More Dogs on Main Street |

More Dogs on Main Street

Tom Clyde, Record columnist

Happy Groundhog Day. My guess is that our local groundhog can’t chip his way out of the burrow for all the ice and snow, and nobody’s seen a shadow around here in a long, long time. This is some kind of winter. The other day I shoveled off the roof of one of the older barns on the property. It has a metal roof, and most of the time slides off by itself. But that really wet snow we got a few weeks back is set up like concrete, and nothing is moving. There are four low lean-to wings on the barn. They get the double dose of snow that falls on them and, if and when it finally happens, what comes crashing off the upper roof of the main barn. I wanted to move what I could on the premise that it’s easier to move snow than rebuild a barn out of a pile of toothpicks.

Fortunately, the wings are low, and I was able to work mostly from the ground. A long-handled shovel could reach most of the way up. My dog was playing in the snow, and I had the iPod plugged in, so I was pretty thoroughly zoned out. The last of the roofs to clear was the one most sheltered from the wind. I didn’t even know a storm had moved in because the wind was blowing it up and over the upper roof, leaving me in my own protected little climate zone.

When I finished and stepped around in front of the barn, there was a full blizzard raging. I immediately thought of the pioneer-era stories from the Dakotas where pa went out to milk the cow and was never seen again, lost in the blizzard between the house and the barn. I couldn’t see a thing. I found my way back to the house by following the piles of horse poop in the road. They haven’t ventured far from the plowed road this winter.

There were a couple of days like that up skiing, too, when I could hold my pole out and not see the basket at the end. Paying $3.50 for a cup of hot chocolate looks like a bargain on a day like that.

The Super Tuesday presidential primary is coming up this week. I know that mostly because I can’t eat dinner without some robo-call coming in urging me to vote for Hillary Clinton. Well, that’s not going to happen. I’m not sure who I’m going to vote for. My top choices have been dropping like flies, never making into double digits in the results so far.

Among the full range of Democrats, the only one less likely to have my vote than Hillary is Kucinich. He seems nuts, though there is a certain appeal to having a hot First Lady who wears a tongue stud.

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The Republican offering isn’t any better. First off, I’m so angry at the damage Bush has done to the country for the last seven years that I’d vote against George Washington if he ran on the Republican ticket with Lincoln as his running mate. Those folks need to be held accountable for what they foisted on us. The GOP choices seem to be narrowing rapidly to McCain, who I kind of like except for his position on the war, and Mitt Romney. Mitt almost lives here, so he’s almost one of us. Romney has a credible reputation as a businessman who can salvage train wrecks, and we’ve got a train wreck on our hands. But I don’t trust him.

Romney, the governor of Massachusetts, was a different person from Romney the candidate in Michigan, who is a different person from Romney the candidate in South Carolina. I’ve got no idea who he is or what he stands for. He’s a chameleon with a game-show host’s haircut. And he keeps saying that Bush is a great leader, which means he is either dumb or lying. Well, and the part about telling the voters in Michigan that he thinks we should roll back the auto fuel efficiency standards so we can keep borrowing money from China to buy oil from the Saudis.

Of course, Hillary is just as malleable when changing her positions to suit the particular audience she is speaking to. She’s as cold and calculating as a Cray supercomputer. Then there’s Bill. For some reason, died-in-the-wool Democrats still like Bill. They love Bill. I’m afraid all I can see when I look at Bill is a W.C. Fields look-alike who could have accomplished a great deal in his presidency if only he had been able to keep his pants on. The impeachment was certainly an overblown reaction, but it was a situation that most Dunkin’ Donuts managers would have had the good judgment to avoid.

Unless Hillary is able to exile Bill to Iceland for the duration, he’s a liability in my book. He squandered his first two terms and hardly deserves even a backdoor chance at a third. Frankly, I’d support a Constitutional Amendment that prohibited anybody named Clinton or Bush from ever working in the White House in any capacity, even as a janitor.

So where does that leave me, the ultimate disgruntled voter? I refuse to register as a Republican and formally join the party that has done so much damage so deliberately. So I can’t vote in that primary between Mitt and McCain. So that leaves Hillary, Obama, or some other delusional Democrat still hanging in there.

The Obama phenomenon, or Obama-non, is exciting. Not even Ted Kennedy’s endorsement can detract from the remarkable story and historical significance of a black candidate who is a serious contender. But at a time when the wheels seem to be coming off, I’d feel better about somebody who had some actual experience running a lemonade stand (and being First Lady doesn’t count, or the Republicans would have nominated Laura Bush — who would be a substantial improvement).

Where’s Ross Perot when we need him?

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 nearly 20 years.