Sunday, June 10, 2007

It Can Always Be Worse

OK, how to say this without sounding like a complete elitist?

Plenty of historians agree with Pres. Jimmy Carter that the current Bush administration is the worst since the nation was founded. Yet some Bush critics live under a misconception that this is the worst of all possible worlds. Bush's vacillating positions on immigration, both before 9/11 and as recently as the crafting of the immigration bill, should show us that the president understands the nuances of the global movement of peoples better than most members of his party. Sometimes, critics point to Republican extremists like Arizona's John Kyl or Colorado's Tom Tancredo to show us that we could live in a far worse world than the Bush empire.

Yet even Kyl and Tancredo pale beside the grassroots Republican activists cited in the June 10 New York Times article on who really killed the immigration bill. These people are much scarier than the worst that Thomas Frank could imagine in Kansas. Certainly, it seems silly to advocate a law on a minimal level of displayed intelligence before one could vote. Let's take evolution. Sam Brownback's position is nuanced, not dumb. Yet if you believe cavemen frolicked with dinosaurs, you're too dumb to vote. If you, like Alan Jackson, can't tell the difference between Iraq and Iran, you're too dumb to vote. If you think all Mexicans should be shot at the border, you're too dumb to vote. There are lots of dummies out there, and things could be far far worse than they are in the nation's leadership.

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