Monday, March 08, 2004

Williams and Will's Reservations

Majorie Williams' op-ed in the Washington Post today neatly summarizes Kerry's (and the Democrats') main problem:

"To watch Kerry floundering in the impossible contradictions of this issue is to see starkly how little he is guided by core principle -- or even by a consistently wise sense of where his political interests lie. To respond to every unpleasant political stimulus that presents itself is to throw away the chance to make even an expedient long-term commitment to something."

Note that Williams proudly proclaims she is a "charter member" of the "Anybody But Bush" society.

Meanwhile, George Will's op-ed notes some problems in the Bush camp:

"If time flies only when you are having fun, time has been limping for the Bush campaign. As the Democrats made news pummeling the president, he, obedient to the axiom 'if you don't like the news, make some of your own,' began using the executive's power to do so -- with mixed results."

Will notes that, given the fuzzy status of both candidates, future events beyond their control will probably determine the election. That's a bit of a nihilistic view, but that doesn't mean it's wrong. However, let me rather naively submit that this view isn't quite right, because ultimately presidents are chosen by a vote. And to the extent votes are determined by events, well, politicians spin events for a living. The country's reservations about Reagan's age in the 1984 race were all but killed with one joke - "I will not make age an issue in this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience." So politics isn't all sound and fury.

Ok, so maybe it is. But some of it is meaningful.

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