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THE TEXAS OBSERVER T-SHIRT NAME ADDRESS CITY STATE ZIP To order, complete this form and send it with your payment to: TEXAS OBSERVER T-SHIRTS 307 W. 7th, Austin, Texas 78701 Wear your allegiance on your chest! For only $8.50 you get a quality 100% cotton shirt with the Observer logo on the front. In gray with blue logo or blue with white logo. Sizes run large and shirts are pre-shrunk. SIZES S M L X-L GRAY ROYAL BLUE TEXAS IN TRANSLATION Jeff Danziger’s Amended Map of Texas, a special 10″ x 15″ Observer mini-poster is available for $5.00. To order, send your name, address and check to: The Texas Observer Poster Sales 307 West 7th Austin, Texas 78701 Democratic victories might have been possible in the closer states. Two, Bush’s negative campaign worked, driving people from the polls, not to them. Low voter turnout generally helps Republicans and this was the lowest turnout since 1924. Three, Dukakis’s early non-ideological campaign on competence, which included picking a conservative running mate, was not effective. When running for the Presidency more than competence is required. Ask Jimmy Carter. What is more interesting to me is not why Dukakis lost, but why such an unfortunately weak ticket as Bush-Quayle won. They won not by a nose, but by television. They simply ran the best commercials. SINCE 1952, when Ike first used television commercials, Republicans have won seven of ten times. Face it: Republicans have better ad men. After walking precincts in the suburbs and the city, confronting slamming doors and choruses of “Leave me alone,” with the ever-present idiot box in the background I understood in a very personal way how important that is. Consider 1976 when another very weak Republican, Gerald Ford, almost beat Jimmy Carter who was a Southern Democrat, I must remind all those who say that that particular breed of Democrat will be the hope of the party in four years. And let’s examine Ronald Reagan. Notwithstanding the conventional wisdom, I have always considered Reagan to be something less than a great communicator. Often he seems unable to understand the simplest, most straightforward questions. Left on his own he lapses into almost comically racist monologues the famous welfare queen bit and his Indians-are-rich line recorded live in Russia. I guess those were “windows of reality,” when Reagan was truly himself. And, of course, if kissand-tell writers are to be believed, to call Ronald Reagan a dullard insults dullards everywhere. Yet we are asked to believe that Reagan is universally loved. Since countless surveys have shown the American people rarely agree with him, that must mean that he has been sold to us, and sold damn well. Let’s imagine that in the future, the Democrats picked Bentsen or a Bentsenclone for President. It might very well be a close race, but I’ll put my money on the Republicans. Between two conservatives, the best commercials always win. As for what I believe the Democrats should do, I go from believing that progressives should abandon a party that has abandoned them, to believing hope being eternal, you know that the Democrats will some day admit they are liberals and fiercely go about attracting the huge pool of disenchanted non-voters who will carry them to victory. Yet I am as bad as the weatherman at figuring out what the Democrats will actually do. I have only one prognostication that I am sure will come true. In a year or less, some Republican columnist will write about how Vice-President Quayle has grown into his job and left behind all the early negative publicity no matter how mediocre he may actually be in performing his duties. Then the mass media factory will turn out the dozens of articles and news spots documenting how Quayle has matured. Who knows, he might even make it to the bigtime “Saturday Night Live.” And one more thing. Being a media-nut during elections has a major drawback. Some of the programs stink! Consider the McLaughlin Report: ex-priest and Nixonbacker playing PBS host to mealy-mouthed liberals and nut-crunching conservatives. I hate it, though I do like seeing Pat Buchanan in action. Sure, Buchanan is a certifiable nut, and the fact that he is considered a responsible spokesman for anything shows the depths to which Western Civilization has sunk. But he’s a true believer. The liberals on the show are an embarrassment. Asked for predictions before the election, they would predict who would be on Bush’s cabinet. Not one envisioned a Dukakis victory. Certainly they were being sober pragmatists. But, they still haven’t caught on. It’s not what you say, or even if you know what you’re saying. It’s how you say it, and how much fun you have saying it. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23