Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Chad Orzel recently said "oh, what I wouldn't give to be in a coma from now until just before the election..." (via Brad deLong). I feel the same way. If anything, Chad is too cheerful. As someone whose name slips my mind right now (sorry) has pointed out, even if Kerry wins we can expect a sustained campaign from the right to undermine his legitimacy from the start, which the media will of course parrot uncritically. And if the 2004 election should be another disputed election like the 2000 election ... well, that possibility is too horrific to contemplate.

If Bush--an incumbent all of whose "strengths" are built entirely of PR and lies, and whose policies are harmful to the vast majority of Americans--can be even in the running at this point, then it's hard not to come to the conclusion that democracy is a failure. That the masses really are too stupid, gullible, and/or rationally unwilling to make the investment required to inform themselves about public issues given the tiny chance that their individual votes will affect the outcome--take your pick--to choose intelligently among candidates; and that democracy only appears to work when there is a tacit agreement among political elites to act responsibly, an agreement that the current leadership of the Republican Party has jettisoned. I can't be the only liberal to feel this way, though it's obviously not a "politically correct" thing to say.

For another take on why Bush is still in the running, read this piece by Mark Ames (via Digby and Seeing the Forest).

Speaking of PR and lies, here's a post by Michael Berube (apologies for leaving out the accents over the e's in Berube), quoting in part a letter by Richard Yeselson, placing the Swift Boat smear campaign in a broader context. Well worth reading.

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