November 02, 2004


Tom Wolfe on George W. Bush:

"I think support for Bush is about not wanting to be led by East-coast pretensions. It is about not wanting to be led by people who are forever trying to force their twisted sense of morality onto us, which is a non-morality. That is constantly done, and there is real resentment."

And on John Kerry:

"He is a man no one should worry about, because he has no beliefs at all. He is not going to introduce some manic radical plan, because he is poll-driven, and it is therefore impossible to know where or for what he stands."

Posted by Tim Blair at November 2, 2004 11:56 AM

The NYTimes Magazine has a much longer interview with Tom Wolfe from this last weekend if you want to know more.

Posted by: lindenen at November 2, 2004 at 12:02 PM

Wolfe got reamed some weeks ago for backing Bush. The literati and glitterati have written him off, so there goes his career. I'm just glad it was long enough for him to have a few bucks put aside.

Posted by: Gary at November 2, 2004 at 12:05 PM

I'm going to make a bold prediction here: Bush will take California and/or New York State. These states have voted Republican in state and city elections (Arnie, Rudy, Pataki and Bloomberg), and in the privacy of the voting booth, it's okay for people to actually like the idea that Bush went out, kicked arses, hunted down, killed and took down the bad guys. That doesn't go down well at dinner parties, but who the hell knows in the voting booth? And if Bush takes California and/or New Yord State, who gives a rat's arse about Florida and Ohio?

Posted by: steve at November 2, 2004 at 12:23 PM

If Wolfe is right about Kerry being poll driven, in the unfortunate event that Kerry wins, as long as he governs by poll we still have a chance to keep the WOT going as an active concern. This is the only reason I've heard lately that would make me actually want to talk to a pollster.

Posted by: Retread at November 2, 2004 at 12:28 PM

Bloomberg is not a pubbie, he only switched cos there were 6 dems on the ballot for the primary.

Kerry does stand for something, US under UN control. He is a lefty fellow traveler, hasn't changed.

Posted by: Sandy P at November 2, 2004 at 12:55 PM

Substitute Howard for Bush and inner-Sydney, inner-Melbourne for East-coast and he's describing Australian voters last month. Dubya in a landslide.

Posted by: slatts at November 2, 2004 at 01:18 PM

Unfortunately if Kerry were to win he likely will be able to appoint 3-4 judges to the US Supreme Court......and they will not be conservative at all.

Posted by: Jamson at November 2, 2004 at 02:02 PM

If Wolfe is right about Kerry being poll driven, in the unfortunate event that Kerry wins, as long as he governs by poll we still have a chance to keep the WOT going as an active concern.

'fraid not, Retread- the poll on that particular matter would be of european and middle eastern heads of state, not us.

We had a poll-driven President quite recently. Anyone care to recall how his administration's foreign policy of humanitarian interventions and tomahawk raids turned out?

Personally, I am incredulous that anyone considers that a plus.

Posted by: rosignol at November 2, 2004 at 03:07 PM

Wolfe's point about Kerry being poll driven -- basically following the Bill Clinton governing model -- is no doubt true. The problem is doing that results in a reactive instead of a proactive governing policy. That may have been fine before Sept. 11 and may still be OK for domestic policy, but a president who is never willing to lay his approval rating on the line to do something that's against what the polls show will be the kind of president who -- as Kerry said at the Democratic convention -- would react forcefully to any attack against the United States, but who wouldn't engage in any preventive measures beforehand if polling shows it would drive down his job approval numbers. Cold comfort for whoever's in the wrong place at the wrong time when the incident that renews high polling numbers for pre-emptive action against terrorists finally occurs.

Posted by: Johnq at November 2, 2004 at 04:40 PM


I'm going to make a bold prediction here: Bush will take California and/or New York State.

You Steve, are, with all due respect sir, in fantasy-land.

Both of those states, are far too much on the take to vote for a conservative.

I for one will cast my vote tommorow, here in Minnesota, for President Bush.

It probably wont count for much though, this state is on the take as well.

Posted by: Thomas at November 2, 2004 at 04:50 PM


hey, I said it was a bold prediction, so if it happens, you'll know you read it here first.

The Gipper and Bush 41 took CA and NY.

We just had an election in Australia where the Liberal (i.e. conservative) Party took what had previously been rock-solid Labor Party seats, simply because the Labor Party took them for granted. Classic rope-a-dope stuff.

How hard have the Dems been campaigning in California - and I don't mean pooncing Hollywood types, I mean real campaigning, like Arnie did to win the gubernatorial election.

I just wouldn't write off CA and/or NY because deep down, I really believe people like the idea that Bush is sonofabitch enough not just to point the gun, but to pull the trigger.

If Bush gets over the line, have a cold one for me - but make it an Australian beer (Victoria Bitter or Boags if you can find it - forget about Fosters).



Posted by: steve at November 2, 2004 at 05:28 PM

I gotta agree with Thomas, if NY or California go for Bush, they wouldn't really be relevant, as it would have to mean Bush would have swept nearly the rest of the country.

Posted by: Quentin George at November 2, 2004 at 06:58 PM

the guardian's ed vulliamy, wearing his prejudices on his sleeve, is only too happy to pointedly refer to

'the grime and sediment which inhabits American society ... '

where in other circumstances he and his lefty friends - along with his liberal newspaper's editorial line - would excoriate those who would suggest solutions to exactly those problems

that's why leftists are being rejected by nations with some understanding of what is important in today's world

Posted by: ilibcc at November 2, 2004 at 09:00 PM

Kerry may well be poll-driven during these few months of his life as the election comes up: he'd be a fool not to be to some extent.

But consider the REST of his life, please.

He has sponsered an astonishingly small amount of legislation that has actually become law. Now, this could be because he fervantly believes in small government, and anyone who thinks that is the case, raise your hand right now.

I thought not.

A more plausible explanation is that the senator with a voting record to the left of Ted Kennedy is so inherently incapable of compromise, that he can't write legislation that has a chance of passing.

Anyone is capable of pretending to be something they're not for a few months... and since the media is not interested in his senate record, he can say (and already has) just about anything he likes about that record.

Look at the bills he did pass. There are no radical proposals here... just a lot of nonconsequential fluff. Do you seriously think that matches his voting record, which arguably reflects his beliefs?

Posted by: Ryan Waxx at November 3, 2004 at 01:04 AM