The Bush campaign team is holding fast to their bedrock conviction that the American electorate, or at least any portion of it who might vote for their candidate, is made up of nincompoops. In their latest commercial, they inform us that John Kerry is opposed to the safety of pregnant women in America. Why he should be opposed is not explained. The implication, I suppose, is that he likes the idea of pregnant women getting murdered. The charge is based on Mr. Kerry's having voted against a bill that would have made it an additional crime to attack a pregnant woman on federal property. In case, the proponents of the bill haven't noticed, federal property is not the site for many attacks on women, pregnant or otherwise. The bill had nothing to do with the safety of women. Rather it fell into the swelling category of bills that are introduced just so political smears can be advanced. There were implications in the bill which may have undercut a person's right to abortion, and Kerry opposed it for that reason. But, now, according to the Bush campaigners, Mr. Kerry should be seen as someone promoting attacks on pregnant woman. What sort of mind is supposed to believe such tripe? One would think that an appeal made on a contention not only that dishonest but that silly would insure a vote against the candidate making it.

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There has been much commentary about the exaggerations and innuendo in Michael Moore's film, Fahrenheit 9/11. Moore himself has not hesitated to say that the film was designed to state an opinion. He would be foolish to claim objectivity for himself. But however slanted the film is, its distortions do not approach the misleading nature of anti-Kerry campaign spots being aired by President Bush and groups supporting him. If these messages are not outright lies then they come so close that their relationship to lies is the same as the relationship of a louse to a flea. In particular, the repeated charge that Mr. Kerry voted thirteen times against weapons systems needed by American troops in Iraq is such a false implication about how bills are debated and passed in Congress that it's actually worse than a lie. Every member of Congress votes at times against bills that contain elements he or she supports because the bill is also is packed with with other provisions that are opposed. To suggest that Senator Kerry has been unwilling to supply American forces with needed equipment is ten times as false as anything in Fahrenheit 9/11. And keep in mind that these commercials come not from a partisan film maker but from the president of the United States.

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Tom Wells is the founder of The Family Values Party. Early on Christmas morning, 1994, he was awakened in his bedroom by a bright light and a voice which said, "Tom, tell my people that they are to tell their public officials that they are prepared not to pay their taxes until abortion is no longer publicly funded." Tom is now running both for Congress and for the Presidency. One thing he's very concerned with is letting people know who can and who cannot give money to support his campaigns. He has a complicated web site which spells out these permissions and prohibitions. So, if you want to give him money, you had best go and read his web site because I can't be sure I can report accurately on what it says. I did pick up that you can't give him money if you're a gay guy. I think, also, that you can't give money to him if you drink alcoholic beverages (although I'm not sure about that). It seems to be the case that you can't give money to him if you go round singing "I Did It My Way," because that's the worst song that has ever been sung. In the past, before we had the glories of the World Wide Web, you might not have been able to find out whether you were eligible to give money to Tom, or even that he was running for Congress and the Presidency (simultaneously, I guess). We can all be glad that we have escaped those dark ages.

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The Bush Campaign is running an attack ad against John Kerry which accuses him of being all over the map on every issue. Kerry, it's suggested, will say and do anything to attract votes. He's been such a flip-flopper that no one can have any idea what he stands for. And, then, right at the very end, the commercial asserts that John Kerry has the most consistent liberal voting record of any member of the Senate, more liberal in fact than Ted Kennedy or Hillary Clinton. Who is supposed to be stupid enough not to see the contradiction? Whoever it is, that's the person Mr. Bush views as his potential supporter. It may be shrewd to figure that most of the citizens of the United States are really dumb, so that if you can win over the blockheads you're bound to be victorious. But, it's the sort of perception one should keep to himself. Blaring it out as Mr. Bush does in his ads has the potential for a backlash.

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