Monday, January 26, 2004

Mojowire for 1/24/04

S9 Greetings, once again, my fine fellow space adventurers. For the last two weeks, you haven't heard much from us here on S9 Station, and that's mainly because we've been gobsmacked into blind idiocy watching the Democratic Party Presidential nomination race.

For awhile there, a lot of the consensus manufacturers in the mainstream press were absolutely convinced that it was a done deal for Howard Dean, and that it was only a matter of time before everyone got over their disappointment that the race was over so quickly.

Then, my dear departed mother's home state of Iowa held their official caucuses on the subject. And as often happens in Iowa in the week before the caucuses, the winds began to blow in a different direction. "Iowa for the Iowish," they say, and they're right.

The good news for Howard Dean-- who took a distant third place in the Iowa caucuses-- is that the Iowish are decidedly *not* like the rest of America. They just get to go first. The information is that John Kerry has been gifted now (by the Washington media establishment, and probably with no small deliberation) with a badly needed dose of The Wild Horny-toad Mojo going into the New Hampshire primary.

It won't be enough for Senator Haircut, though. His campaign for the White House has been doomed to defeat ever since 1971. And now, more than ever, it looks like the best hope of kicking G2 out of the White House next year will be a brokered DNC in Boston-- in which we see a
Clark/Dean or a Dean/Clark ticket emerge from the backroom thumb-wrestling. Either of those will work, I think-- but I'm here to tell you that if the D's nominate John Kerry for President, it will be
Four More Years of blindly stove-piped and heavily cooked intelligence on Republican job-creation program related activity chatter evidence something, punctuated by the occasional Code Elmo homeland security threat level as we reinstate the draft, invade Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and make even more threatening noises at Iran and North Korea.

There is no way Americans are going to elect John Kerry over George Bush. He'll lose in a landslide. That's my prediction.

Don't get me wrong... I like John Kerry. If the D's nominate him, I will happily cross party lines from the Green Party to the Democratic Party and vote for him. I may even write a big check to his
Presidential campaign. But then-- let's be honest: an endorsement from S9 Station isn't going to make him a winner any more than it made Paul Simon a winner back in 1988. No, Kerry is going down-- and it's his military background that will be the millstone around his political neck.

Kerry is a Vietnam War veteran. I'd call him a War Hero-- he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts for his service in the U.S. Navy-- but Americans don't believe there was anything heroic about the Vietnam War. It's why they think George Bush did the right thing when he went AWOL from his National Guard unit for the better part of a year during the Vietnam War-- even though he stood very little chance of going to the front.

But on top of that, Kerry came back from Vietnam with his patriotism damaged. Oh sure, from my perspective he's a great patriot-- his protests against the Vietnam War in his testimony before the U.S. Senate helped bring an end to an utter disaster of American foreign policy. But let's try to remember what the John McCain campaign taught us about what happens to Vietnam veterans when they try to get elected President of the United States.

Here's how we can expect Karl Rove to paint John Kerry: he may have supported the troops at one time in his life, but in 1971 he threw away his ribbons and joined the filthy shoeless antiwar hippies. He's a quitter, and he's a loser as well. And now he wants to tell you he's against the War On Terrorism (which will be a filthy lie, but Rove will make Bush and his people say it anyway) even though Kerry voted in the Senate *for* the War On Iraq.

In 1971, Morley Safer on _60_Minutes_ asked John Kerry, "Do you want to be President?" And he replied, "Of the United States? No." Imagine the negative ad you could write with an edited version of that exchange. Just leave off the last word of Kerry's reply, and the rest writes itself.

More importantly, Kerry can't tout his military record without reminding everyone who hears it about what a clusterfumble was Vietnam-- in the process sounding like he hates the military more than anything even when, *especially* when, he tries to sound sincere about how much he loves it. Nobody wants to dwell on the failures of the past. Certainly not any of the moderate Democrats and swing Republicans he'll need to unseat Bush.

At the same time, Bush has *always* known how righteous and powerful are the United States Armed Forces. Why-- he's practically the Greatest Military Leader EVER. And if you don't think so too, then you must be on the side of the terrorists. Of course, it isn't true, but the truth isn't what this is about. It's about manufacturing reality.

The Bush Campaign will hammer home this "Kerry is a disgrace to his uniform" theme-- without actually saying it-- and it will cost them nothing politically. *Nothing.* The more Kerry swings back, the more he will appear un-Presidential in the process. If he doesn't swing back, he will be allowing the Bush people to define his message.
Cue James music from top of song for exit
That's my story. As much as I like him, I have to admit it: the Kerry campaign has the mark of doom on it.

J. So, now it comes down to a handful of cranky, freezing old Yankees in a state so far north that even Candaians consider them hearty arctic survivors. On Tuesday, they will take a big hand in deciding who the Democratic candidate for President will be.

As we write this, a scant 96 hours before tee-time, the bones are rolling and the knives are out. Call from the poll has it Kerry, followed by Dean, closely followed by Clark, Edwards and the rest of the also-rans...

This is after Dean came into the state with a commanding lead, even still as large as 10 points right after what the media have dubbed the “I Have a Scream” speech. Since then, the Dean campaign has experienced what political watchers call “hemoraging.”

It remains to be seen if the doctor has managed to staunch the bleeding, but at this point most of the polls agree that it will be a Kerry/Dean race. With that said, does the Mojowire endorse the conventional wisdom going into Tuesday’s election?

No! And here’s why. Media cycles are much quicker now than they were, and already, there are signs that the Dean campaign has gone through the bad-news phase, and the official redemption phase is kicking in, perhaps just in time for people to remember why they liked him in the first place.

The 12 hour retreat to Burlington with Dean and his starting team to do damage control appears to be paying off, and the remaking of the image may be enough to bring him back to prominence. Enough to get over on Kerry? Maybe not, but at this point, the expectation for him is so low going in now that if he can at least finish a convincing second, within 3 to 6 points, then that is a net win.

Much of this will turn on the undecideds, again a large group of voters in the last few days and no one knows with any certainty what they will do. Some anecdotal evidence on the ground suggests that they may have been waiting until they actually walk into the booth to make up their minds, and unlike Iowa, there won’t be campaign precinct captains lurching around around the polling place like Lieberman of Borg, trying to assimilate their political distinctiveness into their own.

To maintain his momentum, Kerry will have to crush the competition. This is the hazard of being the front runner that Dean spoke of...expectations, and Kerry was always the candidate of the high expectations, even before he ever announced his candidacy, his name was being bandied about as the guy the Democrats should turn to.

He has taken in a good deal of money in the last week, which is really what momentum does for you. Winning a primary is essentially like a video-game. It means you collect the prize or treasure for that level and you get to move on to the next level, until you defeat the convention monster and move on to the final boss level.

Edwards is another one who has had his campaign juiced. But he is in an interesting position, and a good one for him. As previously noted, his strong second place finish in Iowa gives him a pass, more or less, in New Hampshire. He can get through there with little to show for it and still be a perceived front runner.

S. Let’s take a look at the schedule: Arizona, Delaware, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Carolina Primaries, and New Mexico and North Dakota Caucuses take place just one week after New Hampshire on Feb. 03. In at least three of those states — So. Carolina, Oklahoma and Missouri — Edwards can expect to do reasonably well.

The Dean campaign has been flooding the zone in Arizona, New Mexico and Washington, while we have heard very little about the Kerry machine in those states. Those could end up to be very even contests in another ten days.

But only if Dean does not completely melt down with a bad showing in New Hampshire and another bad bout of tourettes. Although, if he went on the O’Reilly factor and barked and tried to bite William, that would rule! That would send his numbers right through the roof.

So, back to the Granite State, home of President Bartlett. In the last two or three days of manic campaigning, the candidates will be mushing their staffs through the frozen wilderness seeking out anyone not moving fast enough to get a little face time with the voters. It some ways it really is a shameless spectacle.

You will invariably hear from every candidate a variation on the theme that their campaign is absolutely “on fire,” “en fuego,” if they were any hotter, then they would have to be encased in asbestos and only the Combat-Campaign-Bots from C-SPAN would be able to get close enough to them to conduct interviews and voters would have to be kept to a minimum safe distance of one mile from the candidate at all times.

All these augers will be inescapable, but now you listen to the wisdom of the ancients from down in the bowels Mojohaus oracle... here are the signs and portents to watch for, and when you see them they will be as undeniably clear as a 900-foot Jesus striding the landscape cleansing the earth of sinners in the firey wrath of the fist of the vengeful pre-atomic space god Jehovah 1...

What? Oh, yeah, signs and portents...

First: The pundits on your favorite mass media of choice will start talking about how the media “overplayed” the Dean screech, and talking about “how matured” the candidate has appeared to be. This will be the sign that Dean has again found his feet and could surprise people on Tuesday.

Second: Kerry will cease making any veiled references to any of the rest of the Democratic pack and focuses the rest of his message on policy and why the economy is in the tank. This is a sign that his internal poll numbers have put him beyond effective reach of anyone beside the ghost of Franklin Roosevelt. Inversely, if he goes on an anti-pack tear and shows off his battle scars, that is a sign that Dean has returned from the brink of death.

The last sign to look for will be if John Edwards bails out of New Hampshire before Monday, which will be the sign that he knows he is baked there and will be on his way south to redeem his Iowa victory coupon.

And finally, the next guy to pull the plug, or at least to get the plug pulled for him is Eyore, the Liebermanator. And good riddance!

J. Now, aside from giving us plenty of fodder for vaguely amusing quips, and allowing us to bring you a good horse race, why should you, yourself, put down the remote, get up out of the chocolate chip cookie and cheap beer gravity well of the La-Z-Boy and get involved in this election?

Simple: you may not have another chance after this year if the Bush juggernaut rolls on to another victory.

We need to talk folks. This adminstration has changed the stakes in our Democracy. The consensus that emerged from the New Deal, the Cold War and our committment to the promise of democracy we have inherited from preceding generations is currently being held hostage to a group of feckless thugs who cannot be trusted with the power of the Executive Branch.

We all know, loyal wireheads, that this administration engaged in a massive deception of the electorate and themselves in the runup to the Iraq debacle. But this is more than just Watergate style lying. This Administration has broken trust with the Amercican People.

Simply put, they have supreme contempt for liberal democracy. You are simply a consumer that needs manipulating. The Bush Gang has no loyalty to you, they are loyal to their own ideolgoies of leveraging power, and to the promise of vast riches offered by pimping the interestes of wealthy greedheads that will enrich them when they eject from Government.

And once they cash in their chips from being in the halls of power, they have created a revolving door system where their hand-picked replacements can follow in their immediate footsteps and take their place with complete continuity and with no change in real government policy or agenda.

Semptemer 11th has been perverted by the Administration from a shared grief into a weapon the President wields against his critics. His administration is morally and ethically incapable of distinguishing between poltical rivals and fellow citizens.

You are either with them or against them, whether it’s wielding the legal authority of the Judciary against Greenpeace, or subverting science to appease their luddite supporters in the 700 club and their pals who bank on befouling the environment with fossil fuels, it’s all the same to them. The Republic does not come first in the Bush Adminitration; their political power does, and if you get in the way, they have a lovely 8x10 timshare in Gitmo they can provide for you.

A fundamental change is in the wind in this country. Look, politics has always been a contact sport, and besides golf, probably the one with most elitist rules for entry into the game. But the American system is predicated on the idea that however elitist it might be, it is not entirely closed to those who want to participate on a meaningful level, regardless of social standing.

The Bush Administration is aiming to change that. With legislation like the Patriot Act, an obsession with official secrecy, stacking the courts not only with right wing ideologues, but actual political cronies, and creating a voting mechanism designed for wholesale election rigging, the complexion of our Republic is about to be radically altered.

Remember, these people come, by and large, from the school of Leo Strauss, and his progenitors who had no use for the vox populi other than as a cheap marketing gimmick, like EST. These are people who really believed, deep down, that freedom in America is a bad idea; a belief in the superiority of oligarchy and the need for the elites to exercise strict, overt control over the state.

S. For many years the Republican Party, and even elements in the beltway establishment of the Democratic Party have been playing that game behind the scenes, co-opting populism, dispersing progressive support, retaining power through a thin veneer of republican accountability and transparancy.

But now the current administration seeks to completely formalize an arrangement where they no longer have to make any pretense of respect for our traditional notions of democracy and republican rule, and their allies who control the legislative branch are rolling over for it and have completely abrograted their roll as a check against the power of a rogue executive.

They are a cult of secrecy and power and they are about to complete a not-so bloodless coup that will send our nation’s ideas to the scrapheap of history.

So, yeah, this is about *you*, and your right to choose your government. Your right *not* to be disappeared by Federal Marshals in the dead of night, to govern the use of your own body, to know what your government is doing with your money in your name, to have clean water to drink, to have clean air to breath, to not pay a month’s salary for a bag of groceries, to live in a nation where notions of Justice and Fairness and Freedom are not antiquated concepts kids learn about in history books that talk about “the bad old days” of peace and prosperity.

That’s why you, yearh *you*, need to get up off your butt and get out there, pick a candidate and get your campaign-on. If we win will it change much? No, probably not, but at least we will still be in the game.

I know people are tired of hearing us say this. We have been dropping these bombs for months now and we realize it is a bit pedantic but it *is* that important. If we lose, then fine, we lose, but for the love of God, please don’t let us lose because we didn’t try.

Honestly, this was not supposed to make you despair, we are trying to make you angry enough to get ready to get out there and fight like hell for your country. This nation is under attack, and not from Al Qaeda or the dread Iraqi Flying Saucers. We are under assault from within by forces who would seize this nation and destroy it, remaking it into nothing more than their personal coast-to-coast WalMart.

This is your country, and it’s going to be up to you to save it. Not any nameless or faceless agency or politician. The fate of 350 million people all rests on you. Yeah, I know that deal sucks — too bad, but that’s what it is, so the question is really, what are *you* going to do?

J. So our patriotic thought for the day: Realizing the threat posed by the radical right wing oligarchs, means the terrorists win, or as John Ashcroft says... Oh, screw John Ashcroft! He’s baked!


S. And that’s all for this week, tune in again soon for another exciting installment, until, of course, we are declared enemies of the state.

And remember, you can now email the Mojowire at, that’s Email us hippies...

J. And now you can check out the Mojowire online at; you can read the entire archive.

This has been the Mojowire, brought to you by Mojohaus...Mojohaus-fine journalism, afflicting the comfortable since 1988, and produced by our super funky fly producer Mike Payne and the Darkling Eclectica, here on KUCI, 88.9...

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