Sunday, August 29, 2004

Bush Holds All the Aces

According to people who attended Harvard Business School with George W. Bush, the President was in those days an avid and skilled poker player. One of the best strategies in poker is to convince one's opponent that one is a boob who doesn't know what he is doing, and so gets the opponent to bet a lot on a weak hand. It's a pattern one sees again and again in Bush's political career.

It must be a bitter pill to swallow. The pain of embarrassment must burn brightly on the faces of Democrats as the "Chimpident", in the process of laying down another winning hand, is about to take all of their chips once again.

The President sat back, as John Kerry's consultants, the Iowa caucus voters, the Democratic Party at large, and the media convinced themselves that the one card that trumps Bush's leadership in the war on terror was Kerry's four months in Vietnam, and bet everything on it. They have just lost that hand.

Kerry is in seclusion, unable to expose himself to any but the most sycophantic interviewers, and getting whumped by hundreds upon hundreds of fellow Swift boat veterans, plus former POWs, plus retired admirals, over every aspect of his brief stay in the Mekong Delta.

The Senator put his money on the wrong war.

Astonishing, even to an admirer like myself, is the fact that the President's advisors had predicted two years ago that the Democrats would attempt to make Vietnam the issue in this campaign season. The feeling was that the Democrats wouldn't be able to help it. Vietnam was the last time the left was ascendent in this country. They had to return to that and try to justify their position on it again. It is the very centerpiece of their whole concept of war, the government, and everything.

What they didn't count on was that the triumphs of US forces in the battlefield, especially the invasion of Iraq, would encourage old warriors, who had been cowed by academia and the media up to now, to speak out and dispute the Vietnam dogma of the left.

And, sure enough, it is becoming clear that the left, and Kerry, had been lying all along.

And so, Kerry's retro braggadocio on ice for the forseeable future, the Democrats fall back on conspiracy theories, pulling out multicolored charts showing that Kay Bailey Hutchinson is a "close friend" of some consultant to the Swiftboat Vets for Truth, and so on. Yawn.

Bush hatred is morphing into depression. Any shaggy nudists or trust fund socialists who manage to pull stunts at the Republican National Convention will only strengthen Bush's appeal.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Democrats Despair Over Kerry

Privately, but no longer quietly, Democrats are beginning to despair.

They cannot fathom why their man, John Kerry, cannot seem to fathom how easy it should be to put President Bush away, seize the high ground and take command of the issues of the war on Iraq and the war on terror.

Yet another Democrat pundit who has confused the opinion of his friends with popular opinion. He goes on to say that Kerry ought to unreservedly assert the left-liberal line on the war; i.e., we were lied to, we'd have never done it, we need to get out now, it was all a mistake, etc. The problem with that, of course, is that Kerry's own pollsters have probably concluded that such a strategy would loose him the election.

It's why Kerry saluted during his acceptance speech, why he talked about little else but his war experience, why he has said that he'd back the war regardless of how things have turned out. That he'd fight the war, but do it better. The left wing of the Democrat Party despairs that Kerry is not singing their tune. What they don't seem to recognise is that too few people out there like that tune. It is just another sign of the decline of power and influence of the left.

Yeah, the problem with a guy like Kerry is that you never know who he'll backstab next. It could be you, red diaper bone fides and all.

On the other hand, the nice thing about having a candidate with no set principles is the way in which you can exactly match the candidate with current popular opinion, whatever that might be, pretty much without regard for what that candidate has stood for in the past.

And on the third hand, I find this all oddly reassuring. For a while I believed that Kerry would be like Carter, a president apparently determined to destroy the country. Now I can see that Kerry is nothing like Carter. Carter was an evil little man who despised his own country and believed all of its citizens were evil for being prosperous, but he had a set of convictions, quasi-Marxist convictions, most likely, but convictions nevertheless. And he stuck with those convictions straight through one of the worst four year terms the country has seen, determined to punish the people of the US for being optimistic, productive, competent, and hopeful in the face of so much misery elsewhere.* Kerry, on the other hand, is going to go wherever the wind blows and is unlikely to do anything with the office.


*And then after he'd been tossed out on his ear by the election, he had the gall to come before the people in a TV address and try to put a guilt trip on us for declining to partake in another 4 years of punishment with him, as if he hadn't been hard enough with the whip, or something. But don't get me started on that.

And, by the way, forget about Kerry being able to win allies in Europe. The people who insulted the American people by giving Jimmy Carter the Nobel Prize hate the US far too much to ever be our allies except as a pretext for screwing us over.