Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Giants vs. Kucinich

I can’t believe alternate side parking wasn’t suspended today in honor of the New York Giants' win in the Super Bowl. It’s also primary day, and Mardi Gras—three reasons to grant dispensation to the parking public. As for cleaning the streets, surely all the trucks will be deployed to sweep up downtown after the ticker-tape parade today. I can only conclude from this that Mayor Bloomberg has decided not to make a rogue's run for President. What a groundswell of support he would have had for his campaign, from football fans to car owners and Catholics, if not for this gross political miscalculation.

Speaking of which, it was with great sadness that I went to the polls today to cast my vote in the Democratic Primary. Yes, it’s true: in recent years I have freely admitted that Dennis Kucinich is my cousin. Well, he is my father’s cousin. My father’s cousin’s son, to be precise, and, to be a little hazier, the cousin was a double cousin: her father was my father’s father’s brother, and her mother was my father’s mother’s sister. Follow? I don’t think it was incest, but perhaps if the families had made a wider search for mates, Dennis would have had a bigger family and therefore more votes. Then again he wouldn’t have been born.

How often do you get to vote for your cousin for President? I thought the answer was "Every four years for as long as he lives." Imagine my consternation when, on January 25th, the news that he was withdrawing from the race, in order to concentrate on being reelected to Congress from his district in Ohio, was reported in the New York Times. Yes, the New York Times was finally covering the Kucinich campaign! It gave him a full half column, with a tiny photograph, on page A23. It was as if they had condescended to review Baby Dee’s new CD, “Safe Inside the Day,” or sent a critic to her recent show at Joe’s Pub. Astonishing! A breakthrough!

Family loyalty aside, what other candidate has his whole own category of jokes? Dennis Kucinich is right up there with light bulbs and Polish jokes. I thought for a while of collecting Kucinich jokes, but was overwhelmed by the enormity of the task. Here is David Letterman, on December 12, 2006: “Dennis Kucinich announced he was a candidate for President in 2008.” Beat. “In a related story, a tree fell in the forest.”

I’ve never met this distant cousin, and he doesn't look like any relative I know. When he appeared on Letterman last summer, I stared and stared, trying, if that's the right word, to detect some family resemblance. Was that nose a little like my grandmother’s, his great-aunt's? Did those ears look slightly familiar? The hair and eyebrows are way off—he must have gotten those from his father's side. My own joke was that he is the black sheep of the family: a teetotalling vegan in a clan of beefeating beer-drinkers.

Dennis Kucinich was still on the ballot today, and I was strongly tempted. I bent down the little lever in his favor. But then I bent it up again. Giants win.

1 comment:

Roy said...

The same Kucinich quandary assails me here in Rome, but I get to agonize until next Tuesday, the deadline for Democrats Abroad's nifty on-line ballot.