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Author Topic: Zell Miller and how the Kerry-fans dug Kerry's grave
Pete at Home
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Clue to the clueless:

When you know that a longtime Democratic party conservative is going to speak for the Republican Convention, for the Republican candidate, it might be a good idea to wait to call him a "traitor" until AFTER he has spoken. Otherwise you just piss him off, give him more energy, and take away any desires he might have to hold back against his party.

As soon as Zell was done, NBC cut quickly to damage control for poor savaged Kerry, finding some goof to say that Zell had been wrong to suggest that Democrats were unpatriotic.

That's funny, thought I. I don't think that Zell actually said that. Good thing I recorded it. (Incidentally, it's the only RNC speech that I recorded -- we Pro-Bush Democrats have to stick together). So I watched it again. Sure enough, the NBC goof misrepresented what Zell said. Zell never questioned the patriotism of his fellow Democrats. In fact he specifically said that Kerry and Edwards DID NOT LACK PATRIOTISM, but rather lacked "judgment."

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tshaw
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Great speech
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Pete at Home
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Wish I'd heard Governor S. So far, Ze''s by far the best speech.
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RickyB
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Check out how he flipped on TV afterwards. Great ad fodder - if not for the dems, then for some 527.
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Richard Dey
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Zell beat all last night in AoL polls. I'm still anxious to find out the tv-watching numbers.

To my mind, the RNC has completely outdone the DNC in timing, graphics, speeches, rah-rah, issues, and creating interest; I'm just curious to see if the public has responded.

The MA governor and lieutenant governor were good, but certainly nothing so good as they were supposed to be. Romney, supposedly, is being groomed for the presidency; not that way.

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OhPuhLeez
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Ricky, I just read that Salon story - man, I hope they rerun Hardball - that just sounds PAINFUL.
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Van Aaron
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I watched the Hardball interview. Miller was visibly angry at times but managed to keep his composure. A lot of what was said was tongue-in-cheek, including wanting to challenge Matthews to a duel. It was a funny exchange, and both men laughed several times. I didn't see anything that would make Miller look very bad.
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Neeeenahhh
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If you missed it, you can listen to the audio at NPR's website.

http://www.npr.org/features/feature.php?wfId=3885253

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Pete at Home
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Romney's cool. How history would have been different if his father, George Romney, had won the Republican nomination over Nixon. He looked like he was going to get it, but then the press crucified him when he changed positions and spoke against the Vietnam war, and said that he had been "brainwashed" by the generals. Good father, good son. But if we want to talk about Romney, we can do that on another thread, nu?

I agree that the RNC has completely outdone the DNC (which surpised me). However, the bitter unpleasantness of the Republican audience undermines the effectiveness of the programs and of the speakers. Republicans never have been good rabble rousers. I think that it's no coincidence that Zell was the most powerful speaker.

But then, Zell was the best speaker of either convention. Zell even kicked Sharpton's ass in the POETRY department, and that is a hard to do.

I reiterate -- it was incredibly stupid tactics for the ABBs to refer to Zell as a "traitor" before he spoke to the RNC. Fact is that they left him no reason to pull punches.

Is that link to the CNN audio, or to the speech itself?

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Pete at Home
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Checked, and to answer my own question, it's to the speeches.

Does anyone have a link to text, video, or audio of the Hardball interview, for us non-cable folk?

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Everard
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Same question as Pete. Preferably video, since it seems that a lot of what salon claims, and van aaron states is untrue, has to do with body language.
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tshaw
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Sorry, I don't have a link, but I watched the interview. Miller and Mathews were having trouble hearing each other, and I think Miller thought Mathews was ridiculing him.

It seemed to me that Miller was mad, but he was able to focus it into a jocular desire for a duel. It was all really amusing.

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Van Aaron
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Here is the transcript of last night's Hardball. There doesn't seem to be video, so you can't see when Miller was looking angry, nor can you see when he and Matthews were both chuckling over the other's lines.
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FIJC
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Of course Miller is angry--he believes that his beloved Party has been hijacked by extreme lefties who do absolutely nothing to advance what he views as the true ideals of the Democratic Party. To me, Miller is merely displaying the frustrated disenchantment of a one-time true believer. For many who are used to this atmosphere in DC, they say "join the club"--disenchantment in DC/national politics is very common, and accounts for many bitter people who have grown deep roots in national politics and government.

As for Miller's anger last night, at least he didn't scream on stage, which is what ultimately made Howard Dean look so bad on TV. Besides that, the speech was concise and had many great points with very memorable lines. What a fantastic piece of political oratory.

[ September 02, 2004, 04:59 PM: Message edited by: FIJC ]

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Daruma28
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Here's the link to the vid clip...

http://tiger.towson.edu/users/bstelt1/miller.wmv

Zell Miller is a man extremely pissed off at the direction of his party for the last decade or so.

It's quite notable to remember he was the keynote speaker in 1992 supporting Clinton for President...he's not just some Republican pretending to be a Democrat - nor is he a "traitor" as some Democrats have tried to brand him as one.

If you look at the transcript of his speech (without all of the emotion of watching the actual speech itself), it's plain as day that he makes a strong case that the Democrat party of today has drastically changed it's stance on National Defense into a partisan issue instead of the history of Democrat leaders in the past that were as strong on National Defense as any modern day GOP Hawk - and that change has made him FURIOUS.

Best speech of the convention - Bush has no hope of topping Zell.

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Pete at Home
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Matthews [being an idiot]
quote:
The idea that this guy is going to shoot spitballs in defense of country that he risked his life to defend some years ago is a personal attack on the guy.
Is Matthews unaware of figurative language? What sort of moron would take that punch line absolutely literally?

quote:
This is serious business.
Really? Did Matthews not hear the crowd whooping with laughter? It was a hyperbolic punch line, breaking the tension after hearing all the critical weapons systems that Kerry voted against. "Armed with what? Spit balls?" It's even stated as a question. What sort of idiot takes that as a serious declarative accusation? The real statement is that Kerry would underequip our troops, based on his record. "Spit balls" is figurative, as anyone but an idiot would recognize.


quote:
I want to ask everybody, did Democrats make a mistake in not shooting at their opponents?
What nonsense. Kerry and allies attacked Bush's honesty, without providing evidence. Miller used specific evidence to question Kerry's JUDGMENT. The first is a personal attack on a person's character.

I defy anyone here to show me where Miller attacked Kerry's character. He ridiculed his judgment. Arguably, Miller didn't even make a personal attack.

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Pete at Home
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THANK YOU Van Aaron and Daruma! I was even desparate enough to consider wading into the morass of p2p file sharing to get that clip, even though it fouls up my computer. (I like to collect historical & cultural sound clips ranging from Mao to JFK to Moore's tantrum at the Oscars.)
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Pete at Home
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Wow. You're not kidding about the incredible difference between the text as written, and the jovial tone of the interview.
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Sunil Carspecken
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The duel comment was tongue in cheek, but he still was fairly pissed. A misunderstanding or mishearing occured when Mathews said:

"Well, let me ask you, when Democrats come out, as they often do, liberal Democrats, and attack conservatives, and say they want to starve little kids, they want to get rid of education, they want to kill the old people..."

Part of Miller's response was: "I didn‘t say anything about not feeding poor kids. What are you doing?"

I think that was what really pissed him off, the rest was just fodder. He had also just finished a fairly tough interview with CNN in which they confronted him with the fact that Bush had refered to Iraq as "occupied" (remember "nothing makes this marine madder..."?) and that Cheney had voted against some of the things Miller critizied Kerry for not voting for. So 10 minutes later when he got to his MSNBC interview, he was already on the defensive.

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Redskullvw
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Ah see those of you who aren't natives of the former Confederate States of America are missing a key point in the exchange. Southern Manners and Etiquet demand that a person remain civil towards ones adversary, even if visions of killing him with a pistol shot are dancing through your brain. Zell, was polite, and even laughed to be polite, but he really was pissed at both his party and at the interviewer after his speech.

Zell simply represents exactly the problem Southern Democrats have with the national party, and why southerners like me abandoned the national party and democratic affiliation since 1994. What we belive and think hasn't changed, but the democrats have shifted so far left that we are more recognizable as republicans. Most southerners are pissed at the current democratic leadership if they are still registered democrats. But if the national party doesnt take our problem seriously, it wount be too long before the CSA becomes a democratic backwater.

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
Zell simply represents exactly the problem Southern Democrats have with the national party, and why southerners like me abandoned the national party and democratic affiliation since 1994. What we belive and think hasn't changed, but the democrats have shifted so far left that we are more recognizable as republicans. Most southerners are pissed at the current democratic leadership if they are still registered democrats. But if the national party doesnt take our problem seriously, it wount be too long before the CSA becomes a democratic backwater.
See, I keep hearing this from conservative Democrats and I don't understand it. I'm not knocking you for feeling unrepresented (I definitely feel that way right now more than ever). But the Democratic Party has shifted to the center from the left in the last 15 years. One of the complaints that I heard all the time under Clinton was that he was stealing conservatives' ideas and programs and passing them off as his own, including balancing the budget and welfare reform. Now, those same conservatives talk about the guy like he was Karl Marx or Chairman Mao. I'm not asking you to like the guy, but c'mon, it was a left-centrist administration not that different from Bush I's right-centrist administration.

And Zell Miller can play the wronged party here, but it's pretty clear he has changed more dramatically than the Democratic Party, and faster. The guy has gone from being fairly liberal (much more so than, say, Joe Leiberman) to being a conservative caricature. Even a cursory examination of his previous record shows that it is Miller who has drifted farther than his party.

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velcro
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So how do people here feel about the fact that Cheney was against many of the weapons that Miller criticized Kerry for opposing? Does that make the criticism hypocritical?

How about the fact that Kerry explicitly said that he voted against $87B because of the $20B slush fund (still largely unspent), and that he wanted the body armor? (added by Dems, btw)
Does the fact that Kerry's explanation proves the accusations completely false diminish the speech, or the speaker?

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
So how do people here feel about the fact that Cheney was against many of the weapons that Miller criticized Kerry for opposing? Does that make the criticism hypocritical?

I don't know about hypocritical, but I think it was intellectually dishonest. But Miller's speech was really just a laundry list of current GOP talking points, so I didn't take it too seriously. He was there to fire up the GOP base, honestly or not.
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Redskullvw
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In the case of Miller, I have been voting for him before he was even Governor, and can flatly state that he has been the same man as he always has been, with one exception, he changed his stance on Abortion. Otherwise the Zell Miller of the DNC Conventions of the 1970's is the same Zell Miller of 2004.
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Ron Lambert
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In addition to the things that have been stated here by some others who caught the interview of Zell Miller by Chris Matthews on MSNBC, I would also point out (as I did in another thread) something else Matthews kept doing that provoked Miller--Matthews would ask a question, then talk over Miller when he was just starting to answer, and ask another question, and keep on piling on like he wanted to bury Miller with more and more questions--until finally Miller demanded that he shut up and let him answer.

I still think that Matthews was deliberately trying to provoke Miller into losing his cool. That comment by Miller about wishing they lived in another time when he might challenge Matthews to a duel, was not entirely said tongue-in cheek.

[ September 03, 2004, 02:00 PM: Message edited by: Ron Lambert ]

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
In the case of Miller, I have been voting for him before he was even Governor, and can flatly state that he has been the same man as he always has been, with one exception, he changed his stance on Abortion.
He's apologized lately (can't link from here) for his (pro)environmental record to groups who opposed him, I'd say that's another change. 3 years ago, he called John Kerry: "One of this nation's most authentic heroes, one of this party's best-known and greatest leaders, and a good friend...". I'd say he's changed, especially since Kerry had voted for all the same stuff 3 years ago that Miller railed against him for at the convention.
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ATW
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"So how do people here feel about the fact that Cheney was against many of the weapons that Miller criticized Kerry for opposing? Does that make the criticism hypocritical?"

Miller was saying he was for Bush. I don't take it as hypocritical that Miller might be against what someone in Bush's administration was once for.

I know Cheney was at one point against some of those weapons systems. I would like to see a comparison of the list between Cheney and Kerry. The Cheney list that I've heard is much shorter than the Kerry list.


Of course as Sec of Defense, Cheney had to be against some weapons systems. Many proposed weapons systems die before they even make it to congress or the senate. That's because you can't purchase every gizmo someone can dream up and someone has to vet through them.

Cheney might be making a decision between a great weapons system and a fantastic one as opposed to a senator's decision of having a weapons system or not.

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A. Alzabo
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quote:
I know Cheney was at one point against some of those weapons systems. I would like to see a comparison of the list between Cheney and Kerry. The Cheney list that I've heard is much shorter than the Kerry list.

Cheney was specifically against systems as SecDef , while Kerry had to vote on entire bills. Also, many of Cheney's proposed cuts were deeper than Kerry's. Guess what -- he was right at the time. We could afford the cuts in many defense areas that weren't needed. Most of these "weak on defense" charges are dishonest by omission.

quote:
Cheney might be making a decision between a great weapons system and a fantastic one as opposed to a senator's decision of having a weapons system or not.
Most of Cheney's proposed cuts weren't new systems, but things we already had enough of (F14s, F16s, etc.).
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Van Aaron
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quote:
How about the fact that Kerry explicitly said that he voted against $87B because of the $20B slush fund (still largely unspent), and that he wanted the body armor? (added by Dems, btw)
Since the body armor was in the final bill, that could have been a reason for voting against the $87B before voting for it. Kerry did the reverse - he voted for it before voting against it.

I don't remember him saying anything at the time about a "slush fund." I do remember him trying to justify his vote at the time because he wanted the $87B to be funded by a partial repeal of the Bush tax cut. Yet he had previously said (back when he was voting for the $87B) on Face the Nation that it would be "irresponsible" not to approve the $87B even if it was not funded the way he might prefer.

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Ron Lambert
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Kerry is what he has been for 20 years, a political lightweight pretending to be a senator.
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Anonymous24
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And Zell Miller is a goofball demagogue who not too long ago was praising Kerry as being one of the Democratic party's greatest leaders and also praising Kerry for doing a number of good things during his Senatorial tenure, including strengthening the U.S. military.

[ September 03, 2004, 05:39 PM: Message edited by: Anonymous24 ]

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Snowden
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Put the two keynotes side by side and let the people decide which party better represents them.
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David Ricardo
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Zell Miller, in reference to the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

quote:
Miller argued President Johnson was "a Southerner who sold his birthright for a mess of dark pottage"
Link http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/19/zell.zingers.ap/

Can someone please explain to me why I should listen to a proud racist Dixiecrat like this one?

It is a testament to the Bush-Rove modern Republican Party that they use a tired old racist Dixiecrat as their attack dog against Kerry.

Of course, the Bush supporters in here would love to idolize Zell Miller as some kind of sanctified saint within the Democratic Party. In all truth, Zell Miller is just a tired old racist Dixiecrat who needs something else to hate nowadays.

[ September 03, 2004, 07:11 PM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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Pete at Home
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Context, David? Link, please.

What you are doing is the most pathetic textbook case of poisoning the well. Zell Miller's arguments against Kerry were based on the FACTS of Kerry's voting record. It's nothing but intellectual cowardice to respond to that by digging up some supposed quote (without providing a source) to try to evade dealing with those facts.

Like Zell said, actions speak louder than words.

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David Ricardo
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Context via Andrew Sullivan (www.andrewsullivan.com):

quote:
THAT MILLER QUOTE: There's more interesting background on it from Blog for Democracy. The quote came up in a debate in an election Begala and Carville were running for Miller. Here's what happened, once Miller's opponent brought it up:

[W]e were thrilled when Miller wheeled on his accuser and said that back in 1964 when the Atlanta Constitution had printed that so-called quote he'd marched down to the paper's offices and demanded and received a correction. He'd never say a thing like that. A great moment.
The next day that great moment became one of our greatest nightmares. Al May, the veteran political reporter for the Atlanta Constitution, interviewed Miller as Paul drove them and Shirley Miller to an event in rural Georgia. May made small talk for a little while. Then he sprang the trap. "Zell," he said, "I've talked to all the editors who were around back then, checked the morgue and the archives, and you never asked for a retraction and the paper never printed one."
"I know," Miller said, biting the words off the words like they were bitter herbs.
"So why'd you say all that in the debate last night?"
Miller leaned in close to May and said, "Because, Al, I was trying to mislead the people of Georgia."

A liar and a bigot. And a hero to conservatives everywhere.

More Andrew Sullivan about Zell "proud to be a racist Dixiecrat" Miller here:

quote:
WHAT MILLER SAID: Here's the quote. Forty years ago, Zell Miller said that Johnson was "a Southerner who sold his birthright for a mess of dark pottage." It's a vile, bigoted, evil statement. He has since renounced his remarks. But since Miller also resurrected an ancient and disowned quote from Kerry on the U.N., this record is fair game. The unvarnished truth is that Miller was once a proud bigot toward blacks and, now that that is no longer acceptable, he is a proud bigot toward gays. I'm appalled that the Republican party would use as its keynoter someone who was once a proud segregationist. I'm appalled that decent people like Glenn Reynolds prefer to look the other way. I'm told that doesn't count by some Republicans because Bill Clinton used the same man - for the same purpose (and before Miller became even more rabid). That's a defense? You know Republicans are desperate when they use Clinton as a moral exemplar. The objects of Zell Miller's hatred have shifted; but the spirit is the same. What was once the dark stain of the Democratic party is now being used by Republicans. And it is cheered to the ceiling by people who really should know better.


[ September 03, 2004, 07:14 PM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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David Ricardo
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Since the Republican Party's only campaign strategy is "poisoning of the well" on a grand scale, I do not mind doing the same myself.

Only an idiot doesn't use fire to fight fire. Above all else, I am a realist.

When it became standard accepted practice by the Bush-Rove Republican Party to smear and slime the military records of patriots who bled their blood on foreign battlefields for this country (when meanwhile certain chickenhawks were frolicking around safely back in the United States), I see no reason to pull back my punches.

Please also note that I did provide links to the quotations that I listed. I do understand that certain people have a knee-jerk reaction that impels them to defend tired old Dixiecrat racists, but it is rather pathetic that the Republican Party is now using Zell Miller -- the epitome of all that was wrong with the old racist Democratic Party -- as their new weapon to smear and slime Kerry.

[ September 03, 2004, 07:25 PM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Since the Republican Party's only campaign strategy is "poisoning of the well" on a grand scale, I do not mind doing the same myself.

That's all you have done here, David, as far as I remember. I don't recall you ever starting a substantive thread -- nothing but speculation, panic, and irrelevant personal attack.

Attacks on Kerry's record in the senate are not "poisoning the well." What Kerry did for 20 years in the senate, demonstrates his personal agenda and politics, far better than a few campaign speeches that he didn't even write himself.

Thanks for posting the link after my pointed request that you do so on the other thread.

quote:
Please also note that I did provide links to the quotations that I listed.
Um ... you did now. But Just to make clear: links were not there when I made the request at 07:07 PM . That's why it says [ September 03, 2004, 07:11 PM: Message edited by: David Ricardo ]


But the BIG deception in what you said relates to context:

quote:
As a congressional candidate 40 years ago, Miller argued President Johnson was "a Southerner who sold his birthright for a mess of dark pottage" because of his support for the Civil Rights Act. Miller later disavowed those remarks, even leading an unsuccessful charge to take the Confederate emblem off the Georgia state flag.
In that light, David, it was incredibly dishonest for you to characterize him as a "Dixiecrat." A "Dixicrat" who publically fights against the confederate flag, is no Dixiecrat at all.


Didn't Gore happily sit in front of the old Dixie swastica throughout his Tenesee governorship without making a peep about it?

Actions speak louder than words. Kerry's record in Vietnam shows that he's a hero. But his record in the senate shows that he's worse than useless as a wartime commander in chief. Miller's actions to fight against the last standing relic of the confederacy, says more about his character than a single appalling sylable that he uttered 40 years ago.

Woe to those who make a man an offender for one word.

If words are more important than actions to you, then demonize Miller, and vote for Kerry and the pretty boy. But if actions and substance are more important than words, then Bush is the man of the hour.

Your inability to deal with the content of Miller's speech, and your resort to poisonous attacks on the messenger rather than dealing with the message -- these are actions that speak to what sort of person you are. But that's not important to me, since you are not running for office. If I ever read that you've made a substantive and relevant argument, I'll give it credit, even if it did come from you.

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Anonymous24
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When you're a politician, words are actions. Politicians deal in controlling people's perceptions, so when they speak, it is an action to try to alter the direction of a debate or issue. Zell Miller speaking out against civil rights is just as much an action as trying to pass legislation to change the Confederate flag.

[ September 03, 2004, 08:06 PM: Message edited by: Anonymous24 ]

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WmLambert
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And action is action as well. Can we go back to the fight under Everitt Dirksen, the GOP Minority leader, who won the battle against the Democrats for Civil Rights? Or just point at individuals? Zell is no bigot now regardless of any quotes floating around out there from 30 years ago.

Listen to his words. Politics of personal destruction alá McAuliffe is not a decent way to debate.

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Pete at Home
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Your argument is pure sophistry, A24. One word 40 years ago does not cancel out his later fight for civil rights.

Furthermore, you didn't even address my argument of relevance. Even if we bought your weak arguments that Zell was an evil bigot (never mind that he was good enough for the Democratic party for how many terms?), that doesn't change the fact that everything that he said about Kerry is true. By attacking Zell's character rather than his message, you are conceding that everything that Zell said about Kerry is true.


If a cop catches you red-handed in a rape, and catches you on film, you can't try to disprove the evidence that the cop presents by saying that he said something racist 40 years ago. Such an argument only undermines the absolute bankruptsy of your case.

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