Jewish World Review Nov. 8, 2002 / 3 Kislev, 5763

Greg Crosby

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Consumer Reports

The 2002 Elections -- Are They Over Yet? | Last Tuesday's election has done much more than merely put the Republicans in control of both houses -- it has demonstrated to the entire country who has the most class. (Hint: it ain't the Democrats, folks.)

Listening to DNC head Terry McCauliffe whine, blame, and make excuses why his party was roundly defeated on Wednesday, reminded me of the bad ol' Clinton days when spinning and spewing was simply politics as usual. Lying and denying was the way the Clinton democrats played the game for eight years. Twisting words until they lost all meaning and delaying answers until the public got sick of hearing the questions. That was their strategy.

McCauliffe's bitter mean-spirited harangue was in stark contrast to an earlier speech I'd heard that morning -- a speech of class and dignity given by another Democrat -- a kinder, gentler Democrat of the "old school." It was the concession speech of Walter Mondale. What a gentleman, in the true sense of the word.

Mondale thanked his family and campaign people for their hard work. He congratulated his opponent and you definitely got the feeling he meant it. He didn't blame anyone but himself for his defeat. He didn't try to spin it. He didn't take cheap shots at the Republicans. He was gracious and dignified and classy -- the way most politicians used to be once upon a time BC (Before Clinton).

When will the Democrats stop being nasty? Maybe if they keep losing elections it'll finally dawn on them that Americans, given a choice, prefer their leaders to show dignified behavior at all times, win or lose. Two years ago, after Bush won the presidency, Al Gore was a sore loser times ten thousand, but when he (finally) gave his concession speech he sounded great. As a matter of fact, it was such a good speech he almost sounded human.

Gore showed a strength of character in that speech that never surfaced during the actual campaign, and has never surfaced since. Now he just goes around telling people that he is the REAL president (ignore that man behind the curtain). Gore has now gone back to his Big Bad Wolf mode -- huffing and puffing and ranting and raving -- except instead of blowing doors down, he seems to be closing them behind him.

I'm afraid, for Al, the campaign of 2000 will never be over. It's like some crazy Twilight Zone plot that has Gore condemned to relive that period in his life again and again -- for all eternity. Al Gore's own Groundhog Day hell.

Getting back to last week's elections, there's no question that President Bush campaigned hard for his party's candidates. Some pundits claim that was one of the major reasons for the Republican victory. But what's really interesting about this election, is that impeached former President Clinton campaigned almost as hard for HIS party and they lost.

What does this tell us? Maybe, as President Bush has said, Americans really want to change the tone of politics in Washington. I think the Bill Clinton style may at last be behind us.

And speaking of nasty hate mongers, did you happen to catch what Barbara Streisand said just a couple of days before the election? She reportedly told some people that the plane crash which killed Senator Wellstone was "not an accident." Oh, really, Babs? Must be the vast right-wing conspiracy again, huh?

Well, I'm sure a well-informed movie-star political expert like Miss Streisand must have some concrete proof of such a serious accusation. I'm sure she has evidence of this "murder," don't you think? How long should we wait for her to tell us how she knows that "it wasn't an accident"? Talk about your paranoid movie-star wackos! Wow!

So, lets tally up what we've got here with these Democrats. Al Gore believes he won the presidential election and if he just keeps telling enough people that, maybe he really will be president some day. Terry McCauliffe believes that if he can blame the devastating losses his party incurred on someone or something other than himself, maybe he won't be booted out of the party.

Meanwhile, impeached former President Clinton still thinks he's Elvis Presley. And bonkers Babs thinks that Dubya had Wellstone's plane shot down or something. Man. And they say Irv Rubin is brain dead!

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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© 2001 Greg Crosby