Monday, July 11, 2005

A mad, mad, mad, mad president

As Joe Gandelman reports at The Moderate Voice (see here), Hillary Clinton went on the offensive yesterday and, in a speech at the Aspen Ideas Festival (organized by the non-partisan Aspen Institute), referred to President Bush as Alfred A. Newman, the famous freckled face that graces MAD magazine. "I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Newman is in charge in Washington," she said to much laughter.

A funny remark? Well, sure. There is a bit of that "what me, worry?" quality to Bush.

But a smart one? No, says Joe, and I tend to agree with him. We all know that American politics has become a pit of name-calling inanity (see here and here for my posts at The Reaction and Centerfield, respectively), but this quip will only offer yet more distraction from where the focus should be: the Supreme Court, Iraq, the war on terror, Rovegate. Given all the president's (and America's) problems, we need more "issue-oriented dialogue," not laugh-inducing preaching to the partisan choirs.

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  • Michael,

    I agree with you generally and I hate the harshness that much political debate has become. But I have to say, I think we are becoming so obsessed with "civility" that we are beginning to take ourselves too seriously. When did it become de rigeur to avoid all jokes about political opponents? Comparisons to Hitler, I agree, should be beyond the pale, but American politics has always had its share of namecalling and exaggeration. While we want to encourage civility, I think we should be careful about making politics too solemn and too PC. And I say that as one that is really disturbed by a lot of what I hear on both sides.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:50 AM  

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