Big Talk [re: Bush's "bring it on" quip]
Patrick Nielson Hayden, in the comments section:
I like Dean, too, not because his positions match mine perfectly (they don't -- I'm further to the left on some issues and more of a cranky libertarian on others), but because he articulates a civic Americanism in which someone like me actually exists. I don't doubt that a President Dean would regularly annoy me. I doubt very much that his decisions would have me wondering whether I wanted to remain an American citizen.
This is where I take my shoe off and pound it on the table, Kruschev-fashion, whilst yelling "Yes" loud enough to frighten the neighbors. (And they're pretty relaxed, for the most part.) The Bush Administration and its attendant Big Christian Money has Unemployed Agnostic Me frickin' scared. Scared they're turning my country into something so different, so contrary to its founding ideals, that I won't be able to subscribe to those ideals and still call myself a patriotic American. And I'll tell you, push comes to shove, it's not the ideals I'll give up.
Not that the Bush Administration is the only thing wrong with this country[*], but I'd sure like to be employed all twelve months of a year, y'know?
[*] There's the lawsuit-feeding frenzy, which itself is an artifact of the refusal to take personal responsibility for anything, which is probably related to a zillion things, and New Math to boot. And there's the desperate need for campaign finance reform, so someone with an idea can run for major office, without making compromising promises. There's the increasing consolidation of media channels and the US's data feeds, with which the aforementioned B.A. isn't exactly helping. Well, it's helping -- in the wrong way. There's the isolationism of the US from the international community's entertainment and culture, thanks to everything from DVD regioning to slashed arts education budgets in schools.
I could go on. And I'm sure I will.