I could follow my guy's modeling of extraordinary leadership, hoist a banner reading "Mission Accomplished" and declare Bush the winner.
But, just for kicks, I'll explain myself.
In the late 1960s, we had a collection of excellent Southern governors. Among them were Alabama's George Wallace, Georgia's Lester Maddox and Claude Kirk, Florida's first Republican el jefe since the Ice Age.
My liberal colleagues in the endorsement business twitched in antipathy at those names. They would have bestowed their favor on almost anyone -- Michael Corleone, Leonid Brezhnev or Elmer Fudd -- other than our lovable Southerners.
At the time, my career was ping-ponging between Florida and Georgia. In Florida, I adored Kirk. How many governors show up at their inaugural ball with a mistress identified only as "Madame X"? Ping to Georgia, where Maddox's Pickrick ax handle episode offered media slapstick.
The law forbade Maddox a second term, but there was precedent for coup d'etat in Georgia -- as when Herman Talmadge had himself illegally crowned governor after his pappy's death. So I thought maybe Maddox could just ignore the dumb old law.
In Georgia, I had a brilliant, alcohol-induced idea: The Journalists for Lester Maddox Committee. My goal was to enshrine him as gubna-for-life. I also proposed erecting a five-story, gold ax handle atop the Georgia Capitol. Had we added a giant Confederate battle flag, the idea might have picked up steam.
Weeks later, I ponged back to Florida and reprised the effort with the Journalists for Claude Kirk Committee. I regret that I never lived in Alabama, where a George Wallace committee could have stayed in business for decades.
Why were these gentlemen "excellent"? Because they made the best news copy, of course.
Take Florida. How could a sane journalist favor Kirk's upstart foe, Reubin Askew -- who drank nothing stronger than orange juice, never uttered a swear word, and was anything but flamboyant -- over a loopy incumbent?
And now we have the '04 presidential election. On the one hand, there's Kerry -- eyes-glazing-over normal. He'd muddle along the political mainstream and screw up only infrequently. The rest of the world would rekindle its fondness for the lovable Americans. The economy would flourish, jobs would be created, our poorest would find some solace, and natural resources would be safeguarded. If we had to go to war, it would be reluctantly. Our young folks wouldn't be splattered on desert sand to boost Halliburton's profits.
In other words: boring, boring, boring.
But don't despair. Four more years with Bush promises sensational stories. "News" won't quite be the same once the First Amendment is massaged to state, "The freedom of the press to support the Bush regime shall not be abridged."
If you have any question about that, the model is Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which will be airing unabashed pre-election propaganda -- but calling it news -- on its 62 TV stations. For other examples, tune to Fox or just about anywhere on the AM dial and listen to the voice of the future -- never-ending Bushite spinning.
The print media is hardly better. Some would call Cox Enterprises and the rest of print and broadcast moguls morally bankrupt for failing to report their own self-interest in playing footsie with the administration in exchange for unfettered media consolidation. I call it shrewd anticipation of our brave new world.
Turning off the brains of journalists -- a process already under way -- will ratify the quid pro quo. Thus, after 1,625 investigators search 1,700 Iraqi sites and conclude that weapons of mass destruction had not existed there for years or were incapable of being produced, the press smiles and nods when Bush proclaims in a presidential debate, "Saddam Hussein was a threat because he could have given weapons of mass destruction to terrorist enemies."
We should all head for the bar, slap each other on the back and chortle, "Are we really stupid or what?"
W. promises a level of madcap entertainment now available only on Three Stooges tapes. Can you name another recent president or even presidential candidate who is widely believed to be so intellectually challenged that he might have needed to be wired so that his spin docs could prompt him during debates?
Or a guy who entertains nonstop by denying reality? To wit, when Kerry quoted Bush as saying he wasn't concerned about Osama bin Laden, the prez shot back, "Gosh, I don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. That's kind of one of those exaggerations." Never mind that on March 13, 2002, Bush told a nationally broadcast press conference: "I truly am not that concerned about [bin Laden]." What fun!
Let's face it, not since Dan Quayle delighted us with such gems as, "Not to have a mind is being very wasteful," have we enjoyed such levity in high office. Lester Maddox's Pickrick shenanigans and George Wallace's "segregation forever" speech were just warm-ups for the 21st-century main attraction.
Bush is the perfect president for a nation where the last vestiges of journalism are being transmuted into mindless entertainment.
That's why I support re-election of the president.
Group Senior Editor John Sugg -- who says, "Hey, this newspaper group is in tune with the times. You won't find any silly old rabble-rousing corporate endorsement of John Kerry on our pages" -- can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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