Read Breslin, then click here and read the first essay, "Electability and the Masculine Mystique." The "M" factor cannot be ignored.
Very, very roughly, you've got about a third of likely voters who consider
themselves to be Democrats and another third who consider themselves to be Republicans. These people will vote with their
party. The election is won or lost with the "independent" third.
Some people in this last third are genuinely independent thinkers. But
mostly they are independent because they don't think and don't know a dadblamed thing about what is going on.
(In my experience, the more knowledgable a person is about politics and
current events, the more likely it is he or she aligns himself with a party.)
These "independents" are reached only on a subconsious level. Because the
Republicans are better at propaganda -- using imagery and buzzwords to make Bush look like a hero and any Democrat to look
like a wimp -- the Republicans have an edge with the independent voters.
That's why policy ideas are not enough. You can talk about policy all day
long with these people. Then the Republicans trot out and wave a flag and a Bible, and the Chickenhawk in Chief plants himself
in front of an American flag and talks about "resolve," and the Pugs win.
And this, in a nutshell, is why Clark would be stronger in the general
election than Dean or anybody else. Standing next to Clark, Bush is the wimp.
First, I want to say something nice about my web host, Interland. This morning I
couldn't log on to make updates to the site, so I alerted tech services through their site. And lo, a couple of hours later
a techie from Interland called me to apologize for the problem.
Web hosts I've used in the past (Tripod; FortuneCity) took days just to acknowledge
there WAS a problem. So I'm impressed.
Anyway, I'm chasing after some personal matters and also feeling a little burned
out, so I haven't been writing as much on the blog this week. I've got the series I wrote for Open Source Politics all together
on this page, and if you haven't read it, please drop by.
Regarding the Gore endorsement of Howard Dean -- I like Howard Dean and I think he'd
make a good President. But for a lot of gut-level reasons (explained as best I can here) I worry that his candidacy will sink like a stone in February when there are primaries around the nation, not just
in New Hampshire. I could be wrong. But I wish people would keep their pants on about endorsements and climbing on bandwagons
until February. Then we'll have some indication if Dean can sell himself in the Midwest and South.
I didn't watch much of the debate last night. I understand Ted Koppel was unusually
These polls were all done before the Gore endorsement of Dean. A big deal, certainly,
but I don't think it will shake up the race all that much. I predict the endorsement will give Dean a little bump, which will
come mostly out of Lieberman.
"To announce that there must be no criticism of the
president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is
morally treasonable to the American public." --Theodore Roosevelt, 1918
The War Prayer
I come from the Throne -- bearing
a message from Almighty God!... He has heard the prayer of His servant, your shepherd, & will grant it if such shall be
your desire after I His messenger shall have explained to you its import -- that is to say its full import. For it is like
unto many of the prayers of men in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of -- except he pause & think.
"God's servant & yours has prayed his prayer. Has
he paused & taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two -- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of
Him who heareth all supplications, the spoken & the unspoken....
"You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered
part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which the pastor -- and also you
in your hearts -- fervently prayed, silently. And ignorantly & unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these
words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is completed into
those pregnant words.
"Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also
the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our
hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved
firesides to smite the foe.
"O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody
shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown
the thunder of the guns with the wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire;
help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their
little children to wander unfriended through wastes of their desolated land in rags & hunger & thirst, sport of the
sun-flames of summer & the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of
the grave & denied it -- for our sakes, who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter
pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded
feet! We ask of one who is the Spirit of love & who is the ever-faithful refuge & friend of all that are sore beset,
& seek His aid with humble & contrite hearts. Grant our prayer, O Lord & Thine shall be the praise & honor
& glory now & ever, Amen."
(After a pause.) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire
it, speak! -- the messenger of the Most High waits."
ˇ ˇ ˇ ˇ ˇ ˇ
It was believed, afterward, that the man was a lunatic,
because there was no sense in what he said.