It's getting to that point in the campaign when more than everything that needed to be said has been said. Rhetorical exaggerations being judged insufficient, straight out lies now fill the airwaves. Did you know that John Kerry led a platoon of Vietcong out of Cambodia in a bloody attack on a Marine base in Da Nang? Did you know that George Bush blew up a squad of Texas Air National Guard planes during his only day on the job? And, of course, both candidates are rumored to have had babies by their black slave mistresses.
It's so nuts out there that pundits are completely ignoring the campaign and are turning on each other. Comedy Central's fake news division led by "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart is in a tag team match with CNN's fake debate division led by Tucker Carlson, Paul Begala, Bob Novak and James Carville. Comedy Central was accused of not being funny, and CNN was accused of not being newsy. Those may be the only totally accurate charges of this entire election season.
Meanwhile, the science of random sample polling is proving to be as reliable as the science of astrology. Bush is either coasting to a big popular vote landslide because Mars is rising in the path of Venus, or he doesn't stand a chance because Uranus is in Pluto (or is it in a sling?). And that is in the same company's polls from week to week. My best guess is that the pollsters, not the public, keep changing their mind. These polls are being weighted more than a fat man at an obesity clinic.
Media bias has turned into media caricature. CNN anchorettes call an eight-point Bush lead in the polls a "statistical dead heat," pointing out the ominous internal data for Bush that he is only breaking even with the suburban crackhead and pimp demographics (which Wendel Wilkie carried by more than 2-1 in 1940), while losing the Anyone But Bush demographic by an astounding 7-1.
Fox News, reporting the same poll, observed that Bush is so strong on the terrorism issue that he is actually winning 1 out of 7 anti-Bush votes -- although that is a definitional impossibility.
Even more amazing, Kerry is carrying a full 45 percent of the anti-Kerry votes. But that is something of a statistical fluke, as all the pollsters have agreed that there are no pro-Kerry voters in the country. This election is simply breaking along the line that divides the voters who don't like Kerry from those who really, really don't like him.
Even his wife and benefactor, Teresa Heinz-Kerry (or, Teresa Heinz, as she by law had to identify herself on her recently released tax returns), doesn't like him. Whenever he grabs her to give her a smooch in public, she twists out of his clutches (her bank accounts weren't so lucky). When she refers to her "husband," she is referring to the dead one (yes, I know, how can you tell them apart?).
Perhaps the strangest thing about this election campaign is that despite all the vulgarities, lies and probably criminal vote stealing going on, the Clintons are largely out of the picture. Apparently, American elections have developed to the point where they can be deeply corrupt without the assistance of the boy from Hope and his bride from Yale.
In what was surely merely a medical coincidence, his doctors announced that contrary to what they said shortly after the surgery, Bill's recovery is going a little slower than expected and he probably will not be able to hit the campaign trail on behalf of Kerry for a while longer, perhaps not until Nov. 3. Rumor has it that when they made the announcement, Hillary was seen smiling in the corner -- with a stethoscope in her teeth and a calendar for 2008 in her hands.
On the theatrical front, Sinclair Broadcasting is planning to show a few days before the election on all 60 of its stations an edited version of Mel Gibson's latest hit, now titled: "the Passion of the Bush," with a cameo appearance by John Kerry as Pontius Pilate and Michael Moore playing the part of the crowd. The Democratic National Committee officials aren't sure what to do, as they rather like the plot line -- up to a point.
The foregoing observations should be seen as sort of neo-gonzoish (with a respectful tip of the hat to Hunter Thompson), and should not be taken as literally accurate in all its particulars.