By Jeffrey Bradley
“Those are my principles and if you don’t like them—well, I have others.” —Groucho Marx
Imagine our surprise when we found 41st Street all but deserted one recent mid-afternoon and could actually stroll across it absent the usual honking cacophony that’s so helpful in making us sprint (remember, the light changes about 7 seconds in, so step lively and don’t mind the snarls of the drivers as they rush past on their way to the next traffic light).
Then we remembered <a smack of the palm to the forehead> the president was in town! Say, this was great… maybe if we asked him he’d deliver our part of the stimulus package and clear up the roads again!
A man in a rush, this president visited us for all of three hours to pick up a $700,000 check for the Florida Democratic Party, and two corned-beef sandwiches from Jerry’s Famous Deli down on South Beach. Now, we’re not complaining that Jerry’s is expensive—he is Famous—but if the president ordered some biggie fries and supersized his cokes, we bet he barely escaped with change from that $700K. At least he got it to go.
Taking a tip from the Seventeenth Street Irregulars (our spies, cohorts and contraband) we bypassed the Fontainebleau and headed straight to Jerry’s for a photo op. Good thing, too. We reckoned that getting near the anointed one would be dicey, but we had no idea. We couldn’t pretend we were slumming—our Izods were in the wash—and we didn’t have the requisite ten thousand bucks to get our pictures snapped with the prez, so we did the next best thing. We marshaled the Irregulars into a flying wedge, a modern-day Spartan 300 driving on the potentate Xerxes, seeking to gain by blitzkrieg that all-important picture. Riding high on the stoutest Irregular shoulders and brandishing our phone overhead, we moved into range… only to be brought up short by a news-hen, a bubbleheaded bleach-blonde, determinedly standing her ground and brandishing her microphone most menacingly. Backed by a hulking cameraman who seemed on the verge of flanking us, our suddenly wary troops deposited us gently onto the pavement. “Are you with his people?” she gushed, tilting her head Obama’s way. “Or are you…” her voice dropped as she near spat the word—“Republicans?” Good Ford! We held up both hands, as if to ward off evil. But our dithering was costing our 6-second soundbite, so we stumblingly offered “Leonidas?”, then “The Immortals?” But when even “Thermopylae” itself elicited the same blank stare—and when we saw some TV-types revving the crowd up for some mindless emoting into the panning camera, we knew, for us, the game was up. But as she swung toward the agitated crowd (”Hey, we’re gonna be on TV, Snooky!”), we sprang forward. “Wha—?” She thought she’d already dismissed us. “We always wanted to do this,” we told her. And looking straight into the camera, we waved an arm while slowly mouthing the words HI MOM! Which was as close as we ever came to having our picture taken with the President of the United States. It wasn’t until much, much later that we realized the phone we’d been brandishing didn’t take pictures at all, but just went rinnnng, rinnnnnggg!
Still, somebody was missing from the impromptu crowd: no less than the unfortunately-named Alex Sink, Democratic candidate for governor of Florida. Now, we don’t want to make the analogy that if you throw a birthday party in your house and your own mother doesn’t bother to show up then something’s seriously wrong, still, there it is. Apparently Ms Sink—as in sunk—had important business elsewhere, like locking up the elderly vote in the Home by the Sea in Hallandale; important business (“bidness”, as Mr Meek calls it) indeed, and an outstanding display of confidence in the president’s policies. In fact, by the time Obama cleared 41st Street, she had long-since left town. Still, he put his best foot forward: “Alex knows what it takes to change business in Tallahassee, and she’s not afraid to take on the status quo”—or run from it, apparently. She later did thank Obama—from afar—for coming to Florida and vacationing recently on the Gulf Coast. We believe she also alluded to his playing golf, which may or may not account for the president’s approval ratings sinking like a stone or the skepticism aimed at his economic recovery package. That oughtta earn her a Come Back Soon! acknowledgement card from the White House. Nevermind. There’s always Kendrick.
Obama praised candidate Kendrick Meek as “a champion of middle-class families and someone who is not afraid to stand up to special interests,” but if this seems faintly damning, well, Kendrick did endorse Hillary Clinton in 2008. Owch! Plus he’s been implicated in dealings with a Miami developer charged with massive fraud, his mother’s a lobbyist and one of his strongest supporters is disbarred judge Alcee Hastings who departed the bench in disgrace after embroilment in a bribery sting. No wonder Kendrick’s had trouble staying on message! The irony is, Obama’s support will probably tip the balance to Meek’s rival Jeff Greene—who’s roundly shunned by the Democratic establishment. As for the Republicans—why do they all seem to part their hair the same way and wear owlish glasses that make them look like a bunch of George Wills?—we never did trust people who pronounce ‘nuclear’ nuke-ler, or ‘America’ Amurica.
Besides, some guy named Undecided seems poised to win in a runaway.
Sink also took a step away from the Angry Left when she personally opposed the construction of the Ground Zero Mosque, in keeping with the mounting criticism that’s deservedly driving this execrable idea further from reality with every roll of the earth. (Sink moderating her image on this is about as an emphatic repudiation of your party’s policies as you can get without shouting it from the rafters.) That this mosque would be insensitive to the victims’ families pales before what’s truly at stake: whether to allow the raising of a fundamentalist monument to the mass murder of 3000 Americans!
Which leads directly to the question if Obama is a Moslem. Actually, there is no question. He is. If your father was a Moslem, then you are. (Listen, we didn’t write the rules, Gertrude. If you don’t believe us, look it up.) Worse, to Moslems, is denying your faith, like Obama does. This makes him an apostate, far worse then being an adulterer… and unless you’ve been on Mars, you know how the Moslems punish that. But, so what? If the man claims to be Christian and practices Christianity then, for all intents and purposes, he is. (Which most decidedly does not mean that he’s not a Moslem.) What we decry is the rank ignorance of a society that makes a man feel that it’s better to deny than to accept. Yet, the fact the president does defend the religious rights of Moslems in building that mosque, along with other iffy actions, lends credence to the perception of his being a Manchurian Candidate.
Which is helped not a whit by his rants. His telling the Fontainebleau crowd that “It took us close to a decade to dig ourselves into this hole; it’s going to take some time to dig ourselves out”, was a disgrace. Never once did Bush blame Clinton for rolling over when he could’ve taken Osama Bin Laden out. It’s always better to cowboy up than to weenie out.