Friday, October 01, 2004


The Con Cracks a Little

The Bush 43 Administration has, in large part, been about pushing envelopes. It is actually part of their political strength, I think; aside from the tactical advantage of the blitzkrieg, it also appeals to people's natural 'Fuck it! Let's just get on with it!' instincts. But, every strength can be a weakness, as Rovie knows all too well. One of Rove/Bush's 'tolerence experiments' is to test the limits of how close to exclusively you can rely on the 'automatic gravitas' you're afforded just because you are the president, sort of an 'I dare you' strategy. All or nothing. Bush's spinners and the press forge euphemisms like 'not the most articulate' and 'plain-speaking' to elide the fact that this is a guy who clearly, obviously, has no business being president. He hides in plain sight, sort of a converse 'Bullworth'. In these more formal occasions, Bush reminds us that - as he might say himself - what you see really is what you get; presidential trappings aside, Bush is exactly as he seems: peevish, ignorant, impatient, jive.

These days, you learn the RNC's talking points almost by osmosis! They certainly understand the 'multiple, reinforcing impressions' marketing technique. A big one is a variation on a theme: Bush was on the defensive last night because it was all about his record and not about Kerry's Senate record. Bush himself worked Kerry's Senate record into one of his responses. What they mean is that a Senate voting record is relatively easy to spin and distort, so they're pissed that they didn't get the openings from Lehrer they expected - the sort of opening to which they've become accustomed. Kerry's Senate voting record is actually pretty good, and not particularly doctrinaire. And of course, the point is: Kerry's not running for the Senate. They seem to want Kerry to run on his Senate votes, but complain about the fact that Bush has to run on his record as president. Let's play Twister! Sorry Charlie. (I wish I could add sound effects to this blog!)

Speaking of which, I was glad to hear Lehrer ask mostly substantive questions, with a minimum of 'perception as reality' cable news crap.

When I have time, I'm going to go over the transcript for Bush Gems (there were many), but two come to mind immediately:

[irritable voice] "I know how the world works!"

(once I regain my composure and dry my eyes, I'll type the other one.................hmmm, whew! OK)

[irritable, peevish voice] "I know that Osama bin-Laden attacked us! I know that!

...ahh, laughter is so good for the soul.

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