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Jewish World Review Sept. 10, 2001/ 21 Elul 5761

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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Consumer Reports

Rambo Reno: Das hoot! --
I DON'T know when I've laughed so hard. Waco was a gas, then came the witty Elian rescue. You have to hand it to Rambo Reno -- she's a character!

Now she's running for governor of Florida, my birth state, and seems to be campaigning on her indefatigable sense of humor. Speaking before a crowd of 2,500 students at Penn State University a few nights ago, Rambo told the students that they should be able to laugh at themselves.

"It is important that Americans laugh together," said the well-known comedienne. "To break free of invective we use against each other."

I couldn't agree more. Goodbye, invective; hello, Rambo. Here's laughing with you, kiddo, not at you. I mean it: You crack me up.

Like that time in '93 when those crazy people were living in that weird, walled city near Waco, Texas. The Branch Davidians. I mean, talk about strange. They had guns and kids and women, and who knows what was going on in there.

Some people might have just left them alone, figuring they weren't hurting anyone, or waited until they got tired of holing up. But not our warrior general. Who's got time to waste on a bunch of religious fanatics, anyway? Nothing like a blazing inferno to purge the Earth of whackos. And talk about your biblical irony. Do you love it?

It's too bad so many children had to burn to death, but, hey, if you can't stand the heat. LOL. Oh, lordy, I crack myself up! It must be contagious.

Rambo told the college kids that she practices what she preaches. She laughed at her own self, for instance, when she saw Will Ferrell impersonating her on Saturday Night Live. At first, she said, she thought it was awful, but then she started laughing, and then she started roaring.

Kind of like the Cubans in Miami when Rambo sent in the Green Berets, the Navy Seals and Bruce Willis to -- ahem -- rescue Elian Gonzalez from his uncle and cousin. They were, after all, feeding, housing and clothing him and deserved to be raided in the middle of the night under semiautomatic rifle fire.

No one got hurt, right? So the little kid has a few nightmares and the adults were terrified out of their wits. But Elian's back in Cuba where he belonged. I mean that, really. He had a dad and a home. There was no reason to keep him in the United States against his father's will. Some people had a problem with Rambo's modus operandi, claiming she could've found a less violent way to accomplish the same end, but you gotta trust your instincts, right?

Rambo's instincts tell her that 2002 is a good year to challenge Gov. Jeb Bush, who Democrats believe handed the presidential election to his big brother. Republicans also think Rambo is an excellent choice for Democrats, given that many voters do not, in fact, share her sense of humor. Some think that an attorney general who resorts so readily to violence may be a tad over the top for employment outside a military dictatorship.

Political experts note that Rambo can't get the Cuban vote for obvious reasons. She isn't likely to win any Republicans, unless they happen to live in Palm Beach County, where voters aren't sure whom they're voting for until after the ballots are counted. She'll get Democrats and, she hopes, older folks as well as African-Americans, but then, we're being redundant. Last time we counted, African-Americans weren't voting for many Republicans.

That leaves young people, which perhaps explains Rambo's knee-slapping debut at Penn State, and independents. So let's take a look at some of the less humorous issues Rambo intends to attack. I mean, tackle.

There's the environment, which Rambo says needs saving, and growth, which Rambo says needs controlling. Oops, we're out of space, but that's OK, because guess what? As a native Floridian, (that's Floridian, not Davidian, Comandante) I can vouch for the following: There is no environment left to save, because growth has been out of control for about 50 years. And that's no joke.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.

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