Thursday, October 24, 2002

It's that time of year

Richard Cohen writes today in the Washington Post about Bush's "willingness to tolerate almost any tactic on his way to a goal." This includes lying, as was pointed out earlier this week by several sources, including the shifty and untrustworthy Dana Milbank. Luckily, we have the ever-vigilant Bob Somerby at the Daily Howler to remind us that Cohen embarrassed himself repeatedly back when it mattered -- during the election.

I can't help wondering, though, why everyone has decided to choose this week as the week to cover their asses. Is this just the once a year article where pundits tell the truth so that, when someone calls them biased, they can say, "Check the record, I've written that the Bush Administration hasn't always been truthful"?

I've written before about the cost to taxpayers of Bush's campaigning, but I can't help notice how Democrats and major media outlets refuse to broach this subject. Today, The Washington Post reported on Bush sending out his minions to campaign for Republicans. Why does no one try to figure up the cost of this? Only a few watchers, like Joe Conason and Taxpayers for Common Sense have even mentioned it. But Republicans like Senator Larry Craig were all over Clinton during his tenure in office for this same thing, but to a much smaller degree than Bush. Craig wrote the following in 1998:

"In 1997, President Clinton spent 111 days on the road on domestic travel . He has already surpassed that in 1998 with 114 days. In 1997, he used at least 28 of those trips for fundraising. Through September of thisyear, President Clinton has already used at least 37 of those days for fundraising.

"That is part of the story, but here is the rest of the story that really concerns me. Do you know how much it costs to fly AirForce One? Mr. President, in 1992 figures it was $42,000 an hour. Mr. President, that is for you and the entourage. How doyou balance that off between important domestic travel and fundraising? I hope you are keeping an accurate record, or the taxpayers will be paying a phenomenal amount for our President to be out of the White House.

"President Clinton was out of town 149 days in 1997; 155 days through September of 1998. The President spent a total of 304 days outside of Washington in just the last 21 months."

Look what The San Francisco Gate's Mark Sandalow says about it.

I blame my fellow Democrats for letting this slide. Over the past few weeks, we've seen how Bush and his buddies accused Clinton of being partisan and wasting taxpayer dollars only to install the most partisan administration yet and to use taxpayer dollars to send the president and his cabinet hither and yon in order to help out their party. Let's put a little outrage in our voices, kids. The Republicans beat us in 2000 because they were willing to fight hard and throw the hard punches.


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