Darwin, Dolts and Baseball: Painting the Corner in the Land of the Brain-Dead
By Warren Pease
Like most knee-jerk lefties, I cringe and cackle every time some doofus school board in some really important place like West Cretinsburg, Tenn. decides to give the Bible and Darwin equal billing. But then again. . .
When you consider that, in a little more than 200 years, our leadership has degenerated from George Washington to George W. Bush, the concept of evolution becomes somewhat difficult to defend, while the divine right of kings gains unfortunate credibility.
There was a time, just a couple of months ago, when we had the luxury of allowing fools, ideologues and nitwits to run our government. We told ourselves that they couldn't screw things up so thoroughly as to be beyond recovery in the next election cycle. So an endless stream of mediocrities came before us every four years - sucking obscene amounts of corporate money while pretending to do the peoples' business. A dwindling percentage of the electorate ratified one of them and we all went on about our lives much as before.
We had the luxury of really believing that it's just the economy, stupid. And for the most part, it was. We could afford the slack-jawed myopia of voting our pocket books because nothing else really mattered all that much. The US the planet and the worst thing we had to endure was the occasional mild recession followed by a bull market that enriched all but the poorest 30 percent, and Reagan taught us to stop caring about them way back in the early '80s.
I think what happened on September 11 is that we lost the cushion. We're now in desperate need of smart, innovative people running the show and now we're stuck with a cast of predictable dim bulbs, Reagan/Bush I retreads and reflexive cold warriors. I can't imagine a situation that calls more urgently for leaders to shelve the ideology that substitutes for thought, and I can't imagine an administration less willing or able to do so.
The fact is, whether anyone cares to admit it or not, the Usurper in Chief was an inflexible ninny on September 10 and he remains one today. How anyone can emerge from both Harvard and Yale without any perceptible effect is astonishing, but the evidence seems clear. This intellectually lazy, incurious, verbally challenged incompetent ranks far below even the abysmal standards of contemporary American politics.
We watch in stupefaction as the Moppet in Chief blends mangled syntax, simplistic moral absolutes and historical hogwash into a cheap, pre-fab, Kindergartenish world view. "This is an evil man we're dealing with and I wouldn't put it past him to develop evil weapons to try to harm civilization as we know it," he said of Osama bin Laden after a recent meeting with French president Jacques Chirac and, in the process, breaking Pat Robertson's world record for use of the word "evil" in a single month.
This from the unelected leader of the only country on the planet that has actually used nuclear weapons; that has stockpiled some of the more exotic and deadly biological and chemical agents on the lame pretext that it's using them to develop counteragents and vaccines; that has no apparent qualms about killing and maiming civilian populations in pursuit of its military and economic objectives; and is steadfast in its opposition to treaties limiting nuclear weapons proliferation, banning land mines, and ameliorating the effects of fossil fuels on the global climate.
Harming civilization as we know it, indeed. Bush's mere presence on the world stage is an affront to civilized people everywhere.
During the 2000 campaign, somebody wrote that Bush was so stunningly incompetent that he could tank the economy and get the country involved in a war within his first year in office.
As I watched him butcher the simplest sentences, gaze slack-jawed as questions arose for which he had no memorized answers, mouth the simple pieties that replace critical thinking for this child of the heartland. . . Even after watching months of this truly stupid, irrelevant man at his witless worst, I didn't believe anyone could be so dumb or disengaged to reverse the biggest bull market in history and commit the US to yet another unwinnable war. Silly me.
Fortunately for him, he has the American mainstream media shilling and deflecting criticism in a near-universal love fest that would embarrass the most jaded trollop. Recently, Chris Matthews - when he was able to tear himself away from fondling Karl Rove's inner thigh long enough to write a column - gushed about the Sportsman in Chief's ceremonial first pitch at the World Series:
"There are some things you can't fake. Either you can throw a strike from 60 feet or you can't. Either you can rise to the occasion on the mound at Yankee Stadium with 56,000 people watching or you can't.
"On Tuesday night, George W. Bush hit the strike zone in the House that Ruth Built . . .
"This is about knowing what to do at the moment you have to do it -- and then doing it. It's about that "grace under pressure" that Hemingway gave as his very definition of courage."
So the "Hardball" guy extends the metaphor and offers us a new yardstick by which to measure our heroes: Above all, they need to be able to throw strikes in front of a packed house and a national TV audience. By that standard, give me Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Mariano Rivera or Roger Clemens, maybe even Byung-Hyun Kim. And even though Kim's not a citizen, I'll happily take a Korean with a live arm over a Texan with a dead brain.
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Would you trade the Benchwarmer in Chief for a couple of solid starters and a player to be named later? Would you trade Karl Rove and Ari Fleischer for a cracked intake manifold and a rusty ratchet wrench? Reply to firstname.lastname@example.org and let's make a deal.
Mr. Pease had this article originally published on DemocraticUnderground.com
Copyright SRC, Inc. 2001. All rights reserved.
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