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Monday, April 21, 2008

The American presidential election digested

From the inimitable Fred Reed comes the most succinct summary of the choice America faces in the forthcoming months about which leader to choose:
We’ve got Obama, an empty suit with a good line of patter and a past few write about, and McCain, a pugnacious senile temper tantrum who can’t remember whether Al Qaeda is Sunni or Shiite.
Not too promising.
That leaves Clitler, a strange visitor from another planet probably and crooked as kite string in a ceiling fan, but neither stupid, ignorant, nor crazy.
Needless to say, he's a Hilary supporter by default. Though given he resides in Mexico, she's unlikely to benefit from his vote.

He's pretty good on current and former presidents too:
Bill Clinton was said to be the first black president. W is the first kinky president, which is a whole new approach to democracy.
All sorts of countries torture people, because intelligence agencies naturally attract cowboys, assassins, incorrigible juveniles, and sadists.
But W’s S&M operation in Gitmo is a first. Whipseys and Cheneys. It’s because he’s a Christian. Poor Jesus.
His followers act like the Marquis de Sade—torturing, burning old women at the stake, turning water into water boards. I’d love to know what movies you might find on hard drives at the White House
There you have it - the five minute lesson in US presidents past, present and future. Perhaps they should lure Fred back across the Rio Grande and stick him in the White House. Not that he'd do it, of course. He knows Washington too well:

Washington is a curious city, separated from most of the rest of the United States by a gaping cultural chasm. It is probably the nation’s best educated town, and it is certainly a place where people know the score.
The population consists of politicians, reporters, beltway bandits attached to Uncle Sucker’s well-worn mammaries, wonks from policy shops, or outfits supplying all of them with one thing or another.
In a country that doesn’t, they travel.
It doesn’t make them better people than others. It means that they know it’s all a game, a matter of whose rice bowl gets filled by what contract and who gets re-elected how.
Things are dirty and rigged and one either hides things from the public or misrepresents them to gull the rubes. This of course is no secret. It doesn’t have to be. It works anyway.

But if Fred was, somehow, to assume the reins of power, he does have a plan, a single idea to put an end to the war in Iraq. I like his plan. It's neat, and it just might work:
I will strap the mothers of the graduating class of Harvard to the front bumpers of Humvees in Baghdad, and see how long support for the war lasts.
I couldn't have put it better myself.

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