Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Botoxic

Whether Kerry got Botox or not, is really the most trivial thing imaginable. It is the direct equivalent of Clinton's hummer; an embarrassing personal matter of aging male vanity that throws no light upon issues of character related to the job of President. I personally could not give a flying fart whether Kerry got Botox, who told him to do it, or whether he is lying about it. It's his own damn business, and, heck, he does look better. That can only be a good thing for Dems if Kerry ends up with a highly undeserved nomination - might even improve our metrics with femail voters and youth. Anything which improves anyones odds against Bush is good. It may be a symptom of a disturbing superficiality in our politics, or just the unfortunate collision of monkey dominance psychology and the primacy of media image in politics. We want our leaders to be mature, but not old. Distinguished, but not craggy. It may be a sign of creeping metrosexuality, or the sexualization of the Presidency, but I don't think it says a damn thing about Kerry's character. If he did have it done, he should have come out with it, but if he wants to keep such trivial personal matters secret, then by all means, let him.

If you want to find flaws in Kerry's character, you need look no further than his voting record and financial disclosures. The man is a legislative light-weight and a wholly owned subsidiary of the telecom industry. Cash and Kerry. Have at that. But leave the Botox alone; not only does it trvialize the more important issue of special interest money in our political life, and the other serious issues about Kerry's career and character which are likely to emerge, but it contributes to the unfortunate trend toward making the personal political. This sort of nonsense only plays into the hands of GOP, who are all too glad to substitute such hypocritical little morality plays for substantive policy debate. One can hardly take the ethical highground, which is the only place from which to win such mud fights, if one was slithering around, gleefully eating mud pies yourself.

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