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The Periodic Polemic

Polemic for 5 September 2000

on the Presidential Election So Far...

George Bush, Jr. just made headlines by calling a reporter a bad name. Everyone's all hot and bothered because the guy muttered something about another guy that wasn't very pretty.

If you're all upset about it, grow up. I have heard much worse from all kinds of people who shouldn't be talking like that. Managers, senior vice presidents, top executives, teachers, students, you name it, they've all said nasty stuff. While it doesn't give other people the right to cuss up a blue streak, it does mean most everyone condemning the guy for using a PG-13 term to describe a guy that lambasted him in the press is a hypocrite of the first order.

The Shrub made a mistake, plain and simple. He shouldn't have said what he said, but he did and we can all get over it. If I had a nickel for every time I overheard someone call me a bad name when they thought I couldn't hear it, I'd have enough to buy another Deep Purple CD, at the very least. I don't even think what he did was severe enough to say he "got caught" doing. Like we didn't know he's been saying stuff like that all along... finding out people broke into the Watergate Apartments to steal things from the Democratic National Committee is on the "got caught" order of things. This is more on the order of "duh!"

I'm not proud of the fact Bush got recorded saying something like that. He didn't have to use language like that. Nobody has to use language like that, though. I would hope the same people outraged by Bush's gaffe decide to quit patronizing artistic events and works that contain that word or worse in them. And if you're not all that sensitive, then don't throw stones.

Bush didn't know the mike was live. I'm amazed he didn't say a bunch of stuff that was ten times worse. As it was, it was pretty tame and lame. He should be kidded about it. He should be prodded about it. We should make it a matter of public ridicule, just to see if he can laugh at himself. We already know Gore can look in the mirror and chuckle. I think Bush can roll with it, too. If we have presidents that don't have to take themselves too seriously, we have guys that could potentially admit mistakes while in office, instead of having to argue about what is the proper parsing of "is."

After Clinton's run through the mud, both parties have nominees that are relatively squeaky clean. Both did drugs back in the day, but fessed up and quit. It looks like they're both pretty stable and dedicated husbands. If they are having affairs, they are covered up exceptionally well. I'd say that's a pretty good deal. It's nice to not have to make a voting decision based on (or in spite of) the personal affairs of one of the candidates.

All things considered, I'll probably vote for Bush out of interests of personal gain. I think the stock market will do better with him in office. I could be wrong, but I could also be right. Call it a wild guess influenced by a strong hunch. I really don't care what my president thinks of reporters as long as my investments appreciate.

Dean Webb

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