Sunday, August 22, 2004

Kerry stars in, "The Mummy."

Political campaigns are great for trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. I recall Terry McAuliffe spinning W’s election – it was Election Night 2000. Terry accepted that W had won and was looking for his silver lining elsewhere: he landed on the governors’ races. It felt desperate to me: the pubs held a 30:18:2 majority. Terry claimed that the dems would be picking up seats and that the true feelings of the American people were being viewed therein. The final tally showed the majority shifted to 29:19:2. But Terry seemed happy the night before. I was glad for him.

Politics and 1950’s horror flicks have something in common: layers of gauze obfuscation the real picture. You have to peer deeply, sometimes remove layers, in order to see an accurate picture. They do differ in a fundamental way: in horror flicks, removing the gauze unveils a normal guy with a SAG card; in politics, removing the gauze shows us the real monster.

The first layer of gauze is not just how much money the Beautiful People are willing to cough but how much of their time are they willing to toss in. Money per plate. I found something called The Hampton Diaries (when reading it, I had Bible verses swimming in my head telling me to stop):

“The buzz is that sluggish ticket sales forced organizers to reduce prices to hang with the Democratic presidential nominee and wife Teresa Heinz Kerry this weekend.

“Complimentary tickets were handed out yesterday to Kerry's $1,000-a-person schmoozefest at the Alan and Susan Patricof home and the $2,500-per-plate young-professionals event at Jean-Luc East, sources said.

“The crowd at the Patricof's, between 500 and 700 people, was enthusiastic despite the pouring rain and Kerry's late arrival.

“Today's hush-hush event for Teresa at Donna Karan's East Hampton home has been marked down from $10,000 a person to $5,000, Diary is told.”

Teresa is being marked down!!! My, this feels like K-Mart. And instead of merely being marked down, her husband is being given away.

Another layer is reading how the historically pro-dem media outlets are treating Kerry.

The LA Times – that made the submission to the Dark Side complete with the hiring of Michael Kinsley – is seemingly unimpressed with Kerry’s statements on stem research research:

“There is no ban on stem-cell research in America. When it comes to adult stem-cell research, Bush is a strong advocate, with the National Institutes of Health providing more than $180 million to researchers last year. When it comes to embryonic stem-cell research, there are no legal limits of any kind: New embryonic stem-cell institutes are springing up at major universities across the country; Californians will vote in November on a $3-billion bond initiative to fund embryo research; scientists at Harvard recently created 17 new embryonic stem-cell lines, and scientists in Chicago produced 50 more. To say repeatedly, as Kerry has, that Bush has "shut down" stem-cell research is absurd. … The second Kerry claim — that stem-cell inspired treatments for many dreaded diseases are imminent — is even more irresponsible.”

Ouch. When your friends call you “absurd” and “irresponsible” you know you are in trouble. It seems that stem-cell research is becoming the new third rail.

Deeper still, Time Magazine hands Kerry his hat in an article released today entitled “Kerry in a Straitjacket” :

“John Kerry suffered a small embarrassment last week that illuminated a big problem in his campaign. The embarrassment involved the not exactly riveting issue of troop redeployments. George W. Bush announced last Monday in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) that he wanted to bring around 70,000 troops home from Germany and North Korea over the next 10 years. In principle, that is not very controversial. The military and foreign policy priesthoods have favored that sort of restructuring since the end of the cold war. And yet, when Kerry spoke to the VFW two days later, he attacked Bush's position, using an argument with some merit but of microscopic import in the midst of a presidential campaign: he said it was a "hasty" and "political" plan and certainly not a good negotiating tactic to withdraw troops from Korea while we are trying to get the North Koreans to drop their nuclear program.

“But oops. Some two weeks earlier, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos, Kerry had taken a different position: "I think we can significantly change the deployment of troops, not just [in Iraq] but ... in the Korean peninsula, perhaps, in Europe, perhaps." As you might imagine, the Bush campaign quickly pointed out the inconsistency.”

Oops. You have to love “oops.” “Oops” is used when you trip over the dog. It makes you feel clumsy and sad. People giggle just a little.

Then you misjudge the doorway and walk into the wall. People frown and look at each other. The article continues: “ … I suspect the public needs to hear, in plain and forceful language, Kerry's opinion of what Bush has done and whether it has been good for America. Instead, Kerry has offered only vague criticisms and an increasingly implausible promise to lure our allies into the chaos. In a year of real crises—the "most important election of our lifetime," he says—Kerry's nostrums sound distressingly like market-tested pap.”

I suspect Mr. Klein red-lined “depressingly” and substituted “distressingly” very late in the revision process.

Does the bashing by the liberal media stop there? Heavens, no!!! While Le Papier de Rapport cannot bring itself to publish a piece written within its harem, it did publish something nonetheless with an exceptional capstone: “President Bush is exactly right when he says the economy is strong and that his policies are making it stronger.”

Liberaldom is getting their pants all bunched up. The layers of gauze are falling to the floor. Kerry is showing himself to be just another girl on the runway, a rather hideous one at that. W is guiding us successfully through turbulent waters, warts and all. What to do, what to do … $10,000 for dinner in the Hamptons? With that gossipy loud-mouth? I don’t think so. I’ll give you five.

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