7:30 AM: Most of what I would like to write about the death of Rev. Falwell has either already been written or is not fit to print. He was a despicable person, but the blame for the damage he did over the years must also be shared by politicians and the media, who continue to embrace or give forums to intolerant, fundamentalist religious bigots. The fundamentalist extreme religious right are nothing less that our own home grown Taliban. Why are their spokesmen invited on national TV programs like "Meet The Press" to spew their hate? Why do politicians get a pass for speaking engagements at Bob Jones University, a bastion of hate and intolerance. Until it's no longer acceptable to embrace or give forums to these intolerant extremists, the death of a Falwell or a Robertson will not make much difference.
The Republican candidates for president had another debate last evening, their second. This time there was a little more heat on the stage with some of them taking shots at each other. Giuliani took some flak for his pro-choice position, and Romney was criticized for his flip-flops. Andrew Sullivan notes that the three Republican front runners cover the complete spectrum on abortion with McCain being anti-choice, Giuliani pro-choice, and Romney willing to say whatever he has to in order to pander to whomever he is talking to at the moment. The bottom line for Republicans is that they really don't have a candidate at the moment who can win the election against a generic Democrat. The Democrats will have to lose the election on their own, which they might do, especially if they nominate Ms. Clinton, who is a polarizing figure. Look for more Republican late entries into the race, including Newt Gingrich and Fred Thompson, and maybe even Michael Bloomberg. It will be fun to watch the Republicans try to figure out how to win the presidency post "Dubbuya."
Photo: red fox comes out from under the walkway near the "Sunken Forest" on Fire Island