Maybe you can help me. I saw this quote from James Carville, which went, “I don’t care who gets married, but the Republicans will use this [the gay-marriage issue] to divide the Democrats and reduce us to an accumulation of interest groups — a woman’s right to choose, a kid’s right to education, a transgender’s right to whatever.”
Whoa, whoa: “a kid’s right to education”? I understand everything else — abortion, etc. — but not that. Aren’t we, the Republicans, the folks standing for “a kid’s right to education” — especially one outside a failing, dangerous, decrepit, heartless public school? It seems to me that the Democrats have been standing in the schoolhouse door for years, refusing to let kids out, into something better. This is especially appalling in the nation’s capital itself.
And our Republican president? GWB is as obsessed with “leaving no child behind” as he is with terrorists.
So, my advice to Carville: Stick to the transgendered business, if only for comprehension’s sake.
By the way, on the 2000 Bush campaign, if one wanted to do a Bush imitation, one might well have done it on “leave no child behind”: “We must leave no child — no chile — behind.” He said it in increasing degrees of fervor.
I could also do, “I’m keeping real good company today. Got Gov. Tom Ridge, and the fabulous Ridge family. And I keep real good company with Laura Bush.” (Sorry, it must be heard — is kind of dead on the page.)
The soccer club of the Jihad Mosque, in Hebron, isn’t your ordinary soccer club. Its members carry out terror bombings against Israelis. According to Newsweek, a couple of teammates recently disguised themselves as yeshiva students, in order to infiltrate a Jewish community and kill two people.
Lovely, these young athletes. Remember the First Lady of South Africa and her Mandela United Football Club? The ones who murdered young Stompie Seipei, when he refused to cooperate with one of Winnie’s criminal schemes?
I propose a match between the Jihad Mosque team and Winnie’s boys. And, oh, those soccer moms must be so proud.
And New Jersey should be fairly proud. It has finally gotten rid of its “poet laureate,” Amiri Baraka, né LeRoi Jones: Actually, the governor abolished the position, being unable, apparently, to fire Baraka from it (for reasons I’ve had trouble understanding).
The Bard of the Garden State has written such poetry as, “Who knew the World Trade Center was gonna get bombed? / Who told 4,000 Israeli workers at the Twin Towers to stay home that day? / Why did Sharon stay away?”
Hey, I know several “conservative” publications that would happily publish these mots!
For about two years, I have praised (cautiously) the leadership of Musharraf in Pakistan, and I continue to do so. He has said things that no Pakistani leader — or any other leader of a Muslim country — has dared say. It is not “enough,” no. But is it ever?
Lately, he has been floating the idea of a Pakistani recognition of Israel. Extremists in his country, of course, vow the worst against him. Said an Islamist leader, “General Musharraf has no right to recognize Israel, and if any action is taken at any level, the MMA [the Islamist's organization] would launch a mass agitation to overthrow him.”
I’ll bet. And as long as I have on my defending-world-leaders hat, I will say that — Nazi crack or no — I’m still in the corner of Silvio!, a breath of fresh air on that stuffy continent.
The other day, I was perusing some Bush speeches, and re-read his State of the Union address from 2002. You remember: the one in which he listed Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as an “axis of evil.”
Or did he? I was shocked to discover that he was far less narrow than that. He talked about those three regimes, yes. And then he said, “States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.”
I expressed my shock to David Frum. He was decidedly unshocked, saying that he had explained this in interview after interview, without making much headway (it would seem). People are always asking, “Gee, if Bush put Iraq, Iran, and North Korea on the list, why didn’t he include” . . . name your own country. And that’s exactly what we can do, mentally, or out loud for that matter: name our own countries, within “states like [the three], and their terrorist allies,” who do indeed constitute that axis of evil. So you can vote for Syria, Saudi Arabia . . . help yourself.
By the way, Bush says something about Musharraf, in the 1/29/02 speech: “I admire the strong leadership of President Musharraf.” Still holds, by the look of it.
In previous columns, I’ve noted the amazingly absurd and hostile rhetoric of Sen. John Edwards, who’s runnin’ for president. Mrs. Edwards is no picnic either. Out in Iowa, Mizz E said, “Bush is honoring wealth; we’re trying to honor the hard work that brings wealth. The most selfish among us seem to be running our government.” That’s pretty rich, coming from Class-Action Suit Central. But at least they’re united. “The family that calumniates together, stays together.”
Move over, now, to the Gephardts. On CNN, Judy Woodruff was questioning Chrissy Gephardt, about the gay life, her father’s increasing emotionalism on the stump, etc. “There are critics out there saying your father has, in some ways, used your family — your brother, his experience with cancer when he was a little boy, your own experience — people are saying, maybe he’s even exploiting his family to humanize himself. What do you say to those people?”
Chrissy said they were full of beans. But then she said, “If anything, I think [all this] humanizes my father, because he’s been through a lot of the same trials and tribulations as other American people.”
Ay, caramba (even aside from “other American people”). Beware the candidate who feels the need to “humanize” himself. Problem with most of ‘em, they’re all too human. (Hey, that’d make a neat title for a book. Maybe about Clinton. Oh, yeah . . .)
Moving over to Lieberman: Speaking about his fund-raising, he said, “Someone said to me that Sam Snead used to say he never played against his opponents; he played against par. I’m trying to set par for myself and see if I can beat it.”
Um, I don’t really care what Sam said (and he said a lot of things, on a lot of occasions): He tried to beat the bejesus out of people. Believe you me. “Trust Mother,” as gossip columnist Cindy Adams says (oh, wait, that doesn’t work here.)
You remember what Sam said in response to Ted Williams? The great ballplayer had claimed that hitting a baseball was more difficult than hitting a golf ball. Snead replied, “I’m not sure about that, but I know one thing: We have to play our foul balls.”
A wit, that old West Virginia SOB.
Guy named John Cox running for Senate in Illinois. He said, “As a true conservative, I’m going to run for office in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, and in the spirit of George W. Bush.” Works for me — three of my hottest, happiest buttons, right there.
Finally (in this little political round-up), I’d like to register my disgust with what the White House and the national GOP are apparently doing in New York. Actually, it more concerns what they’re not doing. It seems that they’ve decided not to oppose Sen. Charles Schumer in 2004, or to oppose him only lightly, so as not to arouse the Democratic base, giving George W. Bush a better shot of carrying the state up at the presidential level.
This is the sort of political cuteness, or defeatism, that leaves me growling. Never up, never in, is a saying we have in golf (as long as I’m quoting from that realm). You can’t beat somebody with nobody. Etc. If you don’t try, you’re sure-’nough cooked. It was disgraceful that the Republicans put up no one — no one — against Sen. John Kerry in Massachusetts last time. (The Republicans just won the governorship there. Again.) People like me look to Republicans to vote for. And we deserve them.
Come on, guys, at least effing participate.
(End of rant.)
I have received my galley of Abby and Steve Thernstroms’ new book, No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning. I look forward to tucking into a volume that’s sure to be of critical importance. But I noticed one thing right away: It is dedicated to Thomas Sowell, and this touched me, for this is a man who has toiled, often in the most adverse conditions, for years, and who has done terrific good, and who deserves to be thanked, by all of us, as has now happened, in a way, through the Indispensable Couple: Steve and Abby.
I know, I know, I should leave this garbage alone. But a couple of comments on various Kennedy affairs. (Didn’t you think, with me, that the women were supposed to be good?) First, let me visit an article about the late JFK Jr., and his wife, the late Carolyn Bessette, and Michael Bergin — the Baywatch stud who was Carolyn’s lover pre-JFK Jr. (Well, the “pre-” bit is in question.) According to an account in the New York Post, “Once [Carolyn] and JFK Jr. were married, [a source] added, Bergin ‘decided to stop seeing her. There is something strangely decent about Michael, and he was respectful of marriage vows.’”
Yes: strangely decent!
And check out the one and only Donald Trump, on the Kerry Kennedy-Andrew Cuomo fallout: “I thought it was a terrible statement. [Cuomo's lawyer had spoken about Kerry's "betrayal."] If it didn’t work, you get out. You say, ‘We both love each other, it’s wonderful, but we’re going our separate ways.’ I mean, he really seems to be taking it very hard [!]. . . . He’s really much better off getting on with life.”
You tell ‘im, Donald! (Zeitgeist, thy name is Trump.)
Last, I was rather startled to discover — via another New York Post story — that Kerry and her kids ate Domino’s pizza, up in Hyannis Port over the Fourth of July. In my office, we sometimes refer to that grub as “pro-life pizza” — and while I was in college, I knew a lot of people who wouldn’t eat it, owing to the anti-abortion views (and funding) of the Domino’s founder, Tom Monaghan.
Saw that movie L’Auberge espagnole. Piece of trash — immoral, shallow, and vain — but enjoyable. A Frenchwoman comments that Barcelona is dirty. Her companion (also French) admonishes her, “That’s racist.” Racist! So true to life, that scene, for just about everyone I went to school with was just like that (like the “racist” claimer).
Well, I think New York is dirty. Does that make me a racist? An anti-American? Yeah, probably, in a worldview so perverse that there’s no reconciling with it.
Finally, Buddy Hackett has died, and the news reminded me of how much I enjoyed him. How I thrilled to see him on the Tonight show, when I was a kid! This was in part because he was as dirty as one dared to be on TV at that time. The great shtick was that he would try to tell dirty jokes, and Johnny would stop him. Buddy would find a way to bowdlerize them sufficiently. Johnny was always nervous, and in stitches.
I remember one joke, in particular — clean. I adored it. Unfortunately, it was mainly a visual, but I’ll do my best to convey it. Two old guys are sitting on a bench in Central Park. One of them gets up very slowly, creakily, with extreme effort. The other looks up, points, and says, “Where ya runnin’?”
You just had to see him do it.