Jewish World Review Feb. 5, 2000 /28 Shevat, 5760
http://www.jewishworldreview.com -- CONTINUING THEIR ONE-UPMANSHIP on the question of the Confederate flag, Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore and Bill Bradley are now demanding that those Masonic symbols be removed from the Great Seal of the United States, in a bid for the Catholic vote.
(Moreover, the eagle is a bird of prey and hence offensive to rodents, a key Democrat constituency.)
OK, that's not technically true. But it could be true. It's no less true than the inane statements these two are making on the campaign trail.
Of late they have been in heated competitions over, e.g., which one of them is more deeply committed to killing babies and which of them intends to socialize larger chunks of the American economy with greater alacrity. (Soon Bradley will be personally performing abortions, and Gore will be forced to respond that he's been performing them ever since he was a child, back on the farm.) Amid their feisty debates, a number of bon mots have already emerged.
BRADLEY: "In 1990 ... I raised too much money. I discovered that you can have too much money in a political campaign."
Oh, puh-leeze! Is that why Bradley been raising more money than Al Gore -- and constantly needling Gore about that fact?
BRADLEY: "In politics, as I said, people make misleading statements, and most of them do it because they don't know better."
No -- people make misleading statements in politics because it works. See, e.g., President Clinton. Bradley's "they just don't understand" line is reminiscent of his claim that all those white Knicks players were racist crackers who "used the wrong words," because they "didn't quite understand." (When not receiving a lecture from Bradley on their naughty racist words, the apocryphal racist Knicks players were presumably dashing down to Arkansas to take part in the equally apocryphal church-burnings Bill Clinton claimed to remember as a child.)
BRADLEY: "This country has wanted universal health insurance for 40 years. I am the first candidate that's out there in this campaign offering them universal access to quality, affordable health care."
If one were being totally fastidious about the truth, that's not quite accurate. Hillary Clinton promoted one of those "universal health care" plans just six years ago. Americans got one look at it and reacted by doing something they had not done for almost 50 years -- they voted in a Republican Congress. Moreover, in practice, Soviet-style health care has never attracted adjectives such as "quality" and "affordable."
Yet for some reason, the two Democratic presidential candidates are in a competition over who first proposed the same idiotic plan Hillary proposed six years ago. Gore has also alleged that he "was the first candidate in this race in either party to put out a comprehensive health care reform bill."
BRADLEY: "The only way to achieve real happiness is lose yourself in the service of others."
That is the sort of pious pomposity that small children should be shielded from.
Meanwhile, over at the mobile lying machine, Al Gore -- inventor of the Internet, inspiration for "Love Story," and loyal assistant to "America's greatest president" -- has been churning out fabrications even faster than Bradley. (That's why Gore's going to be the Democratic nominee.)
GORE: "I've always supported (the death penalty) because I think society has a right to make careful judgments about when that ultimate penalty ought to be applied."
When given the opportunity in the U.S. Senate to actually vote for the death penalty, however, Gore voted "nay." Twice. One nay for capital punishment for drug kingpins and another for capital punishment for terrorists Maybe he only supports the death penalty for really slimy people, like politicians who propose "risky tax-cut giveaway schemes."
Republicans are always at a disadvantage in debates with Democrats because lies don't trip off their lips with the same facility as the average Democrat. Republicans end up getting all bogged down in the truth and can never successfully demagogue an issue. (The only Republican who can hold a candle to the Democrats in Orwellian newspeak is John McCain.)
But Bradley and Gore are both Democrats, and consequently both are effortless demagogues. The only contest between them consists of which one can more sincerely promise every American the wealth and lifestyle of Bill Gates, without the hard work or ingenuity.
It's hard to believe this works, but if you are reading this column, you are not part of
the voting bloc Gore and Bradley are angling for. You can
JWR contributor Ann Coulter is the author of High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Case Against Bill Clinton.
02/01/00: A Confederacy of Dunces