Tidbits for Political Junkies with Short Attention Spans & Hearty Appetites


Tuesday, June 08, 2004



George W. will get a slight bump in the polls by the end of Reagan Mythology Week -- and most of the pundits will be completely wrong when they try to explain why.

It won't have anything do to with favorable or unfavorable comparisons, or anyone borrowing anyone else's highly inflated aura. W. will gain plainly and simply because the Reagan funeral story will have eclipsed what would otherwise have been just another week -- for the administration at least -- of embarrassing news.

Consider the latest "torture memo" -- which newspapers everywhere have excerpted but John Ashcroft still refuses to disclose, or the highly questionable "Safe Harbor for Churches" bill (see post just below), or the latest news of dead soldiers, or whatever else may come to pass in the next few days.

There's even John Aschroft's odd claim before the Senate Judiciary Committee(reported here), full of telltale lawyerly specificity, that President Bush had "made no order that would require or direct the violation" of either the international treaties or domestic laws prohibiting torture.

Under the circumstances, Ashcroft's statement appears to have been tailored -- just as the memo under discussion was -- for maximum wiggle room.

But none of it will register on the evening news, because state funerals make better pictures.


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