Friday, April 22, 2011

Fred Thompson wants us
To stop repeating the story
About him in the Gucci loafers
At the Iowa State Fair

Copy that, big guy.   But here's what he seems not to have learned.  Stories like that don't have to be true.  They live if they capture our sense of the candidate, our uneasiness with his character.  So Bill Clinton's airport haircut and of course the inevitable matter of the guy who invented the Internet.

Or, I suppose, the allegation that the incumbent was born on Alpha Centauri Kenya. Sure, this last is freely transmitted by and to people who have no idea where Kenya is, saying nothing of the Centaurus constellation. But it feels right: the Obama canard works because people simply don't get him. And don't get hung up on crude racism: our world is falling apart, our kids are strung out on meth, and we are ruled by a guy who looks (and, let's face it, sometimes acts) like he from another planet. Don't bother us with evidence, we know what feels true.

Carpers will say that it's all just a cauldron stirred by malevolent schemers at Fox News, etc. True, but beside the point. Fox (etc.) does it because it works. As Mr. Dooley said, politics ain't beanbag, and I must say I do look forward to the one about Thompson with the cape and the Hummer and the nubile campaign volunteer.   And I promise never to repeat the story about how he trooped around Iowa in Gucci  loafers.  Anyway, not often.

1 comment:

Toni said...

Fred Thompson
Gucci loafers
Iowa State Fair

Check. I'm on it.