Archive for October, 2007


October 23, 2007

My wife Gloria has a subscription to the New Yorker. If you also do, you’re familiar with the ongoing Cartoon Caption Contest on each issue’s back page. Each week a new uncaptioned cartoon appears, with readers invited to submit captions. For some technical reason that I am clueless regarding, I can’t access the Submit An Entry function on their website, and stopped trying long ago. Which is just as well, because most of the time I have no ideas for a decent caption whatsoever, and on those infrequent occasions when I do, I usually have several, and since the magazine prohibits multiple entries, would just work myself into a dither trying to choose one to submit.

This week represents one of those latter situations.

The cartoon that made its debut in the October 22 issue shows several angels in heaven, bewinged, sporting halos and white robes, the scene set in fluffy clouds, but they’re all sitting on large, hassock-sized eggs. One in the foreground is speaking to another as both sit, looking less than delighted. My brainstorms:

“Obviously, His so-called ‘perfection’ doesn’t extend to furniture design.”

“All those images of the wings probably should have tipped us off.”

“Sure it’s ‘heaven,’ if you’re crazy about omelettes.”

Yes, yes, I know…I just thought I’d feel better if somebody got to read them.



October 5, 2007

On Air America radio yesterday they were playing clips from various taped comments made recently by several of the human hood ornaments who routinely issue statements in their role as leaders, or acknowledged spokesloonies, for the seriously far right Christian wing of the GOP. Richard Viguerie, James Dobson, that bunch. And they are not a happy crowd.

It seems that they are threatening to bolt the party because none of its current candidates for president pass their severe and needle-narrow form of muster. Giuliani is pro-choice, for God’s sake. Mitt, hell, who knows what he really believes, if anything. McCain? (Envision speaker thrusting finger down throat.) Fred Thompson? Hasn’t got the brains of a toaster oven and once shilled for Planned Parenthood. Brownbeck? Tancredo? Huckabee? Paul?

Nope, nix, and nuts. They’re each and every one of them flawed in some respect and/or on some issue: won’t pledge to work for a Constitutional gay marriage ban; fails to regard stem cells as living human beings; likes Mexicans; thinks we should stop killing Muslims; it’s always something.

You just can’t satisfy the Christian far right. I don’t think they’d be happy if the Republican candidate was John the Baptist.

“Didn’t he wash the feet of poor people? And baptized prostitutes? No thank you. That’s no better than Jimmy Carter.”

Accordingly, the Christian righties are threatening to offer up a candidate of their own, running presumably on the Pure Christian ticket. God only knows who they would nominate, but you can be sure it would scare the hell out of almost everybody to the left of Pat Robertson. It would barely pull off enough votes to qualify as a splinter, but would do so at a time and in an election when the GOP can’t afford any voter drain of any size.

The candidates, of course, have a terrific counterpunch to throw at the Christian righties: the threat that a vote for a third party candidate is essentially a vote for Hillary.

Hillary is in 2008 what Communism was the 1950s, and gays were in the 1990s. The hoodoo du jour.

Even the Viguerie/Dobson ilk admit that their base’s distaste for the current candidate crop is totally nullified by their fear and revulsion of Hill. As one of them said, “The idea of Hillary as president is the fundamentalist Christian Republican’s worst nightmare.”

Really? I don’t think so.

I think the fundamentalist Christian Republican’s worst nightmare as president would be Jesus Christ. All that poppycock about helping the needy, and brotherhood for the least among ye, and loving thy neighbor–and he’s in the White House??

I frankly wouldn’t want to be the average far right GOP Christian under those circumstances. “Let me see. You hate men who love other men, you harbor ill will toward those of other races and faiths, you would punish those whose behavior displeases you, and you are loyal to a king who makes wars on others. I know what I said about him who is without sin throwing the first stone, but as it happens, I am without sin, and I’m afraid you’re spending some time in hell.”

The secular far right would be just as screwed. Who’s the Commander in Chief? Why, the Prince of Peace. Rumsfeld would shoot himself. And he’d be far from alone. Numerous defense industry major stockholders, among others, would join him. You’d have to take a number to get onto the ledge outside the executive suites at Halliburton.

The far right is much better off dealing with the devil they know, even if they detest her, than they would be with a Genuinely True Christian. Fortunately for them, those are in very short supply.