Put it this way: I hadn't counted so desperately on "Monday Night Football" for escape so much since George Clooney asked "Are you ready for some football?" by way of promoting Three Kings. But, this fall? Heavens, if it became a choice between watching the Maryland Senate debate rebroadcasted on C-SPAN or the Patriots-Vikings game, well, come on, man, it was time to grab that beer and cheer on Brady and the guys.
There is such a profound unseriousness in this year's elections one wants to scream I don't care! Gay marriage? Fine, let 'em. Stem cell research? Let the science go where it goes; by all accounts, adult stem cell research holds the most promise, but I was a C science student in college and am hardly an authority. Fund all of it. Global warming? When I read that a Maine TV producer had ordered a cease-and-desist on all global warming pieces "until Bar Harbor is under water," I wanted to cheer out loud. Presumably for the last four billion years the world has, at all times, been either warming or cooling; there were once icebergs in what is now Texas and, later on, farmlands in Greenland, and the notion that human behavior can either accelerate or retard either warming or cooling is romanticism on a scale that Emerson would have laughed at.
But these issues were monumental when compared to the utter triviality of the George Allen-James Webb Senate race, a race I've come to think of as emblematic of the entire year.
Tell me. Exactly when was George Allen thought of as a GOP presidential contender, a worthy opponent to McCain and Rudy? And does anyone remember when James Webb's resignation as Secretary of the Navy in 1987 was seen as a principled move over a 600-ship Navy? After months of "Macaca," and who said the n-word to whom, and deer heads in mailboxes, and "the Cambodian twist" in somebody's novel, one could not agree more with NRODT, whose words could speak for the entire election. To paraphrase: Grow up, both of you. We have more important things to deal with, chief among them a world war.
I went through all my favorite blogs the past week, and thought of some opinion to have, and simply gave up, because hardly anyone (aside from Hewitt, Malkin, littlgreenfootballs, and the sainted Mark Steyn) seemed anywhere in tune with the world as is everywhere plain.
And the elections? The GOP would lose big. And for the most trivial reasons.
And then John Kerry spoke.
“You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
John Kerry: the gift that keeps on giving hope to the GOP. And the man who, as much as anyone, embodies the difference between the two parties.
Did Kerry mean to imply that servicemen and -women are undereducated people?
Did Kerry reveal the utter condescension so present in his party?
Either way, those are the words that came out of his mouth. And now he’s stuck with them. And the folks that have been stuck defending a certain President’s sentences are lined up around the block to take their shot. As they should. After a day of gleefully running foam-at-the-mouth e-mails from veterans with PhDs, veterans with MDs, veterans who were valedictorians in their college graduating class, veterans who left their law practice to enlist, current soldiers and sailors who fit the above categories, and parents of soldiers and sailors who fit the above categories–after a day of this, NRO’s The Corner has at least energized the base. Kerry has no one to blame but himself.
What was revealed here was another instance of something far worse than malevolent convictions. What came out was of Kerry’s mouth was the robotic repeating of the loony left’s meme regarding military service. It is not enough for the Dem underground/Moveon/Rangel crowd to criticize the war in Iraq; it must (by way of raising the spectre of the draft) spout the “only poor/minority/undereducated kids are serving” line. And Kerry–who of all people knows this is not true, but further knows his only chance his pathetic (read: nonexistent) chances for the nomination reside in running to Hillary’s left and getting in bed with this bunch–repeats the meme in the most cynical manner. But being Kerry, the words come out in the clumsiest, most anti-Bill Clinton, most “My favorite player is Manny Ortiz” fashion. And when he’s held to his own words, his first instinct is to say, “It’s everyone’s fault but mine.”
So human. So Kerry.
John Podhoretz put it best: Who needs the Swiftboats when Kerry swiftboats himself?
The GOP may still lose.
But suddenly it's not so sullen.