Campaign '06: Goodbye and Good Riddance
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Right to the end, this insane conversation between reality and Not Reality... The president of the United States still says we are reducing terrorism by fighting in Iraq; still says we are creating democracy; still says we're preventing the spread of nuclear weapons and making Israel more secure; and, shoddiest of all, still not allowing that our fallen have died in vain.
The vice president, meanwhile, has announced that, all things considered in Iraq, "if you look at the general, overall situation, (the Iraqi government is) doing remarkably well." And now he's gone off to hunt in South Dakota, thus demonstrating a perfectly balanced sense of reality. South Dakota is so sparsely populated, it's really hard to hit another hunter.
Meanwhile, in case you hadn't noticed, Iraq is in a state of full collapse. And Afghanistan is not far from it. Baghdad is worse off for water, sewer, electricity and infrastructure than it was before the war. The R's have taken care of the whole problem with the brilliance we have come to expect from them -- they have decided to abolish the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (which has previously exposed bribery, contracts to cronies, shoddy work, lost billions of dollars, the failure to track hundreds of thousands of weapons shipped there and more). You must admit this is big, bold and brainy. This is Karl Rove problem-solving at its best.
This campaign has been like getting stuck in Alice's Wonderland for three months. "There is no use trying, " Alice said, "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," replied the White Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Every time you turn around, you run into the Jabberwocky or the Frumious Bandersnatch -- Richard Perle in penitence -- or some other equally fantastic sight. The great Skywriter in the Sky has positively run amok with irony and has been splashing it all over the campaign like Jackson Pollock. Fortunately, it is not my duty to lend dignity to the proceedings. I do make it a rule to skip talk of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll -- but when Mark Foley turns out to the chairman of House Committee on Missing and Exploited Children, you know you just have to sit down like a tired dog and scratch for a while.
While this perfectly insane dialogue has been taking place, Congress stands before us so hopelessly corrupt that the stench has washed all over the country. Perhaps my least favorite excuse for cheating is, "Everybody does it." NO, everybody DOESN'T do it. Nor does the system make you do it, or alcohol or drugs or Jack Abramoff. I do not want to hear one more excuse -- apologize and go.
On the other hand, I am really going to miss the stories this Congress provided. Remember Terri Schiavo? I mean, you wake up one morning and there it is, kind of like finding Fidel Castro in the refrigerator. And you listen to these people who do hold high elective office having this debate -- as though they know, as though they have any idea, as though they have any right. And then there are some of the troops, like Randy "Duke" Cunningham, semi-owner of the houseboat "The Duke-Stir." Some days you couldn't wait to get up to find out who'd been indicted. I miss watching Katherine Harris from Florida wear less and less blue eye-shadow as she went through her Senate race.
Well, it's been rank -- racist, sleazy, lying and full of insinuating scare tactics. Thank God it's over.
Molly Ivins writes about politics, Texas and other bizarre happenings.