August 1, 2001
The temptation for us who are eagerly anticipating the end
of four years of illegitimacy is to back President Gore. After
all, he beat George W. Bush in 2000, and in all probability
the criminals who installed Bush in the White House will not
be able to get away with another coup like the last one. Ralph
Nader's forces will probably come to their senses and disdain
the protest vote for a slightly less palatable but much more
rational one. It will be the same election, only this time
conducted fairly. What could be more natural?
This thinking is short-sighted and could lead to disaster.
The fact of the matter is that were Al Gore a better candidate,
the 2000 election would in all likelyhood not have been close
enough for Katherine Harris, Antonin Scalia, Tom Delay, et
al to steal. We might also have a Democratic House and Senate,
furthering the progress of the Clinton Administration, instead
of wathing the rollback of healthcare, environmental protections,
and budget surpluses in favor of handouts to Big Business.
It is clear that Gore is far superior to Mr. Bush in terms
of intelligence, experience, honesty, integrity, and leadership
ability. He is a more successful student, scholar, businessman,
politician, and father. But in this day and age, this is not
enough, and Gore, despite his overwhelming qualifications
for the job, does not provide the inspiration to bring out
the faithful and attract the independents. He refused during
the campaign to call out Bush on gun control, the abysmal
economic and environmental conditions in Texas, specifics
of his plans for social security and Medicare, and other issues
near and dear to the hearts of the faithful.
We are all aware of Gore's limitations - he favors dry policy
details over the smarmy, warm-sounding non-answers proferred
by Bush. He answers questions instead of winking and making
friends with the questioners. It is tempting to think of these
qualities as assets instead of liabilities, but remember that
we are dealing with an electorate that gets its "news" from
Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Don Imus. Besides having
great ideas, the successful Democratic candidate must be able
to make them heard over the roar of the GOP media machine.
That is why Democrats, Independents, and others wishing to
remove the stupidest man ever to inhabit White House - as
quickly as possible, to minimize the damage he might do -
must immediately get behind the candidate most likely to unseat
Mr. Bush - John Kerry. Senator Kerry seems to me to combine
the best qualities of Gore and Big Dog - intelligence, experience,
and policy positions that lie with a majority of Americans,
together with the wit and charm to out-slobber Bush when the
need arises. For example, Kerry could close the military gap,
since he went to war and served his country, despite not believing
in the reasons behind the conflict. This puts him in direct
contrast with Bush, who used his family's influence to get
into the National Guard, found even that too taxing, and so
went AWOL, but now talks like a tough guy. Personally, I think
that Kerry might pull as much as 55% head-to-head with Smirk.
So let's put the sentimentality aside, and start choosing
a running mate for Senator Kerry. Probably a red state moderate
like Daschle, Edwards, or Kerrey would be best, or maybe Shaheen
if she beats Smith next fall. To me, this is the only hard
What say you, oh faithful?