Stumping for a Smart Democrat
I heard the first version of what is perceived to be President Bush’s re-election “stump speech” on the radio this morning and it goes something like this:
“The terrorists declared War on us, so we declared War on them back. Twice! In Afghanistan and in Iraq.”
“I inherited a recession, and already it is getting better. I cut taxes to make things even better!”
Unfortunately, I think many Americans will buy the simple logic that it makes sense to attack Muslim countries when Muslim wackos attack us. Be that as it may, Afghanistan is a neglected mess that is just begging to be brought up by a smart Democrat to haunt President Bush, and Iraq sounds like it is ready to stew and fester and get worse as it is neglected and left to underfunded and ignored efforts at reconstruction. I really hope the Iraqis can mostly pull it out of the fire themselves, but plenty are going to get angry, and cause increasingly photogenic scenes of violence starring American troops, and it will start to look like Vietnam, and proud Americans who might otherwise support war will become angry at the profiteering civilian good ol’ boy network responsible for the flag-draped coffins.
Which connects neatly to that “out of touch with reality” thing that licked Bush I: the economy, stupid! It is already getting better? I myself have left the dot-com wasteland to kick it in Middle America, and it sure doesn’t feel like things are getting “better” out here. Unemployment remains high, wages remain low, and back in the middle class, 401ks remain shriveled. Health care keeps getting worse, and the schools are chafing under more and more standards while their funding gets cut. Things are already getting better? Things are doing what they can not to burst apart at the seams!
There are plenty of us disposed to view the White House as filled with a pack of sanctimonious lunatics hell-bent on making as much personal gain as they can at the expense of our welfare and our liberty. The federal budget is loaded with silly pork-barrel programs that our children and grand-children get to pay for, and we don’t even get an economic bubble to enjoy in the process. A smart Democrat will point out how we alienate the world by rejecting global treaties like the Kyoto Protocol, the prohibition on landmines (OUR military needs something as barbaric as landmines?!) the Convention on the Rights of the Child. And then there’s all the international stuff we like to hold up because when it comes to controlling human populations we dare not let any of our federal money touch abortion … perhaps that is a wedge that can be driven between the lunatic fringe of the right and the more moderate, reasonable American who may find the thought of denying family planning aid to people in unimaginable poverty as even more abhorrent than the possibility that a Hindu might have an abortion.
A smart Democrat … well, maybe not a smart Democrat, so much, for Al Gore is a very intelligent person, but a savvy Democrat …
Here’s to wishful thinking! I just had to rant a little, you know, for the blood.