Friday, August 20, 2004

Chimpler's Revenge

Let me add my small voice the the many that have praised "Babies and Bath Water," the NYT guest column by Dahlia Lithwick, who is a senior editor and legal correspondent for Slate. She makes, better than I have, the important point that the strategy of belittling Bush is likely to have a serious blowback for the Democrats.

What's wrong with continuing efforts to characterize Mr. Bush as a not-particularly-smart third grader? For one thing, it plays to every stereotype of liberals as snotty know-it-alls who think everyone in a red state is anti-intellectual or simple-minded. It answers name-calling from the right with name-calling from the left.

These assertions also insult anyone who voted for Mr. Bush in 2000. Rather than offering an argument for Mr. Kerry, they merely disparage swing voters, who may be tempted to defect to the Democrats over the war or the economy, by sneering that they voted for a kid -- and a dumb kid at that.