January 27, 2004
My lord, Mark Steyn kills me. As usual, go read the entire, hilarious thing.
After spending the best part of a year listening to the Democrats’ strolling minstrels strumming their way round the White Mountains, I’m staggered by how little any of them have to say. If you go to a Kerry rally – something of an oxymoron, but let that pass – the senator’s stump speech is a karaoke tape of floppo populist boilerplate. If he’d downloaded it for free from the internet, that’d be one thing. Instead, he paid a small fortune to hotshot consultant Bob Shrum, who promptly faxed over the same old generic guff he keeps in the freezer: “I (insert name here) will never stop fighting for ordinary people against the powerful interests that stand in your way.”
This shtick worked so well for Shrum’s previous clients – President Dick Gephardt (1988), President Bob Kerrey (1992), President Al Gore (2000) and President Insert Namehere (2008) that he evidently sees no reason why it shouldn’t elect a fifth president this time round. Throw in a few mandatory sneering references to Enron, Halliburton and Attorney-General John Ashcroft plus a handful of local hard-luck stories of doubtful general application – “47-year-old Arlene Claxton of Hooksett worked 20 years to build up her hairdressing business only to contract a rare skin disease from a conditioner manufactured overseas by corporations George W Bush has given tax breaks to in order to export American jobs abroad to jurisdictions lacking environmental safeguards thanks to a sweetheart deal negotiated by a lobbyist for Halliburton and then learnt that her health insurer wouldn’t cover the cost of treatment because etc etc.”
Conclusion: That’s the real story here: for all Howard Dean’s talk that you can’t beat Bush with “Bush Lite”, the candidates who’ll survive to the southern primaries next week are doing their best not to sound anti-war, anti-tax cuts or anti-guns. In other words, even in the Democratic primary, this election’s now being fought on Republican terms.
One of my boyfriend’s ex-bandmates (sorry, Ethan, I’m sure you’re a stellar guy but jeeeeez do you have some bad, unoriginal ideas) quoted, on his blah blah ‘Dick Cheney is a thug’, ‘we live in a police state’, ‘Bush is Hitler’ blog (scroll down to January 8th), a post from Calpundit on how liberalism has won the rhetorical war. At the time, I thought it was extreme wishful thinking. Now it’s just funny.