How To Sell a Crappy Product, Part I

Christopher Hayes

Today TGU begins an occasional series of posts that will take a look at what arguments the GOP and BC04 are presenting in favor of electing Bush. I was inspired to write this post after listening to a report on NPR about a meeting of small business owners who are supporting Bush. One of the small businessmen who was interviewed said the following (I'm paraphrasing): "Look, Iraq isn't a good situation, I'm upset about our troops getting killed over there, and it's looking more and more like a quagmire. But, with things to dangerous and chaotic, now is not the time to change captains of the ship." This isn't the first time I've heard this argument. In fact, I heard a more nuanced and thoughtful version of it from my friend's brother-in-law as we sat in Wrigley Field taking in a Cubs game a few months ago. He told me that while he differs with Bush on a number of issues (he's a social moderate, fiscal conservative kind of guy), he just didn't think it was a good idea to make a change in the White House at a time of such acute global peril. One Wonkette reader wittily summed this argument up as "Don't Switch Horsemen Mid-Apocalypse." As logically bankrupt as the argument may be, it is an appealing one, subtly playing on people's fear of change. It's also one of the most-often deployed arguments by Bush supporters. In fact, it's so central that the campaign has used a variant of it as its official slogan: "Steady leadership in times of change" A very wise, funny man once told me that the definition of chutzpah is the son who murders his parents and then begs the court for mercy on account of being an orphan. It's safe to say that Bush/Cheney '04 is redefining chutzpah.

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Christopher Hayes is the host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes. He is an editor at large at the Nation and a former senior editor of In These Times.
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