Saying one thing and wishing another - Bob Paslay

Why do you think people deep down don't like politicians? And what is it about politicians that are different from the rest of us?

My theory is that it is like this: You go to the doctor and he finds a spot on your liver. He and you both are of one mind – let's find out what it is and let's fix it quickly. You are pulling to live and he is pulling for you to live.

Now consider a politician. He builds his campaign on the economy being lousy, people being out of work. As it approaches summer, something happens and the economy goes gang-busters. While his mouth is saying he wants all Americans working, his soul is saying, ?darn, couldn't it wait until after the election to turn around?'

This happened in 1980 when the ultimate patriot Ronald Reagan is saying that America needs to do everything possible to free the hostages from Iran. They have endured hell for long enough. But deep down Reagan and his inner circle are petrified that the October Surprise is coming. Just in time for the election the darn hostages are released and it blows Reagan's chance of winning. The doctor is pulling against the patient. The heart is pulling against the mouth. History records that the hostages were not released in October. In fact, they were released on the day Reagan was inaugurated in some thumb their nose at Carter plan by the Iranians.

It is the difference between bowling and football. In bowling you are focused on the perfect 300 game and you wish your opponent well in his quest for 300. You just hope he only makes 299. You don't ever think about him slipping on the lane and breaking his leg or twisting his wrist. In football every play is aimed at cracking your opponent's arm, knocking the quarterback out. That is why football has so many more rules than bowling.

Politics is football.

This brings me to the man elected by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 to be president, George Bush.

I can't help but believe deep down Bush is hoping that Osama bin Laden is not caught until October, his own October Surprise. I won't go the next cynical step and think for a moment that Bush thinks the longer bin Laden is out the more devilment he can foment, proving that all the work on the war on terrorism is justified.

But deep down how can any politician who is being challenged neck and neck to the finish line not wish that some big bounce would occur to push him over to victory. That bounce would be the capture of bin Laden in October. Afterall, bin Laden is the mastermind behind the thousands of Americans dying in the Sept. 11 attacks. Capture him too soon and you lose the bounce in the spring and are still in trouble in November.

I guess it is hoping for too much that we will ever get our election for the world's most powerful leader to be more like bowling than football.

Now for some random thoughts, a clearing out of my mind's notebook so I can get on with storing some more useless thoughts.

First, is it just me or did the arrest mugshot of singer James Brown look like a colorized version of Saddam Hussein? They seem to go to that same hair stylist, they have that same lost in space look about them. Both needed a shave. South Carolina now has a plan that if you don't like your mug shot for your driver's license they will shoot another. I think they need the same plan for celebrity arrests since we are going to have to see it over and over.

A now-deceased colorful judge from South Carolina who went to law school with my uncle captured headlines some years ago when he took James Brown out of jail in Columbia and took him around the courthouse so he could sign autographs.

Why is it that we automatically diminish the crime of celebrities?

Speaking of celebrities, Johnnie Cochran taped some commercials for Al Sharpton for the South Carolina primary Tuesday. Now can you imagine what those sound like? "My candidate will never stab his opponents in the back" or "if my candidate a-loses, he won't a-quit."

I am not above falling for the celebrity trap myself. I am still fuming that the federal government which should be catching real criminals is harassing the Christmas diva, Martha Stewart. I for one would never convict her and I certainly missed her Christmas special this year. I hope she is acquitted and then shows up on Saturday Night Live and mocks the federal bureaucrats who had nothing better to do. I hope if George Bush loses a key state like Florida that the exit polls show that voters fuming over Martha cost him the election. When Donald Trump is ruthless in business and succeeds he is a tough guy, a man not to be monkeyed with. But when Martha Stewart is a tough business person, well, you know what her detractors say she is. It has gone from being justice sought to delight in crushing her. I for one will not sing in that choir.

This brings me to the great dilemma. Your best friend is a broker and finds out the company you have your life savings in is going belly up. At supper, does he or she sit there and eat, knowing that in two days you will be financially ruined? I am not saying it is right to tell. I am saying it is a moral delimma, one to be pondered.

Bob Paslay is assistant managing editor for the News Daily and Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753 Ext. 257 or at bpaslay@news-daily.com.