Friday, October 01, 2004

Everyone Can Spin! 

Blicero writes:

It's funny, the point these campaigns have reached. Emails from the Kerry camp and the DNC both before and after the debate, asking me to join in the grassroots spin-a-thon by writing a note and sending it to every conceivable news organization.

So I did my part, took up my position on the front lines of spin. I wrote:

When I tuned into the presidential debate last night, I was genuinely concerned that Kerry's tendency to give complex, "nuanced" views (which generally take longer to explain and are less soundbyte-friendly) would contrast poorly with Bush's more direct, personable style.

Boy, was I surprised. Kerry not only looked, acted and sounded presidential (cool, controlled, sincere, firm, alert) but he was an incredibly effective communicator. I thought he did an amazing job of explaining to people how Bush talks a good terror war, but actually has little to show for it. From losing Osama's trail in Tora Bora; to diverting thousands of troops from Afghanistan (where our attackers were hiding) to Iraq (where they weren't); to unsecured ports, unsecured chemical and nuclear plants, unsecured physical infrastructure; to (most horrifyingly) an at-best tepid effort to secure loose nuclear materials which could end up in the hands of terrorists; on all of these points, Bush has dropped the ball. He's had two years since 9-11 to really make our country safer; and despite a lot of talk about "going on the offensive," Bush has done shockingly little to defend us.

Kerry really brought home a point I'd long felt but never heard articulated--that I'd feel a LOT safer personally if I knew our ports were being secured against nuclear materials in cargo containers, and if I knew our first responders like cops and firemen and hospitals were being given all the resources they need to keep us safe.

Kerry made this point eloquently, and Bush's response was shocking: "Who's gonna pay for all that?" HUH?? Who's going pay for the very basic things we need to protect ourselves against an attack, and to survive in the event of an attack? Is an occupying force of hundreds of thousands in Iraq going to keep a nuclear bomb from being smuggled into New York, where I live? Is a half-cocked missile defense system going to prevent terrorists from poisoning my water supply, or blowing up a subway tunnel, or hijacking another aircraft?

And wouldn't American taxpayers' money be better spent on homeland security than on profligate, unnecessary tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans? Bush talks about how under his leadership, homeland security spending has increased. Well, of course--any president would have increased security spending after a major terror attack. The question is has he allocated enough, and done enough, to do the job right? Do his actions reflect his words? The answer is no.

I came away from this debate with a very clear idea about Bush's and Kerry's respective priorities on homeland security. Whereas Bush talks tough, he's done little--and shows he STILL has little idea of how--to actually do it. Kerry, by contrast, seems to know exactly what to do to make our country truly secure--and shows me his resolve and preparedness to do it.

I was glad to see that Kerry not only explained to the country why he would make a strong and smart commander-in-chief, but demonstrated it in a style that shows how comfortably and naturally he stands in the leadership role.

I sent it to all of the email addresses and comment forms linked below. You can too! Type a few sentences, and spin away...

(404) 827-1500
Larry King LIVE: comments form
American Morning: comments form

(212) 664-4444
Hardball with Chris Matthews: hardball@msnbc.com

(212) 301-3000; 1-888-TELL-FOX
Hannity and Colmes: colmes@foxnews.com
FOX Morning News: foxfeedback@foxnews.com

(212) 456-7777
Nightline: nightline@abcnews.com
Good Morning America: comments form

(212) 975-4321
CBS Evening News: evening@cbsnews.com

(212) 664-4444
Nightly News: Nightly@NBC.com
The Today Show: today@nbc.com


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