I did everything I could, and it's not my fault. As a legal resident of the noble Fourth District of Connecticut -- once represented by glamorous, brilliant, smart aleck Claire Booth Luce, and currently represented by a phony, ponderous, hand-wringing pantywaist -- I tried to take out the pantywaist.
For those of you who don't have Irish Alzheimer's (we forget everything but our grudges), Rep. Chris Shays was one of only five Republicans to vote against the impeachment of a lying, felonious, contemptible president; one of only two Republicans to go on a whirlwind grandstanding campaign against the impeachment of the lying, felonious, contemptible president; and the only Republican called on by Rep. John Conyers on the day of the vote to argue against impeachment of a lying, felonious, contemptible president.
I didn't run in the primary against Shays because, as a writer, I'd have to give up my livelihood to do so. If I were a dentist, I could continue to remove molars while campaigning against Shays; as a writer, I'd have to abandon my career the moment I announce. I'll give up a month or two for a grudge match, but not six, seven or eight.
Moreover, an excellent Connecticut Republican, Jim Campbell, did step up to the plate to oppose the pantywaist, offering Nutmeggers the enticing prospect not only of being a Republican, but also of representing the district rather than The New York Times.
No one had ever heard of Campbell. He emerged from nowhere, and the principleless Connecticut Republican Party establishment was dead-set against him. (If Joseph Stalin called himself a Republican and ran for office in Connecticut, he'd have the full backing of the state party apparatchiks.) Still, Campbell took about 40 percent of the vote from Shays.
Though I wasn't willing to sacrifice my profession (and life) for the absolute minimum six months it would have required to run in a primary, I was willing to forsake my profession (and life) for about six weeks simply to achieve the greater glory of causing Shays to lose. My idea was that I'd run a total sham, media-intensive, third-party Jesse Ventura campaign for one month before the election, and hope for enough votes to cause the (official) Democrat to win.
I just needed to find a third party that would have me. Since I hate the government, and the Libertarians hate the government, I figured -- that's my party. Except the thing is, the Libertarians' opposition to government is narrowly focused on only one small aspect of government: the drug laws.
Until several weeks of negotiations with the Connecticut Libertarian Party over its pro-drug legalization stance, my position on drugs was to refuse even to discuss drug legalization until I don't have to pay for the food, housing, transportation and medical care of people who want to stay home all day shooting up heroin.
It's not as if we live in the perfect Libertarian state of nature, with the tiny exception of those pesky drug laws. We live in a Nanny State that takes care of us from cradle to grave and steals half our income. I kept suggesting to them that we might want to keep our eye on the ball here. (The Libertarians' other big issue is privatizing Yosemite. Seriously.)
In theory, our areas of agreement should have included, among other things: eliminating the Department of Health and Human Services, eliminating the Department of Education, eliminating the Department of Commerce, eliminating the National Endowment of the Arts, eliminating the National Endowment for the Humanities, eliminating the Department of Agriculture, eliminating the Department of Housing and Urban Development, eliminating the Department of Transportation, eliminating the progressive income tax and instituting a flat tax.
Our sole area of disagreement was whether to abolish the drug laws before or after completing the above tasks.
That wasn't enough. I was deemed not a "true Libertarian" because my position was to defer the drug legalization issue until we had made a little more headway in dismantling the Nanny State.
There's a joke about a Frenchman, an Englishman and a Russian who are told they have only one day until the end of the world. The Frenchman says he will spend his last day with a bottle of Bordeaux and a beautiful woman. The Englishman says he will take his favorite sheepdog for a walk across the moors. The Russian says he will burn down his neighbor's house. I'm with the Russian.
Consequently, I have moved from being completely uninterested in drug legalization to being virulently, passionately opposed to it. So I'm initiating a periodic series of articles on the stupidity of drug legalization -- it's my newest Irish Alzheimer's.