Independence ’08

Aquarian Weekly 6/13/07 REALITY CHECK


Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost. – John Quincy Adams

Al GoreNow that the Democratic-controlled Congress has scurried away with its collective tails tucked neatly between its legs and our Boy President has his hefty slaughter budget, perhaps the majority of the U.S. citizenry will see it clear to finally look outside the infinitely neutered two-party system for a chief executive. Polls indicate this is a distinct possibility. Of course, after the 2004 presidential election results anyone who views any poll as anything more than a hollow mind-screw can only blame themselves. But I dabble in politics here. And politics is silly with polls. Polls that mean even less than nothing 500 days from pay dirt with half the possible 2008 candidates still pussyfooting around Hollywood and the Bible Belt. Long way to go, buster. A long painful way.

But for the sake of fun and frolic, I give you the latest Gallup poll, which paints a split electorate: Republicans, 27 percent; Democrats, 34 percent; independents, 38 percent.

Anyone who has endured this nearly decade-long rave-clutter I send to press every week knows I’ve been ringing the “independent candidate” bell since 1980 when a young and smarmy jc headed to the voting booth and yanked a lever for John Anderson. Since, I have mostly voted for independents save a few vengeance votes thrown in to skew the bell curve. So, one might consider these recent poll numbers, however vacant they appear to my battered logic, bringing a measure of joy to a miserable shit like myself.


It’s a fixed game. The Electoral College is not set up for mavericks, outsiders, and alternatives. It is a system. And by definition it has its limitations and rules and restrictions, making it nearly impossible, no, sorry – impossible for anyone to bring about a systemic shift. Pat Buchanan told me this in 2000, Ralph Nader in 2004, and in way, although not as directly or grumpily, the humorlessly ill-fated 1992 Ross Perot campaign, which garnered 19 percent of the popular vote and yet not one Electoral notch, resounded it to the rafters.

Hell. No matter the freak-show, we aim to plug it, flaunt it, and vote for it. If you can’t beat it, dismantle it.

Meanwhile, we choose from the predictable pot. A pot which could become even more crowded if Al Gore and Fred Thompson listen to the hue and cry.

Sure. The potential candidate is always sexier than the fifty we already have to choose from. It’s the back-up quarterback theory: At any level, the guy starting and stinking makes the unknown commodity on the bench a blooming rose. The problem nearly always arises when everyone is sadly reminded why the back-up is a back-up.

Despite spending much of my waking hours in the wretched and unforgiving summer and autumn of 2000 bribing, spitting and penning for the downfall of the vice president, I invite Al Gore to run. For nothing else but to see the Clinton Machine, his former champions, slice and dice him to gory shreds. What would James Carville do then? What kind of rift would it cause? What measure of contemptible flotsam would it produce? Oh, the joys of big-time party politics.

Gore is this year’s white elephant, a Ted Kennedy-type specter hovering over the proceedings, playing the polls and the media, keeping his name alive for the last remnants of his fifteen vainglorious Tinseltown minutes. And although he reeks of defeat and sore-loserism, he is also a delicious choice for those who felt cheated by the 2000 Florida shenanigans and a prime cut candidate for those who bleed Clinton but realize that a woman has no chance to carry the South or Midwest, especially the key battleground states that John Kerry so flippantly pissed away.

But it’s easier to be the pundit, the specter, the back-up, as long as you don’t have to produce. And all of us awake enough to recall his first go-round do not wish that on the most hated of our enemies. Gore is better on the sidelines with windbags like Newt Gingrich, who are pithy and witty and full of grit as long as they don’t have to win anything anymore. That train left the station without them many moons ago. Their tickets have been punched. Nostalgia is one thing, but civic victory is a twisted bitch mistress with fangs.

Once bitten…

Fred Thompson? He’s a tease. An actor. This is a plus for presidents, especially conservative Republican presidents, but only those in the game; governors of big states, not has-been dilatants who abandoned Washington crying about boredom. But according to, Thompson has already decided to run and will likely announce within the month, grabbing him a huge chunk of the pro-life, anti-gay contingent not hoarded by religious zealots and human asterisks. This is especially bad news for Mitt Romney, who was already a few weeks from tattered, and worse news for anyone not singing Thompson’s right-wing tunes come primary season.

Remaining are the independent teases, which now either land on those of the expanding pack of Democrats and Republicans who could pull a clever Joe Lieberman ruse or this rather interesting Internet fad called Unity ’08.

Basically Unity ’08 surmises a combined Republican/Democrat hybrid ticket matching together all the tired over-hyped agendas of these party dinosaurs to make it seem new, like these laughable attempts of slop-house fast food chains whipping up the odd “health food” menu to keep the watch-dog wolves at bay. The only truly interesting odd-couple combo would be this proposed rabid anti-war/global warming Bloomberg/Hagel ticket, for no other reason but that NYC’s mayor is a billionaire four times over and would saturate the political landscape with so much white noise neither entrenched party could escape unscathed.

Hell. No matter the freak-show, we aim to plug it, flaunt it, and vote for it. If you can’t beat it, dismantle it. This has been our raison d’etre here, and we see no reason to stop.

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