Friday, April 18, 2008


I watched the Democratic Debate the other night, presented on ABC, and hopefully the last debate of the season. Most of the time alloted for the debate was spent on subjects that have been spotlighted on the news channels for the past few weeks, to a point where you felt like screaming if they were mentioned again.

They asked questions about Hillary ducking bullets upon arrival in Bosnia. We have heard that subject again and again and again. Actually, if I were to visit Bosnia, even today, I would be peeping over my shoulder constantly, fearful of bullets whizzing my way. And I am not the wife of a president.

It is clear that Hillary exaggerated that story a bit, but what Old Soldier doesn't add a bit of excitement to a war story? It's no fun if it is too mundane. Let's cut her a little slack for embellishing her bravery and sense of adventure.

So Hillary describes herself as a hunter and a gun-lover. That gets votes. If I ran for office, I would be a hunter and a gun-lover, too. I hope she can handle a gun better than Dick Cheney, and I hope she shoots better than she bowls.

Then, too, we asked Obama why in heck he doesn't wear that Flag Lapel Pin? One would think that a Flag Lapel Pin is mandatory for all good Americans to wear! One would think that we just couldn't elect a President who didn't wear a Flag Lapel Pin. After all, it would indicate that his sympathies lie with Canada or maybe even Saudi Arabia. Yep, a sure sign that he hobnobs with terrorists. No terrorists would wear a Flag Lapel Pin, we know that. They can look like Americans, act like Americans, fool Americans, then hijack a plane or blow up a city, but they never would wear a Flag Lapel Pin. It's a subject of immense importance.

Then, we asked Obama why he was so cozy with a man connected to all the murder and mayhem that took place during the Viet Nam era. This man was a bomber, no less! We have never had a chance to ask George Bush why he bellied up to Chalabi, that pro-Iranian liar who promised that the Iraqi would welcome us with hearts and flowers. Nor have we had a chance to ask George Bush why Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia was, according to Bob Woodward, made privy to American war plans, a distinct breach of American law. No, we never have had a chance to ask George about Bandar Bush, but ABC's moderators did ask Obama about his association with a Viet Nam era bomber. A sure sign that he must be a subject for Homeland terrorism, akin to Waco and Ruby Ridge and Oklahoma City!

We never learned whether or not Obama even knew that the man was a Viet Nam era bomber. We never learned when it has been decided that a man's character depends upon people that he bumped into as a neighbor or as a member of some city board. Of course, we did insinuate that Obama cannot be anything less than evil because of the angry words of his pastor, the Rev. Knight.

Frankly, I am sick of the Rev. Knight and his angry sermon. I don't care what the Rev. Knight said. Perhaps he was aggrieved in some way that led him to feel this fury, I don't know. I have never talked to the man. I have, however, talked to people from Chicago who say he has done immeasurable good, with children's programs and help for the poor.

What kind of people have we become that we measure a man's patriotism by a lapel pin and by the words of his pastor? I can't even remember the words of the last pastor I tried to hear. I think I fell asleep during the sermon. He could have damned Jesus Christ himself and I wouldn't have known it or cared.

What kind of people have we become that we measure a woman's honesty by a story of an airplane landing in a troubled land? What kind of people have we become that our political races are filled with plain filth and foolish nonsense, that accusations are hurled back and forth like a bunch of 8th Grade school kids in a food fight?

Would it not be better if we listened to what any candidate had to say about waging war, handling money, helping the homeless, feeding the poor, giving health care to the sick and help to the elderly? Would it not be better if we conducted ourselves on an adult level, dug into the issues, and made damned sure we didn't elect another bunch of pedophiles and drunkards, another passel of greedy cheaters, another religious radical who claims God told him to wage war?

We seem to have descended into some kind of pre-election Hell, where we skewer our candidates with oral knives and label them as untrustworthy and unfit, even as we ignore the morass of trouble our country is in today. One Candidate makes an unfair and unimportant accusation, the other responds, and we are on a merry-go-round of juvenile cat-calling. Every human being deserves dignity except, it seems, a Presidential candidate. Then, any humiliation is allowed.

Remind me to thank ABC for a terrible, boring evening, an evening that left me more confused than I was before I tuned in. If I didn't want to watch the conclusion of LOST, I would stage a personal boycott of that network. But now that I am bogged down in the story of Jack and Kate, trying to figure out whether I am watching the past or the future, looking at the picture with one eye while I read their explanations with the other. I feel that I cannot desert them. The folks on LOST are as confused and battered as the follower of political debates. The difference is, we don't have a magic island that clears up our problems.

By the way, is Obama an "elitist"? I hope so. Elitists would have to be intelligent and a little intelligence might go a long way after eight years of none at all. It would fill in that vacuum we have had in Washington, D.C., where Greed has taken precedence over common sense.