Saturday, September 25, 2004

Dick Cheney's Alternate Universe, Part II

(Second in an occasional series)

Vice President Cheney, on the campaign trail last week, cited an "independent study" that said that Sen. John Kerry's various proposals would cost upward of $1.5 trillion.

However, the "independent study" was actually completed by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank that employs Cheney's wife, Lynne, and daughter, Liz.

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And now, we take a closer look at:



DICK CHENEY'S ALTERNATE UNIVERSE
Unidentified Ohio Home
Sept. 22, 2004


Dick: Did you read this, honey?

Lynne: What's that, dear?

Dick: It says in the paper that Kerry wants to spend $1.5 trillion on all those liberal causes of his.

Lynne: Well, that's ridiculous!

Dick: Yep, it's right here. Vice President Cheney was at a rally, talking about Kerry's plans to bring back liberal 'big government.'

Lynne: Dick Cheney sure looks out for the little guy!

Dick: Yep, seems the American Enterprise Institute, "which employs Cheney's wife and daughter ..." Huh. Well, I guess that's all the more reason to trust it.

Lynne: Sure, Mrs. Cheney tells the truth. She and her daughter understand family values.

Dick: Right, honey.

Lynne: What's that little box say, Dick?

Dick: Hmmm. Says that President Bush has proposed programs that could cost $3 trillion.

Lynne: Huh.

Dick: But, at least those aren't liberal programs. It's probably things we need to make us safer, honey. Missiles and big electronic thingamajigs at the airport. That sort of thing. Not any of that liberal stuff, with the 'big government' health care for everyone and the 'big government' research into using stem cells to make electric cars. You won't see President Bush using our money for any environment stuff some liberal Harvard egghead thinks is important.

Lynne: I can't wait to re-elect Bush and Cheney!

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Source for Bush's plans costing 3 trillion ? Show us the American Enterprise Institute's figures are wrong, don't tell us they are wrong. If Kerry's programs will not cost 1.5 trillion dollars, you should be well armed with substantive information to the contrary. I supposed raising taxes on the evil capitalist rich people will simply pay for his national health care plan, and all of his other spending proposals. They have to have a cost, no? Judging from your reaction, it seems like pointing out that there is a cost is what is really bothering you.

By the way, I think it is particularly dishonest, by both candidates, that they do not include their wartime expenditures when figuring out how much their proposals will cost.

2:29 AM  
Blogger David R. Mark said...

Center for American Progress is the source of the $3 billion figure, although I've seen it published elsewhere.

The key was not the number Cheney was citing. I don't know if it's accurate or not, and given all the numbers the Bush team has thrown out there, I'd love to know how they came to that number before agreeing it's accurate.

The problem is that Cheney called it "independent," when clearly it isn't.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Bush and Cheney have a nasty habit of saying Kerry has flip-flopped, made a proposal that is too expensive, or said something that is disingenous. Problem is, Bush and Cheney have been guilty of the same thing.

I've seen the $3 trillion number, too.

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand why a major media organization doesn't see a real opportunity here to take an Indepth look at both projected spending figures "$3 trillion for Bush," "$1.5 trillion for Kerry," examine all available information for each one, and come up with an objective conclusion, or at the very least an objective side-by-side analysis.
Similarilly, the organization could present a report on the true conditions of Iraq now under dispute between the CIA and Bush/Allawi.
The best and brightest reporters and editors would be assigned working on a deadline of one week.
Such reports could be featured on the front page of every newspaper in America and introduced with an objective "disclaimer," such as "Our only mission here is to present the most honest, concise, objective report possible" on the respective disputed issue.
Such reporting might cut away much of the bias, spin and piecemeal the American public now gets shoved down its throats through stump speeches, editorials and mainstream reporting. Such an article might spur competition among the other media to make a similar attempt at presenting the truth. It would allow the voters a better chance at getting to the heart of an issue.*
It will probably never happen.

* I recognize the real problem with my argument: both camps would spin the conclusions of the report.
The media commentators would continue to cheer on the camp doing a better job of spinning, and the one doing a better job of telling people what they want to hear, instead of the one striving to tell the truth. We fall back on square one.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The media these days is not interested in the truth-and this is true for both the left and the right, although this blog only reports one side of it. (makes one ponder whether this blog, through its "analysis" of media spin, is actually guilty of the same thing. At least is calls itself partisan, unlike for example, CBS or Fox). No sense or normalcy will return to the media until after the election. Everything today is done with the election in mind. Kerry's unclear position on iraq (getting clearer although different than before), Bush's position on Iraq, the War on Terror, taxes....everything will change after the election when it will not all be sound bites. This week the media will report on virtually nothing other than the debate. Sad. Just the way it is.On that subject, Kerry is definitely coming across stronger recently, and needs to show it in this debate. This is a very important debate for Kerry, in my opinion, because he needs to show he can be presidential, strong yet not mean spirited. Will be interesting clash of styles. Kerry needs to win the debate flat out. Or else he is in deep trouble.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the media will allow Kerry to win, if he does.
I seem to recall fairly-widely circulated reports of national debate experts declaring Gore the clear winner in two out of the three debates held in 2000, in terms of context, mannerisms, etc. (Please someone correct me if I'm wrong. This is my best memory).
Gore was decided to have a more comprehensive plan for the country and to be far more knowledgeable on the issues. Despite this, the media commentators overlooked Bush's stumbling over answers in favor of his "folksy" and "down to earth" manner. His clear ignorance of issues was almost applauded as an American value.
The commentators were more obsessed with Gore's sighing at Bush's answers, in one of the debates, than any real context of what was being said.
Can we expect more of the same?

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Knowing the substance of the issues is obviously important but needs to be balanced with presenting yourself correctly. This has been true in debates going back 30+ years. Body language, appearance etc....make a difference. If Bush can show a semblance of understanding the issues combined with the right demeanor, he will be difficult to beat. Unless Kerry is able to show great understanding of the issues combined with great body language. If he looks or acts anything like Gore did in 2000, forget it. I wateched those debates and I believe while most people watching would agree Gore had a better handle on the issues, he was not likeable at all and therefore did not "win" the debates. In essence, charisma counts. Even if you hate what Bush has to say, he is or appears to be comfortable in his own skin, for which I give him credit.

Kerry has his work cut out for him. He has run a lackluster campaign, has switched positions on certain things a bit too much, but in fairness to him, it is difficult to unseat an incumbent during a war. Let's be honest, if there was no war on terror right now, this would likely be a cakewalk for Kerry. (Then again, 2000 should have been a cakewalk for Gore but it wasnt).

11:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know. Commentators and news organizations were not unanimous in the opinion that Gore came across as "unlikeable" in the debates. I clearly remember a major newspaper by major newspaper survey of at least the first debate (presented in a column-format in a wire story a day or two after the debate) showing most news organizations believed Gore had won the debate.
It should also be remembered that Gore did not "lose" the 2000 election.
He won the popular vote by more than half a million, and would have easilly overtaken Florida if not for more than 30,000 ballots thrown out due to the butterfly ballot problem. The fact that 30,000 ballots had been thrown out in a overwhelmingly-Gore favored county is an undisputed footnote in history, but rarely mentioned in the recall debate. These ballots, which would have toppled the 500 some votes putting Bush over the top, were even discounted before all the recall challenges.
It is this ballot blunder that cost Gore the election.
Not want to revisit history, just offer that as a possible corrective to last message.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you wre just judging the merits of the arguments made at the debates in 2000, Gore won. But the media focused on Gore mis-citing FEMA chair James Lee Watt (he should have said Watt's #2) and Gore's sighing and his constant references to the sociel security lockbox.

dailyhowler.com today has a great item on how trivia has become the main source of play-by-play coverage by the tv media after recent debates. well worth reading.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction to the correction. I am not going to debate who "won" the 2000 election because, as far as I can tell, Bush is President. What I was indicating is that Gore should have had a cakewalk, considering the 8 year history from which he came--and under any analysis, the 2000 election was no cakewalk. While I voted for Gore, based on issues among other thngs, I found him far less likeable in the debates and overall than GWB. In fact, I found Gore to be condescending for many years prior and throughout his campaign---all the way up to his speech accepting that Bush had won. The "I am doing this for the benefit of America" speech accepting defeat was his best, unfortunately saved for last. All of this is ancient history, sort of like Vietnam and the National Guard 30 years ago. I just hope that the debates focus on issues, and that the election is not so close that half the country cries conspiracy.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh well, I hope most of the people will base their vote on the guy who can present and substantiate a better plan for the country's future -- and not over whether he appears more "likeable" than the other guy.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry. Meant to add to above that I hope Americans base their vote on the candidate's past track record in office, as well as their plan for the future.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree. I hope people vote for the man they feel/believe best represents their views on the issues and whom they believe offers the best plan to ensure America's security.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's even more right-wing propaganda and distortion --if not an outright lie.
Did you hear the latest Bush campaign commercial, which ends with Bush saying,"I didn't start this War, but I'm going to finish it."

9:29 AM  

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