Sunday, November 14, 2004

the oddest thing

We understand that yes, Mr. Bush's bill of goods was the aura of confident leadership. The sizzle, while Mr. Kerry offered some beefy semblance of rational analysis. The poet won; the statesman, stuck in his programs ("I have a plan...") was no match.

Well, after making such a mess, after producing a world of uncertainty in the markets, the economy and the world of geopolitics, what Mr. Bush offered for sale was certitude. The attitude of certitude. Bush understood the emotive core of media in ways Kerry seems to have failed to grasp. Bush knew if he screwed up in Iraq, the media would take the resultant potential anxiety and maximize it. Then, if he said he was the one to fix it, the media would seize that, because it is an easy story to tell. It fits in with the simplicity that mass media requires in order to tell clear narratives. Moronic leadership and mass media as two peas in a pod - who'd a thunk it?

He sold it, we bought it; as many have noted, we the voters consumed, rather than participated in, the election. Nothing new there.

What's still to be understood, though, what's really odd, is what made Bush so sure of his "elect" status that he chose, throughout the campaign, to speak only to his base. To talk in terms that alienated those not in his base. To smugly reduce matters of world import to classroom giggles and ridicule. What made him so sure his base was large enough, when every poll said it was not? How did Bush know he would win, and when did he know it?


Blogger Juke said...

Bush knows what he's told he knows, and he knows it for as long as he's told he knows it.
Seeing him as anything more than an 802 11b homunculus is obedience, is thinking you know which shell the pea is under, wondering how they knew which card you picked.

11/15/2004 6:01 PM  
Blogger Tom Matrullo said...

Perhaps I ought to write it as "Bush," i.e., the tail which is the face being wagged by the machine ascendent.

11/16/2004 6:04 AM  

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