Dear American Public (Or, More Specifically, That Very Scientific, Completely Unbiased Cross-Section Recently Polled by the Washington Post and ABC News):

49% for Bush? Are you nuts? If the President were to be photographed in Iraq standing on the bloody chest of an American soldier, would you still vote for him? If the President declared that all people who earned less than $50K would have to submit 82% of their income to the government, would you still vote for him? If the President lined up every world leader in a line and systematically punched each of them in the gut in the name of unilateral diplomacy, would you still vote for him? If the President revealed that the $87 billion Iraq aid package actually involved hookers, vintage claret and overpriced fillet mignons served on the naked backs of women hoping to get partial birth abortions, would you still believe this man was equipped to deal with this nation’s most pressing concerns?

Really, folks, I need to know what it takes. Because frankly you’re scaring the shit out of me.

I’d say more, but if I continue in this vein, I’ll reveal more wanton cliches, more ignnoble and vitriolic wonkage. And who wants more of that? But then since 6% of you are determined to waste your vote on that muddafugga Ralph, whose blustery ego seems incapable of comprehending that a second Bush term will undo much of the public service he’s spent a lifetime fighting for, perhaps what you secretly desire are these overbearing platitudes, no better than the pretzel logic placards you see at rallies. Perhaps the crooked status quo is what you’ve been pining for all along. Perhaps you’re all like that fulminating idiot I encountered on the N Judah the other day who demanded that the world listen to his vociferous protests, dammit, but who ostracized everyone in the streetcar because he couldn’t understand that a reluctant yet practical vote for Kerry doesn’t obviate a desire for greenjeans idealism, a cognizance of globalization, or a concern for social justice.

American Public, if you allow this chickenhead to win again, if you fail to evince the same pragmatism and solicitude that you expressed in the immediate days following September 11, when our President was Un-Presidential and it took an Unlikely Times Square-Destroying Mayor to Express Equanimity and Stature and steer this nation forward, then I will turn my back on you. You will, as Jefferson noted, deserve the government you get. Do you have any memory?

Begrudgingly yours,

Edward Champion


  1. Well, there’s a lot of people out there whose allegience to the GOP is so absolute that they’d happily follow it into hell or increased tax breaks for the rich, whichever comes first.

    Then there are the social conservatives, with whom Karl Rove has spent a lot of the president’s time currying favor. To them, the Democrats are the party of queers and abortionists. They’d refuse to vote at all rather than vote for a Democrat. While, to them, Iraq is not the most important issue, the president’s constant invokation of “coded phrases” in his pro-war speeches is an attempt to couch his mid-east activities as some sort of holy war. He’s trying to get them to be as supportive of his foriegn policy as they are in regard to his domestic ones.

    Add to that the working class good ol’ boys whose barely concealed racism draws them to the GOP’s traditionally anti-affirmative action beliefs, the libertarians who are willing to choose free markets over personal freedom, paranoiacs who fear that Kerry would be “soft” on terrorism, the rich folks who are the beneficaries of the aforementioned tax breaks, etc. and that comes to about 49%. Sad, really.

  2. OK….I’m going to be a bit of a voice of dissent here. But only a bit. I’m no fan of Bush and I never will be. The problem is, he’s up against a longtime political hack who has worked the system for so long that I doubt he actually has valid opinions anymore. And when it comes to foreign policy, it really remains to be seen what Kerry will do. Is he going to stay in Iraq, keep fighting the war, or will he order troops to leave like Spain has just done?

    I think in the end, the election is very much a “damned if you do/damned if you don’t” situation. It’ll be ugly, protracted, and–dare I say it–end up in a result not a whole lot unlike 2000. Though the state in question won’t be Florida….

  3. Edward. U da man.

    I have been in bars and stupid receptions and such with MA’s Jr Senator. He frequently asked his bag man Bob Crowe to ask me not to take his picture (this was before his marriage to Theresa Heinz.) He is not someone to warm up to.But so what?


    The polls are about approval, right? 49% for Bush? 45% of the registered electorate voted for Bush in 2000. This says alot about the banality of evil.

    I am surprised at Edward’s restraint. Forget everything else—if one thinks about it, can Goege Bush be the answer to 21st century disorder (some of which he and his henchmen created)?

    A quarter of a billion dollars buys a lot of marketing ummpf— Morning in America style. Remember how the Republcian Party seemingly convinced the working class (yes ,Virginia we have classes in America) that the Republican party is their friend.

    Anyway, the Daily Show idea is a great one but who is going to get people to turn (off) away from Donald Trump and Paris Hilton?

  4. Thank you for this. Your articulate frenzy is a great help to those of us who have sworn to avoid politics on our blogs, and then there’s this: I just don’t believe that poll. In fact, I think polls are no good for anything, at all, ever, even when they seem to be going your way. Maybe especially then.

  5. Wow, I’m surprised my screed got such a response.

    To Birnbaum: I was restrained for similar reasons I presented in the politics in art debate. It’s very difficult to make any kind of political argument without resorting to the same simplistic tirades. I’m convined it’s something extant within politics and something disturbingly limited (what Rasputin is getting at) in the current clime. I plan to address this “Once I got out, they pulled me back in” tendency of mine in a future post — since apparently I can’t seem to shut up about it.

    To address Sarah’s concern, we all know Kerry’s a hack. But I’d vote for the likes of Paris Hilton if it meant getting that wazoo out of office. At least she wouldn’t be nearly as calculating in her lack of awareness. The lies, the deficit, the inability to find an Iraq-WMD connection, the continual dismantling of foreign relationships (extending from Spain to North Korea), the neglect of domestic affairs and the economy, the list goes on and on. And, besides, we’re so far into Iraq that I’m not even certain we could pull out — even if we wanted to. A change in diplomacy (starting with the removal of Sassaman) is a start. Even if it’s by smidgens.

    And even The Daily Show can’t solve the basic problem: getting away from the mob mentality. That means steering clear of the Rush Limbaugh crowd AND the Al Franken folks and thinking for yourself. I’m a raving liberal, but there’s this horrible idea that everyone has to abide by the checklist. It’s the same goddam Israel-Palestine conundrum. Why does one have to pick one side over the other? Politics isn’t so simple. That mentality fails to account for nuance. Again, I hope to go into this more articulately in a future post.

  6. Is it any wonder that Arnie was elected with Bush as the President? The man is uncompelling. And the difficulty here is that come November, we’ll be offered an alternative that will make Gore look like Clinton.

    Ah but there’s the problem. Uncompelling. The face of who leads us. Is it as important as what we’re led into? What if Clinton had been the one to lead us into Iraq? Granted, he would’ve undoubtedly got international support, but what if? Would it have made it anymore right?

    Right or wrong. My main issue is repairation. We can’t undo what’s been done but we can discontinue stepping down a most dangerous path and at least pretend to work on truly making decisions not only global but mutually satisfactory. Why aren’t we invading Afghanistan now, what with Italy having been rocked by destruction? We’re living within a national identity of double standards.

    Kerry is a marshmellow. But we need someone who will be attentive to not only what needs to get done but how to bring it to the American people and equally important, those we call allies. A part of me feels this is petty – put a “happy face” on war. Truth is, there really ISN’T any way to really put a happy face on war. But you can justify it. You can compel a nation and a world to arms for a cause shown as just.

    When you’re lied to, cajoled and corralled into a particular perspective, when you’re placed in an ever-rising atmosphere – not by aggressors, but by the policies of your own government – then it’s time to do what you can to not only affect some change hopefully, but to loudly declare “I don’t like this and this isn’t what represents me.”

    Did we learn NOTHING from Fox Mulder and the X-Files?

  7. Oh the horror . . . and the greatest horror is that there are so many Die Hards that would indeed vote for Bush or his kind, because they don’t like people (the Elite??) who read books and know proper grammar, and maybe even watch HBO instead of “Reality” shows. I know, I’m fired! Yay. This is scary, Ed, and I’m going to work like hell out there even though I don’t care for Kerry like I did for Clinton ’cause he’s what we’ve got to bring this Alfred E. Neumann down . . .

  8. I was having a conversation with a friend who couldn’t understand polls in the Arab world showing people there felt Bush was more evil than Bin Laden. I said I tended to agree. He was shocked. I said, well, define “evil.” Is it letting innocent people die due to fundamentalist religious beliefs and material greed? If so – yes – Bush is more evil. I wonder how many will die because they can’t afford mental or physical health care. I wonder how many will die due to our lack of environmental standards. How many thousands of innocent civilians have died in Iraq? 10000? More?
    He maintained Bin Laden was more evil – but his only reasoning was essentially, because he’s killed Americans and not foreigners.

  9. Charles,
    Let’s, for the sake of argument, agree that Bush is responsible for people who die because they have no health care etc. You still can’t tell the difference between murder and hate on a grand scale and passive neglect? You can’t tell the difference between a psychopath and someone with different political views?

  10. Rum, Sodomy, and Links

    I should know by now that it is probably not a good idea to nurse a pounding headache in an apartment with a dog that likes to bark at dust. If my head didn’t hurt so much–self-diagnosis: stress and/or someone

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