READER ALERT: Smartass political remarks to follow. Perhaps you would prefer to switch over to dining@large and make some suggestions about Mr. Gorelick’s pending top-ten beer-something list.
We’re three weeks away from a general election, and the body politic is enduring chills and fever. The Republicans are combative, the Democrats pusillanimous, the sober citizen increasingly tired of the din. It is easy to lose sight of the basics, and one of the basics is how much merriment the aspirants are offering in exchange for our votes and tax dollars.
A candidate for the House of Representatives in Ohio turns out to have enjoyed dressing up in the uniform of the 5th SS Panzer Division to participate in Nazi war re-enactments.* His interest was purely in the history, you see. I believe that we do not have, at the moment, an explicit Nazi perspective in the House.
I am very much afraid that the good people of Nevada may re-elect Harry Reid, which would deprive the United States Senate of the comic stylings of Sharron Angle, who said last week, “Government isn't what our founding fathers put into the Constitution.”** If she can maintain this level of discourse, and all reports indicate that she can, she might well ascend to that political pantheon with such worthies as the elder Mayor Daley of Chicago, who once famously said, “The police are not there to create disorder. The police are there to preserve disorder.”***
It was also last week that Christine O’Donnell of Delaware broadcast a campaign ad that opened with the candidate saying, “I’m not a witch.” Visualize her joining Senator Angle in that august chamber where, as heirs to Calhoun, Clay, and Webster, they could hold forth jointly on the future of the Republic.
(In my own state, Messrs. O’Malley and Ehrlich, both lacking the insouciance of Ms. Angle and Ms. O’Donnell, have been jabbing each other with attack ads, sometimes running back to back, in an apparent effort to goad us into voting for whichever we find marginally less irritating. That may ask too much subtlety of the electorate.)
As the House and Senate races shape up, we are getting closer and closer to the point of being able to write 112th Congress and laff riot in the same sentence. It is, of course, the sort of phenomenon so common in the Republic that once led Mr. Mencken to refer to the United States as “a buffoon among the great nations,” but a nation that must otherwise depend on Two and a Half Men for humor will take its laughs where it can find them.
***See, I mock Democrats too.