Friday, June 17, 2005

I understand he didn't pay his phone bill that month, either

The Bush MO:

Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday that a prosecutor has agreed to investigate why Terri Schiavo collapsed 15 years ago, citing an alleged time gap between when her husband found her and when he called 911.

Bush said his request for the probe was not meant to suggest wrongdoing by Michael Schiavo.

"It's a significant question that during this ordeal was never brought up," Bush told reporters.

In other words: Don't be magnanimous in defeat. Lash out. Punish your adversaries. Outrage your opponents. Feed your base some red meat – not a lot, just enough to keep them wanting more. This kind of politics is not only objectionable, it is exhausting. I haven’t seen any poll numbers, but after the recent revelations you have to think the vast majority of the public just wants the Schiavo case to go away.

But since most people ignore politics, this schoolyard bully approach has worked pretty well for the Bushes. You have to wonder, though, whether they have dipped into this well too many times. Everything changes, and sooner or later piling outrage upon overreach will stop working - at least on the national level. Let's hope it does in time for 2008.