October 27, 2004

To my dog on wheels I'll tell my secrets and more

* Hunter S. Thompson: Fear and Loathing Campaign 2004. excerpt:

"Did you see Bush on TV, trying to debate? Jesus, he talked like a donkey with no brains at all. The tide turned early, in Coral Gables, when Bush went belly up less than halfway through his first bout with Kerry, who hammered poor George into jelly. It was pitiful. . . . I almost felt sorry for him, until I heard someone call him "Mister President," and then I felt ashamed.

"Karl Rove, the president's political wizard, felt even worse. There is angst in the heart of Texas today, and panic in the bowels of the White House. Rove has a nasty little problem, and its name is George Bush. The president failed miserably from the instant he got onstage with John Kerry. He looked weak and dumb. Kerry beat him like a gong in Coral Gables, then again in St. Louis and Tempe -- and that is Rove's problem: His candidate is a weak-minded frat boy who cracks under pressure in front of 60 million voters.

"That is an unacceptable failure for hardballers like Rove and Dick Cheney. On the undercard in Cleveland against John Edwards, Cheney came across as the cruel and sinister uberboss of Halliburton. In his only honest moment during the entire debate, he vowed, 'We have to make America the best place in the world to do business.'

"Bush signed his own death warrant in the opening round, when he finally had to speak without his TelePrompTer. It was a Cinderella story brought up to date in Florida that night -- except this time the false prince turned back into a frog.

"Immediately after the first debate ended I called Muhammad Ali at his home in Michigan, but whoever answered said the champ was laughing so hard that he couldn't come to the phone. 'The debate really cracked him up,' he chuckled. 'The champ loves a good ass-whuppin.' He says Bush looked so scared to fight, he finally just quit and laid down.'"
...
"Presidential politics is a vicious business, even for rich white men, and anybody who gets into it should be prepared to grapple with the meanest of the mean. The White House has never been seized by timid warriors. There are no rules, and the roadside is littered with wreckage. That is why they call it the passing lane. Just ask any candidate who ever ran against George Bush -- Al Gore, Ann Richards, John McCain -- all of them ambushed and vanquished by lies and dirty tricks. And all of them still whining about it."
...
"Back in June, when John Kerry was beginning to feel like a winner, I had a quick little rendezvous with him on a rain-soaked runway in Aspen, Colorado, where he was scheduled to meet with a harem of wealthy campaign contributors. As we rode to the event, I told him that Bush's vicious goons in the White House are perfectly capable of assassinating Nader and blaming it on him. His staff laughed, but the Secret Service men didn't. Kerry quickly suggested that I might make a good running mate, and we reminisced about trying to end the Vietnam War in 1972.

"That was the year I first met him, at a riot on that elegant little street in front of the White House. He was yelling into a bullhorn and I was trying to throw a dead, bleeding rat over a black-spike fence and onto the president's lawn.

"We were angry and righteous in those days, and there were millions of us. We kicked two chief executives out of the White House because they were stupid warmongers. We conquered Lyndon Johnson and we stomped on Richard Nixon -- which wise people said was impossible, but so what? It was fun. We were warriors then, and our tribe was strong like a river.

"That river is still running. All we have to do is get out and vote, while it's still legal, and we will wash those crooked warmongers out of the White House."

* From the Thompson article:

"War is an option whose time has passed. Peace is the only option for the future. At present we occupy a treacherous no-man's-land between peace and war, a time of growing fear that our military might have expanded beyond our capacity to control it and our political differences widened beyond our ability to bridge them.

"Short of changing human nature, therefore, the only way to achieve a practical, livable peace in a world of competing nations is to take the profit out of war."

--Richard M. Nixon, "Real Peace" (1983)

* Banana Republicans. [via shut up already]

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