Columns » Max Brantley

eBay and other delights

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eBay and other delights How did I exist before the Internet? I couldn't readily buy French cheese and super-sized socks or find a hotel bargain in Bologna. I couldn't download an MP3 of the McNeese State University fight song or find an income tax form on Sunday. Without eBay, my home wouldn't be one of the world's leading repositories of bulldog figurines. Without e-mail, I wouldn't have been reunited with first-grade classmates or ever received a written communication from my distant children. My current Internet obsession isn't a search for majolica or a cut-rate 54XL Hickey Freeman suit. It's politics. Here, the Internet is a sanity saver. As I've said before, the rise of Democrat-friendly outlets makes it less likely the mainstream media will be allowed to swallow whole and regurgitate the Republican campaign narrative, as they did during Al Gore's defeat of George W. Bush in 2000. True, the 2004 narrative is already well established. Democratic Sen. John Kerry is a waffler. He must overcome that tag to win. But he has allies outside his own campaign, not the least of which is his irresolute opponent. I thank my computer for daily political nourishment, such as the following from Eric Alterman's "Altercation," which picked it up from the Daily Kos blog, which got it from a reader. Want a waffler? * Bush is against campaign finance reform; then he's for it. * Bush is against a Homeland Security Department; then he's for it. * Bush is against a 9/11 commission; then he's for it. * Bush is against an Iraq WMD investigation; then he's for it. * Bush is against nation building; then he's for it. * Bush is against deficits; then he's for them. * Bush is for free trade; then he's for tariffs on steel; then he's against them again. * Bush is against the U.S. taking a role in the Israeli Palestinian conflict; then he pushes for a "road map" and a Palestinian state. * Bush is for states right to decide on gay marriage, then he is for changing the Constitution. * Bush first says he'll provide money for first responders (fire, police, emergency), then he doesn't. * Bush first says that "help is on the way" to the military; then he cuts benefits. * Bush: "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden." Bush later: "I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care." * Bush talks about helping education and increases mandates while cutting funding. * Bush first says the U.S. won't negotiate with North Korea. Now he will. * Bush goes to Bob Jones University. Then say's he shouldn't have. * Bush said he would demand a UN Security Council vote on whether to sanction military action against Iraq. Later Bush announced he would not call for a vote. * Bush said sailors put up the "mission accomplished" banner. Bush later admits it was his advance team. ยท Bush was for fingerprinting and photographing Mexicans who enter the U.S. After meeting with President Fox, he's against it. Pass it on the next time you hear a Republican utter the words flip and flop.

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