The following piece was produced by the Huffington Post's OffTheBus.
So Tim Russert pegs Kucinich with a question about whether he saw a UFO. Definitely the punk move of the debate and, despite what Hillary-protectors might say, it's his job to challenge her with tough questions. Not because she's a woman, not because she's in the lead, but because she doesn't say anything when she's up there. And don't get me started on Brian Williams presenting her with "will you be the president that reduces cancer" question on a tee ball stand, right after Kucinich gave the Spock Sign. The juxtaposition is like suggesting Isaiah 2:4 is the Gospel of the Neocons. But it's funny how a candidate like Kucinich, with some of most substantive, direct answers to all questions, is never asked much of anything. Universal not-for-profit healthcare? No blood for oil? Impeachment of Cheney & Bush? I mean, John Lennon reported seeing a UFO, the Egyptians couldn't have lifted those 2 ton stones without alien anti-gravity beams; we KNOW this stuff. Is it any surprise that many world governments have now disclosed their top secret UFO documents? The French have! Sarkozy may not want to discuss his divorce, but all that stuff about de Gaulle and visitors from beyond is available to the global community. Paul Hellyer, a former Canadian Defense Minister, recently implored all governments of the world to fully disclose their knowledge of alien technologies. He believes that their hyper-advanced technology can "help save civilization." I've read my Asimov, watched Back to the Future Part II, and what the hell? The future is really letting us down. What happened to Doc Brown telling us "where we're going, we don't need roads." That's 2015! Pick up the pace, OPEC! Exxon, Shell & Chevron, stop taping butterflies to those solar panels. Oh, and your derricks are shooting blanks. Ultimately though, isn't a car that runs on a kitchen scraps just a whole lot cooler?
For the record, until I was 12 I often slept with my head buried under my pillow, afraid I was going to be abducted by aliens. I attribute that to seeing ET at the drive-in when I was 2 and being insanely terrified. I'm from a formerly rural valley of eastern Pennsylvania, where people used to see strange lights out in the rolling farmland. Now sprawled out where Peppermint Avenue meets Dickinson Lane, an encounter like that sounds far less scary than endless cookie sheets of houses with roads that feel like you're staring down that long hallway in Kubrick's The Shining. Hummers for him and H3's for her, staring you back. Petroolll, they beckon. All of a sudden, alien technology sounds a whole lot friendlier. And don't worry if they're hostile like in Independence Day. We can team up with Iran and bolster their nuclear program. Winning the Intergalactic War trumps World War III, hands down.
All that said, I can't believe I'd ever have ill words for Jon Stewart, but this past week he stung the most delicate pangs of my bleeding heart. Halloween night, The Daily Show ended its segment on the debate with Kucinich's UFO question. The camera comes back to Stewart, who says with cloying sarcasm, "Sanjaya, why are you still in this competition?" Now I could be mistaken, but that was a low blow. Maybe the delivery was meant to be an empathic, knowing "you're the guy who gets put in the kooky left field pen by the media," but that wasn't my read. (Regardless, I'd hope for a wittier swipe from your satirical rapier). No, I got more of "you're the crappy, insufferable candidate who has somehow made it this far." I have to remind myself that reality's more of an inverted system, where the candidates with the most integrity, the most courage, are left to the laughable margins. The hippie-vegan/hot wife/elfkin punch lines can only go so far; so let's either bring the jokes up to snuff, or consider taking the guy seriously.
If you go live soon, Mr. Stewart, I challenge you to run a segment on impeachment proceedings. I'm curious whether anyone other than the 4AM C-SPAN broadcast will cover it (I don't know what C-SPAN broadcasts at 4AM, just go along with it). So what it's going to be? Kucinich sees little green men, or Kucinich impeaches little greedy men? Both sound like great copy. And if your writers are on strike, blog about it. Please.
(In case you didn't hear it from your fearless network reporter, Congressman Kucinich will be offering a privileged resolution on the House floor this Tuesday to introduce HR 333, articles of impeachment against Vice President Dick Cheney. The bill currently has 21 House co-sponsors. Democratic leadership is likely to table the measure, so if you feel differently, contact your representative.)