An inconvenient truth: It’s down to the lesser of two evils

These are dark and ugly times, but don’t take Bites’ word for it. Consult the oracle, John Zogby, whose latest national public opinion poll finds that 71 percent believe President George W. Bush is either a moron or Satan. Nearly 90 percent think Congress does a better job servicing itself than serving the country. How bad is it? “The public mood is not just dark,” Zogby reports. “The mood is getting ugly.”


Our public figures appear possessed by demons. Democratic presidential candidates, presented with the best chance to turn back reactionaries since Richard Nixon resigned, have instead wholeheartedly joined in the race to the bottom. Consider former president Bill Clinton, whose stature used to rise every time Bush opened his mouth, shilling for his vile and vicious wife’s campaign on last Sunday’s talk shows.

At issue was the recent change in Hillary Clinton’s stance on torturing terror suspects. She used to be for it a lot. Now she’s for it just a little. But don’t think that means she’s gone soft on terrorism. A Mrs. Clinton presidency would keep Americans safe, Mr. Clinton suggested, by encouraging G-men to emulate the extra judicial behavior of Jack Bauer, the fictional counter terrorism agent played by Kiefer Sutherland on 24.

If doing the “right” thing means breaking the law, then break the law, even if it means torturing a suspect, Bill cooed sagely. But be prepared to pay the price.

He would know.

In dreams: Is it against the law to wish out loud that a presidential candidate die in a plane crash so you won’t have to vote for them? Bites is no attorney, but judging from the country’s current dark and gloomy mood, it’s probably not advisable. Someone might taze you, bro. Of course, that might be preferable to choking on this season’s edition of “The Lesser of Two Evils.”

The only two legitimate antiwar candidates, Democrat Dennis Kucinich and Republican Ron Paul, enjoy staunch online followings, but have been excluded by the mainstream media. Three-quarters of the country think the war in Iraq is a crock and Hillary Clinton won’t promise to pull our troops out by 2012. Meet the next president of the United States.

The neocons have won.

At this point, our only hope for avoiding WWIII, a second Great Depression and a meltdown of the polar ice caps all at the same time is a third-party candidate with a legitimate shot at the title. There are two: Moderate Republican New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former vice president Al Gore, risen from the smoldering ashes of Indecision 2000 as the figurehead of the international movement to slow global warming.

Neither man has categorically ruled out a run, and a grassroots national movement to draft Gore, “the conscience of the Democratic Party,” appears to have broken first. Last week, organizers for the California Draft Gore campaign announced their intention to place Gore on the ballot in all 53 of the state’s congressional districts.

The conscience of the Democratic Party? Uh-oh! You mean the same Al Gore who shamelessly championed NAFTA? The guy who pulled us out of Kyoto? The coward who conceded defeat instead of fighting for the presidency he obviously won in 2000? Or are we talking about the new, improved Al, fierce critic of the war in Iraq and star of the Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth?

If it’s the latter, well, who knows? Maybe even Bites could choke him down.

Sad times: Bites is sad to report that the end of the Humor Times’ 16-year run in Sacramento seems to be at hand. Publisher James Israel has announced that he plans to cease distributing the free edition of the newspaper at the end of the year. The paper will continue to be available by paid subscription at