Weary Pilgrim – The Clown Patrol

So the Circus has lost a couple of its newest clowns, but there are still plenty of them left, running around the Circus of politics, honking their horns and scaring the kids.

We get the government we deserve, but I’m starting to think that we have been very, very bad lately. Trying to make sense of it all is like watching three card monte with sunglasses on. At midnight. On the Tundra. In a snowstorm. The only thing I’m sure of is that we are all going to lose. But you gotta admit, it’s a Hell of a show.

Let’s look at our players:

Trump - I can’t actually explain the rise of Trump, but it struck me the other day that he’s kind of like Sinatra with laryngitus – he’s just so damned sure of himself, he must be great, even if we have to wait to hear him sing. We really needed him about 250 years ago – this guy is so vulgar, if he had been our first president, the British would have said goodbye and good riddance to the thirteen colonies. I think he’s one these negotiators who is so obnoxious you give him whatever he wants just so he will go away.

Rubio – he is slick, boyishly-handsome ( did you know he is only a few months younger than Cruz?), well-spoken, humble, - and just plain wrong about everything. Would someone please tell him his stand on Cuba is like trying to reintroduce slavery? The ship sailed on the whole Cuba thing, the same way it sailed on gay marriage. Rubio is supposedly the establishment candidate – isn’t that sad? He is just one more politician who is seemingly passionate about staying behind history. Conservative or not, the whole point of a president is getting ahead of it.

Christie – well, he’s gone, but he stabbed Rubio in the back on the way out. I won’t miss his arrogance, but he sure looked good by comparison. Ouch.

Cruz – the only candidate who actually wrapped bacon around a machine gun barrel, fired off a clip, and pretended to eat it. I think he was trying to prove he wasn’t Jewish. Born in Canada, which means he gets to sing the Birther Blues, if anybody really wants to take it to the Supreme Court. He has 99 brother and sister senators, and they just plain don’t like the guy. His college roommate doesn’t like him. Who does? A whole bunch of primary voters who apparently just want someone to tell them it is going to be all right if they just vote for him. His nonsense about making the sands under ISIS glow was just one more nail in the coffin of reasoned rhetoric – the guy just plain scares the Hell out of me.

Kasich - By fear the most electable and reasoned of the bunch - it amazes me he has so little traction, considering he could actually have a chance of beating Hilary - I was so impressed with his Meet the Press moment last year wherein he used his time to honor Joe Biden – it was a most unpolitical move, throwing away national prime time to honor someone not even in his own party. Then, breaking ranks with that party, he boldly supported Obamacare in his state. It’s a shame that for some reason, his Grumpy Old Man persona doesn’t seem to play as well as it does for Bernie.

Sanders – I’m not a big fan of socialism, for the simple reason I think the federal government couldn’t hold a bake sale without losing all the chocolate chips. But there’s something about Bernie that just makes you admire the cuss. Bernie is the Un-Donald: instead of billion of dollars, he’s got millions of kids – and they love him because he’s loud, crude, and angry. And, unlike the false god of populism worshiped at the Church of Trump, Bernie is the real thing. The former mayor of Burlington, Vermont, and the only avowed socialist in the history of the U.S. senate, Bernie is the first real populist to make it this far in my lifetime. The problem with populist presidents, like Andrew Jackson, and Harry Truman, is that they rarely get anything done. They’re the clowns all alone in the clown car. We need ALL the clowns in the car, driving together – anywhere, as long as they’re together.

Hilary – proof positive that you can get people to vote for you even if they never, ever, want to have a beer with you. I’ve been ready for a woman president for a while now, and at this point, it’s quite possible she is it. If she had a voice like Lauren Bacall, she’d be a shoe-in. I didn’t care for her arrogance as a First Lady, and then I thought she was a pretty selfless Secretary of State. Now I don’t like her again, but I have no doubt of her ability to run a government – her campaign is apparently very well organized – if they were running Marco Rubio’s campaign, the race would be over. By the bye, my take on the whole email thing is that it’s proof of her arrogance, but not much else – everybody before her did it, she just got caught at the end of the line. And none of those emails were classified at the time she sent them on her personal server. So no biggie, except that it paints a convenient target on her back.

Michael Bloomberg – Gotta say, if he runs, he’s my guy – like about 70% of Americans, I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal. I have absolutely no time to debate gay marriage, de-criminalization of pot, normalizing relations with Cuba, and the like. As I said before, those ships sailed, and they ain’t coming back. So let’s get on with it. By virtually all accounts, he was a terrific mayor of New York City – a city that is largely ungovernable. We need someone who can work with enough members of congress to get things passed. And we need someone who will appoint up to 4 of our Supreme Court justices so that we continue to have a balanced court for the next decade or two. Bloomberg is the Anti-Donald. He says he will run if Trump or Cruz goes up against Bernie, for the simple reason Bernie would be toast, and Bloomberg doesn’t relish seeing our culture bring back armbands.

So it’s quite the carnival, no? Great drama, and it’s gonna last well past the last episode of Downton Abbey. Speaking of which, the central theme of that show this season is the passing of a Great Age, at least it was great for the ½ of 1% who had more than one maid. The secret to the charm of Cruz and Trump is that they promise to make America great AGAIN. Never mind that America’s longevity is way past where it was in yesteryear, that our poverty is far less than it was in times gone by, and so on – what counts is the illusion of a better life in the rear view mirror, and the promise of a better life through the windshield. Let’s not forget that no matter who is behind the wheel, we’re all driving.

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