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Boy, there's a lot of interesting campaigns coming up this fall. Unfortunately, just not the one for president.

Now I don't want to get off on a rant here, but it's been a month since Al Gore and George W. Bush surfaced as the frontrunners in the campaign, and our excitement shows no sign of starting. This election seems to be inexorably building into a cavalcade of galloping mediocrity, with both Bush and Gore stampeding toward the center, each trying to pretend to be something he's not when he's never really made it clear what he actually is in the first place.

But tempting as it is to hit the political snooze button until Election Day, it might behoove us to find out the difference between Tweedlebush and Tweedlegore. What is the major issue in this race? That's easy. It's deciding which one of these second-stringers can lead us for the next four years without fucking it up until we eventually get to see some real A-list candidates for a goddamn change.

Consider our lack of choices. Let's put George W. Bush under the microscope first. Bush promises to spend an additional 13 billion dollars on education. OK, George, that covers you. Now what about the rest of the country?

George W. also wants to enact the most comprehensive overhaul of Social Security since the Great Depression. He wants workers to have the freedom to invest their own Social Security money in the stock market. Hey, most people can't balance a fucking checkbook, let alone invest in their future. Anyone who has seen the little counter on the screen that shows you how many pieces of Joan Rivers' jewelry is being bought on the Home Shopping Network knows people cannot be trusted with their own money.

And when it comes to international affairs, well, let's just say Bush discusses foreign policy in that same uncomprehending way that parents of teenagers talk about their kids' favorite bands. His eyes become more glazed over than a Krispy Kreme when Brando's workin' the spray gun.

And Bush's embrace of traditional Democratic issues like education and health care are said to be examples of his compassionate conservatism. In reality, they are examples of the craven behavior of a human baloney-on-white-with-Miracle-Whip sandwich, who will say anything to get elected. And I don't mean that in a good way.

And then there's Al Gore, "Mr. Smith Stays in Washington." Now while Gore is a major supporter of China being made a member of the World Trade Organization, he has promised that if elected president, he would "prod" China on human rights abuses. That's good, Al. You know, lost and found just called, and your balls still haven't turned up yet.

Gore would come down hard on gun ownership, calling for photo licensing for all handgun purchases at a government office, similar to what we currently have at the DMV. Yeah, super notion there, Al. Because so many times I have been waiting in a long line with a lot of pissed off people at the DMV and thought to myself, "You know what would make things go a lot smoother here? Guns."

Now, both men are equally adept at insulting our intelligence. Last week, for example, at a fundraiser in Los Angeles that raised nearly \$3 million for his campaign, Al Gore said he was committed to making life easier in the inner cities. Yeah, but apparently not so committed that he would turn that \$3 million over to a charity that does just that. Do you realize Bush and Gore are spending more on telling us how they plan to fight poverty than they will actually spend on fighting it once they get elected?

But these are the guys we deserve. The average American refuses to invest a few minutes a day in actually picking up the newspaper and reading, and the result is that politicians who want our attention have to raise huge amounts of money to buy soundbite TV advertising. Look, I know it's hard to find the time to bone up on the complicated issues facing our country, but doing your duty is never easy. Look at me. I'm a busy man. I've got two kids and a job that requires at least nine hours of my time a week, 26 weeks a year, yet somehow I still find time to read up on the issues--or at least to hire people to read up on them for me. Dare you do any less?

You know, at this point in my life, I've had it with presidential candidates blowing smoke up my ass--I want them to do nothing. Treat the presidency like Homer Simpson treats his job. Come in, have a donut, take a nap and try not to burn the place down. Enough rhetorical bullshit about "meeting challenges" and "helping those who can't help themselves." Things are good, don't fuck 'em up. Just sit there and don't touch anything. Be America's first 10-to-4 president. And on Fridays, you know what? Don't even come in at all.

Of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.


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