I’ve been on Hiatus, that sunny isle in the Saragossa Sea, where pundits go to rest from the arduous work of rendering judgments on everything. It’s the Bali Hai of punditry, a profession requiring thinking about the heavy things most people try not to think about, a place where pundits go to recharge their batteries so they can go on convincing themselves that what they say matters.

As I put on my climbing boots this morning, and prepare to climb Mt. Sisyphus, where on a clear day I can see everything, I worry that I’m not worried that Donald Trump might be our next president, as other pundits seem to think is possible, accepting the candidate’s evaluation of the latest polls.

The first entertainer we will have as president since Ronald Reagan—who my usually reliably informed sources tell me thought he was on the set for a movie that took eight years to shoot —so Pres. Trump may not know too much about actual governance, but at least he has the cojones to have told us the truth about Saint George W, the founding brother of the Iraq War, the longest in our history (14 years—and counting), while “making us safe,” as Bro Jeb puts it. The first to tell the people the emperor has no clothes; Trump is not apologizing, as is the custom for speaking outrageous truths, but doubling and tripling down. Anyway, he probably won’t be in office long enough to do any real damage to our traditional dysfunctional government. Judging by his past record, he will lease the Oval Office, and be off finding better business opportunities. But the Trump First Hundred Days will be fun.

What I am worried about most is our party’s second choice. The respected pediatric-neurologist Doc Carson, a strong second in the polls, is having a second childhood in which he wants to be president when he grows up. A gentle Magoo-like character, the doctor’s qualifications for the most important job in the land include having memorized every nerve in the body. Understandably, he hasn’t had time to read the Constitution, being unfamiliar with Article VI that says its okay for a president to be a Muslim—even if he’s not, as in the case of Pres. Obama. The doc does not believe in evolution, either, and insists the devil is behind such “a fairy tale”. He once accused the Obama administration of being like Nazi Germany, and the Holocaust could have been mitigated, in his opinion, if the Jews only bought guns. Mister Magoo gives new meaning to the saying…it’s not really brain surgery. On the upside, he advises that it would help us understand the Obama administration by reading “Mein Kampf.” Dankeschoen, Herr Doktor.

What I am really worried about this morning is who will shoot down a plane accidentally over Syria. With six nations competing in what could become an Olympic event over who can drop the most smart bombs as target practice, it will be the Archduke all over. My candidate for the man who can start World War III is Gov. Christie. “My first phone call would be to Vladimir, and I’d say to him,” he explained on MSNBC last week, in listing his qualifications for the nomination. “Listen, we’re enforcing the no-fly zone. And I mean we’re enforcing it against anyone. Including you. So don’t try me. Don’t try me. Cause I’ll do it.”

I worry about the promotion of the general in charge of our $500 million program training and equipping Syrian rebels to lead the fight against the bad guys, whoever they maybe. Instead of the 15,000 GI Ahmads supposed to emerge from the basic training, it produced only a few dozen fighters. It has been a joy to see our Humvees and other costly equipment fallen into the hands of ISIS, IFIL and the Caliphate State, or all three, being blown to smithereens in those smart bomb pictures on the news. And not only that, the general in charge being relieved of the operation gets the compensation of receiving a third star (upped to a Lieut. General), while being given command of a major counter-terrorism program in Washington. Sounds to me like The Gen. Peter Principle in action. It may be the reason why we always seem to back losers in the W’s Iraq War these days.

I worry about what Bernie means by admitting in the debate he is “a democratic socialist,” whatever that is, which got Hillary to confess she is actually the equivalent of a “capitalist socialist.” They’re both communists, I’m told by my friends on the right.

I worry about what the hearings of the House Select Committee on Benghazi will turn up tomorrow that the eight previous investigations into the terror attack—five by the House, two by bipartisan Senate committees, and the eighth by a high level State Department accountability review board –will have missed. It will make our crack legislators look incompetent if $4.5 million has been spent so far to tell us what we knew all along: whatever happened is all Hillary’s fault. Even the co-chairman has been caught not attending previous hearings.

The major attraction this time is the appearance of the Secretary of Sneakiness Herself. Maybe they can whack her soles with canes, a method used by interrogators in other friendly democracies in the region to get confessions for crimes of which they’ve already been found guilty.

And, OMG, what if Speaker Du Jour Ryan doesn’t take the coveted job by Friday! Since nobody seems to want it, and you don’t actually need be a member to serve, I bet Jon Stewart would take it, without all those conditions.

Not to mention, worrying about the Pirates losing the third wildcard game in a row. Is this the start of another streak of 20 straight losing seasons? (By “losing” is meant not winning pennants or World Series, but reaching .500, parity, or winning one and losing one)

As you can see, I have a lot on my table d’hote. Sometimes I don’t know why I keep climbing the mountain with all those rocks in my backpack. Except it’s good for mankind, and womankind, too.

Fortunately, I have my parasailing, the other main thing I do on holiday.

And so as the sun pulls away from the dock, I ask myself, is that a ship sinking in the horizon?

Marvin Kitman
On Hiatus
Oct. 21, 2015

Marvin Kitman was the media critic at Newsday. His column, “The Marvin Kitman Show,” began on Dec. 7, 1969, a day that still lives in infamy, according to network executives. On April 1, 2005, he stepped down from his position of power. As he explained, “Newsday gave me a tryout, and after 35 years we decided it wasn’t working out.” He is the author of nine books.