Politics & Policy

Dumb, Dumber, and Dumberer

Pass the popcorn — it’s the Republican presidential field!

One thing I gotta say for you wingnuts, you sure are hilarious when it comes time to pick a presidential candidate and the old ball and chain isn’t standing there right beside you, screaming, “It’s my turn.” No Dick Nixon, no Bob Dole, no “Fighter” John McCain. Where’s Darth Vader when you need him?

I mean, really, is Willard the best you got? Mr. Golden Undies? The son of George “I was brainwashed” Romney? Mr. Romneycare? I suppose you could argue that it’s Mitt’s turn, on account of he won more or less nothing the last time out, that he let an obvious snake-oil salesman like Mike Huckabee beat him like a suspiciously dark-haired stepchild in Iowa, that he could probably win New Hampshire, and that he’s a man of the people that only Daddy Warbucks could love. But admit it: He just doesn’t make your little dark, disused hearts beat faster, does he?

Which is why it saddens me that you lost three great candidates this week, a triumvirate of hoplites who would have struck abject terror into us and sent us scattering in disarray like the Persian troops at the Battle of Marathon, leaving the Emperor Hussein as alone and bewildered as Darius. Had any of these guys been your standard-bearer next year, we wouldn’t have stood a chance against them. Praise Gaia for their brave decisions to put money and mouth before country!

Let’s call them Dumb, Dumber, and Dumberer:

Dumb. That would be Huckabee, the bass-guitar-slinging Faux News weekend host and talking head, whose potent combination of suave unctuousness and smarmy folksiness was a sure-fire winning combination for the crucial evangelical Christians — or, as we like to call them, the “haters.” These are the people who, for reasons known only to themselves and their mysterious “God,” are opposed to sybaritism, tribadism, sapphism, onanism, polygamy, lots of other fun stuff, and, of course, same-sex marriage.

The Huckster was the perfect candidate to appeal to these small-town bigots, the bitter clingers so aptly characterized by His Serene Majesty the Emperor Barack Hussein Obama II, Lord of the Flies, Keeper of the Hoops, Master of the Greens, Bringer of Kinetic Military Action, Vacationer-in-Chief, Slayer of Osama, and Protector of the Holy Cities of Honolulu and Chicago. He moved among them as if he were one of them — which, come to think of it, he actually used to be. That was when he was the big fat governor of Slick Willy’s former fiefdom, a man who spoke in the practiced cadences of a Baptist preacher hosting a radio talk show: a right regular Billy Sunday, as it were, except minus the baseball background.

But then he got the Faux gig and built himself that McMansion down in Florida and started raking in the dough and . . . so long, little people!

Still, could you imagine the Huckinator going mano-a-mano with Hussein? Hillbilly boy vs. the white-shirted, skinny-tied South Side neighbor of Minister Farrakhan! White Christian vs. kinda-black kinda-Muslim! Not since the Third Crusade would there have been such TV ratings. American Idol would have nothing on this show. Nor would even the Celebrity Apprentice. Which brings us to —

Dumber, aka The Donald. Every decade or so, the Trumpmeister wanders out of his Manhattan-real-estate redoubt and threatens a grateful nation with a run for president. Until the advent of television, few folks outside New York had ever heard of Trump, who’s long been the only man alive who can wear a coonskin cap without, you know, actually wearing a coonskin cap. To us native New Yorkers, everything about the man screams Queens, so we never really took him very seriously; in a city filled with real-estate tycoons, he was just one of the bunch, and not a patch on the late Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsley, in the vulgarity department.

But this year, it seemed, The D. got the bit between his teeth, the fire in his belly, the wind at his back, and a wild hair up his you know what. And by golly did he ever bring it to the Bringer of Kinetic Military Action. He had “top people” scouring the hospitals of Honolulu in a desperate search for the birth certificate and they could not believe what they were finding! No records! No hospital bills! No tiny baby Bambi footprint! The fool — any one of us could have told him that you don’t leave footprints when you walk on water.

And then came the release of the birth certificate and the White House Correspondents Dinner and that was the end of Donald J. Trump. So what if the birth certificate is signed by some guy named Ukulele? According to my top people on the ground at Waikiki Beach, everybody in Honolulu is named Ukulele, and they’re all on their way to the Huki-huki-huki-huki-lau. Aloha dere, brah — smatta you?

Oh, how your faces must have fallen as The Donald sat there at the WHCD, absorbing slap after slap from Barry and that comedian guy, what’s his name. You suckers all thought he would rise up in righteous wrath, brandishing an advance copy of Jerome Corsi’s new book and storming out. But no. As Bogey says to Peter Lorre in The Maltese Falcon, “When you’re slapped, you’ll take it and like it.”

He took it and liked it. But have no fear — The Donald will be back again in ten years, same bat-guano time, same bat-guano station.

Speaking of bat guano . . . 

Dumberer. Who else but SpongeBob Squarepants could start and end a presidential campaign practically on the same day? All it took was one little waddle into the lion’s den we progressives know and love as Meet the Press, hosted, thanks to the untimely demise of Tim Russert, by the epitome of the Lefty SneerTM, David Gregory. When he was a “reporter,” Gregory could sass &^%$BUSH(*@#! to his face like nobody’s business, and now that’s he a Sunday show host, it’s Katie bar the door: If Gregory doesn’t get ya, E. J. Dionne Jr. will. I’m told that in the green room, the sign leading into the studio reads, Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate, on the theory that only a Republican would actually be well-read enough to get the reference. But Newt came to Catholicism late, so he obviously skipped the altar-boy part.

“Right-wing social engineering?” Hoo, boy — he’s been trying to ’splain his way out of that one all week. Mission fail! The space shuttle has a better chance of a comeback than Mr. Newt, a man of the Nineties when the country is looking for . . . 

Well, I don’t know. We’re hoping you’ll swallow the Axelrodian mythos one more time, and realize that Barry had no idea how bad things were when he got bored sitting in the Senate and decided, what the hell, why not run for the White House? That he’s tried his best in the teeth of, to be honest, mostly toothless Republican opposition. That he shoved health care down your gullets because it made him feel better about fundamental transformation. Now he’s got comprehensive immigration reform to deal with, and cutting Israel back down to its 1967 size to handle, and new EPA regulations to promulgate, and Boeing to treat like The Donald . . . 

Two years in, it’s never too early for four more years!

And what are you going to do about it? Support the pizza guy? The Chinese guy? The accountant?

Come back, John McCain, your country needs you. We were really, really scared of you.

— David Kahane is getting plenty of cheap yuks from the Republican field, which he’s thinking about incorporating into a stand-up act. You can audition for the writing staff by emailing him at kahanenro@gmail.com or by becoming one of his Rules for Radical Conservatives groupies on Facebook. Just don’t mention the names of Chris Christie, Allen West, Marco Rubio or Rick Perry, or he’ll have to say: You’re fired. 

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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