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 America after Anna Nicole 

February 12, 2007  
paragraph indentAfter long study, I’ve concluded that our leaders are not necessarily trying to be funny. But you are entitled to draw your own conclusions. All I really know is what I see on the cable news channels. This was my only contact with the outside world for several days recently, Today's column is "America after Anna Nicole" -- Read Joe's columns the day he writes them.when my furnace was dead and I was forced to check into the Bates Motel (now under new management).

paragraph indentThis weekend those channels gave thorough coverage to one of the great mysteries of our time: Who is the father of the late Anna Nicole Smith’s baby? The issue may ultimately have to be settled by the Florida supreme court. (The child does not yet appear to have implants.)

paragraph indentBut we can’t rule out the possibility that the same man is the father of Mary Cheney’s baby. Everything seems to point to Scooter Libby, unless he’s being made the fall guy again. The vice president has called Libby “one of the finest individuals I have ever known.” That’s a fall guy, all right. Most people don’t call their friends “individuals.” When the Cheneys need something done, they turn to Scooter.

paragraph indentMeanwhile, Barack Obama has made it official: He’s running for president. He made the announcement in Springfield, Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln once kicked off his campaign, just before Lincoln’s birthday. Taking the bull by the horns, Obama proclaimed his faith in “the basic decency of the American people.” He offered no evidence to support this bizarre belief.

paragraph indentHe also hopes to “transform the nation” and to have his face on the penny, an honor traditionally reserved for dead white males. He seems to forget that Lincoln didn’t even want black people voting in Illinois. And really, why would they want to, anyway?

paragraph indentObama is mounting a serious challenge to the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton, who has a huge early lead in the polls and name recognition. Obama also enjoys high name recognition, except that many voters think he is the head of al-Qaeda, understandably confounding him with Obama Hussein bin Laden, the radical Islamist Holocaust-denying wife-beating terrorist.

paragraph indentHillary has other problems. Liberals are suspicious of her for supporting the Iraq war. She has also voted for legislation to punish flag burning and against gay marriage; but she has taken full responsibility for these votes, explaining that she would have voted the other way if she had known then what she knows now.

[Breaker quote for America after Anna Nicole: And before Hillary]paragraph indentIn addition, she has ankles like a rogue elephant. Can she keep them concealed until the primaries? Those ankles may be the touchiest political secret since FDR’s frail health in 1944. Her voice reminds you of an elephant too. A really angry one. If Obama is smart, he will challenge her to debate before a live audience in Bermuda shorts.

paragraph indentPerhaps only one candidate could have united the fractious Democrats this year: Al Gore, with his mainstream message of global warming. Unfortunately, Gore has just been buried by an avalanche in Buffalo. (Earlier reports that he had been mauled by a polar bear were erroneous.)

paragraph indentNot that the Republicans don’t have their own problems, even apart from their presidential hopefuls. They are currently distressed by Iran’s “meddling” in Iraq. Apparently nobody in the party owns a map. As I say, these people may not be being funny on purpose. They just get sincerely annoyed when others meddle on our planet.

paragraph indentMost cartographers agree that Iran is situated right between Iraq and Afghanistan. When you invade countries on both sides of another, much bigger country, with regime changes all over the place, well, as the late Donald Rumsfeld used to say, “stuff happens.” Think of it as the birth pangs of a new Middle East.

paragraph indentThe Republicans’ world is collapsing all around them. Imagine how they felt as they watched the Dixie Chicks triumph at the Grammy Awards. It may be their good fortune that we don’t know — and may never know — how Anna Nicole felt about the troop surge.

paragraph indentAll of which prompts the reflection that those of us who don’t live in Florida are missing something. Within a fortnight it has given us the Super Bowl, the astronaut love triangle, and the Anna Nicole tragedy. It’s almost more excitement than I can bear.

Joseph Sobran

Copyright © 2007 by the Griffin Internet Syndicate,
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