Friday, February 22, 2008

Is that all there is?

Six weeks, and it's over?

After that endless campaigning, a few caucuses and primaries and we have our semi-finalists? All that money and time, for this? There has to be an easier way.

The great winnowing-away has been more brutal for the Republicans. Where are the snowy white men of yesteryear? as political pundit F. Villon might ask. Well, when David Letterman described the contenders as resembling a bunch of guys waiting to tee off at a country club, he was probably thinking of Tommy Thompson, who bubbled up from the hidden spring of Robert Taft and was the first to run dry. He was replaced by the other white meat, Fred Thompson, who evidently thought all he had to do was show up, repeat a few musty platitudes about tax cuts, and be nominated by acclamation. When that didn't happen, he lost interest and wandered off. Fred's manly funk of Aramis and Cohibas had Chris Matthews all breathless, but apparently the voters and caucus-oids couldn't smell him.

Nor were they as overwhelmed by America's Mayor as Time magazine thought they would be. Rudolph Giuliani should have halved the 9/11 references when it became a punchline and dropped the funny fone calls altogether. He might better have appealed to the Republican base -- and base is definitely the word -- by pointing out that his administration was practicing torture before the Cheney-Bush regime was installed. (It appears that Officer Justin Volpe's real crime was bad timing. Had he waited until after 9/11 he could have claimed to be torturing Abner Louima for information about a bomb or something. He'd still be in uniform, brutalizing the people of New York, instead of having to look both ways before entering the prison shower.) Ciao, Rudy.

Mitt Romney probably wishes he had ordered one of his musclebound sons to join the military, if only the Coast Guard. The mannequin's apologia for his Mormon faith came off as more creepy than Kennedyesque, but what really sank him was the cute story about strapping the dog to the luggage rack, which blended him in the public imagination with Michael Vick. Americans do not like dog abusers in the White House. Lyndon Johnson caused more outrage when he lifted his beagles by their ears than when he escalated the Vietnam War; Bush's approval rating might have topped thirty percent by now if he didn't dress up his dogs and force them to appear in his idiotic Christmas videos. Even Republicans look at Bush and wonder if it might not be time for some form of reality-based government. Which is bad news for...

The Rev. Huckabee, still fighting the good fight against nineteenth-century scientific developments. I see a future for Huck as a Jennie Craig spokesman, especially if he held onto his old trousers. But outside of Kansas, he embarrasses even Republicans. I have a fondness I'm not proud of for Tom Tancredo, the anti-immigrant candidate. He reminds me of my grandfather, who used to bitch about the country being overrun by people with names like Tancredo, who were all lazy, diseased, had too many children and just wanted something for nothing. Historical pig-ignorance -- it's as American as pizza pie.

And then there's Ron Paul, the official candidate of the hollow earth/lizard men/Princess Di conspiracy fringe. Defenders of Paul, who post long, rambling responses at the political blogs, never fail to mention that he was right to oppose the Iraq war. Well, I think Hitler was right to oppose the Treaty of Versailles. It's the rest of his program that gave the world nightmares, and continues to do so when bits and pieces of it crop up among Paul supporters. Someone needs to write a book called Libertarian Fascism.

Republicans picked over this rancid cornucopia and finally settled on an Arizona grapefruit called John McCain. With the active assistance of the "liberal media," McCain will continue to sell himself as a straight-talking maverick even though he is corrupt to the eyebrows, has never deviated from the Bush White House line for more than four consecutive minutes, and never met a special interest he didn't like, particularly if it had a corporate jet he could use. He won't be the first Republican to campaign in Depends -- that would be St. Ronald -- but he's much more easily goaded into crazy outbursts, which should be fun. We'll never hear the end of his war record, even though the last four elections have demonstrated that voters don't give a damn about a candidate's military service or lack of it (especially when the economy seems to be on course for a North Atlantic iceberg). Just ask Bob Dole. Or Poppy Doc Bush, who has already shoved to the head of the queue to give McCain his blessing.

Curiously, nobody seems to want Baby Doc's endorsement. It's rumored that he and Darth Cheney won't even be invited to the convention. This is unprecedented. Tom Dewey and Adlai Stevenson weren't treated so shabbily by their respective parties after losing two elections. And as the delegates arriving at Minneapolis-St. Paul airport walk past the Larry Craig Honeymoon Suite to claim their baggage, they may be asking themselves if it's all worth it.
Has God abandoned God's Own Party?

Does Barack Obama sit at His right hand? The man who seems to have nothing to offer but Change itself? Opponents say he lacks experience. Proponents will point to another lanky Illinois word-wizard, Abraham Lincoln, who couldn't even get elected to the Senate, who served just one term in the House before becoming president. Some who would like to be supporters are dismayed by his tepid response to the latest campus massacre, in his own state, and the presence of professional bigot Donnie McClurkin in his campaign. (I have to guess that a President Obama would dump Rev. Donnie like Henry V banishing Falstaff, but it's disturbing that he hasn't done so yet.) But we've definitely turned a corner when a woman and a Kenyan-American can compete for a major-party nomination, and more interestingly, Ted Kennedy can perform a song in Spanish. If that's what I actually saw, and I'm not suffering from a brain tumor or something. Didn't young Ted get thrown out of Harvard for a while after paying someone to take a Spanish exam for him?

We're through the looking-glass here, people.


Blogger Quacko said...

Why are you not writing a book? This should be on billboards.
Vote for You for Chancellor of Words.

7:40 AM  

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