Friday, October 15, 2004

Hugh Hewwitt's Symposium No. 3

Geez Louise. I finally decide to try to contribute to a Hugh Hewitt symposium (well technically this is the second time I've decided. But the first time I got a little side-tracked).

Anyway between reading the topic before heading home from work, and getting a spare moment here to sit down to write, I figured Hugh might have already posted a few early entries. So I click on the ol’ Hugh bookmark and find….
Sixty-freakin’- eight blogs have not only beat me to the punch… but Hugh has them all linked already.

Do I really have a sixty-ninth opinion on the topic that offers anything more on the matter? Probably not.


But today is “pretend I’m a Marsupial day" at Bogus Gold, so I’ll take a shot and pretend it matters, just like I’m pretending I have 98 unique inbound links from other blogs today.

So… what’s the preferred format for one of these things? Anyone know? Maybe I should click on a half dozen of those sixty-eight links to see. Back in a sec…

Heh. Southern Appeal is short but funny, and true. Don’t think I can be that concise though.

A Simple Desultory Dangling Conversation is mad about the personal destruction theme of the Democrats in general, of which the Mary Cheney thing is just one example. Makes good points to consider, and the format is nice: bold face the question up front and write an essay in response. We are a bit wordy over here at Bogus Gold, so an “essay” length response might be handy. We also sometimes talk about ourselves using the royal “we.”

Centerpiece takes a contrarian point of view. He thinks it’s no big deal, and the right are intentionally milking the moment. Even though he’s wrong, we’re awarding extra points for use of the word “kerfuffle” in a sentence. The format is straightforward, assuming his readers already know the question, he just responds. Tempting.

Hey! There’s a fellow Minnesotan I didn’t know about: PeoplesRepublicofMinnesota. Noodles sees this as a big negative for Kerry, and thinks he’s even losing the left with this one. Same format as Centerpiece above.

SensibleMom sees Kerry as a man with no moral compass, and this issue as an illustration. She also makes this too-good-not-to-quote comment: “A man with any sense of morality would never use an opponent's child to make a political point.” Now that's some mom-like sense! Nor would the campaign manager of one call that child “fair game” after the fact. But I digress. The format is the same as the two above.

HedgeHogBlog offers up an anecdote about the press coverage of this issue. But doesn’t actually comment on it. Interesting tactic.

Miller's Time follows the “bold the question, then write an essay” format. And it’s a brief but good essay to boot (I can generally only pull one of those two things off at once). Thinks Kerry misplayed this one intentionally, and will lose voters over it.

Incidentally, this is my first visit to any of the blogs above. That was intentional. Come on, does Mitch Berg need yet another plug from me? I’m practically his unofficial blog-groupie president by this point (and that plug earned me 10 more “Shot-in-the-Dark” points, which means I now have enough to cash in for the life-sized poster!).

Does David Strom think he can buy my linkage for the price of a good meal, free booze, and a cigar (and if he had any doubts, let this link dispell them)?! (Joking aside, follow that link. David kicks some serious hiney there from an angle not many are pursuing.)

So am I actually going to write anything of my own about the symposium topic at this point you ask? Um… (Think like a marsupial! Think like a marsupial!) Why yes! Of course!

Let’s look at the topic again, shall we?

Weekend Symposium 3: How deep a hole have John Kerry, Mary Beth Cahill and the Edwards dug for themselves? How lasting the damage?

Hey, Hugh. Did you forget something in your question? Like what the heck you’re talking about? Your follow-up paragraph explains that you’re curious about the Cheney daughter reference in the third debate. But for all I know from the official symposium question, the hole we’re talking about is a literal one they’re digging to bury bodies of constituents Edwards killed with a chain-saw when they made one lawyer joke too many. Now THAT would get even Dan Rather’s attention! Of course, he’d spin it as Republican spawned anti-lawyer hate-speech incident. But I digress from my digression.

Ok. So we’re talking about how deep the hole is and how long the damage lasts? I don’t actually think it’s too deep, because I think the hole he was already in before this was under appreciated. This one is important mostly because it digs that same hole deeper.

The main hole Kerry was always in was dug by the “flip-flopper” image. That one had more to do than with votes. It was also about character. It planted the notion in the voters’ minds that Kerry might be the sort of man to say or do anything in pursuit of his immediate political objective. The obviously calculated and tasteless attack on Mary Cheney and her parents just served to make many of the Bush camp’s depictions of Kerry ring all the more true.It’s a single anecdote, but a personal one people can understand better than all that wonkish stuff about Senate votes.

As for how lasting the damage is, this little incident would have been easily recoverable if Kerry just said it once, and the campaign backed off immediately afterward. But with Cahill’s “fair game” comment, and Edward’s wife attacking Lynn Cheney’s love for her daughter afterward… sorry. This one does damage through election day. They stupidly stepped into a trap that was well prepared for them, and the trappers won't release them until after November 2nd. Expect references to the Cheney's being upset about Kerry and Edwards attacking their daughter and her private life through election day.

This is also pretty good evidence that the bumbling Kerry campaign of August didn’t magically get smart come the debates. The bumblers are still around. And still bumbling. Kerry hit his high-water mark when people realized he sounded purty in a debate format. But now that's old news. Kerry now blesses us with an Indian summer - three extra weeks reminding us of August for the remainder of October.


Blogger Kurt (aka Noodles) said...

Hello fellow Minnesotan, Hugh's symposium turned me on to quite a few Minnesota bloggers through his links and consequent links from there. Nice to see a few other right minded folks here in the state.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Miller's Time said...

Thanks for the complement on the post and the link...

7:08 PM  

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