One of the fun things about presidential election time is reading right wing blogs. One thing I have noticed is that many bloggers have adopted a certain expression popularized by Dick Cheney. Cheney uses this expression in mounting his defense of the disastrous Bush adventure in Iraq. In rationalizing our blind march to war, Mr. Cheney will often state "We now know that..." and then assert something that we really don't know at all. He uses this expression often and it does have a nice authoritative ring to it. Whenever I read those words at the beginning of a sentence in a blog, I know I am in for a real treat, fact wise.
The expression is really kind of a subconscious signal from the author that what is about to be asserted is not really true. If "we now know" something you don't need to tell us that we now know it. For example, I could just say that Mr. Cheney ran a torture operation from within the White House and I don't really need to qualify that as something that "we now know."
I'm also surprised at the long and bitter Republican memory. It has been almost 20 years since Dan Quayle exited the political scene as part of the one term administration of the elder Bush. But Republican bloggers are still livid over the fact that he became something of a laughing stock. Now, I have to say that once public opinion begins to go South on a politician it can get pretty ugly. Perhaps undeserving. But, on the other hand, that kind of thing happens to both parties and I think that Republicans really need to get over it. Seriously -- twenty years.
Republicans want to turn Joe Biden into Dan Quayle. I have seen the assertion that Joe Biden is "just like Dan Quayle" in quite a few blogs. The idea just hasn't taken hold. Because he is not. At the Democratic National Convention, Biden gave his acceptance speech right before Obama gave his and both speeches were far more compelling than any of the speeches at the Republican National Convention. And those two speeches weren't even the best speeches at the DNC. That prize clearly went to Bill Clinton who showed that he never got the credit for being as good a communicator as Ronald Reagan. He is. But no one who saw Joe Biden's speech would ever confuse him with Dan Quayle. And I am old enough to have experienced Dan Quayle as an adult.
As a side note, Dan's son ran and won a Congressional seat in Arizona in 2010 and almost achieved the kind of fame his father achieved. He claimed that Barack Obama was the worst President of the United States in history. And he knew that after only two years in office. That actually echoed the debate that occurred shortly after George W. Bush's presidency that, in fact, Bush could be the worst President ever. Time will tell about the younger Bush Administration's place in history. But Obama did end the war in Iraq and did kill bin Laden, two things that escaped G.W. And I think that right there puts him at least one up on Bush.
And, oh yes, we now know that Dan Quayle really was a buffoon.