September 29, 2004


My daughter’s out of daycare for a couple of weeks, under my care, so I won’t have a lot of time to post. In the meantime, here’s something I posted at the Daily Kos. Thanks to everyone who got through my last long-winded post…

It's possible that in another couple of weeks we'll wonder why we were all biting our nails about Kerry. Everything seems to be going in Kerry's direction. The tide can turn against Bush overnight. He could start looking like a sad, lost, little joke, overseeing the remaining days of a failed presidency. A fantasy, of course, but Bush's main attack, the flip flop charge, is already losing steam. You can't say the same thing over and over again without people losing interest or thinking Bush has a one-note attack.

One of the most hopeful things I saw about Kerry's campaign was Kerry saying that he waited until 2 weeks before the debate before going negative on Bush and Iraq. They know what they're doing. The flip flop charge is all the Bush campaign has against Kerry, and once that's gone, they may be sunk. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" comment that he'd do it again almost nullifies Kerry's "flip flop" comments at the Grand Canyon.

The Democratic convention seems years past, but it did a lot to build up Kerry. If Kerry does well at the debates--looks dignified, trustworthy--Rove and Fox aren't all powerful enough to spin it entirely in their direction. There is just too much wrong with Bush's presidency for spin to work across the board. The only way for Bush to win this election may be to steal it.

The main issues are the economy and national security, but it’s really about who has the character to deal with these issues. It's fairly obvious that Bush doesn't have the policy to deal with terror: Iraq is a growing disaster. It's because people don't trust Kerry on a fundamental level that they haven't come to his side. It may have less to do with his policy decisions regarding anything than it is about the feel that people have for the man.

The debates may change all that. Everyone’s eager for Kerry to pounce on Bush, but really the debates are about showing who Kerry is, not what Bush isn’t. People want to find a reason to feel good about Kerry. These are very uneasy times so any sense of uneasiness is amplified.


Empty Drum said...

Unless Kerry gives me some really compelling reasons to vote for him, I will be pulling the lever for GWB. However, I will do so while firmly holding my nose.

I went through a brief period of being rah-rah for the GOP, but at this point have become really non-partisan in the sense that I feel like I have nobody to vote for; this whole election seems to be about voting against. I don't have time for the hysterical Bush-bashing that seems to be so in vogue these days, but I can certainly understand why many people are ready for a change.

And as the tagline for Aliens VS Predator goes: "Whoever wins, we lose".

Dang, I'm so burned out on politics. Are these two guys the best their respective parties have to offer? There are lots of great people in both major parties, but I guess cream isn't the only thing that rises to the top.....

Henry Baum said...

What’s a compelling reason to vote for George Bush? Kerry’s intelligence is reason enough to vote for him. All the talk about his vacillation and indecisiveness is Republican propaganda. Kerry is a fine candidate if the media would give him a chance. Of course, they never will. I can understand being pro-GOP post 9-11, but now? Bush has fucked everything up. He’s made the world less safe, he’s damaged the economy, and for what? Kerry actually has answers to everything Bush has fucked up. Wouldn’t you like America to not be hated around the world. Wouldn’t you like policy to not favor major corporations? Wouldn’t you like a decent mind to represent the country? You have me disappointed, my friend. A vote for Bush is a vote for Nixon.

Empty Drum said...

Sorry to disappoint you!

I guess I'm just one of those brainwashed idiots. :-p

Come to think about it, over the course of the years I have fallen in with many different political ideologies. Including Marxism, Anarchism, Libertariansm, etc etc.... of course, I *was* on drugs the whole time! Now, I'm just in limbo.

It's not that I don't have strong beliefs, It's just that I don't see that my beliefs are represented by either major political party at this point. I don't think the world is gonna end if Kerry gets in. It may even be the impetus for some kind of reform within the GOP, which has shown signs of maturing -- at least until the election year hit full swing. That's when the extremes of both parties seem to hold sway. On the GOP side, it's the corporate and fundamentalist factions, on the Dem side, it's the corporate and internationalist factions. <--gross generalizations)

To paraphrase your friend Kos, screw 'em all.

Hmm....maybe I should just stick to making art. I'm definitely not cut out for political punditry.

Glad you still consider me your friend though. Just to let you know, even though I don't like a lot of the things you're saying or the way you're saying them, I'm not disappointed in you.. In fact, I'm happy to have this forum. Where is the fiction though? Legions of theamericanbook fans await the next installment!!!

Henry Baum said...

It did disappoint me, I’m not going to shy away from that. In fact, it disappoints me that anyone can watch GW speak for more than five minutes and not feel queasy. I’ll grant you that John F. Kerry is not JFK but George Bush isn’t even George Bush Sr. I’d really like to know why you’re siding with Bush. If it’s taxes, this administration is spending like tax-and-spend liberals. If it’s military spending, you’ve never struck me as much of a militant. I don’t think the world will end if Kerry is elected, but the way things are going with Bush, the world might really end.

Thanks for the thoughts about The American Book. I chastise myself daily for not posting something new.

Empty Drum said...

Yes, please hurry up and post some new fiction before the world ends!

Empty Drum said...

Also re: Bush-watching-related-queasiness: read my post on my blogspot space.

Empty Drum said...

On a completely unrelated note:

I just for the first time realized that the phrases "Henry Baum" and "Empty Drum" are like wierd mirror images of each other.

Ok, low blood sugar setting in; time for lunch!

Henry Baum said...

Looks like we are mirror images, politically at least. Otherwise brotherly...Read your post. I agree that Kerry isn’t enormously fun, but you still haven’t told me why you’re voting for Bush. After that, I’m done trying to convince you. Enjoying the discussion once again, even if I find it perplexing.

Empty Drum said...

I suppose the main reason I'm leaning towards Bush (as of right this minute at least), is that Kerry seems to me to be an avatar of the pre-9/11 status quo -- that the strategies he espouses for dealing with the threats we face look and sound good, but seem inadequate to the task of dealing with (buzzword alert) asymmetrical warfare, such as is being waged on us.

That was all one sentence. Yikes.

Disruptive as GWB has been in the short term to certain utopian notions of World Government and global consensus, and the Cold War paradigm, the current strife may be for the better in the long run.

Of course I could be wrong, and we could be irretrievably fucked.....

I am in many respects undecided. if Kerry can get beyond noble-sounding generalities and explain exactly how his version of multilateralism would pan out vis-a-vis the WOT, and give examples of where he would draw the line between proactive and reactive military action, I can see voting for him (still with one hand hoding the nose though).

That's just one issue of course, but it's a big one. Trade, domestic policy, etc will have to wait for future posts...

Anonymous said...

in my next comment, i'll let you know more about me. maybe you think i am annoying you. i'm really not trying to. i woke up this morning & couldn't wait to keep reading. but then again, maybe i'm jsut weird.

xo. war.

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