The famous journalist and afflicter of the comfortable H.L. Mencken once wrote:
"As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron."
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, dear readers, we have achieved a state of perfection in American democracy.
Don't believe me? Let's take a gander at the current field of Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates, and you'll see:
Joseph Biden: The Senator from Bank of America, Chase and the other banks and credit card companies that operate out of the State of Delaware hasn't had an original idea in his head that wasn't borrowed from someone else.
Hillary Clinton: Hillary actually has a shot at the nomination, worse luck for her. Right now the Lunatics are only lobbing words (socialized medicine, Communism, lesbian) because of their pants-wetting fear of women; imagine what they'll start throwing if she actually gets the nod.
Christopher Dodd: The one member of the group with some national name recognition and the balls to state his positions forcefully. Of course, he doesn't stand a chance.
John Edwards: Eh. Might make a good Veep, but he's got a Potomac jones.
Mike Gravel: He knows he stands the same chance as a snowball in Hell, so he's liberated - he'll say whatever pops into his head. Crowd-pleaser, but a mere speed bump.
Dennis Kucinich: Like Dodd, only shorter. Looks a bit silly, too.
Barack Obama: Check up to my comments regarding Hillary. Barack, keep your head down - some right-wing redneck's going to take a potshot at you at some point in the campaign.
Bill Richardson: The only Hispanic on the list, he did have a decent shot until a series of missteps and bad comments raised the specter of putting into the Oval Office someone just as clueless as Dubya.
And now, the Republicans (bear in mind, please, that I am Republican):
Sam Brownback: The Senator from South Dakota will have to put up with a lot of "Brownback Mountain" jokes if he ever manages to raise his silhouette above the second tier. As to garnering the support of the GOP al Qaeda ("The Base"), it's a possibility.
Rudy Giuliani: A dark horse in a loose box. Rudy's got so many people gunning for him right now that it's no longer funny; it's hilarious. Everyone from pro- and anti-abortion groups, his ex-wives, the NYPD and FDNY first responders at the WTC, and gay and anti-gay groups are all either pissed off or confused. Which can also piss them off. And Rudy's the front-runner.
Mike Huckabee: I heart Huckabee (actually, I DON'T). It seems that even in his home state of Arkansas the only time he gets any real name recognition is in association with his weight loss. Came in second in the Iowa straw poll.
Duncan Hunter: Racist, anti-immigration candidate from California. He might end up fighting Tancredo for his share of extreme fringe vote - you know, the ones who talk to Jesus on a two-way radio and immediately hate everyone who doesn't talk/act/look/think like they do.
Alan Keyes: I used to like Alan Keyes, way back in the first Bush administration - he was an African-American GOP member who was unafraid to speak his mind about the relevant issues. Then he got snubbed, started his own talk radio show and turned into someone who is so rabid that he disowned his own daughter for being a lesbian. Besides, he's an African-American; with all the current trouble the GOP field has in making debate dates with minority groups, the Party's getting nervous.
John McCain: I call McCain The Political Bisexual - willing to adopt or espouse any position so long as it'll get him votes. He recently revealed his Religious Bisexuality, by waffling between Episcopalian and Baptist until finally settling on Baptist (it suits his pandering well to appeal to a large chunk of the GOP al Qaeda in this way). I respect him still for his military service, but will I vote for him? Dream a little faster.
Ron Paul: Another minor candidate in the Mike Gravel mold, Paul can say what he likes and try to shock his fellow Republicans into at least a fraction of a second of self-examination before being shouted down.
Mitt Romney: I call him "Mittens" because he seems to be dominated or at least subservient to his wife. Came in first in the Iowa straw poll after spending a shitload of money to garner only 30% of the vote. Waffles almost as much as Carter did in '76. He's a businessman, apparently, which begs the question: Based on the track record of George W Bush, do we REALLY want another "CEO President?"
Tom Tancredo: Another racist fringe candidate, this time from Colorado. He's all anti-immigration and inveighs against immigrants, conveniently forgetting the fact that he's Italian and his surname is of German (actually Gothic) derivation. Less said about him the better, actually.
Finally, we come to the Dessicated Corpse of Fred Thompson: You know, I'm so glad that Tommy Thompson dropped out of the race so I won't get him confused for this winded gasbag. He was a spy for the Nixon Administration during the Watergate hearings, a phony on the hustings in Tennessee, a lazy 1.5-term Senator from that same state, and a one-dimensional actor. Which makes the GOP love him to pieces, as he simulates their Patron Saint, Ronald Reagan (who named names for McCarthy, shilled for GE and was a one-dimensional actor, as well as a state Governor). However, Thompson shows signs of either being his trademark lazy-ass self (intellectually as well as physically) or having creeping dementia. Or maybe his trophy wife's keeping him up past his bed time.
So there you have it, folks. And as I look over the eighteen members of this field I am left with a question:
Is this the BEST we can do?