Thursday, April 03, 2008


American voters move to the left and find --- there's nothing there! My God, it's all been deconstructed. Meaningless, virulent data swarming over the ruins of a once powerful, political language. There's nothing left, on the left, except for "gender-free, inclusive, diverse, multi-culturalism." Huh?

Just another nightmare, never mind.

For myself, as a writer, I have to go over to the right every now and then, to borrow some good, solid language -- they're always glad to share. "Fred, try this one -- Truth, Justice, and the American Way!" Oh yeah, I remember that, it was from Superman's TV show in the 1950s.

On the Obama front: It would really help to hear from Pastor Jeremiah Wright. This is what he could say,

"First of all, I'm a plain spoken man, and if you don't like my preaching, then don't come to my church. As for my brother Barak, he is and always has been his own man. He is a leader, not a follower. I don't give him orders. I am proud beyond measure that the next President of the United States has turned to me for advice from time to time, about his spiritual life, and about the words of Jesus Christ which guide both him and me. I stand with him now in this hour of bitter controversy, as he stands with me, but Barak Obama speaks for himself -- don't ever forget that. And he faces judgment for his deeds, not mine."

Preacher Wright is off the front pages now, but the right wing is still hammering away at him. Let me summarize what Michael Medved said, "It's un-American to chastise the American people from the left. We are the only ones allowed to issue condemnations."

HEADLINE. The Newspaper Association of America reports a nearly 10 % drop in advertising revenue this year -- the biggest drop in 50 years. Why do you think I'm working at the hospital?

I spoke with the traveling press when I attended the Barak Obama rally in Austin, Texas, in early March -- reporters from the New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, and Associated Press -- the boys on the bus. They were haggard, unkempt and weary, slogging their laptops and carry-on bags from one city to another. The LA Times man had to check his Blackberry to find out what city he was in -- it all was a blur to him.

I pitied them on this endless campaign. The pay is not great, and their job security becomes more tenuous every year. The print journalists, whatever you want to say about their bias, work awfully hard at their craft. Covering the campaign seems like a raw deal. Obama took in over $50 million in campaign donations in the month of February and he will spend almost all of that on TV advertising -- lining Rupert Murdoch's pocket. McCain and Hillary are doing the same. In other words, the print journalists do all the hard work, and the TV guys get all the money.

Maybe the newspapers should stop covering the campaign -- what's in it for them? They could make more money reviewing "American Idol."

The national press has always liked Obama better than Hillary. That couldn't be liberal bias, because Obama and Hillary are equally liberal. But it's simple to explain -- journalists have a much deeper bias -- they like a good story, something fresh, and Obama fills that need. It certainly works for me. The Clintons have been on the national stage for 16 years now -- it's getting to be a pretty stale soap opera.

However, I am in favor of getting all the firsts over with -- first woman, first black, and so forth. Let's look at the roster of powerful Greek-American politicians, running the gamut from Vice-President Spiro Agnew to Governor and Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis. The Greek have not yet reached the very top -- but someday they will. And they're way ahead of the Italians, despite being fewer in number.

THE TEMPER OF THE CAMPAIGN. That reminds me of the Dukakis campaign in 1988 -- a competent man, running a well-oiled machine, experienced, qualified, with substantial positions on substantial issues. It was all so well organized -- and he lost. In a similar manner, John Kerry was the Democrats' compromise choice in 2004, equally disliked by all factions, but competent, experienced, and ready to serve. The Democrats marched behind Kerry with a spirit of grim determination -- and they lost.

In fact, that's how the Democrats lose. But when the mayhem rises, and the troops get a little wild, and fists start flying, and the music gets louder -- that's actually a good sign. These people do not get their ducks in a row. As Will Rogers once said, "I don't belong to an organized political party, I'm a Democrat."

This is how I read the unending battle between Obama and Hillary -- it's getting absurd and little crazy and that's how you can tell the Democrats are going to win.

Except, Old John McCain is doing pretty well, making calm, statesmanlike speeches about the economy and about the war in Iraq and testing the waters about a likely VP -- Mitt Romney could give him very good support on the economy.

And -- this is getting interesting -- Condaleeza Rice is sending out some feelers about her prospects. She will be out of a job next January, so she might as well consider being a VP for McCain. She brings a lot with her, like intelligence.

The last really intelligent Republican President was Richard Nixon, and he had to resign. This gave intelligence a bad name in GOP quarters, so they made character an issue and won a lot of elections.

I'll agree on that -- character is always more important than intelligence, but is it asking too much to have both?

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