As the November 7 mid-term elections approach, things are getting hot:
Let’s start with the quality of political rhetoric, which hit the fan big time on the Senate floor on June 24, 2004, when Vice President Cheney told Vermont Senator Leahy to “Go f___ yourself.” (After Cheney accidentally shot a hunting companion earlier this year, Leahy quipped that, in hindsight, the Vermont Senator got off relatively easy in his clash with the V.P.) Then this summer our Commander-in-Chief was heard using the “s” word at the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, speaking as the Leader of the Free World to another Head-of-State. We’re clearly not talking Gettysburg Address here, and just who are these trash-talking guys Bush and Cheney – Howard Sterns in dark blue suits? Where is the rage from the Religious Right as the Republicans become firmly entrenched as the potty mouth party?
Speaking of the Religious Right, it has been a busy time for the devil and politics lately. First Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez called Bush the devil in his address to the United Nations in his now famous “I can still smell the sulfur” rant. Not to be outdone, Reverend Jerry Falwell subsequently announced that if Hillary Clinton runs for President, more Falwell followers would turn out to vote against Hillary than if the devil were on the ballot. Not to be outdone, leftist presidential front-runner in Ecuador’s elections, Rafael Correa, subsequently declared that the devil should feel insulted by comparisons to George Bush. Talk about lesser of two evils!
Whether you believe in the Fire-Down-Below or not, Baghdad continues to burn – a humanitarian calamity of awesome scale – and the Democrats continue to flounder on the issue with no coherent exit strategy for the voters. I have a suggestion – call it the “George Bush Peace Plan for Iraq” and use it to “cut and run” from Iraqi soil, exactly as America did following the Gulf War in 1991. Here is how it works. Restore Sunni rule in the Sunni Triangle and make it the nominal national government. The Kurds to the north and Shiites to the south get semi-autonomous states, protected from the Sunni military by no-fly zones patrolled daily by U.S. and U.K. fighter planes. Deploy an army of professional arms inspectors on the ground with the right to make surprise inspections and destroy any effort by Iraq to develop Weapons of Mass Destruction. An oil-for-food program will help feed Iraq’s children. Sound familiar? It is exactly the plan implemented by George Bush when he “cut and ran” from Iraq – not the current president but his daddy, George Bush. A thousand or more Democrat candidates running for all levels of government should unite and hold a press event next week at Kennebunkport to unveil their “George Bush Peace Plan for Iraq.” Let the current president run against his father on the Iraq issue, not the Democrats. Daddy got us out of this mess once before.
A final note on fires – the Day Fire burned a huge swath of Ventura County over the entire month of September. Could it have become a campaign issue to help Democrat candidate Phil Angelides’ gubernatorial campaign hit critical mass? (So far his campaign resembles more a remake of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.) Seems the usual hodgepodge of civilian and local government aircraft were no match for the Day Fire. One major innovation, a newly developed DC-10 jumbo jet that drops huge amounts water, was deployed for just one day, then was mysteriously sent home while the firestorms continued to rage. Sooner or later some politician is going to stand up to the bureaucrats and do the right thing – change our laws so that hundreds, even thousands of military aircraft can deploy within hours and douse wildfires. It is the way wildfires are fought in Europe. The ultimate irony is that if the Day Fire had erupted on the premises of Camp Pendleton or Vandenberg AFB, the military would have extinguished it, since they are allowed to fight fires on military property. Our military has the most advanced aircraft and the world’s best-trained pilots. We need vision and leadership on this issue – are you listening Phil?