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View Diary: Brad Carson speaks - and pens a brilliant TNR article (348 comments)

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  •  Yeah, (none)
    but we don't have to get all of them, just some.  People who's kids are off at war are by definition not concerned only with frivolous things.  You'd think we could reach them.

    I'm really numb to Bush-hating these days.  I used up all my anti-Bush emotional energy during Florida and then in the leadup to Iraq.  But it's insane how they've sent so many kids off to fight a stupid war -- how in a thousand smaller ways Bush sells off his voters' and the national interests.

    Anyway, let me clarify what I said about Kerry coming off unserious since I didn't explain it well above.  If you look at the way the Repubs went after Kerry, they tried (and largely succeeded) in making him out to be not tuned in to a serious time.  They loved those images of Kerry riding bikes and throwing balls on the tarmac.  They loved the goose hunting and the fact that he didn't carry out his own bird.  I think you're right in what you told me a while ago that Kerry doesn't care what people think.  He really doesn't care what people think, but the Repubs were able to use that against him by making it look like he was an arrogant brahmin, do-you-know-who-I-am? elite-coastal type.  They loved it when Kerry showed up an hour late for all his rallies and messed up local place names and talked 20 minutes over time.  With Bush everything was on time, direct.  That's part of what I mean when I say Kerry came off as unserious rather than too serious.  The irony is of course that he's a more deeper, less dogmatic thinker than Bush and his advisors could ever be.

    By the idea of community...we are all enriched and ennobled. -- Michael Dukakis

    by tlaura on Fri Nov 12, 2004 at 02:10:51 AM PST

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    •  Ah, you mean they (none)
      successfully defined him as a candidate seeking office against a guy who already had the job, and well look how proficiently and professionally and smoothly everything runs....

      I think you are right that the were exploiting in an effort to expose their narratives on him: he's phony, he's opportunistic, he is elitist (see how long he made you wait for him to show up, hmmm, Mistah, second most librul senatah!).

      These people are so icky, you know.  Just a bunch of cynical bastards that we are going to have to out-cynic to beat and it makes me sick.

      No, wait, we're ever the idealist, right?

      But, I do know that their cynicism, their gutter style, nothing is off the table, purple heart band-aids brand of politics is sadly successful and our party comes up short because we don't want to treat the voters like that.  Oh, we do the medicare scare, but that's about it.  Basically, we plead that you dear voters will see what idiots you have elected and how ill-served you are.  And it's not working us.

      "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine

      by Cathy on Fri Nov 12, 2004 at 02:41:21 AM PST

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      •  The Medicare scare (4.00)
        isn't a phony scare -- four more years of Bush and social security is toast, Medicare too if we don't take back a chamber of Congress in 2006.  It's those nifty "health savings accounts".  Ugh.

        Man, we've got four years to hash this stuff out.  They're awful, but it's not just that we're too sweetness-and-light to sink to their level.  It's the great irony of liberalism (not even liberalism per se; I really do think the Democrats are pretty conservative, in a good way -- but good governmentism) that we're asking people to act in the greater good, for squishy ideas, and our nominees and party leaders are afraid to make that case.  Kerry offered more tax-cuts-that-aren't-really-tax-cuts to bribe the middle classes, recycled from 2000.  It's not about being Republican-lite; we're not.  But we don't trade much in philosophy while Bush does trade in (dumb) philosphy.  My Dad, the old yellowdog, made that complaint about Kerry to me all the time -- he's scared to really try to appeal to voters' better instincts, the common good.  I know Mondale tried it and lost bigtime.  But part of making Kerry out to be unserious was making him out to be a man without soul or narrative.  And there was no overarching narrative.  It's been a decade since we've really had one.

        They're appealing to the worst in people -- the part that sneer at economic and political losers and make fun of Vietnam veterans by imagining that someone like Kerry was a chickenshit dilletante who "fled" on the Mekong Delta even when he won loads of medals and saved his crewmate's life, screamed at his crew when he found out they'd killed a civilian child even though they were all holding loaded guns.  They appeal to that part of us that resents taxdollars paying for health care for the poor, the part that calls anyone who challenges the War in Iraq a traitor and bullies the press to do the same.  We're so much better than that but we've yet to really learn to appeal to the best in people.  They're winning the culture war, and it's not gay marriage or abortion but society, community.  The society gets more rancid and we get more scared, more scared of the sneering.  It's a vicious cycle.

        God, now I'm depressed.

        By the idea of community...we are all enriched and ennobled. -- Michael Dukakis

        by tlaura on Fri Nov 12, 2004 at 03:04:36 AM PST

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        •  Cynicism is a depressant (none)
          for sure!

          Just remember the fighting mood you were in while nursing that broken heart.

          I'm feeling better today, actually. I'm starting to think this whole thread was the most fascinating read.  Such intelligent, passionate voices.  But, I was so wimpy with my "scary" post.  Carson's assessment was brilliantly presented but I'm siding with those with the cooler heads now.  Fear of modernity and this manifestation of extreme regression is going to undo them.  We just have to keep from being destroyed in the process.

          Yes, you and your Dad are right about appealing to better angels of our nature, we do need to do that.  We pummeled Bush with his "go shopping" answer to what American could do for their country, but we haven't replaced it with our own challenge for larger-than-ourselves sacrifice.

          "But your flag decal won't get you into heaven anymore"--Prine

          by Cathy on Fri Nov 12, 2004 at 07:03:56 AM PST

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