Sunday, March 21, 2004

Don’t Say I Didn’t Warn You

From the New York Times:

After a 15-month campaign that took John Kerry from the brink of defeat to the nomination, and after a string of off-the-cuff statements that even his aides described as potentially damaging to his White House hopes, it may be hard to begrudge him a few days off.

Still, as Mr. Kerry disappeared to regroup on the slopes of Sun Valley this weekend, he left Democrats recoiling at the disparity between his campaign in the works and that of the White House, which has devoted six months to preparing for this moment.

As the White House greeted Mr. Kerry’s claim on the Democratic nomination with an avalanche of advertisements and attacks, the challenger seemed at least a little spent as he faced the challenges of raising money, building a staff, responding to all of what his aides called the “incoming,” and retooling his campaign to appeal to a general election audience.

Après ski, of course.

As the up-one-day, down-the-next cycle began in earnest, Democrats were wondering if even Mr. Kerry had underestimated the ferocity of the White House attack. In particular, they expressed concern about the potency of the Republicans’ use of his Senate voting record to lampoon him as vacillating and indecisive, as he appeared to struggle to explain an array of votes the White House has come across during all these months of diligently researching his records.

“He has to come out forcefully and defend his record, because clearly the Republicans are trying to label him as a flip-flopper,” said Gordon Fischer, the Democratic chairman in Iowa. “I don’t think that’s fair. But he’s got to get out there, or his campaign has to get out there.”

I believe that’s what I said here a while back. To quote the immortal Boris Badenov, “Never underestimate the power of a schnook.” Which, knowing that it was from Rocky and Bullwinkle, a children’s cartoon show, was probably cleaned up from what they really meant to say; shmuck. And I can’t think of a better word to describe Karl Rove:

shmuck

Rhymes with “stuck.” From German.

1. (Obscene) Penis.

2. (Obscene) A dope, a jerk, a boob; a clumsy, bumbling fellow.

3. (Obscene) A destestable fellow; a son of a bitch

Never utter shmuck lightly, or in the presence of women and children. Indeed, it was uneasiness about shmuck that led to the truncated euphemism shmo – and any shmo knows what shmo comes from.

– The Joys of Yiddish by Leo Rosten, McGraw-Hill 1968, p. 356.