Opinion: Doug Thompson and Daddy Warbucks

From 1968 to 2008
By Doug Thompson

George W. Bush may get Hillary elected yet.
The one sure, certain fact of the 2008 presidential election is that Bush is not running again. Therefore, I’ve thought for a long time that Bush-bashing was counterproductive. The Democrats aren’t going to get a liberal elected by making people hate a lame duck. That alone would only get people to vote for a smarter conservative.
I’d accounted for the president’s paralysis in the face of onrushing defeat. I had not considered the possibility that he’d send 20,000 more troops over there in the face of open and severe revolt from his party.
The prospect of hitting an historical bottom and falling below Lyndon Johnson and James Madison as the worst wartime commander-in-chief in U.S. history has obviously overwhelmed Bush’s political senses.
Nobody’s complains more than me about how the shooting war has played like a sideshow to the Battle of Washington. Heck, nobody complains more than me about how we’re already talking about the 2008 election.
I’d be all for sending the 20,000 if it would do any good. It won’t. The whole idea behind the “surge” is to get a grip and hand things over to the Iraqi government. There is no Iraqi government. Their army’s a joke. Their police are worse. They’re more dependent on oil revenues than the Confederacy was on cotton and are more effectively blockaded.
The only way to “win” in Iraq is through a massive build-up of their ground troops that we would have to pay for. We can’t afford that without a large-scale tax increase. Guess how willing the Republicans or the Democrats are to vote for that.
I’d vote for a tax increase. I’d vote for gas rationing. I’d also stand a better chance of getting elected as Miss America than as a congressman.
The other option is to let the Iraqis have their civil war and deal with the winner. That would clarify things.
Bush’s plan is to stall things so more than one president might possibly be blamed for this debacle. This means that by the time the 2008 elections come around, this country and the war will have become such a mess, we’d elect Nixon.
As I said in a recent Morning News column, the severity of the situation will eliminate attractive but inexperienced candidates like Barack Obama. I’d argue that it will also eliminate people without some federal or international experience, like Mike Huckabee.
Hillary’s tough.
I saw a bumper sticker in Little Rock that I liked, with no asteriks: “You call me a b**** like that’s a bad thing.” By 2008, we might be ready for a liberal Margaret Thatcher.
Hillary is not Bill. Hillary is smart and acceptably ruthless, however. She’s quite plausible as an Iron Lady.
I still say that nothing — absolutely nothing — will heal the wounds, revive the spirits and close the ranks of the Republican Party as much as a Hillary for President nomination. However, I’m beginning to doubt whether that will be enough to stop her if this president keeps the bitter end from coming before 2008.
I don’t think Bush can change. People have gone insane for lesser things than invading the wrong country and being defeated by people who blow up wedding parties.
The year 2008, by the way, is exactly 10 presidential elections since we elected Nixon. We’ll have another once-popular, dynamic Texan president who first got to office without winning an election and who was re-elected by a landslide. He’ll limp out of the White House and hand it over to someone who’s been villified for years.
History repeats itself because people keep making the same mistakes.
The only difference is, Hillary will not have Nixon’s weaknesses. She will not be criminally paranoid. She will have the greatly enhanced powers of the presidency that Bush will have provided to her. She’ll even have a majority in both houses of Congress.
She could become the most powerful president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
I wonder how many Iraqis will come to Fort Chaffee when the time comes, as I’ve written before in the Morning News. Hillary might even win Arkansas.

Daddy Warbucks
Water Park coming! No, it’s not!
Get ready for the annual – “Let’s build a water park somewhere in Northwest Arkansas” announcement–or not. This may mark the first year in the last five that someone has not stepped out in front of the cameras (hard hats on and shovels in hand) to herald the coming of a fantastic, family themed water park. First it was in Fayetteville, then in Lowell, then maybe a little further over in Rogers then back to Lowell, then maybe Bentonville. On the other hand, down south, Magic Springs in Hot Springs, is planning a big expansion with attendance numbers topping 485,000 in 2005. With the water fights in NWA, looks like NWA water lovers will continue to head to Tulsa, Branson or even Hot Springs.

Spring Planting
The Northwest Arkansas Home and Garden Show will be March 2-4 at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers. Watch for a cold weekend and some of the latest yard gadgets.

Nutritional Smiles
A uniquely named smoothie and nutrition shop is now open in Fayetteville. Smiley’s Shakin’ Shack, which serves smoothies, herbal tea and other good-for-you goodies, is now open in the Mission/Crossover area.

Now in Kansas
Arvest Bank Corp., the Bentonville-based Walton bank, which has gobbled up mom and pop banks in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri has now set its appetite on Kansas. The Arvest juggernaut bought out the tiny Caney, Kansas bank (one bank, one office) near Bartlesville, Okla. The move puts Arvest in four states. Watch out Nebraska!

Gaucho Got Ya
Tyson Foods has inked a deal for beef production in South America. The deal in Argentina will now have cowpokes south of the equator wearing the Tyson brand. The move is expected to help the Springdale based protein company take advantage of European markets. Coming soon, Tyson executives wearing coolie hats in China and jetting to Rio to take on the Brazilians.

Who Knew?
Chuck Barrett, the voice of the baseball Razorbacks has shed some pounds and has taken up hawking cars with Leslie Basham on TV. Men still ogle over Leslie, while good, old Chuck delivers the pitch.

The University of Arkansas Press has signed with Google Books Partnership to have a portion of its books – current list and backstock- placed on the world’s most poplar Internet search engine. The UA Press will be able to expand its sales base – especially abroad where many of the books have a strong support. Good move.

On to the UK
The UA Press is also about to ink a deal with Eurospan, which will help sell
more of its books in the European Common Market nations.

Remodeling Already
The Target Store in Fayetteville is expanding. The store, less than five years old, is now remodeling and adding more room to its grocery aisle. Watch for their progress.

Who Knew?
Frank Fletcher who has auto dealerships in Bentonville, Springdale, Jonesboro and Sherwood, is expanding into Joplin, Mo. He also is the owner of the Wyndam Riverfront and Benihana’s Japanese Restaurant in North Little Rock, the old Bensky’s Furs in Little Rock and Otis and Betty’s Snax Mix (never had any of that) in Little Rock. And Daddy W. thought he was just a car dealer.

Categories: Legacy Archive