I knew that already, so usually skip his stuff, but stumbled upon it via an unnamed link. Anyway, Rall has a bizarre, rambling piece complaing about how unfairly the Democrats are treated by the media:

Michael S. Dukakis served with honor in the U.S. Army for two years. Three decades later, he was ridiculed for riding in a tank while wearing a helmet and a goofy grin. George W. Bush, a simian-faced draft dodger, hitches a ride to an aircraft carrier decked out in full “Top Gun” regalia and CNN calls dubs him our “warrior president.”

Oooh boy. First, yes, Dukakis served in the military honorably. He still looked like a goofball sticking out of a tank. Plus, he wasn’t exactly George Patton. According to his official bio,

He served for two years in the United States Army, sixteen months of which he spent with the Support Group to the UN Delegation to the Military Armistice commission in Munsan, Korea.

Had he posed with a military clipboard, he’d have been fine. Bush didn’t look like a moron in a flight suit because he’s tall, athletic, and was actually a fighter pilot–even if very light on the fighter part.

Life isn’t fair to the Democrats. No matter how much they suck up to corporate CEOs, they can’t compete for contributions with Republicans who invite their backers to write legislation. Most registered voters are Democrats, but too many are disloyal swing voters and apathetic no-shows to assure victory. And even when Dems do win the most votes, cheating Republicans bully their way into office.

Uh huh. So, there are more Democrats but this advantage is obviated by the fact that many are too lazy to vote or too stupid to properly mark a ballot. Or to realize that you win the Presidency by winning more Electoral College votes than your opponent, not popular votes? Why is that the Republicans’ fault?

As things stand, Dems seem poised to get their collective ass kicked in ’04. While unified Republicans aren’t even bothering to hold presidential primaries next year, nine small-time Democrats are vying for the chance to take on a ruthless incumbent with bottomless pockets.

Umm, Ted, the reason the Republicans aren’t bothering to hold presidential primaries is BECAUSE THEY HAVE A POPULAR INCUMBENT RUNNING FOR RE-ELECTION. Rather like the Democrats in 1996, when Clinton was able to run vicious ads against Bob Dole for months because Dole’s finances had been depleted winning the nomination. Incumbents have a huge advantage–if they’re popular. Get over it.

In theory Democrats should be able to beat Bush on the economy, but they won’t. Like Bush, President Reagan ran up staggering deficits during his first term. He likewise refused to create jobs or to stimulate the economy during a deepening recession. But thanks to the pageantry of incumbency and a few sound bytes, he won a landslide reelection over the decent but dull Walter Mondale.

Yes, Republican politicians have a magic job creation wand but won’t use it. Why? Because they’re mean. They’d rather lose their re-election bid because of a bad economy than provide magically-created jobs for the unemployed. That was supposed to be a secret.

(Hat tip: Heretical Ideas)

FILED UNDER: The Presidency, US Politics, , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. PoliBlogger says:

    Not to mention:

    -Republicans actually do better with small donations than Democrats do (far better, in fact).

    -There really wasn’t much of Democratic primary in 2000 when Gore was the presumptive nominee pretty much from the word “go”.

    -And Dukakis was made fun of well before Bush donned a flight suit.

  2. Katewerk says:

    And not to mention, part II:

    The era of “Reagan economic failure” is a persistant urban myth.

    A Case Study in Liberal Bias

    L. Brent Bozell III
    Founder and President, Media Research Center
    Vol. 23, No. 11, November 1994

    In the 1980s, there was a consensus among the members of the national media that Ronald Reagan was going to fail and that he was going to bring on economic disaster. But. . .the economy didn’t collapse. In fact, it soared to unprecedented levels.

    The media stubbornly refused to admit that “Reaganomics” was responsible. The drumbeat of negative opposition to the president’s policies continued through the 1980s. By 1986. . . the ratio of negative to positive stories was seven to one. In other words, as the economy was improving, media reports on the economy were becoming increasingly negative.

    One of the most common allegations in these reports was that the poor got poorer under Reagan, even though the actual number of poor declined from 14 to 13 percent during his administration, and the average income for the lowest one-fifth of Americans rose from $7,008 to $9,431.

    Inflation declined 48%, from 8.9 to 4.6%. Unemployment declined 45%, from 7.5 to 5.2.%. Interest rates declined 71.9%, from 21 to 5.9%. Twenty-one million new jobs were created. The so-called “greedy ’80s” witnessed the largest peacetime economic expansion in our nation’s history, yet the media remained deaf, dumb and blind.

    source: Hillsdale College “Imprimis” Dec. 2002 issue


  3. James Joyner says:


    All true. Unemployment did soar to freakishly high levels for a short time during the shake-out period and recession, but the recovery was well underway long before the 1984 election.

  4. PoliBlogger says:

    Plus, I think that much of the boom of the 1990s was the result of investment in R&D that was made possible by the growth under Reagan in the 1980s.

    You know, tax cuts and freeing up capital and all that jazz…

  5. And since when are most registered voters Democrats? The only way to justify that comment is if you exclude your analysis to people declaring a partisan affiliation. Most registered voters are “independents” (small “i”).

  6. James Joyner says:

    WH: Good point. It’s true that “more” are registered Dems, not “most.” Indeed, I’ve never lived in a state that had party registration at all.

  7. David Perron says:

    Does a fisking of Rall count as feeding the trolls? If so, this one’s stuffed. Also in the British sense of the word, is my fervent hope.