I can’t believe I was actually listening to Howard Stern this morning. But there was some decent political commentary tossed about on the show today. This was largely thanks to the guest, Patton Oswalt. Howard was asking Pat about an incident a couple years ago in which he had to be escorted off a stage when the crowd didn’t take well to some of his Anti-Bush material (they were actually chanting “Bush Rocks!”). Curious about the material involved, Stern pushed on about the story. It turns out that Oswalt was making comments that Bush wasn’t as stupid as everyone claimed, rather he was evil. This was during the height of Bush support, so the crowd did not take too kindly to his jokes.
Now I dislike Bush a great deal, and will even venture to call him evil on occasion, but I never made the rather brilliant (and Star Wars-related) observations that Patton did. Basically, he said, Bush has no problem talking when it’s about war and killing and all those wonderful topics he seems to enjoy. It’s when he has to act caring and concerned that he makes such flubs as, “We need to put food on these families” (I’m not sure if that’s a reall quote, but it’s the example that was given – and not too unbelievable I might add). In other words, it’s not stupidity, but the unnaturalness of his “compassion” that shows through. And here’s where it turns to brilliance (I’m paraphrasing here, of course):
Give Darth Vader a basket of puppies and he’ll look like an idiot. Just kind of stand there, and reporters could ask him, “How are the puppies?” and he’ll just studder and not know what to say. Then ask him about Aldebran and suddenly he’s eloquent, “We will obliterate your planet!”
If I get ahold of the transcript, I’ll fix it up for accuracy, but you get the gist. I had heard a lot of people talk about Bush’s supposed stupidity was a calculated part of his image – a way to make me people feel that he could not be responsible for the horrible actions many liberals tried to attach to him. But this idea seems even more likely, although I think his entire personality was definitely taken into account by the Republican Party when they looked for a face to put in front of their ideology (he’s certainly more friendly and acceptable than Cheney).
Also of interest was Howard’s comments on one of my own concerns: why isn’t Kerry going on more of an offensive right now? But as people have pointed out, Kerry is one of the smartest politicians out there – he knows how to handle the public. To be more specific, he knows that the public has a short attention span. The race has beenkept close to make it manageable, but chances are he’ll turn on the campaigning heavily during the last month. Remember how nobody was really even paying much attention during the primaries, and then suddenly he pulled away in a landslide? Yeah, he knows what he’s doing… I hope.