Guest View: Americans deserve a better choice


Once upon a time, there was a presidential primary campaign. The candidates were “Snow White” (Michelle Bachmann), “Greedy” (Mitt Romney), “Grumpy” (Newt Gingrich), “Holy” (Rick Santorum), “Gropey” (Herman Cain), “Doc” (Dr. Ron Paul), “Spacey” (Rick Perry) – and, uh, who’s the Dwarf after Spacey? “Oops!”

But Snow White bit the wicked witch’s apple in Iowa. Gropey dropped out, too. Because it turned out that umpteen Sleeping Beauties told Gropey, “Nein, nein, nein – not THAT kind of a job!” After which, like the movie Dwarves, the Beauties sang “(Blow the) whistle while you work!”

Then Spacey decided to “forget about” running for president. (Sadly, that unemployed Spacey’s adviser, oracle George Will’s wife.) Spacey urged all three of his supporters to remember to vote for Grumpy.

President Washington warned against political parties. Could it be we deserve better?

Our dads both fought against one-party systems in World War II (fascism) and the Korean War (totalitarian socialism.) So we value political competition enough to wish some of the alleged presidential “candidates” of one of our two big parties weren’t just selfishly “trumpeting” their reality TV show or book tours.

And why do the two “non-snowball’s-chance” choices on our presidential menus have to be so-often picked by two percent of American voters, in the primaries of backwater mini-states?

Among next Tuesday’s primary’s Survivor-Dwarves, Holy looks comforting in his trademark sweater-vests – like your high school science teacher who refused to teach you sex education. If he really does put it in the Constitution as promised, though, somebody please tell Holy there’s no “a” in “bestiality.”

Doc is an old-style, penny-pinching conservative. So, Doc’s estranged from his now neo-conservative party’s big-spending, “Big Brother Occupying-Your-Bedroom-and-Occupying-Bananastan-On-Your-Credit-Card” Movement. Doc will let us smoke pot – in our multi-million-dollar high-rise Big Sur condos.

Party insiders reportedly threatened that if Doc divorces them to run like Ross Perot, they’ll kill his U.S. senator-son’s hopes of becoming president someday. (Party politics like that remind us how Rodney Dangerfield’s high school was so tough that, after they sacked the other team’s quarterback, “they went after his family!”)

Greedy’s speeches piously recited “America the Beautiful” – to New Hampshire Yankees. But Greedy’s first South Carolina pep rally opened with Confederate Army marching tunes and “rebel yells.” Then, the corporate raider “chop shopper” vowed to take-over-and-chop-up Social Security and Medicare. (But big Social Security surpluses have been “skimmed” into the Treasury’s general fund for decades up to now. Medicare will stay healthy if American health care costs stop rising too fast – and they did stop, last year.)

Greedy only allowed two (obviously-staged) questions. (See Nixon in “The Selling of the President 1968.”) So, nobody asked why Greedy left his dog on his car’s roof, speeding down the freeway for twelve hours, though he knew a “gross” brown fluid started sliming down the back window after six. (They say women can tell how a would-be husband would treat them, by watching how he treats his mother….)

And nobody asked why Greedy and his confederates connived to bank a $10 million Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation bailout. Greedy arm-twisted a federal bailout of $44 million, too, to repay a workers’ pension fund he raided. Even Ferris Bueller on his “Day Off” from the macroeconomics class one of us once bravely taught would admit that Greedy, not Ferris, is “The Bailout King.”

Greedy’s superpac spent $110-per-vote-Greedy-got to remind Iowans that his rival Dwarf, Grumpy, was President Clinton’s 1990’s “evil twin.” (Like in the movie, “Twins”, where the cunningly underhanded Danny DeVito was angelic Schwarzenegger’s test-tube twin.)

Grumpy’s facial expression does resemble Hollywood’s evil, knife-wielding “Chuckie” doll. And, armed with a half-million-dollar line of credit at Tiffany’s jewelers, Grumpy has scandalously run through three “Brides of Chuckie.” But Greedy has more of Chuckie’s power to magically “shape-shift” into a completely different politician.

If any of these Survivor-Dwarves deadlock the convention, please, no more party establishment threats to draft ex-governor Jeb Bush. (That’s “W’s” elephantine-headed brother, whose Florida Highway Patrol road-blocked-off so many black church-polling places the day of W’s election, keeping uncounted African-American people from voting.) As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote for the U.S. Supreme Court, when it ruled that a southern state’s forced-sterilization of mentally-challenged citizens was constitutional, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

Whichever Dwarf stands tall against our president in November, if this “Do-Nothing Congress” (Sam Farr excepted) feels our heat, stops stalling and starts passing the president’s jobs bills, and the economy keeps picking up as it has, (with 22 straight months of job gains), President Obama should in the end be able to quote Mark Twain. Because when Twain opened a newspaper and saw his own obituary, Mark famously quipped, “The reports of my demise are greatly exaggerated.”

Karen and Tom Lantz are Hollister residents.


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