Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Dueling Opinions: My Second Response To Jobim

1. Bush has still not released records that in any way confirm that he
showed up for service in Alabama. The stories that the records had been
destroyed---precisely, that the microfilm had deteriorated---was indeed
erroneous. The government put out the story, and responded to scrutiny
about it by realizing that, in fact, the records had not been lost. They
attributed the mistake to a clerical error or something like that. If
there were any evidence that Bush had turned up, it would have been
released by now. That doesn't necessarily mean he didn't show
up---although nobody who was there at the time remembers him---but like
AJ I don't think that Vietnam service records should determine
the outcome of the election, especially falsifications of them of the
sort [JDZ] is peddling. (And I further agree with AJ that
the more influence these records have over the campaign, the better
Kerry will do.)

2. Would flip-flopping be the right term to describe Bush's position on
the steel tarriff? What about his threat to veto the $87 billion
appropriation to Iraq if it contained a provision he didn't like (and
what does that tell us about the legitimacy of Kerry's vote on the same
issue)? What about Bush's opposition to the creation of a 9/11
Commission, followed by limited acceptance of it? What about a pledge to
implement the commission's recommendations, followed immediately by
concrete proposals that undercut the recommendations in every
particular? What about campaigning in 2000 against nation-building only
to embark on the single greatest nation-building project since the
reconstruction of Europe? Not, not surely a flip or a flop?

3. I just want to be clear on the areas in which Senator Kerry is to the
left of the American people. The American people don't seem to think so.
In every poll, they favor Kerry on domestic issues by a healthy margin.
On foreign policy issues, Kerry is either basically tied with Bush, has
surpassed him, or is slightly behind with the trend going in his direction.

Here's Ruy Teixeira's poll analysis from yesterday [linked to elsewhere in today's blog--ed.] (which should quiet some noises about bounces or lack thereof)---note that the "most liberal" stuff isn't sticking or voters don't care:

The WP poll also shows a lot of bounce for Kerry on a variety of
important issues and characteristics. His favorables go up from 48
percent/39 percent pre-convention to 51 percent/32 percent
post-convention. His advantage on the economy goes from –1 to +11; on
Iraq, from –12 to +2; on education, from +1 to +13; on the campaign
against terrorism, from –18 to –3; on health care, from +3 to +19; and
on taxes, from –6 to +6.

On candidate characteristics, he also posts strong gains: on honest and
trustworthy, he goes from –6 to +6; on understands the problems of
people like you, from +4 to +14; on strong leader, from –19 to –6; on
making the country safer and more secure, from –16 to –3; on shares your
values, from –6 to +6; and on having a vision for the future, he bests
Bush by thirteen points.

Kerry also is now considered more of an optimist; pre-convention, he was
considered an optimist by 55 percent and a pessimist by 34 percent; now
he is rated an optimist by 65 percent and a pessimist by 22 percent.
That’s actually a better rating than Bush now gets on this question.

And here’s a particularly impressive result: by 52 percent to 44
percent, voters select Kerry over Bush as the one better qualified to be
commander in chief of the U.S. military.


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