Things you'll never hear
I don't know what's going to happen with this election. That feeling of
dread in my belly is probably nothing more than the effects of last night's
dinner. probably. I'm a lot better at guessing what won't
Specifically, here are some things you won't hear people saying between now and November 2nd.
- Failed Bush administration. Beats me why this phrase never comes up, since it fits so well. And it isn't just an insult I'm
throwing around. These guys have failed by their own standards. They have defended their policies with the claim that good things would happen, and
none of those things have materialized. Example: Tax cuts will stimulate the economy. Okay ... when?
- Scandal-plagued Bush administration. This White House has had at least as many reasons for embarrassment as the Clinton White House did. The main difference is that while Clinton was, let's say, not fully capable of embarrassment, Bush seems entirely and pristinely incapable of it. he has therefore been able to avoid giving off any telltale hints that he has anything to be embarrassed about.
- Osama bin Laden. You will not hear Bush utter this name publicly for the next six weeks at least?longer if he wins. The only exception would be if he follows it with, "is at this moment licking the White House swimming pool clean."
- Family values. This one is a little chancy. It used to be the favorite hobby horse of the religious right, all wrapped up with parental responsibility and dark mutterings of how the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. Now it seems evident that the Bush family is too dysfunctional for this talking point to carry much weight. Compare the public images of Chelsea Clinton and the Bush twins and it's easy to see why Family Values lost their luster. Anyway, Bush's policies have been too destructive of families, either because they didn't fit the Ward & June parental template and had to be split up to preserve democracy, or because one or more of a family's kids had to be sent overseas to be maimed and killed for the sake of, well, something?at last check nobody was really sure what.
- Nuclear. One of my personal rules is, if you're going to use a word, know it. It'll help avoid looking like an
idiot. Unfortunately, Bush violates this rule every goddamn day of his life. Clearly he has rejected my main rule, and the personal standard I aspire to: As far as possible, and as nearly as you can manage, don't be stupid. If that's too high a standard—and we all fall short sometimes—shoot for the lower rung and don't be ignorant. And since we're not perfect, and nobody knows everything, the very least a moral person can do is, don't embrace and defend your ignorance.