Today, of course, is Election Day. I will go to the polls and, with the exception of one or two very local contests, grind my teeth as I choose from a menu of weirdos, deviants and liars.
With this in mind, I am posting the only "political" column I have in my portfolio. Originally run last March, it remains topical because smarmy politicians are always--and unfortunately--relevant.
My friend Bob recently mentioned that my columns are getting a bit “fluffy”. He suggests that I become more edgy and politically topical. After mulling this a bit, and calling Bob a communist several times in private, I decided to see where thinking about politics might take me.
The subject matter from which Bob suggests I draw is as tawdry as any Jerry Springer hour on daytime TV. At least the guests there are not elected or presidentially appointed, highly paid officials who enjoy the perks, benefits and respect of the American public— or at least used to.
Take Charlie Rangel. He was one of my favorites when I lived in New York. A decorated serviceman, articulate and engaging—we all loved him. And why not—he’s special enough to decide that paying taxes doesn’t apply to him. No matter, the sweat and tears of his constituents will provide his share. Here in Connecticut, we’ve got the white-maned, elder statesman in the person of Christopher Dodd. His dedication has earned political longevity as well as the right to play patty-fingers with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, accept preferential loan terms and undervalue his property in Ireland. Gotta love him. Even the Governator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was involved in nefarious personal tax issues a few years back. And he’s married to a Kennedy, for goodness sake!!!
There’s also the perpetually disheveled Tim Geithner. Appointed by Robin Hood himself and a proud member of the Merry Men, he also chose not to pay some taxes, citing confusion regarding the tax codes .If the Secretary of the Treasury is confused, what am I—an H&R Block representative? His colleague, Attorney General Eric Holder, has been cited for obstructing FBI investigations involving nuclear secrets….among other things. Even the Robot of the House, Nancy Pelosi, seems to have kicked some funny money towards her husband in a Water Resource Bill. What about Hillary who, besides committing the crime of owning just too darn many pants suits, has her issues with Whitewater, illegal fund-raising and even stealing some furniture from the White House?
And, Bob, what about the sex scandals? Mark Sanford takes off for Argentina for more than tango and tapas while former Governor Elliot Spitzer, after touting himself as the avenging nemesis of vice in his home state, exhibits some extremely bad taste in local prostitutes. One of the most befuddling recent hooplas involves the odd behavior of New York’s Eric Massa and his proclivity towards tickling his aides. Tickling, Bob.
I haven’t yet touched on the most repulsive of all, the smiling serpent, John Edwards. I don’t think he was quite as close to the presidency as has been suggested and he’s probably no sketchier in the morality department than some who made it to the oval office, but he is the most fun to loathe. After all, despite the recent reports that Elizabeth is a raving bitch, is she not suffering from a serious illness? Did he not, in taped conversations, refer to her “imminent death” and mastermind a plot (including diaper theft) to pin paternity of his look-alike daughter on an aide? And, is it not possible that his unctuous smile and conscienceless philandering turned Elizabeth into the shrew she is reported to be? Pass the Pepto Bismol, Bob.
I am exhausted, Bob. You’ll have to stick to cable news to satisfy your need for political punditry. I haven’t the stomach to become “hard-hitting." Every week I watch the Sunday news shows and wonder what has happened in this great country. Where is the leadership? The sacrifice? Where are the statesmen who will put the needs of the many before the need for “tickle parties”?
I will return, in weeks to come, with tales of Seth’s interminable snoring, my sons' consistent refusal to permit me to spoon feed them, my failing appliances and my cats’ litterbox habits, without regret. Either that or I will launch a campaign to run for president in 2012. I own no pants suits which may pose a problem. I also pay my taxes, have not been involved in any sex scandals (yet..) which, I suspect, disqualifies me from holding public office. So, Bob, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to start gathering my tax info for April. I have a really good accountant. Charlie, Tim, Chris and Arnie…call me, I’ll give you his number.