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Elliot: Slapstick, not hockey

BY BEAU ELLIOT | JUNE 16, 2015 5:00 AM

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Sitting around, watching the rain (a favorite Iowa sport), wondering which is funnier, in a T.C. Boyle sort of way: the Republican presidential-candidate scrum or the Red Sox attempting to play baseball.

The Red Sox probably win hands down, which is about the only thing they're going to win this year. (Note to GOP stalwarts: If the only team your group of guys can beat is the Red Sox, whew. Look out for Bernie Sanders.)

The Sox are taking aim at the 1962 Mets (20-140, worst ever), but they'll probably miss; their aim is terrible. Just look at their "pitching."

The '62 Mets were home to Marv Throneberry, who epitomized the team. The Mets held a birthday party that season for him, and manager Casey Stengal told "Marvelous Marv," We would've given you a cake, but we were afraid you'd drop it.

That's the Sox, the Marvelous Marvs of baseball.

The Republican candidates aren't in Marvelous Marv territory, but that's probably because they couldn't find it anywhere on the map.

They are, however, entirely sure about their favorite president.

CNN reported that last month that in Greenville, South Carolina, it asked a group of GOP presidential hopefuls who, in their minds was the greatest living president. To a man (Carly Fiorina, apparently, was not there), they said Ronald Reagan.

Well, fine. Republicans are certainly allowed to support the most popular Republican president since Dwight Eisenhower. For one thing, of the two GOP presidents in between the two, one was Richard "Scowly" Nixon of Watergate infamy and the other was Gerald Ford, who was never elected president and was a short-termer (but he was an All-Star college football player at Michigan).

There is one problem, though. The question was about the greatest living president; Reagan died on June 5, 2004.

Maybe news of his death hasn't reached the GOP candidates yet. There's little, if any, IT in caves.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has now officially entered the Republican race, which, of course, was totally unexpected (crickets, crickets).

Well, why shouldn't we have another President Bush. I mean, we've only had two so far, one best known for stating, "Read my lips; no new taxes," then raised taxes (maybe he meant No no Texas) and one who invaded Iraq on the basis of a pack of lies. The rewriting of history says it wasn't a pack of lies, it was bad intelligence, but those of us who wrote about it at the time know that's not true.

Well, Jeb might be just fine, although he did have some problems recently answering the question Would you have invaded Iraq knowing what you know now?

"Some problems" is being polite; the Jeb waffled all over the landscape. Maybe he'll find his feet before the landscape shifts again.

And then there's Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., running because of his expertise in foreign policy and national security.

Except that, as Salon and the Rachel Maddow blog have pointed out, Graham has been utterly wrong on most of his foreign-policy stances.

Invade Iraq because Saddam has WMDs? Check. Invade Iraq again to fight ISIS? Check (the first invasion worked out so well). Invade Syria for the same reason? Check (apparently, there can never be too many quagmires).

Even so, the GOPers can't beat the Red Sox at slapstick. I'm not sure Laurel and Hardy could.


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