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2016 U.S. Politics Envisioned by Groucho Marx

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British critic Patrick McCray has described the Marx Brothers' 1933 film, Duck Soup as "an absurdist essay on politics and warfare...which can stand alongside (or even above) the works of Beckett and Ionesco."

Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) is Groucho Marx' perennial comedy sparring partner. In Duck Soup, she is the wealthy benefactor of Freedonia, a 1933 female equivalent of the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, or Haim Saban.

In relating to Mrs. Teasdale, Groucho is as insulting to her gender as Donald Trump is to any woman who crosses him. In his attitude toward diplomacy, Groucho sounds as clumsy and adolescent as Ted Cruz when he calls for carpet-bombing.

The narrative of Duck Soup's Freedonia envisions U.S. politics between Monday's Iowa caucuses. the New Hampshire primary, Tuesday, February 9, and the presidential election November 8.

Freedonia is bankrupt. Mrs. Teasdale appoints Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) as the country's new president. Sensing a weakness in the new leader, the bordering nation of Sylvania sends in two spies, Pinky (Harpo Marx) and Chicolini (Chico Marx) to set the stage for a revolution.

The Sylvania ambassador comes to see President Firefly (Groucho). The two-minute video clip below, captures that encounter:

The Democratic and Republican selection process that will nominate two candidates to run for the White House in November began in Iowa.

The prevailing data says that two winners, Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz, emerged. A deeper examination suggest the Iowa winners were actually Sanders and Rubio. First place does not always a winner make. Both candidates exceeded expectations.

In Iowa, evangelical Christians boosted Texas Senator Ted Cruz into a four- percentage-point victory over Donald Trump.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio ran third in Iowa. He was, however, closer to the leaders than polls had projected. Rubio looks to New Hampshire to vault ahead of both Cruz and Trump.

If Rubio does emerge as the establishment's candidate, what might we expect from a President Rubio?

Sina Toossi, who monitors the efforts of militarists to influence U.S. foreign policy, wrote on the LobeLog Foreign Policy site that:

"Rubio has established himself as the most adept of the Republican candidates at regurgitating the militaristic talking points of the party's neoconservative wing. His competency in this regard has earned him the favor of influential hawkish donors like Sheldon Adelson, as well as an array of neoconservative political operatives.

"Rubio is in fact a dark horse candidate who, more explicitly than any of his competitors, would usher back into power the Bush-Cheney school of foreign policy."

After the Democratic Iowa caucus which she only barely won, the former Secretary of State may have to follow her husband's 1992 spin playbook. In that year, Bill Clinton was second in the New Hampshire primary after a dismal fourth place Iowa finish with only 2% of the vote.

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James Wall served as a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois, from 1999 through 2017. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced (more...)

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