Thursday, May 24, 2007

You Make Repentance Harder

I voted for George W. Bush. Twice. I don't blame myself for the first time, but the second I had four years of experience off of which to work. I wasn't able to believe just how bad he had been because I'm a pretty centered guy intellectually, highly resistant to conspiracy theories and extreme views. It's just that in Bush's case, some of those extremes turned out to be true, and they were in my blind spot.

I shouldn't have voted for Bush the second time, but John Kerry wasn't the answer either. To wit, yesterday from The Plank's Michael Crowley on Bob Shrum's (essentially Kerry's campaign manager without title) upcoming book:

"Because bloggy people find him so fascinating, let's start out with one about Time magazine columnist Joe Klein. Klein loomed large over the Kerry campaign, Shrum recalls, and not just for his influential columns:

Klein himself was trying to play many parts. He was not only reporting on the campaign and preparing to write a book about consultants; he was also a constant critic and yet another sometime adviser. After the Kerry appearance at the Iowa Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, he told [Kerry spokesman] David Wade: "Great speech, but it's too late"--then turned around and stalked away. With Klein, it was almost always too late for us, in part because we didn't always take his persistent advice. He would chastise Kerry on the phone when he didn't like a speech, counseling both Kerry and me about what the candidate should say and what our strategy should be. He argued to Kerry, for example, that his health care plan should call for an individual mandate, requiring all Americans to buy health insurance. Rejecting his advice was uncomfortable for Kerry, who liked Joe, craved his approval, and worried what his columns would say when we didn't take his recommendations."

We had a choice between a mediocre intellect who never thinks he's wrong and an out-of-touch intellect who doesn't ever seem to know what he believes. Thanks to the major parties. The choice you presented doesn't seem any better in retrospect.

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