Sunday, October 17, 2004

So we're here for the week at the Cozy Little Getaway, and over the weekend we had visitors, one of whom (a man after my own heart) grabbed the computer this morning for a poll fix -- and when he saw the Newsweek numbers, he concluded that there simply had to be a flaw in the methodology, because it's just impossible that Kerry is leading among men and Bush is leading among women.

I'm not so sure. Bush on the stump these days seems like the last panel of a Charles Atlas ad in a comic book -- chesty, puffed-up, and determined to be noticed by the ladies. People think of Clinton as the guy who campaigned as a seducer of female voters, but Clinton tried to seduce every voter, male and female -- and he used two things Bush never uses, intelligence and need. He tried to make voters feel safe. Bush seems to be trying to make voters feel unsafe. He wants them to think about danger. He's a fifth-rate James Dean, but, by seven o'clock news standards, even fifth-rate James Dean might looks sexy to a certain percentage of women, especially in this era, which is a lot more pre-feminist and post-feminist (The Bachelor, Sex and the City) than feminist.

On the other hand, for men, or at least for some men, maybe Bush has pushed it too far. He seems like a type that's familiar to men: a guy who picks bar fights, a guy who wants you in on "the action" even after you've figured out that "the action" is likely to take your life savings, get you arrested, or put you in the hospital in critical condition. You don't want to get in the car with him because you know that not only will the state troopers pull him over for driving 95 with a blood alcohol level way over 0.8, but he might react to being pulled over by pissing on the cop's shoes.

That's what the war is now, and that's what the tax cuts are -- benders gone amok, manic schemes it's crazy to go along with. Bush is what guys look like when they have a screw loose, and maybe a few more guys in America are starting to get it.

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