CATEGORY: COL Columns (Journal)


HED:Danny McKenzie: Tomorrow, presidential politics become more interesting

So we were standing around the watering hole the other night when, naturally, the conversation turned to presidential politics.

I don't know why I wrote "naturally," because talking about presidential politics at least, talking about these presidential politics is about as natural as planned "spontaneous" public prayer sessions breaking out at public school football games around the South.

Anyway, the conversation turned to presidential politics and I began to realize this is the time of year Labor Day when the campaigns are supposed to kick into high gear.

And I'm confused.

I can't figure out which one of these guys I'd want as my next president, which is not to say that either one of them is a bad person, only that I'm pretty much underwhelmed by my choices ... so far.

I did like Al Gore's nomination acceptance speech better that George Bush's, but that's hardly a reason to vote for someone. I guess.

So far, though, that's about all I've got to go on. Well, I do like Joe Lieberman, but I can't vote for him alone. I don't think. Can I? Oh, well.

Anyway, I'm confused.

See, there's the Republican candidate who sends his children to public schools but advocates school vouchers, and then there's the Democratic candidate who sends his children to private schools and is opposed to school vouchers.

There's the Republican candidate who says the military has gone straight down the tubes under the current Democratic White House regime, but then admits the reduction in military size and, therefore, efficiency began when a Republican was president and his current running mate was secretary of defense.

And to top it all off there's the Republican candidate saying it was the U.S. involvement in peacekeeping missions in places like Bosnia, Kosovo and Somalia that exacerbated the problem, and comes the news the private company his running mate became head of after leaving the White House made more than $2 billion from federal contracts to support those troops while they were on those missions.

Then there's the deal with Democrats, where the presidential nominee has a long track record of civil rights involvement, and lo and behold, if one of the African-American Secret Service agents formerly assigned to the candidate doesn't, first, quit, then up and join a class action discrimination suit against the government.

And we haven't even gotten into the business about the U.S. district judge who ruled last week that Texas had done a pretty poor job of taking care of 1.5 million low-income children, even though the Republican candidate who is governor of Texas is traveling all around bragging about his state's health care progress.

He says the judge ruled the way he did because the judge is a Democrat. Which could be, I suppose, but that still doesn't address the problem of the kids with no insurance.

See how squirrelly things are?

But I guess we can all rest easily, starting tomorrow. Labor Day, all the campaign directors assure us, is the day when everything begins becoming clearer. That's when, they assure us, they will really start getting out their messages about how their candidates stand on the issues.

I don't know about you, but I can hardly wait.

Danny McKenzie is associate editor of the Daily Journal.

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