24.10.04

Endorse This

Hey, check it out! Degs is back. Cool. Good thing a) Starbucks coffee ice cream is hopped up with caffeine and b) I don't know anyone in Boulder yet! Yay!!

So here go the two endorsements for the presidential election (maybe you've read about it; it's 2004 so there's an election on) from, arguably, the two most influential newspapers in the country: the New York Times (for Kerry) and the Washington Post (also for Kerry).

The Washington Post's endorsement was awful. It lacked conviction -- which detractors say has plagued the Post's editorial page for the past, hmmm, four years. It was a lukewarm rebuke of the Bush administration and an even lukewarmer endorsement of Kerry. As someone who was not behind Kerry intially, I can understand the passionless support for the Massachusetts senator some people project. What I cannot understand, for the life of me, is the mild-mannered criticism of the Bush White House. You would think that a group of people who reads the news every day (e.g., the fucking editorial board at a big newspaper) could come up with something a little more barbed than this:
There is no guarantee that Iraq would be more peaceful today if U.S. forces had prevented postwar looting, secured arms depots, welcomed international involvement and transferred authority to Iraqis more quickly. But the chances of success would have been higher.
The only good part of this piece was probably that they used the word cocksureness.

On the other hand, the New York Times actually takes Bush to task. It is a poignant, frank, and scathing critique of the Bush administration and passionately posits that a Kerry presidency will be good the United States. Here's one of the opening paragraphs:
There is no denying that this race is mainly about Mr. Bush's disastrous tenure. Nearly four years ago, after the Supreme Court awarded him the presidency, Mr. Bush came into office amid popular expectation that he would acknowledge his lack of a mandate by sticking close to the center. Instead, he turned the government over to the radical right.
Well Fucking A! Thank you, NYT, for having some ... how you say ... chutzpah.

The documentation of failure and brutal comparisons (Nixonian!) continue through the first half, culminating in this tidy graf:
The Bush White House has always given us the worst aspects of the American right without any of the advantages. We get the radical goals but not the efficient management. The Department of Education's handling of the No Child Left Behind Act has been heavily politicized and inept. The Department of Homeland Security is famous for its useless alerts and its inability to distribute antiterrorism aid according to actual threats.
I can't really say it better than this. (If I could I might be working at the NYT and not, say, for frisbee people... no, no that's not true.)

And then we finally get some good op-ed material that's pro-Kerry (memo to Paul Krugman: read this).
Mr. Kerry has the capacity to do far, far better. He has a willingness - sorely missing in Washington these days - to reach across the aisle. We are relieved that he is a strong defender of civil rights, that he would remove unnecessary restrictions on stem cell research and that he understands the concept of separation of church and state. We appreciate his sensible plan to provide health coverage for most of the people who currently do without.

Mr. Kerry has an aggressive and in some cases innovative package of ideas about energy, aimed at addressing global warming and oil dependency. He is a longtime advocate of deficit reduction. In the Senate, he worked with John McCain in restoring relations between the United States and Vietnam, and led investigations of the way the international financial system has been gamed to permit the laundering of drug and terror money.
It sort of wraps up mostly anti-Bush, but you know what? Fifty percent of America would rather have someone, anyone, else in the White House.
We look back on the past four years with hearts nearly breaking, both for the lives unnecessarily lost and for the opportunities so casually wasted. Time and again, history invited George W. Bush to play a heroic role, and time and again he chose the wrong course. We believe that with John Kerry as president, the nation will do better.
I'm not much of a religious man these days, but I could be persuaded to become one once again if things are looking a) really really good or b) really really bad on November 3.

P.S. Last night when we were drunk Frodo and I promised each other we'd riot if Bush got re-elected. Memo to Agence France-Presse and the Guardian: get your American photogs ready. Some shit's going down.

Comments:
Follow-up thought. The most infuriating thing about Bush supporters is this: they claim a Kerry presidency could possibly be bad. They're right. But Bush's haters say that four more years of Bush could be a disaster. THEY'RE RIGHT, TOO.
 
It's not that four more years of Bush "could" be a disaster, as that they WILL.
 
The most infuriating thing about Bush supporters is the look of unabashed admiration in their eyes when they are cheering him on at a rally. The sheer depth of their faith in his leadership is maddening and has reached a point where I can no longer write it off as some Rove-inspired trickery, or a radically conservative legislative agenda, or some long lost lust in the American electorate for his folksiness. All I can see is a misguided, misinformed, mistaken American and for that I know not the cure.
 
JB is right - the GOP is tapping straight into the reptile brain with its supporters, and Bush campaign rallies have taken on all the subtlety of a Three Minute Hate - "My opponent projects weakness; we have always been at war with Eurasia."
 
so how long 'till you all think we'll have an elected president? i mean, i'm guessing it's not gonna be the night of november 2nd.
ps - nov. 2 is election day *and* the day of the dead, according to my trusty calendar. go figure.
 
Hey, let's bring this around. How about that New York Times! Some upstanding folks, they are.
 
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