The Final Straw Has Yet to be Drawn

It is personally comforting to me to know that no matter what happens at the ballot box on November 2nd, we will still have an idiot in office for the foreseeable future. This ensures that I will not have to switch over to writing about food or publishing porn links. Although that might be a shame, cause I have a great idea for a food blog. It would be erotic pictures of cuisine and fantasies about what I would like for dinner. Pieces like "Good God, I Could Eat Me Some Ribs."

On a related issue, who's better at pandering - Bush or Kerry? Too close to call? Well, if you need help making up your mind, follow this link to Outdoor Life's "exclusive interview with the two presidential candidates on gun rights, conservation and other issues that affect your hunting and fishing." Could any two people be more predictable? As a public service, I am offering the following condensed version of the interview. (Answers synopsized when not in quotes.)

Outdoor Life: Why should a voter who is interested in hunting and/or fishing issues vote for you?

George W Bush: "As a fisherman and hunter, I am committed to protecting our water and public lands so that future generations will be able to enjoy our environment..." <nose grows extra three inches> "...In 2003 the Justice Department prosecuted over 13,000 offenders for federal firearms crimes, the highest figure on record for a single year. My record on these issues is clear." <This last statement comes totally out of left field>

John F Kerry: "As a lifelong hunter and fisherman, I am proud to be among the millions of American sportsmen and sportswomen who are dedicated to conserving fish and wildlife and passing along the American hunting and fishing traditions to the next generation..." <interviewer dozes off>

OL: Do you support a renewal of the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, a bill that outlawed certain models of semi-automatic firearms? Why or why not?

GWB: Hem, haw, hem, haw. "...My administration has devoted over $1 billion, since 2001, to Project Safe Neighborhoods, my initiative for enforcing existing gun laws, and has succeeded in increasing the rate of gun crime prosecutions by 68 percent during the last three years..."

JFK: Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. "Police officers who put their lives on the line every day should not be outgunned by the criminals they are seeking to stop." So yes.

OL: In your view, does the Second Amendment protect the individual’s right to own firearms? Why or why not?

GWB: Duh...

JFK: Not overly prepared, are we?

OL: Do you think firearms manufacturers should be responsible for the criminal misuse of their products?

GWB: No. Not. Nyet.

JFK: No. Never. Negatori.

OL: Are you in favor of the Freedom to Fish Act, a bill that would prevent agencies from closing waters to fishermen unless state or federal fisheries biologists find it to be necessary? Why or why not?

GWB: "My administration has not taken a position on that particular bill..."

JFK: No. I mean yes. Could you rephrase that?

OL: Do you believe that hunting is a viable and practical means of managing wildlife populations?

GWB: What do you think?

JFK: Short burst of rambling, concluding with "It is one of the main reasons why the decline in active hunters is so troubling."

OL: Do you hunt?

GWB: Hell, yeah.

JFK: Hell, yes.

OL: Do you fish?

GWB: Hell, yeah.

JFK: Hell, yes.

OL: Are you a gun owner? If so, what is your favorite gun?

Bush: "Yes. My favorite gun is a Weatherby, Athena 20-gauge (over/under)."

Kerry: "My favorite gun is the M-16 that saved my life and that of my crew in Vietnam. I don’t own one of those now, but one of my reminders of my service is a Communist Chinese assault rifle." <You just knew he'd get Vietnam in there somewhere, didn't you?>

OL: Are public lands too open or not open enough to energy development? Should some areas of the West be completely off-limits to development?

GWB: That wasn't an outdoor question. I mean it was, but I didn't hear nothing about hunting or fishing in there.

JFK: I'm in agreement with the president on this issue, and don't believe it's proper to discuss energy policy with 'Outdoor Life'.

OL: Do you feel that the Clean Water Act should maintain a policy of “no net loss” of wetlands? Are there other measures that need to be taken to clarify current confusion concerning what should or should not be protected? If so, what are they?

JFK: Ibid.

GWB: What he said.



©2004, Mark Hoback