FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Chicken Salad Election

by BEN TRIPP

My Grandma always used to say, “It’s not over until it’s gone.” She was talking about chicken salad, the kind she specialized in that put me on the road to vegetarianism. The main ingredient was a chicken (something about that size, anyway) cut into half-inch strips from one end to the other. There were never entire bones in it, but rather chips and shards, and occasionally you’d find a piece of skin similar to the web of tissue found between the thumb and forefinger. This may have been Grandma’s. Macerated, doused in mayonnaise, studded with raisins and large chunks of celery, and placed on pieces of Wonder Bread, it slipped easily into a pocket, out of the house, and inside the German Shepherd. My Grandma also used to say “A penny a day makes the apple go astray”, so her home wisdom might have been the result of free association. But hark ye: “It’s not over until it’s gone” should be this nation’s watchword.

Until what’s gone, you ask, eyes coruscating with the eager spirit of youth, brow bulging quaquaversally (pardon my cacozelia). I’ll tell you. Grandma grew up in the days before refrigeration (and movable type). When she was dating Homer, you kept eating until there were no eats left. Otherwise it all went bad. Life was like that: keep on going until it’s gone. In these modern times we have a tendency to think that things will keep, but it’s not true. People still die of refrigerated salmon. And Democracy cannot be stored for later. Ah, it was all some kind of metaphor. You see, there’s this election coming up in a few days, and a lot of folks think that after John Kerry wins, everything will go back to normal. There are several problems with this thesis, including John Kerry, but the central gaffe is to imagine the Bush junta will let Kerry win at all, even if he does.

If power in the White House were to shift decisively to the Democrats, everybody in this administration from George F. Bush on down to the guy who lines the trash bins with old copies of the Bill of Rights could be put behind bars. If crimes against humanity and international law aren’t enough, they have committed a thousand lesser peccadilloes in the misdemeanor to felony range, enough to treat them all to vacations of the twenty-to-life variety. It’s against the law to expose CIA agents working in the field, who knew? Did you know it’s also against the law to allow private corporations to write national energy policy in secret? The list goes on and on until your eyeballs swell up and dry out and pop like hamsters in a microwave. What I mean to say is, if the Republican radicals aren’t able to jigger the election in their favor, don’t imagine they’ll just pocket their winnings and go home. If Kerry is somehow able to carve out a win, Jactitiating George is going to make chicken salad out of him, you wait and see. And no raisins.

Already the election results are being contested, and we haven’t voted yet. Legal challenges are drying in the sun for use in the cold winter months. White-collar riots are planned in all swing states. Jim Crow stalks the countryside. Whoever wins this one, he won’t be considered legitimate. It happened to Bush: the Supreme Court wrote a special one-time only decision just for him, giving him the presidency when he wasn’t definitively entitled to the job. Until sometime in the fall of 2001 (I forget the exact day) he couldn’t govern the country, because most people didn’t believe he was in charge of it. The danger here is that a second election of questionable outcome will throw the entire concept of popular elections into dispute – and that’s exactly what some people have in mind. Imagine if the Yankees had been able to litigate their way into the World Series this year. Next year, it could be the Montgomery Biscuits, if they hire a lawyer like F. Lee Bailey. I’ll still be a Red Sox fan. But that’s beside the point, if any: we’ll be voting by jury.

Clinton had it easy compared to what’s in store for Long John, should he somehow happen to win this election despite his campaign. Even if Kerry wins by a mudslide, the Republicans won’t let him govern. With 80% of the votes, he’d have 20% of the authority, Bob. Merely being elected has ceased to mean anything. And this leads me back to Grandma’s chicken salad wisdom. If Bush loses, does Kerry win? Ask me four years from now, when Kerry has survived an entire term. The 2004 election won’t be over until 2008: it’s not over until it’s gone.

BEN TRIPP can be reached at credel@earthlink.net.

His book, ‘Square In The Nuts’, has been held up at the printers by thugs but will be released as soon as hostage negotiations conclude.

See also www.cafeshops.com/tarantulabros.

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

August 24, 2016
Arnold August
RIP Jean-Guy Allard: A Model for Progressive Journalists Working in the Capitalist System
August 23, 2016
Diana Johnstone
Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion
Bill Quigley
Race and Class Gap Widening: Katrina Pain Index 2016 by the Numbers
Ted Rall
Trump vs. Clinton: It’s All About the Debates
Eoin Higgins
Will Progressive Democrats Ever Support a Third Party Candidate?
Kenneth J. Saltman
Wall Street’s Latest Public Sector Rip-Off: Five Myths About Pay for Success
Binoy Kampmark
Labouring Hours: Sweden’s Six-Hour Working Day
John Feffer
The Globalization of Trump
Gwendolyn Mink – Felicia Kornbluh
Time to End “Welfare as We Know It”
Medea Benjamin
Congress Must Take Action to Block Weapon Sales to Saudi Arabia
Halyna Mokrushyna
Political Writer, Daughter of Ukrainian Dissident, Detained and Charged in Ukraine
Manuel E. Yepe
Tourism and Religion Go Hand-in-Hand in the Caribbean
ED ADELMAN
Belted by Trump
Thomas Knapp
War: The Islamic State and Western Politicians Against the Rest of Us
Nauman Sadiq
Shifting Alliances: Turkey, Russia and the Kurds
Rivera Sun
Active Peace: Restoring Relationships While Making Change
August 22, 2016
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton: The Anti-Woman ‘Feminist’
Robert Hunziker
Arctic Death Rattle
Norman Solomon
Clinton’s Transition Team: a Corporate Presidency Foretold
Ralph Nader
Hillary’s Hubris: Only Tell the Rich for $5000 a Minute!
Russell Mokhiber
Save the Patients, Cut Off the Dick!
Steven M. Druker
The Deceptions of the GE Food Venture
Elliot Sperber
Clean, Green, Class War: Bill McKibben’s Shortsighted ‘War on Climate Change’
Binoy Kampmark
Claims of Exoneration: The Case of Slobodan Milošević
Walter Brasch
The Contradictions of Donald Trump
Michael Donnelly
Body Shaming Trump: Statue of Limitations
Weekend Edition
August 19, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Hillary and the War Party
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Prime Time Green
Andrew Levine
Hillary Goes With the Flow
Dave Lindorff
New York Times Shames Itself by Attacking Wikileaks’ Assange
Gary Leupp
Could a Russian-Led Coalition Defeat Hillary’s War Plans?
Conn Hallinan
Dangerous Seas: China and the USA
Joshua Frank
Richard Holbrooke and the Obama Doctrine
Margaret Kimberley
Liberal Hate for the Green Party
John Davis
Lost Peoples of the Lake
Alex Richardson-Price
The Fight for a Six Hour Workday
John Wight
Why Palestine Matters, Even on the Pitch
Brian Cloughley
Hillary Clinton’s War Policy
Patrick Cockburn
A Battle to the Death in Syria
David Rosen
The Great Fear: Miscegenation, Race “Pollution” and the 2016 Election
Ben Debney
Worthy and Unworthy Victims of Child Abuse
David Barouh
Liberal Myths: Would Al Gore Have Invaded Iraq?
Graham Peebles
Democratic Revolution Sweeps Ethiopia
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
How Parasitic Finance Capital Has Turned Iran’s Economy Into a Case of Casino Capitalism
David Swanson
The Unbearable Awesomeness of the U.S. Military
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail