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Sunday, June 20, 2004

Confession

I like Laura Bush. She's alright by me. She seems like a nice, decent lady and it's clear to me that unlike her husband, she does like to read and knows what's so fun about books. She reminds me of lots of women I've known here in Texas who have married men that they are too good for, but they suck it up and act like the good, submissive wife anyway because it's the only way to make the marriage work and the alternatives are unappetizing.
It's important that the left gets that Laura Bush is really appealing. BushCo likes to push Laura forward to justify some of the uglier positions that the administration takes, and alot of us guffaw because it seems like such a transparent ploy. But it's probably much more effective than we'd like to admit.
So much of politics is rooted in personal appeal. The Republicans rely on personal appeal especially, since they can't sell themselves honestly to average Americans on their average American-hurting policies. And Bush by himself actually is short on personal appeal, because he is a smirking asshole frat boy on a very basic level. But Laura humanizes him and causes people to say, well, he can't be that bad if such a nice lady loves him.
This wasn't overly relevant during the last election, but now that the Democratic candidate has a bit of a fireball for a wife, expect to see Laura getting trotted out more often as a sort of counterpoint for the inevitable attacks on Teresa Heinz Kerry. Laura Bush will work as a sort of positive example of a properly compliant wife for those who intend to work up misogynistic fury against Teresa Heinz Kerry.
But there is a way to take the knees off those attacks for the Democrats. It's going to take a pre-emptive strike--sell the Kerry marriage as an appealing marriage between equals before the conservatives start barking about powerful women and castrated men. People like the idea of marriage between equals and they'll like Kerry if he seems like a smart, strong man who isn't afraid to be married to an intelligent, outspoken woman. It worked well for Clinton, and it will work much better for Kerry since he doesn't have the gossip about philandering following him.*

*Yes, I'm aware that the right is trying their best to make up and whip up non-existent rumors about Kerry's philandering, but they won't get far if he doesn't do it. I realize it's nearly impossible for the Drudge Report-types to imagine that a man can both be married to a smart woman and not cheat on her, but since it's entirely possible, they're just wasting their energy.

1 Comments:

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