Friday, October 29, 2004

"You're making a mess, something you can't hide..."

I'm exhausted. I'm tired to death with the whole political thing.

I promised political punditry, but I'm too tired and unmotivated to give it. Part of me feels that it's somehow my duty to address these important issues, but the other part wonders what good it does. The few of you that I considered swing voters have already made up your minds, so what can I do? Nevertheless, I will press on with a brief political wrap-up to carry you into the weekend. As for links, you're on your own. Like I said, I'm too tired of all this.

(WARNING: May contain explicit language. Depends on my mood.)

Bombs--what bombs?: Of course there is the "missing explosives" story that has been appropriated by the Kerry campaign as the latest Reason Why JFKerry is Better, Faster, Smarter, More. However, in the past 24 hours, there have been some developments. First, a DOD source told the Washington Times that he was almost certain that Russian special forces helped to move unknown "materials" out of Iraq and into Syria. However, Moscow (predictably) denies this story and the Pentagon won't touch it. Then, this afternoon, a military spokesperson has come forward and said that our own military moved the vast majority of these weapons to a safer location, as soon as we got there. That, combined with the allegations that the IAEA numbers are inaccurate, would account for the explosives "missing."

I don't know what to think about all this. I was worried that the WaTimes story was true, because if that were the case, we were looking at the advent of another Cold War. I hope the new account of us moving the weapons ourselves is true, for two reasons. Obviously, I hope it's true because losing over 300 tons of explosives is clear evidence of incompetence, and honestly, I don't like the idea of the president I support being incompetent. (I know, I know, "too late" and all that. Stow it.) And secondly, MORE IMPORTANTLY, I hope these latest stories are true, because that means that this newest threat against our warriors in fatigues doesn't exist.

(The question I pose to my dear left-leaning readers is, in your heart of hearts, do you hope the military has the explosives, after all? Don't answer here, but consider it. Which is more important, us having the explosives, or Bush losing? Think about your answer and its implications. I don't think these are unfair questions to ask. Even Christopher Hutchins of Slate magazine has noted that anything bad in Iraq is good for political opponents of the Administration, so the question of priorities is, I think, a valid one.)

There's something happening here: The examples of violence that have occured during this campaign cycle are staggering. Vandalism, threats, destruction, assault, arguably attempted manslaughter. All in the name of a political candidate. Am I exaggerating? No. ABC News has a rather comprehensive list of the reported attacks in the last few months. This, of course, doesn't count all of the minor property defacements to cars of people with political bumper stickers, or to yard signs, that have occured by the thousands across the country. (I could ask you to figure the ratio of violence against Bush supporters versus violence against Kerry supporters, based on the ABC News list, but that would probably be petty, wouldn't it.)

The question is, why all the hate? Why is there so much bile being spilled for this particular election? What makes these two men so special?

The atmosphere of rage that has pervaded the political process boggles my mind. It's not just about issues. It's a personal war. Each side has taken dead aim at the other candidate and their supporters (sometimes literally).

It's not even both candidates. Why does one candidate deserve so much allegiance from some, and so much hate from others? He's not that bad, is he? According to some, yes. He's BusHitler. To others, he's a gift from on High, God's way to save the nation. Both extremes are ridiculous.

Listen up, kids. GWB is just a man. Just like JFKerry is just a man. Just like Barak Obama is just a man. Just. A. Man. These men are imperfect, they screw up, sometimes they have ulterior motives or hidden agendas. It happens. That's what we get for electing humans to the post of President. We must accept this.

I don't know. I'm rambling. I just can understand why so much anger is being hurled at one fallible man, as if he were the Devil incarnate. He's being called a terrorist, a murderer, an oil-addicted liar and cheat. People are writing novels and plays about assassinating him. Newspaper reporters overseas are making statements like "John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, where are you when we need you?"

How is this hysteria happening? He isn't suppressing free speech. (Go ahead, claim that he does. Wait, nevermind, I pre-emptively cry "bullshit.") There are no state-led book burnings. Dissent is freely practiced.

In other words, GWB may be stupid, deceitful, or rude. But he's no Fascist. So get the hell off it.

In a world where terrorists are threatening global jihad and a bloodbath on our shores, Teddy Kennedy says that the only thing we have to fear is "four more years of George W. Bush." And the crowd ate it up. I think it leaves little doubt what Kennedy's priorities are.

This is insanity. This is hysteria. Listen to me, my beautiful liberal and Democrat friends:

George W. Bush is not worth this much bloodlust.


Sorry. I'm just at a loss with all of this.

I know there are many who have reasonable, well-thought-out justifications for voting Kerry. But most--MOST--of what I've seen is this kind of radical hatred. Thus, the "Anyone-but-Bush" crowd is born.

Anyone. But. Bush.

Are we really so glib that we'll take anyone over GWB? Michael Moore said once, "Most people would rather vote for their left sock than for George W. Bush." Is that really true? If so, how sad. How very sad.

Two centuries of patriots fighting impossible wars and impossible odds, bleeding their lives out on domestic and foreign shores, so we can have the opportunity to choose who leads us. And we'll take anyone but Bush. We're soooo selective.

Come on, admit it. You who are voting for Kerry--you wish you were voting for someone else, right? Dean? Nader or Badnarik, if they had a chance? But you'll settle for Kerry, because...say it with me--"at least he's not Bush." Of course, some conservatives are doing the same thing, so I can't throw stones.

It just seems like Kerry can't even run on his own merits anymore. The best he can come up with, as I've said before, is that he's the "anti-Bush." And for some, that's enough. But really, think about it, what will he do if he's elected? He's gonna have to make some decisions. He's gonna have to take some steps. And most--not all, to be fair, but most--of what I've seen and heard is, "This President does X. But I have a plan to do X better." Kerry's approach to the war is to do exactly what the President is doing, but better. Not differently, just better. Better alliances. Better training. Better security. Better democracy-building. Newer. Cleaner. Better.

As you might have guessed, I'm not convinced.

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