Friday, May 16, 2008


Let me dispense quickly with the news from the realm of Presidential politics. Tonight, we are MUCH closer to an Obama Presidency than we were a week ago. Credit that to a combination of the following factors:

(a) the Superdelegates have obviously told Hillary that they would desert her en masse if she continued to go negative against Barack,

(b) John Edwards has proved to the world that you can be white and speak with a Red-state accent and still not think of Barack as a Muslim,

(c) some moronic Presidential speechwriter forgot one of the fundamental principles of life: thou shalt not encourage a gentile President to go before the Knesset and invoke the Holocaust in order to play partisan politics, and

(d) the candidate formerly known as “John McCain” – the same guy I had once supported over Al Gore – has decided to officially adopt the motto of “Four More Years!” It did work for Nixon in ’72 to the tune of 49 states. But if McCain keeps using heated rhetoric against Obama for taking the same positions McCain used to take before changing his name to “McSame,” and if he can’t come up with any way to distinguish himself from Dick Cheney other than opposing climate change … he’s more likely to win only one state rather than 49. (Oh, what am I saying. He won’t win only one state. There are still a number of states who would vote for ANY candidate over someone who comes across as a Muslim or a member of the “elite.” They never got the message from Jon Stewart – it’s good to be part of the elite! It’s a whole lot better, in fact, than to be so i’norant that you think Barack Obama is a Muslim.)

OK. So Barack will be our next President. And John “Mini Me” McCain will become the next President of the NRA. That’s been established. Can we take a little break from Presidential politics now? I’d rather talk about the election of the moment. The battle for the right to become the Junior Senator from the State of Oregon. It’s all going to be decided on Tuesday, folks. I’m flying out tomorrow morning to lend my hand, and I’ll be there until Wednesday morning. Obama, Schmobama. It’s Novick time!

All of my loyal readers are surely familiar with my old friend from law school, Steve Novick. If you’re new here, let me simply say that whoever you are, assuming you’re an adult, I can almost certainly tell you how to stack up against Novick in many ways.

  • You’re wealthier than he is (he’s got squadoosh for assets and never really had much)
  • You’re taller, too (he’s 4’ 9”)
  • You’ve got more arms than he does (I’m guessing one more)
  • You’re a whole lot less informed about public policy than he is (he’s always been a policy junky)
  • You’re a whole lot dumber than he is (he started at the University of Oregon at 14, where he majored in math, and matriculated at Harvard Law School four years later; at 21, when most Harvard students were finishing up college, he was graduating from the Law School with honors)
  • You’re more politically conservative than he is (yeah, he’s not going to campaign as a “moderate” any time soon, though the dude does break rank with me in his support of capital punishment)
  • You’re less outspoken than he is (in truth, he’s said a few stupid things, such as when he used the word “traitress” for Hillary and “hypocrite” for Bono; in fairness to him, that was before he started running for Senate … but still …)
  • You don’t have as many beers that were created in your honor (“Left Hook Lager” was created for Novick’s campaign; the name is based on his prosthetic left hand)
  • You’re not nearly as funny as he is (just check out his commercials if you don’t believe me).
  • And even though you’re taller and less “disabled” than Novick, you’re a hell of a lot less comfortable than he is in his own skin.

Exactly how comfortable is Novick in his own skin? The word from Oregon is that he laughed hysterically at all the reader comments that were written in response to the Wonkette blogpost about him. Check out these beauties:

My personal favorite is: “Did anyone else here read the whole wikipedia article? This guy f***ing went to college in his teens because his Jr. high shut down, then graduated Harvard law at 21. Also, he has the rare gift among democrats of calling a spade a spade in very few words. Can we please have Novick for president in 2016? After 8 years of smart black dude, I think we'll be ready for a badass child prodigy gnome who happens to have a couple of half-formed limbs.” Though I’m also partial to: “Oh my God. He's adorable. I want one for my very own.”

Yeah, those lines are classic. But Novick isn’t just an object of humor; he can create it too. Some of his lines from the time he practiced law at the Department of Justice are immortal. I once attended a party given by his old DOJ section in Novick's honor where the entertainment consisted largely of reading uproarious snippets from his old briefs and internal memos. I could repeat them all to you, but then I'd have to kill you.

My personal favorite Novickism, though, had nothing to do with his experiences at DOJ. It came about in 1989, when the University of Michigan was playing a little college from northern Jersey, Seton Hall, for the national championship in men’s basketball. Novick was raised in Oregon but was born in Newark. That was enough of a reason, apparently, for him to leave this message on my answering machine the night before the game:

Toxic waste, Garden State,
We are the Hall!
Hoyas, Hoosiers, they’re all losers,
We are the Hall!
Seton, Seton, can’t be beaten,
We are the Hall!
Goooooo Pirates!

Truth be told, as you might have expected, “the Pirates” lost to the Big School from Ann Arbor. But it doesn’t always have to work out that way. It doesn’t in Hollywood movies. And it didn’t always work that way in the Bible either.

Here’s hopin’ that Novick, the tiny man with the massive helping of brains, heart and courage, will slay two Goliaths -- the first next Tuesday, and the second on the first Tuesday of November.

(P.S. – Don’t expect me to be able to publish your comments while I’m gone. Sorry about that.)

1 comment:

Betty C. said...

That's cool that you'll be in the PNW! You may be in some of the same places as my niece who is very involved in the Young Democrats at U of O. I think I'll told you she'll probably be working for Barack's campaign there this summer.

Great piece and have a great time. I can't wait to read all about it.