What ho, sports fans? Has this been a dandy spell for mind-boggling government, or what? Still no weapons of mass destruction, and every neocon in America is creating elaborate rationales for why it makes no difference whatever if we were lied to about this war.
Meanwhile, in a truly creative demonstration of their problem-solving abilities, White House staffers fixed the entire global warming problem by editing it out of a report on the environment. Way to go, team! Why pay attention to scientists when you can insert a study paid for by the American Petroleum Institute instead? That Karl Rove, just brilliant. As President Bush said on June 4, "I'm the master of low expectations." And he continues to prove it.
Now to provide some good cheer. We've got some talent here, people, and most of them compare well to President Doofus.
John Kerry is in the unfortunate position of being the frontrunner, which you would not wish on your worst enemy. My early take on Kerry was that he has gravitas--sumbitch about bent over double with gravitas--but that he has no Elvis. Minus-zero on the Elvis Scale was my first read. No point in nominating some good and worthy candidate, like Fritz Mondale or Michael Dukakis, if they got no Elvis. The object is to get these people elected. Can't get elected without a soupéon of Elvis. Happily, Kerry seems to have started to do what he most needs to do, which is lighten up a bit. According to a report in Slate, Kerry in Iowa is capable of humor, self-effacement, sarcasm, and other helpful attitudes. Plus, at the end of the deal, he got on a motorcycle and raised an eyebrow before gunning the hog on down the road. A bike?! Now we're talking Elvis.
John Edwards in the early appearances struck me as almost a little too pretty, a little lite. But he's got a populist streak I like--his daddy spent thirty-seven years working in a North Carolina mill, and Edwards ain't forgot it. Seemed to me he might develop. In a recent speech at Georgetown University, the sumbitch hit a home run. (Look it up.)
Naturally, I've been leaning toward Howard Dean: He's at 2 percent in the polls and has the full weight of Vermont behind him. On a recent visit to Austin, Dean sounded alarmingly moderate, appealing to the centrist vote. Sheesh, what good is Dean if he doesn't pull the whole field to the left?
I like Dick Gephardt, I can't help it. I've always liked labor-liberals: I think they're plugged in to real people in a way these DLC Democrats can never fathom. We could get him new eyebrows. New eyebrows are easy compared to a charisma transplant. He made a serious health care proposal (not a terribly good one, but serious) and proposes to pay for it by repealing the Bush tax cuts. He may have no eyebrows but has balls.
Carol Moseley Braun: vanity run, no help there, don't be silly. Still, thank God there's at least one woman in the pack. Personally, I think the whole race will turn on the women's vote. The entire Bush Administration suffers from testosterone poisoning.
Al Sharpton: Elvis! Wit! Doesn't have a chance so he can tell the truth. Naturally gets globs of rightwing media attention because they'd love for people to believe that Sharpton is the Democratic Party. Trouble with Sharpton (I'm a great believer in looking at the record) is that you can't trust him. Bad record. Very bad.
Representative Dennis Kucinich I naturally like, but consider a no-hoper. Can't elect a guy that short and skinny, not to mention vegetarian. Accuse me of cynicism in my old age, but I am interested in winning this one. Decent, kind, excellent: no Elvis, no hope.
Joe Lieberman does nothing for me. Republican lite.
Take a look at Bob Graham out of Florida. Foreign policy credentials, gravitas. Southern politician, so knows how to campaign. Executive experience, two-term governor. May not hold up on the vision thing, but give him a gander.
Wesley Clark, bubble for Democratic Ike, attractive candidate in many ways, but in my experience, there's no experience like experience and this guy's never run for dogcatcher.
So cheer up. There are many to root for.