Sunday, September 18


What a great way to start a week. Here I am at the office, waiting to issue a company press release (can we say "Sunday dump?"). The senior executives are continuing to tweak it, so let's see what's in the news today.

Oh my. Frank Rich continues to be red-hot.

Like his father before him, Mr. Bush has squandered the huge store of political capital he won in a war. His Thursday-night invocation of "armies of compassion" will prove as worthless as the "thousand points of light" that the first President Bush bestowed upon the poor from on high in New Orleans (at the Superdome, during the 1988 G.O.P. convention). It will be up to other Republicans in Washington to cut through the empty words and image-mongering to demand effective action from Mr. Bush on the Gulf Coast and in Iraq, if only because their own political lives are at stake. It's up to Democrats, though they show scant signs of realizing it, to step into the vacuum and propose an alternative to a fiscally disastrous conservatism that prizes pork over compassion. If the era of Great Society big government is over, the era of big government for special interests is proving a fiasco. Especially when it's presided over by a self-styled C.E.O. with a consistent three-decade record of running private and public enterprises alike into a ditch.

What comes next? Having turned the page on Mr. Bush, the country hungers for a vision that is something other than either liberal boilerplate or Rovian stagecraft. At this point, merely plain old competence, integrity and heart might do.

I wonder if John Kerry just might stand a chance in 2008. Up till recently I didn't think it was a possibility. But perhaps now the country would be ready to admit it made a mistake in 2004. His "skeletons" have been pretty well exploited to their maximum potential by the Rethugs and put to rest, while other Dems would just be fresh meat. Just a thought.


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