Politics & Policy


How about a fair fight?

It can’t be this easy. The election of Barrack Hussein Obama II Barry Soetoro Obama Jr., I mean. At least try to fight back, will you guys, so that the rubes out there won’t think the fight is fixed?

Yes, fight. Because that’s what you’re in for, the fight of your lives. A few months ago, everyone was talking about that You Tube video, Barracky, that showed my guy as the body double for Sly Stallone, taking the fight to Hillary Rodham Apollo Creed, a la Rocky. A lot of you sneered that Rocky loses, but what you forgot is that a hit movie always begs a sequel, and sure enough in Rocky II he won and in Rocky III he won and in Rocky IV he won and, well…

You get the picture. And although boxing has waned in popularity, America still loves a good fight. Which is why over here on our ever-swelling side of the aisle, we keep waiting for your guy, Little John McCain, to start throwing a few punches, but so far all he does is keep calling us “my friends.” Maybe he really is running for the third Bush term after all.

Yeah, Bush. I know this is incredibly brave of me, and like Oliver Stone I’m going waaaayyyyy out on a limb saying this, but personally — if I were you — I’d blame Bush. I know that Harry Reid used to be an amateur boxer, but he’s been putting an Ali-style bitch-slap on Bush all year and hasn’t even gotten his hair mussed in return. Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi fixes President Lame Duck with her basilisk stare, waiting to see who blinks first — and it’s never her!

So what if al-Qaeda in Iraq has now been all but defeated, and the Americans just took 500 metric tons of non-existent yellowcake out of Joe Wilson’s Iraq? Who cares?

Not the American people. They care about who’s going to tuck in their kids at night and keep them safe, while they’re out working three jobs at McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Wal-Mart, trying to make ends meet in this Worst of All Possible Worlds. (Luckily, here in Hollywood we don’t have that problem, since we have maids for that sort of thing. We are truly blessed.)

Maybe it’s Bush’s example, then, that McCain is following as he absorbs blow after blow from guys who — let’s face it — aren’t worthy to carry his Hanoi Hilton bathrobe. We keep expecting the old Navy pilot (and we do mean old; did we mention that he’s old?) to punch back against the likes of Wesley “Mad Bomber” Clark, a general so bad that he was essentially relieved of his NATO command by none other than the Big He Himself, for the trifling provocation of nearly starting World War III with the Russians. But no, my friends . . .

So here’s my absolutely free and unsolicited advice to you dwindling band of Rethuglicans, just to make it fair: Time to break out the fight films.

No, not the surreptitiously shot videos we just know the Smear Machine has been taking of Obama all along, hoping to catch him bending over to Mecca or dating A-Rod’s wife or something. I mean real fight films, the kind we used to make in Tinseltown when men were men instead of metrosexuals, films like: The Harder They Fall (1956), Bogey’s last picture, based on the Budd Schulberg novel about a Primo Carnera-like, glass-jawed palooka named Toro Moreno, who lets evil gangsters manipulate him and screw him out of his money and finally hangs him out to dry in the ring to get the tar whaled out of him, leaving him with nothing in the end. Standing in for the American media, Bogey plays a sleazy, down-at-the-heels press agent whose job it is to promote this tomato can, until even he can’t stomach the loss of — well, everything.

This one’s closer to reality than you might think, since Carnera was in fact owned by gangster Owney Madden, who put his pug into the ring with Max Baer for a vicious beating in which Carnera was knocked down twelve times. And guess who played Moreno’s nemesis, Buddy Brannen, in the movie? Max Baer, of course. It’s a relationship business, as we say out here.

But… wait a minute. Maybe this isn’t such a good example. Because while we know that Barracky can give a hell of a speech, we don’t really know whether he can take a punch; the once-fearsome Beast basically waltzed him around the primary ring in a game of me-too musical chairs, until the music stopped and she found herself sitting on her plus-sized keister. Besides, something about the notion of a “fixed fight” and Barrack Hussein Obama II makes me uncomfortable.

O.K., let’s try this one: The Set-up (1949). Yes! Robert Ryan plays an aging mug named Stoker with no ring future who’s told by his corrupt handlers that he has to throw a fight to a younger, stronger man. (Quentin — you saw this movie, didn’t you?) But whaddya know — the old dog gets up on his hind legs and puts his opponent’s puss on the canvas, for which act of defiant heroism he gets his hand broken. But he doesn’t care — he’s still got his honor!

Umm . . . wait a minute. Maybe this isn’t such a good example, either. After all, the aging hero, the broken bones, the code of honor — this could all remind some gullible voters who still cling to their faith and their guns of a time when most men in America were like Stoker, a time when a man had to do what a man had to do, instead of what San Fran Nan, focus groups, and the polls told him.

It could remind them of (gulp) John McCain.

Right. So it’s back to Rocky. The heroic story of the guy from nowhere who against all the odds gets his first shot at the title, climbs in the ring with the champ, breaks his ribs and, in the end . . .


– David Kahane is the nom de cyber of a writer in Hollywood. While he doesn’t personally endorse violence of any kind, he puts as much of it as possible into his movies, just for fun. You can take a swing at him at kahanenro@gmail.com.

Since February 2007, Michael Walsh has written for National Review both under his own name and the name of David Kahane, a fictional persona described as “a Hollywood liberal who ...


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