Monday, May 10, 2004
Politics and the water's edge: It's long since passed that partisan politics stopped at the water's edge. Nowadays partisan politics comes even before the national good (for Republicans to a lesser degree, and to Democrats a greater degree).
So, it should come as no surprise that the Kerry 2004 campaign sent out a fund-raising letter highlighting the abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq as the basis for forking over money to get John Kerry elected.
"Keep the ball rolling," wrote campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill. "Donate now!"
"Over the past week we have all been shocked by the pictures from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq," wrote Ms. Cahill. "John Kerry has called on Donald Rumsfeld to resign, and today we're asking you to support him by adding your name to the call for Rumsfeld to resign."
In addition to allowing recipients to sign a petition demanding that Mr. Rumsfeld resign, the e-mail also permitted recipients to donate cash online.
Asked if the campaign was concerned about linking fund raising to the prisoner-abuse scandal, spokesman Chad Clanton initially said there was no mention of raising money in the e-mail.
After he was sent a copy of the e-mail with the fund-raising pitch, Mr. Clanton replied: "John Kerry has made it clear that our men and women in uniform deserve a Commander in Chief that takes responsibility for the bad as well as the good. The bottom line is: We need more than just a new Secretary of Defense. We need a new president."
Just put on your alternate universe cap and imagine the howls from the mainstream media had Bush sent out a similar letter invoking the 9/11 attacks as the basis for "continuing President George W. Bush's leadership in a second term."
The silence on this one is deafening.
On a related note: I got into a dustup with The American Prospect blog Tapped several months ago for fingering The New York Times as having the most partisan editorial page of any major American newspaper. Tapped shot back by contending that The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times -- both editorially conservative papers -- as surpassing the New York Times for one-sidedness.
I acknowledged that, at the very least, a compelling argument could be made for the Journal rivaling the New York Times, but I did not consider the Washington Times a "major" American newspaper -- because its circulation barely tops 100,000.
Tapped contended that the Washington Times should count as major because its location in the nation's capitol gave it influence that outweighed its relatively small circulation.
Well, the story above was brought to you courtesy of the Washington Times -- have you heard any of the major media pick up on it? Has it been mentioned on any of the Big Three broadcast networks? CNN? MSNBC? Even Foxnews?
So much for that idea.