Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Elevating Public Discourse, No. 2: Let's Improve our Pro-Kerry Reflexes

A number of respected bloggers have recently endorsed John Kerry, after some of the most painful and protracted public displays since my dog passed a peach pit.

My message to them: However agonizing the process has been - however shameful, dirty, and exhausted you may feel at the moment - you are Kerry supporters now, and you are expected to conduct yourselves as such.

If Kerry should be elected President of the United States, it is YOU who will bear moral responsibility over the next 4-8 years for defending his honor in the blogosphere. As serious persons who have endorsed Kerry, it is YOU we will look to for explanations and apologetics when your man appalls us. Not to the predictable cyber-donks like Kos and Atrios, but to YOU. Are you up to the task? Will you mount this hotly disputed barricade, and defend it faithfully? Or will you desert Kerry's cause after six months to save your own butts, only to trot out the same creaky rationalizations and the same feigned loyalty next time around, when you endorse another New Improved Democrat?

So far I'm unimpressed. Gazing over your ranks, I see a lot of puffy white flesh, sagging buttocks, and inadequate knee-jerk reflexes; a flabby Kerryism shot through with hesitation and cellulite, hardly suitable for the long haul ahead. Your enthusiasm (if I may call it such) is not contagious. Your martial ardor is suspect, at best. Frankly, it smells pretty French to me.

It's in everyone's interest to maintain a robust level of discourse in the blogosphere. Therefore, in the event of a Kerry Presidency, it is vital that Kerry's banners be carried by responsible persons, and not by a lot of lackwits and faint-hearted flame-bait.

So let's look for areas to improve.

EXERCISE: Kerry, dressed in a bed-sheet, jumps out of a bush and cries, "Boo! There are 380 tons of explosives missing in Iraq!"

YOUR OBJECTIVE IN THIS EXERCISE: Feign terror in a convincing fashion. Lend credibility to Kerry's charge, and drop a few pithy bon mots in his little treat bag.

First up is Andrew Sullivan:
More bad news for the Bush campaign: Mohammed al-Sharaa, who heads the [Iraqi] science ministry's site monitoring department and worked with UN weapons inspectors under Saddam, said "it is impossible that these materials could have been taken from this site before the regime's fall." He said he and other officials had been ordered a month earlier to insure that "not even a shred of paper left the sites."
You've got to be kidding me. The head of the Iraqi science ministry's site monitoring department? Is that supposed to be a joke, troop? You think this is funny? I guess if God wanted you to climb this obstacle, he would have miracled your ass up there. Get your lazy, Bush-loving butt off my obstacle course, Republican!

Obviously Sullivan is not even going to try, so let's give Daniel Drezner a shot:
To put it crudely, my anger at Bush for the number of Mongolian cluster-f**ks this administration was discovered to have made in the planning process in the run-up to Iraq was compounded by the even greater number of cluster-f**ks the administration made in the six months after the invasion, topped off by George W. Bush's decision not to fire the clusterf**ks in the civilian DoD leadershop that insisted over the past two years that not a lot of troops were needed in the Iraqi theater of operations.
That's a little better. A trifle scatter-shot, but I'll bet he was wearing a good "war face" when he wrote it. Needs to work on some Kerry enthusiasm, though, because this kind of stuff just won't make the program:
I still have doubts about Kerry. Massive, Herculean doubts. His plan to internationalize the Iraq conflict is a pipe dream. However, here's the one thing I am confident about -- a Kerry administration is likely to recognize, once the multilateral diplomacy fails, that it will actually have to come up with a viable alternative.
Though he shows a promising spirit, I'm afraid I'll have to nominate Drezner for "Most Likely to Desert on the Next Ambush Patrol".

Next up is Mickey Kaus, wearing a charming Corporal Klinger ensemble:
I'm voting for Kerry, mainly because I think Bush is prosecuting the fight against terrorism in a way that will make us dramatically less safe unless we have a conspicuous change at the top. Even if you supported the war in Iraq, now is the time to a) try to preserve our gains in that country and Afghanistan while we b) let the world calm down so that fewer people hate us (and hence fewer people try to come and kill us). I don't expect Kerry to be a successful president in any other respect. It doesn't matter.
What the hell is that? I'm not even going to bother with this soldier. Obviously, he only signed up for this program to eat my chow, test my patience, and waste my limited training resources.