By MAUREEN DOWD
he Manichaean Candidate sees the world only in terms of good and evil, black and white.
He scorns gray, nuance, complexity, context, changing circumstances and inconvenient facts. Real men make their own reality.
Trying to match John Kerry, who roused the base at his convention with a line bashing the House of Bush-House of Saud coziness, George W. Bush roused the base at his convention with a liberal-media-elite-bashing line.
W. took a page from Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Total Recall," a futuristic movie about inserting fully formed memories into the minds of unsuspecting victims.
The president and vice president ignored all the expert evidence now compiled indicating no link between 9/11 and Saddam, and no Saddam threat to U.S. security. After talking about "the fanatics who killed some 3,000 of our fellow Americans," Dick Cheney boasted: "In Iraq, we dealt with a gathering threat, and removed the regime of Saddam Hussein."
W. suddenly proclaimed himself a compassionate conservative again, even though extra-chromosome conservatives, as Lee Atwater called them, were in closed meetings calling for a culture war to curb the rights of women and gays.
Mr. Bush even tried to implant in our heads that he is the son of Reagan. He didn't give his dad a speaking slot, though the last two Democratic presidents spoke in Boston, and he spent more time in his speech lionizing Gip than Pop.
Inside Madison Square Garden, W. kept insisting he'd made the world safer. Outside, the exploding world didn't seem safe at all.