In his press conference
yesterday, President Bush said he was looking forward to
the mid-term elections this November, saying:
“I intend to campaign on, and explain to, people why
I've made the decisions I've made, and why they're
necessary to protect the American people, and why they've
been necessary to keep this economy strong, and why the
policies we've got will keep this economy strong in the
“And this election is about peace and
The Democratic campaign will,
in all likelihood, not be about peace and prosperity.
The National Democrats –
those who live in the Boston-New York-Washington, DC
corridor and Los Angeles – have a completely different view
of life than rank-and-file Democrats in the Blue States.
National Democrats really
believe that every educated, thinking American is
constantly wringing his or her emotional hands over the
National Security Agency AND Iraq AND Sam Alito AND Jack
Abramoff AND New Orleans AND the Palestinian Authority AND
global warming AND depleted cod stocks off the coast of
Upper Iguana AND, AND, AND…
My new and improved theory on
(to borrow a phrase from the “Hitchhiker’s Guide”) Life,
the Universe and Everything is this:
The technological capability to keep human beings
fully informed of every dreadful occurrence in every corner
of the world, every minute, of every day has far outpaced
our ability to deal with all that bad news.
So we shut it out.
Everyone has a finite
capacity for aggravation. For many, 50% of that capacity
is used up getting the kids out of the house and off to
school five days a week. (There is a great radio ad for a
cell-phone company featuring a woman saying something like,
“You want to give me extra minutes? How about 30 extra
minutes to argue with my six-year-old daughter about why
she can’t wear her footy pajamas to school.”)
Another 40% of our
aggravation capacity is used up in traffic to and from
work; Often caused by people talking on those very cell
The final 10% – for men – is
trying to find the TV remote which keeps falling between
the cushions of the couch and which, unaccountably, is the
17th place we look. Every time.
For women (who have been
blessed with a much higher capacity for aggravation), the
final 10% is used up getting the kids ready for bed while
protecting them from hearing the language of the fat
goofball in the den, who appears to believe that the TV
remote is an animate object which actually understands, and
will respond to, verbal abuse.
For most of us, our daily due
diligence on the news includes glancing at the front page
of the “A” section of the newspaper and listening to a few
minutes of the all-news radio station.
The reason we have a
representative form of government is because we are
perfectly happy to pay people from city council members to
US Senators to worry about everything from the pot holes on
Front Street to the Iranian nuclear threat, so that we
don’t have to.
Democrats are going to have
to adopt a message which is somewhat more positive than
“Woe-to-Me-and-it’s-all-George-Bush’s-Fault.” And they are
going to have to find people other than Ted Kennedy, Chuck
Schumer, and Nancy Pelosi to deliver it.
If not, it may be morning,
again, in America on November 7.
Warning! Swallow Your Coffee Before Reading:
This is true: I was struck
by the sublime clarity of the subject line in a spam e-mail
I received yesterday.
Try Colon Cleansing at Home!
As a public service, I’m
going to send that to all my Democratic friends. It might
be just what they need.
This is a one-time-only
offer. For those of you who have been bugging me to let
you know when next I’m going to be on television the answer
is today, Friday, January 27. CNN. 4:30 PM Eastern.
If I get bumped for breaking
news (like a house fire in Toledo, which actually happened
once), don’t write to me. Call CNN.
On a the Secret Decoder
Ring page today: A link to the transcript of the
President’s excellent press conference; An explanation of
the Hitchhiker’s Guide thing; a final (I promise) Mullfoto
featuring the license plate of a Jag-Ewe-Are; and a really
stupid Catchy Caption of the Day.