Presidential Respect

I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 last night at the Neptune, which was followed by a speech by Jay Inslee. Inslee asked us all to commit 911 minutes to actual campaign action. Viewers were definitely anti-Bush, but Kerry wasn’t terribly popular; considering that this was an event organized by Democracy for Washington, the post-campaign Dean-centric organization, that’s not surprising.

Watching the film, I felt surprised that so many in this country would vote for our current fratboy-in-chief. If this happens again… Inslee claims there’s a lot of anger brewing across the country, and I hope he’s right.

I’ve been reading news stories about attendance and reactions, and I don’t think there are going to be many surprises in that regard (with Dan Bartlett’s comment being the prevailing feeling among Bush supporters).

There were many people outside the theater last night trying to hand out all kinds of political information. Considering who will see the film, I wonder if that’s the best use of their time. I wasn’t surprised to see them there, actually, but I did wonder where the Republicans were—shouldn’t they be trying to talk moviegoers out of aborting this administration? I know, it’s probably not an effective use of their time either, but I would have enjoyed witnessing the effort.

However, this story in the New York Times has some comments from Republicans who saw the film; it is the quote at the end of the article that has me posting this right now:

“Oh my goodness, I cried,” Ms. Moody said. “I’m still trying to process everything. It really makes me question what I feel about the president. I’m still going to respect him as our president, but it makes me question his motives. Of course, I think that’s the whole point of the film, to question his motives. But after watching it, I do question my loyalty to the president. And that’s scary for me.”

Wow. It was kind of scary for me when I seriously questioned my belief in God, but I’d never characterize my failing faith in a president as scary. How many voters feel this way about their choice? And when she says that she’ll question his motives but still respect him, what does that mean? I don’t think she means the kind of respect one has for a hurricane; in that way, I myself respect the president.

Is she contemplating revising her assessment of him to that of a Good Man who has temporarily gotten confused by his circumstances? (I do think the evil quotient of the administration would drop considerably if the Cheney was excised, but only complete amputation of this executive will really save the government.) Ah, maybe she just believes that the office invests the holder with some justly demanded deference.

Author: Gary

Writer and editor living in Seattle.

One thought on “Presidential Respect”

  1. I understand where he was going, but 911 minutes is kind of a strange number of minutes to work on a campaign. I mean it isn’t even round. And frankly it isn’t that much. It’s only between 15 and 16 hours. That’s like a hour a month between now and the election, and all day doing GOTV on election day.

    Also in fairness to Kerry supporters, it should be noted that Inslee is one. He was never a Deaniac. And I think the people at DFW know that they need to branch out further than just the Dean folks if they want to take back the state.

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