There he was: THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - THE LEADER OF THE FREAKIN' FREE WORLD - disgracing the the martyred souls of the glorious dead who gave their "last full measure of devotion" for this grand and glorious land of ours. If they had not seen it on FOX Noise with their very own eyes, they would not have believed it to be possible. But true it was. Barack Obama had been caught red handed and in living color being gracious toward Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
It was very possible that all over the nation, these crazy, wing-nut geezers - some of them on the verge of a complete psychotic breakdown - might click on the April 23, 2009 edition of "The Rant" and nudge their poor wives in utter rage and disbelief:
Now! Now! Let's all take a nice, deep breath.
As I mentioned in the previous column (Is it pretentious to refer to these things as columns?), the GOP - and the far-right extremist kooks who pass as their spokespersons nowadays - are desperate for issues that will distract the American people. They are years past the point where they could talk about ideas. Why is this, you ask? Because their ideas suck, that's why. They are now attempting to do to Barack Obama what they did to Bill Clinton when he was president: Go after him with every thing including the kitchen sink.
Karl Rove was one hell of a role model for these idiots. They took the Rove playbook and they ran like hell with it - over the mountain, down into the valley and across the river. American politics is no longer about issues; it's not about ideas, and it's certainly no longer about We The People. It's all about insinuation and accusation - oh yeah; and money - lots and lots of money. Statesmanship and ideas have gone the way of the typewriter and the 8-Track tape.
When President Obama arrived home in Washington the other day, the Republican spin machine went into full-tilt, freak-out mode. "He's making nice with that evil dictator!", they shouted in unison. What was Obama supposed to do when Chavez approached him - punch him in the nose? Should he have performed a Moe Howard maneuver and poked him in both eyes with his middle and index fingers? How the hell would that have looked?
Barack as Moe: Take that, ya chowderhead! Nyurk! Nyurk! Nyurk!
Hugo as Curley: Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo! Woo!
And if the reaction to the Chavez incident was not weird enough, they're now having a positive hissy fit because the Obama administration is now hinting that they want to normalize relations with Fidel Castro's Cuba. Oh, Heaven forfend!
A FEW WORDS ABOUT FIDEL CASTRO:
Ah, Fidel! The man we just love to hate! I don't like putting myself in the position of defending the guy, but in the Hall of Fame of evil, despotic tyrants, poor old Fidel is pretty low rent, don'cha think? The Cuban people do not live in constant, mortal fear of their government. A lot of them, maybe even most of them, may not care too much for Fidel or his brother Raul, but he is no better (or worse) than the man he ousted from power in 1959, America's faithful ally, Fulgencia Batista.
When Jack Kennedy imposed the Cuban embargo on February 3, 1962, I was not yet four years old-years-old. Barack Obama was one day shy of turning six months old. I turned fifty last August. Barack Obama is now president of the United States. The embargo has done neither country any good. It's time to end it.