L. Neil Smith's

Number 11, August 1996

Getting Off the Dole

By L. Neil Smith

Exclusive to The Libertarian Enterprise

         Belatedly, I'm having second thoughts about Dan Quayle.
         Being well aware of how evil and twisted media coverage can be, and how sharp and serrated the knives of professional character assassins, all through the Bush Administration, I was inclined to extend the benefit of the doubt to the then Vice President -- that is, not to assume he was the helpless mental cripple every newspaper, TV, and radio reporter in the nation always said he was.
         This is not to say, of course, that I agreed with him on policy matters. I had perfectly good reasons of my own, thank you, for finding Candice Bergen vile and disgusting, that had nothing to do with how many illegitimate squab Murphy Brown happened to hatch. (As I've had occasion to tell many a boiler-room girl, I'll never sign on with Sprint as long as Bergen's the company spokescreature.) No, Quayle just seemed to be the only figure with any courage or integrity in an administration otherwise composed of boobs, moral retards and gutless wonders, and I didn't give a damn how bad a speller he was.
         Now, however, I've been given reason to change my mind about Quayle, being quoted on the radio this morning as advising Bob Dole to abandon issues like tobacco and "assault weapons" and get on with his campaign. The problems with Quayle's advice (and there are at least two) is that, first, it wasn't Dole who brought tobacco up (it was Congressional "dogwhistles" like Henry Waxman) and second, Dole's cowardly and dullwitted position on enforcement of the Second Amendment betrays and typifies the downright Nixonian lack of principle that will be the reason for his ignominious defeat next November. (Which means four more years of Bozo and Evita; as radio host Ken Hamblin puts it, "BOHICA: Bend Over, Here It Comes Again!") Rather than dropping tobacco and "assault weapons", Dole would better his chances greatly by getting them right for a change.
         Now that my own party has eradicated the Intelligence Gap by allowing itself to be dragged down to the sorry level of the Democrats and the GOP, my services as a political consultant are available for a reasonable professional fee.
         A coinage of my own, derived from the movie Strange Days, and one badly needed in these times of increasing moral befuddlement. (Be warned: drooling feebs like those who described my June speech in Lubbock, Texas as "foulmouthed" -- I used the word "hell" -- are likely to be offended; on the other hand, folks like that, always casting desperately about for something to be offended at, so they'll have an excuse to disregard the uncomfortable truths being conveyed to them, need to be offended.) In any case, somebody whose nether orifice is so tight that when he breaks wind only dogs can hear it, is a dogwhistle. If that doesn't describe Henry Waxman -- not to mention those Texicans who didn't want to hear what I had to tell them -- I don't know what the hell does.
         But as usual, I digress.
         If Republicans really want to "get on" with their campaign, they'd be advised to begin by dumping Dole. Trouble is, there really isn't anyone to replace him. Quayle, as we observe, is a helpless mental cripple. Bill Bennett invented the semiauto ban Jack Kemp endorsed on national TV. Steve Forbes hasn't any better idea of how to spend his money politically than H.L. Hunt did. Dick Armey, having screwed up every decent and hopeful aspect of the Republican "revolution" busies himself now, trying to undermine the First Amendment. It takes too long to figure out what Phil Gramm's trying to say.
         Rather than being remembered historically as the "Doctor of Democracy", as he calls himself, Rush Limbaugh's likelier to wind up as the "Kevorkian of the Constitution".
         P.J. O'Rourke has a fouler mouth than I do.
         And Gordon Liddy is a convicted felon.
         I'm informed that, not too long ago, a bill was introduced in the Senate that would have required each new item of legislation to include justification for itself under the Constitution. No less a figure than John Glenn (and no more, for that matter) rose to proclaim that if such a law had passed 30 years ago, none of our present government would exist. Which, of course, was the point.
         I'd like to suggest now -- and for free -- that Republicans get behind this program bigtime. Rather than their phony-baloney Contract with America, a dead letter anyway by now, how about observing and enforcing the original Contract with America, the Bill of Rights? The welfare state could be dismantled overnight (if that's what Republicans really want -- a big assumption with regard to America's right-wing socialist party) with little of the whining we now hear from left-wing socialists. The Bill of Rights are the Ten Commandments of American political life, they have the stamp of history, anybody who opposes their enforcement can be denounced as counter-revolutionary.
         Of course that still leaves Republicans with a leadership problem. Senator Fred Thompson looks and sounds good, and I've always favored a Charleton Heston, Tom Selleck ticket, myself.
         Republicans seem to do well with actors.
         And never forget, they've got Sonny Bono, babe.

L. Neil Smith's award-winning first novel, The Probability Broach, which has long been out of print, will be republished by TOR Books this October.

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