Optimist, Meet Pessimist

The optimist — in a discussion of war crimes unfolding before our very eyes — says, John Kerry may be the single most qualified man in the entire nation to be president at this moment in history.

The pessimist — in a discussion of how American voters, especially white males, vote out of spite not ideology or interest — says, Kerry is the closest thing to Nixon that the Democrats have ever fielded (spotted via Digby), and means it as a compliment.

And the hell of it is, these two viewpoints are not incompatible.

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7 Responses to Optimist, Meet Pessimist

  1. soul says:

    This is fine. I don’t see what’s wrong with turning the spite engendered by a right wing philosphy that shits on the American Dream against those same conservatives. Americans are told they are masters of the universe by people who treat them like something they’ve scraped off the bottom of their shoe. This spite will either get turned against us, or it will get turned against them. since it’s inevitable, it’s best to give the people someone to hate who actually deserves it. A wise leader would know that it’s either that, or this enmity will rot our nation from the inside.

  2. Imho, the problem with choosing a candidate out of spite is that you’re looking for what they’re not, and can sometimes miss what they are. Even if what they are is Nixon. (shudder)

  3. Brett Bellmore says:

    Well, not logically incompatable, I suppose, in as much as the entire nation except for Kerry could theoretically be composed of moral lepers.

    That Ames column is the most amazing monument to projection I’ve ever read. Hey, folks, it’s liberals who take seriously the morality of making the rich worse off just so that the poor won’t feel so wretched in comparison. I ought to know, I’ve read them debating it over all the lefty blogs, and that’s a textbook example of spite.

  4. Oh, gosh, did we have another agenda-setting liberal convention, and I missed it?

    And when did we get to a discussion of taking wealth away from the rich and giving it to the poor? I’m as loyal to my party as a yellow dog, but I’d be happy if we’d just pause for a moment in our practice of giving enormous tax breaks to the wealthy, and I don’t recall a logical opposition to that practice having much to do with spite…then again, I guess I missed the meeting.

    Now me, personally, and maybe I’m crazy, I took the point to be that there is more of an anti-bush than a pro-kerry sentiment in place right now, i.e. a suggestion that we nasty liberal types are the spiteful ones…not you kind and gentle conservatives…so where’s the beef?

  5. Chris says:

    I wish people would stop attributing spitefulness to a particular political orientation. Certain conservatives/liberals are spiteful, but conservativism/liberalism are not–at least that I am aware of. The risk we run when personalizing a political idea is that we lose sight of what that idea is all about (that’s when “liberal” becomes something akin to a swear word). Both conservatism and liberalism have something good to recommend them, I think, though each with different risks.

  6. Ivytree says:

    Hey, I *miss* Nixon nowadays. He may have been an ethical and moral cripple, but at least he wasn’t a moron. Can you see ol’ Tricky Dick sitting still for the blathering of Wolfie and Perle? I don’t think so.

    Re the “spite” thing–I don’t believe it for one simple reason: Bill Clinton. Despite the strenuous, ten-year effort of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy and their little lapdogs, the SCLM, Bill Clinton left office with a 68% approval rating. He could get elected right now if he could run, and everybody knows it.

  7. Brett Bellmore says:

    Moral cripple? You might remember that Nixon had the decency to resign. Only thing our last President learned from that episode was that they don’t get you until you STOP stonewalling.

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