More than 20,000 marchers took to the streets of Vienna Wednesday. What was on the protest signs they carried?
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Wednesday's Question (No. 378)—"Coarse Correction":
Assessing George W. Bush's defeat in the New Hampshire primary, the New York Times reports that "The outcome also set off a furious round of finger-pointing among Mr. Bush's advisers" over three mistakes Bush made in the campaign. Name one. (Question courtesy of Greg Diamond.)
"Tongue-kissing Dan Savage."—Daniel Radosh (Francis Heaney had a similar answer, but with babies.)
"Premature announcement of Victory Dolphin Barbecue."—Amanda Bonner
"The TV spot showing him being bathed by his mother was probably unwise."—Michael Mannella
"Should respond only to questions posed by credentialed reporters, not by birds."—Susan Vance
"Didn't nail McCain with the campaign bus when he had the chance."—Jeff Samuels
Click for more answers.
Teams of divers continue to search for the black box that might explain the disastrous end to the Bush campaign in New Hampshire. One must review and reflect, I suppose, but it is remarkable how seldom even the most rigorous attempt to learn from the past enables one to avert disaster in the future. Disaster is so much more adaptable than I am, and the lesson learned from the past is usually this: Should have been a different, better, person. There's a famous experiment (at least it was famous among those of us who showed up for an 8 a.m. Intro to Psych class) where a rat learns that if it pushes a lever, it gets food. Then the procedure is switched, and pushing the lever no longer delivers the food. Instead, it's necessary to do some other thing. (Order out or something; I forget, it was a very early class.) But what the rat does, even if it no longer works, is keep pushing that lever, only much harder. I think the lesson is apparent. If Bush can teach a lot more rats to pull his lever in the voting booth, he stands a pretty good chance in South Carolina.
Second Guessing Answer
Aides wrangled over these likely errors:
- He neglected the state too long.
- He was too passive in his commercials.
- He shouldn't have campaigned with his father.
I suppose similar complaints are raised during every marital tiff. (If for "state" you substitute "spouse," for "commercials" you substitute "erotic life," and for father—I guess that one can stay pretty much as is. Or so I've heard. From the angry ghost of Joe Kennedy.)
While Bush was trounced by John McCain, who won New Hampshire by the widest margin in 20 years, since Ronald Reagan beat Bush Sr., the state is a poor predictor of the eventual nominee. In 1984, for example, New Hampshire elected a 4 by 8 sheet of knotty pine paneling, unless I misread the results. Which I did.
On to South Carolina and its degrading flag!
McCain Is Able Extra
Which of the following are actual McCain campaign events scheduled for today, Feb. 3, in South Carolina's first district, and which are mere mockery of an old reactionary riding for a fall?
- Beaufort Campaign Breakfast, Home of Beaufort Mayor Rauch, 8:00 a.m.
- Shooting at Women's Health Clinic With Legal Handguns and Fish Fry, Walterboro, 9:00 a.m.
- Let's All Return the Stuff We Swiped From Mayor Rauch's House Brunch, 10:30 a.m.
- Kiawah/Seabrook Campaign Reception, The Sunset Pavilion, 11:00 a.m.
- Reunion of Guys I Bailed Out With Your Money During the Savings and Loan Crisis, Francis Marion National Forest, 12:00 p.m.
- Suck Up to Veterans Sing-Along and Money Toss, Featuring the Cash Piñata, 2:00 p.m.
- Georgetown County Town Hall Meeting, Georgetown Fire Station, 6:00 p.m.
- Find the Hidden Polling Place in Heavily Black Neighborhoods Treasure Hunt, Folly Beach, now until November.
- Charleston County Town Hall Meeting, Charleston Maritime Center, 1:00 p.m.
- Confederate Flag Stitchin' Bee and Unconvincing Racism Denial, on the shores of Lake Moultree, all day.
- Myrtle Beach Medieval Times Breakfast and Town Hall Meeting, Medieval Times, 8:00 a.m.
- Execute a Condemned Man With an Authentic Medieval Weapon, 9:00 a.m.
1, 4, 7, 9, and 11.
Drug-addled past, dimwitted present, White House future.