“Beyond the Fringe” was the crazed revue created by the fabulous Dudley Moore/Peter Cook/Jonathan Miller/Alan Bennett aggregation of Cambrdidge grads that set off the satire boom of the 1960’s. One of the “Beyond the Fringe” characters who has stuck in my mind is Cook’s coal miner. The coal miner wanted to be a judge but failed because he didn’t have the Latin, despite his preference, on balance, for the trappings of luxury over the trappings of poverty.
When I read Dick Morris’s columns I am aware that I have the Latin (I also prefer, on balance, the trappings of luxury over the trappings of poverty), but that I have absolutely no skill in the nuts and bolts of politics. I have only a wary fan’s interest in polls and predictions.
I think that Wesley Clark will emerge as the alternative to Howard Dean, and that if he were to be the Democratic candidate for president, I think he would be about as successful as George McClellan. I do fear his emergence as the possible Democratic nominee, however, because his persona muddies the contrast between the choices we need to make in our conduct of the war.
Dick Morris obviously has substantial expertise in the nuts and bolts of politics. Nevertheless, I recall that he emphatically predicted that Rick Lazio would beat Hillary Clinton in the New York Senate campaign in the 2000 cycle. So I take his analysis suggesting that Howard Dean will survive the challenges facing him in securing the nomination — an analysis I find comforting — with a grain of salt: “Dr. Dean’s advance: Unstoppable…”
UPDATE: Reader Jon Burack writes: “By the way, Dick Morris also said only weeks before the California vote last fall that ‘it was now nothing more than a Democratic primary’ and that Arnold did not have a chance. (I think he said this on O’Reilly’s show.) I also like to read him, but also with several grains of salt.”
Tom Bevan has a good look at “The Clark boomlet” in his RealClearPolitics commentary this morning. Bevan writes: “Looks like Wes Clark has got himself some mojo.” In this case, I would paraphrase the venerable Muddy Waters’ signature song “Got My Mojo Working” and add, “But it just don’t work on me.”
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