While riding our Vespas around northern Italy, we were able to pick up snippets of the presidential (and vice) selection process on the TV. No indepth coverage (perhaps mercifully) but enough to witness theater of the absurd unfold before our very eyes.
We arrived home late last night, and in this morning's IHT, found two very appropriate pieces. Reporting from Lake Woebegon, Garrison Keillor hits the nail right on the head (or is it "hits the finger right on the nail"?) when he describes the state of affairs as "Forget the past - it's only history". From the very start of the John and Sarah show, my mind drifted back to the days when Abe Beame ran for mayor of New York City on a platform of cleaning up the fiscal disaster the city was suffering. Bill Buckley, one of his opponents, wisely noted that Beame was, for all intents and purposes, running against his own record, as his was the sitting Comptroller of the city, and had previously served as budget director for several years.
Now, we have a couple of GOP "mavericks" running for office against, make that stridently against, the record and actions of their own party over the past 10 years or so. And thousands of convention supporters cheered them on. Not one seemed to realize that the mess they are screaming to clean up is not only of their own making, but rooted in the very ideals of their party. A good summary of the past seven years of GOP wonderment was also provided in the IHT this AM as well.
And then there is the new approach to "Family Values" we find. Now, a high school junior who becomes pregnant out of wedlock is a national role model because she is "going to keep the baby". Apparently abstinence is unnecessary as long as you decide to keep the child. Wasn't it just a few years ago when a sitting president's extra-marital BJs were condemned for the "horrible example" it set for America's youth? While the sins of the children should not be visited upon the mother, isn't it a bit absurd that this unwed, pregnant child has been elevated to role model super star? Hell, what I wouldn't have done for a role model like that when I was in high school. All those girls who held onto their virginity out of fear of pregnancy would have easily fallen to my charms if they were presented with the stardom of the GOP's current day moral standards.
I wonder who the McCain/Palin pair would be willing to identify as the top 20 GOP Pork Barrel violators? I also wonder if they would be maverick enough to tell their constituents to throw those 20 out of office this Nov? Indeed, while serving as Gov, Palin's Alaska received more pork $$$ per capita from the US than any other state. Virtually all with Palin's support or by her request.
Oh, well, we Americans must be bringing it upon ourselves. We are a new country with no sense of history and a corresponding lack of memory.
But then, even if it's Theater of the Absurd, at least it's theater.