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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Sunday, July 25, 2004

Humor as a weapon
Hopefully, you have by now seen the hilarious "This Land is My Land" flash animation at JibJab.com (be warned that there's a bit of profanity).  The goal of this remarkably piece of work, which has been featured on Fox News and other media outlets, was to mock both Presidents evenly, which it carried out admirably.  You certainly can't tell the political affiliation of the makers from watching it.  But after seeing it, I can't help but think that Bush comes off much better in it.  Now, it may be that this is because I'm a Republican, and so am predisposed to thing Kerry's faults are worse than Bush's.  But I think there's more to it than that.  So, I've overanalyzed it quite a bit, and came up with a couple thoughts as to why.

Many of Bush's criticisms in the song are legitimate criticisms of Kerry that he uses in the campaign--the line, "you hand out flip-flops / I hand out tax breaks" could very well be a Bush line in a debate (in fact, I would heartily endorse its use).  On the other hand, Kerry couldn't get away with saying anything that his animated counterpart does, relying on attack dogs to pump the "Bush is stupid," "Bush is crazy" lines. 

Most important, though, is that Bush has made peace with his caricatures.  Self-deprecating humor is a Bush staple, and he is plenty comfortable being portrayed as stupid.  He's used to it, and he can obviously get elected despite it.  Kerry, on the other hand, has never appeared to be comfortable mocking himself as elitist, as exploiting his Veitnam service, as being a flip-flopper or anything else that he is mocked for in the song. 

For this reason, I want to heartily suggest that the Republicans show this movie at their convention.  Everyone would get a good laugh, and it would draw more attention to the movie--and I firmly belive that the more people who see this movie, the better it will be for Bush.  It will be yet another step in his strategy of turning Kerry into an unelectable object of fun, and it will be entertaining for all of us.


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