Thursday, March 17, 2005

A Kerry Good Day

The scribe doesn’t want to get too crazy backing one Yale graduate over another, one wealthy scion over another wealthy scion, nor does he want to repeat himself. We did go over John Kerry and his novel idea of maintaining a thread of opposition to Bush’s policies both before and after the election, but the blueblood was at it again on Thursday.

Ronald Brownstein of the “L.A. Times” covered Kerry's speech before a D.C. think tank.

In his famous 2000 interview with “Esquire” magazine Bill Clinton said there was one journalist in Washington who mostly got it right and that was Brownstein. His piece was refreshing during a day when the White House press corps had outdone itself in craven admiration for the commander-and-thief. Brownstein’s colleague Peter Wallsten chipped in and I wrote him about it:

That piece on Bush was the biggest bunch of fluff since kids started skewing marshmallows for barbecueing. What was the news value of this personality profile on the most flattered man in America? What were they feeding you guys two days ago that so many respectable scribes representing papers from coast-to-coast should sing the praises of our mighty Wizard? Awful. Isn't it bad enough the administration is spending millions in taxpayer dollars on fake and deceptive news "reports" to forward its policies without you pitching in? Aren't there enough nefarious things being done by these people to cover? If Maureen Dowd can have her press pass revoked and still provide insight on the House of Bush, why can't you?
the highway scribe

Unfortunately, the e-mail address I guessed at was wrong so there’s no answer from him, but I’ll try a new one tomorrow.

But anyway, back to the real journalist’s piece: “Kerry’s tough words on domestic and foreign policy continued his unusually rapid reemergence as a leading opponent of the man who defeated him in last year’s presidential race,” Brownstein reported.

What did Kerry say? Well, he said that the budget that just cleared the Senate with the underhanded inclusion of a provision for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (see “United in Dividing,” March 16) failed to uphold values of “honesty, opportunity and responsibility...By any standard this budget fails to measure up and I believe it even sells out our most cherished values.”

Then Kerry let Bush have it on his appointing Undersecretary of State John Bolton to be our ambassador at the United Nations, and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz to preside over the World Bank.

the scribe doesn’t want to get too wonky for you folks with cats to feed and coffee to drink so let’s just say the guy that’s going to the U.N. has always hated the U.N. and is about as diplomatic as an oil well on a wildlife refuge. Wolfowitz, the guy who may now head up the world body most responsible for development in poorer countries, is the same clown who drew up a plan for attacking Iraq, but not for what would follow the attack.

What the scribe means is, he’s great at tearing down, but not much at building up; a characterization that could be applied to both Bushes and their clod-hopping administrations.

Anyway, Brownstein went on to report that, in the wake of his defeat, Kerry will be launching a variety of organizing projects now with an eye to the 2008 elections. “We had millions of people traveling and out there working and doing things. What we didn’t have was enough local people in some places who were engaged in that effort. And you don’t begin four and a half, five months out. You begin now. That’s when Karl Rove began last time; that’s when we have to begin – now.”

And that's what we mean by opposition here at highwayscribery.

And now, this excerpt from a “Newsweek” obituary of Hunter S. Thompson, the inventor of Gonzo journalism and personal hero to the scribe, who killed himself a few weeks ago.

“In a 2003 column, he went from the subject of his hip replacement into one of those rants whose joyously righteous anger used to belie their apocalyptic despair: ‘I am surprised and embarrassed to be part of the first American generation to leave the country in far worse shape than it was when we first came to it,’ he wrote. ‘Our highway system is crumbling, our police are dishonest, our children are poor, our vaunted Social Security has been looted and neglected and destroyed by the same gang of ignorant greed-crazed bastards who brought us Vietnam and Afghanistan, the disastrous Gaza Strip and ignominious defeat all over the world...Our armies will never again be No. 1 and our children will be drinking filthy water for the rest or our lives...Big Darkness, soon come...’ If that’s what he thought he is not alone...and he hurt too much to fight any longer, he’s well out of it now.”

Rest in Peace beloved crazy man with pen and pipe. This poem's for you and all Gonzo-minded friends:


To not be
a three-legged table
left to the
side of a road Not
a tumbleweed rolling
through scrap heap pushed
by a large whispering

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