A friend writes that he's discouraged by Bush's slightly low poll numbers, but expects Bush will pull ahead in the fall.
I agree. Bush (41) was down 17 points before trouncing Dukakis. Still, one wonders why the Bush campaign doesn't do a better job of counter-spinning the crap that Kerry sends out. Kerry has all but accused Bush of treason. Sure, you can read the counter spin on NRO and TownHall, but who reads that stuff other than the already converted?
I'm beginning to think that Bush is not going to be able to go over the heads of the media the way Reagan did, nor to effectively marginalize Kerry (who is, in my opinion, extremely vulnerable) the way Atwater did Dukakis. And if that's the case, maybe the GOP will think twice before nominating an establishment candidate. I love my tax cuts (especially the $1000 child credit, which Oxana just doubled for us), but do you think McCain would be in this situation now?
I don't mean to sound too pessimistic, and I don't want to blame Bush's bin Laden/Al Queda burden on Bush. But I don't think McCain would have cranked up spending this way and effectively neutralized the chief differentiator between the party of Reagan and the party of LBJ.
Maybe they thought they could "triangulate", but that's a bullshitter's tactic (ie. Klinton). Did Reagan triangulate? Reminds me of Jay Nordlinger's plea that candidates break with cynical
tradition and actually run as their real selves. E.g. Kerry: don't pretend to be tough on defense when we all know you are anti-military.
Andrew Sullivan disparaged Bush for pushing the marriage amendment, saying that it is anti-gay. I don't agree with the anti-gay part. Pro-marriage is not anti-gay. His analysis is that this is Bush/Rove's way of sewing up the base and making sure that the religious right is motivated to come out on Election Day. It might work. I saw a sign in front of an evangelical church on our way home from the hospital with our new baby urging people to call our Senators in support of the FMA. I'm fairly certain both Florida Senators Graham and Nelson, in concert with the Democratic minority, voted against cloture.
I see this as an unfortunate way of sewing up the base. Is it necessary? Won't it hand Kerry a bludgeon? OTOH, it probably gains him more votes than it loses (I'm sure that's their calculation).
I'm for the FMA (despite my liberal leanings). The way I look at it, marriage really ought to be defined as one man and one woman forever and for always. I don't begrudge gay men and women their happiness. I'll even go so far as to suggest that states permit gay unions of some kind and assign them equal parity with marriage.
Just don't call it marriage. Call it queeriage. Or larriage for women and fairyage for men, but don't call it marriage. Marriage already has a definition. This is the computer age, it's really easy to create 3 check boxes to demarcate which category of union a couple belongs to. If the US gov't can keep track of
An accreditation body accrediting third parties who certify manufacturing systems as fastener quality assurance systems
as described in section 5402(7)(B)(iii)(US Code, ch. 80), they can keep track of three distinct types of monogamous unions, don't you think?
Anyway, I don't know as Bush really gains more voters than he loses with this. I suppose it's a good example of standing up for something he actually believes in, so that's a good thing.