The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Sunday, September 26, 2004

A vote for Kerry is a vote for bin Laden: Milbank is on the case

So far as I can tell, the Post's Dana Milbank is, amongst the relatively rational centre, accounted one of the good guys. Not perfect - who is? - but willing to go a tad beyond the usual he said, she said hackery that passes for journalism amongst the top US papers.

As witness a piece I had missed (September 24) under the apposite hed Tying Kerry to Terror Tests Rhetorical Limits, with lede (emphasis mine):
President Bush and leading Republicans are increasingly charging that Democratic presidential nominee John F. Kerry and others in his party are giving comfort to terrorists and undermining the war in Iraq -- a line of attack that tests the conventional bounds of political rhetoric.

Now, you can't rant and rave in the Post - certainly not if you're expecting to be fronted - which Milbank's piece is, so I take the passage in bold as drastic understatement. He joins up some dots, though:
Such accusations have been a component of American politics since the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 and surfaced in the modern era during the McCarthy [2] communist hunt and the Vietnam War protests.

Milbank gives plenty of examples. Including Ann Coulter (she wasmad! [1]), which is perhaps pushing it. (Bush on Kerry's dissing puppet PM Iyad Allawi.)

Meanwhile, in the same rag on the same day, the aptly named Charles Krauthammer takes a shot at the Kerry campaign for aiding and abetting the terrorists (Diana Kerry's suggestion that Australia's support for the illegal Iraq invasion placed its citizens at greater risk from terrorists).

(Kerry's fantasy of getting in foreign troops to train Iraqis and guard Iraqi borders [3] gives Krauthammer [4] a free hit. Which is annoying. But his Richard Holbrooke quote [5] is highly suspect.)

  1. Jimmy Durante. Nothing if not educational, this!

  2. I make my customary, if futile, protest that the post-war Red Scare only took off when embraced by Truman, trying to outflank the Republicans on security in anticipation of the 1948 campaign. McCarthy was a Johnny Come Lately.

  3. Kerry's New York University speech has the latest formulation of his Iraq plan.

  4. I keep thinking David Rasche for some reason.

  5. The Kraut says:
    ...even Richard Holbrooke, a top Kerry foreign policy adviser, admits that the president of France is not going to call up President Kerry and say, "How many divisions should I send to Iraq?"
    Amazingly (or not), there is absolutely no online occurrence of the Holbrooke quote except from Krauthammer's article. Did the guy pull the quote from his ass?

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