Wednesday, January 14, 2004

The Bozo from Burpelson

Over at Slate, Chris Suellentrop has some details on something that is being massively under-reported. Namely that Wesley Clark is neck and neck with Kucinich as the biggest wingnut in the Donk nomination race. To avoid copying the entire article, I just elaborated on the ones that struck my fancy.
Whether it's true or not, Gen. Wesley Clark's rise in the polls in New Hampshire is being partly attributed to some voters having "cold feet" about former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, especially Dean's penchant for making statements that are quickly seized upon by Fox News or the Republican Party as evidence of unpatriotic disloyalty. But Clark has the same propensity for speaking imprecisely off the cuff. Here are some statements I heard him make last week during my trip with him in New Hampshire:

Bush was "warned" about 9/11?

Bush "never intended" to get Osama Bin Laden?

There wasn't a single terrorist in Iraq before the war? "The president was not and has not been held accountable yet for misleading the American people. He is continuing to associate Saddam, Iraq, and the problem of terrorism. Yet the only terrorists that are in Iraq are the people that have come there to attack us." (Jan. 7, Town House, Peterborough.)
Wesley must not get out much.
Fifty-five million voters are "ill-informed" dupes of the Christian right? "Now, there's one party in America that's made the United Nations the enemy. And I don't know how many of you have ever read that series of books that's published by the Christian right that's called the "Left Behind" series? Probably nobody's read it up here. But don't feel bad, I'm not recommending it to you. I'm just telling you that according to the book cover that I saw in the airport, 55 million copies have been printed. And in it, the Antichrist is the United Nations. And so there's this huge, ill-informed body of sentiment out there that's just grinding away against the United Nations." (Jan. 7, Fuller Elementary School, Keene.)
What part of fiction doesn't he understand? I'm waiting for him to say that, based on sales, a large portion of the American public believes that Klingons exist. As for the UN, they aren't competent enough to be the Antichrist.
Does Islam need an Enlightenment or just "Young men in an Islamic culture cannot get married until they can support a family. No job, no marriage. No marriage, unhappy young men. They get real angry, they feel real frustrated, they feel real powerless. And a certain number of them are being exploited in the mosques by this recruiting network." (Jan. 8, Havenwoods Heritage Heights senior center, Concord.)
And it's the American taxpayers' burden to find them a job and a hottie? Maybe they could run for President in the Democrat party. No apparent skills or knowledge required and they could hang with Madonna!
President Bush doesn't even want to find Bin Laden?
Yadda, yadda. I'm still waiting to hear about them trying to "impurify" Weasley's precious bodily fluids!