A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Playing With Toys on the Campaign Trail

This was a weird week on the campaign trail. Someone in the Romney campaign had the bright idea to liken him to an Etch-a-Sketch*, that toy which gave baby boomers of all ages the ability to create drawings using two knobs and to erase their creation just by shaking the entire toy from side-to-side. Apparently the aide wanted to give people the impression that his man is flexible on the issues, which is a nice sentiment to convey if politicians believed in the virtue of compromise, but Newt Gingrich did away with that idea years ago.

Anyway, Romney’s Republican rivals responded with ripping ripostes and retorted rhetorically roasting his reasoning. (Go ahead; say that last sentence out loud! I dare you!) Within a few days, the word “gaffe” had been used to label the incident, and when you’re a politician running for office, the word “gaffe” is never a good thing.

Both Santorum and Gingrich immediately picked up on the aide’s comment as evidence that not only is Romney a flip-flopper on conservative issues, but hinted that the flip-flopping is premeditated. Both of these candidates displayed the children’s toy at their respective rallies and Santorum proudly proclaimed that he was not the Etch-a-Sketch* candidate. I’m glad he said that and finally put to rest the kind of toy to which he’d like to be compared...not that anyone, anywhere was remotely debating this point.

So, what toy could we assign to each of the candidates? Okay, obviously Romney has dibs on Etch-a-Sketch*, and we could easily assign Time Bomb (Milton Bradley 1964) to Newt Gingrich, for obvious reasons. Baby boomer readers will remember that this toy was shaped like a bomb with a wick at the top; players twisted the top to set the timer and threw it back and forth to each other trying to keep from being the one holding the bomb when the ticking stopped. With his outlandish ideas and outrageous sense of timing for voicing these ideas, Gingrich has been a ticking time bomb for years.

What toy could we assign to Santorum? Monopoly, for all the earmarks he shepherded through Congress? The Game of Life, for his unwavering pro-life stand on abortion? Readers, I’m stumped.

In any event, the idea that the candidates are playing with toys on the campaign trail is a sure sign that they are bored, because the campaign has gone on for too long. Of course, the campaign wouldn’t be so tedious if candidates who do not place first in the primaries and do not have a commanding lead in the delegate count, just WENT HOME and STAYED HOME (hint hint).

Yet that was only one weird happening in the political week. While Republicans scratched their heads over the Romney camp's missteps, Democrats were equally perplexed about Robert DeNiro. The Oscar-winning actor appeared at a Democratic Party fundraiser early in the week and made an off-color (no pun intended) remark to Obama supporters. As he ticked off the names of the spouses of Obama’s leading Republican opponents, Calista Gingrich, Karen Santorum, and Ann Romney, he asked the crowd, “Now is the country ready for a white First Lady?”

The reviews for this DeNiro performance came swiftly from the right. Gingrich demanded the President apologize on behalf of the actor, and panned the remark as one that “divides the country”. This should be interpreted as a compliment, because when it comes to dividing the country, Gingrich should be considered a master. On the other hand, Ann Romney laughed at DeNiro’s comment and advised that everyone should “lighten up”. A spokesperson for Michelle Obama – who was at the fund raiser, but had not yet taken the stage — called DeNiro’s comment “inappropriate”, and DeNiro has since apologized.

Meanwhile, in the liberal left mainstream media, the criticism about DeNiro’s remarks went something like this: (insert chirping cricket sounds here). That’s right; the liberal left was largely silent on the DeNiro controversy because they are smart. They know DeNiro, and one thing they believe is you don’t want to piss off DeNiro!

Conservatives, look at DeNiro’s career. He has excelled at portraying characters that are symbolic of the immigrant Italian-American experience. Okay, so many times he has been called upon to portray criminal Italian-American characters, like The Godfather films, but he has done them brilliantly without resorting to stereotyped mannerisms.

What were you guys thinking when you decided to criticize DeNiro? Didn’t any of you conservatives see Goodfellas? Didn’t you see how he treated his fellow mobsters? Never mind the mobsters; do you remember the scene where he single handedly destroyed a telephone booth? Have you ever wondered why a telephone booth hasn’t been seen in this country since 1990?

Don’t you realize that — for all we know — Robert DeNiro probably has the numbers of 10 wise guys on his speed dial, who are just waiting for a call from him to whack somebody? It wouldn’t surprise me if they are dying to do a job on some big mouth politicians who dare to call DeNiro’s performance divisive. I’m not threatening...but I’m just saying.

A word to the wise should be sufficient...oh, who am I kidding. Who among the conservatives can be considered wise?

*I use the asterisk not as a footnote, but in place of the encircled “R” superscript that is supposed to denote a registered trademark. Sorry, my keyboard does not have the capability to print that symbol. Besides, isn’t it time that this toy company changed its name from Ohio Art to something more in line with manufacturing reality, since the company’s operations decamped to the Far East years ago? Isn’t it about time that we started referring to the company as Chinese Worker Art?

(Thank you for reading. Okay, which one of you wise guys gave Gingrich the “Junior Mr. President Thermonuclear Strike Game: the game for all kids who desire global nuclear supremacy?”)


Anonymous Janey said...

What kind of toy is Santorum? He is a huge dildo, the kind that makes the santorum gush out of one's ass...

March 26, 2012 at 5:47 AM  

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