I’m gibbering already

The doorbell rings. Our friendly neighborhood USPS woman with a box. (And she is friendly.) H.o.p. grabs a fork and begins his transformation of the carton. He punches holes. Gets a flashlight and shines it through the holes onto the wall. “Look, a Phoenix!” And it is. A magical flutter of light wings and wisp of body that soars up the wall to the ceiling. He gets his puppet Phoenix and shines the flashlight through it so it is radiant orange and gold.

My brother and sister-in-law were over Sunday with their little girl who is a remarkable combination of brilliant, inquisitive intelligence and enviable, easy-going, even-tempered, good-natured, self-assurance. They brought a gift of homemade whole wheat bread made from grain they themselves ground. The bread is a perfectly formed loaf, light rather than dense and chewy stick-to-the-back-of-your-throat dry like my homemade whole wheat bread used to be eons ago, the one or two loaves I made.

Speaking of something that would be hard going down if not oiled by (alas) history and the travesties of Newt Gingrich, Sonny Perdue and Zell Miller (to name a few), is the announcement that Duluth’s Ralph Reed, of Century Strategies, will be running for Lt. Gov. in 2006. My first thought was I guess now I’ll be paying more attention to Georgia’s hopeless situation (I’ve preferred to block all knowledge Ralph Reed was down here) rather than South Dakota’s, and then just a few short minutes after that thought the internet reveals that Ralph Reed’s public campaign contributions, 15 lined up at Newsmeat, include one to John Thune for South Dakota in 2002 and another for John Thune for U.S. Senate in 2004.

Ralph Reed must like John Thune. His campaign totals coming to $14,620, Bush comes in as top recipient at $4000, and then Thune and the Vision for Tomorrow Fund tie for second at $2000 each.

I never see Ralph Reed’s face when I think the name. Rex Reed’s face (so-called film critic) is permanently the face of Ralph in my mind. I don’t even believe in a Christian hell but (none-the-less) Ralph convinced me years ago he was seeded here by Damien of Omen’s pappy to be the prince of the goths in prep-shirt blue brigade, the devil’s own stealth crew (don’t ask me how as I don’t even believe in the Christian devil yet it is true). A Violator of all Natural Laws, his Marvel World power is to make desirable and enviable Unbalanced Being where-ever he goes and then some. When you stumble to the kitchen in the morning and open the refrigerator door to find a litter of plastic wrapping and styrofoam and the fat stripped from your pork chops, Ralph will be at the gym working it off.

Rehashing his fast track rise to fame. He was student body president at his junior high in Miami Beach, FL at the age of 14, winning by a landslide (I don’t know about you but where I went to junior high, winning by a landslide meant someone, anyone voted). He was junior class president at Stephens County High School in GA. At the tender age of 15 he was already working on behalf of gubenatorial candidates in Georgia, North Carolina and California. He served as as 1982-1984 National Executive Director for the College Republicans, co-chairman of the youth effort for Ronnie Reagan (he made sure that in ’84 more college students worked for a Republican–RR–in “modern memory”, so was the guy behind my perplexity at college students being so ass-backwards so as to vote for RR), and in 1984 founded his own Students for America, of which he was Executive Director, which had a presence on 200 campuses in 41 states. He worked on the re-election campaign of racist homophobe Jesse Helms in 1984 and 1990 and, indeed, the formation of Students for America was for the express purpose of getting Jesse Helms reelected. The executive director for the Khristian Koalition from 1989-1997, the KK grew from 2 thousand to a purported 2 million under him and its budget went from 200,000 to 27 million. In 1994 he helped usher in the first Republican Congress in 40 years and in 2000 was senior advisor to Bushie’s campaign and in 2004 was Chair of the Southeast Region for Bush-Cheny and campaign manager. He has “worked on seven presidential campaigns and has advised 88 campaigns for U.S. Senate Governor and Congress in 24 states”.

Seriously, what were Reed’s favorite toys as a child? That’s what I’d like to know.

The bio of his wife on his campaign site notes she was the daughter of an Army career officer, gives her parents’ names and that she was born in Alabama, while Reed’s bio infers he is Georgian, growing up in Toccoa, and mentions nothing about being born in Portsmouth, Virginia or growing up in Miami before transplanted to Toccoa for high school.

Reed was one of three children of a Navy doctor, spending his teen years in Toccoa. Dad was Ralph Reed Sr., an ophthalmologist and his mom was Marcy. His website gives his dad as a doctor in the Vietnam war and his mom was his his Troop Leader.

He was an Eagle Scout.

Reed says while other kids were watching Big Bird, he was consuming the autobiography of Eddie Rickenbacker, Carl Sandburg’s “Lincoln”, William Shirer’s “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”, David Halverstam’s “The Best and the Brightest” and “All the President’s Men” by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

For a penny, plus shipping, you can purchase his out-of-print book “Active Faith”. Then there’s “After the Revolution” and “Politically Incorrect: The Emerging Faith Factor in American Politics”. I suppose I should at least read the first and last pages except, y’know, but, well. But I should.

What were his favorite toys? Was he building church spire campaign headquarters with blocks while other kids were still chewing on them? Where’s the website of a Stephens County High School black sheep alumni that opens with the line, “I went to school with Ralph Reed”?

Years ago, when I’d a tougher constitution than now, I watched Pat Robertson’s 700 Club because I wanted to be versed in their daily spin. If a tea leaf reader had told me then that Ralph Reed would be running for Lt. Gov. of GA in 2006 I wouldn’t have been surprised but I would have melted into a gibbering mess. No change from today, but now I can melt into a gibbering mess online.

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