Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Bush smears, the Note cheers

Just how disgusting is it that a major news organization would breathlessly report on the "cleverness," the "political poetry," and the "good cop/bad cop" routine of the GOP's smears on Kerry while juxtaposing that with descriptions of the Kerry campaign in yesterday's edition as "wobbling" and asking if they "can take the pressure of being behind" due to a scandal the media promoted and the Bush campaign is complicit in.

From The Note:

    Q. Just how comprehensively clever is the BC04RNC good cop/bad cop plan?

    A. Very.

    In a remark reminiscent of Ronald Reagan saying of Michael Dukakis, "I'm not going to pick on an invalid," 41 told CNN yesterday "I have great confidence in Bob Dole&I don't think he'd be out there just smearing," when asked about the Swift Boat charges about the medals.

    Maybe the touch isn't as deft as Reagan's, but the light cleverness of it is manifest. (Recall this week's Laura Bush Time quotes on the same topic -- like mother-in-law, like daughter-in-law&.)

    There is more political poetry in the fact that the Bushes are able to take advantage of the skills and prestige of their former most bitter intraparty rivals -- John McCain and Bob Dole.

    (If you want a preview of the future, remind yourself of this 1992 quote from the Robbins Field House in Richmond, VA during a presidential debate:

    "My argument with Governor Clinton -- you can call it mud wrestling, but I think it's fair to put in focus is -- I am deeply troubled by someone who demonstrates and organizes demonstration in a foreign land when his country's at war. Probably a lot of kids here disagree with me. But that's what I feel. That's what I feel passionately about. I'm thinking of Ross Perot's running mate sitting in the jail. How would he feel about it? But maybe that's generational. I don't know." -- President George H.W. Bush)
Of course George H.W. Bush lost that election...

Sunday, August 15, 2004

ABC news and the politics of personal destruction

News Source: ABC News
Author: Teddy Davis
Title: Kerry on a Roll -- But Risks Remain

As has been documented exclusively on this site, ABC News and their political staff have one objective - to turn John Kerry into a cartoon, as Bill Clinton would say. Attacking his right to a few days rest and his freedom, after weeks on a grueling cross-country campaign swing, "to do something fun" is not beyond their caricature of a rich, aloof, out of touch with the middle class politician.

    Undeterred by the lack of wind that thwarted his plans to windsurf in Oregon on Saturday, Kerry said on his plane that he would return to Oregon from Idaho on Monday or Tuesday to windsurf on the Columbia River Gorge.
    "Once a year I like to do something fun," he said.
    But the exotic nature of some of the sports he plays (say, kite-surfing in Nantucket) and the great lengths he goes in order to play them (say, flying from Idaho to Oregon to windsurf), can have the unintended effect of making him seem out of touch with the hard-pressed middle class whose cares he says have been his concern.
    As his plane was flying from Oregon to Idaho on Saturday, Kerry defended his taste in sports, saying, "The guys who do it are all local guys -- plumbers, construction workers."
    Asked if these regular folks fly from one state to another, the husband of the condiment heiress downplayed the cost, saying, "What? 250 bucks for a ticket?"
    Luckily for Kerry, the moment was not on camera. But it was the kind of moment -- if captured on camera -- that could undo months of work. (Think of George H.W. Bush looking perplexed at a super-market scanner in 1992).
So windsurfing is "exotic" yet George Bush's sport fishing on a $100,000 speed boat in Kennebunkport last weekend with his father, the 41st President doesn't even warrant a mention?

And we beg to differ with Mr. Davis. Being lower middle class ourselves, we can confirm, once a year, a $250 plane ticket to go "do something fun" is not out of our means. Looking perplexed at a super-market scanner is a far different thing.