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All Hail!

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, September 06, 2000.

I cannot recall a less exciting political season, which is ironic given the genuinely important issues up for grabs. I took sad glee in hearing the Republicans biodegrade in front of technology again. I suppose it's superfluous to inquire if one ought to be considered stupid to stand in front of a microphone and libel an individual when you're running for President, and have your vice Presidential choice weigh in and agree. Somehow, the excuse of "I didn't know it was on....." fails on so many levels, given you're asking us to trust your intelligence and perception.

And Dick Cheney, who was too important to serve in the military in time of a war he supported but who has proven bloodthirsty enough in sending others to face enemy fire, has finally come down firmly on the side of legality by saying that his Halliburton oil stock will be terminated if he is elected vice President. He apparently expected applause, but given the huge conflict of interest it was the very least he could do. Again, the worst face Republicans could have put forward. No, I stand corrected. George W. Bush, who looks like a Shar Pei reading the newspaper under his water dish while he sounds his way through his hack constructed speeches, is now hiding from a debate with Al Gore. Gore, the scariest debater in American politics in memory, had previously agreed to the bipartisan presidential debates, something of which Bush is justifiably terrified. As Molly Ivins has suggested, Bush wants the debates to be on a local cable television station in Midland Texas in front of his family with a viewership of 14 at three in the morning. Is that good enough to be President? Is that good enough for Midland?

Of course, what hangs over all this is the Supreme Court. It has been pointed out that the new President could select three to five new Justices in the next term. That is pretty scary, but not as scary as Bush's idols on that bench. He has said his favorite justices are Scalia and Thomas, Scalia's lap dog. Thomas, an arch conservative but weirdly weak personality, was the sole creation of the only Bush administration thus far, and as is usual with the supposedly moral and family oriented Republicans, landed in a morass of hypocrisy when the utterly believable Anita Hill denigrated the man as being a lecherous oaf. But Thomas is not bright for a justice, and Joseph Scalia is. At least in the sense that Patrick Buchanan is. Both are not only politically conservative, both are conservative Roman Catholics, a belief structure that lends itself to authoritarianism. In Buchanan's case, it leads to anti-Semitic racism, if not actual fascism, despite his opportunistic and desperate pointless selection of a black woman as his running mate. In Scalia's case, it became a sort of delusion that its dogma is actually divine and incontestable by mere man. Thus, Scalia blisters abortion, homosexuality, and anything else that falls outside his religion's supposed teachings. These are the two that Bush adores, or says he does. Either way, evil times ahead if Bush is elected.

It is not that Bush is conservative, although he thinks he is, because leanings one way or the other make little difference in a President, truth be told, if they have a long view and some good will. It's that he is actually, not notionally, stupid. His speeches make no grammatical or linear sense, he is unsafe with figures, unsure of sequence, relevance, and point. Because his father had and has problems with the vision thing, since people in his social bracket cannot conceive of anything better than what they have, Bush tries to substitute phrases and chants for substance, and even there sounds as if he doesn't quite connect the dots. He gives every indication of being a puppet to his father's clueless advisors, as his campaign gives every indication of both mental and political laziness. He goes negative immediately in setback, he denies responsibility, he fudges, dodges, and hides, and cannot deal with the press. Only the very authoritarian Patrick Buchanan and Ralph Nader scare me more than this dolt.