Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review July 30, 2004 / 12 Menachem-Av, 5764

James Lileks

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Intimate liability | Unless John Kerry pulls off a mask and reveals that he is really a Zorkon from the Galaxian Alliance and we are now his slaves, nothing exciting can be expected from the Democratic convention. (Note to Kerry: If you are a Zorkon, save it until after you're inaugurated.) This means that convention stories follow certain scripts.

— The Protester Script. This is the obligatory story of the anarchists who've come to harangue Kerry because he won't use the military to shut down sweatshops and carpet-bomb all Wal-Marts. This year's story will have amusing shots of the giant cage into which the Democrats have herded their protesters, making them all look like zoo monkeys who would throw back your peanuts because they weren't organic.

The Republicans will benefit from the same pack of nutbags, but this time you'll see the leftists the Boston convention has taken pains to hide — the BUSHITLER LIED!!! signs, the lovely flags with the Star of David morphing into a swastika. The Michael Moore fans, in other words. The ones who didn't just drink Moore's Kool-Aid but ordered up another gallon for a high colonic.

— The Party of Unity and Love Script. It's been decades since a convention's outcome was ever in doubt; now the event is just a giant, bright machine for generating pictures of people in fake straw hats cavorting under an avalanche of balloons.

The unity script, however, is always presented as some remarkable accomplishment. As if the unstoppable tsunami of love for Kerry rolled back Howard Dean's attempts to storm the stage in Boston and YEAGH his way back into America's hearts. Please. Conventions are always united now, given that the alternative is disunity and defeat.

Donate to JWR

Democrats are truly united behind one man: George W. Bush, whom they hope to push into a moat full of crocodiles. Rabid crocodiles. Rabid crocs who just finished with Ann Coulter and are mad that she was even considered to be a suitable appetizer.

In a way, you'd prefer that the delegates were honest and concluded the convention by dangling Bush in effigy from the rafters. But that could turn off the moderate swing voters who don't follow the news or study the issues. You know, the people who decide elections.

— The Party Elders script. They always trot out the party scions to fire up the show. Bill Clinton was Bill Clinton. Al Gore surprised everyone by not blasting gas and napalm for an hour. Jimmy Carter was more in touch with the delegates' mood; he gave a speech suffused with his special brand of tedious sanctimony, noting that "the last few months, in many ways, have been the most disturbing."

Really? Saddam Hussein humbled before a judge, Iraq handed over to Iraqis, courts-martial for the Abu Ghraib morons, a commission report that acknowledges the contacts between Saddam and al-Qaida — that's more disturbing than the fall of Iran to Islamic fanatics, the imprisonment of American citizens and the failed attempt to rescue them? Only if you found a neurosurgeon so skilled he could open your skull and remove the portions of your brain holding the memories of 1979 and 1980.

Borrring. So for fun we have the new, unscripted, cannon-on-casters, Teresa Heinz Kerry.

She began the week on a high note, making a speech that called for greater civility, castigating some of the political rhetoric as "un-American." Hmm. A reporter inquired what Ms. Heinz Kerry meant by "un-American," since that's a rather loaded term. True to her rep as the Anti-Laura, the would-be first lady told the reporter to "shove it." How civil.

Not a day later, the Boston Globe unearthed an old interview in which she called the Democratic machine "putrid," spat all over Ted Kennedy and said other uncivil things. No one should be surprised; she's too rich to care what anyone thinks. She's daffy on some occasions and stunningly undiplomatic on others.

A campaign liability? Absolutely. By the end of next week there will be calls for THK to resign, withdraw from the campaign, and sever all ties to the Kerry candidacy.

Would casting off a beloved spouse hurt Kerry with the moderates?

Not if he proposed to John McCain.

Every weekday publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor James Lileks is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Comment by clicking here.


07/26/04: Sandy Berger's classified wardrobe
07/15/04: Pretty faces, ugly words
07/08/04: Genocide can't happen if we banish the word
07/01/04: Dropping political discourse level
06/24/04: Kerry's Science Buddies and the Silly Sanctity of Life
06/17/04: Behold the Summer of Bill Clinton!
06/10/04: Whatever happened to respect for the presidency?
06/03/04: Tales at the intersection of war and popular culture
05/20/04: Athletes on Notice: Strive Unflaggingly
05/13/04: America likes Rumsfeld, and the Dems can't take it
05/07/04: Kerry Supporters Have a New Take on Vietnam War
05/05/04: New cell phone does everything, but there's a problem...
04/29/04: John Kerry, prisoner of symbolic politics
04/22/04: Shall we grovel? Kerry Plan to Restore America's Place in the World
04/08/04: Sept. 11 Might Have Been Different If ...
04/02/04: Slinging slime or citing facts?
03/26/04: One War, One Enemy
03/22/04: Bloodied Spain Rejoins Old Europe
03/12/04: Why All Those Foreign Leaders Want Kerry to Whup Bush
03/08/04: Introducing the Kerry Doctrine
02/27/04: Introducing the AWOLs: Angry White Outraged Libs
02/20/04: Sifting the headlines of election year 1992
02/18/04: Guess Which Candidate Our Enemies Want to Lose in 2004?
01/29/04: Every Laptop a Truth Squad
01/27/04: When the battle over artistic freedom goes over the edge
12/31/03: For the Left and Right, Some New Year's Resolutions
12/22/03: Dean's black helicopters
12/15/03: Dems Are Mainstreaming the Extreme
12/08/03: Does Dean Really Want to Be President? One Wonders, When He Opens His Mouth
11/24/03: The real story: Most Brits see U.S. as force for good
11/19/03: The Trouble With Al Gore's Screed on Civil Liberties
11/11/03: Can a fellow win with the Confederate Metrosexual vote?
10/22/03: Let's make Greenpeace pay
09/29/03: Ah-nold & Clark may be on different sides of the aisles, but their supporters are cut from the same cloth
09/19/03: All Hail the Ninth Circuit Court of Surreal
08/26/03: This time, the record industry doesn't stand a chance!
08/18/03: Assessing the Schwarzenegger Factor in Republicanism
08/08/03: No wonder Howard ‘Two Covers’ Dean gets all the buzz
08/04/03: Expect bad news for the foreseeable future
07/28/03: Despot's Deserts
07/21/03: No winners in this game of gotcha
07/14/03: Doing the right thing in Liberia may not be the right thing to do
06/27/03: On feet in Democratic mouths
06/16/03: The real story behind Hillary's book
06/09/03:America's new mission was and remains: Extirpating the flaming nutballs and the societies that nurture them
06/03/03: The Constitution as gag order
05/23/03: Sometimes the theme of world events is chaos itself
05/16/03: Newspapers are only human, after all
05/13/03: What McCarthy messed up
05/06/03: Still think the International Criminal Court was a good idea?
04/03/03: The world is ending, the world is ending! Doesn't anybody care!? Why won't anybody listen!?
03/14/03: Kerry and the Dems are banking on American electorate's tendancy to forget history
02/28/03: Roadmap to peace?
02/13/03: We live in an age where the poet has been cast out from the halls of power --- sob, sob
02/10/03: Found: League for International Justice and Peace talking points
01/30/03: The US can go to war whenever it likes for its own reasons, and all the UN can do is pass more worthless paper
01/23/03: People who'd volunteer for the Iraqi army if they saw Saddam wearing a "Free Mumia" button
01/16/03: One of those head vs. heart things
12/27/02: Whistleblowers?
01/06/02: The second year of this jangled millennium
11/16/01: Attack of the 'Patriotism police' and other Hollywood fare
11/12/01: From the bleats of dismay
10/30/01: Osama and the Genie
10/08/01: "We can stop the Bush Death Juggernaut"
11/04/01: America, loathe or it leave it
09/25/01: Do the Europeans actually think that the war on murderous zealotry will be furthered by undercutting America?
08/27/01: If the economy is in a funk, why aren't we dancing?
08/14/01: Dubyah's embarrassing presidential vacation
08/10/01: Hail to our co-chiefs?
08/03/01: Constitution: George the Uniter picked a doozy to unify detractors
07/25/01: The real reason why we need missile defense (What those uppity policy wonks won't tell you!)
06/18/01: Paining the egalitarian soul
06/01/01: One of the stranger indexes you'll ever hear about
05/21/01: One man's toke is another man's snort
05/08/01: Republicans want poisoned water
04/23/01: We bleat as we're sheared
04/10/01: Boys will be boys. And that's the problem
04/06/01: Pity the anti-American Left, they're gonna have a hard time on this one
03/26/01: You've been warned
03/16/01: The GOP's inexplicable desire to fold
02/23/01: Will the Jeb Bush administration attack Saddam in 2011?
02/09/01: In search of the the first ashtray thrown by a member of the First Family
02/06/01: Can you say 'Ayatollah Bush'?
01/24/01: The new Executive Orders
01/22/01: Hey, Dubya: Wanna save Ashcroft? Teach him to rap!
01/09/01: Bubba gets his last licks
01/05/01: The low-down on the coming recession (What those snooty economists won't tell you)
12/23/00: Memo to Dubya: Wanna show who is boss? Nuke 'em!
12/06/00: The Count of Carthage
At the Sore/Loserman Transition HQ
12/01/00: The Count of Carthage
11/28/00: Clinton knows history isn't written by the victors anymore
11/17/00: Chad's the word
11/08/00: The strangest political night
11/07/00: Get ready to return to the Dark Ages

© 2003, James Lileks