Friday, February 02, 2007


A lot of things happened this week that seem worthy of note. Let me react to a few that you might have heard about, and point out one that you almost certainly haven’t.

First, I was taken by the controversy surrounding Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware. Just as he was announcing his bid for the Presidency, Biden put his foot in his mouth. In an attempt to praise Barack Obama, Biden referred to his rival as “the first mainstream African-American [candidate] who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”

You’ve surely heard that line. All the talking heads are lappin’ it up. They can’t get over how stupid Biden is for making such an obviously racist comment. Well … here’s my take:

Call the statement stupid. Call it racist. Call it a fitting away for a blowhard with a huge ego but no shot at victory to throw his hat into the ring. I don’t mind any of those characterizations. But I’ve got to say that the comment made me sympathize with the guy. If I were running for President, I’d make more quotably stupid comments than any politician ever has – Dan Quayle inclusive. And so, I suggest, would anyone that you’d possibly want to hang out with a Saturday night … or even a Sunday morning.

The media coverage of politics -- and specifically, its intense scrutiny of candidates, and its desire to sensationalize and ridicule – has had a clear consequence: if you want to run for the highest office, you had better be a friggen robot. Look at Howard Dean. He was just a teentsy, weentsy different, and the media castrated him.

So bye, bye Joe Biden. And so long, in advance, to any other Presidential Candidate who considers speaking extemporaneously. I’ll look forward to a season of robots who “don’t make mistakes.” Personally, I’d take a flesh and blood leader any time. Wasn’t that one of the lessons from Star Trek?

Second, this past week marked the passing of one Molly Ivins. She was a liberal. Not a Triangulator, not a DLC Dixiecrat, not a non-binding-resolution pragmatist … but a real, honest-to-God liberal. She hated guns, hated war, hated bullies, hated crooks, and loved the little guy (and gal). Oh, and by the way, she was really funny … and courageous … and willing to piss people off who deserve to be pissed on. She also had a ton of common sense.

I, for one, will miss her a lot. In fact, her passing makes me question why – after all these millennia of human evolution -- there aren’t more people like her. Does God really need to teach us over and over again that “He” isn’t omni-benevolent? You’d think we would have learned that lesson by now.

Third, a study was released saying that the human race is causing the planet to heat up. Tomorrow, I guess, they’ll be releasing another study saying that Shaquille O’Neal’s parents caused him to be tall. I wouldn’t have thought the issue was still being debated … at least not until I recently spent some time in the Midwest. People see things a little differently out there. Global warming is a hoax, evolution is a hoax … and Saddam’s WMDs were not merely real … they were positively noumenal!

Fourth, the Scooter Libby trial is going on. And guess what? The witnesses are contradicting one another. There’s a shocker. If I were given a hundred dollars every time a witness failed to tell the “truth, whole truth, and nothing but the truth” when answering one of my questions … let’s just say I’d be rich enough to retire from the law and never look back.

Fifth, Senator Russ Feingold – who wants to end America’s War in Iraq -- called the proposed non-binding Senate resolution on Iraq a “deal with the devil.” Can I say that Feingold is basically the same person as Molly Ivins except that (a) he isn’t a woman, (b) he isn’t funny, and (c) he isn’t dead. Believe me, that’s high praise.

Sixth, and finally, I made the decision to devote my next blog-post to talking about my upcoming book-talks. As someone who hates marketing, I’ve been putting off the pleasure of tooting my own horn. … But now that I’ve come this far in the self-promotion department, I think I’ll follow through with my threat. So when I post again, I’ll give some dates, times and places. If you know anyone in Northern Jersey or the Washington, D.C. area, stay tuned.

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