<< Slouching | I Can't Wait Until My Son Is Old Enough To Enjoy This Joke I Just Made Up >>
Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

My opinion of John Kerry has gone way up recently, but I suspect that's because I have not seen, heard, or read anything by or about him in weeks. Honestly, he ought to just change his campaign slogan to "John Kerry: The Less You See Him, The More You Like Him!" I guess his big plan is keep a low profile while the Bush Administration's chickens come a'roostin' at the White House.

And it looks like this strategy is working, since Bush's "favorable" ratings are now slightly lower than those of Saruman the White. You might think this is because Bush got up in front of Congress and named Donald Rumsfeld "World's Greatest Grandpa" moments before Seymour "Encyclopedia Brown" Hersh's revelation that, well, okay, the Secretary of Defense might have authorized a little sexual humiliation. (But, honestly, who amongst us hasn't?). If you ask me, though, I think Bush's low standing is mostly due to the fact that Kerry is largely out of the picture. To get a accurate idea of how Bush will fare in this election, I think the pollsters need to interject some context into their questions.

Pollster: On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate Bush's performance as President?

Some Guy: Oh, I dunno. Three? Four?

Pollster: [Holds up photo of Kerry] How about now?

Some Guy: Seven.

At some point Kerry will re-emerge and again get hammered for flip-floppery. I think the Republican's portrayal of Kerry as a serial equivocator is largely overblown, there's no getting around the fact that the man has taken every conceivable position on Iraq, often in the same sentence. If the war were peanut butter, Kerry would have already come out in favor of creamy, crunchy, extra chunky, and the gross kind where you manually stir in the oil.

That's why I think the Kerry campaign should do more than just lay low -- they should actively encourage the American public to forget about their man until the last possible minute. They could run ads like this.

First woman: Hey, have you heard about John Kerry?

Second woman: Nuh-uh, who's he?

First woman: Beats me. Probably nobody.

And maybe they could muddy the waters a bit for good measure.
First woman: I was asking because I just saw a Bush ad that said John Kerry was "wrong of defense."

Second woman: That's weird. Maybe they mean Jim Carey?

First woman: You think Bush is badmouthing America's favorite funnyman?

Second woman: Must be.

If done correctly, the press would completely forget about Kerry until the DNC "leaks" his name as the nominated candidate on October 23rd, whereupon he is heralded as the "hot new thing" and wins in a landside. This could actually work, given that the media has the attention span of a caffinated Irish Setter. It seems like they are always forgetting terribly relevant stuff and then breathlessly reporting it a again months later.
February 23, page D6: Red Cross Reports Widespread Abuses In Iraqi Prison

March - April, all sections: Friends retrospectives


The only downside to this plan is the Democratic Convention, scheduled for the end of July -- that might make it hard hard to keep Kerry's candidacy under wraps. But I have a solution for this as well. I think the convention center should be decorated with a tiki motif and all the delegates should vote Survivor-style, writing their nominations onto big pieces of paper and stuffing them into a box while giving a short speeches into the camera. ("You stabbed me in the back one to many times, Bob Graham!") The outcome would remain secret until the big Reunion Show in late October, when all -- what was it, 30? -- Democratic Candidates get together in front of a live studio audience and feign surprise when the winner is announced. Kerry would then receive the grand prize of $75 million in general election federal funds, Clay Aikin as a running mate, a guaranteed spot on the following morning's Today Show, and, no doubt, the Presidency. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win an election in this country.

Posted on May 18, 2004 to Politics


after reading that whole post, the only really valid comment i have to make is this:

you know, that "gross" peanut butter where you have to stir the oil is really good for you.

there. i said it.

once you get used to it, you can't go back to the nasty, trans-fat ridden, overly-processed pasty stuff.

besides, peanut butter is far more interesting than politics.

Posted by: meghann on May 19, 2004 10:53 AM

That's really funny that the only comment so far is on the peanut butter... cuz I could've sworn I would be the only one to tell you that you're really missing out if you aren't eating all-natural peanut butter. It's better-tasting and better for you.

Oh, and you're generally right about the whole election thing too :)

Posted by: Joe McNally on May 19, 2004 10:53 AM

Fucking awesome Tolkien reference, dude!

I seem to support Kerry, but then again, all presidents seem so warm and fuzzy BEFORE they're elected. I guess it all comes down to this -- if i'm gonna be lorded over by an old white man, I'd rather it be a lantern-jawed aristocrat than a sludge-brained Texas frat boy. I mean, give me some dignity.

Hey, how come no Kill Bill II review? That baby thing is severely skewing your priorities, man.

Posted by: Edgeling on May 19, 2004 10:54 AM

this entry was brilliant, but i can't stop myself from commenting about the post above - that "king tut" line is such a Dad Joke!

Posted by: peter on May 19, 2004 10:54 AM

Actually, Edgeling, Bush seemed pretty evil even before the last election. What with the 153 executions and everything, he wasn't exactly being cuddly.

The sad part is that if anybody ran an election this way, not only would they win, but we'd probably also get a better quality of candidate.

Posted by: Laurie on May 19, 2004 10:55 AM

Regarding Kerry's prevarications:

It's unfortunate that he has a long record in government. He should have learned from the incumbent and laid low to avoid context-twisting quote snippets and voting histories from being used against him in political ads.

"I'm George Bush, and I approve thish messhhash"

"Kerry voted against the military..." (cut to congressional vote record from 1982) "...while at the same time claiming to support them..." (cut to campaign speech from High School student council elections)

At least Kerry hasn't claimed to invent the internet. And he has a good poker face, which should keep him from openly displaying his disdain for Bush during TV "debates" like Gore did.

Posted by: Lost Poke on May 19, 2004 10:55 AM

March - April, all sections: Friends retrospectives.

Comic Value: 1,000.

Posted by: rob cockerham on May 19, 2004 10:55 AM

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman"...."I invented the internet"...."I actually did vote for the 87 billion, before I voted against it".

Man I love reality television!

Posted by: Duane on May 19, 2004 10:56 AM

If you stir up the oily peanut butter really well and then keep it in the fridge it shouldn't separate again. It doesn't spread nicely on bread this way, but you don't have that oily mess.

Posted by: Tricia on May 19, 2004 10:56 AM

If you store the natural peanut butter upside down in the cupboard (after making sure the lid is screwed on REALLY well), it tends to mix better and remain spreadable. Plus, it tastes amazing.

Your post makes me wonder what sort of president we'd wind up with if the country went to an "American Idol" type voting system. Part of me wonders if it could really be any worse.

Posted by: Tazja on May 19, 2004 10:57 AM

I'm telling you, the oily peanut butter is the ONLY way to go. I heard that the Kraft crap is loaded with transfats anyway.

trust me, buy the oily kind, force your way through the jar, and before long you'll be addicted, and you WON'T BE ABLE TO TURN BACK!

Posted by: Pippi on May 19, 2004 10:57 AM

Well, Dear God, I came here to comment about the peanut butter, but everything that could have conceivably been said on the topic has already been said. What a bunch of weirdos you have reading this blog.

In closing, I'll point out that every word in this comment that uses "i" next to "e" does so in the far-less-common "ei" order.

Posted by: Adam on May 19, 2004 10:57 AM

Hey, isn't Jim Carrey Canadian? I guess he could still be America's favourite funnyman. He just couldn't vote for a presidential funnyman.

Posted by: lisa on May 19, 2004 10:58 AM

This is actually about politics and not peanut butter - though I'm with you on the whole nasty natural stuff. More power to you people, it's too gross for me.

I also have some trouble getting excited about Kerry. The guy just isn't that inspiring. However! I get so ticked when he gets picked on for his Iraq war flip-flopping. 80% of the nation thought going to Iraq was a good idea over a year ago and now we're down to 40% or so. LOTS of people have changed their minds, it happens. It also turns out we were lied to about WMD's. But more important than the fact that lots of people have changed their minds is the fact that we should applaud the flexibility neccesary to look at new information, process it and let it color your perception and opinion! Radical! I know!

This administration seems to think it's a virtue to never change course. No matter what evidence surfaces. They've never made any mistakes and they've never changed their minds. That's much scarier.

Posted by: Liz on May 19, 2004 10:58 AM

The "oily" peanut butter is REAL peanut butter. The ingredients are peanuts and salt. That's it.

You "heard" that the "kraft crap is loaded with transfats"??? Can't you just READ THE INGREDIENTS!? It's not a secret, it's right there on the label. What most people call "regular" peanut butter is, in effect, garbage. The peanut oil is removed and replaced with partially hydrogenated oil (usually soybean or cottonseed), because the peanut oil can be sold off seperately for a higher profit.

Posted by: Anonymous on May 19, 2004 11:51 AM

Mmmm. Peanut butter. Creamy is the way to go, crunchy just doesn't have the spreadability going for it.

If you haven't been there, check out:


Posted by: misty on May 19, 2004 12:01 PM

"This administration seems to think it's a virtue to never change course. No matter what evidence surfaces. They've never made any mistakes and they've never changed their minds. That's much scarier. "

It's worse than that. They don't want to hear bad news, and I'd guess no one wants to be the one to tell the boss bad news. If you do, you end up on the outside writing books.

Posted by: Lost Poke on May 19, 2004 12:06 PM

The linked New Yorker article has strange characters in strange places, such as an accented "Úlite" in the first paragraph and several umlauts over Os.

Are they trying to thward text pirates or something?

Posted by: rob cockerham on May 19, 2004 1:42 PM

peanut oil rocks.

the candidate to come out in complete and unwavering support of peanut oil has my vote, dammit!

that is all.

Posted by: jdbo on May 19, 2004 2:27 PM

I like my peanut butter the way I like my women. Mixed up and chunky! Wait maybe not...hmmmm

Posted by: Big Daddy on May 19, 2004 3:37 PM

Where can i buy the mixable, real peanut butter? i shop at jiff r us now. it tastes pretty good, i must say.

Posted by: McDuck on May 19, 2004 4:55 PM

"'I did not have sexual relations with that woman'....'I invented the internet'....'I actually did vote for the 87 billion, before I voted against it'.

Man I love reality television!"

"Mission Accomplished"...."We gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in"...."Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction. There is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us"...."Read my lips"

Me too!

Posted by: E on May 19, 2004 6:40 PM

Natural peanut butter is the best, hands down. If you don't want to stir it, many stores have peanut butter machines that grind the PB for you, so it doesn't have a chance to sit and separate. Pop it in the fridge ASAP, and it won't separate and you don't have to eat all that trans-fat and sugar and crap that comes in Jif and Peter Pan. Or, like somebody else said, store it in the cabinet upside down; that makes it easier to mix up. Did somebody say something about an election?

Posted by: dave on May 19, 2004 7:45 PM

You are brilliant.

Posted by: Chasmyn on May 19, 2004 10:51 PM

Yes, Jim Carrey is Canadian. Yes, natural peanut butter is better, but not cold because it is too hard to spread. I second the "Store it upside down" comment. And as for the politics...well....do you REALLY think that 'We, the people" actually HAVE a voice?? Not bloody likely!

Posted by: cath on May 20, 2004 9:58 AM

My mom is a retired kindergarten teacher who use to give here students un-natural peanut butter (Jif) as a snack. She got comments from parents, who only used natural peanut butter, that their kids told them that "Teacher gives us the best tasting peanut butter ever."

Posted by: Eric on May 20, 2004 1:11 PM

"And as for the politics...well....do you REALLY think that 'We, the people" actually HAVE a voice?? Not bloody likely!"

everything in big politics seems calculated as to sway voter opinion. it is not our voice but our willingness or unwillingness to accept what we are fed that is important.

call me an idealist, but hell, i vote.

Posted by: bb on May 20, 2004 6:14 PM

fellow blogger david hunt has been posting about his recent experiences with kerry and his mob up close and personal. check it out - davidhunt.us.

Posted by: cristina on May 22, 2004 9:22 PM

oh pooh, that a href didn't work. i should have used that preview button. meh.

Posted by: cristina on May 22, 2004 9:23 PM


Do you have an oracle on call or what?

Posted by: Matt O. on May 25, 2004 6:11 PM

I'm surprised not to have seen a reference to the marvelous Hazelnut Butter. Very good for those with a peanut intolerance and no added sugar to boot!

And you can vote in the states please do! And please don't vote for Bush! (a message from the people of Britain. Well, one of them...)

Posted by: Paul on May 27, 2004 3:29 AM