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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

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In Living Commentary

I can hardly imagine anybody who has behaved like these candidates actually being either a president or a vice president or a senator. (PHOTO: shutterstock.com )

Candidates display only nodding acquaintance with the truth


My life is not filled with great decisions but I made one a few weeks ago that puts me in the Hall of Fame of Dave Begel Decisions.

I voted. By mail. And it was so easy I couldn't believe it.

I called the City of Milwaukee Election commission, asked them to send a ballot to me and my wife. A few days later they came, complete with return envelopes. Bang. It was over.

The reason that this is such a great decision is that, No. 1, I don't have to stand in line next Tuesday and, No. 2, I can treat all the crap on television the last couple of weeks the way it ought to be treated.

Like "Saturday Night Live" every minute of every day.

I know that an election is serious business and that it's important to our country and our way of life and the flag and mothers all over and hunting down terrorists and educating our kids and keeping marriage for just men and women (maybe not) and funding PBS and Big Bird and calling out China and learning how to spell Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and all kinds of other important stuff.

But I can hardly imagine anybody who has behaved like these candidates actually being either a president or a vice president or a senator. All of them, Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Tommy Thompson, Paul Ryan, Joe Biden and Tammy Baldwin have demonstrated that they have, at best, a nodding acquaintance with the truth.

Let's start with the money. Can you imagine what could be done with the billions (that's billions with a "B") that are being spent on this campaign? How many hungry people could be fed, or teachers hired, or cops paid what they ought to be paid or almost anything except television campaign ads?

And you really have to question the judgement of these people who say "I have approved this ad" when the ad they have approved is so absolutely ridiculous and unbelievable.

If we are foolish enough to believe these ads, here is a capsule description of each of the candidates based on what their opponent says about them.

Barack Obama would be an extreme socialist who is not patriotic, is trying to gut the military, wants to give billions to banks, let someone else kill Osama Bin Laden, hates Israel and has no idea what a president is supposed to do.

Mitt Romney would be a capitalist pig who destroys everybody's jobs, sleeps on a sterling silver bed, has not a single principle in the world, owns a condo in Beijing, worships in a church only slightly weirder than those crazy guys in the airport in those robes and is hiding billions of dollars that he should have paid taxes on but didn't.

Tammy Baldwin would be a radical Islamic terrorist, a communist, an evil child of Nancy Pelosi, a necrophiliac and a school safety crossing guard without a whistle.

Tommy Thompson would be a crooked real estate mogul, a disgusting money grubber, a toothless fart who is older than dirt, a Vikings fan and a white guy who can't dance.

With each ad – one more ridiculous than the one before it – I have been free just to laugh at all of them. I don't feel like I ought to be paying attention. I don't think I'm shirking my civic duty when I get tears in my eyes watching Tommy Thompson try to explain how much he loves 9-11 first responders.

But it's almost over, and we can all give thanks for that.

Predictions: Obama beats Romney, both in Wisconsin and nationally in the electoral college. Thompson edges Baldwin to become the oldest freshman senator in history.

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