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RandomUser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-03 02:17 PM
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Understanding Clark's reasoning
Some have expressed reservations about the term "New American Patriotism." I believe it to be strategically brilliant, because it takes the wind out of Bush's sails, and makes dissenting patriotic. An old Esquire article from August illustrates what I believe to be Clark's thought trail to framing this as a key plank on his platform. And it reaffirms in me that this man has what it takes to bring Bush down and do it in a landslide. He's able to internalize his opponent's thought patterns and then attack the weaknesses in them. That was how he beat Milosevic, by understanding Milosevic's thought patterns and knowing he would collapse from a ground attack. And that is how he will beat Bush, by understanding the way Bush thinks, and taking Bush's ace in the hole away from him. He's the thinking man's General.


In the general's rendering, O'Reilly is interviewing a liberal judge who has lifted restrictions on the movement of homeless people in his community. " Judge,' " the general begins, in perfect O'Reilly rhythm, " do you have any children?' Yes, I do. I have a daughter.' Judge, what would you do if a homeless man came to your house and started defecating in front of your nine-year-old daughter?' That's never happened.' But let's say it did happen, judge. What would you do?' I'd probably ask if he needed to use the bathroom.' Oh, c'mon, judge. Get off it. There's a homeless man right on your front lawn. And he's taking a dump in front of your nine-year-old daughter! What are you gonna do about it?' "

This is what the general does. He internalizes his opponentsthose on the other side of an issue or a battleso that he may prevail over them. As an unintended consequence, he is a gifted mimic, whether of O'Reilly, Slobodan Milosevic ("General Clark, he obeys orders; he is like dog"), or, on one afternoon at WaveCrest, George W. Bush. His mimicry does not amount, in the case of our president, to mockery. It is simply his way of judging what Bush may have on the Democratic field so that he may judge what the Democratic field might possibly have on Bush. He is sitting in his office, eating lunch, talking about what might convince him to join the field or stay away. He is talking about running for president and saying that the mistake he does not want to make is the one that's most common: the mistake of finding the reason to run not in oneself but rather in one's opinion of the guy already holding office. "They look at him and say, Hey, I'm smarter than that guy. If that guy can do it, it must not be that hard.' Well, they're wrong. It's hard. It's the hardest thing in the world. So you better have another reason." It's not the lure of power. He's had power. He was arguably the most powerful man in Europe and definitely one of the most powerful men in the world, and so he is not lusting for power so much as he is weighing his desire to "make a contribution" against what he believes is the ultimate consideration for anyone running for president against George Bush: "how much pain you can bear."

And there will be pain. You get the sense, talking to the general, that he has thought it through and decided that the only way to beat Bush is to go to war against him. You get that sense because suddenly, as you are talking to the general, he stands up from his peaceful lunch, and suddenly he is doing Bush. Suddenly he is the warrior president, addressing the delegates at the Republican convention in New York in September 2004, saying that on behalf of the American people, he has fought terrorists at home and abroad, saying that he has fought and won two wars against states that sponsor terrorism, saying that because of his efforts, the American people are safer than they were three years ago and thatand here he finds the resonating Dubyan chord"there is sunshine ahead."

Then he stops and, reverting back to himself, says, "Now tell me. What Democrat can go up against that?"

August Esquire article


The New American Patriotism title is a stroke of genius. Now let's see Bush go on tv and say he's against a New American Patriotism. If he does that, the patriotic south will fall into the democratic column. Well done, Wes! You've outmanuevered Bush without even winning the primary first. Clark -- the thinking man's General. :)
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RandomUser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-03 02:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Kick
I think this should be seen by people with objections to the phrase.
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RandomUser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-03 03:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. He's outmanuevering Bush before winning the Primaries.
I think that it's important to note Clark is keeping his eyes on the prize. He's not just trying to beat the other democrats, or only verbally attacking Bush to score points with the Democratic base. He's setting the stage for beating Bush, thinking ahead to after the primaries. He's outmaneuvered Bush before even winning the primaries! And we would be foolish not to make this man our nominee.

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wadestock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-03 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. Let me preface this....
by saying I really do like the man so far and his way of dealing directly with questions. I've dealt with the military for 30 years....and there are some real good ones there....although in an ever increasing minority. I think Clark is truly one of the good ones from my instincts so far.

Problem is....Bush and Co. is ruthless....they literally control the military and can put together almost any type of staged set of interviews with other generals or whatever to demonize him.

I know you can easily prove me wrong historically but think again about the people that we're up against. Think about the way they went after Clinton.

My worse fear is that this happens...then he doesn't get the democratic nomination....and then they even run chicken about him as vice president....then Clark decides to go which case he will take a huge cut of the vote and probably bring the entire democratic party down.

I can see how you can get very excited about him. I don't see any true skeletons in the closet. What I see is a set up.
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RandomUser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-03 04:04 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Interesting
I can see what you're saying, and you're perfectly within your rights to have doubts -- but I think those doubts may be overblown.

I don't think he will run as an independent. The whole republican/indep/dem thing has been resolved for me. Until a few years ago, everyone in Arkansas had no party affiliation because it wasn't legal to register as a democrat. So it wasn't that Clark was registered as an independent, but rather that he had no party registration at all, just like over 95% of the people in Arkansas today, 100% of the people in Arkansas a few years ago, and 100% of the people in other states that still don't allow party registration. Next, if you'll read the article, I get the sense that he's not running just because he's a career politician and power hungry to be president -- he was the one of the most powerful people in Europe and the world. And if he ran as an independent, he would split the vote, but not be able to win as an independent. I give him enough credit in the brain area to realize that.

As to your qualms about set piece interviews with anti-clark generals, I believe that can be counter. For example, when Shelton came out against Clark, other military people came out for Clark. There was a general who said he disagreed with Shelton and praised Clark. If Bush stages interviews with anti-clark generals, Clark can stage interviews with pro-clark generals. And this may not even be much of an issue since the military has a tradition of being nonpartisan or at least keeping up such an appearance. I don't think the danger of a setup as being too significant or uncounterable.
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union_maid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-03 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I believe that Clark is sorta ABB
I honestly think he's running because he thinks he's the best man for the job. I agree. But some of the things he's said, especially during the weeks just prior to entering the race indicated to me that he's just as horrified about the direction this country has gone in as anyone else and wants to be help to change things. He's not likely to be such a bad strategist that he would try to do that by running on a third party ticket. I'm confident that his math skills are better than that, too. If he doesn't get the nomination and if the candidate who does is smart, Clark will be invited on board to play a major role in the campaign and in the administration. He'd be a huge plus as VP, or else as Defense or State.
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-03 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. I wouldn't mind seeing Clark as SOD....
then he could help fire all those assholes
like the general pitting christianity vs islam.

Maybe he could help more liberal generals move to
the top.

I still want him as my President, but their are many
ways he could help out.
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RandomUser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-03 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. True
But I'd much rather see him as president :)
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Bread and Circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-03 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Good post....
and I understand where you are coming from.

Sometimes I fear the same. Actually, I think
with Shelton and Cohen they are doing it already.
I still think Clark has the best chance of winning
because in reality he really is a military hero and
can take some of the "pro American" sentiment from
the Bushies and place it in our house.

However, if Clark does not win the nomination, I doubt
he would go Independent. If he were to go Independent,
I think he would have done it already. He is a team
player after all.
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jumptheshadow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-03 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. I don't believe he'll go independent
I truly believe he's sincere about changing the destructive direction of American policy.

I think he'll go on the stump for any Democratic nominee and will be one of our party's most powerful weapons against Bush.
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Donna Zen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-03 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Yes and No
Yes, it is a set up, and no, he will not run as an independent.

Please see a letter I just wrote to NPR in AP's thread. Write letters, don't let them get away with this shit.

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