The Wimp Factory: Dems mass-produce wussy nominees
By: Daniel Clark
For the second time in its mercifully soon-to-end existence, Newsweek has published a cover story suggesting that a presidential nominee should be concerned about “The Wimp Factor.” The first of these was a 1987 piece on George H.W. Bush. Perhaps in an effort to bring back its glory days, the publication has recently done a similar story on Bush’s fellow Republican, Mitt Romney.
It’s not that these men have never said or done anything wimpy. Bush the First had his “kinder, gentler” drivel, for example, and Romney pronounces “entrepreneur” too Frenchly. Those, however, are recessive wimpy traits, whereas the Democrats’ wimpiness tends to be their defining characteristic. If Newsweek had any semblance of objectivity, it would recognize that any list of the all-time wimpiest presidential candidates has got to start with the last seven nominees produced by that political wimp factory, the Democratic Party.
Jimmy Carter – The bunny-paddler of Plains, Georgia poses as an international champion of human rights, but he has been a pushover for Communist goons all over the world, from Castro to Ceausescu to Kim Jong-Il. During a 1980 presidential debate, he revealed that he’d sought the advice of his young daughter Amy about nuclear weapons, which goes a long way toward explaining the SALT II Treaty. After getting bullied by the Soviets for three years, he finally responded by depriving American athletes of a chance to compete in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, thus allowing the USSR to dominate the medal count. Guess that showed ‘em.
Walter Mondale – In a way, the poor guy never stood a chance. It’s wimpy enough to be nicknamed Fritz, without having a voice like W.C. Fields might sound if he ever discovered he wasn’t funny. During the 1984 primaries, the vice president wimpily adopted the slogan, “Where’s the beef?” Apparently, “We ain’t fraida no Gary Hart” didn’t focus group as well. Mondale was applauded for selecting Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, but this itself was done out of wimpiness, so that he could blame his inevitable defeat on the insulting belief that “America wasn’t ready” for a female vice president.
Michael Dukakis – If you thought this guy looked comical in a tank, just think how hard the Russians must have laughed. Many Democrats are soft on crime, but the man who freed Willie Horton went positively gooey over it. As governor of Massachusetts, he once declared Sacco and Vanzetti Memorial Day, in honor of the two Italian anarchists who had been executed 50 years earlier, and who, despite decades of protestations from socialist academics, were almost assuredly guilty. During one of the 1988 debates, CNN anchor Bernard Shaw asked Dukakis whether he’d favor the death penalty if his wife Kitty were raped and murdered. Just about any other man would have given a response something like, “Leave my wife out of this, Bernie, you oaf.” Instead, the governor stunned the audience by dispassionately and ungallantly restating his opposition to capital punishment.
Bill Clinton – The prototypical “90s Man” rode the maudlin slogan “I feel your pain” to victory in 1992, while promoting his unelected wife as “co-president.” When he was 23, he penned a thoroughly dishonest, selfish and wimpy letter to his ROTC director, thanking him for “saving me from the draft.” The letter, which Clinton wrote while at Oxford, explained why he was weaseling out of his commitment to join the corps in exchange for his already granted deferment. In 1993, President Clinton’s craven decision to pull out of Somalia emboldened al-Qaeda by portraying America as a paper tiger. His having successfully defended us from a six-year-old Cuban boy did little to mitigate that. Furthermore, real men don’t cheat at golf.
Al Gore – When George W. Bush reacted incredulously to Gore’s withdrawal of his concession in the 2000 election, the vice president responded, “You don’t have to get snippy about it.” That would be a wimpy retort, even coming from somebody without a lisp. His debate performances are remembered less for anything he said than for his emitting loud sighs whenever Bush was speaking. When forced to confront his own wimpiness, Gore decided to take man lessons from feminist author Naomi Wolf, who advised him to start wearing more earth tones in order to become an “Alpha Male.” It turns out clothes don’t make the man after all.
John Kerry – A textbook example of a kept man, Kerry has led a life of luxury without having to earn it. You might say he’s been having the time of his wife. The Massachusetts senator, who has a long history of being friends with America’s enemies, did not eye Saddam Hussein with nearly as much suspicion as he once did a Philly cheesesteak. During the 2004 campaign, the cornerstone of his foreign policy was that the United States should not act militarily without the approval of France. In stump speeches, he promised to wage a “more sensitive War on Terror.” Perhaps he’d have invited Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to lie down on a couch and talk about his childhood.
Barack Obama – “Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?” Yes, then-Senator Obama really said that to an Iowa audience in 2007, and no, he was not being sarcastic. Even Obama’s worst enemies acknowledge that he has a good singing voice, but it’s hard not to notice his ability to hit certain high notes that one could not imagine emanating from any other president. During one of his famous snits, against the Cambridge police, Obama’s demeanor called to mind the wimpy alien commander in Plan 9 >From Outer Space: “You see? Your stupid minds! Stewpid! Stewpid!” In 2006, liberal columnist Maureen Dowd wrote about Obama that “his ears stick out.” These hurtful words prompted him to track her down in the audience after a press conference. “I just want to put you on notice,” he warned. “I was teased relentlessly as a kid about my big ears.” Not exactly “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” is it?
These seven most recent Democrat presidential candidates have been the most embarrassing collection of wimps, weenies, wusses, sissies, pansies, drips, snivelers, girlie-men, mollycoddles and milksops that’s been assembled since the cast of Thirtysomething. For their friends at Newsweek to instead associate their Republican enemies with “The Wimp Factor” is like the pot calling the kettledrum a kettle.
If you’re still not convinced, just look at the drippy, freeloading character named Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons. Wimpy’s signature line is, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today,” except that when Wimpy’s around, it’s never Tuesday. To which political party do you suppose Wimpy would belong?
Daniel Clark is a writer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is the author and editor of a web publication called The Shinbone: The Frontier of the Free Press, where he also publishes a seasonal sports digest as The College Football Czar.