Friday, September 03, 2004

Dirty tricks ahead?

I've always kind of liked Susan Estrich when I saw her on Fox News. She seemed to be pretty reasonable, and didn't get caught up in a bunch of name-calling when she was on Hannity & Colmes. This article seems to suggest otherwise. Not only does Susan buy into the "smear campaign" schtick, she's reporting that her Democratic friends are going to dig up some serious dirt on Bush and Cheney.

First off, this is petty. Discovering that John Kerry told a monstrous lie about Christmas in Cambodia (why is it that liberals don't find this distressing? He used this fallacy for HUGE political points, particularly to disparage Reagan about government duplicity) is a lot different than leaking to the press another drunk driving conviction.

Secondly, whatever they dig up on Bush and/or Cheney, it had better be a lot worse than another drunk driving conviction. Everyone knows that Bush is a reformed drinker and was a wild boy in college - to some, that makes him even more appealing (saw the error of his ways and so forth). And after the last DWI, the shock effect is lost for any subsequent alcohol arrest that is dug up. And allegations about Halliburton or some business deal in the past will also be ineffective, in that the Left has used up the public's patience with these charges. It started with Dean's assertion that Bush knew about 9/11, and continued through the primary debates, where the repugnant Bob Graham (hey Bob, good idea to give up that Senate seat for a shot at the presidency! Hope you like golf, 'cause you got plenty of time for it now! Dumbass) stated his belief that Bush deliberately misled the country into war. On top of all that, not once has a document been produced to show any collusion on the part of Cheney to make money in Iraq with Halliburton, and the general looney-tunes nature of that charge does enough to turn people off (no one who is a serious player in politics really believes that the White House invaded Iraq for oil; the only reason MacAuliffe uses that line is that it's currently all he has in his depleted arsenal).

So random charges and escalating allegations will not do the trick. In my opinion, the only thing that could do damage to Bush would have to be an incident contrary to his image as a Christian. And not just a drunk driving, wild-boy-image incident, but a serious moral charge that would alienate the social conservative base. And the only thing that could do nuclear damage, in my mind, would be something like an abortion. Of course, there would have to be some proof of it, or a confession on the part of the president, because like I mentioned above, the Left has cried "Wolf" too many times for the public to turn around and trust at face value yet another allegation (the mainstream media, however, will eat it up).

But could such a thing exist? Presumably, if something of that nature had happened, it would have been brought up in one of the gubernatorial races, or even in 2000, when the Democrats' bag of October surprises was opened wide - at least, that's what I think. It just seems like you'd have to really go back into Bush's college years (which, as with any rich, wild, blue-blood young kid, there are probably tons of morally dubious stories), but I think the public is generally willing to give people a pass on "wild-youth" type things up until they're 26 or 27.

Any thoughts?


At 1:31 AM, Blogger Tortfeasor said...

Seems like I've heard whispers at some point about a possible abortion, but it sounded more like liberal wishful thinking (as sick as that sounds) than any kind of truth.

I just don't know, though, Bo -- do you really think a pre-presidency moral indiscretion (although an abortion would be pretty major) could sink the president, now that he has a record as commander-in-chief? Of course, if this election is as close as the last one, even a slight depression of Bush's turnout could do it.

At 3:08 AM, Blogger Bo said...

The record as commander-in-chief thing is important, no question, and I think any more suddenly released drunk driving convictions won't do a damn bit of good for Democrats (or Republicans, for that matter). But I think an abortion would be a devastating blow, and maybe enough to sink the ship. The social conservatives would jump ship in a heartbeat; I think they would just sit this election out, as they certainly won't give John Kerry any votes. And that sitting at home would definitely submarine Bush. Also, there's a difference between being pro-choice and actually being a party to an abortion - between turning your head the other way as a politician, and driving a girl to an abortion clinic. I used to not feel as strongly about the matter, but I would have some serious second thoughts about voting for a candidate that did such a thing.

Personally, and I think everyone here probably shares my thoughts, I really think it's a child from the moment of conception on. I don't care how many nerve cells it has developed, or how primitive a life form it is, or the paucity of advanced cell growth in early stages. In fact, the argument that "it's just a small collection of cells" actually pisses me off the most. For me, this issue is a ten times bigger deal than gay marriage or smut on TV or some of the other social conservative causes - I just can't understand how people could view a nascent human life (again, no matter how primitive) as anything other than just that: a human life. And while I think I could vote for a Republican that was in favor of limited abortoins (rape and mother's health exceptions, and maybe if the child would be born with crippling, incurable diseases), I'd have a hard time voting for someone that procured one.


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