Sunday, November 07, 2004
Some Election Thoughts
he WAS, but he 'reinvented himself'
Originally uploaded by jonnybutter.
First: I didn't speak ill of Kerry once he'd won the nomination, but I sure as hell did beforehand. He's a stiff, a bore. I attended one of his 'Real Deal' rallies during the IA caucuses: two and a half hours of mausoleumony. By the time Kerry got to the stage, you were so bored as to be a tough audience for even a good speaker. And of course, he wasn't one. The endless drone, the reflexive arm/finger jabbing...a good man - actually, a very good man - but not a good candidate, as we currently understand the concept. Versus Bush, he was - by orders of magnitude - the better choice for president. Not that THAT matters...
Let's face it, people like a 'hook', and Kerry didn't have one. Bush - who's at least as big a dork - did:
Vote for me because the rest of the world hates me. Vote for me because all them Europeans and liberal elite big time movie stars tell you you're stupid to vote for me. And the New York Times! They're callin' you stupid! You gonna let them tell Americans who to vote for? America decides. [to self: I decide, actually].
Bush values are the worst values. They are the values of self-indulgence and irresponsibility. This 'voting against the world', for instance, is a purile self-indulgence for which we will pay dearly. Like the furniture store which 'goes out of business' every few months, it's our latest 'last and final' let's-be-idiots swan song; even though we've 'lost our innocence' several hundred times, it always seems to seep back. We Americans are loath to give up what we see as our right - our entitlement - to fuck up even though we know better. I guess every over-grown adolescent goes through that. More about 'values' later.
Second: Don't blame Edwards. During the primaries, Kerry started winning using Edwards' rhetoric - often word for word. Just ripped it off. I think one reason Kerry chose Edwards was for rhetoric. You often heard Edwards-lines show up in Kerry's speeches during the general election, too (Kerry was not disciplined enough to make them work; he was not really very good on the stump ever). We need guys like Edwards and Obama, who are smart and can talk. Some have grumbled that Gephardt would've been the correct choice, because he could've won MO. Gep would've been a bad choice. Two stiffs (and both from the 'yesterday' generation) on the same ticket. And there's no guarantee he would've carried MO for Kerry. Iowa either. And you can't blame Edwards for not getting more of the rural vote, which supposedly was his 'job'. The problem is, the vice pres. nominee is a surrogate for the pres. nominee and his campaign, he's captive to that. He can't go out into the countryside and fight the Rove Master Plan alone. Edwards is a very smart guy, smarter than many people seem to think - because of the way he looks, mainly, and his role in the Kerry campaign. No backlash on Edwards, please. He allowed himself to be humiliated for the sake of the party and the country. He deserves thanks, not scorn.
Third: Americans just like their tv. They don't want to watch Kerry for four years. I think several pres. nominees have lost for this reason, partially. People joke about it, but I think some really mean it.
[UPDATE: Commenter and fine blogger Eric suggests that a preponderance of Americans vote with their hearts rather than their heads. I think that's right, but that they really want to vote with both, if possible. The good news in this election is that Kerry at least came close to winning despite offering pretty much only 'head' reasons to vote for him. The bad news is, of course, that he lost. The bad news is that the callow, arrogant prick won: "I earned capital in the campaign, political capital, and now I intend to spend it; that's my style."]
[UPDATE 2: Randy Newman's song 'Political Science' was written and recorded in the 1960s, but is just as appropriate now. The coda:
Let's drop the Big One, there'll be no one left to blame us:
BOOM goes London
More room for you 'n' more room for me
And every city
The whole world 'round
Will just be another American Town, oh
How peacefull it will be
We'll set EVERYBODY free!
You get a Japanese Kimono, baby; it's Italian shoes for me!
They all hate us anyhow.
So let's drop the Big One Now
Let's drop the Big One Now