Sunday, September 26, 2004

Anybody But Kerry?

Jeff Jarvis, as usual, has a thought-provoking post up on the elections. Here's a chunk of it:

... how long has it been since we've seen this much antipathy toward each candidate in turn. The left has been in full anybody-but-Bush swing for months; MoveOn has made that its rallying cry; even the DNC put people on the street not to push voting for Kerry but to push voting against Bush. And similarly, on the right, we've seen an often vitriolic effort to get people to get out to vote against Kerry.

At the end of the post he asks if there are any polls about this sort of thing, and his commenters provide a couple. One commenter, "too many steves," links a New York Post article that notes:

The Fox News poll asked Kerry supporters if their vote for the Democrat could best be described as motivated by support for Kerry (41 percent) or by opposition to Bush (51 percent). By contrast, Bush voters emphatically say, by 82-13, that they are voting for the president rather than against the challenger.

I think Jarvis gets it half wrong. The anybody-but-Bush (ABB) crowd is a significant percentage of Kerry voters. But the anybody-but-Kerry (ABK) group is very small; Bush voters in general really do support Bush. This is why Bush can take strong stands on many issues, but Kerry can't -- outside of hatred of Bush, half of his base is divided on important issues. If he takes a strong stand, he may lose a quarter of his voters.

More significantly, Jarvis misses the boat entirely when he writes:

The left has been in full anybody-but-Bush swing for months.

(Emphasis mine.)

The left has been in full ABB swing since December 2000. For a normal political cycle, the election campaigns really start a few months before the election, but the anti-Bush mud-slinging campaign began right after he was declared the winner of the 2000 election, and it has never stopped.

This is one reason I think attacks on Bush's character don't work anymore. Once you declare "Bush = Hitler," as the ABB crowd has been doing for 3 years now, "Bush skipped a few Guard drills 30+ years ago" is a non-starter:

Husband: "Hey, honey, they're saying Bush was AWOL from the Guard in '72."

Wife: "Aren't those the same people who were saying he was Hitler?"

Husband: "Oh, yeah. Hey, what do you want to watch tonight?"

These days I have to laugh when I read pro-Kerry commentators talking about how the Democrats have been too nice, now it is time to Attack! Attack! Attack! They've been compulsively, viciously Attack! Attack! Attack! -ing for three years now. In saying now is the time to start attacking, the anybody-but-Bush crowd takes a nose-dive into farce.

(Mug tip to Professor Bainbridge for the list of attack examples.)


p. non g. said...

Farce indeed! I'll try and swing by your blog now and then from now on, it is an enjoyable read.

Thanks for visiting my blog the other day. I will try in the near future to address your question: what is a classical abstract artist? But part of being such an artist means one does not talk about art very much. My teacher would correct me and say not at all. Some things are better left unsaid. Doing is enough. The works speak for themselves. I am glad your computer reads Kanji. 門外 is the name my teacher gave me. It means, as you surely know, "outside the gate." He let me choose the first name. I chose 凡人。Thus my professional name, or at least the professional name I use the most, is 門外凡人.

a guy in pajamas said...

Hi, Mongai,

Thanks for dropping by!

I will look for examples of classical abstract painting. That's really the best way to find out, I guess. What's the Japanese for the art?

Mongai is an excellent name. I missed your 名前 - at first glance, I guessed the first kanji as "ほ." 門外凡人 ...

I wonder if there's anywhere I could see your work?

p. non g. said...

A Guy in Pajamas!

門外凡人 (Mongai Bonjin): "an idiot outside the gate."
I am new to the internet and computers but I am hoping to learn how to download pictures. (It might be a good idea to first buy a camera.)The art form is 書道, but herein lies the problem. You'll translate that into "calligraphy", but over here there isn't (or there wasn't) a distinction between painting and writing, and abstract painting/writing i.e..書 came first, or at least very early. Ahhh, I am beginning to do what I am not supposed to do.....

a guy in pajamas said...

Ah, now I really do want to see some. I did shodo for one semester, not long enough to pick up any real skill at it, but enough to get just a taste of the basics.

What the students who had been doing it all their lives could do was amazing.

I really enjoyed it, but other things got in the way and I stopped. Some day I'd like to go back and do more.

If you have any questions on uploading photos, etc., feel free to ask. My email is:

p. non g. said...

A Guy in Pajamas !

So that's why you have familiarity with Kanji. That and other reasons probably. Thank you for the offer of assistance. I am aiming to do a big show next Summer/Fall and hopefully by then will have bought a camera and and and....


a guy in pajamas said...

When you decide the dates, let me know. Or post it on your blog - good advertising, eh?

I usually make it to Kyoto once a year, so if the dates work out, maybe I'll be able to see your show.