Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Advice for Bush
This morning, Liberal Oasis analyzes the stuff about jobs and tax cuts from Bush's speech last night, and how Republican governors--many of whose states are suffering from an economy that just won't turn around--are not ready to get on-message with the president. The summary includes a useful clip-and-save quote from Republican party hack-turned Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour: "Look, the American people are going to judge job creation by what actually happens, not by what somebody predicts." Let us know how that turns out, Haley.

For all the talk on the news this morning about his "forceful" and "aggressive" speech, Bush sounded to me like he was reading short paragraphs he'd never seen before and struggling to keep his place on the page. Sometimes, he sounded like he could barely understand the meaning of his own words. And people are worried that John Kerry might bore people?

It also sounded to me like Bush really does intend to make an issue of Democratic "anger" versus Republican "optimism." (This from an administration that represents the ultimate revenge of the Angry White Male.) But there really is anger out here. A better tactic for Bush might be to actually acknowledge it, and then start discussing either what he'll do about it or why it's misplaced, instead of trying to marginalize it as deviant behavior in a country where everything's just great. If Bush thinks he can just ape Reagan's "Morning in America" crap and ride it to reelection, people will see through it this time.

Recommended reading: From Daily Kos over the weekend just past--an analysis of just what social conservatives have gotten from their nearly 25-year ascendancy. In the words--the word--of poster DHinMI: "jack." The specter of same-sex marriages in California, and Bush's tepid response to them, has got them losing their minds. But will they lose enough not to vote for him in the fall? Nobody knows quite yet. In my post on Best of the Blogs this morning, I talk about the possibility of Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore running for president to peel votes away from Bush on the right. Matthew Yglesias of Tapped suggests a better choice might be Pat Buchanan, whose 2000 Reform Party platform--isolationist and protectionist--might resonate better today than it did four years ago.

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