Saturday, May 12, 2007

Addressing Bushies' Rhetoric Head On

CBS Has Allowed McCain Campaign Aide To Advocate For McCain On Air

Over at, they're talking about the firing at CBS of retired General John Batiste:CBS News has claimed that it fired Gen. John Batiste because he was engaging in “advocacy” that might hurt the credibility of his “analytical approach.” CBS has not expressed a similar level of concern with its other consultants, particularly former Bush aide Nicolle Wallace.
ThinkProgress has confirmed that Wallace serves as an informal advisor to the McCain campaign. As early as August 2006, the National Journal reported that Wallace was affiliated with the McCain campaign:

Nicolle Wallace, who oversaw communications for Bush in the campaign and at the White House, will help McCain.

The Washington Post’s Peter Baker also noted that she was aiding the McCain campaign.

CBS does not appear to have been concerned that Wallace’s advocacy for McCain would impact her on-air analysis. But on at least two occasions — after the media reported she was affiliated with the campaign — Wallace appeared on CBS programming to boost John McCain:

I think, one, there is John McCain and there is everybody else. Nobody else running for president or thinking about running for president is even in a category of suggesting or proposing policy that any commander in chief is considering adapting. And I think John McCain himself addressed the political perils this week when he came out in all his interviews and said, `You know, everyone knows I have presidential aspirations, but let’s put all that aside and do right by the men and women of our military.’ And I think that is the essence of who he his and what his campaign will be about. [CBS Saturday, 1/6/07]

I think one thing that has always dogged the White House when it comes to Iraq is, in addition to people feeling uncomfortable and weary of what is clearly a very difficult war, they have always been under the impression that there was no plan for Iraq. Now, I don’t think McCain will suffer from that label from the public. He obviously has a plan. I think people associate him with this strategy of having more troops, and we’re now going to see that. But I think McCain is doing exactly what his core supporters–and that’s a pretty large number of Americans–expect him to do, and that’s to put it all on the line, to say… “Let the chips fall where they may.” [CBS Saturday, 1/13/07]

CBS’s concerns over the “advocacy” of Gen. John Batiste is clearly hypocritical. The network will have to offer a better reason for why he was let go.

UPDATE: CBS VP Linda Mason amends her complaint against Batiste. “It isn’t just that he took an advocacy position,” she said. “General Batiste took part in a commercial that’s being shown on television to raise money for veterans against the war.” Actually, the VoteVets ad that Batiste appears is not a fundraising ad.

A reader, Patrick1, comments:
The McCain lady wants us to win, the old Clinton general wants us to lose. Easy decision about who should be on the air. We have more than enough defeatists around. We need a woman with courage. Keep her on!!

Patrick1's comment presumes that the Bush-Republican policies for protecting Americans (on any front, including but not limited to terrorism) have been successful. More successful, too, than the Clinton policies, which Patrick1 implies would be the policies of a Democratic president were one in office now or in the future.

When you examine the record and not the rhetoric, Americans should only hope for a Democratic president with Clinton's policies if both preserving the Constitution while protecting your life is important to you.

Nothing that Bush has done in the last seven years has improved Americans' safety or chances of not becoming victims of a terrorist attack. Ironically, everything that Bush has done has increased the likelihood of Americans losing their lives while also losing their Constitutional protections from an intrusive and abusive government.

From the reorganization (of existing) and creation (of new) U.S. intelligence agencies, to failing to secure ports, borders, nuclear reactor sites, chemical manufacturing sites, dams, bridges, highways, railroads, etc., Bush has drained the U.S. Treasury (for generations) on an adventure to Baghdad on behalf of multinational oil companies that is guaranteed to move more people to commit acts of terror against Americans.

And who the terrorists don't kill, deregulated and un(der)funded government will. The mind boggles to think that in the 21st century we would be returning to the time of Upton Sinclair in America.

Eight years passed between the first WTC bombing and the second on 9/11/01. Bush hasn't beat that record. Had Bill Clinton still been in office on 9/11/01, with all of the warning signs and alarm bells that had U.S. guard dogs (like Richard Clarke, George Tenet, Cofer Black) alerting the chief executive to an imminent attack in the U.S. by Al Qaeda, in all likelihood those Towers would still be standing.

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