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Saturday, September 20, 2003

AN APOLITICAL LIBERTARIAN REACHES THE END OF HIS ADMITTEDLY WEE ROPE 

For a few days now I'd been preparing to write a post about Wesley Clark's entry into the Democratic presidential race. I pored over endless articles by the usual suspects and combed through mounds of droppings from my fellow bloggers on the subject of He Who Is Today What Howard Dean Was Yesterday. I was going to analyze the various factors--whether Clark's General-ity will be able to convince voters that "Democrat" is not a synonym for "wuss"; whether his (a) indisputable smarts, (b) perceived coldness, (c) reputedly thin skin, (d) apparent support from fellow Arkansans Bill and Hill, or (e) all of the above will help or hinder his campaign; whether his grasp of domestic issues will be strong and supple enough without an intensive regimen of wrist and finger exercises; et cetera et cetera et so on et so forth. Then I was going to distill my analysis into a word elixir so powerful and exquisite, and with just a hint of oak in the finish, that the combined editorial staffs of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and Teen People, having drunk to the lees the heady beverage of my peculiar genius, would beg me to condescend to deign to allow them to touch the hem of my garment.

But instead I concluded that I don't give a shit. As in: Don't give. A shit. I undoubtedly will be voting like I always do for whatever nutjob the Libertarian Party puts at the top of the ticket, so it's well nigh time I adopted the eminently sensible strategy of rational ignorance on this and all related matters. Wesley Clark is marginally less sick-making, laugh-raising, and yawn-inducing than the rest of the Democratic field. (That would be, respectively, Al Sharpton, Dennis Kucinich, and everybody else, if you're keeping score.) Into deeper waters I shall not tread. Or swim. Or wade. Or whatever.

Except to poach this from Gregg Easterbrook:
[A] presidential campaign is a lottery ticket. No one knows who will win; "expert" forecasts are almost always wrong. All current Democratic contenders are keenly aware that at this point in 1992, George H. W. Bush looked unbeatable; a year later he lost to a small-state governor with bimbo baggage, while party heavyweights stayed out of the race. So why not buy a ticket? Considering that you yourself do not pay the price of the ticket--your campaign donors do that--why not?
And to say this: Do we really need a First Lady named Gert?

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