It's a great time to not live in New Hampshire, but, thanks to the 24-hour news cycle, we're gonna let you all share the misery. And I assume this applies at least to some extent to those of you who live overseas and don't even get to vote in our elections.
This Gary Markstein panel appealed to me because the Republicans are having a big confab here in which everybody gets to stand up and talk as if they were running for president including some who are not.
New Hampshire Public Radio teased its news yesterday with a clip of Rick Perry at the gathering, promising to "deliver America back to those people who gave us this opportunity," and for a minute I thought he meant the Koch Brothers or ALEC, but I guess nobody's being quite that frank, in public.
More to the point, I assumed it meant that Perry had declared, but apparently not that, either, and it makes me wonder if, with the exception of Rand, Rubio and Bush, they were all starting the campaign with some kind of flash-mob violation of election law by campaigning without declaring.
I guess the fact that they all said "we" instead of "I" gets them off the hook, or, to put it another way, "it depends on what your definition of 'candidate' is" or, to put it another way, "what difference at this point does it make?"
Election laws are like gun laws: We don't need new ones, we just need to enforce the ones we have.
So we can then figure out ways to get around them.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the aisle
Jen Sorensen gives us the pros and cons of the seemingly inevitable Democratic candidate.
You can nitpick some points -- the talk show host thing is an acknowledged burr under Sorensen's saddle -- as well as the order of magnitude suggested here -- I have said I consider the Supreme Court the top consideration, but I suppose that's a burr under my saddle -- but it's not a bad rundown as a whole.
Clinton is far from perfect and I'm a long-time non-fan, but, whatever the order of the other things on Sorensen's list, she's got the bottom line pegged, and the operative word there is "realistic."
People who expected too much of Obama piss and moan about what he hasn't accomplished, but what he did accomplish, with the help of the naive-then, now-disappointed true believers, was win the election, and you can measure him against what you thought he was going to be able to do, or you can measure him against what first John McCain and then Mitt Romney were likely to have done.
By that second measure, he's been one helluva good president. Sometimes, it's not who wins, but who doesn't.
Though, as we look at idealistic, unelectable candidates, here's something to ponder: The other day, I was passing the Soldiers Memorial Building and a couple of guys from the old folks home next door were sitting outside on their rolling walkers taking in some sunshine.
One of them remarked on my dog and I'm aware that they aren't allowed to have dogs in the housing, so we always stop when someone needs a little canine contact.
As they patted him, one of them -- a flinty little guy with a couple days worth of white whiskers and a Confederate flag on his ball cap -- said to me, "Do you know who you are the spitting image of? Bernie Sanders! You look just like him!"
And I thought, "uh-oh, here it comes," but replied, "Well, I could do worse," and Mr. Retired Military Confederate Ball-Cap said, "You're darn right you could. I wish he'd run for president!" and his buddy nodded his agreement.
Which doesn't mean Bernie, or Elizabeth Warren, could actually win, but it does mean that you shouldn't be too quick to pigeonhole the electorate.
Still, I hope to see some of the energy that worked in the last two campaigns applied to a realistic candidate who isn't vowing to deliver us into the hands of the people who provided him with the opportunity.
BTW, I've seen a half-dozen or so political cartoons accusing Clinton of accepting speakers fees. Which makes me wonder what rightwing bloviator declared it a topic for cartoonists who can't come up with their own scandals, have never heard of people being paid to speak in public and who do not own a Google machine to check things out before they draw them.
I can deal with spin, but stupid belongs in the funny pages, not on the editorial section, and lazy shouldn't have a place on either.
Here's the good kind of stupid
Ah, Sherman's Lagoon, the Marianas Trench of intelligent humor. Reading this strip is like re-booting your brain to restore the settings.
The Early Bird Gets the Earworm
By stark contrast, Rhymes with Orange often makes me think, but this morning, it mostly made me think about whether you can rue things in advance.
Which I don't think you can, but that was after the second cup of coffee and a little too much pondering.
You can predict that someone will rue something, but only that they will do so when it's too late.
Which made me think that, while the Rooneys may not be a clan that sits around regretting things, perhaps the reason they are so numerous is connected to the Scots-Celtic "roo," which, according to Van Morrison, means to "woo."
But then I looked it up on my own Google machine and discovered that apparently nobody but Van Morrison has ever heard of the word, and, while he did indeed grow up just across the street from Scotland (click on map for details), there are a lot of people who actually grew up in Scotland and surely one of them might have mentioned it.
None of them have, and, judging from what else they are willing to lay out there, it's not a matter of delicacy.
In any case, whether or not it's a word, it's a better earworm than Johnny Windows.
You'd surely rue the day you got Johnny Windows stuck in your head.