The Evil of Two Lessers

christian11 at christian11 at
Tue Aug 8 09:29:32 PDT 2000

Michael Pollak wrote:

This makes me think that one of the ideas behind choosing Lieberman is that it can be counted on to set off some anti-semitic crazies. Thanks to the internet, those people will publish something nasty in an accessible place, and the Gore campaign will parade it at just the right time to cement the left of the party behind him: see the two parties really are different, they'll say. Such an event would mobilize the democrats and demoralize the republicans, who've done their best to prove those people have nothing to do with them.


I've thought this right from the start. Only I picture it as a test of Bush's handlers (who seem competent) and Bush himself as a public persona (at which he seems barely competent). Lieberman's Orthodox Jewishness will be, among other things, a rhetorical stone thrown in the Repugs. road. They will have to be hyper-hyper conscious of their "inclusiveness" rhetoric. Gore is betting that, being new at it, they, or more likely Bush himself, is going to trip up.

I've come to think this is an incredibly shrewd choice--and I mean shrewd in the best and worst possible ways. He mobilizes a kind of ethnicity (I use this term in the broadest sense) that Americans find unassailable (ie religious difference with strong moral overtones). Whereas Barbara Boxer or Dianne Feinstein _couldn't_ take offense if someone gaffed and said something mildly misogynist without risking being called a shrill feminist, even the least hint of anti-Semitism will look like a catastrophe for the Repugs. (I think if the vp choice were black, it could work either way . . .)

I think what I hoped would happen with the impeachment thing did happen--it put a temporary end to family values moralizing, not all moralizing. I'm with Doug, tho, I'm sickened with the idea that all of our candidates have to claim some higher moral authority to be viable.

I know Nixon invoked the moral majority, but did anybody believe he believed that? I think I'd prefer a candidate like that--who, even if he pandered, was incredibly sharp. Like Clinton, I guess.

Gawd. Where am I?


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