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March 01, 2004



Report or Deride? You decide.

Simple Answer = Good
Nuanced Answer = Dodge

I am truly amazed. It seems that some people must live in a digital world. All political, artistic, ethical, religious, economic and [fill in the blank] decisions go through some sort of weird Manichean polarized prism such that EVERYTHING is black/white, yes/no, on/off, good/bad, yin/yang, left/right, liberal/conservative, democrat/republican. Remember how distorting black and white motion pictures like Woody Allen’s Interiors and Schindler’s List were? Remember how liberating it was to arrive in OZ ? We aren’t in Kansas ALL THE TIME.

It seems to me that reality is so complex that most of the time an analog view is closer to the truth. Go to any paint store. The shades of gray alone have three digits, and the colors number in the thousands.

One poster in a Drezner thread blames the democrats for the Haitian problems because the Democrats have not had the courage to legalize drugs. One could much more easily blame Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon based on the historical record. But no, it’s the Democrat’s failure to legalize hallucinogenic drugs. Wow.

Oh, if I remember correctly, the "boring phony" in the last presidential election got more votes.


Oh, if I remember correctly, the "boring phony" in the last presidential election got more votes.

More popular votes, yes. In gambling, and sometimes in life, we also focus on "covering the spread". Gore managed to turn what should have been a rout into a close election, and then lost it.

As to your larger point, it is a funny world in which we expect our Democratic candidates to explain the universe in pithy, telegenic sound-bites, while we tolerate a Republican President who seems barely able to articulate (hmm, might I mean Eisenhower? Reagan, the Great Communicater/Napper? Or W?)

I have a theory about that...

Dave Schuler

It seems to me that there are a number of reasons to feel uncomfortable about a President Kerry. Not because he's boring. Or because he lacks political courage. Or because he's patrician (DYKWIA). Or because he's done next to nothing for 30 years in the Senate. Or because he's got a conflicted voting record on defense--it's pretty likely that any sitting president would rise to the occasion when the country is attacked again.

It's because he reminds me of nothing so much as a Democratic Bob Dole (without the humility and the humor). Is he running for president because it's his turn?


Big difference between nuanced and waffling. Voting for the Iraq war, and then saying, "I voted for a process, not a war," is the latter. Kaus' article makes a good case, as did the WaPo editorial not long ago.

D Mattheis

Why is it that I read and hear from so many sources that President Bush doesn't speak well. Is it that he speaks like most of us in the midwest or is it those of us from the south or maybe from the north? Ya, the west too. He certainly doesn't have the gift of gab that is bestowed on those from the east coast, we are certain of that and told this many times by the enlightened members of the main stream press. But all the same, I like someone takes risks, has a vision for America, and shows real leadership. Not someone that thinks I'm not smart enough to understand simple concepts like honor, respect, courage and hard work. So many pretenders to the throne of state twist and turn but have no truth in there words. They have no soul. I can understand George Bush, he talks to me and I like that!


Where are the Kerr-bears?


Funny, I didn’t know we were talking about how President Bush speaks.

I’ve lived in Texas all my life and President Bush speaks just fine thank you very much. I find it interesting that D Mattheis doesn’t sound like the people I know. Nobody uses phrases like “Vision for America” in talking about any politician and NOBODY from Texas would write a letter admitting the easterners have a “gift of gab.” That’s almost like saying pecante sauce made in New York tastes good. Sacrilege! ;)


The image of a dog being washed is perfect. Kerry seems to squirm as he searches for a statement that sounds like he's on both sides of every question.

Bush searches for his words and sometimes gets them wrong. It drives me nuts when he pronounce the article "a" as "ay" and when he says "nucular," but then I was an English major, and know very little about administration of large organizations. That's what he's good at, at it's not what Kerry has shown any talent for. Kerry and Clinton before him seem more intent on positioning than progress.

The more I see of him the more Kerry reminds me of Jimmy Carter. He's great as a critic, but not too hot when he's the one who is supposed to lead.

It's not the pithy sound bites that are important but the sense that a person knows what he thinks and isn't trying to compose an answer for a committee. Still, when you have to get help from news crews to come up with a simple statement, you're not going to be too persuasive to the folks watching.

Paul Zrimsek

In keeping with Texas Toast's love of nuance and scorn for binary categorization, I hereby propose a law allowing any gay couple to get 25% married.


Here's Kerry today: He votes for the amendments to the gun dealer immunity law that would extend the assault weapons ban and require background checks for purchases at gun shows. Then he votes against the dealer immunity bill as amended.

So today, Kerry voted FOR and AGAINST extending the assault weapon ban, and FOR and AGAINST background checks for gun show purchases.

All we really know is that he's against gun manufacturer immunity, because that's the only thing he didn't vote both ways about today.

So what do you think? Will he claim to be in favor of the assault weapon ban when he talks to anti gun groups, and claim he voted against it when he's talking to the NRA?


One more thought: Kerry had a bill in hand that would extend the assault weapon ban and provide for background checks for gun show purchases, and yet voted against it because apparently keeping gun manufacturers amenable to huge liability lawsuits was more important.

Anyone want to see how much money Kerry has gotten from the plaintiff lawyers' lobby over the years?


So he is consistantly against gun manufacturer immunity. He didn't take the bait, so the trap sprung on nuthin but air.

Looks like he knows that jungle pretty well.


I think Tex is riding the taller horse right here - I am quite clear on Kerry's position on the Assault Weapons Ban; Bush's position seems to be, "I will sign it if it reaches me, but Tom DeLay won't let it". Who has his finger in the wind?

Time will tell whether Kerry has his finger in a sun-free zone on this issue.

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