“Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so.” — Gore Vidal
NO PLASTER SAINT
Think of Martin Luther King, Jr. today. Think of what a brilliant man he was. Think also of what an imperfect man he was.
His work hastened the enactment of both the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The contender for the most evil American of the 20th Century, J. Edgar Hoover, kept a thick dossier on King’s sex life. Yep, King did those tawdry things outlined in the file. To people like Hoover, that file defined King.
To tens of millions of Americans who can now vote freely and don’t have to worry about not getting a job or being turned away from a hotel or restaurant because they’re the wrong color or sex, King was incapable of such “sin.”
Both views insult the man because they deny the fullness of his humanity, the good in him and his failings, his high principles and his base urges.
Me? I respect King all the more for knowing he battled with and often succumbed to temptation. He was just a guy — but what a human being!
Imperfect Men; A More Perfect Nation
Here’s all you need to know about the state of national politics in this holy land. Jon Huntsman today will endorse Mitt Romney for the Republican nomination for president.
Best Friends Forever
Huntsman is dropping out of the Republican primaries six days before the South Carolina vote and almost a week after he came in third in the New Hampshire beauty contest, a finish he told his supporters was a springboard to South Carolina. He made the decision this weekend.
Up until yesterday, his website listed chapter and verse as to why Romney is unelectable in November. Or, I should say, was unelectable. Romney is (oops again — was) a flip-flopper, a shark, a pretty boy, a man with no real philosophy.
Man, you’d have thought a Romney presidency would almost have been as devastating to America as the presidency of Barack Obama — who, by the way, was Hunstman’s former boss. The only thing Hunstman didn’t accuse Romney of was being a secret Muslim, but there’s only room in the political conversation for one of those, apparently.
Sunday, the keepers of the Huntsman website made all references to Romney’s evils vanish.
Hunstman’s Suddenly Mitt-Free Website
Politics would be a funny game if it didn’t make me so glum.
VOTE FOR ME — I’LL SET YOU FREE!
How weird is it that Rick Perry has suddenly positioned himself as the defender of the people, calling Mitt Romney a “vulture capitalist”?
Perry’s panicked. The man who has sold his governorship to any corporate entity that waves a check in his face, clearly figures the only bullet he has left in his cylinder is to accuse Romney of being a greedy capitalist pig.
Which Romney is — but so is Rick Perry.
It goes to show that the most powerful influence on politics is the virtually pathological ego that spurs a person to want to become a national leader.
Perry: “I’m The One.”
Perry gave up his precious economic philosophy in the snap of a finger when he felt himself in danger of losing out on the ultimate job promotion.
I’ll vote in the presidential election, sure, but I can’t shake the feeling that anyone who wants to be president of a nation of +300M people with some 5600 active nuclear weapons at his command is, well, a bit off. Why would any sane human being want that kind of responsibility?
Oh Yeah, I Can Handle This Thing — Don’t Worry
Just trying to meet the needs and desires of our massive population is daunting enough. Knowing that the ace you have up your sleeve in dealing with the world’s nations is an arsenal that could ignite at any moment a global holocaust makes the job desirable only to a crazy man or woman.
LOCAL POLS: LESS PHONY, JUST AS NUTTY
I spoke with Tim Mayer, the Bloomington City Council’s new president, last week. He’s refreshed from a nice holiday vacation and looking forward to picking up the gavel.
I apologized to him for not playing “Hail to the Chief” when he walked into the Book Corner and he graciously forgave me. “How does it feel to be the Commander in Chief of such an august body?” I asked.
He spun on his heel, pointed to the middle of his back and replied, “The target’s hanging right here.”
Mayer Was Comforted By Judge Mary Ellen Diekhoff After He Was Sworn In
Mayer became serious and said he’s looking forward to the task. In fact, he claimed the best part of being a council member is hearing the citizenry during the public comment sessions at the meetings. At which point I told him he needs psychiatric treatment.
Mayer is still sane enough to say I was probably right. Then he recounted the tale of a particular well-known citizen gadfly who attended every meeting and had a blustery opinion on every proposal. This man was a shrewd provocateur who knew just how far he could go when raising his idiosyncratic Cain — he knew, for instance, that he could get away with uttering the word shit during his comment period but not the F-bomb.
Anyway, Mayer remembered that the man was familiar enough with the personalities on the Council to be able to get under any of their skins. He knew how to rattle one female former Council president by saying repeatedly, “Listen here, girlie….”
The former president’s hair would stand on end at such moments.
BTW: as for last year’s Council president (and I’m not necessarily saying she’s the one referred to above), doctors in the decompression ward report that Susan Sandberg will be released from her straitjacket soon and should recover nicely, save for the occasional nightmare.
Susan Sandberg, Before She Was Institutionalized
Good luck, Tim.
WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN
Oh yes we will. We always do.