T Nation

Dirty GOP Tactics? What about This?

From volokh.com:
According to Ratherbiased.com, guest posted at Rathergate.com (tip to Instapundit), last night on the CBS Evening News reporter Richard Schlesinger used fake documents to spread an internet rumor that has been long debunked. The document, which CBS showed on the screen much as it had the phony Burkett Guard documents, purports to be an email from someone in the Department of Defense, but it is actually a chain email hoax letter.

In order to scare voters, particularly the young, into voting Democratic, there have been emails circulating that point to HR163 and S89, bills proposing national service for both men and women. Both bills are proposed and co-sponsored solely by Democrats, a fact that the emails fail to mention. Although some commentators have suggested that “members of both parties have introduced bills to reinstate” the draft, I have not been able to locate any introduced by Republicans in the current Congress by following the links to the supposed evidence (perhaps others who know of any current Republican-sponsored bills to reintroduce the draft can help me on this). The most that has been pointed out so far is the statement of one Republican Senator (Chuch Hagel) favoring a draft, no actual Republican bills.

These emails usually, however, go further, sometimes claiming that there are plans to call up both men and women on June 15, 2005 and that “The administration is quietly trying to get these bills passed now,” which is flatly false. The emails also report that the budget for the Selective Service office has been increased substantially for next year, which FactCheck claims is an outright falsehood.

CBS noted that both campaigns denied any intent to reintroduce the draft, which is obviously a dead issue for both sides, but if you read the transcript, by showing phony documents and repeating phony facts, the email hoax is presented as plausible. Nowhere do they report that this is an already debunked email hoax. Nowhere do they report that there are official statements from the relevant government officials denying this hoax.

Put a chill on the draft bill

Just this week I received an e-mail so upsetting that I forwarded it to all my friends, who then forwarded it to all their friends. We are now a good size group.
The e-mail concerned Bill S89 and HR 163. The bill is about reinstating the draft, beginning in the spring of 2005. The draftees will be all males and females between the ages of 18 and 26. There will be no deferments; seniors will be allowed to finish the year, and underclassmen will only be allowed to finish the semester. There is already a document signed between the U.S. and Canada, the ?Smart Border Declaration,? which will prevent crossing the border.
Since this is a federal bill, I was advised to contact Sen. Specter, Sen. Santorum and Congressman Joe Hoeffel. Sen. Specter?s office said that these bills are a ?secret.?
When I told him that the cat was out of the bag, he offered to connect me with the Washington office. That office assured me that the senator was against this bill. I am still waiting for Sen. Santorum to respond, but Congressman Hoeffel is undecided. His office is sending me a letter detailing his thoughts.
We are now in the process of collecting as much information as possible about this bill and the candidates.
We keep getting told that there are no sponsors for this bill and not to worry about it. But why did South Carolina Sen. Ernest Hollings draft this bill, and why is it sitting in the Senate? We think that it is important to find out before the election.
Meanwhile, we are starting an organization called Parents Against the Draft (PAD).
For more information, call me at 215-632-4997.
Beverly Cocco
Walton Park

So, where’s the outrage here? At least the WV flyer was based in truth, even if it was a bit exaggerated. Most of this is just an out and out lie. And what parts are at least based in truth are completely deciving (two DEMOCRATS are proposing bring the draft back, and not a single republican).

Let me guess, it’s okay because it’s supported by people like MoveOn.org and CBS.

You said they mentioned neither party currently plans to introduce a draft. So, were they reporting on the hoax?

If they were simply documenting what is transpiring on the Internet then it would simply be reporting the news.

I didn’t see the original so I don’t know how it was presented and I really don’t expect a credible review from a politically motivated web site.

Anyone actually see it?

[quote]vroom wrote:
…I didn’t see the original so I don’t know how it was presented and I really don’t expect a credible review from a politically motivated web site.

Why is a politically motivated website less credible than…say…a politically motivated broadcast network?

CBS used an anti-draft activist to pose as a concerned mother to help fuel the rumor fires of a reinstated draft.

I find the timing of CBS’s hard hitting news stories just a little suspect given their proximity to the election.

If you make up the facts you report, then stage a dramatic interview to support those facts- I think you’ve stopped being a journalist.

Timing is curious.

What about the lack of reporting? The only two bills in congress, right now, supporting a draft are sponsored by Democrats. Why isn’t this brought to focus?


In many peoples minds CBS stopped being a credible news source several years ago. The latest developments simply fuel that belief.

October 07, 2004, 8:52 a.m.
Climate of Fear
Some Bush supporters say they fear for their property.

Blogger Robert Musil suggests that a climate of fear has descended upon Republicans in at least some parts of the country.
Based in Los Angeles, Musil says most Republicans he’s spoken with are afraid to put Bush-Cheney bumper stickers on their cars, or signs on their lawns, for fear of physical retaliation from angry liberals. The problem is not symmetrical, says Musil. Stickers and signs for Kerry are widespread in Republican neighborhoods. Yet even in their own communities, Republicans are holding back. Intrigued by Musil’s claim, I put up a post on NRO’s blog, The Corner, asking for reader comment. I was quickly flooded with nearly 300 e-mails, almost all of them backing Musil. Here is the story they told.

There is a climate of fear. Again and again, Corner readers say they’ve been scared off of posting bumper stickers by visions of having their cars keyed or their windows smashed. A typical comment: “Putting a Bush-Cheney sticker on my car would be like adding a bulls-eye that says, ‘Please vandalize my truck.’” A reader from Arlington, Va., who lives just a few blocks from national Bush-Cheney headquarters, says he was not afraid to use bumper stickers in 1996 or 2000, but wouldn’t do so this year. Bush lawn signs are feared, not only as an invitation to vandalism, but because they might permanently alienate neighbors. A man whose wife was handicapped and dependent on neighbors in case of emergency was wary of starting a neighborhood “war” with a sign. This was a common worry among Bush supporters, even in less dire circumstances. (For more on the Bush-Cheney sign fears, go here http://www.americandaily.com/article/5204 , and here http://www.americandaily.com/article/4415 .)

Are the fears justified? They seem to be. On Tuesday there was a report that several shots had been fired into Bush-Cheney headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn., shattering glass. And late Tuesday evening came a report that protesters had ransacked a Bush-Cheney headquarters in Orlando, Florida.
But these are only the most dramatic examples of a broader trend. Plenty of folks told me that their cars had been keyed, dented, or had windows smashed in for carrying a Bush-Cheney bumper sticker. Nasty notes left on the windshield are common. And some drivers get cut off in traffic and flipped off by cars sporting Kerry bumper stickers. One fellow said a couple of young guys pulled up next to his 64-year-old mother’s car and signaled her to roll the window down. When she did, they screamed, “Bush is a F**king MORON!”

Apparently, Bush-Cheney cars are routinely keyed in places like liberal Seattle. And liberal Bethesda, Md., has reportedly seen a rash of spray-paintings of Bush yard signs (with Kerry signs left in tact). One pro-Bush family in liberal West L.A. had its yard sign stolen six times. Theft, spray paint, or just tearing to shreds are the weapons of choice against yard signs, but one Bush-Cheney sign was actually set on fire. Even in conservative Idaho, Bush-Cheney cars get keyed. And in conservative Houston, parking while visiting a friend in the liberal midtown section can mean a keyed car. Apparently, these attacks are so common that you can now buy a T-Shirt with a picture of a slashed-out Bush-Cheney logo and the legend, “A person of tolerance and diversity keyed my car.”

The fear of violence leads many couples into serious debate. A stolen Bush-Cheney yard sign in liberal Cherry Hill, N.J., prompted one couple to think long and hard before replacing it. Would a rock through the window be next? “You can’t hide where you live once you make a mark of yourself,” said the husband. (But they did replace the sign.) One woman hints that although her husband called her “paranoid” for deciding against a bumper sticker, he may secretly be relieved at her choice.

Several readers noted that Kerry bumper stickers seem to show up mostly on Mercedes, BMWs, and other “high-end Euro-steel,” while Bush-Cheney cars are more modest American models. But at least part of the reason for this could be that Bush supporters are afraid to put stickers on new or expensive cars. Some families with two cars restrict the Bush-Cheney sticker to the beat-up old family van, keeping it off the better car.

Bush-sign protection is an art. Lots of folks report putting signs inside home and car windows, facing out. Magnetized car signs can be removed for safety when parking, and Bush yard signs can be stored in the garage at night. One fellow makes sure to park with his bumper facing a wall. Some Bush supporters have responded to thefts by covering signs in chicken wire or putting them behind fences. But these tactics don’t always work.

The most effective strategy seems to be hanging the signs high on trees, or high on a house. But this can be countered by malicious graffiti on the door, which one family has to clean off daily. The best tactic may have been this note, taped to the back of a yard sign: “Thanks! Your theft of this sign will result in a replacement sign and an additional donation of $10 to the RNC. Your contribution is appreciated.”

So are those too afraid to use stickers and signs just a bunch of political girly-men? A couple of tough guys said as much to their more timid compatriots: “What kind of wussy are you? I say Bring It On!” But most of the people who wrote in argued that it isn’t cowardice to worry about damage to a car that can’t be protected when parked. Several people said they’d started sporting Bush T-shirts and caps instead of bumper stickers, because Kerry supporters won’t try anything to their face. Readers who do decide to use stickers or signs despite the risks feel courageous. Some folks feel a sense of relief each and every time they return to an undamaged car.

Many Bush supporters avoid the whole problem by adopting a flag strategy. American flags, yellow ribbons, and signs saying “Support our troops” function in many places as proxies for Bush-Cheney signs. One reader noted that none of the homes with Kerry signs on his street display American flags. Other readers say they intentionally use the flag as a proxy. Usually this is safe. But apparently in Seattle, even an American flag can provoke arguments and rude looks. One Seattle neighborhood seems to display U.N. flags and stickers more often than Old Glory. (I guess that meets the “global test.”)

Is the violence really unequal? Corner readers sure think so, but it’s tough to know for certain when your sample consists of Bush partisans. Still, Corner readers point to repeatedly defaced Bush-Cheney signs in areas where Kerry signs go untouched. Clearly, there is at least some violence against Kerry signs. One reader said that in Columbus, Ohio, the virtual epicenter of this year’s campaign, sign violence seems to be about equal. The most frightened Corner readers by far are those who live in or pass through university towns. Yet one reader from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee reports that at least some liberal professors there feel sheepish about displaying their support for Kerry. Still, the repeated message of Corner readers is that property damage is inflicted on Bush supporters at far higher levels than on Kerry supporters. The asymmetry is attributed partly to the general willingness of those on the left to protest, but mostly to the depths of liberal Bush hatred.

Several readers complained about local news stories that hyped minor attacks on Kerry signs while ignoring the more pervasive violence against Bush supporters. Then there’s the question of which side’s attacks are meaner. The only direct assault on a Kerry supporter described to me was a fellow who’s Kedwards sign earned him a couple of frozen waffles on his front porch. Now, I wouldn’t hurl waffles myself, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think the waffle stunt was a great prank. Even when the Bushies strike, they seem to do it more in humor than in anger.

Pervasive liberal vitriol against the president has convinced some Bush supporters that they are in danger. Anti-Bush signs and graffiti seem to be at least as common as pro-Kerry signs. The slogans range from “Bushit,” to “Bush is a Stupid A** Moron,” to bumper stickers that substitute Bush/Hitler or Bush/Satan for Bush/Cheney.

This brings us to what I call “the mechanism of intimidation.” It seems that either past violence or present incivility has the power to intimidate. Several Washington state readers pointed to memories of the violence at the Seattle World Trade Organization protests some years ago as a reason why they would not display a Bush-Cheney bumper sticker. A couple of California readers pointed to violence against conservatives on the Berkeley campus as a reason to hold back.

But overwhelmingly, those who were reluctant to put up Bush-Cheney stickers or signs said that the “rabid” nature of this year’s Bush-hatred had convinced them that showing their support for the president was no longer safe. Apparently, in addition to all the keyed cars and bumper stickers, many city stop signs have been painted to read “Stop Bush.” More than one reader said that people who deface city property can’t be trusted to refrain from violence against private cars. One correspondent had an eloquent take on the mechanism of intimidation:

"...a number of neighborhood Kerry supporters have taken to putting hand written signs on their lawns. They do not threaten violence but manage to cross that invisible line of good taste and neighborliness.... That is, they insult the president personally and by association those who support him.

In the past, an unwritten rule seemed to apply to yard signs. Any neighbor was free to express his support for the candidate of his choice in a tasteful yard sign without having it affect personal friendships. But tactics seeming to violate the unwritten rule are now widely practiced: using insulting handmade signs, planting multiple signs at a single household and placing signs on property lines to make it appear as if neighbors also support Kerry-Edwards. In my mind's eye, this behavior suggests that the Kerry-Edwards supporters are so invested emotionally in the contest that they are willing ? no eager ? to alienate their neighbors."

This is what has created the climate of fear.

Why do Kerry supporters feel free to vandalize Bush signs and damage the property of the president’s supporters? Corner readers agree that it’s the liberal feeling of moral superiority that “puts them above the law and gives them leave to abridge the rights of others.” Another typical comment was: “There’s nothing more intolerant than a tolerant liberal.” One reader called for an amendment to Voltaire’s classic statement of liberal tolerance: “I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll sneak onto your yard in the middle of the night to steal your sign, you fascist bastard.”

With all the problems, the tide may be turning. A number of readers report that Bush signs are now proliferating. According to one, they “sprouted like dandelions” after the Republican convention. That may mean even more vandalism and violence as we head toward election day. But this is unlikely to help Kerry.

First, there’s the cocoon effect. A number of readers said that the mainstream-media message that it’s politically incorrect to favor the president means polls may actually undercount Bush support. Liberals are shocked when the president garners majority support, because they don’t know anyone who agrees with him. Yet the truth is that liberal vitriol has simply made the many Bush supporters in their midst go underground.

Anti-Bush violence is a weak and ultimately counterproductive tactic. It is the opposite of Tocqueville’s famous “tyranny of the majority.” The tyranny of the majority works chiefly through mental intimidation. It frightens and silences by its pervasiveness, and its implicit threat of ostracism. As Tocqueville said, the tyranny of the majority leaves the body and goes for the soul. There is a touch of this in the reluctance of Bush supporters to alienate the neighbors upon whom they depend. But for the most part, the anti-Bush violence leaves the soul and goes for the body (even if it’s the body of a car). That is not the tyranny of the majority. It is the rage of a minority, and it can only stir resentment and provoke a reaction at the voting booth. As one Corner reader said: “We may fear retaliation for putting stickers on our cars, but our voice will be heard loud and clear on November 2.”

Which side is creating “divisiveness”?


Kerry should call off the thugs

We’re beginning to see a pattern:

* Bush-Cheney headquarters in Orlando attacked by a union mob

* Anti-Bush protestor attacks GOP committee chairman in Gainesville
* In Miami, more than 100 union protesters stormed the Bush-Cheney campaign office and pushed volunteers inside
* In Tampa, about three dozen protesters crowded into the second-floor office of the local Bush-Cheney headquarters where three elderly volunteers, two interns and a campaign staffer were working at the time
[Same link as above]
* Shots fired into a GOP headquarters in Knoxville
* In Madison, a Nazi swastika was burned into a home’s lawn near where Bush-Cheney signs were posted
* Duluth teens vandalize Bush yard signs
* 50 demonstrators supporting Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry stormed a Republican campaign office in West Allis

If this sort of thing were happening to Democrats, both the Michael Moore-types and the mainstream media would be screaming about Republican stormtroopers directed by Reichsf?hrer-SS John Ashcroft. Since it’s happening to Republicans, however, it is mostly covered just by local media. In any event, it certainly gives one pause about putting up a Bush yard sign or putting on a Bush bumpersticker.

Update: Kerry spot has details on a number of these and other examples. He argues:


"There's been an exponential number of reports of signs not just stolen, but burned, defaced with swastikas, and torn down by pistol-packing angry teenagers. (An anti-Bush gun-control supporter, perhaps?)"

His solution is, shall we say, a bit less risk-averse than my initial reaction:

"If somebody stole your sign, they're trying to send you a message ? that your voice shouldn't be heard, that their willingness to stroll onto your property break the law can trumps your First Amendment rights. Are you going to let those snot-nosed punks win?...

And a bunch of little twerps think they can help their guy win by stealing stuff and painting swastikas. On the property of a veteran. Guy spends years defending his country so some kid who can barely spell "Nazi," much less define "national socialism," can march onto his property and spray paint the symbol of those fascists?"

Damn straight. Now where did I put that yard sign?

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
October 07, 2004, 8:52 a.m.
Climate of Fear
Some Bush supporters say they fear for their property.[/quote]

It can’t be!!! Leftists are the caring, peace-loving, open-minded ones who have the word “hate” blacked out in all their dictionaries, aren’t they? (oh hell, just rip out all the “H” words) This has to be some kind of evil conservative trick! I know! They are vandalizing their OWN property and then BLAMING the Kerry supporters. Yeah, that’s it! The nasty old mean-spirited conservative attack machine will stop at nothing to smear the innocent, kind, caring and enlightened left.

MoveOn is just a front for the DNC.


Very well stated, and funny too!

[quote]ZEB wrote:

Very well stated, and funny too![/quote]

Thank you. It amazes me how the same people who demand diplomacy and the pursuit of non-violent resolutions to any and all problems on the global stage will burn your frigging house down for disagreeing with them.

From Opinion Journal online:

Getting Physical
Union thugs target Republicans.

by John Fund

Monday, October 11, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

We may be about to experience an election unlike any we’ve seen in a while. The Florida recount in 2000 raised passions and blood pressure and featured some demonstrations on both sides, but there was no violence. This year, lots of groups are jostling with each other to monitor the elections in battleground states. For its part, the AFL-CIO has promised to dispatch thousands of election monitors to battleground states to watch for any hint of trouble at polling places. From the initial reports, they may be the ones for have to be watched as potential troublemakers.

Last week, in Orlando, Fla., approximately 60 union protestors stormed and ransacked the local Bush-Cheney headquarters causing considerable damage and injuring one campaign staffer, who suffered a broken wrist.

According to an Orlando Police Department report, Rhyan Metzler, a field director for the Republican Party, was at the headquarters about 1 p.m. last Tuesday when 60 protestors barged in. Van Church, a 53-year old protestor, forced the door open and caused Mr. Metzler’s arm to be caught in it. His left wrist was fractured in the altercation. Police say Mr. Church will be charged with two counts of battery.

But Mr. Church is unrepentant. “If his wrist was fractured, it’s a result of his own actions in jerking the door the way he did,” he told the Orlando Sentinel. “He jerked the door out of my hand and cut it in the process.” But since it is Mr. Church who is being charged, the police apparently didn’t think Mr. Metzler did anything wrong.

Orlando’s fracas was mirrored in Miami, where police reported that more than 100 union protestors stormed the Bush-Cheney office and shoved volunteers aside. No one was charged because most of the protestors left before the police arrived. In Tampa, about 35 protestors filled the local GOP office and intimidated the elderly volunteers working there.

The AFL-CIO took credit on its Web site for similar demonstrations–apparently all coordinated–in Independence, Mo., Kansas City, Mo., Dearborn, Mich., St. Paul, Minn., and West Allis, Wis. In what could be a related incident, the Bush-Cheney office in Knoxville, Tenn., had its plate-glass windows shattered by gunfire on Tuesday morning before volunteers showed up for work. Another Republican office, in Seattle, was broken into and had computer files stolen.

Esmerelda Aguilar, an AFL-CIO spokesman, says Republicans are “trying to politicize [the Orlando incident] and exaggerate the event.” She maintains that all of the demonstrations “were peaceful protests” designed to call attention to new Bush administration regulations on overtime pay.

Rep. Tom Feeney (R., Fla.) is skeptical. He was speaker of the Florida House in 2000 and knows how important it is to address election-related problems early and not wait for Election Day. Mr. Feeney and 49 other GOP members of Congress have signed a letter asking the Justice Department to investigate if the coordinated protests violated any federal laws on protecting the rights to campaign and vote.

Rep. Feeney also says the Justice Department needs to let people know it is watching this election more closely than most. “We ask that you work with state law enforcement agencies in investigating a series of voting irregularities including forgeries in voter registration forms, casting simultaneous ballots in different states (double voting), and absentee voter fraud. Such activities disenfranchise those who properly register to vote and cast valid ballots.”

Look for the Justice Department to become a major political football in this election. Already, its warnings that terrorists may well try to disrupt the Nov. 2 election is being greeted skeptically by some local election officials. New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron, a Democrat, is openly asking if Attorney General John Ashcroft’s warnings are part of a GOP effort to suppress voter turnout. Last week, Democrats responded by creating their own SWAT teams of lawyers that will be dispatched to any place where voting problems are recorded. One issue certain to be disputed will be provisional ballots, which are cast when someone doesn’t find his name on the registration rolls. Such ballots are set aside and verified later. A flood of provisional ballot lists could tilt the election in close states one way or the other with Democrats demanding that officials “count every vote” and Republicans questioning the validity of some of the ballots.

California Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia, a Republican, says she has found 3,000 new duplicate registrations in her district. “The current process today is really Third World conditions,” she told CNN’s Lou Dobbs program. When asked what she thinks about Democratic charges that her calls for investigations into the duplicate registrations will scare voters away from the polls, she refuses to back down. “You’re damn right, I’m going to try to scare away the crooks.”

Let’s hope the lawyers don’t take over this election’s aftermath the way they did in Florida in 2000. To prevent that the Justice Department needs to step in now and enforce everyone’s civil rights. That means protecting campaign workers from intimidation as well as preventing fraudulent votes from canceling out legitimate ballots. Allowing double voting, ballots to be cast from the graveyard and those who have been disqualified because of criminal convictions to dilute the process only calls into question the sanctity of the election itself. It’s no way to run a modern democracy.

If this is true - and it’s a big IF, and I will need to see how this develops - the Democrats have sunk to a new low, and we as a society really need to re-think a few things:




World Exclusive

The Kerry/Edwards campaign and the Democratic National Committee are advising election operatives to declare voter intimidation – even if none exists, the DRUDGE REPORT can reveal.

A 66-page mobilization plan to be issued by the Kerry/Edwards campaign and the Democratic National Committee states: “If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a ‘pre-emptive strike.’”

[Image of page]

The provocative Dem battle plan is to be distributed in dozens of states, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

One top DNC official confirmed the manual’s authenticity, but claimed the notion of crying wolf on any voter intimidation is “absurd.”

“We all know the Republicans are going to try to steal the election by scaring people and confusing people,” the top DNC source explained.


Seriously, has anyone heard anything further on this? I haven’t heard it called a hoax.

Dems have issued an attacking, spittle-flying press release – but it’s not a denial…



The DNC has issued a long statement,
mostly accusing “For decades, Republicans have engaged in systematic voter suppression and intimidation, from throwing minorities off the voter rolls to ripping up Democratic voter registrations. We make no apologies for fighting these tactics by exposing the dirty tricks when they happen, and helping educate local officials and activists about past Republican tactics so they can prevent them from occurring this year.”

They also list what the DNC insists is the complete “section of their field manual titled “How to Organize to Prevent and Combat Voter Intimidation” referred to on the Drudge Report, which focuses on how to detect, prevent, and combat voter intimidation practices.”

But the lines are still in there: “2. If no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet, launch a “pre-emptive strike” (particularly well-suited to states in which there techniques have been tried in the past).”

Most people would say, “if no signs of intimidation techniques have emerged yet… then maybe intimidation isn’t going on.” But to the DNC, it’s just a sign that it hasn’t happened yet. And it is an opportunity to “launch a pre-emptive strike,” complaining of voter intimidation. Folks, this is the boy who cried wolf.

Apparently there need not be evidence of wrongdoing for these folks to accuse others of wrongdoing.