Putting the “pain” in campaigning

U.S. political candidates must be very fit: they never stop running. No sooner do they win, or even lose, than they’re back on the campaign trail, sounding off and kissing traumatized babies.

“Campaign trail” has a leafy, back-woods sound, doesn’t it? As if the candidates were running through the Sierra Nevadas, fending off bobcats and making fires by rubbing two sticks together.

Dessert: berries: Main course: candidate.

If only they were! If only we could race them down the John Muir Trail and nominate the one who gets to the end without being eaten by bears!

Instead, they’re on television, lowering its standard of discourse even further by debating each other.

As you’ll see below, I don’t know much about the Republican candidates. What have I missed? Please use the comments to tell me.

If the mitt fits, must we acquit?

Mitt Romney is the only candidate who’s named after a piece of baseball equipment. That alone should win him the nomination.

But evangelical Republicans worry that Mitt’s faith is golden-tablet– rather than Bible-based. Others fear that on issues like health care, he might end up batting for the other side. Bottom line: no seat for Mitt at the Mad Republicans’ Tea Party.

If the cheese sits, please try a bit

Herman Cain thinks he’s qualified to have nuclear weapons at his disposal because he used to be CEO of a pizza chain.

How would his “999” tax plan work? I’m guessing that 99% of the people would pay 99% tax on 99% of their earnings. The rich, of course, would pay nothing. “No taxes on the rich!” is a thick-crust plank in all the Republican platforms.

Cain is said to have quite a way with the ladies, who respond to his way with “Get away and stay away.”

We’re not that fed up

Rick Perry is from Texas. This is not damning in itself – come back, Molly Ivins, we need you! What is damning is that he seems (a) not very bright and (b) what my mom used to call “pixillated,” meaning, “you’ve been eating too much sugar again.”

Used chewing gum tree

His most recent book is called Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington. Our federal government is the enemy, you see, and that’s why Rick wants to join it.

Haven’t we done governors from Texas? Isn’t that a bit like chewing yesterday’s gum?

Is that you, God? It’s me, Michele

Michele Bachmann is one of those people who think God is talking to them and, by an amazing coincidence, telling them exactly what they want to hear.

Next time just tweet to @bayou!

She thinks God sent Hurricane Irene to the East Coast because He wants Washington to cut back on spending. But why would the Almighty choose to communicate by hurricane? Couldn’t He just tweet?

Bachmann thinks that homosexuality is “personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.”

So Obama would get the gay vote then.

Newt, Newt, a strange young coot

Newt Gingrich is the candidate for Americans who like their presidents corrupt, hypocritical, and philandering.

During the second of his three marriages, he committed adultery while impeaching Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

American Coot

He’s the only Speaker of the House to have been disciplined for ethics violations. You have to be severely ethics-challenged for the House to even notice, let alone discipline you. What did he do, beat up a Brownie?

As Garrison Keillor said of Speaker Newt in this very funny song: “Lord, he can speak, like a big balloon with a very slow leak.”

“I’m willing to lead,” Newt said when he left the House, “but I’m not willing to preside over people who are cannibals.*

So Obama would get the cannibal vote then.

The rest of the motley crew

Ron Paul is, I don’t know, is he related to Rand Paul? Is he from this planet?

Rick Santorum has a narrow nose and a mind to match.

There’s also a guy with a surname that makes me think of butlers.**

What this post needs now is some etymology

“Campaign” “derives from the Latin campus, meaning “field,” via Old French champagne, meaning “open country.”

I think we can all agree that “champagne” is not the beverage we associate with political campaigns. “Flat beer,” maybe. Or “juice made from sour grapes.”

“Candidate” derives from the Latin candidare, “to make white or bright.”

These Republican candidates are SO not doing that. Bring on the bears!

**Jon Huntsman. I was remembering his last name as “Hudson.” His shtick seems to be that Washington should chill and let the states solve our problems. If that means we can stop paying for Congressional salaries, health care, and pensions, he’s got my vote.

Etymology from The Online Etymology Dictionary. Images from Wikimedia Commons. Three bears image by Rosa C. Petherick.

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