By the time you read this, the LA Dodgers, with their $300 million payroll, will either be in the League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs or their season will be over. (And yours truly will be in a major funk.) I’ve loved the Dodgers since 1958 but being a fan has rarely been easy.
On Tuesday night, I was switching the channels back and forth between the Dodgers-Mets game and the first 2016 Democratic Presidential Debate from Las Vegas. (The Dodgers won and I think Hillary did too.)¬† Clayton Kershaw pitched brilliantly as the Dodgers beat the Mets 3-1. So brilliantly at one point I was considering voting for Kershaw for the democratic nomination.
As I was watching the debate I realized I’d been jaded by the two circus-like GOP debates, complete with their verbal mudslinging. By stark contrast, at the democratic event no one called anyone a “loser” or bragged about their vast wealth or their strange hair or talked about how God told them to run for president. (Or blasted post-debate “mean tweets” at four in the morning like a spoiled teenager.)
Compared to the GOP, the democratic debate was thoroughly “grown up.”
There was no name-calling or insults thrown about. In fact, civility was the winner. The evening felt like a genuine debate, rather than a WWE wrestling match. They actually debated substance. What a novel idea.
On the other hand, the two leading GOP candidates, Trump and Carson, seemingly never talk about substance. (Unless you count “hair.”)¬† The two front-runners never say exactly what they’re going to do, or how they’re going to do it. Given their remarkable lack of substance, I affectionately refer to the duo as “fact free.”
Curiously, in between spewing insults, Trump also never seems to finish a sentence.¬† He says his supporters already know the rest of the sentence and, besides, he’s so excited to move on to a new thought. (Can you say “attention deficit disorder?”)
Carson is the exact opposite. No offense, but when he talks he sounds like he’s stoned. In fact, his monotone speaking voice reminds me of Chauncey Gardner, played by Peter Sellers in the movie, “Being There.”¬†
While Dr. Carson was a gifted pediatric surgeon, I wonder, what in his background would make him a good president? For that matter, what motivated him to run?¬† Apparently he only became a republican less than a year ago. The Washington Times reports that Carson registered as a republican on Halloween, 2014! (Odd day to do it, huh?)
At the democratic debate, shockingly, all five candidates believed in science, evolution and climate change, the latter being especially important to me. In the past six weeks congested Santa Monica has been like a giant steam bath. How hot has it been? Put it this way, I’ve come to view my apartment as a Native American sweat lodge. (But without Native Americans.) Okay, I promise, no more corny heat wave jokes. It’s too hot, anyway. Whoops, I did it again.
While 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists say climate change is real, 56 percent of GOP members of Congress say it isn’t. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) leads the ignorance parade. In February, Inhofe infamously brought a large snowball onto the Senate floor as a real life example that the earth is not warming. (Even if his head is.)
“We keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record” said Inhofe, defiantly holding up the lumpy snowball in his hand. “I ask the Chair, do you know what this is? It’s a snowball just from outside here. So it’s very, very cold out. Very unseasonable.”¬† (Inhofe is only the Chairman of the all-powerful Environment and Public Works Committee. Good grief!)
During the democratic debate, I was relieved that I didn’t have to sit through this “climate change is a hoax” insanity. Of course Trump claims climate change is a diabolical invention of the Chinese, created solely to wreck our economy. Makes you wonder if Trump actually believes that. (And speaking wonder, I wonder if Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig is ever going to get a hit in the post-season.)
Back to politics, here are a few pertinent dates you might want to jot down. (Or avoid, depending on your point of view.) The next GOP debate is Oct. 28 at the University of Colorado. For impertinence fans, Donald Trump hosts “Saturday Night Live” on Nov. 7. Meanwhile, the second democratic debate will be in Des Moines, Iowa on Nov.14.¬† (Hopefully, by then our heat wave will be over.)
Lastly, if the Dodgers beat the Mets yesterday, the National League Championship series starts tomorrow at Dodger Stadium. On the other hand, if the Dodgers lost to the Mets, it’ll show what $300 million can’t buy and just call me Major Funk.
Jack is at facebook.com/jackneworth, twitter.com/jackneworth and firstname.lastname@example.org.