<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d5529474\x26blogName\x3dDimmy+Karras\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dSILVER\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://dimmykarras.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://dimmykarras.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d2234159095245132931', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

VandeHei Watch 3.23.04: Do the Math

Tuesday's VandeHei article focuses on how some Republicans like John McCain and Richard Clarke are helping out John Kerry politically as he tries to weather the attacks from the Bush campaign. That content seems fair enough, but VandeHei slips in the same charge he made the weekend prior to Super Tuesday about Kerry's budget proposals:

Yesterday, Bush's new assault on Kerry's spending for his proposals prompted Democrats to highlight the large number of Republicans and conservative groups that have chided the president for his record-setting spending. Although Kerry's aides privately admit the Democratic candidate cannot fulfill all of his campaign promises and still reduce the deficit by half as promised, they say the Bush campaign relies on questionable assumptions to back up its contention that Kerry will spend $1 trillion more than he will save over the next decade.

This is one bizarre paragraph. First off, why do the campaign aides "privately admit" Kerry's budget doesn't balance--an admission that gets into the newspaper anyway--but they aren't willing to be quoted directly saying this?

More importantly, VandeHei basically says "Trust me, the numbers don't add, though maybe not to the degree the Bush campaign claims either." How are we to assess the validity of this statement from VandeHei? I don't doubt Kerry may have over-promised, but the only way to be sure of the extent of the problem is for VandeHei to share the numbers with us. How much do Kerry's proposed spending increases and cuts add to? What would his tax changes do to revenue? What can we reasonably project for economic growth? And in the end, what does that mean for budget balance through a Kerry administration under the unlikely scenario everything he proposes today is passed as it stands? Until VandeHei deigns to share the answers to these specific questions with his readers, his plain assertions aren't worth much.

The real highlight of Tuesday's Post, though, is Dana Milbank's revelation that, "The Republicans are trying to turn John Kerry into a frog." That's right, James Taranto's favorite jab that Kerry is "French-looking" seems to be catching on with top GOP officials, including Tom DeLay, who "has been known to start a speech with: "Good afternoon, or, as John Kerry might say, 'Bonjour.' " Mindless jingoism: what else would we expect from the Republicans?

But it gets worse. Milbank then reveals that Kerry's camp has actually contacted a French consultant on how to deal with this GOP-created image problem, shifting the focus away from the Republican morons and making it seem like Kerry really does have a legitimate character flaw. Beware the continuing specter of the press morphing Kerry into Al Gore: "Sitting on the biggest scoop since Naomi Wolf told Al Gore to wear earth tones, your correspondent called Rapaille and confirmed that he has been contacted by the Kerry campaign." Here we go again.