As Halloween recedes, Turkey Day looms. Yessir, the elections are upon us. But not all the monsters have decamped. Shove over inflatable Pilgrims and plastic Santas. The ghoulish denizens of Party City have decided to hang in our yard FOREVER.
Once upon a time, Universal Pictures made a series of seminal horror films: Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolfman and The Mummy. (The last two are separate movies, not a bio of Bill & Hillary Clinton.) All were immensely popular. Universal started cranking out sequels. As time passed, the spin-offs became more and more absurd. Eventually Universal combined Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman in monster mash-ups such as The House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula. Though the Mummy always walked alone. Dragging his bandages behind him, forever seeking his lost love Princess Ananka. Like Dubya, the Mummy stayed the course. Even as his movies sank into the swamp.
The coup de grace for the Universal pantheon came in the 1940’s, when baggy pants comics Abbott & Costello entered the picture(s) and played the monsters for laffs. Heeeyyyy Abbott (and Costello) where are you now? Please guys — come back and wipe the screen clean of the Houses of Bush and Clinton.
Back in the neighborhood houses, lesser faces star in local productions. Their eternal life in public office powered by a lack of term limits and a diet of taxpayer blood. Protest votes re national issues sometimes threaten their preternatural existence. Yet those same votes can keep them pumped.
In New Jersey, sitting U.S. Senator Robert Menendez is the Democratic candidate for the office. Though only appointed in 2005 to the position he hopes to make eternal, Menendez has spent decades in other public offices and is widely acknowledged as the political boss of Hudson County — one of Jersey’s prime corruption crypts. Menendez’s cronies are legion. New Jersey residents are tired of being bloodsucked. Yet Menendez’s seat may be saved by anti Iraq War sentiment. Directed at Republican challenger Tom Kean Jr. Kean is a relative newbie running on a reform platform. Unlike say, Hillary Clinton, he has never cast any vote that helped make Iraq happen. Though he once supported the war in thought if not in deed, his position has shifted. As has Hillary Clinton’s. Yet the shadow of Bush hangs over Kean but not over Hill. She’s from a different shelf in Party City.
Meanwhile, villagers in Hoboken (where Robert Menendez parks his coffin) say strange lights have been seen in castle Menendez. The senator and his cohort, Governor Jon Corzine, are said to be brewing tanna leaves. To keep Dubya going and going and going.
Then there’s Connecticut. Where the Republican Party has a history of slapping together a few body parts and a damaged brain, and calling the result their candidate for U.S. Senate. Back in 2000, their choice was Phil Giordano. The X Mayor of Waterbury. A candidate with a rep so rank that Dubya dodged appearing with him in pics. Phil lost big time to Democratic incumbent Joe Lieberman. Thankfully. Or else Phil would have been serving in Party City, D.C. when the feds busted him for child molestation in 2001. But Republican honchos in the “Land of Steady Habits” have learned from their mistakes. This time they’re running a candidate who only has gambling issues. And almost no name recognition. For either of his names.
When gambling on the Internet, candidate Alan Schlesinger used the alias Alan Gold. Since Republican voters don’t know much about either persona, and are unsure which one would go to Washington, they’ve decided to go with Joe Lieberman. They know where he stands; with one foot on a mountain of pork and the other on a Humvee headed for the Mid East. Besides, it’s OK to go Joe cause he’s no longer a Demoncrat.
After being staked in the senate primary race by lefty anti-war candidate Ned Lamont, Lieberman popped up as an Independent. Driving his own stake through Party City loyalty by collecting contributions and endorsements from Republicans. Even Bush isn’t backing Schlesinger/Gold; his shadow endorsement capes Joe. And despite concern about the war in Iraq, a lot of Dems and genuine indies think Lamont reeks of chic and dig the goodies Uncle Joe delivers. They also don’t go for Lamont’s more eldritch supporters. Including the Reverend Al Sharpton. Who lurched into Connecticut repeatedly to pose next to Ned and lecture Lieberman on his evil ways. Still, Sharpton and Lieberman have something major in common; both are adept at rising from the grave.
When not in Conn, Reverend Al is on TV. The flim-flam man who perped the massively divisive Tawana Brawley fraud and never apologized to its victims, has been reborn as a pundit on cable news and opinion shows. Talking heads who should know better nod respectfully as the Rev blasts hot air re all things remotely racial. Great Caesar’s Ghost — he even pontificates on foreign policy! With each nod, Sharpton’s ego swells. Danger Will Robinson! Stand away from the tube! The Reverend could explode!
Al Sharpton’s logic is more snaky than Medusa’s do. His syntax, a tangled tiptoe through his two lips. His lack of respect for the truth, as deep as the dankest cistern. All of which qualify the Rev for a knock-down, roll-around, growling rassle with Dubya in a gothic castle. The kind with a tower. Where New York Senator Hillary Clinton is being blasted with re-election lightening. Bill hovers anxiously. Will he and his bride make it back to the White House in 2008?
Pray for Abbott & Costello.
Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff