A View From The Handbasket

Thursday, September 22, 2005
Time enough for countin' when the dealing's done
Posted by neros_fiddle at 9:13 PM
Though I definitely have issues with George W. Bush (and I'd give you a long dissection of his speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition to illustrate why, if the Rude Pundit hadn't already done so in a way I couldn't hope to better), I'm certainly not of the opinion that the Democrats walk on water. If anything, it's their failure to be an effective opposition party that has enabled some of the worst sociopathic tendencies of the Administration.

David Mamet understands this. He likens the cautious timidity of the Democrats to a poker player who calls when the way to win is to raise:

John Kerry lost the 2004 election combating an indictment of his Vietnam War record. A decorated war hero muddled himself in merely "calling" the attacks of a man with, curiously, a vanishing record of military attendance. Even if the Democrats and Kerry had prevailed (that is, succeeded in nullifying the Republicans arguably absurd accusations), they would have been back only where they started before the accusations began.

Control of the initiative is control of the battle. In the alley, at the poker table or in politics. One must raise. The American public chose Bush over Kerry in 2004. How, the undecided electorate rightly wondered, could one believe that Kerry would stand up for America when he could not stand up to Bush? A possible response to the Swift boat veterans would have been: "I served. He didn't. I didn't bring up the subject, but, if all George Bush has to show for his time in the Guard is a scrap of paper with some doodling on it, I say the man was a deserter."

This would have been a raise. Here the initiative has been seized, and the opponent must now fume and bluster and scream unfair. In combat, in politics, in poker, there is no certainty; there is only likelihood, and the likelihood is that aggression will prevail.

Read the whole thing (and use Bugmenot to get access if you don't want to play the registration game). The man's got a point. But I'd expect the guy who wrote this to have something on the ball.

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