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Doce me faces voluntarem tuam quia Deus meus es tu

Wednesday, October 27, 2004
I wanted to quit. I tried to quit. I knew it was the best thing I could do, the only way to save my health and my sanity. I simply had to kick the habit. Call it a fast. Call it detox.


I tried to quit talk radio.

Not sports, mind you. I could never abandon Paul Finebaum or Dan Patrick. Not even NPR. I still check in with Terry Gross and Ira Glass, hoping to catch an interview with Bill Kristol or a new story by David Sedaris. But political talk radio? It's over, pal. Sean Hannity? Nice show, but forget it. Boortz? Nah, brah. Michael Savage. Savage indeed. O'Reilly? Ain't no way. And I've got far better things to do than listen to Dave Ramsey and Dr. Laura tell someone how to handle money or discipline a wayward bisexual goth stepchild.

I was so close, too. I could feel victory in my pale white fingers. Until yesterday. Deep in the heart of south Alabama, miles from anywhere, I felt alone. The stash of cds beneath my driver's seat had run thin. I had all I could take of Townes Van Zandt, Sondre Lerche and Wilco. Even Johnny Cash had let me down. With a wicked grin, I resigned myself to the radio, desperately scanning the am dial, hoping to find some peace of mind in Brewton, Alabama. And then I heard a voice:

...talent on loan from God...


The Maha Rushie! Alive and well in the hurricane-whipped wasteland of Conecuh County. I was a new man, full of old habits and pounding the steering wheel at the mention of John Edwards. I felt good.

(edit: Oh shut up, Natalie. Just shut up.)

In truth, I am looking to avoid political talk radio for the foreseeable future. Certainly until after the election. I might make exceptions to Rush, simply because there are no callers. Listening to Hannity and Boortz (bless them both) handle callers is nauseating. It's either the seminar caller liberal or the amen corner conservative. I ain't got time for that. Remember P.J. O'Rourke in the Atlantic? Really, who wants to hear the proverbial belligerent drunk pound the table at 11 am?

Not I.

(I realize that Hugh Hewitt and Laura Ingraham are notable, praiseworthy exceptions, but we don't get them here in Dixie)

So I'm tired. Tired of politics. I don't care if it's true or not. For the next week or so, I am officially tired of Swift Boats. I'm tired of being told to Move On or Act Now or whatever. I'm tired of George Soros and Ann Coulter and Michael Moore and Tucker Carlson. And boy howdy, am I tired of Jon Stewart. I remember when he used to be funny. I think I was in seventh grade.

Oh, I'll still fight for my guy. I want W to win more than I want the University of Alabama to win a national championship. In any sport. I'll do my best to harass everyone I know with pro-W e-mails and instant messages over the next six days, but I'm just ready to get this thing finished.

Speaking of fighting for your guy, Andrew Sullivan has shocked no one by coming out in favor of John Kerry. Ann Althouse and Meghan McArdle aren't persuaded. Neither am I. You shouldn't be either. It's disappointing to see a great writer slowly but surely become the most erratic mind in the Beltway. Disappointing, indeed.

Jeffrey Overstreet isn't impressed with either candidate, but man Jeff - are you picky enough? Kidding aside, I agree with all of his wishlist, but politics has a lot in common with a middle-class Christmas list. Santa can only bring you so much, so you better pick the important stuff. Anything below that is something you fight for on your on. When you were ten, you raked some leaves or cut the neighbor's grass. In politics, you write some letters, raise some money and - gollygeewhizwhatacrazyidea - build some relationships with your neighbors and work to make your community a better place.

I wish my President were perfect, too. Instead he's out there spending money like a drunken sailor. He's mangled the English language in a way that would make Snoop Dogg proud. I'm not sure how he's done on the environment, because it's pretty hard to find good, impartial information. I wish he were a bit more open and willing to admit some mistakes, though to hear Andrew talk, we should expect a Jimmy Swaggart-style apology. But simply put, we had three thousand people murdered at the hands of a global networks of Islamic madmen three years ago. W has made it his mission in life to disrupt that network, whether in a cave or a city, a country or a remote desert. The bad guys may try again, but Bush and Cheney have made it priority number one to ensure that America is safe and democracy is free to flourish. My opinion may shift in the years ahead, but next Tuesday, I'd vote for Barney Frank in a mini-skirt if he made that promise.

Only one team in this race has offered that pledge, and Bush/Cheney is the only team that deserves our vote.
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