Kerry Drops In

Kerry is pablum. But my theory has always been that either nobody is beating Bush or anybody is beating Bush. Thus, I guess, the logical candidate for the Democratic Party is… pablum.

John Kerry arrives in Portland at 1:30 this afternoon. He’ll speak at Pioneer Courthouse Square at 5. Knowing, this isn’t enough to impress even the staunchest democrat, organizers have wisely invited Howard Dean to appear.You reminded to politely applaud windbag Kerry. The idea say democrats is that you’re not just elected Kerry..but getting rid Bush. Don’t think of this as a vote for Kerry. OK, WHATEVER. We’re having some kind of lame election shortly.

A crowd swarms around a coffeehouse a few blocks from the (well-cordoned off) Pioneer Square, and a block from where I’m standing. Yep! There he is, walking out of the limosuine… shaking hands, signing pieces of paper. I half-heartedly fish around my pocket to see if I can get him to sign something, but there’s nothing signable, and I would get no closer than 5 people away from the man’s hand.

Later, I walk around the blocks. I lean in the vicintity of the Pioneer Square Starbucks for a while. You’re close to Howard Dean’s speaking, but there is no view and it is the worst spot for the speakers. So I leave. I laugh at myself while I follow a couple other people who are peering through the empty Starbucks, straining their neck to see Dean — but unsuccessfully– from out the other window of the building.

I spot a group of Young Republicans across the street on the other block, waving Bush/ Cheney signs and some markered-up cardboard signs (“9 out of 10 Terrorists Support John Kerry” is the example de jour). I figure there oughta be some confrontation brewing over there, so I walk over there. It’s relatively embarrassing: they’re saying the Pledge of Allegiance, making sure to emphasize “Under God”, proving their Patriotism I suppose. Then they venture into a chant of “Bush/ Cheney! Bush / Cheney! Bush/ Cheney!” The Kerry supporters join in with a “Sucks!” … “Sucks…” “Sucks…”

Not terribly original, I suppose, but it’ll do.

A woman walks by and yells “I hope you all believe in Reincarnation because HITLER’s in the White House!” A Bush supporter chimes in with “Hey! Naziism is Socialism!” Sheer BRILLIANCE, the both of them! Reminiscent of this moment from the dualing Iraq War Protest / rallies when the two sides converged: into Tim Reilly’s microphone: “These guys need to read their history book. STALIN!”

I walk around the corner. I spot another crowd surrounding what is obviously a car, even though I can’t see the car. “Maybe Dean’s escaped over here”, I think, and rush over. A woman is sitting in the car, with the radio on Kerry’s speech, and that’s what the crowd is listening to… Hm.

I see some cardboard. If I had a marker, I would scribe in “Vote Skull / Bones 2004!!!” Nothing doing, though.

The speech ends. I find myself standing between the Bush supporters and two angry young radicals waving the old Iraqi flag. The Bushites haven’t noticed the radicals yet, and they dive into the National Anthem while the Kerry crowd dissipates past them. Someone invites the crowd to yell stuff into his cell-phone, concerning the Bush supporters. I shout “Kerry IS the Lesser of Two Evils!” The man shrugs “Okay.”


“Nothing good can come from this”, I think.

The Republicans turn around. “So you’re voting for Kerry, then?”
One of the two radicals says “NO… He’s a Zionist too!”

I walk away, while the Bush supporters tie the two angry young radicals in with Kerry. “Vote Kerry! Vote Kerry!” — pointing at them.

I can’t comment too much on Kerry’s stump speech. I clapped a few times when I was in agreement…

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