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by RIP RENSE

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KERRY WINS---
WANNA BET?

(Nov. 1, 2004)

            Kerry is in. Game over. Bush out. I'll bet my Beatles albums on it. Even the 1970 "Let it be" boxed set.
            Predictions in tight races are folly, of course. You just set yourself up for ridicule and shattered credibility. In the case of The Rip Post, what else is new?
            I'm no astute analyst of polls and demographics. I'm no student of politics or elections. I'm no pundit obsessing over each new set of numbers, like a dog sniffing over a new potential urination target. I wear no bow-tie.
           But I had a feeling, for lack of a more concrete term, about a week ago. Kerry is in. Deal done. To invoke the words of the late American poet, Francis "Chick" Hearn: "it's in the refrigerator, the lights are out, the Jello is jiggling, the eggs are cooling, and the butter's getting hard."
            No, no, nothing metaphysical here. I'm not about to teach "You ARE Psychic!" at the Learning Annex, or open a palm-reading clinic. Although I'd make better money at either.
            I just cannot believe that my country---out of sheer reptile-brained fear---would re-elect such montebanks as currently ruin---er, run---things here. I can't believe that the majority of the people of the United States would ultimately cast their vote out of fear of the Missing Arab Smith Brother on a TV screen.
            As I wrote in a column some time back, what in the hell ever happened to "we have nothing to fear but fear itself?"
            Kerry will be president just as sure as Bush cannot pronounce "nuclear," and Cheney smiles like a mortician arranged it with stitches. My country cannot be so lights-out dumb, so slaveringly greedy, so fanatically misguided, so snake-oil conned, so alpha-brained stupefied by media, so worm-wriggling primitive, for it to be otherwise. Can it?
            My hunches about these things tend to be good; call it reporter's instinct. But I have other reasons:
            Jimmy Breslin was the first in the media to note one of them: cell phones. Leave it to an old reporter like Breslin to get on this very real story: millions of people who only have cell phones were never polled. There are no cell phone directories. Who are these millions? Well, I haven't done any studies, but I'll bet the majority of them are not old white chickenhawks. I'll bet the majority of them are young people and women. And I'll bet that the majority of young people and women are voting for John Kerry.
            Young people and women, you see, tend to have a more serious aversion to death and unnecessary war.
            Factor into this the news that many millions have registered to vote for the very first time, and that a lot more of them, from what I've read, are Democrats than Repugnicans (about 150,000 to 50,000 in L.A. alone ), and you start to wonder if there is not only a Kerry victory lurking, but a convincing one.
            Then there is the Sean "Puffy" Combs, or Puff Daddy, or P. Diddy, or H. Doody, or whatever he calls himself. . .factor. Don't underestimate the power of a rap/hip-hop pop star to sway votes (sad to say.) Ditto for the terrific video, "Mosh," by Eminem, and The Boss's appearances with Kerry. I have a friend who is, unlike me, a very keen and insightful student of politics and current events. He says Diddy might do it:
            "I think Combs has actually frightened the conservatives, as the 'Mallard Fillmore' cartoonist and also the fascist columnist Mona Charen have been on a consistent rant recently to the effect that stupid, ignorant, uninformed people should have no right to vote (read: newly registered young people, especially minority young people)," he said.  "The fact that both of them would go ballistic on this issue two weeks before the election seems more than coincidental. I think it implies that they've probably gotten their marching orders from their right-wing think tank friends."
             I think he's right---er, that is, correct. And there are other reasons: Jon Daley's show is the number-one source of "news" for young people, by far. While I normally would consider this rather horrifying, I find much more truth on Daley---and much more comedy on Brokaw, Rather, Jennings, and the rest of the newsmannequins. Then there is the comforting statistic that no incumbent president with less than a 50 percent approval rating has been reelected (Bush is at a lowly 46); and the even more comforting children's polls that have overwhelmingly elect Kerry. Maybe they should lower the voting age. . .
            Finally, I cite two most critical and compelling factors: Bush is ugly as a chihuahua and twice as stupid; and Hunter Thompson, who is never wrong, said this:
            "This year's first presidential debate was such a disaster for George Bush that his handlers had to be crazy to let him get in the ring with John Kerry again. Yet Karl Rove let it happen, and we can only wonder why. But there is no doubt that the president has lost his nerve, and his career in the White House is finished. NO MAS."
            Now, dear voters, let us part the odoriferous mists of time and, holding our noses, peer back to the year 2000. Bush lost the popular vote by half-a-million, when Gore's support was as strong as Bush's legs after a couple of fifths of V.O.. Many did not bother to go out and vote for Al, and a lot of masochistic idealists made sure Bush won by voting for that psychopath, our pet goat, Ralph Nader.
            This time, Nader is at a popularity nadir, despite the tacit devil's deal he made with   Repugnicans who helped get his name on ballots. This time, all Dem who did not bother to vote for Al in 2000 are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore, and are currently busy phoning and pissing off people in Ohio. The Senator is thus guaranteed a much larger popular vote than Gore received.
            The question, then, is whether Bush's ranks---like his BB-sized head---have also swelled since 9/11. I say they haven't. I say that roughly the same number of people who voted for him in 2000 will turn out this time. Why? Two words: Rush Limbaugh. Ten years of doing the Limbaugh over Monica and Bill whipped the Repugnicans into as much of a froth as they are capable of frothing. In other words, they were maxed-out in 2000, hate-wise---as galvanized as they could possible have been.
            Can fear of Bin-Laden---the lifeblood of Bush/Cheney support---significantly add to that hate-based bloc of 2000? The 46 percent approval rating tells me "no." Those millions of new Democratic voters tell me "no." Limbaugh lower now? I think not. The Little Prez will lose the popular vote---and unless Jeb Bush poisons the water in Broward County, and Karl Rove programs Ohio voting machines---the electoral vote.
            Interesting, isn't it, that the two ingredients for uniting Repugnicans in recent years are fear, and hatred?
            Last but not lousiest, I cite the fact that no president in my lifetime has ever been the recipient of such fecund, decorative, smelly, intergalactic denunciation as George W. Bush---and that includes LBJ and even Nixon. The entire world opposes him, it seems, including a great many dogs, cats, conservatives and conservative media (beginning with "The American Conservative" magazine, which endorsed Kerry!) People smell a chickenhawk rat; only hardcore Bush supporters, whose reading and comprehension abilities are well-qualified for "My Pet Goat," believe that Iraq is anything other than an Animal House of death.
            So I repeat: Kerry will be president just as sure as Bush was wired in the debates, just as sure as Colin Powell lied to the U.N., just as sure as Richard Perle was suckled by a werewolf, just as sure as Condoleezza Rice should have stuck with the piano, just as sure as Donald Rumsfeld has disappeared from public view, just as sure as Paul Wolfowitz licks his comb, just as sure as John Ashcroft thinks calico cats are agents of Satan, just as sure as Dick Cheney is being kept alive by voodoo witch doctors, just as sure as. . .
            The majority of American people usually try to do the right thing.

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