Thursday, June 09, 2005

Manners Generally Win The Day

Excellent Noonan column.

President Bush is introduced at a great gathering in Topeka, Kan. It is the evening of June 9, 2005. Ruffles and flourishes, "Hail to the Chief," hearty applause from a packed ballroom. Mr. Bush walks to the podium and delivers the following address.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. I want to speak this evening about how I see the political landscape. Let me jump right in. The struggle between the Republican Party and the Democratic Party is a struggle between good and evil--and we're the good. I hate Democrats. Let's face it, they have never made an honest living in their lives. Who are they, really, but people who are intent on abusing power, destroying the United States Senate and undermining our Constitution? They have no shame.

But why would they? They have never been acquainted with the truth. You ever been to a Democratic fundraiser? They all look the same. They all behave the same. They have a dictatorship, and suffer from zeal so extreme they think they have a direct line to heaven. But what would you expect when you have a far left extremist base? We cannot afford more of their leadership. I call on you to help me defeat them!"

Imagine Mr. Bush saying those things, and the crowd roaring with lusty delight. Imagine John McCain saying them for that matter, or any other likely Republican candidate for president, or Ken Mehlman, the head of the Republican National Committee.

Can you imagine them talking this way? Me neither. Because they wouldn't.

Messrs. Bush, McCain, et al., would find talk like that to be extreme, damaging, desperate. They would understand it would tend to add a new level of hysteria to political discourse, and that's not good for the country. I think they would know such talk is unworthy in a leader, or potential leader, of a great democracy. I think they would understand that talk like that is destructive to the ties that bind--and to the speaker's political prospects.

Why don't Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean know this? And what does it mean that they do not know it?

Update: The Anchoress has an interesting post inspired by Noonan column.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is much more to be said about WHY Hillary and Howard are saying these things. Hillary for sure never spoke a word that is not carefully calculated to advance her political interests. Therefore, what theory or concept is being followed in developing these statements and framing the discussion of party differences in this manner? I agree with Peggy that the historical model has been comity with rare exceptions. So why dispense with it now? If all voters were like me, a Hillary/Osama Bin Laden race for president would be a closely contested cliff-hanger. Do her pollsters tell her that other centrists feel the same way and therefore she might as well go for only those votes on the left? Is there a Democratic movement to split the center from the right? This rhetoric is no accident; it is guided (although it may be mis-guided).
Having raised the point, I have a theory. In a Rove-like (calculated) manner, they both believe that this type of utterance stimulates the cash flow from their base now. They will very likely use part of the money raised to fund a third party candidate (ala Perot) to create the scenario that got the first Clinton elected. Because McCain won’t run other than as a Republican it won’t work with him as the candidate, but to test my theory, imagine who would easily win a three way race between Jeb Bush, John McCain and Hillary Clinton.
BTW, the Anchoress link does not work.