National Review / Digital
War of the Worldviews


But wouldn’t Romney use his special Destroyer Powers to ruin Orion’s industrial base by buying up all the factories and shutting them down? After all, that’s how he makes money: buying up successful companies that are doing well and then declaring bankruptcy, firing everyone, and selling the assets for pennies on the dollar, leading to a net loss for everyone, except for Romney, because his team has the airport concession for sandwiches and makes money on all the consultants who have to fly to the factory to close it down. Nine dollars for a turkey sandwich! Imagine if he’s president! Gas will be over 55 dollars a gallon, because he’s bought the refineries and turned them into big piles of pipes.

Planet-wide death and destruction are excellent opportunities for Keynesian spending, and the president has a natural feel for these things. There’s nothing quite so shovel-ready as a mass grave that needs to be dug, and if 5 percent of the population is put to work interring the other 95 percent, you’re talking employment numbers that make Reagan look like Hoover in ’31.

Because it wouldn’t be an invasion, after all; it would be a compassionate act of recognition that there are Zorgonians who have been living among us for some time now, and he will declare them to be exempt from deportation by executive order. “With this decision, millions of Zorgonians will be able to come out of the shadows, or would, if the touch of our sun’s rays didn’t cause them unbearable pain.”

He would assure us that this is not surrender but “amnesty.” The Supreme Court would agree, thereby assuaging fears that “amnesty” could be construed as “surrender” by future presidents seeking to expand the government’s ability to collapse like a house of cards. Justice Roberts, however, would surprise everyone, noting that the action actually falls under the “capitulation powers.” Some conservative pundits would call Roberts’s decision a brilliant move that handcuffs future expansion of the government’s surrender power, but the pundits would be unable to complete the thought, because Washington had been consumed by a blinding flash of purplish light that made people and marble alike turn to friable ash.

Zorgonians would call talk radio to complain, noting that they came here legally by the route they were supposed to take: crash-landing in deep-space probes and shape-shifting to assume human form.

The survey had some other interesting results. USA Today said that people were unable to rally behind a superhero to defend the planet. Twenty-one percent would call in the Hulk; 12 percent would flash the Bat signal; a mere 8 percent would rely on Spider-Man. But what of Superman? What of the heroic, all-powerful, upright defender of truth, justice, and the American way?

He’s fictional, you say. Well, so’s the president everyone seems to think we have, and that didn’t stop people from trusting him over Mitt.

– Mr. Lileks blogs at

July 30, 2012    |     Volume LXIV, No. 14

Books, Arts & Manners
  • Vincent J. Cannato reviews Spoiled Rotten: How the Politics of Patronage Corrupted the Once Noble Democratic Party and Now Threatens the American Republic, by Jay Cost.
  • Michael Rubin reviews The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran, by David Crist.
  • Ryan T. Anderson reviews Debating Same-Sex Marriage, by John Corvino and Maggie Gallagher.
  • Andrew Stuttaford reviews The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins.
  • Diane Scharper reviews Pity the Beautiful: Poems, by Dana Gioia.
  • Ross Douthat reviews Ted.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Happy Warrior  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .