The War Issue in the Michigan Primary?

Unfortunately, I don’t live in Michigan [!] – but I’m curious on the big vote on Tuesday –  

How are the presidential candidates playing the Iraq war issue in the Michigan primary?

Are any candidates running radio or TV ads explicitly opposing or supporting the war?

If so, are the ads on the war resonating?

Does the Iraq war seem to be a major issue for voters?


23 thoughts on “The War Issue in the Michigan Primary?”

  1. In Michigan, my guess is that the economy is the big issue. Cars are more expensive than houses in Detroit. The last one out of Michigan can turn off the lights.

  2. Yah, I may be the one to grab that switch. Is the “off” position up or down?
    I’ll cast my vote for RP. He got big enough balls to stand and tell how it is. We are sinking slowly but surely. Time for change is now. To bad that majority of the people are so deep in the mass media crap. Well, they’ll wake up. There is no other way.

  3. It’s hard to see how Mad Man John McGrumpy’s enthusiasm for all these wars can come across well in a state where so many are wondering where their next meal is coming from.

    All I’ve heard on the MSM is how Romney and the Huckster are promising to bring back the auto industry in Detriot. Hopefully the people of Michigan are not too stupid to buy it.

  4. Karen Kawaltaky has been talking about a certain anti-fascism video praising Ron Paul that is effective in opening up viewer’s minds and getting him votes. On her radio show she’s been advocating that it is well worth spending a lot of money, mailing copies to the probable primary voters.

    I wonder, is this happening? I appreciate your asking all the questions above, James Bovard.

  5. As a Michigander, I can tell you the the illegal war in Iraq is not an election-winning issue here. The local MSM only report on the appearances of what they have dubbed “The Republican Big 3.” Dr. Paul is virtually ignored. Mitt keeps repeating the mantra that Michigan is in a one state recession and he will save us because he was born here. McCain is thumping the tub of war against Islam along with Federally-funded job re-training for auto workers. Rev. Huck simply continues his establishment appointed role as the official dispensationalist candidate.
    While Obama and Edwards are not on the Democratic ballot, any chance of crossover votes for Dr. Paul has been diminished by the MSM and the state party hacks constantly explaining to the non-Hillary voters that they must vote for “Undecided” on the Democrat ticket to express their support for the missing candidates.
    I’m on the way out to cast my vote against the tide. May true Peace be with you all.

  6. I haven’t heard or seen an anti-war commercial from any of the candidates, including Ron Paul. Paul’s ads focus more on how he won’t close domestic military bases but will close borders.

  7. I live in Northern Michigan were the economy is terrible. More like a depression than a recession. This has led many young people to join the military (economic draft). Everyone I know has friends or family in the military and most have been to Iraq. This makes it a very devicive issue. I don’t think an anti-war message would give an edge to any candidate up here.

    Most people I know go with the “support the troops” line. They want the war over and their friends and family safe. But they don’t want them to lose and come home in defeat. McCain will probably win here with people who place the war high on the priority list. They feel that he will end the war with a win.

    For voters that feel the economy is number one I think they will go with Romney. His father was a popular Michigan Governor, and people think he will somehow put us first on his list of priorities (yah sure right ahuh).

    One point I would like people to understand is that the War and the Economy are linked in many ways. From the ecomomic draft to the loss of capital that would help our economy, it all fits together and makes for one big loosing picture for Michigan and the rest of the country.

    Ron Paul’s answers are the best for Michigan. His defense of the dollar and his sound ecomomic policies would do more for Michigan than anything else. As for the war he is 100% correct. It drains our budgets, destroys lives and is a no win proposition. I have been to combat twice and I can tell you it is no sporting event. NO ONE EVER WINS A WAR!!

    A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for Peace and Economic freedom.

    Ron Paul for President 2008!

  8. “[Erik] Prince’s father founded the Family Research Council with Gary Bauer.[12] Prince is the brother of Betsy DeVos, a former chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and wife of former Alticor (Amway) president and Gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos[10], son of Richard DeVos, Sr. (listed by Forbes in 2007 as one of the world’s richest men, with a net worth of $2.4 billion).[13]

    What role are DeVos and ilk playing int he Michigan primary elections?

    Anyone know?

    1. Pardon the sloppiness–the extract is from wikipedia, s.v. Erik Prince, owner of Blackwater Internanational.

  9. The War in Iraq and the ongoing Soviet-style occupation of Afghanistan are not on the radar in the Michigan primary, even though a week ago more Michigan-based troops left for the war in Afghanistan. There appears to be a resurgence in the strength of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces. We can thank Charlie Wilson for that and his wonderful war on behalf of the mujahedeen. Thanks, Charlie! You did good!

    Mitt Romney has focused on the theme that he was born and raised in Michigan. This is his main TV ad selling point. Romney has spent an estimated $17 million of his own money for campaign ads. There has been a media blitzkrieg in Michigan by the Romney camp. He focuses on the Michigan economy and how Michigan is in a “one state recession”. He says he wants to help the Michigan economy but does not say how. It is mostly gibberish and postering. It is a simple approach. “Michiganians, I too am a Michiganian. I feel your pain. Vote for me because I was born in Michigan!” It is an appeal to emotion and an appeal to vanity. Vote for someone that looks like you, not these strangers. It is all fluff.

    John McCain has a TV ad in Michigan that is all bluster. He will fight radical Islamists and jihadists (unless they are our own mujahedeen Freedom Fighters or proxy Muslim troops that we fund and back). He focuses on how he opposed Donald Rumsfeld because he was essentially too soft. He presents this phony persona on how McCain is supposed to be opposed to the status quo. It is very subtle and manipulative. McCain is a rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth warmonger who is made to appear like an outsider and a peacenik. McCain is US Warmonger no. 1 but in the ad he appears to be a patriot. He says that he loves America. He loves war even more. McCain is the American War God, the American Mars, the God of War. His TV ad is clever. Warmongering is equared with patriotism. By this standard, Adolf Hitler too was a great “patriot” like McCain. Language is manipulated and prostituted by the McCain campaign team. There is no substance in McCain’s ad, merely mindless posturing. A vote for McCain is a vote for perpetual war. But McCain has the money and his ads run non-stop in Michigan.

    Dennis Kucinich has also campaigned in Michigan, making several stops in the state. He does not have the money like Romney for any media blitz so his campaign is low-key. The Ron Paul campaign is also low-key in terms of TV ads. Ron Paul flyers have been distributed at many events in Michigan. The candidates have also mailed campaign pamphlets and made taped telephone calls to potential voters. I received a taped telephone message from John McCain and from Mitt Romney myself. McCain and Romney have the most bucks and have non-stop TV ads and campaigning activity. Both have made numerous stops in the state. Both were at the Detroit 2008 Auto Show in Downtown Detroit. Mike Huckabee was also making personal appearances in the state, appearing at two polling stations in Warren, Michigan.

    In short, there was nothing on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The candidates know that the wars are a non-starter. They know that what is good for GM is good for America. As McCain has noted, Michigan is the military arsenal for America, making the tanks, planes, and vehicles that make war and intervention possible. Wars are good for the economy. Wars are good for GM. Wars are good for Michigan. And to their credit, all the candidates know this. That is a no-brainer. The upshot is that the wars are not an issue at all. All Michiganians care about is their life-style. Don’t cramp that. High gas prices and a poor economy threaten that life-style. All Michiganians care about is to be able to maintain their life-style. Everything else is meaningless.

    Not surprisingly, only about 20% of Michigan voters are expected to even bother to vote in the primary. Not much to choose from either. Can we vote for “None of the Above”?

    1. Great post–very informative, thank you.

      Some figures today:

      (1) January 15, 2008 USD 1=0.6722 Euro

      (2) “HOUSTON, Jan. 15,2008 — After falling to a 3-week low over three prior trading sessions, crude rebounded above $94/bbl Jan. 14 on the New York market because cold weather increased demand for fuel oil in the Northeast and the value of the dollar dropped to a near-record low, prompting an investment shift to commodities as a hedge.” [MarketWatch]

      (3) “WASHINGTON Jan.15, 2008 AP: Wholesale inflation last year shot up by the largest amount in 26 years while retailers suffered their worst December shopping season in five years as mounting economic woes caused consumers to put away their wallets”.

      All these are tied directly to the Iraq War, which is also tied to the collapse of real estate, mortgage, and credit.

    2. By the way, the war in Iraq is not good for business, except perhaps the security business and private war contractors, and Michigan is no exception.

      The rise in the price of oil is partly illusory–what is really happening now is that oil is being valued in Euros and the dollar is collapsing.

      There is no way military contracts will benefit Michigan, nor the declining dollar, nor lower interest rates–unless Michiganites are willing to work for air.

      1. As someone who has never gambled in one of the international casinos, ie the stock markets, this is my view from the outside.

        I don’t see how the hell OPEC, or the laws of supply and demand are controlling the price of oil on a daily basis. Demand does not change on a daily basis. OPEC countries, whose leaders for the most part detest one another, do not meet everyday at dawn to announce an increase in the price of their oil.

        That price is determined solely on the maneuvering of greedy speculators. With the current idiotic commodities exchange markets of New York and London determining the price of oil. There is no limit to what prices the barrel of oil may reach. The more speculators speculate on oil, the higher the price goes. And any event can be taken as an incentive to create a rush on oil. Anyone with enough capital can engineer a buying or a selling spree. Oil exporting countries may benefit, but big oil conglomerates such as Exxon-Mobile get to have their cake and eat it too. Their revenues sharply increase, multiplying the value of their shares, logarithmically enriching their corporate elite.

        What the hell kind of a system is that? Now this most essential of human needs, WATER, is being targeted for privatization all over the third world by American and European companies. A big new American military base is being built in Paraguay at the mouth of the Guarani Aquifer, the second largest reservoir of potable water in the world. Are we soon going to talk about the water conglomerates and the price of the barrel of water on the stock exchange? What will then be the fate of humanity? Global feudalism with an elite transnational aristocracy? Then what? A new global Bolshevik Revolution?

  10. Here’s some information on Michigan ads from Jason Ditz:

    I’m in Michigan, and I’ve heard that commercial the one commenter mentioned several times. I don’t have a transcript either, but the gist of it is essentially accurate, they emphasize Ron’s support for military spending, that he’ll oppose closing any domestic military bases, that he’ll fight hard for funding to make sure troops have the equipment they need, etc. It also mentions the student visa thing in passing, for good measure.

    I do remember one exact quote from the ad, which was just perplexing and remains so to this day.

    “Ron Paul will approve stealth warriors to take down the terrorists, dead or alive”.

    Anyhow, that’s essentially the only ad I’ve heard the whole primary season that at all mentions the military, except for a John McCain TV ad which mentions in passing that he “stood up to Rumsfeld”, whatever that means. And Ron doesn’t even mention Iraq in the commercial, which I would’ve thought would be a good way to differentiate himself.

    The other ads are by and large economy-focused. In fact I got several phone calls yesterday from a recorded message assuring me that a vote for Mike Huckabee is a vote for jobs. Since I already have a job I chose to disregard them. The only other Ron Paul commercial I heard (and I only heard it once, the military one seemed to get way more airtime) was warning of the dangers of the North American Union, and the NAFTA Superhighway, and illegal immigrants destroying America. That seems like it could play around here, because if there’s one thing the Union Democrats like, its worrying about immigrants taking their jobs (which is remarkable inasmuch as unemployment around here is already near the double-digit range, so its hard to imagine illegals flocking to Saginaw in search of work).

  11. The AFP reported about six hours ago that the Pentagon has decided to send 3,200 more US troops for the war in Afghanistan. This story has been pushed back to the back shelf as we focus on the Michigan primary and Britney Spears. Here is a link to the story:

    Why is this story not reported by the MSM? We are told that we have “won” in Afghanistan. But last week Dutch NATO occupation troops killed two of their own troops in a friendly fire incident and two others. Taliban leaders claim that they have killed 2,100 US occupation troops. At least 218 US/NATO troops have been killed by Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2007. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are confident and upbeat that they will defeat the US. The US may be losing the war in Afghanistan. This is a possible reason for censoring this story.

    Afghanistan was supposed to be easy and a cakewalk. After all, we trained, supplied, and funded the Al Qaeda and Taliban “terrorists”, the once Freedom Fighters of the Reaganite era. But the Taliban is getting stronger, not weaker. It is the US that is being bled white, it is the US that is panicking. Al Qaeda is sitting pretty.

    This raises questions. Have we learned anything about Afghanistan? It appears that we have not. After all, it was the US that said that the Taliban and Al Qaeda were Freedom Fighters. They are Freedom Fighters that want to drive out the evil foreigners. After all, Charlie Wilson devised this ideological struggle. Charlie said Ossama was a Freedom Fighter.

    The thing is, the Taliban know that they will win the war there. They just have to sit back and wait. As more and more Americans are killed in Afghanistan, now close to 1,000 dead, the Taliban will only get stronger.

    Charlie Wilson did a lot to empower Al Qaeda and the Taliban and Ossama bin Laden. Now Charlie is going to sow the whirlwind. Those mujahedeen Freedom Fighters that Charlie Wilson funded and created will dig his grave. They will bury him. I’m sure the Soviets are laughing their asses off!

  12. Seeing that the mascot of the Michigan Republican Party is Bill Kristol who some people say is a close kin of Captain Peter “Wrong way” Peachfuzz because of his Iraq war fever and delusions.

    Serving Michigan are 27 Clear Channel Radio Stations, 6 Fox Television Stations and the Wall Street Journal all controlled by Newscorp against ten million of us.
    Still it looks like we doubled Dr. Paul’s primary votes. Kucinich got a healthy handful also.

  13. “But we all know what he carries in his pocket, McCain the knife.”
    Who needs another war nut in the White House?

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