Stupor Tuesday

In which our man Durst decompresses after the primary season’s anticlimax and settles in for 8 months of Bush vs. Gore.

Well, now that we’ve made it through Super Fat Tuesday maybe everyone will stop whining about how California never gets to dance at the big primary ball. It finally did, and now look at it. Still tabulating ballots that don’t even count. All for some supposed beauty contest about as alluring as Ernest Borgnine in a thong.

It wasn’t even a real Super Tuesday. That’s traditionally the Southern thing that happens next week. This was more of a Usurper Tuesday, with California squawking, “We want to count too!”

And what happens? Bill Bradley concedes in New York two hours before the polls close on the West Coast, and about nine hours before the polls close in American Samoa.

It was the kind of primary where George Bush morphed into an environmentalist before our very eyes. An environmental oilman, and a compassionate conservative as well. The man is a walking oxymoron daily double. Next stop: the vegetarian butcher shop.

You could say that John McCain’s guerilla attack on the Republican hierarchy hit a snag. You could also say the Pacific Ocean is moist. Better answer the phone, I think the ghost of John Anderson is calling. And anybody with a Bill Bradley button better hang onto it. They’re going to be pretty valuable pretty soon, because they’re not making any more. Last one to eBay wins. What can you say about Bill Bradley that hasn’t already been said about road-kill on I-80? How about, his campaign is deader than John Rocker’s future as an after dinner speaker on Martin Luther King Day.

Al Gore is on a roll, but its an inclusive roll, not an exclusive roll. A big tent roll and he’s going to fight for that roll. Fight. Fight. Fight. At least Prince Albert can shift his campaign into fundraising overdrive; one hopes he’ll circulate a memo instructing his staff to avoid future Buddhist monastery entanglements. “Please everybody, pay attention to the new notice: No taking of the money right from under the topknots.”

But the real winners are the people of California, who don’t have to sit through eight gazillion ballot initiative ads anymore. The state’s voter pamphlets were thicker than Dan Quayle at a quantum physics forum.

Half of California’s propositions didn’t make sense, half of them had already been voted on, and the other half proposed throwing kids and gays in jail. I’m not sure, but I may have actually voted Yes on Prop No.

The bad news is, Tuesday was probably California’s electoral high point of the year. It looks more and more like eight months of Bush vs. Gore. The sequel versus the spin-off. Both of whom are now calling themselves reformers. You can’t make stuff like this up. Where’s Ross Perot when you really need him? Has anybody heard from Jesse recently? Dear Donald: Please come back. All is forgiven.

Will Durst is covering the 2000 election for the MoJo Wire. He is also host of the PBS series “Livelyhood” and “The Citizen Durst Report.”


Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.