Sunday, October 03, 2004

Diagnosis by Debate

In the light of Bush's (hswib) poor performance, Brad DeLong has an interesting analysis of what future performances could mean.
"There appear to be four possible theories to explain Bush's deterioration--both long run (since 1994) and short run (since 2000):

1. George Lakoff's theory: it's deliberate--these daya George W. Bush wants to sound more like John Wayne.
2. Kate O'Beirne's theory: George W. Bush is out of practice, because nobody has dared contradict him to his face for four years.
3. The 'worried man' theory: George W. Bush knows he has messed up badly, and is scared, and it shows.
4. The 'organic brain damage' theory: something is going badly wrong inside George W. Bush's brain--perhaps the result of lots of substance abuse in his youth.

A quick bounce-back next debate would be evidence in favor of (1) or (2). A similar extremely poor performance would be evidence in favor of (3) or (4)."

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