I heard all your staff left to work for that dreadful moneybags, Steve Forbes. Tough luck, killer. Please find enclosed a check for $10. I know its not much, but its the thought that counts.
And Ive been doing a lot of thinking lately. Like how nicely my boot would smash through the telly the next time I see Slick Willie trying to look contrite and stately. No wonder Ive been suffering from a serious bout of insincerity fatigue. Marilyn Manson, the Academy Awards, rap videos, pro wrestling one sham after another. Then I see you holding forth on the political gab circuit and for some reason I feel at ease, like I can relax and not have to worry about what kind of bullshit youre going to try to peddle. You talk straight, youre comfortable in your own skin and you dont care about polls a rare bird indeed.
Not like Al Gore or Shrub Bush. Pragmatic idealism? Compassionate conservatism? What the devil kind of talk is that? Lamar Alexander got it right. Those are the weasel words of micromanaged stiffs trawling down the middle of the road. Dont worry, though I dont like the looks of Lamar. Hes tired, Bob Dole tired, whereas you seem to get more energized the longer youre on the scene.
They dont call you Beltway Buchanan for nothing. What was it? Undergrad at Georgetown, grad school at Columbia. Eight years with Nixon and another three with Dutch? No doubt you know where all the skeletons are buried but, like the gentleman you are, your lips are sealed. Then you got yourself on TV and have prospered beyond belief. I see the way guests and fellow commentators engage you. They may not like you or your positions but, goddamn it, they respect you.
I must admit that I have a hard time with some of your positions which, frankly, seem lost in time between Eisenhower and the last ice age. Whats wrong with immigrants, especially educated immigrants? And with the stock market cruising near 10,000, protectionism would seem to be a tough sell, even in New Hampshire where the rust is still heavy. Unless, of course, the bubble bursts and the market corrects itself right into the toilet. Ditto for the Balkans. Now that Clinton has charged in there with his white hat and steed, what if Moms little darlings start dying and the whole thing turns into a bloodbath? Youre going to look like a wizard.
You dont buy any of this "New World Order" crap, which to your mind is really just a stalking horse for the global economy, another one of your least favorites. What did you call NATO? The imperial army for the global economy? Very catchy. And quite subversive, I might add, considering how deeply most of us have bought into the 21st century therapeutic rhetoric of the Clinton-Gore braintrust.
No plain populist are you, not like John Kasich who, if you havent noticed, is trying to steal your act. When CNN commentator Bill Press baited you on the culture wars, you smiled knowingly and quoted T.S. Eliot?! "There are no lost battles because there are no won battles." That one little quip told me youre a man who knows history moves in cycles, not a straight line. What goes around, comes around.
You knew that impeachment was a waste of time for Republicans and, even though you huffed and puffed now and again, you didnt make a spectacle of yourself. Tolerance about blowjobs is one thing, cheap labor in Red China is another. If those baby boomer hypocrites could vote for Reagan a decade ago, why cant they vote for you now, right?
But, Pat, as much as I like your style, I think the GOP is gunning for ya. Theres a coronation planned and you wont be on the guest list, especially after youve sunk your teeth into the crown prince during debates. Whats the 11th commandment again? Dont slag a fellow Republican. Fat chance. You cant wait to hit them all Forbes, Lamar, that pantywaist Dan Quayle, Gary Bauer, Kasich, but especially Bush.
Libby Dole is a problem because shes the first serious diversity candidate for president the Republicans have scared up in 145 years. If you get evil on her, youll come off looking like the erudite caveman you are. Still, if you trip up Bush in New Hampshire and Iowa, and Al Gore starts stiffing, its going to be 72 all over again, only this time the Republicans and the Democrats will both have to deal with lackluster front-runners.
So heres hoping that come this time next year, you and Bill Bradley will be the respective front-runners and well actually have an election worth watching. Of course, minorities, women, gays and youth will flock to Bradley, leaving you with your usual constituents. But I have a feeling that wont faze you, will it? Youre our voice in the wilderness, if only to tell us how much further we need to progress to escape it.
Sincerely, Timothy Dugdale
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