Any man who hates small dogs and children can't be all bad.
There is a sequence in a W. C. Fields movie (If memory
servers, that would be "Never give a sucker an even break") that shows a con
man with a funny name (Fields) at a coffee shop lunch counter chatting up the
fellow next to him. The rapscallion
makes his move and says to the victim:
"It's been a pleasure talking to you; I think I'll buy your lunch. When I get up to the cashier, I'll tell her
to charge me for your lunch, so you raise your hand when I point in this
direction." Then when he talks to the
young hostess with access to the cash register, he says: "The fellow next to me offered to buy my
lunch. It's that guy." He points to the gullible fellow, who raises
his hand. Fields marches off in triumph
leaving the film audience in hysterics.
All this esoteric film history would be relevant if we were trying to land a gig as the intern at the British film review website Cinesthesiac, if they ever expand their staff to include that position. However, since this column is going to be posted on sites that relish mordacious political punditry, we had better hasten to add that this vignette from the cinema vaults can serve as a metaphor for a newer and more pertinent swindle being perpetrated on gullible Americans and proceed immediately to the explanation of the symbolism involved.
A loveable rascal in the White House wanted to go down in history as a war President and so he convinces his country to start a quick war that (he assured the citizens) wouldn't cost much and would be over quickly and successfully. Then, several years later, when his successor from another political party falls into the trap, the slick fellow tells the cashier: "He's going to pay for my war!" and voila! the chump raises his hand and (eventually) gets a big surprise. Economic chaos ensues (Don't the Republicans think that economic chaos is an example of knee-slap funny humor?) . . ..
If a W. C. Fields character where to be given a contract for
security at a big world famous sports event, the cad would over promise
performance, under deliver results, and then take the money and run leaving the
host country to fill the security gap.
What Conservative doesn't believe in the old Woody Allen philosophy of
"Take the money and run"?
Before America got into WWII, Fields ran a campaign for President. The thought of a fellow who is mostly known for bumbling, unscrupulous business conduct vying for a chance to move into the White House was a hilarious diversion for the American voters who had, in 1940, been coping with economic adversity for a decade.
One of the agents in the World's Laziest Journalist spy
corps recently filed a report saying that over at the Amalgamated Conspiracy
Theory Factory, some of the more radical thinkers (?) on the staff are
predicting that the Republicans are going to use a "Lucy van Pelt pulls away
the football" type maneuver to take the nomination away from the presumptive
("never assume!") nominee.
Gullible rubes refuse to consider the possibility that pundits are serious when the use the qualifying phrase "presumptive nominee" when they talk about Mitt Romney. Their naivetÃ© is a crucial ingredient for the political blitzkrieg (allegorically speaking) that will be unleashed before the Republican convention is called to order in Tampa.
The folks at the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory, this
week, were expressing the old Jimmy Durante line: "Everybody is trying to get into the
act." Where does journalism reporting
rumors end and conspiracy theories start?
Is there a cusp area? There were rumors online Thursday hinting that a
certain front running candidate may have to contend with assertions he was
given amnesty for some income tax evasion offenses and if this unfounded rumor
turns out to be true, he might be ruled retroactively ineligible to be a
participant in the Primary and General Election activities.
Americans have been anesthetized to any shock that might accompany proof that a politician is telling blatant lies. Suppose (AKA "What if . . . ?") that a party's front runner has to content with undeniable, irrefutable proof that he has committed a major misdeed (such as income tax evasion?) just days before the convention is scheduled to start? Could a fellow be ruled retroactively ineligible to participate in some Primary elections and stripped of his wins? (Did Mitt ever win the tour de France?)
It seems to some of the members of the Amalgamated
Conspiracy Theory Workers union that some amateur scabs were doing some speculating
this week that come perilously close to infringing on their trade.
There could be major problems ahead for the Republican Party. If (subjunctive mood) Mitt is a rich kid who knows that where there is enough available money there is always a way to get what he wants and if the Republicans hint that it is time for him to be graceful and step down, perhaps the rich kid will become obstreperous. If Mitt comes unglued by the tax question, he might have a meltdown that would make the Howard Dean scream incident seem very tame in comparison.
What would the Republican Party do if a respected newspaper
had a Pentagon Papers moment and published authentic copies of the tax returns
in dispute? What if Mitt still wouldn't
If that were to happen, then it might be time for a journalist-curmudgeon to say: "The kid's not a real trooper; send him home."
If a Mitt candidacy is unacceptable to Republicans how can
they possibly expect to sell him to Reagan Democrats?
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