Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, October 22, 2004

Bush: The Environmentalists' Choice

Bear with me; the title will become understandable in the last few graphs.

New Republic Senior Editor Ryan Lizza writes of the four strategies the Bush administration is using in the final days of the campaign. They are:
  1. Elevate the attacks on Kerry, using both Bush and Cheney as spokespersons. (I guess that's different someow from, "Elevate the attacks on Bush, using both Kerry and Edwards as spokespersons.")
  2. Wrap Bush in 9/11. (That's the best Lizza can do to refute the litany of Kerry failures Bush chronicled in his powerful speech last week in New Jersey. "Jersey's close to New York, so that's all that speech was about....")
  3. Soften the edges using Laura Bush. (I don't think you'll find, "Soften the edges using Teresa I-still-use-my-dead-Republican-husband's-name Kerry" in the Dem playbook.)
  4. Attack the media. (Lizza seems shocked at the allegation that MSM may be biased.)

Nothing really amazing there. But as they say on late-night TV, but wait, there's more. In the discussion of Bush/Cheney attacks sits this paragraph:

As Bush continues to play the attack dog, Cheney's chief job seems to be to scare voters. In 1964, Lyndon Johnson had "Daisy." This year, Bush has Cheney. Before the war in Iraq, it was Cheney who said, "We believe [Saddam Hussein] has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." In Ohio this week, Cheney returned to the theme. "The biggest threat we face now as a nation," he said, "is the possibility of terrorists ending up in the middle of one of our cities with deadlier weapons than have ever been used against us--with biological agents, or a nuclear weapon, or a chemical weapon of some kind, able to threaten the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans, not just three thousand. And that's the ultimate threat. And, for us to have a strategy that's capable of dealing with that threat and defeating it--you've got to get your mind around that concept."

I looked for Lizza to get his mind around this in the next paragraph, but that's all there is. To him, the thought of a catastrophic terrorist act on our shores is so sensationalistic as to merit no further comment; it is, de facto, damning. How can anyone who lived through 9/11 and has tracked the attack plans detailed in Islamofascist materials our troops have confiscated see this as merely a scare tactic? But Lizza's not alone.

I was asked by an environmental reporter just last week how the Bush and Kerry administrations would vary on environmental issues. At first I was taken aback, because even though I make my living off environmental issues, I don't think of this election in environmental terms. But I quickly realized the environmental significance of the 2004 election and answered: "The biggest environmental threat our nation faces is the detonation of a nuclear or biological weapon by a terrorist on our shores. That's why Bush should be the environmentalists' choice." Not surprisingly, the reporter was startled at the thought.

So it's true: Kerry owns the head-in-the-sand vote.