Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
May 4, 2004
POLITICS: 5/4/04 Link Roundup

*Mark Steyn's verdict: on Tim Robbins' (relatively) new play: "not . . . as funny as a genocidal madman"

*The 2006 NY Governor's race has officially begun

*Bad photo op alert: John Kerry on his bicycle, wearing lycra shorts, an orange-and-yellow ensemble that matches his bike, and a facial expression that can only be described as "jaunty rich guy on a bike". Dukakis looked better in the tank.

*Jeffrey Toobin, in the New Yorker, has (unsurprisingly, considering the source) a positive look at John Kerry's years as a practicing lawyer, first as a politically upwardly mobile prosecutor and then in private practice. Kerry still comes off as more than a little of an egostical and opportunistic self-promoter, but it's not like Toobin could just write about a different person. By contrast, OpinionJournal's Political Diary (subscription only) carries a claim (by Democrat and Kerry supporter) David Liederman, founder of the David's Cookies chain, that Kerry's cookie shop in Faneuil Hall ripped off Liederman's chain store design and business plan.

*Captain Ed has a measured look at the "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth," a group of Vietnam vets of Kerry's era, including "19 of 23 officers who served with" Kerry and "every commanding officer he ever had in Vietnam," and who are coming out to declare him "unfit to be commander-in-chief," largely on the basis of his post-war anti-war activities. The group is headed by attorney John O'Neill; I noted NRO's profile of O'Neill here.

*Robert Tagorda notices Kerry dialing down his rhetoric on the economy in the face of reality (Link via Instapundit)

*The Bush campaign blog links to an article comparing Kerry to Stephen Douglas and his have-it-both-ways approach on slavery.

*The May 3, 2004 Day by Day is a keeper.

*Peggy Noonan goes to a revival of a play now starring Puff the Magic Diddy and sees progress - but also a loss of sense of tragedy about abortion.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:44 AM | Politics 2004 | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

I believe Bush has been photographed jogging in lycra shorts.

He's also had a couple of photo ops where he comes off with less than flattering facial expressions.

You know the ones, the facial expressions that can only be described as "confused child giving an oral book report on a book he has yet to read."

And then there'e the bad photo op alert staring yourself, sporting ridiculous glasses and a $2 hair-cut, posing with the Splendid Splinter, and a facial expression that can only be described as "short rich kid next to a man"!

Anyways, ironic how so many people seem to be judging Kerry on his appearances while saying appearances don't matter when it comes to Dubya!

Posted by: C Giddy at May 4, 2004 11:17 AM

You know, I appreciate having some adversarial commenters here, but you're really pushing it with the ad hominem stuff, Giddy (which I assume is not your real name). Where'd you get the idea I was a rich kid? Dude, my dad was a cop. I was married before I ever got behind the wheel of a car manufactured after 1979. And I'm still paying off those damn law school loans. Don't play that card here unless you know what the hell you are talking about.

(I'll give you "short," I guess, since I'm just under 5'10" - you're forgetting that Ted Williams was about 6'3". And hey, that was a $6 haircut!)

Posted by: The Crank at May 4, 2004 11:29 AM

Where'd I get the idea you were a rich kid? I got the idea from your picture! (Daaaaad, I learned it from you!)

Plus your extensive education, your stated views, etc... that have all been self-documented on this blog.

Was I wrong? Apparently so! Was I sure I was right? Absolutely not. Just stating my impressions from a simple photo!

Kind of like the rest of us commenting on Kerry's hollowness and Bush's dimwittedness based upon what's in the public record.

(Bad pun alert!....) Get the picture?

Anyways, I had no desire to comment on what you've got to admit is a pretty dorky picture of you with Ted. And I'm speaking from experience, god knows I have my fair share of dorky pictures from every stage of my life, many of which can't even be defended as being dated, because they're not!

The man in a glass house threw a stone at Kerry's photo. So I decide to throw a stone at the man in the glass house!

...and no, I won't be providing you with my own glass house, my pictures will (hopefully) stay safely out of the possession of this blog!

Posted by: C Giddy at May 4, 2004 1:24 PM

OK, I just looked up "ad hominem", never took Latin, never took a law class.

Wouldn't your pot shot at Kerry be considered "ad hominem stuff"?

Posted by: C Giddy at May 4, 2004 1:30 PM

Giddy needs to check the Kerry/Heinz, Kohl, Kennedy, Edwards, Lautenberg, etc. financial statements before he decides it's the conservatives who are the rich guys.

Posted by: John Salmon at May 4, 2004 2:50 PM

I'm not denying Kerry/Heinz, Kohl, Kennedy, Edwards, Lautenberg, etc. are rich guys. Never have. Supposedly the fact they have implies that its impossible for them to stand up for the common man. That and standing up for the common man is hypocritical at best.

Seems like a lot of conservatives deny that Bush came from the same place. They must be denying this because even though he came from the same place they seem to think he can relate to the common man...or "Joe Sixpack" as he likes to refer to them when discussing selling the case for WMD.

Posted by: C Giddy at May 4, 2004 3:16 PM

As I've pointed out before, Bush doesn't pretend to be an economic populist; he doesn't divide the world into bad rich folks and good everyone else, so there's no inconsistency in him being wealthy. Bush is more of a cultural populist, and in this he's genuine; his tastes and mores are much more in tune with the average guy than Kerry's, a fact that is driven home by the media and cultural elite's relentless mockery of Bush's religiosity, intellect, speaking style, Texas-isms, etc.

That picture of Kerry on the bike just underscores the extent to which he is, culturally, not like many of the rest of us (how many blue-collar union guys would bike around town in that getup?). That's why it's so damaging.

Posted by: The Crank at May 4, 2004 3:42 PM

Are you a blue-collar union guy? Neither am I. Neither is Kerry. And most importantly, neither is Bush.

I'd also argue that Bush DOES pretend to be an economic populist by overstating/misrepresenting the tax-cut that would be/has been received by the middle-class and the blue-collar union guys.

In other words, he does split the world into the rich and everyone else, he simply tries to hide it, and for good reason too. You know, the old on-average-each-American-family-will-pay-$1,000-less-in-taxes trick.

In fact, to pretend that he knows what the majority of America grapples with, to pretend that he has grown up with the same choices as the majority of the country, is hypocrisy at its best. (Its also turning a blind eye, as recent polls suggest middle-America would prefer to balance the budget as opposed to getting "another" tax cut.)

As far as I've seen, Kerry hasn't pretended that he's had the same issues to deal with. Which certainly doesn't make him less equipped to do so.

But hey, I'll agree with you, I'd much rather have a beer and eat some BBQ at the ranch with Dubya. And yes, seeing Kerry riding a bike in day-glo lycra or wind-sailing out on Nantucket Sound makes me cringe. But he's obvioulsy not doing it to look like everyone else. If that's what floats his boat, more power to him.

Hopefully people won't be voting on clearing-the-brush vs. extreme-recreational-sports.

Put another way, I'd much rather talk baseball with Dubya than have him make policy as the President.

Posted by: C Giddy at May 4, 2004 4:44 PM

In other words, he does split the world into the rich and everyone else, he simply tries to hide it, and for good reason too.

I'd say your example proves that he doesn't split the world into rich and everyone else, and he's trying to hide that.

Posted by: Richard at May 4, 2004 8:47 PM
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