More reality disconnect… by the numbers

What do the numbers over 50, 1,052 and 52 have to do with each other? For those who hate clicking through, we’re talking, of course, about the spot price of crude oil, the number of American troops killed in Iraq, and of course, the President’s current approval rating.
There are a variety of factors accounting for the high oil prices, including perceived instability in Nigeria (a big source of oil for… us), refining and distribution problems caused by recent hurricanes, and… you know… that whole Middle East thing. Prince Bandar has directed the Hermes Kingdom’s public relations office to tell us that Saudi Arabia will increase production from over 9 to over 11 million bbl./day, to profit from the high prices… I mean, to stabilize prices. Are Bush’s policies wholly responsible for the price spike? Of course not. Are they largely responsible? Well, you might say… well, yeah, they are. Our national energy policy remains aircraft carriers, SUV use and other waste remains encouraged, and we destabilized the whole Middle East with our Iraq adventure.
The second number is the grim reminder of a narrow slice of the human cost of that adventure: the number of Americans who died on the field of battle. Granny
asked me if soldiers who died of their wounds weeks or months later were counted in the dead, and I told her I believed not (if anyone knows for sure, please post in comments). And God knows, there are no official counts of Iraqi civilian casualties, let alone Iraqi combatant casualties.
And the third number reflects an amazing disconnect with reality. I mean, I could throw in other numbers, like the projected deficit of $5.2 trillion over the next ten years, or the figure that Kerry should have been using only as an appetizer before lacing into Iraq and especially Afghanistan, i.e., 1.2 million private sector jobs lost (by some estimates), making Bush the first president since Hoover to preside over a net job loss during his presidency. And yet, a majority favor his record, and he is certainly the man to beat right now. The nation was perfectly willing to follow the Bush campaign theme, it being three words and all (“Look over there!”)
Again, though… as important as all these numbers are to Kid Kerry, they are appropriate only as jabs. They are little rabbit punches to get the judges to start to pay attention as the bigger blows are thrown and landed. The appropriate uppercut remains Iraq… preferably a right uppercut (pointing out that just like in ‘Nam, the troops were winning the battles only to have the politicians give away the war, and in this case, lose the peace); the crossing punches remain Al Qaeda and the frequently undiscussed Afghanistan.
If Fightin’ John follows this strategy, he can impress the judges enough to score the unanimous decision he will need (anything approaching a split decision goes to the Black Robed Partisans , and the titleholder will retain the belt– the fans be damned.)
So you go, Fightin’ John. You kick that pussy-shit frat-boy’s ass!