October 31, 2004
A Dime's Worth Of Pedantry

In his Last Political Word before the election, 'Michael Blowhard' of 2Blowhards refers approvingly to a book by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair entitled Dime's Worth of Difference, adding:

The title is a lift from country-and-western great Waylon Jennings, who back in the '80s was asked to characterize the two political parties and who answered this way: "There ain't a dime's worth of difference between them, hoss."

A Google search on "dime's worth of difference" confirms my recollection that Jennings lifted the line from George Wallace, though he certainly added the last word. Most of the hits quote Wallace as saying "there isn't" or "there is not" a dime's worth of difference, but I'm confident he most likely said "there ain't".

Elsewhere in the same post, M.B. compares the choice between Bush and Kerry to "a choice between a Coke and a Pepsi". Those of us who find Coke (classic only, with sugar and caffeine) infinitely tastier than Pepsi may think that he is right for the wrong reasons. Neither is the tastiest drink in the world -- nothing without alcohol could be -- but they are in no way interchangeable, and it doesn't take a connoisseur to know that. Why are so many waiters surprised that I'm offended when I ask for a Coke and they bring a Pepsi as if there were no difference?

Perhaps a better comparison would be this one:

Bush : Kerry :: butter : margarine.

I know a lot of people who claim that they can't tell the difference, but they are invariably margarine eaters. It appears that eating margarine for a few years destroys enough tastebuds to make the difference undetectable. Those of us who eat butter can certainly tell. Margarine, and Kerry, may be 'healthier' in some theoretical sense, but they're also phony and repulsive. There is definitely a dime's worth of difference.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at October 31, 2004 02:53 PM

And as it turns out, margarine's hydrogenated oils are much, much worse for you than butter's saturated fat. Whoops.

Posted by: David on November 2, 2004 08:42 AM