Politics: That for which we’re grateful (and a wee bit hateful)

Gather together with me now at my Thanksgiving table to share our blessings from 2010.  (But this ain’t gonna be like your Grandma’s.)

Despite our trials and tribulations, our economic hard times and anxieties over our futures, let’s give thanks –

– That we aren’t going to be treated to the ass-kicking that Carlos the Arrogant is facing in the new year.

You’d have to be incredibly execrable to be a mayor in this county and manage to earn yourself the ignoble distinction of being the dartboard bull’s-eye target of a recall campaign.  Somehow this jerk has managed to snare that dishonor not once but twice in the span of a year.  This time, though, looks to be the keeper.

Come spring, once the cannons have gone silent on the local political battlefield, Carlos may be able to reflect upon his bruising war with Norman Braman.  From the comforts of his Barcalounger.  At home.  Post-forced retirement.

Order up the cardboard boxes and start packing, Carlos.  You’re outta here!

– That no matter our own personal misfortunes, we’re not the lame-ass Florida Democratic Party.

Haven’t elected a guv since Walkin’ Lawton (1994).  Lost all of the state cabinet races this year.  Lost seven seats in the Legislature, guaranteeing the GOP a virtual veto-proof stranglehold on the body.

Lost the governor’s post with a (typically) feeble nominee this year, one who couldn’t beat (couldn’t even!) a shady carpetbagger – for whom peddling snake oil would be too honorable an occupation – as Rick Scott.

Somebody call a funeral director and order up the embalming fluid.  This party is dead, a cadaver, a corpse, stiff as a board, a maggot hotel.  No, wait – who are we kidding? – it’s been dead for years!  I think it died when Lawton did.  Somebody order a coffin.  Inscribe a tombstone.  Lay a wreath.

– That we’re not Alex Sink.  That we don’t have to hang our heads low, or feel like a  soul-eviscerated nobody, realizing that we actually lost – by so slim a margin – to that guy, of all people.  That guy.

Sink will spend this Turkey Day commiserating with her hubby Bill McBride (2002 Dem nominee) over what’s it like to lose a gubernatorial race.  Bill’s excuse, more plausible, is that at least he was challenging a popular incumbent (Jeb Bush).

And hers?  Pfft!  She lost to that guy, of all people.  That guy.

– That we’re not Bill McCollum, the Once and Future Reich-Marshall of the State of Florida.  A Guaranteed Winner.  A Sure Bet.  (“It was supposed to be mine!  It was supposed to be my turn!”)

Then, as the ball was about to land in his mitt (“It’s my ball!  All mine!”), it got plucked away by – from out of right field – that guy, of all people.  That guy.

Rather than wasting his energies in (ultimately unsuccessfully) scheming to deny gay couples the right to adopt and (in spite of a majority of Floridians opposing) suing to kill Obama-care, he perhaps should have diverted them into – oh, say – drafting a bill, however silly, to ban non-native Floridians (Scott is a native Illinoisan; Sink, a North Carolinian) from becoming governor.

In retrospect, it was maybe the only way Bill could have won.

– That we aren’t Charlie Crist, the biggest Florida loser in November’s elections.

Coulda coasted to a second term if he hadn’t chosen to bolt that race to run for the Senate.  Then, early on, looked like he’d wipe the floor with Rubio and head to D.C. to join up with buddies John McCain and Lindsay Graham.

Then prematurely-good fortune blew away with the shifting of the political winds and Charlie was toast.

Now it’s back to St. Pete and then what?  Oblivion?  Crist will spend this Turkey Day pondering what a doozie of a turkey egg he laid this year.

– That Jeff Kottkamp – arguably the state’s worst-ever Number Two – will soon no longer be one heartbeat away from the governor’s office.

What a twit.  The most notable feat of his four years as lieutenant governor?  Getting all the wrong kinds of attention for his habit of traveling on state aircraft for questionable purposes at taxpayers’ expense.  And just when you thought we’d heard enough of him, think again:  To celebrate his recent 50th birthday, he flew to Italy but wanted you and me to foot the bill for his FHP bodyguard to come along.

To guard him from the threat of what, exactly?  Teenaged Roman pickpockets?

Last year, Jeff had his trooper escort drive him to Atlanta and back so he could attend a Kenny Loggins concert.  (One is unsure whether to be more astonished by Jeff’s audacity – or the fact that Kenny Loggins is still drawing people to concerts.)

Naming Jeff to his 2006 ticket was Crist’s worst decision – if you don’t count Charlie’s passing up a likely second term as guv for a doomed run for the U.S. Senate.

Good riddance to you, Jeff.  May we never hear from you again.

– That we’re not Nancy Pelosi.  House speaker.  Second in line – highest than any woman has ever been – to the presidency.

But no more.  Disparaged.  Vilified.  The poster girl of liberalism whom the GOP bad-mouthed in its successful effort to reclaim the House.

Rather than retire to the back benches, or from Congress period, she’ll linger around to captain the bruised Dems as their minority leader, despite the wishes of some that she take the fall for their loss and just go home already.

– That we’re not Barack Obama.  Adored abroad but as popular as an ingrown toenail at home.  Deserted (or about to be) by key aides and advisers.  Even congressional Dems are not so hi-ho about him anymore.  His only sure allies?  Michelle, Malia, and Sasha (and we’re not even so sure about them anymore).

His veto stamp is sure to get ample workout in the next two years, as a reinvigorated GOP is even less inclined to play bipartisan partner to him than they weren’t up till now.  His prospective 2012 opponents will soon be announcing, but he must busy himself with the distasteful and difficult tasks of contending with a moribund economy and creating jobs.  Will he even want four more years after what the next 2 promise to be?

He’ll spend Turkey Day wondering how to get the magic back.  If it can be re-gotten.  The “yes we can” candidate is now the “can we yet?” leader, the question mark as much about his political future as his ability to keep afloat his sinking agenda.

– That we’re not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  According to The Atlantic, Mr. Scruffy Face may not have much longer to get his WMDs up and running before Benjamin Netanyahu orders Israeli Air Force fighters into the skies to dash the Iranian Looney Tune’s toy nukes and nuke labs to smithereens.  Which many analysts, says the magazine, now expect to happen in the new year.

Hey, Mahmoud:  Have you got yourself an underground bomb shelter to run to?  You’ll be needing it soon.

– That we’re not responsible for saving Jackson Medical Hospital.  The rescued Chilean miners weren’t in a pit that deep.

– That we’re not ex-CNN talking head Rick Sanchez.  He’ll likely be splitting his turkey wishbone while pondering a career change now that he’s boob-tube poison to the TV news industry.  Insult of insults, even WSVN 7 wouldn’t want him back.  Ouch.  Maybe there’s some cable access channel that could use him.  To operate a camera.  Or fetch coffee.

– That we’re not part of the 18% of Americans, claims the Pew Research Center, who believe Obama is a Muslim.

But if you are, please consider leaving your brains to science.  (Send all inquiries to the UCLA Department of Medicine, Center for the Study of Cerebral Dysfunction & Abnormalities, Los Angeles, Calif.)

About Charles Branham-Bailey

Speak Your Mind