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July 09, 2004

Kerry is boring, thank heavens

This article by Andrew Sullivan is a great example of why he is so frustrating to me. I love much of his writing--especially the pieces collected in Love Undetectable--but his defenses of Bush and attacks on Kerry make my brain hurt. How could a smart homo continue to defend Bush's ill-conceived, disastrously managed war? The article, titled "The Human Anti-Histamine: Kerry bores upward" would be similarly infuriating, but it produced in me an epiphany.

Thank God Kerry is so boring. We need a little boredom in our politics. Just as part of me welcomed the dot-com bust--we were all running on over-caffeinated money-grub turbo-drive 24/7/365 and it was going to kill us--I know that neither the Republic nor we as politically aware individuals can sustain the level of pique we've all been in since at least the Clinton impeachment drive. After almost 12 years of incredible polarization, wouldn't it be great if everyone was just a little bit less focused on the person of the president? Wouldn't it be nice to hear a little more leadership from that other branch, the Legislative, instead of our incredibly Roman tendencies toward Imperator Americana?

A huge amount of the criticism of Kerry from both sides can be boiled down to: "He's not an idealogue!!! What do we do with him???" You would have to go back to, um, the Bush I presidency to get a sense of the relative calm that the prospect of a Kerry administration offers. He was far from my favorite president, a little lacking in "the vision thing" but not a bad guy to have in the White House when it was clear that the world had changed dramatically. Whatever his policies were, he pursued them with an understanding of compromise and some measure of fairness--not the "advance on all fronts and damn the torpedoes" style of his misbegotten son.

So I say, bring on the boredom. Bring on the sentences that are not only complete, but actually deploy complexly coordinated dependent clauses. Bring on the "human anti-histamine," or better. We need a Valium. All of us.

Posted by jay at July 9, 2004 03:44 PM | TrackBack
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Give up on Andrew Sullivan! He's not worth the frustration. Everyone keeps trying to see the good in him-- he's just like McCain (i.e., "He is so smart on some things, he must really be a good person" we keep saying to ourselves). After a while you have to accept that some people have a few good points but suck as a rule.

Still, if he serves to bring about epiphanies he is good for something...

Posted by: Marti on July 9, 2004 09:56 PM
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