Politics & Policy

Send In the Clowns

Yippee! We’ve all got a front-row seat at the three-ring Stupid Party circus.

Am I the only potato who levitated from his couch last week when my favorite cartoon character, Mr. Newt, announced to a breathlessly waiting world that he and his running mate, Callista, were forming an “exploratory committee” for a possible presidential run next year? There he was, waddling along and grinning from ear to ear, good old SpongeBob SquarePants himself, coyly flirting with the wingnut electorate like an aging Sally Rand who left her fan collection back at the Casa di Riposo. I was so excited I immediately called up my homie, Charlie Sheen, and suggested we head on down to the Brown Derby for a few drinks and some laughs, but the hooker who answered told me Charlie was in Tripoli, advising Qaddafi on a new public-relations strategy, and I was on my own, celebration-wise.

So let’s party like it’s 1994!

Now, I don’t want you to think that I’m picking on the former speaker of the House just to get a few cheap yuks, but a) that’s my job and b) facts are facts. Gingrich is the most bloated, slowest-moving target since the Hindenburg floated over Lakehurst, N.J., and if by some miracle he were actually to win your Rethuglican nomination, it would be the biggest wipeout since Ronnie informed the Full Norwegian that he was no Jack Kennedy. I mean, we are talking a 57-state landslide here, with time out for golf, skiing, short ribs, and Marbella.

And then there’s Mike Huckabee, another member of the Fox News shadow cabinet. Unlike Mr. Newt, Huck still has his day job for the nonce, playing guitar, building himself a hillbilly McMansion in Florida, and bruiting the Kenyan upbringing of His Serene Majesty, Barack Hussein Obama II, Lord of the Flies, Keeper of the Hoops, Master of the Greens, and Protector of the Holy Cities of Honolulu and Chicago. We thought you’d finally cottoned to the distinctive Arkansas brand of snake-oil salesmen after we sent you Billy Jeff Blythe III, the pride of Hot Springs, but obviously not. Your nutball battalions of social conservatives heart Huck-huck-huck-huck-Huckabee, but go ahead and run him, we dare you. He can’t tell Indonesia and Hawaii from Dinesh D’Souza’s book, and if you’re going to beat Barry and his billion-dollar war chest, you’d better start thinking rationally.

Rick Santorum? The incumbent who lost his Senate seat in Pennsylvania by 18 points to our guy, Bob Casey? Puh-lease. No, I really mean it: please. Please, please nominate him and let’s just see how many anti–Planned Parenthood votes there really are out there. Not enough to get elected president, that I can guarantee you. After all, the only dead souls who vote are in our graveyards, not yours, especially since the 40 million or so babies we’ve aborted since Roe thoughtlessly never got around to getting Social Security numbers. Plus Fox just kicked him out, too.

Mitt Romney? Forget Romneycare. Not one American in a million knows that Harry Reid is a Mormon, and that’s the way we want to keep it, but I can promise you that every sentient voter will know that Mitt wears golden underpants by the time we get finished with him. It’s true that we are the party of love, diversity, and tolerance, but if Mitt runs, all of a sudden the Hill Cumorah Pageant is going to be more famous than the Super Bowl, the Angel Moroni more notorious than Bony Moronie, and the mysterious disappearance of the golden tablets in Egyptian writing revealing the Book of Mormon more fascinating than the vanishing of Judge Crater, Christopher Cross, Cyndi Lauper, and Dan Quayle combined. Still, you gotta love a religion founded near Rochester, N.Y., by a guy named not only Joe, but Smith, which is obviously what gives the Senate majority leader his deft, common touch.

Good Gaia, you’re not going to make it this easy for us, are you?

The rest of the pack is easily disposed of:

Mitch Daniels. Weird, short, combover, from Indiana, which has a politically incorrect name if there ever was one. OMB director, assuming you can lure him away from the fleshpots of Indianapolis.

Tim Pawlenty. No red-blooded American will ever vote for a President Tim. And in the 2012 crucible, Minnesota Nice just isn’t going to cut it. As our Barry famously said, ripping off David Mamet — they bring a knife, we bring a gun. Tim brings a butter knife. We bring an AK-47. Or a Muslim scimitar, whichever. Secretary of housing and urban development, or one of those other cabinet positions that don’t matter.

Rudy Giuliani. Four words: New York, New York. Repeat as necessary. Homeland-security chief.

Jon Huntsman. Who? Oh, you mean Obama’s ambassador to China? Right. Ambassador to China.

Haley Barbour. Mississippi Burning. Enough said. Ambassador to Mississippi.

Ron Paul. No, not the bore worms! Ambassador to Outer Space.

I’ve saved the best for last, as you knew I would. I am nothing if not a master of dramatic pacing:

Sarah Palin. I believe I’ve expressed myself in these pages many times about Your Gal Sarah, and how much we hate her, and how much we love her, and how much we love to hate her, and how much we hate to love her — hell, if it weren’t for the Divine Sarah, what would MSNBC use for cannon fodder all day long? Still, even though we don’t have an aircraft carrier handy — we hate firearms — we can proudly say “Mission Accomplished” when it comes to the destruction of La Palin’s reputation, and at this point you nominate her at your own peril. Yes, we know she rules the world via Facebook from her Fortress of Solitude in Mystery, Alaska, and she’s the only woman alive who can make Chris Matthews swallow his tongue on national television, except for maybe Michele Bachmann. But, believe you me, by the time our johnnies in the media get through with her in Campaign Aught Twelve, she’ll burst into flames and start speaking in tongues live on Fox News.

And, finally, there’s —

Jeb. As in Bush. As in the family that gave you Slick Willie and BO2 in its wake.

Yeah, right.

Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just doing opposition research, so you won’t have to. Meanwhile, I know exactly whom you should nominate and whom, in fact, you’re going to have to nominate in order to win, but I’m saving it for my inevitable appearance on Morning Joe. And no, it’s not Chris Christie.

— Despite his progressive upbringing, David Kahane wishes you knuckle-dragging troglodytes nothing but the best in the next election cycle, so go ahead and nominate one of these guys. You can tell him how right he is at kahanenro@gmail.com or read his masterful treatise, Rules for Radical Conservatives, in case you want to, you know, get a clue how to actually win in 2012.

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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