Palme Doh!

The greatest crime in Michael Moore’s award of the Palme d’Or is that it tarnishes the reputation of a festival European glitterati giving that narcissistic moins que rien a standing ovation will only be surpassed when Woody Allen finally decamps for a house in Roman Polanski’s villa.

Of more immediate concern is the damage it does to the anti-Bush (not necessarily Democratic or lefty) movement.  In trying to determine how I can best influence (increasingly hypothetical) swing voters from not voting for Bush in November, I’ve come to the dismaying conclusion that the issue is beyond rational debate.1  If you’re going to vote for Bush, either you have identified yourself (correctly or not) with the subset of the population that will tangibly benefit from another four years of Bush, or you are operating from within a different epistemology than I am.  Either way, I can’t help you; this is simply not something about which reasonable people can disagree.

The only way that Bush opponents can be effective in creating the conditions for Bush supporters to drop their support is not to shame the movement; don’t give his supporters any reason to be embarrassed to criticize Bush, don’t confirm their prejudices, and don’t indulge in schoolyard taunting.  As shameful as they are, the scandals (Plame, Abu Ghraib, Chalabi) won’t sink Bush; his supporters rationalized them away long ago.  The only to way help our fellow Americans out of the Bush camp is to be more grown-up than Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter.  I’m looking at you, Franken.

[1]  Note that, in a pluralistic democracy, this sentiment is the secular equivalent of the Christian sin of despair; it is an abrogation of the civil contract that binds society.  Historically, this degree of apostasy has inevitably led to crime, insurrection, and civil war.  Check back in six months.

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