Here on the far left, there are two kinds of bad guys: good bad guys and bad bad guys.
Jesse James is an example of a good bad guy. Like US Rep. Barney Frank and US Sen. Chris Dodd, he had developed over a period of years the good bad habit of shaking down the Big Boys – large banks, trains full of wealthy commuters -- and distributing their ill gotten gains among the oppressed, some of whom were his friends.
Billy the Kid was a good bad guy. He shot up a lot of bullies, some of them sheriffs, was a true white knight toward the ladies and, a Byronic romantic, allied himself with what he thought was the honorable side in a violent range war. Bit of bad luck there.
Al Capone was a good bad guy: He rid Chicago of lots of bad bad guys, mostly by shooting them. He was anti-prohibitionist at a time when even FDR’s first Vice President, John Nance Garner, was tippling in the White House to protest temperance leagues. Like Charlie Rangle of New York, he was indifferent about paying taxes. In the course of his wanderings, he unfortunately contracted syphilis, dying from it in jail. A bit of bad luck there.
Robin Hood, the redistributionist, was a good bad guy.
The sheriff of Nottingham was a bad bad guy.
Joseph Stalin was widely regarded as a good bad guy, most touchingly by border-line socialist Henry Wallace, FDR’s second Vice President, and George Bernard Shaw, the Nietzschean playwright – until Papa Joe formed a pact with Adolph Hitler, the mesmerizing Fuehrer of Nazi Germany, who was a bad bad guy. Some demur and think there was a bright side even to Hitler; he was, after all, a pagan vegetarian who liked dogs. But anyone who has attempted to empathize with the vegetarian dog lover generally has been regarded as a bad bad guy.
However, some on the left are ambivelent towards people who feel warmly about Hitler’s final solution – for instance Mahmoud Amadinejad, the personable president of Iran, twice invited to enlighten the United Nations members in New York, the site of the terrorist bombing of the Twin Towers. Get the flakey Amadinejad off the point of the Zionist threat, and you may discover beneath the terrorist surface a tender, tolerable vegetarian, like Hitler, a charming bank robber, like Jesse James, and a mesmerizing speaker, like the next president of the United States, Barack Obama.
While examples of bad bad guys abound, it would seem that president George Bush -- who ought to be impeached, flayed alive and hung by his thumbs in the US Capitol rotunda while being forced to listen to the sonorous speeches of Robert Byrd – ranks among the highest order of bad bad guys.
First of all, he started a war on the false pretext that the honorable president of Iraq was concealing Weapons of Mass Destruction from Hans Blick, a UN WMD inspector who, some think, would have trouble finding Al Capone if he were hiding under his bed; then Bush deposed the honorable Saddam Hussein; then he diddled in the White House while Iraq descended into chaos, finally settling on a general who routed al-Qaeda in Iraq – when really he ought to have listened to the next president of the United States, Barack Obama, who has now pledged unilaterally to invade a sovereign state, Pakistan, for the purpose of seeking out and destroying Osama bin Ladin, the Al Capone of al-Qaeda, without so much as a nod in the direction of our allies, France and Germany. Bin Ladin may or may not be alive at this point, though almost everyone would agree that he is a weapon of mass destruction and ought to be destroyed.
Barack Obama is one of the good good guys. To be sure, there are some unsavory characters tucked into the dark recesses of his closet but, on the whole, he’s good, like Robin Hood. We are not quite sure why this is so – it may have something to do with his ideological compatibility with Henry Wallace, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank -- but we are certain it is so.