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Low blows and dirty tricks in grand tradition
The Telegraph - uk ^ | September 18 2004 | Alec Russell

Posted on 09/18/2004 2:54:34 AM PDT by Brian Allen

Low blows and dirty tricks in grand tradition By Alec Russell in Washington (Filed: 18/09/2004)

If the feverish chatter among Washington's Democrats is anything to go by, the 2004 election campaign amounts to the death knell of American democracy.

Since the August launch of devastating advertisements attacking Senator John Kerry's record in the Vietnam War, desperate Democrats have taken to fulminating that President George W Bush's campaign team has brought politics to a new low.

The latest edition of Newsweek laments that the campaign is now in "slime time". It declares: "Fuelled by shadowy cash, the attacks get uglier and uglier."

The low blows began at the start of the year when the Drudge Report, the Right-wing gossip website and tipster, reported the claim that Mr Kerry had had an affair with an intern who had then been asked by his campaign to flee to Kenya to escape the media spotlight.

This was reported around the world, with varying degrees of scepticism. A few days later the "intern" broke cover and denied categorically that there was any truth in the story.

More accurately, the Drudge Report gleefully reported recently that Mr Kerry was photographed trying to prove his sporting credentials by wielding a gun that it later transpired he had voted to ban.

The lowest blow against Mr Kerry has been the largely unsubstantiated attack on his medal-winning record in the Vietnam War from a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Their well-funded campaign, including television advertisements in marginal states, has thrown mud at the central plank of Mr Kerry's campaign - his war record.

While vicious and largely uncorroborated, the attacks on Mr Kerry's Vietnam record appear to have been brutally effective in highlighting and feeding on a lingering public uncertainty over the Democratic candidate. Since the advertisements were launched in August, Mr Bush's approval ratings have started to rise and Mr Kerry's to sink. With barely six weeks to go, Mr Bush appears to have a useful lead over his challenger. A Gallup poll yesterday suggested his advantage was 13 points, although most polls regard the race as considerably closer.

Mr Kerry's supporters have attempted a fightback, highlighting questions over Mr Bush's record in the National Guard during the Vietnam War. But as the commander-in-chief, Mr Bush has a credibility that is hard to assail.

So it is with a sense of desperation that Democrats are crying foul. But more sober heads say low blows are nothing new. The difference is that the Bush campaign has ruthlessly focused on the weaknesses of the challenger.

The weakness of the Kerry campaign was highlighted in July when it allowed the candidate to be photographed in blue overalls at Nasa. The ungainly shot of him looking distinctly unheroic was plastered over newspapers.

David Broder, the veteran Washington Post columnist, does not agree with the Democrats' complaints. "It hasn't been a noticeably dirty campaign," he said.

"The first campaign I covered was 1960 [between JFK and Richard Nixon], when there was all sorts of underground anti-Catholic [anti-Kennedy] stuff cast out throughout the country with no one taking responsibility for it. We haven't seen anything like that."

He also rejects the impression that the Republicans have a monopoly on delivering "below the belt" attacks and that the Democrats play a cleaner game. "That's a lot of baloney. There have been smear artists on both sides as far back as I can remember."

As the insults fly in the weeks ahead, and the outrage mounts abroad, it may be worth bearing in mind the final stages of the 1888 election. The Democratic president Grover Cleveland was just ahead. Then a letter from the British ambassador in Washington to one Charles Murchison, supposedly an Englishman living in California, was leaked in which Her Majesty's envoy expressed his desire for Cleveland to win.

So appalled were Irish Americans in the swing state of New York at this intervention by their old enemy that they deserted Cleveland in droves and he lost New York and the White House.

Only later did it emerge that "Charles Murchison" was not an Englishman but a Republican, and that he had elicited the ambassador's indiscretion by deceit. Cleveland lost because of a dirty trick.

"The history of campaigns being rambunctious goes back to the start of the republic," said Bill Schneider, one of Washington's most experienced commentators. "There is a long history of this going back to Jefferson."

There is a key distinction between low blows and dirty tricks, he added, suggesting that to date the 2004 campaign has abounded in the former, but not the latter. "In US politics anything goes. But one thing that can backfire is dirty tricks - if they are found out," he said.

The Democrats appear to have no answer to the Drudge Report, which has been responsible for feeding a range of uncomplimentary stories, true and false, about Mr Kerry into the news cycle.

Walter Shapiro, the chief commentator for USA Today, who has covered campaigns since the mid-1970s, said the main difference between the two parties in 2004 was that the Republicans are more effective in their attacks.

"There is a glimmer of truth to the martyr approach of the Democrats because the Right-wing 'transfusion' media works so fast in spreading the message. But I am not overwhelmed by the morality difference between the parties. If there is a difference it is of aptitude rather than values."

The accusations in the first of the anti-Kerry Swift Boat ads have not been corroborated. But they have exposed and fed on a lingering public uncertainty about Mr Kerry.

"The ads were pretty underhand. The charges are uncorroborated," said Mr Schneider. "People broadly didn't believe the charges but they didn't know what to make of them." The Democrats are very capable of negative campaigning, he adds, but their ads are not hitting home.

If the current trend is anything to go by, it may need something even more explosive - and dirty - than a fake ambassador's letter if this incumbent is to go the way of Grover Cleveland.

© Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2004.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Front Page News; Government; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: dirtytricks; kerry; liberallunacy; liberalpsychosis; moralrelativity
<< The lowest blow against Mr Kerry has been the largely unsubstantiated attack on his medal-winning record in the Vietnam War from a group [of his former service colleagues] called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. [Its] well-funded campaign, including television advertisements in marginal states, has [Illustrated the fraud that is all he chose to make into] .... the central plank of Kerry's campaign - his [Much-vaunted] "war record."

While vicious and largely uncorroborated, the "attacks" on Kerry's [Largely fictional and/or fantasized] Vietnam "record" appear to have been brutally effective in [Revealing the Truth in the face of] .... a [Fully justified] lingering public uncertainty over the Democratic candidate. Since the advertisements were launched in August, Mr Bush's approval ratings have started to rise and Mr Kerry's to sink. >>

Limey moral relativity exposed and seen at its slimey worst.

In America -- and in the rest of the Real , Moral, world, Mr Russell, the word and sworn testimony of two hundred and fifty-odd American Men who served alongside of [And as often as not, when he ran away, instead of] Kerry -- and up-close witnessed his scurrilous activities while he fabricated a home movie -- and while he later-on aided and abetted America's enemies in time of war and became almost single-handedly responsible for more than three million subsequent deaths -- count as SUBSTANTIATION and to all but lying Limey moral relatives are accepted as having CORROBARATED one another

1 posted on 09/18/2004 2:54:35 AM PDT by Brian Allen
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To: Brian Allen

Geez, is this guy writing from the deck of Kerry's home at the beach? Could he be any more partisan? It's scary that people actually think this way.


2 posted on 09/18/2004 3:06:01 AM PDT by patj
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To: Brian Allen
"Fuelled by shadowy cash, the attacks get uglier and uglier."

I don't know about anyone else here, but I find the word "attack" repulsive when someone is merely presenting the truth about someone else --- for example the Swift Boat Vet ads. They are not attacks, they are merely presenting their opinions after being with Kerry in Vietnam, eyewitnesses to his trechery! It is not an attack, in reality it is an exposition of truth and greater perspective.

Just had to say that.

3 posted on 09/18/2004 3:06:32 AM PDT by beyond the sea (Free Martha Mitchell......... and Jail Teraaaaaayza - let them run around naked, at least the kids)
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To: Brian Allen

The grandest exercise in projection of all time.

The democrats continue to ascribe the behavior of the DNC, the Kerry Campaign and their surrogates to the Republicans.


4 posted on 09/18/2004 3:10:10 AM PDT by Beckwith (John Kerry, sign the Form 180 - petition at http://www.SignForm180.com)
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To: patj

<< Geez, is this guy writing from the deck of Kerry's home at the beach? Could he be any more partisan? It's scary that people actually think this way. >>

Scary?

Nah.

It is OBSCENE when a supercilliously-low-life foreign dnc lickspittle is published in the Limey paper that fraudulently misrepresents itself as being "conservative" -- and that actually represents and projects and impugns US with -- only the envy-motivated, hatred-engined and rage-driven low-level loathing directed our way by the vast majority of its unwashed indoctrinees! [AKA: "Readers']


5 posted on 09/18/2004 3:35:35 AM PDT by Brian Allen (Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, moderation in the pursuit of justice no virtue -- B.G.)
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To: Brian Allen
The lowest blow against Mr Kerry has been the largely unsubstantiated attack

An outright lie. There are plenty of affidavits. It is Kerry himself running on the Viet Nam platform. He's the idiot who is still trying to fight a very old war instead of the one before us.

It's "mudslinging" when a leftist fraud is exposed. The left can dish it out but not take it. They must control the news or they have a tantrum.

6 posted on 09/18/2004 3:42:14 AM PDT by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: Brian Allen
So it is with a sense of desperation that Democrats are crying foul. But more sober heads say low blows are nothing new. The difference is that the Bush campaign has ruthlessly focused on the weaknesses of the challenger.

That's the crux of it in one sentence.

The Democrats' complaint isn't that there's too much negative advertising, it's only that the ads against Kerry are effective while those against Bush are not.

7 posted on 09/18/2004 3:53:09 AM PDT by tdadams ('Unfit for Command' is full of lies... it quotes John Kerry)
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To: beyond the sea

"Fuelled by shadowy cash, the attacks get uglier and uglier.">>>>>>>>>>>>

I thought at first this guy was talking about Move-on.org and George Soros. Nothing more shadowy than a billionaire
who hides his money offshore and uses it to attack an American President. The Swift Boat money isnt shadowy it comes from the small pockets of American patriots.


8 posted on 09/18/2004 3:56:04 AM PDT by sgtbono2002 (I aint wrong, I aint sorry , and I am probably going to do it again.)
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To: beyond the sea

I agree. "Attack" is a so-called loaded word. It's meant to elicit a negative reaction where one isn't necessarily merited.


9 posted on 09/18/2004 3:59:04 AM PDT by tdadams ('Unfit for Command' is full of lies... it quotes John Kerry)
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To: Brian Allen
But more sober heads say low blows are nothing new. The difference is that the Bush campaign has ruthlessly focused on the weaknesses of the challenger

??? Most campaigns focus on the strengths of the opponent?

10 posted on 09/18/2004 3:59:52 AM PDT by maryz
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To: Brian Allen
The Democrats appear to have no answer to the Drudge Report, which has been responsible for feeding a range of uncomplimentary stories

Of course they do, it's called CBS.

Only difference, Matt has legitimate sources to base his stories on, and Dan has forgeries.

11 posted on 09/18/2004 4:00:37 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: Brian Allen

Irritating, snarky article. But in the broken clock tradition:"...a difference it is of aptitude rather than values". (But, but, but...I thought the Rats were supposed to be the "smart" ones).


12 posted on 09/18/2004 4:04:39 AM PDT by lainde (Heads up...We're coming and we've got tongue blades!!)
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To: Brian Allen
"... to the death knell of American democracy."

It's not a DEMOCRACY, it's a REPUBLIC (and it's not FREE). You didn't understand this in 1776 and you still don't understand it today!
13 posted on 09/18/2004 4:13:45 AM PDT by leprechaun9
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To: Brian Allen

What a bunch of caca


14 posted on 09/18/2004 4:14:20 AM PDT by fml ( You can twist perception, reality won't budge. -RUSH)
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To: Brian Allen

If the current trend is anything to go by, it may need something even more explosive - and dirty - than a fake ambassador's letter if this incumbent is to go the way of Grover Cleveland.


Did anybody else notice this closing? If that's not an outright incitement to more forgeries, I don't know what it is. I'm really fearful of some kind of "nuclear" charge, an October surprise. Get ready folks. When the libs start squealing about dirty tactics and low blows, they're merely preparing the ground for their own cynical and vile tricks!


15 posted on 09/18/2004 4:37:41 AM PDT by bastantebueno55 (Viva Jorge W Arbusto)
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To: fml

Isn't it just retarded to keep on harping on the Swift Boat ads and completely disregard all the other 527's who have been smearing Bush for more than a year?

Thank God MoveOn.Org's advertisements have been so positive and truthfull! NOT!


16 posted on 09/18/2004 4:39:17 AM PDT by Trippin
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To: Brian Allen
"Fuelled by shadowy cash, the attacks get uglier and uglier."

I've given my shadowy pittance (I'm not rich) to the Swiftvets and I even gave my real shadowy name and shadowy occupation.

Swiftvets give you the most bang for your buck...Their admin costs are low, They broadcast the truth (all history and no promises), and they don't send you $100 in direct mail for every $1 you send them.

17 posted on 09/18/2004 4:54:01 AM PDT by Tom Bombadil
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To: Brian Allen

"The Democrats appear to have no answer to the Drudge Report, which has been responsible for feeding a range of uncomplimentary stories, true and false, about Mr Kerry into the news cycle."

Geez, here we go again. Air America all over. Drudge does something unheard of in this time and place: He just REPORTS the FRIKKIN NEWS.

ALL of the news. Why can't they get this through their heads?


18 posted on 09/18/2004 5:05:35 AM PDT by OpusatFR (Let me repeat this: the web means never having to swallow leftist garbage again. Got it?)
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To: patj
Rotate your head to the left 180 degrees. You can then think in the warped pattern of the Guardian writers.

Lefties always see things in a weird way. Never through the eyes of free people. If attacks aren't true, they don't hurt. Ask Bush. He has endured relentless attacks on his character, his honor, his policies and is still standing tall.

Kerry couldn't even put up a defense against a couple of old vets with a few hundred thousand dollars. Just think what would have been if the Swifties had 80 million to dump on Kerry. Tells you a lot about character, and the truth ... all you need to know.
19 posted on 09/18/2004 5:12:19 AM PDT by snooker (French Fried Flip Flopper still Flouncing, be careful out there.)
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To: Brian Allen

This little turd has been the Telegraphs US corespondant for far too long.

Even worse is that every Thursday, the Telegraph has a sample copy of the New York Slimes, as a give away, with selected Slimes stories.

It has been fascinating and very frustrating, to see how the journo's on the Telegraphs true colours have come out, since Conrad Black has been unable to exert influence.

The paper is a shadow of its former self, one can only hope the new owners,the Barclay Brothers sort it out, otherwise it is going down the tubes.


20 posted on 09/18/2004 5:37:59 AM PDT by crazycat
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To: Brian Allen
The latest edition of Newsweek laments that the campaign is now in "slime time". It declares: "Fuelled by shadowy cash, the attacks get uglier and uglier."

You could hardly find a more liberal biased article. Not a single mention of the slime the democrats are throwing around - AWOL, Bush is Hitler, Bush knew about 911, cocaine, etc.

21 posted on 09/18/2004 6:00:40 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator (I am poster #48)
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To: Brian Allen
it is with a sense of desperation that Democrats are crying foul.

They don't have a plan and they don't think strategically. Consequently they tried to use some forged documents and the big story now is not Kerry's proposed policies for the future, but can Dan Rather save his skin after getting caught red-handed perpetrating a fraud?

So long as Rather is still there this story will not die and Kerry will have to take a back seat.

No one should take it personally. It is just politics. Its how the game his played. When slinging mud make sure it is directed towards the opposition.

22 posted on 09/18/2004 6:23:24 AM PDT by AndyJackson
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To: leprechaun9

I have been trying to explain to my 10 & 13 year old that there Teachers are incorrect when they say the the US is a "Democracy". It's very hard to explain the "Tyranny of the Majority" and the Electoral System to them without squelching the fact that we are a free society. Democracy has been the watch-word of freedom lovers everywhere. the problem is, you have to take more than Democracy into account when you plan to govern the people (See Constitution).

Do the British and the rest of the world know that we are NOT trying to export "Democracy"? Why would we want "Democracy" to spread in an unstable, anti-christian, anti-everything-but-Islam society?

Pre-emptive strike to the possible furor over my statement -

No, I AM NOT ANTI-FREEDOM


BTW - Terrorists succesful hits since 9/11

Killed - 10,049
Wounded - 24,541
Source - http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/


23 posted on 09/18/2004 7:11:56 AM PDT by Unemployed Capitalist
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To: leprechaun9

<< "... to the death knell of American democracy."

It's not a DEMOCRACY, it's a REPUBLIC (and it's not FREE). You didn't understand this in 1776 and you still don't understand it today! >>

There are a couple of British-born folks who understand America and that ours is a Republic and not a democracy.

John Derbyshire is one of them.

We call him a hyphenated American.

An AMERICAN-American.


24 posted on 09/18/2004 7:16:37 AM PDT by Brian Allen (I am, thnk God, a hyphenated American: An AMERICAN-American - AND a Dollar-a-Day FReeper! 2XBlessed!)
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To: Unemployed Capitalist; leprechaun9

#23: Well stated! Spot on.


25 posted on 09/18/2004 7:19:04 AM PDT by Brian Allen (I am, thnk God, a hyphenated American: An AMERICAN-American - AND a Dollar-a-Day FReeper! 2XBlessed!)
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To: tdadams

correctamundo! It sucks using that word!


26 posted on 09/18/2004 10:57:13 AM PDT by beyond the sea (Free Martha Mitchell......... and Jail Teraaaaaayza - let them run around naked, at least the kids)
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