Eli's Observations

Month: February, 2012

The Hair Apparent

Just as it was in Iowa, the Republican candidates in Michigan are fighting over the same sliver of their base, like mangy dogs in some alley snapping over a single pitiful bone: who’s the “most” conservative?

The word “conservative” once meant fiscal prudence, or perhaps style: knotty pine dens and wing-tipped shoes. Today it seems to connote mindless hostility to government, to science, to education, to foreigners and people who don’t share every aspect of your religion. Notice that word “religion.”

Remember separation of church and state? The people who wrote the Bill of Rights must be doing a 180 in their graves while Republicans argue over whether a fetus is a person, whether prayer should be permitted in a public school, whether the Muppets advance the homosexual agenda, and whether people should be allowed to buy environmentally-harmful light bulbs! (The famous Bachmann Bulb Bill.)

We do know they’re all for a strong defense and tax breaks for the rich. All of them are for slashing the budget but offer few specifics on whom and what gets slashed. They’re also for off-shore drilling, off-shoring U.S. jobs, and hiding money in off-shore bank accounts.

So how can one choose the likely winner among these off-the-wall, me-too conservatives? Actually, it’s easy. It all comes down to hair. Ike was our last bald-headed Prez. Giuliani and Fred Thompson were balding, but they still got nowhere. In the current crop, Santorum seems like a contender. But his hair lacks gravitas. Newt’s hair looks like roadkill that’s sat in the rain too long. Romney? Obviously he is the Hair Apparent!


The Devil Is In The Details

My friends say they never watch the news. They don’t even watch “The Biggest Loser” (also known as the Republican Primaries.) But I’m a political junkie, so the set’s always on in the background, while I do important things like flossing or cleaning the lint trap in the dryer. But you do learn important facts about the candidates this way, events that shaped their profound political philosophies.

For instance, Rick Santorum’s father was a coal miner! That would only matter if Rick increased U.S. energy production by grabbing a pick and going down into the mine himself. Is anybody going to ask him what the heck “Clean Coal” is? Not likely.

Newt Gingrich was raised (no, not by wolves) but by a military stepfather and a self-described “bipolar mother.” Why do we care? Because obviously he is very familiar with health problems and military strategy.

SeƱor El Mito Romney has recently decided that ethnic must be good. So he’s started revealing his Mexican relatives, especially when he’s in the Southwest. Mitt’s great grandfather, Miles Park Romney, fled the U.S. in the 1890s because he was about to be prosecuted for polygamy.

Miles Park Romney soon had a fine Mexican ranch for himself and his five wives. (Let’s see you match that, Newt!) But Mitt doesn’t talk much about his very unfriendly plans for future migrants from Mexico. Instead he mentions that he also has some ancestors who were Welsh. Nobody seems to dislike the Welsh, but Romney hasn’t gone out on a limb on that either.

We shouldn’t really blame the press for this flood of flashy trivia. The problem is that none of the GOP candidates have any ideas or any solutions to our problems, though they certainly make big promises and big threats.But one of our correspondents has discovered that the Republicans do have a secret plan! They’re going to cut hundreds of billions from the budget without hurting Social Security or Medicare or weakening our national defense. They’re going to cut taxes and raise revenue! Who’s the author of this astonishing plan? Well, his name is Madoff — Bernie Madoff.

Public Health Alert

The first signs of an outbreak of Republican debate withdrawal have already been reported in major U.S. cities. People who never got their entertainment from the Kardashians or re-runs of the “Dukes of Hazard” have proven to be the group most addicted to the GOP snark-fests and the endless post-game “analysis.” But they’ve found a new game show!

Even if you’ve never been an addict yourself, you must remember Jamie Foxx writhing and sweating as he portrayed Ray Charles during heroin withdrawal. Not a pretty picture!

Debate addicts forced to go “cold turkey” have tried various alternatives: watching men pummel each other in cages, or clandestine cock-fights.

The more sophisticated withdrawal victims resort to game therapy: people gather together to portray Romney, Gingrich, et al, while a designated “journalist” asks questions which each player ignores, parroting talking points or insulting one another. Naturally, everyone wants to play Newt. Extra points are given for “zingers” or deducted if a candidate loses his fake smile for even a moment.

One rule is very strictly enforced: any player offering a serious, sensible answer to any question is thrown out of the game.

To make the game even more fun, previous candidates are sometimes included, such as Rick “Oops” Perry, Herman “Shuck-A-Ducky” Cain, and Michele Bachmann, who holds the record for the number times she said “Obamacare.” One woman playing Bachmann arrived costumed as a cheerleader. Her cheer: “Boom-A-Locka, Boom-A-Locka, Obam-A-Locka NO!” That one won a prize. This version of the withdrawal game is called “Stupidball.”

Of course, all these games would be a lot more amusing if the rest of the world understood this was just all in fun. I mean, the Republicans must be kidding, right?