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Stuck in the Middle with Flu

The noble quest of Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter to be the keystone in the Senate’s archway may have ruined his chance to sing with Senator Orrin Hatch and the Osmonds. Switching parties was a drastic step, but I personally blame the EPA for years of inaction. For two decades, scientists have warned that the habitat which once allowed Moderatus Republicanus to spawn and thrive was in startling decline. A generation ago, mild-mannered moderates roaming the Americas could count on the opportunity, given the right connections, to support charities with Nelson Rockefeller, shop for V-neck sweaters with Eliot Richardson, build log cabins at the Log Cabin Club, and listen to Edward Brooke sing Marvin Gaye songs for Barbara Walters.

But those days are long gone. Although Moderatus Republicanus is occasionally still seen in the Maine wilderness and the Austrian parts of California, the species may already be doomed to suffer the same fate as the passenger pigeon and the Whig Party. Experts begged for action after Pat Buchanan’s 1992 convention speech, which the late Molly Ivins described as better in the original German, but little was done to reverse the tide, and we all know what missions were accomplished in the last eight years.

The extinction event for this troubled species quite likely came earlier this week. I speak not of Specter’s defection, but a television interview in which the delightfully perky Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann found it “interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter.” Ever the nuanced orator, she clarified that “I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.” Another “interesting coincidence” she may have overlooked is that the swine flu epidemic occurred when Gerald Ford was president, as Chevy Chase would have gladly told her. Ouch.

Meanwhile, Senator Specter’s struggle for survival will require serious musical inspiration, and serious intestinal fortitude, as he shares metamucil with Joe Lieberman and finds his seat at the cafeteria table with Ben Campbell, Mary Landrieu, Blanche Lincoln, and Evan Bayh. The survival of a species is always precarious. But only time will test zoologist Jim Hightower’s prediction that in the future, nothing will remain in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos.

Stealers Wheel, “Stuck in the Middle with You”

M.I.A., “Bird Flu”

M.I.A. –
bird flu – M.I.A

Pretenders, “Middle of the Road”

From → Diatribes

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