Instapun*** Archive Listing

Archive Listing
April 17, 2009 - April 10, 2009

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

YouTube Wednesday

AGAIN! According to Drudge this morning, Mike Huckabee is now claiming that his support for a federal smoking ban has been misrepresented. View the clip of his original comments above and decide for yourselves what you should believe about his philosophy of governance.

But the sad news is that he's not the one who's out of step in the current social environment. The ones out of step are those of us who think government interference in matters of personal health and personal vice is the most dangerous slippery slope there is.

Even the alphabet networks concede that the 'nanny state' isn't just a paranoid neologism. Here's an acknowledgment from NBC.

And ABC News correctly identifies that the pioneer of much of the blatant social engineering being written into our laws is the State of California.

Smoking, obviously, is not the be all and end all of government's invading our homes and cars and workplaces with their superior knowledge about how we should all live. Practically everything else is on the list too, particularly guns, but also such staples as transportation and food. Nancy Pelosi has been Speaker of the House for one year and has accomplished practically nothing legislatively. But she has managed to inflict her native Californian faux-haute cuisine on the congressional representatives of all 50 states:

According to Politico, the cafeteria in The U.S. House of Representatives is now a very different place.

The processed cheese has been replaced with brie. The Jell-O has made way for raspberry kiwi tarts and mini-lemon blueberry trifles. Meatloaf has moved over for mahi mahi and buns have been shunted aside in favor of baguettes.

The menu transformation is part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi's "Greening the Capitol" plan to make the House campus more environmentally friendly and "socially progressive."

Some employees are complaining that this new "socially progressive" campus is also becoming progressively more expensive...

When you actually read what some of the new meal choices are you really can't help but laugh. The food sounds good, but it just seems out of place in the congressional cafeteria.

You can now get pan-roasted Chesapeake rockfish with sweet potato fennel hash and yellow pepper relish. Or something a bit lighter like Pears with Stilton cheese and watercress.

Staffers who find themselves emotional and weary after a long day fighting for a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq might wish to dine on Cumin-scented leg of lamb with almond couscous.

There are also vegetables with funny names, like bok choy, arugula and jicama. There are baked goods with Italian names, like biscotti, focaccia and frittati.

With the immigration debate raging it only made sense to put something besides "Juan Valdez" in the vending machine that sells coffee.

Employees can now enjoy more politically neutral coffee from famed chef Wolfgang Puck, in flavors like "Vive la Creme Caramel" and "Tropic of Chocolate."

Everything we consume and do is now supposed to be "environmentally friendly and socially progressive." That's how it's possible to make smoking objectively evil while the far greater health risk of homosexual promiscuity is beyond subjective criticism. They've succeeded with smoking, and they're presently hard at work trying to accomplish the same trick with eating red meat and other real foods that taste good. How hard is it to imagine the day when barbecuing a juicy burger becomes a disgustingly unmentionable underground activity? Like so:

That clip is from the movie Demolition Man, which seems to do a pretty good job of imagining the California of the future. Who will be the Che-esque freedom fighters then?

That's right. The valiant underdogs will be people who just want to live their lives without some damn food prude or psychosomatic asthmatic autocrat looking for excuses to lock them up. What, you ask, does a "cigar the size of Cincinnati" look like? It looks like this.

But forget it. Your future isn't going to include anything like that. Not in a free country like this one. What you're much more likely to inherit from the populists who care so damn much about you that you can't wait to vote their controlling asses into office is this:

If they can take the fun out of eating, there isn't much they can't take the fun out of. Eventually, they'll get around to everything, but the very next item on their long list is your personal transportation. (No, you don't have to watch the whole thing. But you really really should.)

NASCAR. They're pretty sure they can get away with selling us idiots on hybrids. Because those of us who object are a bunch of dumb NASCAR types, too stupid and inbred to get out of our own way. What they don't realize is that us NASCAR fans are actually pretty damn smart, and we can prove it.

Maybe we should be just a little bit worried.

POSTSCRIPT. One of our more disreputable contributing bloggers has strayed once again into the ranks of the MSM with an op-ed piece in the Providence Journal. If you like, you can see it here. It's about a past that wouldn't begin to understand today's entry.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Your Official United States
Solicitor-General Dartboard

LAWYERS. I'm going to leave it to others to discuss the betrayals, absurdities, and consequences of the amicus brief filed by the Department of Justice in the Washington, DC, gun ban case. My purpose is only to provide what small relief I can in the form of the Paul D. Clement Dartboard. Yes, he's the Solicitor General who filed the brief in support of the DC gun ban, and his background is exactly what you'd expect:

Mr. Clement is a native of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, and a graduate of the Cedarburg public schools. He received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service [oh yeah], and a master’s degree in economics from Cambridge University. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School where he was the Supreme Court editor of the Harvard Law Review.

After that he went on to do some conservative-looking things, but by then he already was who he so obviously is now. When will conservatives learn they can take their officials out of the most left-wing universities, but they can't take the left-wing universities out of their officials? Probably never.

Have a beer and fire your darts when ready. (Hit Refresh to play again.)

Thank you, Mr. Rice.

It's called a 'straight arm.' Not even many NFL running backs have one.

NEW JERSEY. I'm not saying we all approve of your decision to enter the NFL draft. I, for one, don't. Not because Rutgers needs you but because you may still need a Rutgers education and the possibilities it offers if football doesn't provide for your future. Yes, I know the arguments. A running back like you takes so much physical abuse that another unpaid year could represent a permanent loss in your lifetime income. But so could the very next play in college or the NFL. Brian Leonard, your one-time partner in the Rutgers backfield, was named the top NCAA scholar-athlete just a year ago. Did he agree with your decision to give up your senior year and (I'm guessing) a college degree from one of the best state universities in the country?

Sad to say, even the appearance that you dropped out of college to get instant gratification in the NFL is a bad signal to thousands of other high-school and college athletes. Almost all of them should be using athletic programs to get an educational opportunity, not using educational institutions to get an athletic opportunity. How many young athletes will absorb the implicit wrong lesson from your decision that they don't need to study or learn or get good grades because there's always a shortcut to the ranks of professional sports?

Well, maybe my real beef is with your coach. Did he tell you this decision was really in your best interest? If so, fie on him. The truth is, it isn't. (And if you didn't make that crystal clear to him, Schiano, shame on you. Consider this: in the near century and a half of Rutgers football history before your tenure, none of its football players got seduced away from a Rutgers degree by an NFL promise to replace their education with permanent maiming and a 56 year life expectancy. Is this really what Paterno does? And is this really progress for the university you serve?)

Oh well. All that aside, thank you. Ray Rice the running back has been a great and inspirational star. You've brought tremendous joy to the students and alumni of Rutgers and to the citizens of New Jersey. We admire your talent, your determination, your perseverance, your incredibly wicked straight-arm, and your oft-expressed team spirit. Please don't take it amiss if some of us wish you had earned a degree as well as the lifelong adulation of your fans. It's just that the latter won't help you if your knee is destroyed a day or a year into your NFL contract, and the former could enable you to provide for you and your family for the next 50 years. That might not be a trade-off at Boise State or Auburn, but it sure is at Rutgers.

However it goes, we'll always be admiring fans. Here's a tribute from a Rutgers graduate we know who journeyed to Toronto to see your final 280 yard rushing performance in the International Bowl.

AN ADDITIONAL NOTE TO SUPER-DAVE. Congratulations on the New York Football Giants. There was a sign in the end zone at Dallas Stadium none of the sportscasters referenced, but it said, "Who wants it more?" It was the right question. Dallas had more talent, at times frighteningly so, but the Giants staged a heroic, truly gutty performance to win. I'll be rooting for them against both Green Bay and the Patriots.

The Royal Scots Dragoons

Philadelphia, January 12, 2008

PSONG.8.5. I know that for non-Scots the bagpipes and the Highland Fling are a sort of easy joke. No other ethnic group combines quite the same longevity and rigid stereotypicality as the Scots -- ridiculous at once for their nauseating (truly) cuisine, their men in skirts, their earsplitting imitation of music, their barbarism, and their anti-poetic glottal speech, as well as their enormous contribution to priggish (i.e., Presbyterian) protestantism and the equally black arts of economics and industry, including capitalism itself and all the grunting, puffing, clacking machines that made capitalism an industrial reality in the first place. I think Scots are funny myself, and that's largely because I'm a Scot.

On the other hand, Scots are one of only three tribal cultures that have arced all the way from the prehistoric past to the high-tech present without losing either their original identity or their individuality. And of the three, they're the only one whose first response was always to kick the ass of anyone who dissed them. All three cultures have played a major role in shaping the world everyone else lives in. The Irish have defined poetry for the world. The Jews, philosophy and psychology and science. The Scots have defined economic competition as warfare by other means, innovation as wealth, and free markets as personal liberty. And alone among the three, the Scots have never stopped going to war when it suited them.

This weekend, Mrs. CP and I went to a concert of the Coldstream Guards and the Royal Scots Dragoons. One English, one Scots, now integrated into a single regiment. The Brits are going multicultural. The concert was magnificent. Part of it had to do with retracing the musical steps of the Coldstream Guards. There were tricorn hats, bassoons, and an instrument called the Serpent. Then there was a Coldstream waltz, written by a Coldstream commander, and it was a competently done piece of composing and playing. The audience loved it.

Eventually, though, the program calls for the pipes and drums of the Royal Scots Dragoons. When the pipes start, it's as if everyone else has left the hall. When all ten pipers line up, the British Empire seems to fall away, and we are left with their pagan wail, their mammoth-fur busbees, and what the Scots call drums -- the choreographed beating of bones on bones the ancient Celts used to bring themselves in and out out of battle.

They also played a tribute to all the American services. This was at the Kimmel Center. It occurred to me that members of this audience would be found at multiple other concerts, from the Beatles to the Big Bands to Ray Charles to John Coltrane to Motown to Whitney Houston to U2 to the Black-Eyed Peas and Warren Zevon, but they were nevertheless white, and no non-Celtic audience would ever attend such a performance. Where, I wondered, was diversity now? It lay in the services. As the Guards played the anthems for the marines and the navy and the army and the coast guard and even the merchant marine, members of the audience stood, sat down, and then gave a standing ovation for the hands aross the sea, and that land across the sea.

At the intermission, we got to meet members of the Guards. The man in the middle up top told us he was the first black member of the Coldstream Regiment. We congratulated him. He was from Fiji. What would they do with a real black man, like Osi Umenyiora? That's right. This is the United States. Everyone else iin the world is worse at liking people for superficial things like talent, looks, and ability.

You see, the Royal Scots Dragoons had been folded into the English Coldstream Guards. Scots are assholes, but they're not snobs. The Coldstream Guards are English and the English remain who they have always been. I was shocked when the Scots dancer we met burst into the Scots tongue I hadn't expected to hear. It was his job to dance over the crossed swords. He did it like Romans were watching.
He had never been in the United States before. I didn't ask him if he was liking it. I only expressed the hope that our people would be hospitable to him. He seemed nice. Let's hope... (Sorry. The vid is from the Edinburgh Tattoo, which includes the Royal Scots Dragoons.)

Just a thought. All you people who don't believe in God. Why not believe in Scots? God only knows they're pagan and ancient enough...

A final video from the Scots Dragoons.

See you tomorrow.

P.S. Yeah, I forgot. The Scots Dragoons also won the battle of Waterloo. Here's one of the most famous war paintings of the 19th Century.


Friday, January 11, 2008

The State Department

THE BARREL. It keeps coming up. The uncomfortable possibility that the U.S. State Department is a world unto itself, not entirely loyal to the President or even the nation. That's why it's time to lift the veil, in a manner of speaking, and show average Americans the people and practices which are so determinative of what the United States does in the world.

For example, the charge has been made that Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has become a different person than she was as National Security Adviser, that somehow she has been absorbed into a culture which mysteriously alters everyone who encounters it. Where once she was a hardliner about Israel, she has by dint of mere association become yet another apologist for Palestinian terrorism that never ends and never apologizes for itself.

Well, sunshine is always the best antidote for silly rumors. Condoleeza Rice is every bit as shrewd and decisive as she ever was. All that's changed is that thanks to the U.S. State Department's Middle Eastern Divison, she's received the advice of Ahmed Im Ahman, the world's foremost expert on various middle eastern type things. He doesn't care if you went to Stanford and think you know everything. He doesn't even care if you're Madelyn Albright and know you know everything. He can look right up your skirt, so to speak, and see everything you're missing. Thank goodness we have him on staff.

It all begins with cultural sensitivities...

Without Ahmed Im Ahman, there's no chance at all the U.S. would be pressuring Israel to abandon even more of the "occupied Arab lands" President Bush referred to yesterday. And, in all probability, Madelyn Albright would still be on speaking terms with the U.S. Secretary of State.

But the State Department has a reach that extends beyond its own secretary. Keeping the President informed is also a high priority. Word is that our current President spends so much time learning about world affairs from State that First Lady Laura is actually jealous. Well, that's hardly the first time the first family has been similarly affected.

U.S. Herezade, Chief Middle East Adviser to the President

Fortunately, the Commander-in-Chief's middle eastern education is in the hands of a great patriot -- Herezade by name -- who has been able through the years to overcome his reflexive Zionist prejudices and introduce him to the nuances of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. We are all going to owe her a huge debt of gratitude when the Palestinians get their new state and establish appropriate relations with Israel in the last year of the Bush Administration. Ali Ali Akbar.

There are those malcontents who would contend that the State Department is actually fiercely partisan. But our research suggests this is largely false. Yes, it's true that Madelyn Albright had a much larger contingent of mideast advisers than the current  secretary, but everyone knows that Democrats are inherently more intellectually curious.

Albright's 'Palestinian Peace Team' was a State Department Priority.

The truth is that exceptions do prove the rule most of the time. Like Bush, President Clinton also had a sole chief adviser on middle eastern affairs, who played the key role in convincing him that persecuting UBL would have done more damage to his presidency than the Jew whore the Republicans positioned to steal his power. If Bill hadn't listened to her, imagine how much damage could have been done. Al Gore might have been President when 9/11 happened. The nation couldn't have survived that eventuality. Thank Allah we had Ashkira to save us -- and thank the U.S. State Department.


The important thing for everyone to know is that the State Department never sleeps. While all the rest of us pay little or no attention to the world at large, they are always doing whatever it takes to keep presidents, cabinet secretaries, generals, admirals, vice presidents, senators, and congressmen informed about key issues in the world. They're smarter than everyone and ready for anything. They even know how to keep Cheney up to date.

Vice-President Cheney's State Department Update Staff

They keep the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs happy.

The admiral is really old school. But the SD adapts.

They're even prepared for a Hillary administration.

The "shadow" State Department Team awaiting Hillary's election

According to our sources, they're working double and triple ovetime to be able to handle the unique demands of a Huckabee or Obama administration.

Truthfully, you can help. All they need is certain knowledge of the deepest depravity either or both of them yearn for. Then they can adjust U.S. foreign policy briefings accordingly.

Wish them luck. They're going to need it.

And so will we.

The Civilization Freeze Movement

They're not just trying to cool the planet.

THE BOOK OF ANDREW. The last gasp of the hard left during the Reagan era was the Nuclear Freeze Movement, which sought to perpetuate the dying Soviet Union by insisting that the U.S. unilaterally abandon its own nuclear weapons upgrade programs in the 1980s. When the movement failed, the communist bloc crumbled and exposed the ugly failures of socialism as a modern system of government. Since then, the world's leftists have latched onto a seemingly different cause, the rescue of planet earth from the depredations of man-made global warming.

It's a clever stratagem on the whole. Most of the vocabulary is different, which enables the true believers to sweep millions of gullible neophytes into their cause. What remains the same is the real purpose of their efforts, which is to destroy the capitalist economic system. But there's also a significant weakness of the most current incarnation of leftist philosophy; this time, they're more or less forced to admit what they never did under Marxism, that far from loving the masses, they actually despise the masses and seek to punish them. Underneath their rationalism, they're as pitiless and robotic as the Old Testament prophet Amos in their antipathy to sinful mankind.

Their leaders speak of a "carbon freeze," but what they really yearn for is a Civilization Freeze, an abrupt termination of the technological progress which has doubled human lifespans in the last 500 years and multiplied our population as a species by  many orders of magnitude. Their version of the hated Holy Bible's concept of original sin is our very existence. Once you understand this basic truth, you'll see it running like a malevolent thread through all their policies and positions. Here are just two examples, notable only for their currency.

 In what should be good news, an Indian manufacturing company has announced a breakthrough in automotive design which will allow people in the Third World to buy a car for approximately $2500:

The Nano, at its most basic, is roughly half the price of the cheapest car available today. China’s QQ3Y Chery and India’s Maruti 800 are both about £2,550. The idea of millions of Nanos on the road alarms environmentalists. Rajendra Pachauri, the chief UN climate scientist, said last month that he was “having nightmares” about it.

Green campaigners point to India’s terrible road system and rising pollution levels. “Even if they claim it will be fuel efficient, the sheer numbers will undermine this,” Vivek Chattopadhyaya, an air pollution specialist at the Centre for Science and Environment in Delhi, said. “India’s infrastructure doesn’t have the capacity”...

As Greenpeace activists outside the show held banners demanding “Cut CO2 emissions”, Mr Tata dismissed environmental concerns. He said that his car, which does 50 miles to the gallon, would conform to all emission standards in India and Europe. “We need to think of our masses. Should they be denied the right to an individual form of transport?” he asked. [Emphases added]

If you hate people and civilization itself, obviously the masses should be denied individual transport. It's the same logic which argues that undeveloped nations in Africa, Asia, and South America should be denied the life-saving benefits of electrification unless it can be implemented with ridiculously expensive and inefficient technologies like windmills and solar panels. The real problem isn't really climate change; it's the annoying persistence of the human race.

It's also the same logic behind Madelyn Albright's so-called liberal view of world politics. On the same day U.N. fatcats were anguishing about the possibility an Indian mom and dad might be able to speed their sick baby to the hospital in a car of their own, the pudgy old secretary of state was selling her book to the faithful via interview observations like these:

One of the areas Albright saw that the office of the presidency needed to improve upon was the diplomacy of “global warming, climate change and energy issues.” She said the next president needed to do a better job of being aware of the interests of other nations....

Albright also sees globalization as an issue the United States will have to come to grips with during the next presidency and the wealth disparity issues created from it....

Albright’s message centered on the need for equality – not just domestically, but also on a global scale.

“If we were all rich, that would be very nice,” Albright said. “If we were all poor, it would be too bad, but we would be the same. What the problem is now is the poor know what the rich have as a result of information technology and the spread, generally, of knowledge.  And, it creates a whole new host of problems in terms of disquiet and anger.” [emphasis added]

Wow. Wow. The "problem" is the spread of "knowledge." That's what creates "disquiet and anger." Obviously, the only effective answer is to get rid of "knowledge" and the "information technology" which spreads it like a virus through the most worthless species on our sorry-ass planet.

Failing that ideal, we'll probably have to settle for the more gradual human attrition that would improve the planet "if we were all poor." The good thing is, there's no secret about how we can achieve that masochistic goal. We just freeze civilization in its tracks and let natural disasters, famines, and mosquitoes do the rest. North Korea, Cuba, the Soviet Union, and Communist China have done lots of groundbreaking work in this area. Time we benefited from their research, don't you think?

We could be down to a billion people flat in less than a generation. If we really work at it. Utopia, I mean.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Policing the Pundits

We've been through all this election year nonsense before. Eight years ago.

SHUTEYE REDUX. Of course all the pundits were wrong about what was going to happen in New Hampshire Tuesday. And now they've moved seamlessly into their most effective mode -- predicting the past. In a few more days, they'll resume trying to predict the future, and they hope you'll be paying attention.

But why should you? This part of a presidential campaign is far more a horse race than a math equation. All the race track touts have their own tips and systems for picking a horse to bet on, but you absolutely cannot pay any attention to their logic. They're part of the story they think they're standing apart from and their presumed objectivity is a disqualifying joke. It's always this way. For evidence of this fact I dug into the pre-InstaPunk archives from 2000 for a couple of our columns about this stage of the campaign that year. It was just as screwy then, and the pundits and pollsters made just as big asses of themselves as they're in the process of doing now. Take a look.

February 10, 2000

The Couch Campaigner

Catching up on 
the Presdential Race

      I know I was supposed to be covering the Presdential campaign, but I got a late start. The end of the NFL season was pretty absorbing for a change, and suddenly it seemed like all the movies were being touted as “one of the year’s very best.” (It took me a few wasted tickets to figure out the year they were talking about was 2000.) Besides, all the polls were saying you hadn’t gotten too interested in the campaign either, and why should I wear myself out writing a bunch of great stuff about something you didn’t notice yet?
      So now I’m on the case, and it looks like exciting things are underway. The last time I checked in, George W. and Al Bore were walking away with the major party nominations, and Pat Buchenwald was getting ready to throw the big enchilada to the Dems by running on the Reformed Party ticket. 
     Who would have thought everything would get so different so fast? Pat Buchenwald is embroiled in a tougher race than the one he walked out on—competing with the likes of Donald Trumph, Jesus Ventura, Warren Beady (sort of), and the ghostly spectre of Ross Pyro. George W. did the impossible by spending $50 million in New Hamshire to get his ass kicked by a white-haired Viet Nam POW. And Al Bore turned the solid gold advantage represented by the best economy in 3 billion years into a skin-of-the-teeth victory over a washed-up basketball player with a heart condition.
       It almost makes me wish I’d been paying more attention. How about you? Maybe you’d settle for a brief explanation of how this all came about? Let’s hope so. Here goes.
      Pat Buchenwald got into trouble because he figured the Reformed Party would swoon for a famous, college-educated (semi)politician who had been on TV more than Ross Pyro. Like most of the ‘inside the beltway’ intellectuals, he forgot that college-educated doesn’t impress Amerians very much any more, since everybody in the whole government went to Yail, and anyone with half an eye can see they’re not too damn smart. 
     And when you leave out the college-educated part, suddenly Pat Buchenwald isn’t the top gun anymore, because here comes Jesus “The Booby” Ventura, who’s been seen on television by probably fifty times as many people as Pat, and he’s been elected a governor to boot, even if it is in one of those nothing states that start with an “M.” 
     When everybody in the media rushed to interview Jesus about being Presdent, people kind of lost track of Pat, and when all those interviews made people start thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be too smart to elect a bald idiot as Presdent, that gave Donald Trumph the idea to run, because why else did he spend all those years combing his side hair over the big empty spot on top of his head? Investments like that have to be cashed in sometime, don’t they? 
     After the Reformed Party folks didn’t actually throw up at the thought of a whoremaster like Trumph as the nominee, Warren Beady got the idea that he might have a shot too. And does anybody think Ross Pyro paid all that money to set up his own political party just to see a bunch of squabbling egomaniacs rip it to pieces? That scratching sound you hear is Ross's feet digging in for a last-minute sprint. With all this going on, who’s paying any attention to Pat? Maybe black and silver uniforms would help...
    George W. got into trouble because after about six months of being polled every half hour, average Amerians finally realized that the Bush who was running this time was the son of the one they dimly remembered. Which was a completely different thing, of course. Completely. If John McKane had realized it six months earlier, he would have gotten into the race a lot sooner—probably six months sooner. As it was, he had a lot of catching up to do. After six months of voting for him in telephone polls, average Amerians were starting to feel like they knew George W. almost as well as they knew his dad. 
       In fact, it wasn’t until the mass media started telling people how much average Amerians admired John McKane for all his honesty about whatever it was he was being so honest about that they realized how much they had always admired McKane before George W. distracted them by pretending to be his own father. 
      All in all, there was lots of realizing going on, and most of it got completed in time to give George W. a good thumping in New Hamshire. None of the other Republians was ever in the race because the only thing they talked about was abortion, which is the one subject nobody anywhere wants to hear another word about. Thus, the first primary resulted in the two-man race we have today.
     Al Bore got into trouble by being himself for many months of campaigning. Thankfully, an army of political consultants figured this out in time to convince him that the best strategy was to run as someone else, someone like, say, Bill Clitton. And so they managed to come up with a perfect patsy for Al Bore to run against, so that the Vice Presdent would have someone other than himself to lie about during the campaign. 
     Then it turned out that Bill Broadley was almost too perfect a patsy—he campaigned so lethargically and inertly that Al barely noticed him and kept on telling all his best lies about himself. As a result, New Hamshire was a closer vote than anyone wanted, especially Bill Broadley, who had been given to understand that he’d be able to go home after the first primary. When he realized that the Bore campaign had been lying about this too, he got really steamed and started hurling accusations about everything under the sun, which made everyone nervous. 
     First, Broadley charged that he had a debilitating heart condition, then he claimed that he was too much of an impotent intellectual to have the guts for Presdential campaigning, and then he asserted that if elected he would make the government pay everybody’s doctor bill forever, thus bankrupting the country. 
     In response, the Bore campaign counter-charged that Al Bore would pay everybody’s doctor bill too, and that it wouldn’t bankrupt the country because the Democratics would raise taxes on the Republians to pay for it, even if Broadley did get elected. Faced with such negative tactics, Broadley quit trying to weasel out of the race and consented to stay in a while longer. Having dodged a very big bullet, a much relieved Al Bore finally started to get the hang of Presdential campaigning and began telling only the lies his campaign managers ordered him to.
    All caught up? Good. I promise I’ll be checking in more often from here on in. Okay?

March 3, 2000

The Couch Campaigner

Bush is done! McKane is done!
No, Bush is done

        It’s getting confusing here on the couch. If I didn’t know better, I’d think the mass media don’t have a clue about what’s going on in the campaign.
        First, John McKane blows out all the poll predictions in a giant drubbing of Bush in New Hamshire. The whole country starts going nuts for McKane. He makes the covers of all the news magazines. The polls which had shown Bush with a 20 point lead in South Carelina are suddenly showing him behind McKane. 
        The pundits explain that Bush’s people had always been dead wrong to think of South Carelina as a conservative “firewall” for their man. Actually, they say, Carelina doesn’t belong to the “Old South” anymore. They’re tied into the UnderNet like everyone else in the country, which means they don’t have any morals anymore either, and so they’re not quite as enthusiastic about the politics of a Republian God who’s planning Armageddon for Satan’s anti-Anti-Choice minions. 
        What’s more, South Carelina is also overflowing with veterans, which means that George W. might remind them more of Clitton than his dad, and McKane could attract their votes just by waving the (Amerian) flag a little and swapping some raunchy war stories. 
        Even worse, the way the pundits explain it, the South Carelina primary is also open to independents and Democratics, which there aren’t supposed to be any of in the state, except that there are, and they seem to like the looks of a Republian who talks like a Clitton Democratic. And the whole time the pundits are explaining all this, the polls stay close, and the Bush campaign seems to be bracing itself for another, possibly fatal, defeat.
        Then the South Carelina primary takes place. Bush wins it convincingly. The news magazines put George W. on their covers and talk about how tough he was to come back and put it to McKane that way. The pundits take to the air to explain that during the last frantic days in South Carelina, the honest and highly principled John McKane had done some pretty negative advertising, going so far as to compare George W. to Clitton. 
        It also turns out that the South Carelina folks aren’t quite as finished with being “Old South” as everyone thought—as the experts could have deduced if they’d paid attention to their own tirades about the Confederate flag flying over the capitol. But, anyhow, the folks were still “Old South’ enough to remember that a candidate who talks about being positive and honorable probably shouldn’t compare his opponent to the scummiest presdent in Amerian history—unless maybe he isn’t quite so positive and honorable as he says he is. 
        Any of the South Carelinians who were slow to figure this out were nevertheless able to get some help from the Bush campaign, who called everybody in the state once an hour and preempted all regular programming on TV to explain just how unprincipled it was for John McKane to do negative campaigning.
        With South Carelina now safely out of the way, the Republians run up to Mishigan to explain to the voters how negative the other side is being. Since Bush has proven to be so much more effective at this than McKane, the pundits explain, the Arizonia senator is now in real trouble. Besides, the Republian governor of Mishigan has made this primary a vote of confidence for his own administration and is using the whole Republian machine to win it for George W. 
        The worst news of all for McKane is that he seems to be losing his famous temper quite a bit, and he’s no longer sounding like a brave, war-hero reformer. What he's sounding like is a sore loser.
        The Mishigan primary vote takes place right on schedule, and McKane wins big. The pundits race to the talk shows to say, of course, obviously, this was inevitable. The governor of Mishigan is unpopular, and everyone in the City of Destroit—all Democratics, of course—voted in the primary, for John McKane, just to piss off the governor. What this means, according to the pundits, is that the whole phenomenon of Democratics voting in Republian primaries will make the race for the nomination into a real dogfight, one that could go all the way to the Convention. 
        Next up are primaries in the Commonwealth of Vagina and Wishington State, both considerably more moderate in their politics than South Carelina, which is the only place Bush has actually scored a victory at the polls. Time, the pundits tell us, to hold our breath.
        So, naturally, Bush stomps McKane to pieces in Vagina and Wishington. It turns out that the Republians have decided to battle the Democratics by voting unanimously for the candidate the Democratics hate the most—George W.
        Now, we’re on the brink of Super Tuesday. The pundits are still busy explaining what happened in Vagina and Wishington, and what will happen in Newyork, Californica, Uhio, and a bunch of other states. But I’ve stopped listening for a while. My head hurts. Maybe I’ll just wait for their explanation of what happened after it’s all over.

I still think that's good advice. Wait for the explanations they think up afterwards. They won't be any more correct, but they'll be a lot more believable if you're the kind who believes people really can be smarter after the fact than before.

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