Reading the stories about the electoral disaster that overtook President Obama Tuesday night — embarrassed on an LBJ scale by a fringe candidate in Arkansas and nobody in Kentucky — and his lackluster performances on the campaign trail, where his act is playing to less than SRO audiences, I can’t help but be reminded of this song from Evita by my old friends, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice:
Let’s hear it for the Rainbow Tour
It’s been an incredible success
We weren’t quite sure, we had a few doubts . . .
Well, first time tragedy, second time farce, as Marx famously said. But Obama ’12 is shaping up as more Marx Brothers than Karl. As some idiot wrote in these pages three years ago:
Evita was about a woman of no particular talents except her ability to seduce powerful men as she rose from community streetwalker to First Lady of Argentina. The turning point in the story comes when Evita goes on a “Rainbow Tour” to Europe. She starts off great, wowing ’em in Spain, but the air slowly goes out of her bubble when her teleprompter breaks in Italy and they compare her to Mussolini; France turns up its collective nose at her, and by the time she gets to England . . .
The Law of Diminishing Returns, passed by the evil Rethuglicans under a revivified Newt Gingrich while Hussein was out of town, slowly starts to drag him down, and no matter how many times he quotes himself approvingly, sticks his nose in the air, juts his jaw, and bounces a pitch to home plate, the magic is gone… the poll numbers keep dropping, and even one last great speech, “Don’t Cry for Me, Amerikkka,” is broadcast live only on Fox News, where Charles Krauthammer makes fun of it.
The media’s just beginning to catch on to its beloved Evita’s feet of clay. So here’s a helpful reminder of the trajectory that every cocky demagogue eventually follows; the Rainbow of Honolulu’s not going down this year like they thought he would. Surprise, surprise . . .