If you're like everyone in my house, you probably think watching a golf tournament is less exciting than watching the grass grow. This week's American Celebrity Golf Championship in Stateline, Nevada, however, sparked some real fireworks. Although he took a few years out of his golfing career to play a golfing U.S. Senator and a golfing Vice President, Dan Quayle has golfed his carefree life away. Born rich, his idea of a hard day's work is 18 holes on a golf cart with a caddie running along beside it.
Stateline is right near Tahoe-- Quayle must have been thinking if only they spelled potato like that-- and after a hard day's work the other day, he headed over to Harvey's Casino, where fellow Hoosier, John Mellencamp was giving a concert. I don't know how many people in Indiana don't know that John Mellencamp is an outspoken progressive-- and that he has been for a very long time and that he writes songs that go into the plight of working men and women. But apparently no one bothered to tell Quayle. Before Mellencamp launched into a newer crowd-pleaser, "Walk Tall," he introduced it by announcing "This next one is for all the poor people who've been ignored by the current administration."
If that wasn't bad enough for poor Quayle, the first verse was an obvious slap directly right at him:
The simple minded
And the uninformed
Can be easily led astray
And those that cannot connect the dots
Hey look the other way
People believe what they want to believe
When it makes no sense at all
And I wish you a long sight line
And the strength to walk tall
Quayle jumped out of his seat in a huff and went storming out of the Casino. Meanwhile Mellencamp was unaware that Quayle was in town, at his concert, or that he had done his little drama-queen stunt. I don't know if Quayle is looking for a consulting job with a right wing think tank or the Bush Regime or something like that, but he went running to the press to draw some attention to his foolishness. "Well, I think Mellencamp's performance was not very good to begin with, and the comment put it over the top." Quayle-over-the-top boggles the imagination but eventually someone told Mellencamp what had happened.
"I wasn't aware that Dan Quayle was at the show the other night but had I known, I certainly wouldn't have changed a word. I still feel there are many people left behind by this administration. Not talking about problems doesn't make them go away. It's kind of telling that he chose to walk out as I was doing a song about tolerance." Tolerance was never really one of Quayle's strong suits. And that drew an even more celebrated golfer at the tournement into the fray.
For a very long time Charles Barkley has been very famous for being a basketball Hall of Famer and a Republican. According to Chris Baldwin at Travel Golf, Barkley backed up Mellencamp AND seems to have undergone a transformation from red to blue. "He's right," he said about the singer. "The word 'conservative' means discriminatory practically. It's a form of political discrimination. What do the Republicans run on? Against gay marriage and for a war that makes no sense. A war that was based on faulty intelligence. That's all they ever talk about. That and immigration. Another discriminatory argument for political gain."
Barkley made it clear he's not happy with the job Democrats have done in fighting the Republican madness, but he made it clear that that's his team now. "The Democrats have done a horrible job; a really crappy job... Democrats have wasted the last two years going after this guy and two years from another election, we don't have a frontrunner or a plan." Note the "we;" everyone else did. And when questioned Barkley went right to the point. "I was a Republican until they lost their minds." Or at least until he realized they had. Welcome back to America, Charles.