Last week's Smart/Stupid poll: The first round of Bush/Cheney TV ads played up 9/11, to the horror of many who were close to the disaster, though others came out in support of this tack. Was Bush Smart or Stupid to go this route? A veritable blizzard of returns puts Stupid well on top, 59 percent to 41 percent, and it must be noted that among the many comments, a substantial number of the Smart votes seem to be Stupid votes that simply recognize the nasty necessities of political propaganda in the ludicrous TV marketing war that passes for the American electoral system.
A representative selection of remarks:
"Smart, considering how many Wal-Mart-shopping, Nascar-watching, Bible-thumping lemmings there are in this country. But just because the Bush/Cheney ads will probably work doesn't mean that they're the slightest bit ethical. Just like pretty much everything else this administration is connected to."
"Smart. The man needs to do everything he can to save his job. Just like the rest of us right about now."
"Stupid. Bush smart or Bush stupid? Wrong question. Try asking instead how it is that the average American is now so unfathomably daft that it is possible to even consider a serious debate about such hilarious propaganda."
"Smart. And I'm moving to Antarctica."
"Smart. Beating the shit out of everything that is not American or Christian is what conservative America is all about. You're either with us or against us. Polarize the public to single out all of them liberal wimps. There is too much money to be made to leave the reins up to them. This election is going to be as subtle as a Bertuzzi punch."
"Stupid. Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. (Samuel Johnson)."
"Smart. It's a collective as well as an individual experience, and an event that defined American sentiment and the political arena with respect to foreign threats. Whether or not one agrees with the decisions that were made by the President following 9/11, we must be reminded of the strength that any President must show in times of national crisis. This strength must reflect the strength of the country, and I think this is what the Bush/Cheney campaign tried to communicate."
"Smart. It's evil and explotive, but it's basically all he's got. What else could he show, unemployment lines?"
"Smart. 9/11 was the defining incident for this president, and the way he handled it ought to be an issue."
"Smart. It's his legacy. They are tasteful ads. The man led this country through a very difficult time, where others might have crumbled. I think we should all be proud to be American, and that is what the ads show."