Year of the Rat is befitting an election year

By Debra LoGuercio

©Copyright 2008, Debra LoGuercio, all rights reserved

Last Thursday was Chinese New Year’s Day, which means the Year of the Rat has begun. What a befitting creature to serve as mascot for an election year. As in “I smell a rat.”

The foul stench began with the mass media’s complete shutout of the lesser-known candidates, who were lesser known precisely because the mass media completely shut them out! The televised media focused exclusively on Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards from the get-go. I was hoping to hear from Joe Biden and Bill Richardson too, but their opinions and comments were invariably ignored by the media. I smell a rat.

The same thing happened with the Republicans. I was really interested in Ron Paul. He’s in favor of the same things I am – upholding the Constitution first and foremost, getting the government out of our private affairs, and pulling in the reins on the runaway National Debt. And, as a bonus, he’s against the war in Iraq!

Want to find out more about Paul? Yeah, me too! Fat chance you can do so watching the news, however. You’ll have to turn to the Internet to find anything on Paul, who hasn’t dropped out of the race yet, by the way. But you’d never know that watching the news. Any chance he’ll get elected? Maybe if all the other candidates die. And I don’t wish that on anyone, not even Republicans.

I was hoping to flex my brand-new Decline to State muscle at the polls this year, and had intended to vote for Paul in the California primary (yes, I was going to vote for a Republican for the first time ever) but sadly, the Republican party chose not to allow Decline to State voters to vote in their primary. I noticed the absence of the Republican candidates when I got my sample ballot in the mail, so I checked with Fearless Freddie Oakley, our county clerk recorder, who had previously assured me that Decline to State voters could pick a Democrat or Republican ballot at the polls. She explained that this year, just before the primary, the Republican party inexplicably excluded Decline to State voters.

Very curious. You’d think that on the heels of the most disastrous Republican presidency in U.S. history, the Republicans would welcome any and all voters to their fold. So why exclude all those Decline to State rebels who refuse to sell their political souls to either party? Maybe because they’re just the type who would have voted for the equally rebellious Ron Paul and jeopardized John McCain’s preordained 2008 Republican nomination? There’s that stinky rat again.

Guess the preordination committee wasn’t counting on Mike Huckabee to come along and threaten The Plan. Huckabee is the Republican party’s worst nightmare: a Christian – the kind without quotation marks. The kind that believes in feeding the hungry, clothing the poor and healing the sick. Hey, if he believed in evolution and didn’t want to rewrite the Constitution, he’d make a pretty decent Democrat.

Huckabee has taught the Republican party what “Be careful what you wish for” means. The Republicans have shanghaied elections for years by dangling the pro-life/anti-gay carrot -- Christians and “Christians” alike followed right along, all the way to the polling booth. But Huckabee divided the flock by peeling away the What Would Jesus Do Christians, leaving the Who Would Jesus Bomb “Christians” to follow McCain.

Good grief, what if Huckabee actually wins! Next thing you know, he’ll be yammering on about loving our enemies and turning the other cheek! What kind of crazy talk is that? Quick, somebody dig up some lesbian dirt on Hillary and pull the Republican party back together under the Who Would Jesus Hate banner! Oh, to hear Hillary declare, “I did not have sex with that woman!” That’d just be too much fun. Be still, my evil snarky columnist’s heart.

Eh, let’s not get giddy. Huckabee won’t win. McCain’s nomination is a given. As is Clinton’s, because that will seal McCain’s victory in the fall and that’s how the powers-that-be want it. A Clinton nomination means a McCain victory. The only way McCain won’t be the next president is if Obama gets the nomination (read: if pigs fly). If the Giants can pull off an upset in the Super Bowl and Winters can beat Davis in the Academic Decathlon in 2008, maybe Obama could be the next President of the United States. Maybe hope and change will defeat fear and loathing. Maybe it’s not the Year of the Rat after all. Maybe it’s the Year of the Underdog.

It’s also the Last Year of THE Rat! Out of office countdown: 50 weeks left!