September 6, 2004


Steady on the Right, Bush Pitches to the CenterRICHARD W. STEVENSON, 9/06/04, NY Times)

To Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Senator Zell Miller, the Democrat from Georgia who delivered a scathing attack on Senator John Kerry at the Republican convention last week, is a rabid opportunist who has become the hate-spewing face of President Bush's re-election campaign.

"He was so frightening that parents took their children away from the television," Mr. McAuliffe told reporters in a conference call on Sunday.

To Mr. Bush, however, Mr. Miller is his new best friend.

Campaigning here on Sunday, Mr. Bush invoked Mr. Miller's support as a reason Democrats and independents could feel comfortable voting for the Republican ticket. Mr. Bush has used a version of the same line at every campaign stop he has made since the end of his convention on Thursday night, and here, as in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio in recent days, it brought rousing cheers from the audience.

More myths get ground to pulp: first, that Mr. Bush was going to have trouble with his base; second, that his campaign would focus exclusively on that base; and, third, that the campaign was distancing itself from Zell Miller's speech. They learned the lesson that the elder Mr. Bush didn't, when he ran away from Pat Buchanan's speech in '92--the only coherent statement of conservative purpose made by a Republican that entire Fall--folks don't mind fiery.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 6, 2004 8:07 AM

Buchanan's speech was grotesquely offensive, all the more so because it bumped Reagan from prime time. Miller's message was directed at conservative Democrats, the party left him he didn't leave it. Buchanan's speech was an attempt to force everyone who disagreed with the domestic agenda of the Religious Right to bolt the party and hopefully emigrate. It was a reflection of dissatisfaction with Clinton that Bush got 35% of the vote. I voted for Perot in part because they let that fat Nazi Buchanan get so much air time.

Posted by: Bart at September 6, 2004 8:57 AM

Which makes it even more ironic that Buchanan hijacked Perot's party.

Posted by: Jeff at September 6, 2004 9:13 AM

Bart, I think you did exactly what Buchanan wanted you to do. I changed my registration to Independent when I couldn't stand anymore of Trent Lott's incompetence in dealing with Clinton by running off cliffs. But I never voted for Clinton, which was equivelent to what a vote for Perot turned out to be in the first contest.

I know people, Republicans by instinct, who voted for Clinton twice and bragged about it. That should be a question on I.Q. tests.

If Clinton had been denied a second term we might have been spared the pain of 9/11.

I know ... get over it. I think I will following this election. FOUR MORE YEARS!

Posted by: genecis at September 6, 2004 10:08 AM

All I know is that it was Bush's convention and not Buchanan's, that Bush was the nominee. When he chose to have that fat Nazi bastard speak in prime-time, he lost my vote.

Posted by: Bart at September 6, 2004 10:20 AM

Well Bart, I was so smart I voted for Carter in 1976 because I thought he was bright and had his $!&* together. He was and he did, but it was all packed so tight he became constipated. Go figure.

Posted by: genecis at September 6, 2004 10:32 AM

As difficult as it may be for many to admit, when looking at the travails of the Democratic party since 1992, and the "nuances" of its standard-bearers since then, who can deny that much of Buchanan said was exactly correct?

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 6, 2004 10:42 AM

I don't think anyone in my family voted for old Bush in 1992, mostly voting for Clinton or Perot, which given the fact that my parents and most of their families are die-hard Republicans, is an indication of how far Old Bush alienated Jewish voters.

I can understand not voting for Ford. LBJ had him pegged, and if you didn't like Nelson Rockefeller continuing to run the country, you had to look for alternatives. Dole's 'Democrat wars' line didn't work to well with people who believed in the rightness of WWII. Ford also had the stupidity to say that 'Poland was free.'

Posted by: Bart at September 6, 2004 10:44 AM

I wasn't happy with GHWB in 1992, but living in Texas, where Jerry Jones had just bought the Cowboys three years earlier, there were tons of stories about Jones' Arkansas oil and gas dealings, which included a dispute involving a company called Arkoma, run by Jones, and a company called Arkla, run by one Mack McClarty. Jones' parter was Sheffield Nelson, and the dispute over contract payments in connection with the mid-1980s plunge in oil and gas prices became a major dispute involving Bill Clinton and Nelson, who ran against him for governor in 1990.

Had Jones not been the Cowboys' owner, and had the Cowboys not stunk in the first two years of his ownership, nobody in Texas would have cared about Arkansas oil and gas politics. But since he was, and people were already mad about the arrogant Razorbacks who had taken over the team, the state was flooded with stories about Jerry's dealings, and the stories made me wary of Clinton when he decided to run for the presidency.

Posted by: John at September 6, 2004 12:49 PM

It was a good speech. It was not thought of as radical at the time, even by anchors and pundits who were there. Only in retrospect has it been demonized. Even some conservatives who now dislike Buchanan have bought into that spin. There's plenty to disagree with him on today, but buying into re-written history is a profoundly unconservative act.

Read it for yourself:'s_Speech_to_1992_GOP_Convention

One thinks of Tom Paine; right during the Revolution, then gone wobbly.

"The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes."--Winston Churchill.

Posted by: Noel at September 6, 2004 2:58 PM

Dole's great fault has always been honesty.

Posted by: oj at September 6, 2004 5:36 PM


Yes, that cultural Right is over 50% of the country.

Posted by: oj at September 6, 2004 5:52 PM


I've travelled around this country, having visited over 40 states. Nobody has ever demanded that I wear a yellow star or denied me public accomodations. Buchanan would do at least both.

There is no election result that tells you that the Buchananite position is popular with any more than an infinitesmal percentage of Americans. What did he get? 400,000 votes? Give me $15 million and my dog will double that.

Let me reiterate. At no time has a State electorate in a referendum voted for a 'pro-life' position. Americans are overwhelmingly conservative in their social views, but they are overwhelmingly libertarian in their view of the role of government in enforcing social norms. Most Americans understand this. It is depressing that someone as intelligent as yourself seems not to.

Posted by: Bart at September 6, 2004 10:43 PM


That's just asinine. You're not arguing you're foaming.

Posted by: oj at September 6, 2004 10:53 PM

Has any state electorate voted a "pro-abortion" position? A "pro partial birth position? A "pro-gay" position? A "pro-affirmative action" position?

No. No. No. and No.

These are all positions that have been imposed by courts and the elites. In fact, I believe that every time the electorate has voted on any of these, the liberal position lost big-time.

Posted by: ray at September 6, 2004 11:18 PM


Washington State, California, Colorado, Hawaii and several other states have voted for various pro-choice positions, including partial-birth abortion.

People vote against the position which involves government interference in people's private lives. That is why no state has ever voted for affirmative action in a referendum, as it offends most people's reasonable standard of fairness.

Let me frame a 'gay marriage' question and you may see a different result. E.g. as follows:

The Episcopal Church in America, the Union for Reform Judaism and the Unitarian Church all permit their clergy to perform marriages between two men or between two women. Should the government be allowed to forbid these clergymen from doing so?

I oppose gay marriage. If my rabbi did a gay marriage, I would demand that he be fired and failing that I'd find a new synagogue. But my hubris is not so great that I want to tell the rabbi at the synagogue down the street how to interpret Jewish law, and I certainly am not in a position to tell the Episcopal Church how to interpret Christian doctrine.

Posted by: Bart at September 7, 2004 12:13 PM

Colorado passed parental notification.

Posted by: oj at September 7, 2004 12:24 PM

Are the Planned Parenthood/ACLU suits already blocking it?


Posted by: Ken at September 7, 2004 5:30 PM

What state ever passed a referendum or a law directly allowing partial-birth abortion?

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 7, 2004 11:07 PM