. . . Tuesday April 27, 2004

The Policy as Punchline

There was scene in a recent episode of Arrested Development in which one of the odder characters (and that’s saying something when it comes to this show) named Tobias Funke (who lost his medical license for providing CPR to a man who wasn’t dying) complains to his brother-in-law Michael about the state of his marriage – which longtime viewers will note has always been terrible:

Tobias: As you may or may not know, Lidsay and I have hit a bit of a rough patch.

Michael: Really? When did that happen?

Tobias: Well, I don’t want to blame it all on 9-11, but it certainly didn’t help.

I just watched the episode referenced above on my TiVo and it suddenly occured to me that the Bush team could very well be joking. Not joking in the sense that they don’t want voters to buy the act. But joking in the insiders, Let’s see if they’ll buy this one sense.

How else would you explain the recent attacks on John Kerry’s military record being launched by guys like Bush and Cheney? How else would you explain the upcoming joint appearance before the 9-11 panel? And how else could you possibly explain Karen Hughes’ remarks about the abortion issue during a Sunday chat with Wolf Blitzer? Take a look:

Blitzer: “There is a clear difference when it comes to abortion rights between the president and his Democratic challenger, John Kerry. In your opinion, Karen, how big of an issue will this abortion rights issue be in this campaign?”

Hughes: “Well, Wolf, it’s always an issue. And I frankly think it’s changing somewhat. I think after September 11th the American people are valuing life more and realizing that we need policies to value the dignity and worth of every life.

And President Bush has worked to say, let’s be reasonable, let’s work to value life, let’s try to reduce the number of abortions, let’s increase adoptions.

And I think those are the kind of policies that the American people can support, particularly at a time when we’re facing an enemy, and really the fundamental difference between us and the terror network we fight is that we value every life. It’s the founding conviction of our country, that we’re endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights, the right to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Unfortunately our enemies in the terror network, as we’re seeing repeatedly in the headlines these days, don’t value any life, not even the innocent and not even their own.”

Maybe the theory is that if you beleive that Iraq has something to do with 9-11, then why not abortion? Maybe members of terror networks also take steroids and under those turbans, they have French-looking hair like a certain someone. But I’m still stuck on this idea that this is part of some weird sitcom plot. I sometimes think I’d enjoy this administration’s antics a bit more if they just went ahead and brought back the laugh track.

Concentration is important!