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Ted Kennedy: Misguided War in Iraq has ‘Metastasized and Spread’ Terrorism Like Cancer Around the World

by Pamela Leavey

The N.Y. Times reports that the new National Intelligence Estimate “attributes a more direct role to the Iraq war in fueling radicalism than that presented either in recent White House documents or in a report released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee, according to several officials in Washington involved in preparing the assessment or who have read the final document.” Why are we not surprised?

An opening section of the report, “Indicators of the Spread of the Global Jihadist Movement,” cites the Iraq war as a reason for the diffusion of jihad ideology.

The report “says that the Iraq war has made the overall terrorism problem worse,” said one American intelligence official.

Last month the Senate unanimously passed an amendment from Senator Ted Kennedy that required the Director of National Intelligence to task the intelligence community to prepare a new National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. Senator Kennedy issued the following statement in response to the New York Times report of the National Intelligence Estimate which determined that the war in Iraq has increased terrorism around the world:

“According to reports, this intelligence document should put the final nail in the coffin for President Bush’s phony argument about the Iraq war. Despite what President Bush says, the intelligence community has reported the plain truth — the misguided war in Iraq has ‘metastasized and spread’ terrorism like cancer around the world. The fact that we need a new direction in Iraq to really win the war on terror and make Americans safer could not be clearer or more urgent – yet this Administration stubbornly clings to a failed ‘stay- the-course’ strategy. How many more independent reports, how many more deaths, how much deeper into civil war will Iraq need to fall for the White House to wake up and change its strategy in Iraq?”

The WaPo reports, “A 30-page National Intelligence Estimate completed in April cites the “centrality” of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the insurgency that has followed, as the leading inspiration for new Islamic extremist networks and cells that are united by little more than an anti-Western agenda.”

It concludes that, rather than contributing to eventual victory in the global counterterrorism struggle, the situation in Iraq has worsened the U.S. position, according to officials familiar with the classified document.

“It’s a very candid assessment,” one intelligence official said yesterday of the estimate, the first formal examination of global terrorist trends written by the National Intelligence Council since the March 2003 invasion. “It’s stating the obvious.”

The NIE, whose contents were first reported by the New York Times, coincides with public statements by senior intelligence officials describing a different kind of conflict than the one outlined by President Bush in a series of recent speeches marking the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

“Together with our coalition partners,” Bush said in an address earlier this month to the Military Officers Association of America, “we’ve removed terrorist sanctuaries, disrupted their finances, killed and captured key operatives, broken up terrorist cells in America and other nations, and stopped new attacks before they’re carried out. We’re on the offense against the terrorists on every battlefront, and we’ll accept nothing less than complete victory.”

But the battlefronts intelligence analysts depict are far more impenetrable and difficult, if not impossible, to combat with the standard tools of warfare.

Needless to say Bush’s credibility has now dropped a few more notches. The NIE report sharply contrasts with Bush’s emphasis earlier this month in his “terror the nation” speeches that Iraq is the “central front” in the war on terror and that offensive military action in Iraq is the “principal road to victory in the global war.” Demcrats need to take this report and shout it to the rooftops over the next 40 days or so until election day.

Ted Kennedy is on the money, “this intelligence document should put the final nail in the coffin for President Bush’s phony argument about the Iraq war.”

IN THE BLOGOSPHERE:

  • Gun Toting Liberal says, “Breaking (old) news: Iraq war serves to increase terrorist threat to America.”
  • Glenn Greenwald says the “report alone ought to dictate the outcome of the election.”
  • Booman Tribune: “We Told You So.”
  • 23 Responses to “Ted Kennedy: Misguided War in Iraq has ‘Metastasized and Spread’ Terrorism Like Cancer Around the World”

    1. The problem, as I view it, is that virtually all the actions of this President in the region are fomenting instability and hostility that may soon reach a point of no return. Even worse, the efforts of this administration are failing to create a wedge between extremist leaders and their populations. On the contrary, the language used by this administration, coupled with the perception that the U.S. is engaged in unwarranted and ideological aggression, has served to push otherwise moderate populations into alignment with radical governments and extremist organizations.

      As I attempt to grasp the magnitude of allowing this President unfettered authority between now and the end of his second term, I can’t help but wonder what it would take to dissuade a man with his level of certainty and conviction from undertaking the actions that will facilitate the ideations he seems convinced have been presented to him through a mix of fate and faith.

      History may well record this chapter as a period of unparalleled extremism. Worse yet, the United States may well be viewed as the primary force in facilitating that eventuality. George Bush, when asked about his legacy, seems content to respond that while he can’t predict the future he believes his actions will prove to be pivotal. He may well be correct but, in this instance, I would suggest he recall the expression, “Be careful what you wish for”.

      Read more here:

      http://www.thoughttheater.com

    2. I am glad to see democrats seizing on this report because it will help focus attention on the incompetence of the administration when it comes to the war on terror. This intelligence report might certainly convince many moderate democrats that may be sitting on the fence and are unwilling to question this administration and its assertions of making America safer. However, convincing democratic voters should not be the sole purpose in spreading the word about this classified intelligence report.

      It will be interesting to see how this report will play out with republican leaning independents and independents in general who voted for President Bush in 2004. It remains to be seen if democrats will be successful in making the case that they can do a better job of making the country safer than the GOP. So far, unfortunately the republicans are winning the issue of national security and the larger war on terror.

      Most polls indicate that Americans still think that this administration is doing a good job on the issue of the war on terror. Though, polls show that the number of people who think so is decreasing in comparison to past polls. Democrats are winning the issue only when it comes to the Iraq war. If we want to win a majority in Congress in November we have to make the case that we can do better on the war on terror. But just saying that democrats can do a better job is not enough they must present a united common sense plan to the American people. Having a plan even if it is a good plan by just one senator or representative will not help.

      The democratic party as a whole must come up with a plan to fight the global war on terror. Just saying that they would act on 9-11 commission recommendations is not enough. American people need specifics. If there is a plan already in place I have yet to hear of it, if such a broad plan has been created than word has to get out. Everyone knows where we stand on these issues of the Iraq war, the war on terror. But not enough is said as to what democrats would actually do as a party. As a united party as democrats we cannot even agree on phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq when it comes to specifics as evidenced on the senate floor recently. We have had 5 years to take this issue away from the republicans why haven’t we done so? That is a question we must address as a party. It never should have taken so long that even after 5 years we still cannot convince the country that we can win the war on terror.

    3. Probus,

      It is a little unrealistic for the Democrats to come out with a specific plan. Even if we get both Chambers in November, they have no authority to plan or implement policy for the war in Iraq or the WOT. For the party to coalesce behind a specific plan, there must be someone in the WH to propose it and sell it.

      That said, go over to the categories section to the right and click on John Kerry Speeches & Floor Statements for many examples of what needs to be done. They are plenty specific and nothing is in concrete before it can actually be carried out by people in office.

      It would make sense for the Democrats to at least use something like this to point to as an example of a Dem plan. But that would give Kerry a lot of ‘position’, which they don’t want to do. As we have maintained here, other countries maintain an opposition party leader until the next election, for this purpose. For us, it would help to have someone who is working with Pelosi and Reid plus other Dems to be a party voice. Unfortunately, it has been built out of our system.

    4. Excellent points, Ginny. Here’s my take on it. When Bill Clinton came into office in 1993, the republicans in 1994 led a very successful revolt against the party in power. Even though they did not control the White House or Congress, they managed to come up with a plan that could convince the American people that they had better ideas than the democrats. The republicans in the 1994 midterm elections captured a whopping 50 seats in Congress. They did it while the democrats controlled the White House and Congress. They did it because they had a central plan that every candidate and incumbent talked about over and over. It was called the “Contract with America”. And they knew how to sell the message and they sold it well, and the American people accepted it and they won.

      Democrats may not plan or set the policy which is the job of the executive branch but there is plenty else a democratic House or Senate can do. If democrats win in November, they will control the purse-strings of the Iraq war and many other things. They can hold hearings, they can have their own investigations, and they can pass legislation. All of which will directly affect what will happen in the Iraq war. Their actions may push the executive branch to either explain its Iraq policy or even modify it due to public pressure from either Congress or the American people. They will be able to check the power of the executive branch.

      As a matter of fact, I have already read all the speeches made by Senator Kerry. They are all common sense and doable ideas. He has some excellent ideas. If Sen. Reid had put his support behind Sen. Kerry’s resolution to withdrawal troops from Iraq in one year, then possibly many more democrats would have supported it. Instead he put his support behind a non-binding much weaker resolution proposed by Sen. Levin and Sen. Reed. They had a golden opportunity to present a united party and they let it go. It was a mistake.

      But what the democrats need is a central strategy they can sell and one that the American people can buy into. Whenever I see key democrats like Chairman Howard Dean, minority leader Pelosi and minority leader Senator Reid, they often criticize the administration as they should but one never hears what they would do if they took control. Democrats have plans and they should talk about them. The dccc.org website does have a plan in place for the party and on several different issues including the war in Iraq. We don’t need a single party leader other than the ones we already have. They are all extremely talented and capable people, they just need to create a united message that comes across as a convincing sound byte that they can sell to Americans over and over again, so that by the time November 7th comes Americans will know exactly who we want in power and why.

    5. Probus,

      Dean, Reid and Pelosi have all talked about general plans on interviews. Some of the appearance of the lack is that the chattering idiots keep repeating the idea that ‘the Dems have no plan’. One of the ones that has been out there and is the basis of your points about what the legislative branch can do is regaining the Balance of power.

      There is also the basic issue that Dems are more deliberative and are not as determined to be elected on the basis of something they do not fully support. The actual power of “the Contract with America” in the ’94 elections has been disputed by statistics – and the GOPers dropped it as soon as they got the power.

      What is very clear is that Americans are in the same mood about the GOP dominated Congress as they were with the Dems in ’94. This time the excesses and law breaking have been astronomical compared to the Dems debacle.
      If anything, I think the Dems need to get a message out that when reelected, they will make improvements, work with the GOP and not fall into the trap again.

      I have just started “The Broken Branch” on what has happened in Congress. It is not just the current situation, the authors are going back to the Constitution, the framer’s debates about congress and it’s history, with the emphasis on the post WWII period. It is clearly an important source of what is wrong, why and what needs to be done to fix it. I hope that the DNC and the candidates jump on it.

      What I really want to see us do with this whole nightmare is to get Americans to realize that to be self governed means they have to work harder than just picking a sound byte. The dumbing down of the voters can only lead to ruling by the elite. If we want to keep our republic and the democratic process, we have to spend some time and effort following what is going on in our names.

      It’s not like many of these people can’t tell you volumes of information about their favorite sport, hobby, etc. I had an airline pilot once who had to be mentally cleared to return to flying after a head injury. After the neurologist tested him he was FURIOUS. The doctor asked him to name the Supreme Court Justices and he couldn’t think of one. However, he angrily pointed out, he could name the baseball comissioners and all kinds of information about the leagues. The content of the test was not critical for his being returned to flying, but his infuriation that he should know at least one Supreme Court Justice was very sad.

      I also had a conversation with a doctor Saturday about the mental status changes in a patient. The doc pointed out that awareness and memory were intact – the patient knew exactly how many days until the Nov. election. Then she said, I really haven’t followed it much, I guess it’s the presidential election…..

      Civic responsibility in voting seems more than just cynical or apathetic. Some is just pure laziness.

    6. Probus,

      Those are some really well thought out points. I totally agree with what you’re saying.

      Yes, we Dems do need to market our message out and we need to do it everyday and ALL the time. Just criticism is not enough, we’re not visible enough and the media still calls us the weaker party. With the kind of awesome leaders we have, we should inspire the most confidence in the voters! We Dems need to pick up Kerry’s lead and re-tell his ideas as often as possible. The man is trying so hard to bring some sense to this mess…he needs our support.

      Most people don’t even know the election dates! They have to be spoon fed, reminded over and over by mail and on TV. Where’s the passion for the Democratic process? They would very easily tell you exactly when American Idol is on, though.

      The sad thing is that most people don’t even show up to vote, which is why it is so important to market to message to them, which is what campaigns are all about. The candidate becomes a product and we’re basically marketing him to the voters.

    7. Ginny,

      Your last sentence proves my point completely. “Chattering idiots” as you so eloquently call them, say there is no plan is because it is not being brought before to the American people. Just saying it on a handful of public appearances will not help democratic leaders. Every single democratic candidate who is running for Congress must say it over and over till everyone knows where we stand on issues and what we want to do. Regaining the balance of power can never be a plan that is sold to the American people. That has to be an internal party goal. The plan that is put before the American people has to tell what the democrats will do specifically for the people.

      Whole purpose of the ‘Contract with America’ was to present an idea they could sell effectively to the masses. They did not have a clear leader other than Dick Armey and the Newt Gingrich. The main purpose of this GOP plan was to get people energized and get them angry enough at the democrats to go the polls. The fact that it was dropped as soon as they took control of 50 congressional seats proves that the sole purpose of the plan was to win a majority and not so much as enacting of the specific points of the plan. They knew fairly well that they would not be able to pass anything as President Clinton would have promptly vetoed it.

      A few months ago people were sure that democrats could possibly sweep both the House and the Senate. Now even people like Sen. Kerry say that at the most they will carry only the House. The Senate has become a long shot. With ethics and bribery scandals of democrats like Rep. Jefferson, who had stashed $97,000 in his freezer, and Rep. Mollohan a democrat who is suspected of ethical impropriety and had to step down from the ethics committee in the House. People like minority leader Pelosi, realized quickly that they cannot win on just the issue of ethics scandals which is why they are now focusing on other issues. To non-affiliated voters who don’t feel allegiance to either party, the democrats are just as unethical or corrupt as republicans even though this may not actually be the case.

      Americans unfortunately don’t want to work harder when it comes to voting. They have to be given simple bits of information little by little. That is why they were so easily convinced by the fear fed to them in the 2004 election by President Bush and Vice President Cheney. A sound byte is the only thing that works on them. Voters are taken for a ride because they are lazy and don’t care. They think their vote doesn’t matter. It is too much to ask a voter to stand in line for a few hours to vote. They would rather stand in line at a baseball game or for a rock concert. When voters don’t care they are taken advantage of. That is what happened in the 2004 presidential election, voters bought into the lies fed to them about Sen. Kerry’s noble service to his country with those ads that flooded our TV screens. “Swift-boating” has become a dirty verb signifying the slander of a national hero who bled for us. They fed the voters lies on a silver platter and they gobbled it up them gullibly.

    8. Probus

      part of the problem is we can’t get the media to give us fair coverage. Dems have a plan and damn good but with out coverage it gets lost.

    9. Probus,

      As Pamela reinforced, the Dems can only get it out there with a lot of campaign money – or more help from the media. There is overwhelming evidence of how the MSM keeps playing the same tired game. Media Matters has thoroughly documented how over a year, the Sunday morning interviews and other talking shows were dominated by neocons, republicans, conservatives and dumb or fake liberals. Occasionally someone would be on from the solid Democrats, I remember one with Nancy Pelosi when the interviewer brought up that the ‘Democrats have no plan’. Pelosi immediately cited the plans that were out there that the media had ignored. Interviewer went on to another subject.

      Bill Clinton highlighted this yesterday when he asked Chris Wallace why the people in the administration hadn’t been asked about the Cole, the 8 months leading up to 9/11 & Richard Clarke. Wallace insisted the questions had been asked, even challenged Clinton if he watched FOX. Media Matters covered it immediately. There were no more than a few wimpy questions. The answers were accepted without follow up – even when there was solid information about the subject that needed to be answered. The day after the 8/01 PDB was publicly released, Wallace interviewed Rice – and never asked about it.

      The point about Contract with America is that it is totally overrated in how much of a role it actually played in the GOP taking back the House. Subsequent studies showed that like the contract, the ’04′values voters’ were also a myth hyped by the media.

      I think my biggest point is, we are who we are and Americans are not too dumb to get it. After watching American voters play this ‘I don’t want to be bothered’ voting act for 3 decades, it is past time they wake up. If they don’t do it this time, I refuse to blame the Democratic party or candidates anymore than I ever have – which is minimal. When I was growing up, the participation of voters was much higher. There wasn’t as much TV (I remember when the stations signed off at 1 or 2 am with the national anthem. Played again when they came back on at 5 or 6) No video or computer games, the net, or cell phones. There were lots of card games, neighborhood get togethers, sports, and hobbies. People made time.

      No, I don’t like where they are taking us. I do know that you can only do so much to save people from their own stupidity. The consequences will be ugly for all of us. I can even imagine that the US may lose a great deal of stature and security. I’m willing to go there if it makes enough impression on American voters that they quit treating voting and government as a nuisance that can be ignored.

      Kerry4prez is exactly right – we need to be spreading the message/plan at the grass roots. The other piece that is finally getting some attention, is the way the GOPers have done psychographics enough to target their mailings and phone calls to sympathetic voters.

      Psychographics is a business strategy of finding out what an individual likes to drink, what colors they like, and much more. As trivial as these things seem, it hits the emotional trust part of the brain and the listener is hooked almost before they have heard much. It works, it’s behind every successful business.

      Those targeted campaigns, in combination with their (illegal) under the radar church campaigns and GOTV, keep them ahead in the voting booths. Oh, and the machines.

      We can focus too much on ‘the plan’ or ‘framing the message’. Sure we need to be on the same page and avoid gaffes. But we also need to do what really works for the GOP: make them relevent to the locals or the region.

      And get the voters out. The GOP relies on the religious responsibility of their evangelical base and the fear they can create in many minds. That is probably a bigger goal for the Dems. Not so much THE PLAN, but CHANGE FOR THE BETTER is possible and the Dems can do it.

      We were, after all, in the WH during both world wars.

    10. Pamela,

      That is a very good point. Democrats do not get fair coverage in news reports or interviews. When democrats can get on conservative leaning programs like the Situation Room, Anderson Cooper 360 or Larry King Live on CNN; or Hannity and Colmes and O’Reilly Factor on FOX News they can detail their plans. If they can criticize the Bush administration then they can talk about their plans for the party. It can be done.

      In recent times we have seen Sen. Kerry on conservative shows like Hannity and Colmes and the O’Reilly Factor, Hardball with Chris Matthews and Anderson Cooper 360. If he can get his points across about his various plans then I think democrats like Pelosi, Reid and Dean can also do the same. The message is getting out but they just need to sell it more vigorously and often enough. They need to tell the voters what they will do if they get elected rather than criticize the administration. They could use the plan set forth by Sen. Kerry and promote it. But because of election year politics they won’t do it. If they won’t do that then they can at least promote the plans they already have on their dccc.org website.

      On Friday, we saw President Clinton on FOX News with Chris Wallace. Even though Mr. Wallace tried to demonize Clinton, he totally held his own and defeated Mr. Wallace’s lame attempts to smear him and won. Democrats should not shy away from the FOX News network as some might. They should take Sen. Kerry’s and President Clinton’s lead and go to conservative forums like these and get their message out. Every single candidate for Congress must repeat the plans democrats will implement when they take control of the House. If they do this, they will win in November.

    11. Good analysis in Media Matters on Buyer’s remorse: The Bush story the press won’t tell
      by Eric Boehlert (Lapdogs)

    12. Ginny,

      I completely agree that we as democrats do need campaign money to get our message out. But going on talk shows does not cost money, making a speech on the House or Senate floor does not cost money. I have seen in recent days representatives give excellent special order speeches on the House floor that get the message out about the Iraq war. Democrats like Sen. Kerry are virtual experts when it comes to getting their message out to the people. That is why I think we can use the right-wing media to our advantage to tell the American people what our party plan is.

      The interviewer may choose to go on to another subject but the fact that Rep. Pelosi was there and she advocated what democrats think about the incompetence of the administration and what democrats as a party would do means that she sees merit in getting the message out and marketing it as I have seen her do capably so many times which is why I think other democrats should follow her and Sen. Kerry’s lead and let people know what their plans are.

      Even though the right-wing media may not have followed up on what President Clinton said to Mr. Wallace, Clinton still managed to get his message out and he did it powerfully. That interview is a prime example of getting your message out because no matter how they tried to spin the interview, Clinton had the last word and he forcefully drew attention to Bush failures as regards 9-11, enough that Keith Olbermann gave a commentary on it at the end of his show today. Had Clinton not done that interview we never would have known how hard he tried to protect us from bin Laden and Olbermann would not have said what he said today.

      The Contract with America had only one solitary goal and that was to win a majority in Congress. The fact that they got their message out and won 50 seats and gained control of Congress means that the strategy worked. The Contract itself was not what did it; it was the way it was repeatedly sold to voters that helped them win Congress by such a wide margin. And we as democrats are doing it and can do it even more forcefully.

      If Americans are not dumb then they are definitely gullible because they swallow everything that is told to them. A prime example is those swift-boat ads against Sen. Kerry that people bought. No one really bothered to question the veracity of those ads. Now those same so-called vets are raising money for Sen. Lieberman and the people are buying it again because he is currently ahead of Ned Lamont in the polls. Americans are not stupid, it’s just that they don’t care if there aren’t enough polling machines or if African Americans have to wait in line to vote for twice as long as Whites on election day. No one has questioned how Kenneth Blackwell can be the chairman of the Ohio for Bush 2004 campaign and be in charge of counting the votes. Did no one notice the conflict of interest there?

      No one asks why votes got stolen. No one can blame the Democratic Party or its capable candidates for losses. I certainly don’t. I believe we have what it takes to lead the country. We only need to let the voters know what our plan is and we need to learn how to market ourselves more than we already are. When injustices occur, we need to speak up about them instead of doing nothing.

      You are perfectly right when you say that voters are “treating voting and government as a nuisance that can be ignored.” Sure we can use techniques like psychographics as you point out. Yes, the republicans do use underhanded tactics but we can fight them by making our own case to the voters, and do so honestly and without trickery. We can make the GOP relevant to the local and regional campaigns as you rightly point out. We can do that by stating what we will do once we gain control. We can speak to voter’s local and regional needs and we can also talk about how national issues affect voters locally like the Iraq war. Voters will only vote if democrats give them a reason to do so. We tell them what we are planning to do for them, which gives them motivation and gives them a reason. Yes, change for the better is an important goal that we can sell to voters. But we need to spell out what change will entail. What will change mean for them and what can they expect from their leaders? And knowing that we have a plan to take the country on the right track proves to voters that we are not just the opposition party, or the party of fear, we are the only credible choice. We are the new leaders and we are ready to lead America.

    13. “The Contract with America had only one solitary goal and that was to win a majority in Congress. The fact that they got their message out and won 50 seats and gained control of Congress means that the strategy worked. The Contract itself was not what did it; it was the way it was repeatedly sold to voters that helped them win Congress by such a wide margin.

      One more time. The fact that they won the 50 seats and did the “Contract for America” ploy was not WHY they won. In other words, both things happened, but the more extensive follow up polls afterwards showed the Contract had little to do with the voters choices. The GOPers would have won without it.

      Going on TV does not cost money – you do have to be invited and as I pointed out before, the MSM has an overwhelming record of NOT inviting liberals to talk. Or they are outnumbered (and out shouted) by the other guests.

      Dems have tried to make points on those shows and Pelosi has done a good job in doing exactly what Clinton did. Clinton had a lot of negatives from the MSM on this interview – which I’m sure were heard by far more people than Olberman’s comments. The same old GOP noise machine will go to work on outspoken incumbent Dems and distort the message: Hillary is angry, Dean is unstable, etc.

      The fact is, as Clinton pointed out several times, Richard Clarke did a superb job in Against All Enemies of telling the extremely dedicated efforts of the Clinton administration against terrorism. The book made something of a splash in ’04, but clearly even a lot of liberals never read it if they were surprised to find out how much he did – and you don’t even know a tenth of it from that interview. He was totally on top of the issue and worked with Clarke and all the other specialists to do everything they could come up with. The budget limitations were one issue, and the reluctance of many others to see the threat as real.

      There are- and were- many efforts to expose Blackwell and stop him. They haven’t gotten enough media coverage either. To say “No one asks why votes got stolen” or ask “Did no one notice the conflict of interest there?” seems a little out of touch with all the efforts on this – except you have to be checking the different groups involved on their websites. And catch the MSM articles that are out (http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=4269).

      I think there is a lot of agreement here in many ways. The basic differences are:

      What will work in THIS election, with a very different electorate mood.
      What were REALLY the successful tactics in other elections that would apply to this one.

      I tend to strongly dislike the idea that one concept is what will get voters to vote FOR a candidate because of their political party. I think voters are actually a little more willing to consider the individual candidates than they used to be. Especially the swing voters. Even though they have gone with the GOP a lot the last twenty to thirty years, some of that is the normal swing of the political pendulum. Now, quite a few are coming out with the understanding that we are in a political nightmare.

      I don’t know what campaigns you are following but the ones I have here and the national ones I am following are doing what you are suggesting. It is really the candidates – and their volunteers- who have to listen to the voters and figure out what is on their minds. Then craft the message to connect with them.

      The Democratic Congressional delegations have a plan on Iraq, and they have started:

      http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=4288

      Check out the poll at the bottom.

      There are many ways and times the general Dem plan has been brought up:
      http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=4264

      Are the voters getting it? I wouldn’t trust the MSM to tell us the truth on that. The Democracy Corps poll indicates they are.

    14. Oh, a point I have made before on repetition.

      Most of us (average IQ types) require about 15 repetitions before we learn something.

      If you repeat a lie often enough with enough confidence, people will believe you.

      So, we need to jump on the GOP lies early and often before they can repeat them too many times. Some have been repeated so many times, even when they are retracted (once) it does not register in the minds of the believers.

      Our messages have to reach EACH voter at least 15 times.

    15. Adlai Stevenson

      “I’ve made an agreement with the Republicans. I will stop telling the truth about them and they will stop telling lies about me.”

    16. Hey Probus,

      I like what you said about getting the word out. Dead on target about that.

      I agree that the Contract with America worked because the Repubs made the needed effort and whoa, did it pay off!

      As for Blackwell and the shady election goings-on, it is AMAZING to me, that he will be the one to count the votes for his OWN election for governor, because he is still the Sec of State. Democrats did make an effort to stop him, but no way did they do enough. The voters should have raised a huge cry over this, but I didn’t see any demonstrations.

      Those who don’t ask, don’t get. It was like it never happened. Whatever lawsuits that were filed were immediately dismissed by Repub Fed judges.

      BTW, good to have you on this forum Probus, I like your style.

    17. If the GOP could have won without the Contract for America, they wouldn’t have used it so extensively in the first place. It went to their core message and it helped them market their ideas and their plans, and it was hugely successful because in the end the result was that they won 50 precious Congressional seats. That is the bottom line. As for getting invited to shows, if Senator Kerry can get invited to the Bill O’Reilly show and put himself in the line of fire, I’m sure our leaders can get onto other shows as well, as they have successfully in the past and are still doing so. I have routinely seen Chairman Howard Dean, DSCC Chairman Schumer, minority leader Rep. Pelosi, minority leader Sen. Reid and Rep. Murtha make the effort, go on those shows, field difficult and totally biased questions and kept the message alive and spread it. Rep. Murtha repeatedly talks about his plan to withdraw; that is what we need to do. Democrats need to put their plan out there over and over again. That is how elections are won.

      If the negatives about President Clinton’s interview were heard, then so were the other points that he so eloquently made. It is an accepted risk of doing interviews, one our leaders are willing to take. Clips of the interview were on every network and every local news broadcast, he gave the democrats a forum and now, after being attacked, he has given them a cause to fight for. Democrats have also begun talking about the classified intelligence report which all of America has heard about in one way or another. If the GOP can distort the message, then we can keep repeating ours. That is how it is done. They will never back down from their message neither should we.

      Also, no legal efforts have been made to admonish or remove Mr. Kenneth Blackwell from his post. He is still the Secretary of State of the state of Ohio. He is still in charge of those 2004 votes which are not being destroyed because of a federal court order.

      If something requires 15 repetitions, why shouldn’t we repeat our democratic message as well? We must never stop telling the truth, even if we are smeared, it should further embolden our efforts. That is what separates us from those who use dishonesty, and that is the one thing that Senator Kerry has taught us. That is why he went to Pepperdine University, which is conservative he specifically goes into unfavorable territories to get his message out and tell people what his direction for the country should be. He doesn’t just criticize the administration he backs it up with solid plans as to what he would do so that people know where he is coming from. If we repeat the message, and let people know what our democratic plan is then the message and the plan get stronger and louder.

    18. Thank you Kerryforprez, I’m glad we are in agreement. Yes, I believe it is critical to get word out about what democrats stand for and what they will do after they win in November. They have to keep talking about it. It is possible for them to make their case as many have been making it. But they need to do more and they need to do it over and over again. By the time November comes voters must know exactly what we stand for and what we plan on doing.

      It is a shame that Mr. Blackwell is still in office. Clearly not enough was done after the 2004 election.

    19. probus

      Ginny is right about the talk shows. The media, the pundits are not friendly to the Dems and they have to get invited to get on these shows.

      That said, I would suggest a couple of things. Write to the shows and ask that they invite certain strong Dems on. Not sure if it will help, but it’s worth a shot. Also, write LTTE’s. Not just to local papers, all papers. Share what you read here and on other blogs. Email news from Dems to everyone you know. Daily.

      We need to keep fighting to be heard. The Repubs own the media, literally and figuratively.

    20. I don’t recall claiming that the media are friendly to the democrats. I fully know that the media is conservative. That is good information you provided. I’m sure both you and Ginny have written these helpful letters and gotten great responses. This is something I have done in the past many, many times. I have written LTTEs and have also written to TV networks about their biased interviews. I also go to other blogs routinely. My posts have been on the Huffington Post, and the Daily Kos which is the largest liberal blog and does fantastic work on behalf of us. Not only that, I have also sent money to candidates that I believe in, including Senator Kerry’s last presidential campaign and local democrats. So, all your points have already been acted on. This kind of activism only helps us Democrats.

      I stress that stronger efforts must be made by democrats to get their message and their plan out to the voters. They should take Senator Kerry’s lead. Also, thank you for providing a good forum for everyone to use and express their opinions without censorship. That’s what makes America great. President Clinton said that respectful disagreements are crucial to keeping a democracy healthy. And he is right.

      “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend till the death your right to say it.” ~ Voltaire.

    21. Probus

      I don’t think we’re disagreeing, I was just reiterating the point that it’s not easy for Dems to be heard. Don’t mean to be redundant – blame it on lack of sleep!

    22. You make an excellent point, Pamela. And thank you so much for allowing us to discuss these important issues freely and without censorship. You are providing a wonderful service and are a hero to many.

      Hope you’ll have a restful night!

    23. Probus Says:
      September 26th, 2006 at 1:01 pm

      If something requires 15 repetitions, why shouldn’t we repeat our democratic message as well? We must never stop telling the truth, even if we are smeared, it should further embolden our efforts.

      That was the point of the statement. The rest of my arguments have to do with WHAT we should be repeating. There are some themes out there that I hear from Jack Carter, Tammy Duckworth, Patrick Murphy, Ed Perlmutter and others. Loud and clear.

      The other point that I brought up 3 times, and you restated three times as important, is the true effect that Contract with America had on the ’94 vote. I should have done this earlier, but it struck me as a good post of it’s own.

      http://blog.thedemocraticdaily.com/?p=4330