Jewish World Review August 13, 2003 / 15 Menachem-Av, 5763

Michael Graham

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Le cirque du C.A. | Have you even seen such a sad collection of electoral oddballs, fringe political freaks and quasi-criminal losers in your life?

This is the kind of campaign disaster that challenges one's commitment to the democratic process itself. It's scary to think that one of these knuckleheads gets to win.

California? Who said anything about California? I'm talking about the Democrats' presidential primary. Not that the California Recall Election And Performance Art Festival isn't a cracking good show. A screaming Greek harpy, a black midget, a power-hungry Austrian millionaire, a porn lord in a golden wheelchair and a dangerously over-endowed blonde with a faintly erotic name— Is this an election or a reunion of James Bond movie villains. ("Vote Odd Job in '03!")

The only thing ruining the fun is the sight of sourpuss Democrats denouncing the recall election as a harmful excess of democracy. "It's more and more like a carnival every day," Sen. Dianne Feinstein famously declared, strong words from a woman who enjoyed season tickets to the "Bill and Hill White House Cavalcade of Sleaze!" in the 1990s.

If any organization is run with an open invitation to send in the clowns, it's the modern Democrat Party. Just last week, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee called on federal weather officials to include more names that "sound" black (whatever that means) in the list used to label hurricanes threatening the Atlantic coast. "All racial groups should be represented," Lee said as she urged officials to "be inclusive of African-American names."

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Given that the 2003 hurricane list includes Larry (as in "Holmes"), Sam (as in "Jackson") and Wanda (as in "Sykes"), it's hard to ascertain exactly what would satisfy the race-obsessed urges of Congresswoman Lee: Hurricanes Amos, Andy and Buckwheat?

Interestingly, this story received scant media coverage outside mockery from my fellow members of the right-wing press, perhaps because Sheila Jackson Lee is widely dismissed as opera bouffe. She stands up. She says something stupid. Everyone smiles politely and stifles a giggle. That's the Sheila Jackson Lee show, and it has been for years.

Surely the same Democratic Party that pretends to take her seriously can show a little more respect for the idea of a Gov. Schwarzenegger…or a Gov. Gallagher, for that matter.

At least Gallagher, Gary Coleman and the gang tell jokes on purpose. How do the Democrats explain away the laughable nonsense that is Howard Dean's idea of foreign policy? Or the entertaining, yet politically bizarre, "Candidate of a Thousand Faces" act of Sen. John Kerry?

And don't forget the ringmaster himself, Al Sharpton.

When Democrats speak of the recall election, what they can't hear— but what every Joe and Jane Q. Voter immediately picks up on— is the condescension in their voices, an arrogance of presumed superiority made more difficult to bear by the fact that it is completely unearned. It's not like we've got FDR and JFK lecturing us on the need for rational discourse.

It might be easier to take the Democratic Party leadership looking down their noses at us unwashed, Neanderthal masses if they weren't simultaneously presenting for our approval the amazing political stylings of Dennis Kucinich and Carole Moseley-Braun.

Democrats always grimace in righteous indignation when I mention these (euphemism alert!) "second-tier" candidates. It's not fair to judge their party or its primary by these candidates. I would simply point out that Kucinich, Moseley-Braun and Sen. Bob Graham have the same odds of winning the White House as the 24-year-old hooker or 100-year-old library volunteer have of winning the California governor's mansion.

Actually, I may be overestimating the political fortunes of Sen. Graham…

So here's the deal I'm prepared to make with Democratic hatchetfolk like Bob "Real Bullets" Mulholland and Donna "Don't Let The White Boys Win" Brazille: I'll start pointing and laughing at the California recall fiasco the minute you two stand up and publicly call on the Rev. Al Sharpton to drop out of the presidential primary. When you two tell that slanderous, court-order-skipping, anti-Semitic race baiter that he is a disgrace to the Democratic Party and its principles, I will promptly send my check to the "Stay Gray, C.A.!" campaign fund.

But until that happy day, I've just got one thing to say: "Run, Larry Flynt, run!" And if things don't work out in California, Larry, there's another campaign starting early next year in Iowa, then moving on to New Hampshire and South Carolina.

I've seen the candidates, and I know you'd fit right in.

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JWR contributor Michael Graham is a talk show host and author of the highly acclaimed "Redneck Nation: How the South Really Won the War." To comment, please click here.


Not in your right mind?
07/15/03: Keep your eyes on the lies
07/08/03: ‘LIBERIALS’
07/01/03: Our Strom
06/24/03: Like white on Rice
06/20/03: Security begins at home
06/16/03: DEAR HIL—
06/11/03: Madame Hillary's Lessons for Young Ladies
06/03/03: War games
05/28/03: A few small reparations
05/22/03: Springtime for Hitler?

© 2003, Michael Graham