Even though Eve was created from a spare rib and ever since then women have, by and large, been treated accordingly, it is far from clear to me that God, "In the beginning," had much of a sense of humor.
Though I suspect that if the Lord didn't get a few good laughs in on the whole Garden of Eden thing, She has, at the very least, developed by now a deep sense of irony.
Consider the flap over the GOP using the name and image of JFK to promote President Bush's tax cut plan at the same time a new scandalous biography about the King of Camelot hits book stores across America.
Recently, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and his niece, Caroline Kennedy, sent a letter to the Club for Growth, urging the Republican organization to pull its ads, which appeal to voters to "support the Kennedy, Reagan, Bush tax policy that will bring jobs back."
Arguing that JFK's name and image are "in the public domain," the Club for Growth has refused to comply with the Kennedy family request.
The letter sent by Camelot's heirs argued that Kennedy's tax cut was significantly different than what the GOP's current tax cut proposal offers. Kennedy's tax cut was focused primarily on "lower- and middle-income working families" in contrast to the Bush and Reagan tax cuts, which are mostly a boon to the wealthy, the letter argued.
While Bush's plan proposes eliminating the tax on dividend income, President Kennedy opposed giving dividend income any special treatment, the letter said. The letter also pointed out that if the Bush tax cuts were to pass, the country would be saddled with a $4 trillion deficit by 2013.
Now, about this new Robert Dallek JFK biography, "An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy 1917-1963." The book is a voluminous tome that contains even more juicy details about Kennedy's womanizing.
"Based on access to thousands of newly released documents, Dallek offers some provocative conclusions: Kennedy's ailments were more serious than most realized, he says, but they did not diminish his performance in office. JFK's 'reckless' philandering included a previously unknown fling with a 19-year-old White House intern, the historian adds, but it never compromised his ability to do his job," reports the L.A. Times.
So let me see if I've got this right. The thing that unites all Republicans is their shared contempt for the glaring moral lapses of "Slick Willie." They preach the gospel of Clinton-is-the-root-of-all-evil, dismissing any claims that Clinton's sex life was irrelevant to the duties of being POTUS.
Yet, there's no GOP grumbling about JFK's infidelities, which by comparison, as my friend Jonathan Rowe points out, makes Clinton look chaste. Apparently, Clinton's backing of welfare reform wasn't enough to satisfy the blood-lust of his detractors. Maybe if Clinton pushed for massive tax cuts, he wouldn't be so reviled by a party whose mascot is an animal that never forgets.
So while conservatives are in a mood of ideology sharing, why not consider what Left Business Observer editor Doug Henwood says about Bush's economic plan.
"Like most big things, the trade deficit has many causes - the erosion of U.S. manufacturing, the growth in outsourcing, an overvalued currency, low savings rates. But unlike many big things, a lot of people are ignoring it. To fund this massive deficit, the U.S. needs about $2 billion every business day of capital inflows from abroad - and Bush's military buildup and tax cuts will only increase the need. Is running up giant foreign debts while telling the rest of the world what to do a sound political or economic strategy?"
Of course, the tax cut mantra is always jobs, jobs, jobs. Good paying, meaningful jobs is one thing. But I don't trust vague calls for job creation. After all, there was 100 percent employment for blacks during slavery.
Or as JFK himself put it in a 1962 commencement address: "The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie - deliberate, contrived, and dishonest - but the myth - persistent, persuasive and realistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears."
Can't you hear God laughing?
Sean Gonsalves is a Cape Cod Times staff writer and a syndicated columnist. His column runs on Tuesdays. Call him at 508-775-1200, ext. 719, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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