Monday, November 08, 2004

Let Us High Unto The Cardigan Shoppe

Yeees, we did just sound like our grandparents, there, didn't we? But we do think that a complete and utter misunderstanding of the other side is part of the "two nations" problem facing the US. Not that there should be any inference that the bombing of New York would be a positive. I seem to remember that people were very supportive of us just after 9-11, but the foreigners took umbrage at what they saw as the Republican adminstration using it as "political capital".

The second concerns why the heartland should remain so apparently resentful, afraid or just plain full of contempt for liberal northeasterners, when it was these "elites" that formed the first frontline in the war on terrorism. Ya know, the ones that did get bombed and killed but weren't soldiers. Or, to put it another way, how did New York squander its political capital while the Republicans kept theirs? It's one of those paradoxical elements of the re-election that hasn't received much attention.

Part of it may be that Bush people did feel that terrorism was important, and wanted their man to handle it, but that if you were going to try and cleanse a part of the US, then a bit full of culture, gay people and other alternative cultures was a fairly good place to start. Call this a variation of the Falwell/Robertson "god's punishment" theory (the link is a conservative site that is meant to exonerate them, but doesn't get very far).

Another might be that the Republicans were able to claim to be standing by the honest god-fearing New Yorkers (where were they? Staten Island?), while at the same time having a large and convenient chorus of weird latte-drinking crusties outside MSG and in front of the cameras every evening. Cake. Eat. It. The theory might explain the Republicans' apparently suicidal urge to hold the convention in NYC, but at the same time their willingness to play up the threat of violence.

And then they're gifted with vignettes like this AP story, from the Brooklyn Papers:

The announcement came over the loudspeakers at the Park Slope Food Co-op shortly before noon: Sen. John Kerry was conceding. People looked at each other, stricken over the soymilk and organic vegetables. Pilates instructor Rachel Priebe ran weeping from the store.

That's one very sneaky AP reporter we've got there.

We have a theory that a return of the draft might be a good way to stop people wigging out like that, as well as bring people together, but are not sure that the cost in lives and disruption would justify it. More important the northeasterners, hell, the educated people from the army we've met, do not seem to have much respect for George Bush's base. And we'd feel hypocritical calling for something to which we would not be subject.

One last point. Al Qaeda is often translated as "the base". Several commentators have noted that in his recent video appearance, Osama sported robes, rather than his customary fatigues. So we have a terroriist leader trying to expand his base, while the president embraces and ever-narrower section of his base.


Post a Comment

<< Home