Monday, June 15, 2009

Been There, Done That

Lots of news stories today about the recent Iranian presidential election. The incumbent Ahmadinejad is claiming a landslide victory while at least half the country is screaming "foul." I know you're not supposed to criticize someone for their physical appearance but that guy creeps me out big time. He looks like he has a number of lemurs or chimpanzees or some kind of simians in his recent family tree. Just like George W. Bush used to creep me out because he looked so much like MAD magazine coverboy Alfred E. Neuman. But as we ruefully found out in 8 disastrous years of his presidency, merely looking like an idiot is far less destructive than actually being an idiot.

So everybody in this country is tsk-tsking that the Iranian elections are obviously a fraud. Americans should be quite familiar with fraudulent presidential elections because we had a doozy in the fall of 2000, in the Bush-Gore contest. There was that incredibly surreal, unbelievable situation in Florida with the hanging/pregnant/whatever chads on the paper ballots. I remember video of all these elderly election workers squinting intensely at the paper ballots like they were watching Internet porn without their bifocals. On election night Florida kept bouncing back and forth between the red and blue columns like it was made of rubber. In the weeks afterward the lawsuits were as thick as mosquitoes in the Everglades. And in a blatant, ridiculous exhibition of partisanship, the scrawny, brittle Florida Secretary of State at the time, Kathleen Harris, certified the election results in Bush's favor without even counting all the ballots. Harris always reminded me of some hideous, repellent zombie from a horror movie who would come to life at night and eat insects and rodents. She looked as if she would smell like some unholy mixture of mothballs and cabbage. In the end the whole hellish situation was put to rest by a stunning, unprecedented interference by the Supreme Court, with the Chief Justice resplendent in his Star-Wars-drag-queen embroidered robes, ruling in favor of the Republicans. So much for judicial impartiality and respect for the Court.

So, it looks like Iran will continue to resemble a nascent nuclear power with a crazy homeless person at the helm. How lovely; I don't suppose just once things could actually work out for the better, could they? However, Americans don't have any reason to feel haughty or superior to the Iranians or question the wisdom of the outcome. After all, I'm sure the world thought the same thing whenever George W. Bush was elected to his second term in 2004: What the hell were they thinking???

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