Why I voted for Amy

My only issue is how to thrash the imperial wizard of the Republican Klan in November and perp-walk his fat ass out of the White House before he irreparably trashes the USA.   

Running down my Super Tuesday absentee ballot, I eliminated all the easy targets for Agent Orange – he has many evil allegiances, goes by many names – and  the GOP GRU.   

I looked for the candidate who would play in Peoria. 

That’s sure as hell not the 78-year-old Jewish socialist with a bum ticker and a Brooklyn accent.

It might be Biden, 77, but he appears even older, worn down, not up for the race.

Bloomberg, 78, should let his money talk and shut the fuck up.  

This is not the time for geezers – or the first Jewish president.

Too much is at stake to gamble against American bigotry.

Same deal with Mayor Pete. 

What about a woman? 

What about the last woman? Did Hillary lose because of her emails, Benghazi, or the smears of the Clinton Foundation?

Or was it because she claimed to have all the answers, appeared phony and entitled?

Will voters see Elizabeth Warren as another smarty-pants in a stylish pantsuit?

But then I came to the woman with the short-bob haircut, flat-soled sensible shoes and the off-the-rack jackets and dresses. 

What can you say that is bad about Amy Klobuchar.

She seems like  the dependable sister-in-law who shows up at 3 a.m. in an emergency, provides comfort, takes charge, and sees the crisis through to the end.

I imagined a campaign this fall between an old, grotesque gasbag, ranting and raving, and a nice, decent Midwestern lady, winning hearts and minds with smarts and a smile. 

She also can be Minnesota nice while carving up bullies and boors.

Remember her performance on the Senate judiciary committee during the Kavanaugh hearings, when she asked the beer-obsessed Supreme Court nominee  if he ever blacked out during one of his drinking binges.

“Have you?” the douchebag jurist shot back.

“I have no drinking problem, judge,” came the reply, cool as ice, from the daughter of an alcoholic sportswriter.

Through all the tortuous Democratic debates, Klobuchar has been a voice of calm and reason amid the racket.

“If you are tired of the extremes in our politics and the noise and the nonsense, you have a home with me,” she said before her strong third-place showing in the New Hampshire primary. 

I knew Klobuchar was a long shot when I filled out my ballot and emailed it back to Maine, the last place I lived in the United States.

This was the day before it was confirmed the Russians are working for Trump again, before it was revealed that the Moscow propaganda machine is promoting Sanders as its preferred patsy, just before Bernie won big in Nevada.

The media storylines are already locking in. Sanders is unstoppable. Unless the moderates gang up on him. Unless there is a “brokered” convention. In which case, the Bernie Babies might burn down the party.

Or would they once more cry wee wee wee all the way home?

The media live for the fight. 

 A Trump-Sanders race would be a doozy – the crypto-Nazi versus the pinko Commie.  

Don’t the majority of Americans want an end to the tumult and the madness?

I’ve been thinking about Gore Vidal’s The Best Man.

The 1960 play, which was made into a movie with Henry Fonda, focused on the two leading contenders for their party’s presidential nomination.

One is a ruthless phony-man-of-the-people senator that Vidal based on Nixon. The other, the Fonda character, is a principled, idealistic intellectual patterned after Adlai Stevenson.

It’s the kicker to the story that came to mind when I marked my ballot. After the frontrunners beat each other up, a third candidate, an inoffensive compromise, walks off with the nomination.

My hope is that character, that candidate, is Klobuchar. That she can hang on until the convention in Milwaukee this July. 

That The Best Man– The Best Person – will see a revival.

My book, The Expat Files: My Life is Journalism, is available in print and Kindle editions from Amazon.com and Amazon Canada.

Two Jews walk into a bar …

Bernie was the first to arrive. He appeared edgy as he entered the hole-in-the-wall bar off an alley on the Lower East Side.   

He paused in the doorway, waiting for his senses to adjust to the dusky, dead-quiet interior.

He checked the time: 4:23 p.m.  “Hello,” he shouted, taking a step inside. 

“You’re early,” I barked from the back room.  

Bernie walked slowly down the narrow aisle between the long bar on his left and the single row of tables on his right. I met him halfway. 

“Thanks for coming,” I said, shaking his hand before taking up my post behind the bar. “Pull up a stool.” 

Bernie was griping about this and that – “I don’t know why I agreed to this” – when the front door opened and Mike joined us. He’d been here before.

I inherited the joint a long time ago from my Uncle Julius, who ran it as a front for his bookmaking operation. The sign out front still said Arnold’s,  a tribute to the godfather of Jewish gangsters. 

I turned it into a hideout for political wiseguys to drink and caucus.  

“What’ll ya have?” I asked.

  “Draft, please,” said Mike.

“Do you have Heady Topper? “ Bernie asked.

“Hedda Hopper?” I laughed.

 “Never mind, I’ll have a Rheingold.”

I laughed again, explained to Bernie that the Rheingold brewery shut down in the ’70s, and drew another Coors Light.

I poured myself a vodka on the rocks and broke the ice. “Does the media know you two are Jewish?”

“Is that a rhetorical question?” Mike asked.

“Not really,” I said. “I read the papers and watch too much cable news – mostly MSNBC – and have not heard one word about you both being Jewish, that your party could nominate the first Jew for president, and that it might be an issue.”

Ever since the smart money moved from Biden to a Bernie-Mike race, I’d imagined what the general election would be like. I painted the picture for my guests.

Thousands of Nazis, Klansmen and other Trumpiacs in the streets, chanting, “Jews will not replace us.”

Talk of Christ killers and international Jewish conspiracies.

Holocaust denial.

Fox News retrospectives of Emma Goldman and the Rosenbergs. 

The president slandering “Hollywood elites” (Jews) and “media liberals” (Jews). Calling out Barbra Streisand, Jake Tapper and  “Sulzberger’s” New York Times.

Rally-goers screaming “lock him up” whenever Trump attacks George Soros, Adam Schiff or Alexander Vindman.

A campaign fundraiser, a masquerade ball, called Kristallnacht. Steve Mnuchin comes as Shylock.

Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford and Father Coughlin awarded Medals of Freedom.

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, anti-Semitic propaganda from czarist Russia – later required reading in the classrooms of Nazi Germany – hot on Amazon.

“The Russians have a long history of weaponizing anti-Semitism and Putin is probably already dishing out shit to help his most valuable asset.”

I’d talked for about twenty minutes. Bernie and Mike periodically interrupted, but I ignored their protestations and plowed on.

“What do you suggest we do?” Mike asked.

“You tell me,” I said. “What’s your plan?”

“My plan,” Sanders said, “is to win the nomination and destroy Trump in the debates.”

“There aren’t going to be any debates,” Mike said with a frown. “He’ll find some excuse and chicken out.”

“And,” I said, “if either of you wins the nomination, there will be blood.”

Non-stop attacks on synagogues and Jews throughout the country. 

Trump blames immigrants.

Declares martial law.

Calls off the election.

My book, The Expat Files: My Life is Journalism, is available in print and Kindle editions from Amazon.com and Amazon Canada.