I love this quote from Josh Marshall:
So, it is only thanks to Mr. Bush’s decision to invade that we can now have the certainty we do about how wrong he was about Iraqi WMD.
In general I’m a surface person. You know those folks who always know what’s going to happen next in the movie? Not me. I guess I could if I tried, but generally I’m happy to let it wash over me. A similar thing is true of politics; I’ll be happy to question the substance of a candidate’s argument, but I rarely question the way that the message is being put across, or the tactics that are being used. Not uncritical, just…shallow.
So I was pleased twice-over to notice the recent use by the Kerry campaign of the “wrong choices” idea. This seems to fit two main requirements of a campaign theme very well; gets to the point quickly, but is flexible enough to cover a lot of ground without inducing fatigue. It can be applied to the war, the economy, health care, pretty much anywhere. And in each area you can talk about the details of why the decision was wrong, and what you’d do right, without losing the overarching theme.
Compare this to the Bush campaigns theme of “resolute commitment” (and varieties thereof). They all boil down to “keep on with more of the same”. That’s a nice simple message, but it doesn’t allow for interesting discussions in each area. Health care? “More of the same”. Iraq? “More of the same”. That may be exactly the right policy decision, but it’s just not very interesting because we already know what the same is. That’s one of the reasons why the President suffered in the first debate; once he’d asked us to trust him a few times it got a bit repetitive.
So, point to Kerry campaign for a wise course, and ten points to me for lifting my head off the couch enough to notice.
My friend Yen got the following fortune cookie:
There comes a time in man’s life when a yen is only Japanese money
One man’s health, to be precise. It appears I probably don’t have a stress fracture in my lower right tibia. Now I know that if we started a list of all the things that you or I don’t have wrong with us we might be some time, but in this case there was reason to believe, briefly at least, that I did have one. After some ankle-based discomfort starting on Thursday, continuing through a session of coxing for the Head of the Mississippi (Women’s Open 4+ and 8+, third in both to the U of M A + B teams both times, which is no mean feat) I went to see the doctor on Monday. Having been warned by my DLW that the doctor in question was somewhat ineffectual, I was diagnosed with a stress fracture based on a slightly alarming line on my X-ray. One set of crutches and an appointment to a specialist later I was home, playing it up for all it was worth, only to get a phone call from the doctor telling me that it probably wasn’t, but I should take it easy anyway and come back if it still hurts. I think the doc and I both hope I get someone else if I return.