The Lesser of Two Weasels

10/26/2004

Democracy is a cruel mistress. She blesses us with the power to decide then demands that we do so. She gives us the power to direct our destiny, but provides us with defective tools with which to build our shining city on the hill.

Come January, either George W. Bush or John F. Kerry will have one hand on the Bible and the other on the car keys. Then buckle up and get square with your Maker, we’re going on a 48-month road-trip. And Muse feels a sense of foreboding.

These days, being the Leader of the Free World is a lot like being handed a bag of rattlesnakes and asked to reach in to find an olive branch. On the home front, things aren’t much better.

The Treasury looks as if Enron has been running it. The American people are fine, except they can’t afford to go to the doctor or find a job that doesn’t involve hamburger. We’ll soon be drilling our septic tanks for energy and the last time the nation was this divided we were donning blue and gray.

Given that calamity is right around the corner, you’d have hoped for a little more substance this election season. You don’t have to look too hard to find things to talk about. But what did we get? Swiftboat Veterans, flip-flopping and lesbians.

H. L. Mencken once said, “Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule–and both commonly succeed.” As if to prove Mencken’s point, Republicans and Democrats are closing out the campaign with TV ads featuring wolves and ostriches.

The candidates are no better. We yearn for solutions; we get platitudes and distortions.

So what’s a Muse to do? Once I step in Sacred Booth there’s no retreat. Somebody’s name has got to get punched and all I want to do is punch somebody.

Since sitting it out isn’t an option, and the options aren’t much, I’m going to call on contempt to guide me. Call it picking the lesser of two weasels.

The Case Against Bush

George Bush learned early that messes were for others to clean up. Family influence got him into the National Guard and out of failed businesses. He came to office with little more on his resume than being saved and sober and possessed a world-view based on bumper stickers.

Bush is pathologically incapable of accepting reality and substitutes certitude for sensible mid-course adjustment. He’s so arrogant that he’s alienated virtually all of the 95 percent of this planet’s inhabitants that don’t reside in the good old USA–to say nothing of half of those that do.

To call Iraq a quagmire does a great disservice to swamps. Bush and his neocon Coalition of the Shilling sold us a pig in a poke. There were no weapons or 9-11 connections and it wasn’t for free and 1,107 Americans died for a cause that evolves every time the previous lie is discredited. And that stunt on the aircraft carrier was straight out of Dr. Strangelove.

Bush says he’s compassionate while going after the gays, preaches conservatism while bankrupting the nation and says “bring it on” when insurgents are slaughtering our troops.

At the end of the day, Bush has given us bushels of blather and bombast, but little to suggest that he’s fit for the office he seeks.

The Case Against Kerry

John Kerry’s heart is in the right place and that place is a photo opportunity decrying whatever outrage the press is buzzing about that day. Opportunism, it seems, trumps all else in Camp Kerry. It’s a character flaw that blemishes his entire biography.

Kerry followed his noble service in war with a gratuitous broadside against his comrades. There was some truth in the stories about American atrocities in Viet Nam, but seizing headlines by publicly comparing our troops to Genghis Kahn proved that advancing the cause of peace took a back seat to advancing the cause of John Kerry.

Kerry got walloped in his first run for Congress–in a district in which he did not reside. He discovered that his condescending warrior-turned-hippy act didn’t wash with real folk so he got a tie and a haircut and won admittance to the body politic as crusading prosecutor.

Kerry dances like Isadora Duncan when taking positions on the great issues of the day. He’s against abortion, but for choice. Social Security is imperiled, but untouchable. Matrimony is between a man and a woman but it’s okay to legalize gay marriage. And only a schizophrenic could comprehend his stance on Iraq.

Kerry’s penchant for displaying his machismo is nearly as un-nerving as his opponent’s. So far this campaign, we’ve seen him wind surf, play hockey, snowboard, ride a Harley and shoot at geese.

At the end of the day, Kerry has given us bushels of blather and bombast, but little to suggest that he’s fit for the office he seeks.

The Decision

Yes, we do have to choose. And since I must, the Muse chooses Kerry–by a nose. He hasn’t so much won my vote as Bush has lost it. This is an endorsement you won’t be seeing on any Kerry commercials, but it’s the best I can do. Vote Kerry, he’s the lesser of two weasels.

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