Tuesday, November 02, 2004


It's possible that your right-wing or centrist friends will quote you David Brooks's assessment of John Kerry's character in today's New York Times:

... his core trait is that he is monumentally selfish. Since joining the Senate, he has never attached himself to an idea or movement larger than his own career advancement.

... If the Democrats had nominated Dick Gephardt, this election wouldn't be close, but character is destiny, and Kerry's could be debilitating in the White House.

If they do, remind them what Brooks said about George W. Bush's character in Salon, August 2, 2000:

George W. Bush is not a ruthless hard-ass. He's not even an arrogant frat boy, capable of cruelty. He is, deep down, a very nice guy who likes people.

...As a nice guy he will attract and retain the loyalty of outstanding administration officials, and together they will promote policies that are smarter and bolder than we ever would expect, just from looking at Bush himself. As a nice man, he will prove remarkably adept at working with Congress, with Democrats, with the media and with all the other different people you need to handle as president. He will set a tone of bonhomie that will grease the machinery of government; things will actually get done in Washington again.

Not just wrong, but spectacularly wrong.

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