Thursday, October 14, 2004
The Shrinking Man
the vision thing
Originally uploaded by jonnybutter.
It ain't over 'till it's over, but the prevailing winds are defintely blowing John Kerry's way now. Like millions of other Americans, I was just glad, late last night, to have these 'debates' over with. However, it would be easy to miss the significance of last night: Kerry pretty much put Bush away. Many have pointed to Kerry's looking much more presidential (he did so) and much more, well, adult (on the 'strong women' question, Bush said his wife told him, more/less, to 'sit up straight, wash behind my ears, eat my vegetables'; Kerry good-naturedly said the women in his life kick him around a bit and then invoked his mother admonishing him with the word 'integrity').
But the key moment for me was when Kerry complimented Bush on his post-9/11 speech to congress, saying he was 'moved', Tom Daschle and Bush hugged, etc. Of course Kerry used that to contrast the unity of then with the bitter polarization of now, but he was very wise, even deft, to linger, sincerely, on that compliment. Bush's margin of majority support has always been his 'likability' - it's the chinese-finger-trap of political Dubya: attack him too hard, and many people viscerally object because they kinda like him, or just object to the "hatin'", or just don't like to see any president humilated; handle Bush with kid gloves, however, and he'll roll right over you. Kerry solved that riddle last night, was perfect: Dubya seems like a nice fella, but he's not up to the job (which has the added merit of being true - emphasis on the 'seems'). Some 'punches' aren't felt right away. This was a subtle but devastating one straight to the solar plexus.
Noted schweinhunt Karl Rove has claimed to have a few 'October surprise'-type things in reserve. But it is getting pretty late, and unless he's hiding something earth-shattering beneath his shiny little piglet hooves, it looks like we're going to get a new administration in Washington.