If Ron Paul 2012 and friends can make peace with me on the fake eyebrow issue, we can move along and be friends even. Like Jon Stewart and Ron Paul, and like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- we don't have to love one another, but we can be friendly.
However, it's clear that's not going to happen, but we can be amicable friends for the taking and sharing of good.
So here's the dilemma, in case you missed it: I was watching the GOP presidential debate from Dartmouth early this week, brought to us by Bloomberg TV and The Washington Post. Early in the debate I noticed along with many others that Ron Paul's eyebrow seemed to be falling off. In fact, it looked to me to be a fake eyebrow that was falling off -- an eyebrow toupee, if you will.
I've seen worse in politics, certainly. George W. Bush faked weapons of mass destruction from Iraq. Bill Clinton faked his innocence with Monica Lewinsky, for a while. But I noted that Paul seemed pathetic with his fake eyebrow falling off, and his legions of supporters became unreasonably irate.
I know, I said he looked like a clown. Maybe I was harsh. But I didn't like the fake eyebrow. And I still don't. But I've written before that I liked some elements of Ron Paul. I once said, for instance, he was the right's version of Ralph Nader. That was a compliment. And that elicited good, fair response.
But the fake eyebrow threw me, as did the response to my disdain for the fake eyebrow. I'll admit it.
When I posted the story in the midst of the debate, I looked to see if other news organizations had called Paul out on the fake eyebrow falling episode. They hadn't. They were just snickering, and talking behind his back. I've rarely been accused of that, so I didn't feel like I had any choice, especially since I knew tens of thousands were watching and thinking the very same thing.
Dear God, Ron Paul's fake eyebrow is falling off!
As GOP candidates talked about the economy in the debate, I couldn't help but wonder why Paul didn't go a bit more in debt to pay for some better fake eyebrow glue. Solutions to America's economic woes were on the tip of Paul's tongue, but his eyebrow toupee was on the tip of his nose, and that bothered me -- very much so.
I was even more bothered the next day, after being blasted by devotees of the Ron Paul forum, that Paul's campaign tried to pass the issue of his falling eyebrow off as a bad case of allergies. I kid you not, that's what they said -- fake allergies did that eyebrow thing.
Read this excerpt from The New York Times if you don't believe me: Jesse Benton, a campaign spokesman, insisted that Mr. Paul had been the victim of the elements, namely a heavy pollen season in New Hampshire, and called accusations that he'd been artificially enhancing 'stupid' and 'insulting.'
'Dr. Paul's allergies acted up a touch,' Mr. Benton said in an explanation that might raise some, you know, questions.
Take a look at the picture accompanying this story. Does this look like a bad case of allergies?
I don't think so.
I've seen allergies do some strange things, like discolored fingers, but this would be a first. Yet I was roasted, toasted, and told to jump off a bridge with the fleas of a thousand camels infesting my nose hairs for suggesting such that Paul had a fake eyebrow that didn't want to stay affixed.
Glue has never been as reliable as we want it to be, especially under hot lights and tension. The joke, of course, is that I'm like Jon Stewart, the liberal host of The Daily Show who likes Paul, a conservative. I'm fond of Ron Paul in some ways -- more so than many others, certainly. It's true that I won't vote for Paul for President in part because of the fake eyebrows, but it's also true that I think he's good for America.
Paul is frank, and he makes us think -- and that's a good thing.
But I don't want to have to think about whether a presidential candidates' eyebrows are real or not. If a man is to be trusted for speaking truth, he should reveal his gray, thin eyebrows rather than glue on fake ones in the effort to look better on television. Blaming it on allergies only makes it worse -- and it's called a double fake.
Paul has much to offer. I've got a good understanding of that. But nobody is perfect -- not even Ron Paul (and his eyebrows). So just admit eyebrows were fake so we can get back to the dialogue that matters most involving what's wrong with America, and what can be done about it.