Thursday, September 30, 2004

Can I get another one?

Just about an hour to go. You should get OFF the internet and move toward your TV.

Wow--I cannot believe I just wrote that. I never thought I'd say that.

Anyway, on your way toward your TV, have a quick look at Steve Cobble's post on "Fair Expectations."

He says:

George W. is right – it's time to end "the soft bigotry of low expectations."

I'm talking about the presidential debates. It's long past time to quit treating George W. like some precious little elementary school kid from the boondocks. He's supposed to be the president. He needs to be held to the same debate standards to which other first-term presidents were held, the standards that helped derail his father and Jimmy Carter.

Standards like truth. Coherence. His actual record in office. An ability to go beyond scripted sound bites. Some connection between the dreamscapes that his PR people paint for him, and the cruel reality on the ground that his policies have helped to create.

Why has this happened?

Because in the past, Bush's reputation for mangling phrases, for making up words, for not knowing what he was talking about, was an asset when the media judged the debates. He "won", not because he did better than his opponents, but because he did "better than expected," according to the pundit class.

And though he has gotten away with that for a lot of his political career, we don't need to let it continue:

Bush is the president now (whether he really won or not). When he says something, it should be judged by real, factual benchmarks, not artificially enhanced by "the soft bigotry of low expectations."

Go forward civicly and JUDGE. And then write about what you see and hear.

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