Topic: Election Notes
Sidebar: Realism from the Right?
Last weekend in Just Above Sunset I mentioned that the New York Times columnist David Brooks was being pretty clear about how we got this War on Terror idea a bit backwards. See What to Make of the 9/11 Commission's Report for that. He suggests that we need to start emphasizing ideology instead of terror - because that is what we a fighting. Military actions have their limitations.
Brooks was also discussed here - June 20, 2004 - David Brooks: "Isn't it pretty to think so?" - reviewing his writing. He is the author of the best seller Bobos in Paradise and its new follow-up On Paradise Drive. Brooks has been the younger of the two token conservative columnists at the Times (the other is the senior William Safire) since September 2003 - after being the moderate, reasonable guy at the neoconservative pro-war Weekly Standard.
His column in this weekend's Times caught my eye. It seemed awfully reasonable - or at least ground in the here and now.
Selling the Sizzle
The New York Times, Saturday, August 07, 2004
He basically suggests the presidential campaign is all empty gesture on both sides -
Couldn't have said it better myself. But the rest is about an essay Michael Porter and Elizabeth Olmsted Teisberg wrote in the June Harvard Business Review on healthcare. Read it whole thing if that interests you.
Rick, The News Guy in Atlanta, takes issue -
Fair enough. Specifics can cripple you. We do vote for the general approach of one guy or the other.
But I reminded Rick of Brooks' parting shot. "People used to complain that selling a president was like selling a bar of soap. But when you buy soap, at least you get the soap. In this campaign you just get two guys telling you that they really value cleanliness."
Rick's response? "Now that sentiment is something I can almost endorse."
Ah yes, but as cleanliness is next to godliness, as they say, I'm afraid this campaign will be fought along those lines, with Bush, the man of God exercising His wishes, scolding the not-Catholic-enough Kerry. Each will need to claim both cleanliness and godliness. A soft-soap campaign? Something like that.