Volume 4, Number 2
Quayl(e) is Once Again in Season
Hey kids! Skippy here with you once again. You know kids, I am a happy man. I have no real reason to be happy mind you. I just got laid off at work, all of my sporting teams suck, it has rained for the last two weeks and the ugly specter of the NBA is rearing its head again. Yet I am a happy man. How can this be you ask? How is it that a man with so little going for him can possibly be happy? Well you have every right to be curious, my intellectually-challenged little friends, and the reason I am so happy is the topic of this month's screed.
There I was, late Sunday night, the first of many coming weekends without football to nourish my soul, flipping through the channels in the hopes of finding some Super Bowl highlights or perhaps a Mexican gameshow that involved nudity. What to my wondering eyes should appear, but our old friend Dan Quayl(e). There he was, big as life on my TV, thundering away at Clinton, Gore, Democrats and free thinkers in general.
Now I know what you are thinking friends. Surely just seeing Dan-the-man on CSPAN isn't enough to lift me out my funk. You are correct in that assumption. Now I will grant you that listening to the master of the single entendre was enough to give me a chuckle, but not nearly so funny as to make me feel better overall. No, it was more what the Danster said that has put a spring in ol' Uncle Skippy's step this fine day.
First of all, he was speaking to the Conservative Political Action Committee's annual meeting. That means he didn't need to hold back for the benefit of any of those pesky moderates that might be lurking about the place. Second, he announced that he is thinking (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) that a run for President of these United States just might be in his future. That did it for me folks. Suddenly the sun was shining and the birds were singing and life was good again. I won't need to be concerned with writer's block for the next two years. Hell, I might be able to knock off that book of punditry I've been contemplating with his official announcement alone.
Here I was, staring at the distinct possibility of having to come up with witty and incisive commentary on a Gore/Bush presidential contest, when God decided to give me a break and throw Dan-Boy's hat into the ring. Now before you get confused and start attempting independent thought, let me clarify. There is nothing inherently bad about a Gore/Bush presidential election in '00. In fact it would probably ensure that the country got a non-demagogue in the White House for the next four years.
George Bush strikes me as a man who is fairly moderate and would tell the Bible-Nazis in his party to go take a flying leap. This is a good thing for those of us who aren't yearning to live in a theocracy. I also like some of his thoughts on the lack of personal responsibility in the nation today. Al Gore is a solid, if not electrifying, leader who has some good ideas on high-tech and the environment. Either way, we would do all right, and therein lies the problem.
As a columnist, I need a nut job running for public office. Sure I could whale on GB for one thing or another, but what fun would that really be? I mean he knows how to spell potato for God's sake (now come on, you knew when you saw Danny's name in the headline that was coming). Dan, on the other hand, is at best a political lightweight who has managed to stay alive in the public eye by kow-towing to the most radical group of yahoos this country has ever seen. At his worst, Dan Quayl(e) is man so devoid of principles, political courage and charisma that it makes one fear for the nation's safety that he isn't laughed off the stage every time he rises to speak. The best part about this is that he has a reasonable shot of actually coming away with the nomination.
Make no mistake folks, what we are going to see this year and next is nothing less than a battle for soul of the Republican party. The smart folks among the repubs know that they will never regain the presidency as long as the religious yahoos are running the party's nomination process. Any party that is forced to run a pro-life, pro-prayer in school candidate is going to get whomped at the polls. Unfortunately for the GOP, the smart folks aren't in charge. For the past 15 years or so they have ceded leadership of the party to the radical right. This is the year that they have to take that leadership back if they are to have any chance of even sniffing at the presidency over the next eight years. Especially when they are forced to run against a semi-incumbent who is going to have the full aid and support of the slickest political operator of our generation helping him in any way possible.
If Dan somehow grabs the nomination, we are going to see a whipping of historic proportions on election day. Do you know what his platform is? Near as I could tell from his speech, he is counting on those barn burner issues of morality, foreign policy, the Strategic Defense Initiative and 30% across-the-board tax cut to sweep him to victory. That's right folks, Dan is going to come into your living rooms and tell you that the problem with this country is that we don't have a ballistic missile defense system in place and that we are a pack of rutting, immoral swine that can only be saved by Dan-the-man Qualy(e). Of course he is also going to promise to cut your taxes by 30%, which will no doubt be paid for by the explosive growth that is sure to follow such a cut. Now those issues will play with the right wing of the GOP, but they will never fly with an economically secure and fairly content general electorate.
In short, Dan is so clueless, so without political sense, so without any vision whatsoever for the future, that he honestly thinks that Americans are not going to realize that he is running the Reagan campaign from 1984 without any of the Gipper's personal magnetism.
Somewhere in this great nation there are two men cackling gleefully at the prospect of a Quayl(e) 2000 candidacy. Yours truly is one of them, Al Gore is the other one. Of course, all I'll get out of this is a few good columns. Al is going to get another eight years in the big house.