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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