Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

They Can't Screw This One Up... Can They?

The news that Vice President Cheney accidentally shot his hunting companion should be a "shot in the arm" for the Democrats... if they can avoid their normal reaction of "shooting themselves in the foot". Here's why--

Most of the "Angry Left" has been suffering from a bipolar frenzy the last 6 years; they go back and forth between "Bush is evil" and "Bush is stupid". They've kind of ended up with a "Bush is stupid / Cheney and Rove are evil" compromise, but that hasn't worked out that well -- the average swing voter, who they really need if they want to win elections, can see for themselves that President Bush isn't stupid. IMHO, if they wanted to make inroads, they need to push a meme for which there has been some evidence: the current administration is incompetent.

The main advantage the Republicans have always seemed to have over Democrats is a public perception that they're better able to run things. I think it was Dave Berry who once wrote something like: "If you have a flat tire on the side of the road, the Republican will drive right by and ignore you; the Democrat will stop to fix your flat, but burn your car to the ground in the process". The one time Democrats have been able to change this perception was when Dan Quayle was Vice President.

This shooting incident gives them an opportunity to paint Cheney in a similar buffoonish light -- since the victim wasn't badly hurt, it's naturally humorous. Since the Democrats have been suffering lately from a perception that they're "angry", showing that they have a sense of humor should be a big help to them.

I'm going to take a "shot in the dark" and say that the Dems will find a way to screw this one up. They'll attempt to say Cheney did something illegal by not reporting it (here's the police report that shows that it was reported); they'll make a big deal out of it not being announced by the White House immediately (no law requires that); and eventually some Congressman will say that Cheney should be impeached because of it, which everyone but the Daily Kos and DU crowd will recognize as a complete overreaction.

The problem the Dems face is that their most politically active types are just angry all the time. If they had access to the Internet back in the early 90s they would have been saying that Quayle's attempt to spell potato as "potatoe" was proof that Daddy Bush is a Nazi; after all, the Germans occupied Denmark in WWII, and the Faroe Islands are part of Denmark, and they end in an "-oe", so Bush = Hitler.

To my Democratic friends, remember: Your spin on this should be Cheney = Incompetent, not Cheney = Cold-Blooded Killer.


Blogger Julie in Boise said...


Interesting analysis. Although I'd argue we Dems have plenty to be righteously pissed about, and although I think you can question the whole way this was given to the press, I was nonetheless prepared to treat this solely as a chance to laugh at Cheney ... until Whittington's heart attack happened, which inevitably cast the whole matter in a more serious light.

Frankly, although I advocate for impeachment at Red State Rebels, I now wonder whether we may simply see Cheney resign a few months from now. His health is obviously poor, and that would allow him (and Bush) some cover for the gross ineptitude that's transpired under his/their watch.

2/14/2006 8:10 PM

Blogger Sara E Anderson said...

The war in Iraq, social security, education reform, social programs... Democrats say that Republicans are screwing these things up and they get accused of not having any ideas. How about stopping screwing things up?

2/14/2006 11:32 PM


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