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Friday, September 16, 2005

Re: Sick of Bush

Posted by on September 16 at 11:47 AM

The other thing that’s notable about Sullivan’s post is that he echoes a theme I heard repeatedly from television commentators last night, after the president’s address ended.

…sick of the glib arrogance and excuses for failure that dot the landscape from Biloxi to Basra.

The failure in New Orleans is starting to merge in people’s minds with the failure in Iraq. As Cindy Sheehan told me for my story this week on the Gold Star mom phenomenon, this is exactly what the Gold Star moms are hoping will happen as they prepare for a huge march on Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24. (There will be a companion action here in Seattle on the same day.)

“People are still dying every day in Iraq and we still have a war going on,” Sheehan told me. “We need to link them together, and they’re connected. It’s just another example of failure by this administration. Since the media’s not merging them together it’s going to be hard, but we’ll keep trying.”

Sullivan often talks about the hot memes of the moment — so often that I had to go figure out the meaning of the word “meme.” A meme is an idea that’s spreading rapidly in a culture, and if this is the meme that’s spreading ten days out from the march on D.C., that’s a very good sign for the Gold Star moms. (Remember them? They’re the ones who were camped out at Bush’s ranch in Crawford, getting all kinds of media attention before Hurricane Katrina bumped them off the TV screens.) The spreading of the “failure from Biloxi to Basra” meme indicates there will probably be a strong appetite among media people for flipping straight from unhappiness with New Orleans back to unhappiness with Iraq, and the march on D.C. next week will be their obvious news peg.