(2010: The battle of the ballot rises to a new low)
All right. To help set the mood for a little discussion of the 2010 mid-term elections, I’ll use an actual quote. Hang on to something. Ready?
“I can neither confirm nor deny the truth or non-truth of that alleged fact.”
I know, I know. Mind-numbing. You okay? You sure? All right, then. If you’re still conscious, let’s continue.
First, the good news: as an American, you still get to vote, unless you’re in the military. Now, the bad news: as American voters, we’re not exactly presented with a buffet of enticing entrees, are we? A whole lot of hash, rehashed and rehashed. There’s just something rancid about the term “career politician.”
“Why, welcome back, sir or madam. Good to see you again. Would you like Candidate A or the other Candidate A?”
Hmmm. Should you vote for the politician over here who will raise your taxes, or that politician over there who will raise your taxes? Hmmm. It’s like opening a box of 200 crayons, only to find out that all 200 are labeled “Bronte Mid-Winter Depression.”
Generally, our options tend to range somewhere between someone who is dishonest and self-serving, to someone who is just killing a little time in-between fraud charges, bribery indictments or some kind of deviancy investigation that involves non-voters, like Bangkok public school cheerleaders, or disgruntled farm animals. But according to the ongoing barrage of political ads, the differences between candidates are staggering. World-changing.
The candidates spend boatloads of money trying to out-awesome each other, while gasping in disbelief at the pure, raw evil of their respective opponents. And this “Oh yeah? Says you!” escalation, between creatures that otherwise appear to be all-growed-up adults, can be hilarious.
“Senator, you need to man up.”
“Oh yeah? Well, you’re a really ugly woman.”
“Oh yeah? Is that your real hair, or are you doing turf research for a putt-putt?”
The Story of O: In a tight New York Governor’s race, candidate Rick Lazio dropped his bid against opponents Andrew Cuomo, Carl Paladino, Tony Soprano, Othello, Iago, Bilbo, Frodo and Topo Gigio. Paladino threatened some bad mojo in his borough, prompting a de facto promo for Lazio by J-Lo and de Niro at the Apollo.
A study commissioned by the Obama administration’s new Weather Czar determined that certain types of moisture in Republican-leaning states are granted an unfair advantage, and the White House called for another $30 billion to fund a new Precipitation Equalization program. As a result, hot states now take wetness from cold states, unless the water was a pre-existing condition. Joe Biden claimed that this move saved or created oh, around 370 million jobs or so, more or less.
In South Carolina, a gubernatorial candidate released a campaign ad showing her standing in the bed of an old truck, piled high with ears of corn, shaking hands with a few dozen smiling citizens who were apparently big fans of corn, or old trucks, or gubernats. Her opponent countered with an attack ad featuring a disgruntled tomato sandwich that had lost its health insurance.
“Congresswoman, 87% of the time, you voted against the rights of water in the atmosphere to organize.”
“Oh yeah? Well, 89% of the time, you voted twice.”
“Oh yeah? Is that your face, or did your head get caught in a hay baler?”
In Maryland, a Democrat was accused of taking illegal campaign donations. The opposing Republican was then accused of taking hostages and robbing a bank. Joe Biden called a news conference and pointed out that the Republican had obviously lost his gruntle. The White House suggested that the hostages were planted by the Tea Party, causing Congress to immediately call for an investigation into Sarah Palin’s clothing budget, after which the TARP Czar sent $84 billion to a Brazilian bank, selected at random.
In the Delaware Senate race, the Republican was accused of feeding her own grandmother to a Rastafarian coyote. Her spokesman argued that everybody makes silly choices in high school, and was quick to point out that the Democrat candidate once robbed an organ bank at midnight and then built a proto-human monster. Since the Delaware DMV was closed at the time, the monster could not be reached for comment. According to unconfirmed reports, the monster has since been promoted to Supervisor and has achieved tenure.
In this 2010 free-for-all, here’s how gutter-scraping low the situation has gotten: in the California Governor’s race, a male candidate (or someone on his staff) referred to his female opponent as a “politician.” Then, for the next 96 consecutive hours, FoxNews breathlessly used the new expression “somebody said the P word” at least 18 billion times. The National Organization for Women could not be reached for comment, since they were busy changing their stationery letterhead to read “The National Organization for Some Females, If They Support The Same Political Views That We Do.” On ABC’s popular morning talk show, “The View,” the distaff co-hosts were so offended that Whoopi Goldberg publicly proposed marriage to Bill O’Reilly, an act which nearly caused Joy Behar to walk off a few pounds.
“I should point out that my opponent has never balanced a budget.”
“Oh yeah? Well, at least I was never arrested at a Shriners’ convention while holding an otter and wearing a shepherd’s outfit!”
“Oh yeah? Well, at least I never dug a pit and tossed in defenseless puppies while voting to inject radioactive isotopes into disabled firemen!”
This year, it seems to be a clear case of “throw ’em all out.” Nobody’s seat is safe, not even San Francisco’s favorite frequent flyer, Nancy “Let them eat food stamps” Pelosi. A recent poll claimed to prove that Madame Loudspeaker is even less popular than British Petroleum. Upon hearing this news, BP immediately filed for dual citizenship, formed the Earl Grey Party, and is challenging Pelosi’s House seat, running on an off-shore platform rebuilt by Halliburton and stress-tested by Joy Behar.
Given his plummeting approval ratings, nobody wants the President anywhere near their mid-term campaign, not even members of his own party. So the President has had to settle for taking extra vacations and making speeches at the United Nations, where he wowed the assembled diplomats by making several meaningful hand gestures and knowingly biting his lip during outbursts of fawning applause. He told the assembled nations that governments should reward hard work, not reckless risk-taking. He said this with a straight face (see “plummeting approval ratings”).
Even the President’s inner circle are bailing. One top advisor resigned to go run for Mayor of Chicago, but was stymied for a while by real estate issues back home. He had sublet his house, it seems, and now the tenant was refusing to vacate the premises. All ended well, though. According to the police report, the tenant died of natural causes after backing at high speed into eighteen bullets.
“The people of our state deserve a whole lot of stuff. And I am a whole lot of stuff. Vote for me, and I’ll give you a car and pay your mortgage.”
“Oh yeah? If the people of our state choose to honor me with their vote, I’ll make everyone taller and grant you the power to speak in several languages.”
“Oh yeah? When I’m elected, trees will drip fungible currency, and nobody in our state will ever die, if they’re registered with our Party.”
And then it came. The “October Surprise.” A document was unearthed that changed everything. To be specific, a birth certificate. And now we know.
The President of the United States is actually a 94-year-old Eskimo woman named Tina.