By Virgil Vaupel
Thanks For Listening 

My Opponent is Fat, Ugly & Smelly


In a nation filled with acronyms, I have just coined a new one familiar to all of us. It is EYT. We all suffer from it every two to four years and it leaves most of us with headaches, self-doubt, voters angst and a myriad other side effects, including but not exclusive to constipation, diarrhea, male pattern baldness and ED. (Expectational Dread; Not the other ED.)

EYT (Election Year Trauma) hits us usually just moments after we step out of the voting booth wondering, “Did I do the right thing? Is it too late to change my vote? I didn't really vote for that idiot did I?” And other questions similar to those.

I don't know about you but I did watch several or more of the televised debates (barf-bag close at hand as usual.) My favorite was between Steve Daines and Amanda Curtis in which Curtis continually sniped at Daines, saying, “He's the most extreme congressman we've ever had.”

According to my Funk and Wagnalls, Daines should be thanking Curtis for the use of the word “extreme' in describing Daines' term as U.S. representative. My F&W says “extreme” is “in the utmost degree, very great, extreme joy, from the normal, average or usual.” Oh sure, one could continue reading and the word takes on a new and different meaning, but I like the first daffynition best. I like to think that Curtis was throwing Daines an atta boy. I could be wrong. Seems to me they're both extremely extreme extremists. Egads! Somebody stop me before I hurt myself.

Daines parried Curtis with “I received an A+ rating from the NRA while she received an F. I think that illustrates her extreme position.”

Mostly, however, when Curtis threw a barbed hook to Daines he directed his answer to the question at hand posed by the panel. When he sniped at anyone, it was at Obama and Obama's administration. He never once rose to the bait Curtis cast his way.

I can only describe Curtis as “catty” from what I saw during the debate. Daines was cool, calm and collected and was not to be goaded into a cat and dog fight.

I will try to show you the nip and tuck; the ins and outs; the push and shove of modern day politics in the following brought to you by the friendly folks at Maudie Manlikkeur's bait shop, charm school and sushi bar. “We repair radiators and broken hearts.”

Daines mentioned Curtis' opposition to the XL Pipeline and then, her recantation when she said it would be OK if all the crude oil was refined in the United States.

Good on ya', Ms Curtis.

However, Daines responded with “By law, no US crude oil can be exported.”

Amanda's statement gets an A+ for patriotness, while Daines sounded a triffle bit condescending toward Curtis as if saying, “You dummy, all U.S. crude oil is refined in the U.S. Didn't you know that”?

Here's where the worm turns, the spin begins, the half-truths are expounded and both of them turn out to be right at the same time as they are wrong.

In 1975, Congress passed a law that all crude oil produced in Alaska and transported through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline would be refined in U.S. refineries only. Give Daines a gold star.

After 1977, when the pipeline was completed, according to the EIA (Energy Information Administration), only a “relatively small amount of crude oil was exported to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and foreign countries.” A gold star to Curtis?

Then in 1996 Congress allowed U.S. crude to be exported and between 1996 and 2004 2.7% of Alaska's crude oil production went to South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan, (which addressed Curtis' concern about refining locally).

Again, according to the EIA, “As of April 2014, no American crude oil has been exported to foreign countries since 2004.” Daines wins that one.

Seems these political candidates skirt the fringes of common decency and fair gamesmanship with every promo spot on TV, every print ad and every debate. Who of us “real people” know the real truth behind all the political “vote for me” claims?

They all seem to get very close to the slander and libel fires without getting their tushes burned.

Every one of them point out the others faults ... to a fault. That's all we hear, “My opponent is fat, ugly, iliturut, his feet stink and he don't love Jesus.” Who could argue with all that? And then the opponent says, “Back at ya.”

And lastly but not leastly, there's the new comedy team of Zinke and Lewis. Yikes!

That's it for now folks. Thanks for listening.


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