Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
November 1, 2004
POLITICS: Putting His Chips Down

Mark Steyn's latest Spectator column is vintage Steyn, albeit a bit less laugh-out-loud than usual (and I like the new Spectator layout, for what it's worth, although you can't see it in the printer-friendly format). Steyn concludes by assuring his British audience that if he's wrong they can get a new analyst of the American scene:

My sense is that the 2002 model is still operative, and that the Democrats and the media, talking to each other in their mutually self-deluding cocoon, have overplayed the Bush-bashing. Next Tuesday the President will win the states he won last time, plus Iowa, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Maine’s Second Congressional District to put him up to 301 electoral votes. Minnesota? Why not? Nudge him up to 311 electoral votes. Oh, and what the hell, give him Hawaii: that’s 315. The Republicans will make a net gain of two seats in the Senate, one of which will bring with it the scalp of the Democrats’ leader, Tom Daschle. . . . Look for a handful of Republican House gains, too. And Democrats tearing their hair out — or John Kerry’s and John Edwards’s hair, if they can penetrate the styling gel.

The above prediction needs to be able to withstand Democrat fraud, which I’m nervous about. If Tuesday goes off as smoothly as the Afghan election, we’ll be very lucky.

Usually after making wild predictions I confidently toss my job on the line and say, if they don’t pan out, I’m outta here. I’ve done that a couple of times this campaign season — over Wes Clark (remember him?) — but it almost goes without saying in these circumstances. Were America to elect John Kerry president, it would be seen around the world as a repudiation not just of Bush and of Iraq but of the broader war. It would be a declaration by the people of American unexceptionalism — that they are a slightly butcher Belgium; they would be signing on to the wisdom of conventional transnationalism. Having failed to read correctly the mood of my own backyard, I could hardly continue to pass myself off as a plausible interpreter of the great geopolitical forces at play. Obviously that doesn’t bother a lot of chaps in this line of work — Sir Simon Jenkins, Robert ‘Mister Robert’ Fisk, etc., — and no doubt I could breeze through the next four years doing ketchup riffs on Teresa Heinz Kerry, but I feel a period of sober reflection far from the scene would be appropriate. My faith in the persuasive powers of journalism would be shattered; maybe it would be time to try something else — organising coups in Africa, like the alleged Sir Mark Thatcher is alleged to have allegedly done; maybe abseiling down the walls of the Presidential palace and garroting the guards personally.

But I don’t think it will come to that. This is the 9/11 election, a choice between pushing on or retreating to the polite fictions of September 10. I bet on reality.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 1:05 PM | Politics 2004 | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

"it would be seen around the world as a repudiation not just of Bush and of Iraq but of the broader war. It would be a declaration by the people of American unexceptionalism — that they are a slightly butcher Belgium"

Utter garbage. Only in the delusional circles in which Steyn an his ilk reside will this be the view. They can drown their sorrows in an endless buffet of Freedom Fries.

It will be seen around the world for exactly what it is. Rejection of the failed execution of a unilateral, bullying doctrine for what should be a united, truly global War on Terror.

Posted by: Mr Furious at November 1, 2004 4:57 PM
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