Sunday, September 19, 2004

A Case of the Sunday Night Heavies
So I come back from a great weekend down the Jersey shore of drinking, cardplaying, advanced insultery and other unhealthy activities with a detachment of the full Squadron of Idiots, and find the world in more or less the same state of sad bemusement I left it in on Friday, with the Phillies three games closer to being put out of their misery and John Kerry evidently having squandered two more days in his effort to get a plurality or majority of voters to dislike him a little less.

I'm not a huge Kerry fan myself, but when he became the clear nominee I contented myself by thinking, at least this guy's a mean sonuvabitch who won't let himself get pushed around, unfairly defined or otherwise Gored. That's turned out to be half-true, mostly because he made the critical mistake of hiring a number of the same geniuses who "strategized" for Gore four years ago. (Why every national Democrat doesn't get court orders keeping Bob Shrum back 500 feet at all times is completely beyond me. Do they chalk up those seven presidential campaigns and seven losses to "beginner's luck"?) Whether they have noodles for spines or mush for brains doesn't matter; the result is that they blunted Kerry's instinct to fight back when the Swift Boat liars smeared him in August, and now evidently he has chosen to throw the deep ball and go after Bush on the stunning mismanagement of the Iraq war. That's fine, except that I don't think Kerry has a real alternative to offer, which kind of renders the criticism a little less effective. (Personally, I'm becoming more convinced that the least-bad solution would be to push a federated Iraq in which at least we could work toward stable, sorta-democratic mini-states in the Kurd and Shi'a regions, but I can't imagine Kerry would publicly embrace such a controversial approach.)

What has proven true is that the guy is a stiff; people just don't like him. I can't help but think that if Edwards or perhaps even Bill Richardson were the nominee, the focus would be on Bush's atrocious record and the Democrat would be up by 15 points.

A couple good articles this evening that probably better articulate this: James Wolcott, whose new blog is almost like everything I wish this one were (well, except that I don't think he's a big baseball fan). Check out his little note on the passing of Johnny Ramone last week, as well. Then there's the inimitable Frank Rich, who like Wolcott seems to have alchemized a near-perfect synthesis of culture and politics in his writing. This one--on the accelerating demise of CNN and the likely triumph of the Fox model of cable news--is really not to be missed.

At least we've got an Iggles game tomorrow night to hopefully enjoy, and the meeting of two exceptionally skilled yet rather unpleasant wide receivers in Philly's Terrell Owens and the Vikings' Randy Moss. What better time to bust out my Theory of the Talented Asshole, which came to me in a burst of inspiration during last week's win over the Giants.

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