Bush Supporters Are More Likely To Be . . . er . . . Wrong

Ken AshfordRepublicansLeave a Comment

It’s true, according to this study. For example . . .

Even after the final report of Charles Duelfer to Congress saying that Iraq did not have a significant WMD program, 72% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%). Fifty-six percent assume that most experts believe Iraq had actual WMD and 57% also assume, incorrectly, that Duelfer concluded Iraq had at least a major WMD program.

But how can this be? Could it be because Bush & Co. misled — and still continue to mislead — their supporters?

You betcha. How about how the U.S. is perceived around the world? Do Bush supporters have an accurate sense of the world’s view toward us?


Despite an abundance of evidence–including polls conducted by Gallup International in 38 countries, and more recently by a consortium of leading newspapers in 10 major countries–only 31% of Bush supporters recognize that the majority of people in the world oppose the US having gone to war with Iraq. …

Similarly, 57% of Bush supporters assume that the majority of people in the world would favor Bush’s reelection; 33% assumed that views are evenly divided and only 9% assumed that Kerry would be preferred. A recent poll by GlobeScan and PIPA of 35 of the major countries around the world found that in 30, a majority or plurality favored Kerry, while in just 3 Bush was favored. On average, Kerry was preferred more than two to one.

Interesting. But surely if there is ONE thing that Bush supporters get right, it is their own candidates’ positions, yes?

Bush supporters also have numerous misperceptions about Bush’s international policy positions. Majorities incorrectly assume that Bush supports multilateral approaches to various international issues–the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (69%), the treaty banning land mines (72%)–and for addressing the problem of global warming: 51% incorrectly assume he favors US participation in the Kyoto treaty. After he denounced the International Criminal Court in the debates, the perception that he favored it dropped from 66%, but still 53% continue to believe that he favors it. An overwhelming 74% incorrectly assumes that he favors including labor and environmental standards in trade agreements. In all these cases, majorities of Bush supporters favor the positions they impute to Bush. Kerry supporters are much more accurate in their perceptions of his positions on these issues.

So to Bush supporters, I say this: Be sure that Bush really believes what you THINK he believes.

Actually, the same should be stressed for Kerry supporters, too, although this seems to be less of a problem.

God Sent Mixed Messages

Ken AshfordBush & Co., Godstuff, IraqLeave a Comment

We all know He speaks to Bush, and we all know He speaks to Pat Robertson.

So why was He telling Bush one thing about the War in Iraq, and telling Pat Robertson something else:

"I mean, the Lord told me it was going to be A, a disaster, and B, messy," Robertson said. "I warned [President Bush] about casualties."

Robertson said the president then told him, "Oh, no, we’re not going to have any casualties."

Okay. Thanks for the guidance, God.

But jokes about God aside (hey, I kid God because I love, you know?), I’m really interested in the response from conservative Christian coalitions. Did Bush really say that? Or is Pat Robertson lying? Let’s play it out — publicly. Please?

UPDATE: Apparently, the Kerry campaign is thinking along similar lines as me:

Kerry campaign advisor Mike McCurry responds:

"We believe President Bush should get the benefit of the doubt here but he needs to come forward and answer a very simple question: Is Pat Robertson telling the truth when he said you didn’t think there’d be any casualties or is Pat Robertson lying?"

Arnold, Arnold, Arnold . . .

Ken AshfordElection 2004Leave a Comment

From Reuters:

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Monday that his speech backing President Bush at the Republican Convention in August resulted in a cold shoulder from his wife, Maria Shriver, a member of the famously Democratic Kennedy family.

"Well, there was no sex for 14 days," Schwarzenegger told former White House Chief of Staff Leon Panetta in an on-stage conversation in front of 1,000 people.

Arnold, let me give you some advice. This doesn’t help you with the Missus. Expect at least another 14 days of banishment (if not more) for discussing the prior banishment.

We’ll Call It “The Freedom Vaccine”

Ken AshfordForeign Affairs, Health CareLeave a Comment

Now we’re told that Chiron (which, by the way, Bush lied about in the last debate) was supposed to supply "46 million to 48 million doses, nearly half of the country’s projected need of 100 million doses" of the flu vaccine, according to CNN.

But should we worry? No, says Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. See, apparently when we have a "projected need" of 100 million doses of vaccine, that does not represent a need. Basically, the vaccine is like something you buy on impulse at the checkout counter — nice to have, but you don’t really need it.

But if you are still concerned, it’s FRANCE to the rescue: "The loss leaves Americans with a supply of about 54 million doses of vaccine made by Aventis Pasteur, based in Strasbourg, France . . ." That’s going to cheese off the French-bashers a bit.


Ken AshfordElection 2004Leave a Comment

NYT endorses Kerry. Captains Quarters blog endorses Bush. Whew! Because I was on the edge of my seat.

Does anyone know ANYONE who votes based on a newspaper endorsement? I’m seriously asking, because I don’t.

Even when it is a bit of a surprise (like a newspaper which traditionally endorses Republicans now "switching" sides and endorsing Kerry). I mean, it’s interesting, but does it have an impact? No. Should it have an impact? No.

I guess the reason we hear about endorsements so much is because the media (whether it be left, right, or mainstream) is always one thing: obsessed with itself.

So . . . enough already with the endorsements. Please.

And at the risk of sounding Andy Rooneyish . . . why do Republicans poke fun at liberals who like listen to liberal actors/entertainers? At least we KNOW they are actors/entertainers. We don’t, you know, idolize them to the point of electing them like Repubs do!

Do NOT, do NOT, do NOT . . .

Ken AshfordRight Wing Punditry/IdiocyLeave a Comment

Do NOT miss out on this video of Jon Stewart on "Crossfire". It is clear that he appeared on Crossfire to make a serious point about how unhelpful the media is (and particularly, "Crossfire"). He’s right of course — shows like that often shed a lot of heat, and almost no light, on any given subject.

Tucker Carlson lamely tries to catch Stewart by pointing out how easy Stewart was in his interview with Kerry, as if there is (or should be) a comparison between "The Daily Show" and real journalism. Carlson clearly expected Stewart to come on "Crossfire" and be funny (to which Stewart replies that he is not going to be "your little monkey"). Begala is just as much a part of Steward’s criticism, but Carlson bears the brunt of Stewart’s criticism because he clearly can’t stand what Stewart is saying.

Kudos to Stewart, who has turned himself up one notch. He may not be a bona fide journalist, but as a media critic, he’s right on the money.

Swift Boat Liars Hit New Low in Truth-Telling

Ken AshfordElection 2004Leave a Comment

Oh, I always knew they were bad, but this takes the cake. Apparently, in their quest for the "truth", the Swift Boat vets actually stumbled upon the truth while looking for dirt on Kerry in Vietnam. But since it confirmed that Kerry was right all along, they basically walked away from it. Oh, well.

Read in more detail here. Note that this is a developing story with some speculation, but I think it suggests that the SWBT are bigger a-holes than earlier thought.

The Arab-American Vote

Ken AshfordElection 2004Leave a Comment

They voted 45.5% for Bush, 38% for Gore, in 2000. They "danced in the streets" here in America when Baghdad fell.

But in the battleground states of Michigan, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, they overwhelmingly back Kerry over Bush, according to the polling firm Zogby International . . . to the tune of 47 percent for Kerry to 31.5 percent for Bush.

Why? Read more. But you know you have to be a pretty bad President when you can’t even get pro-democracy Arab-Americans on your side.

Dirty Tricks

Ken AshfordCrime, Election 2004Leave a Comment

And illegal, too. A GOP registration group called Voters Outreach of America (a.k.a. America Votes) registers voters, but then throws away the Democratic registrations.

Two former workers say they personally witnessed company supervisors rip up and trash registration forms signed by Democrats.

"We caught her taking Democrats out of my pile, handed them to her assistant and he ripped them up right in front of us. I grabbed some of them out of the garbage and she tells her assisatnt to get those from me," said Eric Russell, former Voters Outreach employee.

Eric Russell managed to retrieve a pile of shredded paperwork including signed voter registration forms, all from Democrats. We took them to the Clark County Election Department and confirmed that they had not, in fact, been filed with the county as required by law.


This happened in Florida, but it may be coming to a town near you.

UPDATE: Like Oregon.

UPDATE: This group is NOT a part of America Votes, as I originally wrote.  America Votes is actually a respectable organization. Voters Outreach has been fraudulently claiming to be a part of America Votes, which is what caused the confusion.

And The Answer Is . . .

Ken AshfordElection 2004, War on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

During the second debate, Bush kept on asking "Kerry says he is going to involve the international community in securing the peace in Iraq. But what country is going to follow Kerry into Iraq, if Kerry keeps on saying that the situation there is so bad??" . . . or words to that effect.

Good question.

The answer? Well, um, perhaps Germany for a start.

Germany might deploy troops in Iraq if conditions there change, Peter Struck, the German defence minister, indicated on Tuesday in a gesture that appears to provide backing for John Kerry, the US Democratic presidential challenger.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Struck departed from his government’s resolve not to send troops to Iraq under any circumstances, saying: “At present I rule out the deployment of German troops in Iraq. In general, however, there is no one who can predict developments in Iraq in such a way that he could make a such a binding statement [about the future].”

Mr Struck also welcomed Mr Kerry’s proposal that he would convene an international conference on Iraq including countries that opposed the war if he were to win next month’s election.

You see, Mr. President, you fail to understand the dynamics. Other countries won’t follow you. Why? Because they know that if a house is on fire, you don’t follow the guy who lit the match.