Molly Ivins: Come on in the mud is fine
Anyone who is not enjoying American politics at this point is missing an important gene and a sense of humor. Whee, we're off! Like a dirty shirt, like a herd of turtles, it's the 2004 presidential campaign.
Now the long-faced gray from Massachusetts moves up, the showy Palomino from North Carolina hangs in, and the General drops out. It's muddy out there. Splat! Splat! Splat!
I think we need a rule calling for at least two paragraphs between spreading nasty gossip and then decrying the spreading of nasty gossip. On television and radio, 24 hours should be required. Standards must be maintained here, team.
In the category of most ludicrous attack, we have an outcry (well, sort of an outcry) over the horrible news that John Kerry takes money from special-interest lobbyists. Lawsy, I swan -- I had to sit down and fan myself when I heard it. Corporate special-interest money in politics! What next?
But for sheer, vicious nastiness, no one can compete with Ann Coulter, whose latest error-riddled effusion is an attack on former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland, who has been critical of the Bush administration.
Apparently in an effort to make George W.'s incomplete tour in the National Guard look better, Coulter wrote a column distributed by the Heritage Foundation saying that Cleland, a triple amputee, had shown "no bravery" in Vietnam, "didn't give his limbs for his country" and is not a war hero. My favorite sentence is: "Luckily for Cleland … he happened [to lose his limbs] while in Vietnam," her point being that if he had been injured at Fort Dix, he wouldn't be a hero.
As for not being a war hero, Cleland earned the Silver Star in a separate incident that occurred just four days before he was injured. The citation reads, "When the battalion command post came under a heavy enemy rocket and mortar attack, Capt. Cleland disregarded his own safety, exposed himself to the rocket barrage as he left his covered pos