Friday, June 02, 2006

The Machinations Of Politics Works Both Ways

You folks outside of New York probably missed this, so let me post much of the article here:
Hevesi apologizes for 'bullet' comment


June 2, 2006

State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, who has been expected to cruise to re-election, told an audience of thousands at Queens College yesterday that U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer would "put a bullet between the president's eyes if he could get away with it."

Hevesi apologized at a news conference several hours later, saying he had chosen words that were "stupid and moronic" in an attempt to convey his admiration for fellow Democrat Schumer's unflinching criticism of President George W. Bush, a Republican. Hevesi said he called Schumer to express his regrets.

The gaffe occurred early in Hevesi's comments, which were typically unscripted, at a graduation ceremony. He followed Schumer, who recalled how his life was changed after a long-ago breakup with a girlfriend.

Hevesi said, "I shall carry with me the image of Senator Chuck Schumer getting dumped at the airport. ... We really feel bad for poor Chuck -- United States senator. The man who, uh, now how do I phrase this diplomatically, will put a bullet between the President's eyes if, ah, he could get away with it. The toughest senator, the best representative. A great, great member of the Congress of the United States."
OK, a couple of observations here.

Hevesi apologized quickly for his remarks (possibly upon the realization that the Secret Service would have to investigate them). Marks for that.

Hevesi has a reputation of speaking off-the-cuff. Marks for that. Too many politicians are over-scripted. Just look at Al Gore or John Kerry. One reason I believe Ronald Reagan was so charismatic was he was too stupid to memorize a script so he made up his lines in movies and was able to make up lies on the campaign trail, ad hoc. A good actor can do that.

A great actor, like, say, me, can make the script sound off the cuff, but that's a discussion for a different day.

But it's clear from this transcription that Hevesi's remarks were not as off-the-cuff as one might think, and it occured to me that, if a party wanted to send a message to terrorize its opposition nationally, what better way to do it than to have a low-profile politician (hell, Alan Hevesi is state Comptroller, which is tantamount to dog catcher) at an obscure event (Queens College graduations rarely get any national attention at all) where only the local press is likely to be there spout something inane, clunky, and wholly inappropriate, and then immediately apologize for it. The story would get limited national dissemination immediately, but it would spread like wildfire thru both Blogtopia (© Skippy) and the Blog Reich. I anticipate there will be several outraged articles in the right wing goo factory, fulminating about assassinations and how terrible liberals are, how much hatred they have for Bush, yadayadayada (I suppose calling Bill Clinton a scumbag was a show of love.)

The clue for me was his preceding statement, "how do I put this diplomatically?" and then proceed to raise the assassination imagery. We know he meant "hold Bush's feet to the fire" (which would have been a far better image, I might add), but he went out of his way to use that statement.

I don't like it when FReeper types use violent imagery to get across their point. I don't like it when a man I've voted for and respect, Alan Hevesi, uses it. But to think that there's a chance (and having seen both the comment and the apology, I tend to think it was) that this was calculated is even more disturbing.

I want, badly, to win back the Senate and the House and yes, to hold Bush's and the Republicans' feet to the fire. I just don't need to use guns.

, ,