April 22, 2004

ARE THEY ALL TAKING CRAZY PILLS!:

Kerry's Missing Message . . . (Richard Cohen, April 22, 2004, Washington Post)

In the past month or so, everything has gone wrong for George W. Bush. He has been criticized at hearings of the Sept. 11 commission for being lackadaisical about terrorism. Richard Clarke accused him of being weirdly obsessed with Iraq. More than 100 Americans have been killed there in the past 30 days, and Bush was so inarticulate in his recent news conference that you could say he violated the standards of his own "No Child Left Behind" policy. Still, if this keeps up, he'll win reelection in a landslide.

That, at least, is the forgivable conclusion you can draw from the Washington Post-ABC News poll released this week. It had Bush ahead of John Kerry, the Democrats' presumptive nominee, by 48 percent to 43 percent, with most of the rest (6 percent) going to someone named Nader. What's particularly telling is that Bush and Kerry have traded places on two key issues -- national security and the economy. Where Bush once lagged, he is now in the lead.

Polls are snapshots, and we are cautioned not to make too much of them. The only poll that counts, or so the cliche goes, is the one conducted on Election Day, and the Kerry people would like to add one more banality: The campaign has just begun. Maybe, but it looks to me like it may be over.

Why? Well, in the first place, it's hard to envisage things getting even worse for Bush. The past month should have been ruinous, and yet the president not only survived, he thrived.


One problem with the race being over by Memorial Day is that it means a whole Summer of columnists wondering why the rest of us are so stupid.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 22, 2004 1:50 PM
Comments

Actually, a summer/fall contest for "Most deranged policital column/TV commentary by a mainstream journalist" would be pretty entertaining for the number of entries it would no doubt attract. I would expect even some of the more normally lucid liberal writers and talkers will be spouting Dowdian or Krugmanic-like statements by the time this is all over...

Posted by: John at April 22, 2004 2:15 PM

Wanna bet no one threatens to move to France this time?

Posted by: oj at April 22, 2004 2:26 PM

Orrin, they'll threaten to move to Al-Andalus, formerly known as Spain.

Posted by: Peter at April 22, 2004 4:17 PM

Peter:

How many of them actually moved to the USSR when Reagan won?

Posted by: oj at April 22, 2004 4:31 PM

Nobody, Orrin. Actually, everyone who had threatened to move to France in '00 spent the next six months hotly denying they'd said any such thing, and it'll be just the same thing this time. However, this time we have the blogosphere to hold their feet to the fire. ;)

Posted by: Joe at April 22, 2004 6:09 PM

I see no point in wondering why. It's better to simply accept it as a given fact of life.

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