2008-02-22 / Columnists

The Body Politic - And Impolitic

Many A Slip 'Tween Cup And Lip
Commentary By Publius

I have been around a long time. Those of you who know of Roman history or of the early history or our own nation know of me and what I did. Now, I'm back, writing on an irregular schedule for The Wave.

Note my political ramblings and take them to heart, if you will. If not, then go your own way and make your own bed in which to lie.

Some of my past ramblings have been important to the nation and, therefore, to the world. Check me out and you'll see that I tell the truth.

I have come back to serve you and enlighten your political understanding, because this has become one of the most interesting political years in recent memory.

Awoman and a black man fighting for the Democratic nod. A war hero from another generation and a man who believes that the bible should dictate a remake of the Constitution fighting for the Republican nomination.

Quite a year. Some might call it historic, reminiscent of the 1960 election when a young upstart named John F. Kennedy came out of Massachusetts to fight it out with an old campaigner named Richard Nixon.

But enough of history. Those who say that the past is prologue know what they're talking about, but the baby boomers that make up today's electorate do not often listen to the words of the past.

It is an absolute truth that those who fail to understand the past will live to regret it in the future.

Listen well to some maxims:

It is only February and much can happen between now and the November election. There have been lots of political slips between cup and lips.

Those who think that race and gender play no part in this election have not been paying attention.

Those who really believe that a Republican cannot win this year because President Bush has so tainted the party should realize that neither of the Democratic candidates could be termed "traditional." When people go into a voting booth (or whatever will pass for a voting booth in November) and pull the curtain, they often vote on their gut rather than on their reasoned judgment.

The spouses of presidential candidates should be seen and not heard. I don't even have to tell you what Bill Clinton has added to the campaign in a negative way. Michelle Obama, in her own middle-class, understated way, has started to equal Bill Clinton's negativity. Witness her comment, "For the first time in my adult life, I can be proud of my country." Where has she been? Wait until the McCain forces get a hold of that one when the real campaign begins.

Candidates should not urge that our Constitution be rewritten to reflect the Bible and should refrain from making the point that science is wrongheaded. The Neocons may be strong, but not even the evangelical community is sure that they want a president who sees the Bible as the driving political force.

Times have surely changed. Even the slightest hint of drug use as a youngster was once a death knell for a candidate. Obviously, that is no longer the case. When Bill Clinton was running, he admitted that he used pot, but had to add that he never inhaled. Obama, on the other hand, has admitted to regularly using pot and even some cocaine. He even speaks about flirting with Heroin, although he says he never used it.

When did the perception change that there is nothing wrong with drug use on the part of a political candidate, even when he or she was young? How about a little youthful assault? How about a little kidnapping or sexual abuse as a youth? Where do we draw the line? And, more to the point, how do we know that he is still not using pot or heroin? We don't, and I am sure that I don't want a president who does drugs. We didn't have those kinds of problems with George or Tom? Slavery, perhaps, but drugs!

Enough questions for this week. Perhaps some answers next time.

While I'm resting from my efforts, Google me and find out what I have done. You'll be surprised. And, perhaps you'll pay better attention next time.

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