Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Bush vs. Straw

What Jesse said. The Republicans have already invented their opposition candidate, which bears little or no relation to the actual candidates. I'm sick and tired of pundits and netizens adopting the RNC view of any of the candidates as if it were either gospel or proof that there's just no way to combat their spin.

They're going to do it to every candidate. Dean is crazy, simultaneously too right and too left, angry, and he lies. Clark is a bit nuts, everyone in the military hates him, and he's probably a war criminal. In addition, he's running for president only because of ruthless ambition. Kerry is a spoiled pampered elitist whose military service means nothing because he opposed the war. Oh, and look at that hair, I bet that cost a lot of ketchup money. Edwards is a trial laywer which means he's evil!

Cut the crap folks. I truly believe 5 of the candidates (I won't say which) will, if they run a good campaign, have no problem beating Bush. That "if" is no small thing, of course, but there you go.

...One more thing. The Age of Wonk is over. The time when candidates would put forth meaningful policy proposals and could expect there to be at least a tiny PBS and NPR audience which would be a part of the public debate and follow along is over. It's all just so goddamn confusing and Cokie Roberts doesn't understand anything about it, you know? And, besides, who cares about all that stuff down in Peoria, or whatever random heartland city name we're going to point to condescendingly as the true dumb america which really matters, where people are jes folks and they knows what they likes and they call 'em as they see 'em and blahbady blah blah blah. As they say, where California goes so goes the nation, and in this case it has been where California resident Mickey Kaus goes, so goes the rest of the media.

That isn't to say I don't want my candidates having good policy proposals, but as Al "fuzzy math" Gore learned, when the other candidate says that up is down, the media will report it for balance. All those numbers are hard! This campaign will be won by getting people excited, having them trust the candidate, outlining general (though not necessarily entirely meaningless) policy themes, and most importantly not letting the Beltway Heathers get the best of you.

...and another thing. Stop ceding the goddamn debate. Who here thinks Howard Dean can beat Bush? Why Ted, you ignorant slut, Fred Flintstone could take Bush with Barney Rubble as his campaign manager. Wesley Clark should stop saying that he needs to be the nominee because someone needs to be able to match Bush at foreign policy. What Clark should say is that Joey Tribiani could match Bush at foreign policy, though he, Clark, has the most experience. Stop acknowledging that Bush is strong on anything. He's a big loser. He's a miserable failure. He's lost 3 million jobs. He got us into a screwed up war. Our soldiers are being killed by terrorists. The Middle East is a mess. Afghanistan is a mess. OBL is alive. Hussein is alive.