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The Final Flip-Flop

(NOTE: A hearty welcome to the lizardoid minions of Little Green Footballs, and a big Riding Sun thank-you to the invaluable Charles Johnson for linking to this post. I hope you enjoy the site... I'm trying to include a good mix of current events/politics/war on islamofascism posts, along with all the stuff on motorcycles.)

You probably remember that on November 4, after a brief flirtation with the idea of fighting for an Ohio recount, John F. Kerry graciously conceded defeat to George W. Bush in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election.

But it seems Kerry had one final flip-flop left in his campaign. As the man himself might put it, he conceded the election before he unconceded.

Several Democratic-leaning websites are detailing efforts (by Democrats as well as by third-party supporters) to dispute the outcome of the Ohio vote and subsequent recount. (As a side note, it's interesting that this time around, Democrats don't seem to think the electoral college is such a bad idea, and don't think winning the popular vote is all that important.)

Ohio has already cast its electoral college votes for Bush, and I must confess that I am not enough of a scholar of government procedure to be able to say how any further objections to the validity of the Ohio vote would be handled. I am certainly eager to see how the story develops.

My prediction, however, is that it will be extremely unlikely for anyone to be able to change the outcome of the election at this point. All they will be able to do is cast doubt on America's electoral process and undermine Bush's legitimacy, weakening our nation at a time of war.

Without analyzing the validity of any of the specific claims of the people challenging the recount, I will observe only this: John F. Kerry could have challenged the election results. Instead, he chose to concede defeat. At the time, it seemed like a act of genuine wisdom, humility, and class. But apparently it was all a charade. Kerry appears prepared to go back on his word and throw the nation into turmoil.

In a statement made in early December, Kerry set forth his position on the election results, saying that, according to the Associated Press wire story found at the above link and elsewhere, "His campaign does not dispute that Bush won the election, but supports the recounts."

Even this late in the game -- after the game is over, in fact -- Kerry still doesn't get it. "Nuanced", doublespeak non-statements like that one are a big reason why he lost in the first place.


fasteddie said...

"But it seems Kerry had one final flip-flop left in his campaign. As the man himself might put it, he conceded the election before he unconceded."

hahaha you are a funny writer. As much as I would like Bush out and my mother in, ( I say my mom, her qualifications, i know with out a doubt she is honest.) or anyone of a number of people, I like Arnie, and McCain, on the republican side. I would prefer Kerry, but agree with you heartily that they shouldn't challenge. It would be a shame. And Bush won the popular vote. I have been assuming you are an expatriot, is that the term for and American living in another country? Well did you vote, just curious. Gonna have to bookmark your blog. :) i enjoy it, and you debate with out getting all pissed off. Did you feel the earthquake? I'm concerned for some friends who went on vacation to Thailand. Ciao for now.

GaijinBiker said...

Glad you like my blog.

The word is spelled "expatriate" -- I am not an ex-patriot!

As you might guess, I backed Bush in the last election. If you're going to be out of the country on election day, you just have to request and send in an absentee ballot by mail ahead of time.

I think absentee ballots are counted after the regular ballots -- so generally the state will be called for one candidate or another before they even get to your absentee vote. But it's a vote just the same.

GaijinBiker said...

Also, I am on vacation in New York now, so I didn't feel the earthquake. I don't know if it was felt in Japan... the reports I've seen said it hit the Southeast Asia area: Thailand, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, etc. (I was in Thailand 8 months ago so I guess I had good timing.)

GaijinBiker said...

I should clarify that I meant the tsunami hit those areas, not the earthquake itself, which I presume had its epicenter somewhere offshore.

erp said...

At this point, any kind of a dispute about the election would have zero affect on Bush's legitimacy and a very negative effect on the Democrat party.

comrade_tovarich said...

Nice post, and how refreshing it is to encounter another beikoku gaijin in Japan who cast a vote for Bush (which tells me you're not teaching English). And a motorcyclist to boot (though my wife refuses to buy one here)!

Karridine said...

Unbelievably crass!
Inordinately classless!
What a SHAM...

Kerry disgraces the name!

Kerry Dean
recording as Carridine

David said...

I've been tracking comments on http:/ that have been coming from the Kerry camp and other Dems for the last week or so, and the rhetoric continues to get cranked up:

"Kerry conceded much too quickly, before the facts were in," Jackson said in a conference call with reporters to discuss an ongoing challenge to Ohio's election results.

"This has fundamentally shocked people's sense of whether any election can be accurately counted," said Daniel Hoffheimer, counsel to John Kerry's Ohio campaign.

It's too late to change anything, but the irresponsibility of undermining the election is outrageous.

GaijinBiker said...

LOL, Comrade_Tovarich! No English teaching here. Although virtually all the gaijin at my office seem to be anti-Bush anyway.

I wore my big ol' Bush-Cheney T-shirt to a friend's election day party where EVERYBODY ELSE was a Kerry backer. I don't think they considered for a minute that someone they knew could actually support Dubya!

-- A drunk Japanese girl came up to me and stabbed her finger at the picture of Bush on my T-Shirt and said "He is BAD MAN!"

-- A Japanese guy tried to argue with me that America was a religious dictatorship because we have the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on our money. He also told me we should really let the UN decide when America goes to war.

-- Two Americans saw the pics of Bush & Cheney on my shirt and smugly asked me who I thought was the smart one. Both, I said, since they seem to be winning the election. (This was toward the end of the election when the early exit polls for Kerry had been proven wrong.)

Good times.

fasteddie said...

well I think outrageous is a partisan overstatement, if the situation was switched wouldn't you be for Bush doing what ever he could to ensure the people's voice is not stiffled by vote counting mistakes.

Let me be more pointed and ask you what is more outrageous, Iraqi prisoners of war being tortured (including innocents.) or former president Clinton getting blowjobs, and lying to everyone about it?

My point there is morality, and then there is partisan rationalization. I will not let me being partisan excuse the wrongful acts of those I may agree with politically or philosopically. For instance, just because I love Thriller, will I defend Michael Jackson ? Hell no. Because people agree with neo-con principles, they will forgive Rumsfeld's, and possibly our President's endorsement of torture? People forgive the hypocrisy of Rush Limbaugh, because they love his political ranting? This particular human flaw , this dual standard runs rampart in political considerations. It's a shame. If Bush who I don't like, I don't believe in, if he succeeds at things that I thought he wouldn't I will give him credit. It would be better if we used less heated ego, more dispassionate reason to focus on what politics should do: make people's lives better.

This is the only way to bridge the divisiveness that plagues current politics. A good idea is a good idea no matter who comes up with it. I like gajintricycle man here, cause I think his writing is fun, and though we probably disagree on a lot, I think he's reasonable, and certainly funny.
"islamofacism" did you come up with that? That kill me man. haha : )

I supported Kerry, I voted for him, but I will not support this latest

GaijinBiker said...

I think you're getting a little off-base on this one, fasteddie.

Just to address one point in your comment, Clinton himself was getting "serviced" by Monica personally. Rumsfeld was not personally torturing Iraqis, nor did he order anyone to do so. So it's a little disingenuous to say that both men should bear the same level of responsibility for the actions in question.

Similarly, while neither action is something we like to hear about, one is more understandable than the other.

Atrocities are part of war; certainly, there has never been a war without any atrocities committed at some point. If you have a war, chances are someone, somewhere along the line, is going to step outside the rules. (That doesn't mean we should turn a blind eye to it when it happens -- on the contrary, we should find the guy who did it, and his commander, if he was following a direct order, and punish him. End of story. To my knowledge, this is pretty much what has happened in the wake of the overblown Iraqi prison scandal.)

On the other hand, we had forty-one presidents before Clinton, and he was the first one who we know received oral sex from his intern. You can be President for one or two terms without it happening. It's not par for the course.

So the question is not, "Which is worse, sex or violence?" The question is, "Which conduct is less understandable in context, and which man bears more direct responsibility for it happening?"


fasteddie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fasteddie said...

Sorry I made a mistake so deleted.

Okay the whole point of that comment is my interest in people not apply dual standards. Rumsfeld responsible or not, someone approved those actions. On to the comment in progress.

You are taking me too literally, Bush doesn't pull the trigger in any battle either. As far as overblown, that is your opinion, if you are an innocent being accused of stealing from your work place would it be overblown you being upset? What if you were a prisoner in Iraq, who is mistakenly thought to be an insurgent?

Looking from the perspective of you and I who love our country, we should be unhappy when the principles of moral correctness that the U.S. stands for is disregarded. The psychological damage done to the Iraqi people, and what is trying to be accomplished in Iraq seems to have been high. I think it would have been much better if those pictures never came out, but what was happening stopped and those responsible punished.

Do you allow for bending of your morals for what ever cause you support? I can not and that was the point of my last posted comment. I can not excuse what happened to those prisoners by saying it was "overblown" and these things happen during wartime.

I hate the murder of innocents, such as the beheadings the insurgents have used to incite fear. Because the insurgents are dirty and evil we are allowed to lower our ideals too?

The torture of the prisoners was not beheadings, but it was not what I believe the U.S. stands for, it was evil.

I am not naive to believe that atrocities do not happen during war. War is defined by atrocities, hence my distaste. I can’t defend insurgents killing innocent people; I can’t defend torture of Iraqis or Afghanistanis, innocent or prisoners of war by American guards.

Anonymous said...

if the situation was switched, i'd stand behind the original vote count. no one's voice was stifled.

both are equally outrageous. prisoners being _tormented_ and the leader of the free world lying under oath.

neither the SOD nor the POTUS endorsed the torture, stop smoking the loco weed, dammit.

the only way to bridge the current divisiveness is for Democrats to start acting as Americans first, Democrats second, rather than Democrats first and Americans second.

Anonymous said...

Some people simply don't seem to get it, it's really shameful. Clinton was a pig HIMSELF, personally. The POTUS was engaging in all kinds of sins and criminal behavior HIMSELF. That's utterly different from SOMEONE ELSE commiting any sins or crimes under any POTUS.Sheez.

Anonymous said...

Our whole problem in Iraq is that we are being far too nice.Because of this our soldiers and innocent Iraqis are being killed as we stand by. There's a lot more we can do, inside the bounds of the Geneva Convention, to inject fear into the insurgents. They currently perceive us as relectant to get tough and they continue to take advantage of us. When we get hard as nails and they begin to feel abject fear the insurgency will lose momentum. We will also gain the confidence of the ordinary Iraqis. This is war not a church social.

fasteddie said...

Not tough enough? What do you suggest? I'm sorry what do your acromyms stand for? So noone endorsed the torture? I got to say why all these people say all kinds of things and remain annonymous? I've noticed that.

I am really interested how we can be tougher in Iraq, Mr. anonymous.

Sharon said...

Fast Eddie: To be perfectly frank with you, I do not understand the fetishization of Abu Ghraib, and I will not classify what took place there as torture. Humiliation, without a doubt: but torture? Only in a post-modern world where words no longer have any meaning would making state-sponsored rapists and murderers "feel like women" (a quote from one of those "tortured" as to what was the most horrifying aspect of having been an inmate at Abu Ghraib) qualify as torture. Let me also say that I believe you are sincere.

I know it disturbs you that we can't fight a war as the moral people we hold ourselves up to be: my response to you is to be realistic about the morals of those whom we are up against.

As for the Kerry 180, Gaijin-Biker, I hasn't escaped my notice that Kerry, like Al Gore before him, is using surrogates to undermine public perception of the election results. As a Chicagoan, I've watched Jesse Jackson manifacture controversy for many years, and if there's one thing Jesse is, it's a loyal Democrat. He's not going to do a thing in regards to the election unless he's been given the OK by the Democratic National Committee and the DNC candidate. He doesn't fo these things of his own volition: after all, someone's got to pay the five-star hotel bill! Since the 2000 Election, I have taken a very strong negative stance toward the Democratic Party, and what it is prepared to do in order to "win." They have warped the meaning of that word as well. In my opinion, if they go "above radar" with this campaign to de-legitimize the Ohio results, and Kerry un-concedes (as you have speculated), the Democrats will be committing mass seppuku. Who, or what, will step in to fill the void?

fasteddie said...

Torture: Excruciating physical or mental pain; agony

I feel sorry for you if you think, the great amount of attention and outrage, the torture of prisoners in Iraq received earlier this year, is just a semantic twisting of words.

My point was the bending of morals standards, the rationlizing of misconduct to support a cause no matter the price. Dual standards.

No one answered my question, which is worse, a man in power having sex, and cheating on his wife, or individuals torturing prisoners? When we put Bill Clinton,s face on it, and U.S. soldiers, in a country we are trying to build into a new nation, seemingly the true believers find a blow job is a worse crime then torture.
You dear
lady are a prime example of corrupt thinking. The dual standard.

Rodlong said...

Fasteddie - Clinton was hammered for lying under oath, not for getting a blow job. If he had just admitted it it would have all blown over. Ken Starr did everything he could to tell Clinton what was coming and yet Clinton buried himself. It's not about the BJ. I have the utmost respect for sexual filth, but Clinton played his little game and it cost him. It's totally different from Abu. Not at all suggesting that Abu should be forgotten, only that they aren't remotely comparable.

BTW, the reason (besides the obvious lying under oath) reason I wanted Clinton nailed for the whole monica thing is the total hypocracy of the left concerning sexual harrassment. Clinton, by the lefts stupid short sighted definition of sexual harrassment, was guilty of violating Lewinsky's rights. He was her boss. How dare he ask for sexual favors. Now, I have no doubt she was more than willing, but that only reinforces the pro male, anti female construct that exists in this country (hardy har har - I love leftspeak).

Anyway, Clinton was wrong and comparing it something else doesn't get him off the hook. I mean geez. He's out of office, making good money and living in NYC. Can't he pay some high priced call girl or porn star for sex? All he had to do was wait a few years.

Lynn said...

That's a joke right, about Kerry's comment about a recount in Ohio.

John F. Kerry didn't win the New York electoral votes. They went to some geezer named John L. Kerry.

Does Kerry get coaching on what to say from Lewis Carroll?

Sharon said...

Fast Eddie: I'm going to add to what Rodlong said. There is a distinction both in what Clinton was actually impeached for, and in what seems to be a dual standard you claim I hold on the issue of morality in times of war.

As Rodlong said, Clinton was not impeached for receiving a blow job in the oval office. The impeachment was based on his lying under oath while being deposed in the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit. The President is obligated under the oath administered at innaugeration to uphold the laws of the land. Lying under oath in a deposition is a direct violation of the oath of office.

As for the morality of Clinton v. Rumsfeld, which is what I believe you are alluding to, I do see a clear and very precise distinction.

According to the Starr Report, Monica Lewinsky testified that, while engaged in a sex act with the then President, Clinton called a Representative of Congress from the State of Alabama and attempted to convince him to support Clinton's plan to send troops to Bosnia. We won't get into the issue of whether or not a blow job is blah-blah-blah. What struck me was the fact that he did not have enough respect for the lives of his soldiers (whom he might be sending off to their deaths in what was then a very chaotic and violent place) to give the conversation the moral gravity it deserved, and send Monica out of the room. Instead he gave in to his pecidillos and saw no moral conundrum in getting blown while attempting to persuade a congressman to send soldiers into battle.

As for Rumsfeld and Bush and Abu Ghraib, it doesn't equate with true tortue. Being forced to wear ladies underwear on your head is not torture. Facing down aggressive dogs (who were not off leash and able to maul you) is not torture. Having to stand on a wooden box and pretend you are a scarecrow is not torture. It is humiliation, and I will not equate that with real physical and psychological torture.

It doesn't equate with raping a prisoners wife and daughters in order to get him to talk. It doesn't equate with throwing a living person into a shredding machine while others are forced to watch. It doesn't equate with what was practiced at the "Hanoi Hilton", or even what Chinese dissidents were subjected to on a daily basis.

In nearly all the interviews I read with the Abu Ghraib inmates (none of whom were conscripted soldiers who had no choice about taking part in Saddam's campaign's: the inmates at Abu Ghraib were members of Hussein's Fedayeen Saddam, the Iraqi equivalent of the Nazi SS. These were the people who raped, tortured and killed dissenting Iraqis indescriminately, and with an inhumane zeal) I was struck at how insiginificant their claims seemed to be. To a man they said that the worst part of the "abuse" was not physical sensations of pain or psychological torment: what they objected to was being made to "feel inferior, like a woman." That quote, above all else, convinced me that while personally abhorrent, what had taken place at Abu Ghraib was not torture. It was the equivalent of fraternity hazing, the only difference being that they didn't have the choice about whether to pledge SAE or ATO. Abu Ghraib was, and will always be, a manufactured instance of human rights abuse, and its' revelations occurred at a time when it was politically expedient for certain people to attempt to smear the Presdient and his Secretary of Defense with claims of "torture". If you don't recognize this, there's nothing more I can say to convince you.

fasteddie said...

Well the point being ancient history, Bill Clinton's lying is, was wrong, his affair, was wrong. The sodomy, beatings, pyschological duress, dog bites, etc. performed on prisoners was wrong. I never excused clinton, but you who were outraged at clinton don't hold a even moral standard. The torture in the prison is rationalized well it wasn't as bad a this or that, I never said anything about it being as bad as Roman crucifiction, But any excuse... Extremist do the same thing.

There's always the rationalization: The tortures were for political attacks on the president. That's what your arguement boils down to. Obviously all those soldiers who participated in the torturing of pow, some innocent detaines included, those soldiers were doing that stuff under direct order of the DNC to discredit the president. (irony intended, sorry, but you never know.)

and stop trying to justify it by saying it wasn't torture. Let's be more specific. If you Ms. Nice american citizen got wrongfully arrested, and treated in the manner that those people were treated, how would you feel about that? stop lying to yourself and making statements you know aren't true. Those people were tortured and it is not the American way. Or is it, and I'm just hoping naively for better from my government? I will let you have the last word, but those soldiers are being legally prosecuted for crimes.

fasteddie said...

Your link to USA today about the fraud charges in the recount "The challengers allege unlawful ballots were added to the total and legally cast ballots were altered. Without listing specific evidence, the complaint alleges 130,656 votes for Kerry and John Edwards in 36 counties were somehow switched to count for the Bush-Cheney ticket."
130,656 votes! If this is true, I'm doing a flip flop of my own. If these are stolen votes it is just wrong, a diservice to the people. The election should be judged by legitimate votes. Bush should win honestly. If it is proven that Kerry actually won, it will cause an uproar. Will it in the long run weaken our nation in a time of war? Possibly, depends who regardless of name is a better leader.

Partisan agenda aside, in my opinion to let a fraudulent vote stand is by far worse for the future of our country. It would mean what some already suspect that our democracy is a sham, that no matter who you vote for your vote really doesn't count. It lowers us to the level of all those corrupt governments we always read about and feel superior to because they are so screwed up. You know the countries, like the former Iraq where Saddam Hussein never got less then 100% of the vote. The will of the people was obviously being heard. (irony)

Anonymous said...

Of course, if they aren't showing their evidence they're probably doing what other DNC cohorts are doing and just trying to create another Florida illusion so we can all hear about Ohio for the next four years.

I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't something like the "Jude Finestra" and the BBC/Dow Chemical flop. Some "expert" calls up USA Today and tells them magically they're missing enough votes to put Kerry up and over.



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