INSITEVIEW- - tom shugart's weblog

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Misplaced Optimism?

Frank Paynter writes movingly about his brother’s return from combat in Vietnam. As he moves further into his post, he lets his anger build, culminating in the following rant:

”When you see G. Bush, his simian face reveals ugly truths that no amount of media cleansing can hide. He's going down. He never should have fucked with us. We took down Johnson. We took down Nixon. We shortened the political life of Papa (the spook) Bush, and we're going to do Jo Jo the chimp faced boy the same way. This-is-what-democracy-looks-like, motherfucker.”

I wish I could have Frank’s optimism about the Jo Jo being brought down., but I can’t muster it. First of all, W is at 67% popularity(latest poll) despite the economy. There's not a single effective voice in the Democratic Party to make a compelling case against him—or if there is, it’s not being heard.

I fear it will take re-instituting the draft, followed by draftees coming home in body bags for the man to be brought down. Karl Rove and Gang are not stupid enough to bring back conscription. In fact, they’re not stupid at all. That’s a big part of the problem. The politicos behind the Shrub are out-smarting the Dems at every turn.

Secondly, I have to respectfully disagree with Frank’s point that “we” took down Nixon and Papa Bush. Nixon took down Nixon, plain and simple, with his Watergate bumbling.
Papa was taken down by Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot attacking him and mocking him with relentless glee at every turn during the long primary and pre-primary season. Without their candidacies, Clinton wouldn’t have had a chance. “We” can’t take credit for it.

Frank has a faith in this electorate that I would like to share, but can’t. It’s let itself--through fear, false pride, and arrogance--be thoroughly hosed. It will continue to allow the hosing, I fear, for another six years. What the country will look like by then, God only knows. But, hey, I’d love to be wrong on this one.

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