Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Bent Straws

According to the polls, a majority of Americans have pegged Dubya Bush as bad news at home and abroad --stupid and greedy, mean as home-made sin. Yet he holds an edge among those likely to vote. A reminder of H. L. Mencken’s dictum that noibody ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence and taste of the American people. I’ve put it down to bad information, a bad shaping of people’s minds -- and I’ve often cited the influence of the Times. Now I must note that it had a very well written editorial endorsing Kerry -- or rather, opposing Bush -- and there’s a front-page analysis today that highlights what Dubya has called his "catastrophic success" in Iraq.

The trouble is that the Times and Kerry do not squarely challenge the morality of the war, or call for bringing the troops home. And they waffle on what should be a winning point -- Bush’s plan to privatize Social Ssecurity and Medicare. Both of them play along with the notion that some more cuts are needed. Kerry even brags about breaking with his party to support a couple of them.

I’ll get back to that -- try and stop me. But I must close on a bit of pleasant news. Bill O’Reilly has called off readings to kiddies, to promote his children’s books -- because he’s in a swivet about his telephone sex habit. Not long ago, he was entertaining talk about his running for president which of course brings up Bill Clinton’s sideplay in the Oval Office. Tell me, is this a great country, or isn’t it?