If you're one of the 280 million or so Americans who haven't had a
chance to listen to Franken's Folly (a.k.a. Air America), it's probably
news to you that the most tempestuous little teapot in the lineup is a
woman who calls herself Randi Rhodes. (Is my bias showing, or doesn't that
sound rather like a pornstar monicker?) Thanks to the dutifulness of a
handful of columnists who live in New York City, the Great Unwashed among
us can at least read brief quotes of this doll's daily fulminations. For
The queen of venom, Randi Rhodes, followed Franken in the host
slot. Her imitation of a cracker military type telling a soldier to "insert
this fluorescent light bulb into that man's buttocks" was revolting. She
compared U.S. prisons in Iraq to the "Nazi gulag" and said, "The day I
say thank you to Rumsfeld is the same day I'll say thank you to the 12
people who raped me."
Rock bottom came when she compared Bush and his family to the Corleones
in the "Godfather" saga. "Like Fredo, somebody ought to take him out fishing
and phuw," she said, imitating the sound of gunfire.
There's more, and to be fair, Franken hasn't completely lost his light
touch. The same article
reports that he's gotten off some good ones about torture, pedophiles taking
communion, and a bunch of new (well, not really) names for Rush Limbaugh.
Ironically, the author of this little recital seems to hate Limbaugh as
much as Franken does. Perhaps he's listened to Limbaugh as much as the
rest of us have listened to Randi Rhodes. Still, my bet would be that we won't
have Randi around to not listen to for much longer. So we'd better not
listen to her while we can. Well, you know what I mean.
It's painful to read Andrew
Sullivan these days. It used to be that he wrote reasonably about policy
and politics, with occasional forays into the, for him, emotionally volatile
subject of gay marriage. But since Massachusetts and San Francisco raised
the specter of a constitutional crisis about marriage, it's just about
all he can think about. He pretends to be weighing the relative strengths
and weaknesses of Bush and Kerry, as if he were performing some kind of
rational calculus. What is transparently obvious to an increasing number
of his readers, however, is that he is desperately searching for an excuse
to throw his weight behind John Kerry, a man he knows to be weak, hypocritical,
and undistinguished. Yet Kerry's ability to pander to every politically
correct fad makes him seem like the road to happiness if gay marriage is
the only thing on your mind.
The coup de grace in the descent of a superior intellect to idiocy was
delivered in Sullivan's latest column for The New Republic. This once unflinching
champion of the war on terror has now devised a workaround for his preferred
candidate's career-long record of appeasement: prop up Kerry with McCain
in the role of VP. He begins by reasserting his long, and utterly unfounded,
faith in the unstable and self-obsessed publicity hound from Arizona. Then
he proceeds to offer up a truly ridiculous proposition:
He could become for Kerry what Cheney has been for Bush: a
confidant, a manager, a strategic mind, a guide through the thicket of
war-management. But he could also be more for Kerry: He could be a unifying
force in the country in the dark days ahead.
Domestically, a Kerry-McCain ticket would also go a long way toward
healing the Vietnam wound, now rubbed raw again by recent events in Iraq.
The two men represent very different responses to that war, and could help
unite their generation -- finally! -- over it.
Sigh. What all is wrong with these few sentences? Practically everything.
McCain the politician is hardly anyone's guide through a thicket of anything.
He threw himself out of the presidential race in 2000 by blowing his stack
in public much the way Howard Dean did. His fellow senators aren't
fond of him. Quite a few of us in the general public -- Republicans and Democrats
alike -- are under the impression he's slightly nuts. He's a "unifying
force" only if the constituencies you wish to unify are Andrew Sullivan
and Chris Matthews.
But these are mere quibbles compared to the red flag Sullivan hoists
in his next paragraph. Think about it. We're being asked to believe that
the country will "finally" get over the Vietnam War if we put
in charge the very two men who seem most obsessed with that war. Name any
two other politicians who appear more likely to eat, sleep, and dream Vietnam every day of their lives. Imagine the policy discussions in the
"This latest thing in Iraq is the Tet offensive all over again."
"No, it's not. It's Qe Sanh."
"You say that one more time, I'm going to frag you myself."
Mr.Sullivan, if you want to back Kerry because you think he'll cave
in on the gay issues you care about, go ahead. Everyone's entitled to be
a one-issue candidate on occasion. But please spare us this kind of lunacy.
There's always the danger that someone might actually listen to you. And
that would be a disaster for the nation.