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Could we just fast-forward to November?

by Ogi Overman

Is it just me, or is anybody else already sick of the 2008 presidential race? I’m not sure if it’s the candidates or the media who are more at fault, but something has happened since the last cycle that’s taken all the fun out of it for me. And if a political beast like me is disenchanted with it, imagine how most folks who are only marginally engaged are feeling. Bored, disconnected, blasé and otherwise turned off, I suspect.

Before we get into the reasons for my summerfallwinterspring of discontent, the sad truth is that this really is the most important election of our lifetime. Funny, we’ve heard that phrase every single election of our lifetime, and when it finally becomes more than a trite campaign slogan, nobody’s paying attention. It’s as if the pols cried wolf once too often, and when the wolf really is at the door, we either deny his existence or fling the door open and welcome him in.

While we are facing some vexing issues both at home and abroad – issues that demand answers, given that we have a president whose only policy is to pass them along to the next administration and hope the world doesn’t blow up in the interim – we find ourselves listening to “he said-she said” crap over Obama having the temerity to utter the name “Reagan” or Bill Clinton shamelessly infusing himself into his wife’s campaign by smearing Obama every chance he gets. Hillary fought back a tear and Obama’s wife mispronounced Nevada and the press gobbled it up like a vulture over a sailpossum. Meanwhile, poor old John “Good Hair” Edwards can’t get arrested, even though the issue he’s hung his hat on from day one – the economy, stupid – is now the hottest topic on the trail.

And these are the good guys!

If the Dems have a saving grace it’s that at least they’re saying it to each other’s face. The Republicans are spending millions of dollars buying ads to tell the folks in each successive primary state what a low-down dirty rotten scoundrel fill-in-the-blank is. Then again, though, they’re all telling the truth, since every one of them is a low-down, dirty, rotten scoundrel. When your front-runners rotate among a Bush apologist who actually ossified six months ago, a rich pretty boy who’s made flip-flopping an Olympic event, a philandering crossdresser who should have his name legally changed to Mr. 9-ll and a seemingly mild-mannered guy who discounts evolution and believes the US Constitution should be amended to conform to the word of the one, true, perfect God, whichever one that might be, the GOP dilemma becomes – we’ve got to nominate one of these guys? At least Fred “Big Jowls” Thompson had the sense to drop out before he embarrassed himself any further.

To tell the truth, I’m embarrassed by the level to which the political discourse has sunk, particularly in these dire times. And I’m equally embarrassed by the way the media is party to it, due to the relatively recent 24-hour news cycle working in concert with the blogosphere, which feels the need to generate new content several times a day, regardless of whether anyone said or did anything of consequence. I’m sorry, but I don’t care if John Edwards combs his hair before a public appearance. Matter of fact, I don’t even care if Rudy dresses in drag (but that’s a whole ‘nother issue).

What I do care about can be boiled down to one issue and one issue only. There is only one person running for president that I can possibly vote for, one person who is uniquely qualified, one person who can reverse the death spiral this country is in. And that person is… whoever’s running against the Republican.

I suspect I speak for a lot of folks when I say this country is so over Bush that November can’t come soon enough. Even most Republicans, it seems, are sick of his war and the 935 lies he told to sucker the US into it; his criminal cronies; his smirk; his veto of stem cell research; his hypocrisy; his failure to act on the housing crisis, post-Katrina rebuilding, health insurance, immigration, overseas job loss, global warming and all its ramifications, and on and on and on. Normally we liberals get bashed for advocating change for the sake of change, but now even the conservatives realize anything would be better than this. I mean, when a knuckle-dragger like Mitt Romney becomes an advocate for change, the Republicans must know they’re in for a bumpy ride come November.

Perhaps after the conventions we’ll finally get some real debate over the substantive issues, but until then I’ve all but tuned it out. Most of my Democratic brethren, while they might have a preference, seem to agree than any of the three contenders would look good in the Oval Office. I’m perfectly comfortable with President Hillobamwards.

Ogi may be reached at ogiman100@yahoo.com, heard Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. on “The Dusty Dunn Show” on WGOS 1070 AM, and seen on “Triad Today” hosted by Jim Longworth Fridays at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 and Sundays at 10 p.m. on WMYV 48.

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