001, the U.S. government has failed to capture Ossama Bin Laden or defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan, is bogged down in a bloody civil war in Iraq, and refuses to talk with North Korea before or after the latter's confirmed test of a nuclear device in October, 2006.

Bush's supporters claim that he's protected Americans against terror attacks. But every American who has been killed or wounded in Iraq has been the victim of terror, according to the White House, and he hasn't done much to protect them. Asked about potential attacks against our troops, Bush told the enemy to bring 'em on, and they did. Some protection! With friends like Bush, we don't need enemies.

Democrats must stop being afraid of ridiculing a war that isn't working. Otherwise Republicans will keep the upper hand. The message must be...

Democratic Tactic #7: "Support the troops--Bring them home"

This will take ridiculing the administration's boasts of progress...how Bush took $700 million that was earmarked for the war on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and used it to start the adventure in Iraq...while Osama Bin Laden, the 9/11 culprit Bush promised to bring in dead or alive, remains at large.

To oppose the empty "war on terror" rhetoric of Republicans who've been nowhere near the front will take putting brave Americans on stage who actually fought the war and question whether it's worth it for America.

And the strategy will take exposing how little our leaders have actually done to protect Americans at home: the ports, nuclear plants, chemical plants, the borders. If it's protection against terrorists we're looking for, there's plenty for those brave soldiers to do right here at home.

Referenced above in GOP Tactic #4, Third Way, "a strategy center for progressives," designed its National Security Project to address what it calls "one of the most serious problems facing progressives today...their lack of credibility and a compelling vision for protecting this nation and its interests both at home and abroad. Released on September 5, 2006 at a press conference of Democratic leaders in the Senate and House and Gen. Wesley Clark (Ret'd), the report should be used to wake up American voters to the dangerous position in which failed GOP foreign policies have placed the United States.13 http://www.third-way.com/projects/national_security

Democratic Tactic #8: Divide and conquer

The Democrats must identify which of Bush & Co.'s pet causes are not popular with voters or particular groups of voters, and hammer away at them without stop. Good examples:

  • Weakening environmental protections
  • Letting Big Oil have all the profits it can handle
  • The attempt to "privatize," or dismantle, Social Security--particularly unpopular with voters over 40 and Christian Fundamentalists
  • Denying women the right to choose
  • Giving huge tax breaks to the super-rich at the expense of everyone else
  • Massive deficit spending from the President who's never vetoed a spending bill--you wouldn't manage your family's finances that way
  • Ridiculing our allies for not joining our misadventure in Iraq
  • Isolating America in the world community
  • Vetoing stem cell research and its potential cures for many diseases
  • Opposing bans on assault rifles and other weapons of mass destruction
  • Opposing raising the minimum wage--Have a heart!
  • Opposing freedom of the press, calling for imprisoning reporters who report inconvenient truths--Is this America?
  • Ignoring diplomacy as the first option in world affairs

Democratic Tactic #3: Run on fiscal responsibility

People may have already forgotten the last President to balance the budget. Remind them...it wasn't Reagan. Hint: It wasn't even a Republican.

How long ago the Clinton years seem now...when FEMA was well-run (e.g., California after the 1994 earthquake) and the budget was balanced. Now we have an administration so steeped in fiscal irresponsibility that it has set out to sell more than 300,000 acres of national forest to help pay for rural schools in 41 states...like a spendthrift selling off the family inheritance to stay afloat. 14

That's our land they're selling, and most Americans won't like it if they hear about it.

¹ Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times, April 28, 2006

² Robert Scheer, L.A. Alternative, June 16-22, 2006

³ Bill Moyers, speech at L.A. Music Center, February 7, 2006

4 Douglas Brinkley, "How New Orleans Drowned," Vanity Fair, June 2006

5 Joel Havemann and Richard Simon, Los Angeles Times, March 18, 2006
6 James Gerstenzang, Los Angeles Times, March 25, 2006

7 Rolling Stone, June, 2006

8 Ronald Brownstein, Los Angeles Times, June 4, 2006

9 Hendrick Hertzberg, The New Yorker, June 29, 2006

10 Maura Reynolds and Janet Hook, Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2006
11 Harold Meyerson, L.A. Weekly
12 Miguel Bustillo, Los Angeles Times, January 29, 2005

13 Visit www.third-way.com to review five current studies designed to help 'good guys' win elections again: The National Security Project-- Helping to build a strong vision and raise progressive credibility on national security; The Culture Project--Finding effective ways for progressives to handle hot-button issues and methods by which to put conservatives on the defensive; The Middle Class Project--Designing new themes and policy ideas for a progressive economic agenda that resonates with the middle class; The New South Project--Partnering with Southern leaders on a program aimed at strengthening support for progressive ideas in the South; and The Conservative Re-Branding Project-- Identifying weaknesses in the conservative brand and messaging that undermines conservative claims to represent the mainstream

14 Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, March 17, 2006


© 2006 Most Corrupt.com


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