Fred Thompson the second coming of Ronald Reagan

Published 4:44 am Monday, October 1, 2007

By Staff
There was Fred Thompson on the steps of my old haunt, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
While I'm fascinated that the man dubbed "lazy like a fox" stayed on the sidelines all summer while other Republican candidates wore each other out, yet still could explode onto the scene like a rock star Sept. 5 on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," I don't get the attraction unless you just can't bear to look anymore at what politics has become and you crave a folksy, thought-free, easy way out.
Two Reagan administrations promising trickle down, Star Wars and tax cuts all at once were enough for me.
America in 2008 needs a president who tackles real issues, begins solving some huge problems which have been festering for some time and makes decisions grounded in reality, not Stephen Colbert "truthiness" for the way things ought to be.
The last thing the United States needs after the last seven years is a lead actor to star in a reality television show about our fantasies, where problems such as the war, immigration and poverty will be "solved" by keeping them carefully out of camera range.
Even if America again turns a blind eye again toward a "Morning in America" delusion, someone will still be running reality from behind the Wizard of Oz's screen which obscures our oligarchy and an occupying military fueled on borrowed money to keep the masses distracted.
Everyone knows some parts of Thompson's resume, particularly his two-term Tennessee senator sideline of character actor since 1987.
He plays a "The Hunt for Red November" video at every campaign stop.
As minority counsel for the Republicans during the Watergate hearings, he tipped off the White House that the committee knew about Richard Nixon's secret tapes.
In New Hampshire a reporter asked, "What's harder, playing the president or being the president?"
"Well, neither of them are that hard," he reportedly answered.
That's the kind of vigor for which a napping America yearns.
Thompson, 65, is hard to dislike on a personal level.
On NBC's "Law and Order" he portrayed an overconfident district attorney, Arthur Branch.
In real-life, Thompson comes off as a soothing, humble, accidental celebrity who favors limited government, like Barry Goldwater.
Read all the way to the bottom of his resume, however.
In the 1980s, he lobbied for Westinghouse when it sought billions in federal subsidies for nuclear power plants and for deregulation of the savings-and-loan business, which ended with that industry's collapse.
A Des Moines Register tally at the time Thompson lumbered into the fray showed that more than 150 Iowa communities had been visited more than 700 times this year by GOP presidential contenders.
The Republican candidates are supposed to be in Dearborn to debate on Oct. 9.
Quips, quotes and qulunkers: "The Iraq war is largely about oil."
– Alan Greenspan in his new memoir. The former Federal Reserve chairman tells Bob Woodward that he privately informed President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney that ousting Saddam Hussein was "essential" to keeping world oil supplies safe.
"Somebody played me a Johnny Cash song, and the story was so dope. It came together better than any story I had – a father named his son (Sue). I haven't reached the level of what Johnny Cash did."
– rapper Kanye West, who won his Sept. 11 sales supremacy showdown with Fifty Cent, who is now obligated to join Alec Baldwin in exile
"Ten years after Congress ordered federal agencies to have outside auditors review their books, neither the Defense Department ($460 billion budget this fiscal year) nor the newer Department of Homeland Security ($35 billion, failed every audit since its first one in 2003) has met even basic accounting requirements, leaving them vulnerable to waste, fraud and abuse. The two departments' financial records are so disorganized and inconsistent that they have repeatedly earned 'disclaimer' opinions, meaning that they simply cannot be fully audited."
– The Associated Press
"Gonzo: The Life of Hunter S. Thompson" will be published Oct. 31 by Little, Brown in conjunction with Rolling Stone. Edited by founder Jann Wenner and former staffer Corey Semour, the book is drawn from interviews with 150 colleagues and confidants, including Dowagiac visitor Norman Mailer.
"Sawdust," rarities by the Killers, comes out in November and includes a new collaboration, "Tranquilizer," with Lou Reed.
Obit: Hilly Kristal, the founder of New York Bowery punk club CBGB (ironically, the name stood for country, bluegrass and blues) which broke the Ramones and Blondie, died in Manhattan Aug. 28 from lung cancer.
New houses out of reach: A study by the Michigan Association of Home Builders reported in the Detroit Free Press found that 1.35 million Michigan households, or about 35 percent, can afford only homes priced under $100,000, yet the average home price was $139,155 in June.