Thursday, January 24, 2008

Electile Dysfunction

Fairy-tales and for-before-against-modes are the stuff of campaigns these days with the democrats, while the republicans can get exercised over whether or not a candidate should believe that wives should submit to their husbands or if moral turpitude (translated, anything to get elected) explains the motives for changing one's mind. As the bard would have it…"To abort or not to abort, that is the question."

As a result, the spin-doctors in all camps are manufacturing cures for "electile dysfunction," defined as either total apathy or unusual arousal sometimes necessitating, respectively, 50 cups of coffee per day or a couple of OxyContins, depending on the duration of hyper-aggravation/cogitation. The claim is that overdosing either way might drive one to total distraction or hospital-traction, depending upon the severity of the inevitable crash.

The most delicious action on CNN on the 23rd was Bill Clinton's "chewing out" out in South Carolina of the CNN gang and all the other media folks and paparazzi, blasting them for pushing an anti-Hillary agenda and invoking the names of Congressman John Lewis and former UN Representative and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young, who had already paid Wild Bill the quintessential compliment the other day when he reckoned that Slick Willie had "known" more black gals than Obama, described by former prexy opponent Senator Joe Biden as both clean and articulate and thus, presumably, above that sort of perverseness.

This is what Bill Clinton said the other day to Obama: "You said in 2004 there was no difference between you and George Bush on the war, and you took that speech you're now running on off your Web site in 2004. There's no difference in your voting record and Hillary's ever since. Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen." This is what republican candidate Congressman Ron Paul said last March regarding the war-funding bill: "Surely we can do better than this supplemental authorization. I plan to vote no." That was no fairy tale, but one wonders if the candidates should not switch parties. Obama, of course, voted to keep the funding intact. Egad…electile dysfunction in spades!

Senators Clinton, who was for the war and illegal-immigrant-driver-licenses before she was against them, and Obama agree on one thing, to wit, that the only place fit to be caught dead or alive on any Sunday during an election year is in an African American Church, never mind their Sunday activities during the other three years of the election cycle. Hillary was doing an encore sermon at Abyssinian Baptist Church on the 20th (shades of Adam Clayton Powell and Charlie Rangel), while Obama was bringing the word in Ebenezer Baptist Church (formerly the co-pastorate of Martin Luther King, Jr.) in Atlanta. Both churches are tax-exempt institutions, thus making the activities unlawful, but what's a little thing like the law among friends? Just a fairy-tale, one supposes.

Electile dysfunction has conflicted especially the middle class because of John Edwards' insistence that there are two classes in the country, the rich and the poor, while he's making the fight for the middle class, making that segment wonder if one + one actually = two…or three, and, if so, how such an anomaly might influence a president's thinking. For instance, since Israelis (one) and Arabs (one) occupy Palestine (2), should the U.S support Egypt (3) to make everything fair and square? Of course, since Edwards' house is right at two-thirds of an acre under roof, something like 26,000 square feet, maybe he's been in the shade too long counting his money and allowed his cognitive resources to atrophy.

Electile dysfunction is triggered by the republicans, too. No one knows if McCain actually wants the southern border closed, or if Huckabee thinks that Southern Baptists treat women (or even pet iguanas) fairly, or if Romney got rich in a pyramid scheme. Giuliani keeps plugging his performance as potentially the "nation's mayor," a turnoff to most folks, who don't like New York anyway. There's much less electile dysfunction (some say an actual cure) created by Ron Paul because of his statement that he would ax the IRS during his first week in office, as well as get out of Iraq about that fast, in the bargain.

Electile dysfunction may be worse for African Americans and women this year than for anyone else because of the first serious candidacies in history of a black and a woman. The democrats have always taken the black vote for granted, but while it's still taken for granted it's being fought for by the black (built-in advantage) and the woman, whose husband was tagged by famous writer Toni Morrison as the first black president, even though he's white. But, like Obama asked, "Can he dance?"

Women have to make the choice between voting socially or sensibly since militant feminism has been extant for decades. Should a strong man, especially one like McCain, with extensive military- and decades of government-experience, be the commander-in-chief, or a woman who spoke of 35 years of experience while in New Hampshire, changed it to 16 years in South Carolina, and actually has held office for only seven years? Then, there's the vital question…who would actually do the job, Hillary or hubby Bill?

Electile dysfunction…quite a problem this election year!

And so it goes.

Jim Clark

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