Bill Whalen is a research fellow at The Hoover Institution. I assume he has solid academic credentials, which makes his mentioning of the Sen. Kerry hair scandal all the more annoying. I found this quote interesting:
So why all the fuss over a story that may be an annoyance, but is hardly cause for a politician to tear out his hair? Because, for a candidate of contradictions like John Kerry, it’s the sort of image disconnect that could haunt him in the snap-judgment world of presidential politics.
The snap-judgment world he mentions is actually the snap-judgment world of punditry that frames presidential politics. A research fellow, even one from a conservative think tank commenting on a liberal subject, should resist, in the name of academic credulity, making such judgments himself, even if only by inference. I would make the same claim if it were an academic from a liberal think tank commenting on a conservative subject.
This has become a situation because the mainstream media and pundits were simply too weak-minded to ignore Matt Drudge. So now we must have an investigation of all candidates and Congress, too! The burning question to be answered: Do politicians’ haircuts match their politics? Woe be to those Republicans who get egalitarian trims and those Democrats who get aristocratic cuts. This is what freedom of speech is all about. This is what our Founding Fathers had in mind. (via Talking Points Memo)