Candidate #1: Sarah Palin. When she burst on the national scene, she seemed to be a bit ditzy, horribly uninformed, and downright unqualified for even being the mayor of the meth capital of Alaska, let alone anything else. All right, I thought, perhaps this is a bit harsh. We don’t really know much about her; first impressions can be misleading.
As is so often the case, reality is frequently worse than the most paranoid of fantasies. As the campaign wore on, it became more and more apparent (to those of us with functioning brain cells and political viewpoints to the left of Genghis Khan, that is) that this woman was a female George Bush: uncurious about the world with a messianic world view formed by a fanatical devotion to extreme religious beliefs.
Actually, I take it back. Palin should keep talking. The more she talks, the more she ingratiates herself to the boobousie and the more she reveals how incredibly dumb she actually is. Go ahead. Pander to that incredibly-shrinking “base” of Talibanish right-wingers who will probably insure that the Republican party shrinks to the point where Grover Norquist can strangle it in a bathtub, leaving a functioning government for the rest of us.
Candidate #2: Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. You remember him, “Joe the Plumber,” who it turned out didn’t have a plumber’s license, didn’t have the money to buy the alleged plumbing business he was not actually going to buy, hadn’t paid his taxes, and kept shooting his mouth off despite having no actual knowledge of anything (and admitting he didn’t know what he was talking about), and isn’t actually named “Joe.” The clock ran out long ago on this clown’s 15-minutes of fame. But there he was, popping up on the news again. He’s now a “war correspondent,” covering the war in Gaza. Does he know anything about the issues surrounding the conflict there? Of course not! Is he afraid of going into a zone where, you know, Hamas is dropping rockets into the Israeli countryside and the Israelis are pretty much pummeling Gaza back into Biblical times? Of course not: “I’m a Christian. God will protect me.” (As John Stewart quipped, “Ah, so that’s the problem! All the Muslims and the Jews have to do is believe in Jesus!” — or words to that effect.). I mean, seriously, are you going to get your news from a right-wing web site called Pajamas Media????
Candidate #3: George W. Bush. I couldn’t bear to watch his “farewell speech.” Not after that press conference. Quite a difference with Obama. Barack knows history and can speak with authority. Bush, on the other, assumes that history will be kind to him and hey, we’ll all be dead anyway, so who cares.
It was truly amazing to hear him justify flying over New Orleans by saying he didn’t want to pull police away from doing important work to guard him, which they would have had to do if he had landed. He conveniently forgot his great photo op in the square while New Orleans was still flooded and burning. You remember that one, right? Where the military trucked in generators to light up the square, and immediately removed them after the event, while the majority of the city was still without power. What an idiot. Shut up already. Pack and go home.
Bush has nothing to say that is remotely worth listening to. Barney Frank had it right when he commented that Obama’s assertion that we have only one President at a time perhaps had overcounted by one. Next week can’t possibly come soon enough.
We seem about to enter an era where smart is cool (as Maureen Dowd put it in The Times recently) and intelligence and coherent thought and speech is back in. Maybe then these yokels will just shut up and fade back into their well-earned obscurity.