Thursday, October 7

Link on the Irony

Here is something I would like to see John Kerry say in his debate with George Bush, Friday, October 8:
"This Administration has not been honest about the war in Iraq, and it has spent millions of dollars spreading the impression that, on this issue and others, I have regularly changed my positions. Well, the reason they keep mentioning flip-flopping and position-changing is because they're trying to throw up a smokescreen. They know the charges are false. The President and Vice President know that if they go to factcheck.O-R-G, an independent Web site sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania, they can get the specific details with respect to the slanderous and ridiculous charges that they have leveled against me and John Edwards. There, one finds a study of a typically negative Republican campaign ad, and the study concludes that, I quote, 'Selective use of Kerry's own words makes him look inconsistent on Iraq. A closer look gives a different picture.' Indeed, the American people are tired of stubborn and distorting language from their leadership. Now, they are asking for a closer look. And they desperately need a different picture of the nation and its affairs — one that is accurate, and one that is honest."

(End of imagined quote.)

So, as I see it, a more delicious irony than Cheney's having mistakenly sent the public to George Soros' virulently anti-Bush site (, by screwing up the domain name, was that Cheney actually meant to send the public to a site that includes, among other things, a piece that demolishes the obsessive center-piece of the Bush-Cheney assault on Kerry. Here is the synopsis of the September 27-28 piece from

"Kerry has never wavered from his support for giving Bush authority to use force in Iraq, nor has he changed his position that he, as President, would not have gone to war without greater international support. But a Bush ad released Sept. 27 takes many of Kerry's words out of context to make him appear to be alternately praising the war and condemning it."
One has to wonder what led Cheney to recommend this site. My speculation is that he is so anxious about Halliburton's misdeeds that he was simply relieved to find SOMETHING that might seem to disculpate him and his "former" company. The state of his anxiety had perhaps reached such a pitch that it prevented him from looking further and realizing that FactCheck offers a very damaging and sobering view of the Bush-Cheney campaign.

It appears that Cheney's gesture had an ironic after-taste, as well. Since yesterday, makes the following statements (from its fact-checking take on the Cheney-Edwards debate):

"Cheney wrongly implied that FactCheck had defended his tenure as CEO of Halliburton Co., and the vice president even got our name wrong. He overstated matters when he said Edwards voted "for the war" and "to commit the troops, to send them to war." He exaggerated the number of times Kerry has voted to raise taxes, and puffed up the number of small business owners who would see a tax increase under Kerry's proposals."
This is a non-partisan site, as the Vice President noted, and so it also criticizes the performance of Senator Edwards:

"Edwards falsely claimed the administration 'lobbied the Congress' to cut the combat pay of troops in Iraq, something the White House never supported, and he used misleading numbers about jobs."
Compare, however, the misleading statements not only in their number (Cheney grabs the lion's share), but their significance. One of the falsehoods Cheney offered up undercuts the very reason why he meant to tell the public to go to FactCheck in the first place, and thus, far from clearing his name, it makes it look like he was trying to cover up his sinister involvement with Halliburton by a sleight of hand; the other, as I said above, dismantles what has become practically synonymous with the Bush-Cheney platform: an obsessive, almost maniacal repetition that Kerry and Edwards are indecisive and inconsistent. Compared to these whoppers, Edwards made a questionable numbers claim and was mistaken in attributing to the White House the Department of Defense's proposal to allow a pay increase for soldiers to expire. If Edwards corrected himself on these two points publicly, it would hardly compromise his campaign or his integrity; whereas, if Cheney were fully exposed as the traitorously greedy CEO-in-chief that he is, and if Bush and Cheney were forced to spit out the "flip-flip" nonsense once and for all, where would that leave them?

So, I say, it's time for Kerry to turn this blunder to his advantage and rub the ol' "a certain university website proves that you're a liar" trick back in the face of the bumbling and duplicitous Cheney and Bush.

[Point of clarification, added 10.12: As the Wall Street Journal reported on October 6, is owned by Name Administration Inc. Individuals within this company who are favorably disposed to Soros's political point of view redirected the traffic to Soros's website without Soros's acknowledgment. The massive increase in traffic--50,000 hits in the first hour after Cheney's flub, as opposed to the 200 per day average--was costing their company for Internet bandwith, according to a Name Adminstration attorney.]