More Dogs on Main Street
Like the rest of you, I was heartbroken when I learned that the discovery of Bigfoot in Georgia was a hoax. The discovery had received widespread media coverage, and was confirmed with the obligatory blurry photo of the deceased Bigfoot stuffed in somebody’s freezer. While it looked a lot like a cheap gorilla costume, there was that glimmer of hope that Bigfoot had been confirmed at last. So imagine the disappointment when it was determined to be a hoax because they had to get the costume back to the rental shop before 5 to avoid paying rent through the weekend.
But rest assured that, when Bigfoot is found, the finder will have a southern accent. Although the legend of Bigfoot really has its roots in the deep forests of the Pacific Northwest, no serious discussion of Bigfoot is possible without a southern accent. It just wouldn’t be right.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the TV news people covered it in depth, and, upon the discovery that it was a hoax, they viciously turned against the Bigfoot hunters. The reporters seemed indignant. "How could you have perpetrated such a disappointing hoax on the American people?" they’d ask. "How could you build up the hopes of Bigfoot believers all over, then crush them so?" The reporters apparently believed that Bigfoot had been found. These are, by the way, the same reporters who are covering the election, the war, the unraveling of the economy, and kittens stuck in trees. No wonder things aren’t going so well.
If the frozen corpse of Bigfoot was a hoax, it leaves open the possibility that Bigfoot is still alive. If Obama chose Bigfoot as his running mate, it might help solidify the southern vote, especially among the important hillbilly demographic. By the time this gets printed, the big announcement should be out, but right now, the Veep selection is the best kept secret since Colonel Sanders’ eleven herbs and spices.
Obama is going to make the announcement by text messaging millions of supporters simultaneously. In addition to crashing the cell phone system, he wants to keep the supporters close. He figured that a mass text message to all of them would let the insiders know of the decision about a nano-second before it hits the news, and they would feel special and appreciated. Apparently the news people don’t have cell phones, and will have to find out from an Obama insider before they can broadcast the announcement. The whole thing sounds a little too much like "American Idol" to me.
The campaign seems to think that the text message to supporters is cool and modern, and will further engage the twentysomethings who have been big Obama supporters, despite the fact that they have a bad habit of not actually showing up to vote.
The Democratic convention starts next week. Obama should have the nomination sewed up, and has agreed to give some prime time to Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s name will be placed in nomination so her supporters can make a big deal about it. In the end, the assumption is that they will achieve catharsis, and then bitterly rally around Obama. With friends like that, what could possibly go wrong?
One of the criticisms of Obama is that he is young and naïve. The decision to give Clinton the exposure of a major speech at the convention proves it. Personally, I wouldn’t trust Hillary to settle for catharsis and move on. Not for a second. There is skullduggery afoot. If he’s not careful, Obama will be lucky to come out of the convention as Clinton’s ambassador to Fredonia.
I haven’t caught the Obama fever. I’m not satisfied that he has the necessary experience to be president. When you think about it, all he’s really done is be Barack Obama. His supporters would point out that being Barack Obama is, by itself, a pretty remarkable accomplishment. They have a point. He’s not without some important qualifications: He isn’t named either Clinton or Bush. We need a constitutional amendment that nobody named Clinton or Bush can ever work in the White House again, not even as a janitor. His other great qualification is that he isn’t a Republican. For me, not being a Republican is enough this time around. After the damage they’ve done over the last eight years, I’d happily vote for Bigfoot as long as he wasn’t running as a Republican.
The Republican convention is being held a week later in Minneapolis, right across the river from the bridge that collapsed. I can’t think of a better metaphor for the GOP than a collapsing bridge. The physical infrastructure has been neglected and allowed to crumble; the military infrastructure has been ground down by three, four or five tours of duty in the wrong war; and the financial foundation of the country has been eroded.
Bill Clinton got lucky with a strong economy, and had a balanced budget. It’s unfair to give him much credit for what turned out to be the stock market bubble. But I think it’s perfectly fair to hold the Republicans responsible for the current downturn. Bush lowered taxes then started a war. They believe that regulation of the financial markets is bad, so instead we throw billions out there to rescue Wall Street when it all blows up. We are where we are because of deliberate policy decisions.
So Obama will choose his Veep and move on to Denver. If he is successful, the party will unify behind him, and the full slimefest of the general election begins. By November, we’ll all be wishing for more news about Bigfoot.
Tom Clyde served as Park City attorney in the 1980s and is the author of "More Dogs On Main Street." He has been a columnist at The Park Record for more than 20 years.
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