With all due respect to my Notion colleagues, John Kerry is a pathetic loser –indeed, an almost compulsive gaffe-maker — and we shouldn’t waste time and energy defending him. He is that all-too-common Democratic politician who makes you paranoid that you’re living in a scary science fiction story, in which the supposed “opposition” candidates are actually androids controlled by the ruling party, programmed to weakly simulate campaigns, then quickly disintegrate into self-sabotage. Why else would Kerry have defended himself against the mendacious Swift Boat veterans two years too late? And why else would he and the rest of the Democrats be doing next-to-nothing to fight voting machine fraud, and curb racist vote suppression by the Republicans? And why must he invariably be such a dumbass?

Granted, Kerry didn’t intend to make fun of the troops. But he’s in no position to mock anyone else’s academic record. The Yale transcripts of Bush and Kerry — widely reported last year –showed that the two were equally sorry students. Kerry actually got four Ds his freshman year. Bush isn’t the only one who owes his success more to his privilege than to hard work or talent. Let’s hope this latest snafu puts the kibosh on presidential hopes that should have died long ago, and that Kerry shuts up before he helps elect more Republicans. (Apparently some in the Party establishment agree — his campaign appearances have reportedly been cancelled.)

So, let’s shrug our shoulders and let Kerry twist in the wind. There are many more important things at stake in Tuesday’s election. It looks like the Republicans may lose their shirts, despite Android Kerry’s best efforts to re-elect them. And despite the manifold forces working to convince them to do otherwise, some voters may actually consider real issues when they go to the polls. The citizens of Boulder, Colorado, for instance, will consider a “carbon tax” on businesses and homeowners, based on their electricity usage. The tax will fund efforts to reduce emissions that cause global warming (wind and solar power projects, initiatives to encourage people to drive less) and will also provide a much-needed incentive for businesses and homeowners to strive for greater energy efficiency. This ballot measure isn’t pie-in-the-sky, either; it’s been endorsed by the town’s Chamber of Commerce, and has no organized opposition.