19 August 2004

The Recess Bell

Time for the children to come in from recess. On the one hand, we have the Bush campaign's childish viewpoint-censorship of attendees at rallies. This indicates a fundamental disrespect for democracy that sounds more "big governmentish" than anything the Democrats have been accused of doing; the whole point of democracy is to embrace dissent, not to squelch it. The excuse that

Then, on the other hand, there's the Democrats' effort to rely upon "Bush is a dumbass frat boy" for the substance of their own campaigns. As Ms Lithwick notes,

Furthermore, the campaign to cast Mr Bush as a bumbling child ignores the very grown-up machine that stands behind him. Infantilizing the president shifts the focus away from the Cheneys, Rumsfelds, Ashcrofts and Wolfowitzes. These are the men who promised us short, easy wars and painless little suspensions of the Geneva Conventions. These are the men of the secret energy-policy meetings. They aren't a bunch of rowdy juveniles. They represent one of the most secretive, powerful administrations in recent memory. Whether the president could outscore your kids on the SAT is a distraction from that fact.

Aside from leaving Karl Rove and Alberto Gonzalez—who represent the shadow appointed officials who never even got Senate scrutiny for confirmation—off the list, I think this is just about right.

The irony that these two observations come not from Americans, but durned furriners (the UK's Guardian and a Canadian citizen) has not been lost on me. It seems to have been lost on the party leaderships, though.