The Republican Future
Hallelujah! Yippee! Hooray! Gloria in excelsis! Goody- goody! O frabjous day! Hot diggety dog! Heh-heh-heh.
In short, its beginning to look a lot like Kwanzaa.
Yes, Im pleased with the result. Okay, it wasnt quite the blowout the drive-by media predicted, and it was clouded by the news that Britney and Kevin are divorcing; but as Shakespeare says, tis enough, twill serve. The Democrats capture of the House ensures the lasting infamy of George W. Bushs sorry presidency, no matter what he does in his remaining two years. Like Bill Clintons impeachment, it will leave its stain.
As of 4 a.m. Wednesday, Nancy Pelosis charm was already starting to wear thin. By 4:17 it had vanished entirely. The Democrats are crowing now, but they wont be invulnerable for long.
Unresolved, at this writing, is the question whether the Democrats will also take the Senate. That may come down to a single closerthanthis contest in Virginia, followed by a recount.
Virginia, in short, is the new Florida.
The battle between Senator George Allen, the Republican incumbent, and James Webb, his Democratic challenger, has been complicated by ethnic tensions. After hed alienated the macaca community, it came out that Allen is a Jew. Technically. Things threatened to get ugly when the Jews refused to accept him and the gentiles refused to take him back.
When the dust settles, the two parties will have to bury the hatchet and work together on the challenges facing our great country, such as whether President Bush should follow Iraqs former president Saddam Hussein to the gallows. Im not talking about lynching; Im talking about the rule of law, due process, equal protection, and all that.
No man is above the law, and the Nuremberg trials established the principle that even heads of state may be held accountable for crimes against humanity, such as waging aggressive war. This goes far beyond impeachment, an idea the Democrats have already flirted with. Were talking about the death penalty, for which George W. Bush, as governor of Texas, has already demonstrated his enthusiasm. (It goes with family values.)
I am opposed to capital punishment, and Im not going to make an exception now, but the Nuremberg principle can be served without actually going through with a hanging. It will be enough if Bush is formally held responsible for his deeds and convicted. Then, perhaps, President Cheney, a man of mercy but not necessarily infinite mercy, could issue a pardon at the last minute, just before they kicked the chair out from under Bushs feet, commuting the sentence to hard labor.
It might add to the drama, and the fun, if President Cheney would imitate Governor Bush in mocking Bushs pleas for clemency by squealing, in a high falsetto, Dont kill me! Oh, please dont kill me! the way Bush did for that woman, what was her name, before her sentence was executed back in Texas. We dont want blood, but a little exemplary justice would be mighty nice.
All this still leaves us with a practical question: What are the Republicans going to do in 2008? Recent events have taken a heavy toll on their prospective presidential candidates. For various reasons I think we can rule out Cheney, Allen, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Jeb Bush, George H.W. Bush, Mike Bloomberg, Condoleezza Rice, Mitt Romney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Newt Gingrich, Sam Brownback, Jerry Ford, and Bob Dole, all of whom are technically eligible (except Schwarzenegger) but who fail to meet other criteria.
That leaves one man: Dan Quayle. Not only is he eligible, but he has executive experience and would raise the Republicans intellectual level. Everything old is new again.
Quayle has never been a media darling, but his image is still youthful, yet he has powerful nostalgic appeal. He is untouched by scandal; he has never shot a hunting companion; he is not known to be gay; he has written no dirty books; he has no lesbian children; he was born in this country; he has never started a war or antagonized a major ethnic community; he is not being sued by an embittered former wife. His only known flaw is poor spelling.
As Republicans go, Quayle is a fascinating enigma. If anything, he is perhaps too perfect.
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