Wednesday, December 05, 2007


There’s no doubt that Governor Huckabee has whipped the competition in the charm department of the GOP, at least to this viewer of the Republican contest. Ron Paul may have the honest old country doctor market cornered, but Huckabee is the charmer on stage, the Republican Ruby Keeler backed up by a chorus of wannabe starlets. He is clearly at ease with himself, he can actually smile and laugh without it appearing that he has rehearsed being winsome before two consultants, a powder-puff and a mirror. Yes, that’s a show of real self-ease, one gets his ease right away although one cannot always be sure what his self is. Is it his old time religion, so strong a brew that it would leak over the Constitution, staining it permanently? Is it his anti-choice position, his lunatic anti-income tax proposals, or remarkable for a Republican candidate, his clear stance against torture that represents the real Huckabee self? Friends, I just ran this through spell-check and poor Huckabee keeps coming up as Chickadee, as in the immortal W.C. Field’s “My Little Chickadee.” This bring up the great question, can a man with an odd name become President? That’s for the people to decide, something that keeps the Obama fans on edge.

Why torture is so hard for the GOP to get its arms around is remarkable to me. Romney doesn’t want to discuss it for fear of giving our secrets away to the enemy, although having to watch Romney weasel about for the next four years as President might qualify as a form or land-boarding for America, being beaten over the head by the heaviest GOP clichés for four more years of foreign policy fumbling and domestic economic despair. If there is an unacceptable level of dullness and caution for a candidate Romney has long ago reached it. McCain who has actually experienced torture is against it, but he favors so many policies that promise more war and less economic justice that he is irrelevant in the moral competition. This brings up the ever fascinating Rudy whom so many Republicans outside of NYC, together with wife Judi, seem to love beyond all human understanding.

Rudy appears to be the Republican Father Christmas who will bring the hard core GOP voters the gift of impregnable national security, flex American muscle and stare down the world, why his very smile – that remarkable dental armor - the very Humvee of teeth that will provide an insurmountable border that will keep out the illegal aliens who threaten to weed their gardens. Trouble is, those of us who have lived through the NYC reign of Ragin’ Rudy know that this smiling Santa wants to take away your civil liberties in exchange for this so-called protection. He will get rid of the squeegee guys who annoy you at stoplights by offering to wash your already clean windows, but he will want to order about museums – telling them what they can and cannot display – and he will be at odds with every minority figure who stands up to him. This Santa Rudy constantly lies about his accomplishments, the gifts he brings to the GOP children are not security and a restoration of America’s reputation, he only offers the promise of an Emperor Giuliani, not just for his sexual morals which show a juicy bit of Ancient Rome, but for his hatred for all opposition to his will, his refusal to compromise with – hell, pay attention to reality. He is a moral disaster that has so far been confined to one city. He could become a national disaster. He claims to have made NYC safe, although it cannot be said too often that his arrogant refusal to heed warnings by placing the communications center for police and fire-fighters inside the World Trade Center after it had been attacked previously, together with his failure to provide the firefighters with good communications equipment was responsible for so many deaths. He was not the savior of 9/11; he was another survivor of a great American tragedy, but one he viewed as a means for personal aggrandizement as he paraded before the television cameras, and made himself rich and famous. He is a very bad man, America. He is not America’s Mayor, he is America’s nightmare. He is the only candidate who robbed a corpse to gain power and wealth.

The trouble with the GOP for unabashed old liberals like me is that those guys force me to get into the good and evil business – their turf - something I have spent a lifetime trying to avoid. The young man I was loved nothing more than shades of grey, saving the inky black tones for fascism, Stalinism, toothaches and bad movies. Now, thanks to the Bush/Cheney years of remorseless lying that has led to myriad deaths and American moral decline I have gotten into the good and bad mode and it’s hard to shake it. It’s my hope that a Democratic victory might bring back some of those shades of gray that our Founding Fathers wrote into the Constitution. Or at least give me the illusion that we can regain the lost ground of the past eight years with some dignity and a great deal of old fashioned humanity.