Enemy of the Week

These Guys

Kerry means never having to say you’re sorry.

By 3.12.04

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Never apologize, ever complain, Lenin said, in so many Russki words, which Comrade Kerry promises to take with him to his own Mausoleum. (His face is already half-way there, wax-job wise.) Just in the last Enemy cycle, the bold Kerry has said he'd be flattered to be thought of as America's second black president, after William Jolsonson Clinton. But why settle for second, when he could be the our first Black Russian president, or our first Black Sheep president, or our first Black Hole of a president?

As we know, JFK II already thinks himself the president. A plant at the New York Times laid out the concept: time for the Democrats to put together a shadow government. Stalk hell out of the Bush administration, in other words. As one advocate said on learning of the proposal: "What a brilliant and exciting idea! Changing times demand changing tactics."

For starters, storm the White House. For seconds, make taxes on the rich confiscatory. For thirdsies, install a new cabinet. The Times' writer proposed three names. "Elena Kagan, the first female dean of Harvard Law School and a former counsel to President Bill Clinton, could be shadow attorney general and draw attention to the worst excesses of John Ashcroft." (What? And come to terms with the less bad excesses?) Ex-Gen. Wesley Clark could handle national security (with whose army? Aristide's?). Ex-Sen. Gary Hart would be responsible for homeland security (which would have reporters sleeping behind Bushes instead of bushes).

The remaining shadowy names we'll have to come up with ourselves. So, quickly, Kerry's Sec. of State: Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Kerry's director of the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives: Father Aristide. Kerry's Ambassador to France: M. J-B Aristide. Kerry's Ambassador to the United Nations: Jacques Chirac. Kerry's Ambassador to the Court of St. James's: Sir Sidney Blumenthal. Kerry's FDA Commissioner: Teresa Heinz. Kerry's Chief of Staff, Susan Lindauer. Kerry's Baseball Commissioner: Barry Bonds. Kerry's NHL Commissioner, Todd Bertuzzi.

What's that, a late whistler for sticking? Sorry. No more lying. When we see an example of applied Kerryism, we call them as we see them. Did not Bertuzzi do to Steve Moore what everyone from big kahunas like John Kerry and Howard Dean to piddling fry like Alice Franken and Jonathan Chait has insisted be done to G.W. Bush?

Kerry continues to have his defenders, who see in him a man of dialectical nuance. He argues a thesis -- Republicans are crooked. Then comes back with the antithesis -- Republicans are a lying group. Which sets up this synthesis: "These guys are the most crooked, you know, lying group I've ever seen."

The few nice people in his entourage also implore us to consider political realities. Like every politician, Kerry needs to appeal to his base and closest supporters. True, even if they happen to be in North Korea and in the employ of Kerry consultant Kim Jong Il. Besides, Kerry has backed off his earlier charge that Republicans have destroyed our nation's manufacturing capacity. How else could they have constructed the "attack machine" that he regards with such trepidation?

Just for the record, let it be known that despite GOP triumphs on the manufacturing front, the condition of the working man remains deplorable in Bush America. Last we checked, labor is still operating in an "On the Waterfront" environment. In Marlon Brando's day, it was on New York City's docks. In John Sweeney's day, as at this week's annual winter meeting of 64 AFL-CIO unions, it's at a luxury seaside hotel in Bal Harbour, Florida. At least some workers of the world still find reason to unite.

One piece of work not invited to Bal Harbour does his luxuriating in Hollywood and his own HBO show. An admirer of the 9/11 19 since 9/11, he recently found reason to celebrate the serious pancreatic illness of Attorney General John Ashcroft. We now hesitate to call Bill Maher even the male equivalent of a Dixie Chic. Don't miss our Enemy of the Week's next installment, in which Maher attacks Spain for angering Al Qaeda.

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