Republican Candidate Whack-A-Mole

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Political primary season is truly a thing of beauty. Every couple of years the American populace gets a non-stop, media blitzing, look at the bat-shit insanity that makes up our political landscape. Also by “beauty” I meant “forty clown-car pile up on a major freeway”; tragic yet uncharacteristically hilarious. The greatest thing about the Primary season is that every nut job who wants to sit in the big boy chair will, without forethought, agree to sit down in front of any available outlet that will give them even five minutes of time to spread their political jam over this great American piece of toast. Also, in their desperation for attention, they won’t completely verify the credentials that I had printed out at my local Kinkos.

This is how I managed to lure the top four Republican candidates for the Presidency into a vacant conference room in a run down Embassy Suites – the promise of sweet, sweet attention and bullshit press credentials.

There they sat; Romney, Gingrich, Paul and Santorum – men who wanted to wrest the power of the people from the hands of Barrack Obama – in frayed hotel chairs,drinking stale coffee, looking lost. Perfect.

Travis: Gentlemen I want to thank you for coming today.

Romney: Where are the cameras?

Gingrich: Yeah.

Santorum: I wanna be on TV again. That’s fun.

Travis: There are no cameras, this is a print interview.

Romney: Print? Like reading?

Travis: Yes. Exactly. Reading.

All four candidates dropped their eyes, disappointed. Rick Santorum visibly slumped in his chair.

Santorum: That’s not fun.

Gingrich: It’s okay Rick, some people still think reading is fun.

Santorum: Nuh uh.

Romney: You like the funnies Rick. That’s reading.

Santorum: Oh yeah!

He looked up at me with the same hopeful look my son gives me when I tell him if he eats a good dinner he’ll get a cookie.

Santorum: Is this gonna be like the funnies?

Travis: Sure.

He sat straight up, put his hands in his lap and faked paying attention – again, just like my three year old.

Travis: Right. Gentlemen you are all vying for the most powerful position in the United States Government. Arguably one of the most powerful positions in the world. With that in mind I have to say that each of you has floated some pretty outlandish policy ideas that are, quite frankly, a little disturbing. I’d like to take this time to address some of these statements and some of the public sentiment around each of your candidac….Mitt what are you doing?

Romney: Um…nothin’.

Travis: You are clearly trying to duct tape Ron’s mouth shut.

Romney: If you knew the answer why’d you ask?

Travis: Mitt please sit down. We’re all going to keep our hands to ourselves.

He glared at me like he was trying to burn through my skull with his eyes. He clenched his fists. His brow furrowed as tiny droplets of sweat cascaded down his face. He was, by god he thought he could actually do it.

Travis: Mitt, you don’t have laser eyes. Stop it.

Romney: You don’t know.

Travis: We’ll start with you Mitt. A lot of people are saying that you are too far detached from the voting public. That you, a Harvard educated millionaire, are too closely tied to corporate interests to represent the working middle class that make up a majority of America. How would you address that?

Romney: Money is soooooo awesome. Like, just totally bitchin’.

subtlety is not one of his strong suits

Gingrich: I know right.

Out of absolutely nowhere Ron Paul seemed to come alive. His eyes were glowing with fire, his posture rigid and absolute. He stared into the empty conference room and screamed:


And then, as quickly as he had come alive, he fell silent and unmoving.

Travis: What the fuck was that?

Gingrich: He does that.

Santorum: He’s smart, but like scary smart – his smarts scare people.

Romney: I heard a song on the way over here today.

Travis: I’d like it if we could get back on point.

Romney: This is. I was in a chartered jet and this song came on, heavy thing by some kid probably very angry at his dad, but it had the catchiest lyrics.

Travis: How in the hell does this in any way tie in…

And then, out of nowhere and apropos of nothing, Mitt Romney did something that I thought was just a publicity stunt: he started singing. But not just singing. Dancing. Dancing in ways that no middle aged man should. Gyrating in a manner that would make most epileptics concerned.

Romney: (singing – because my computer doesn’t have a font called “warbling old man”) God money I’d do anything for you. God money just tell me what you want me to.

Travis: That’s..

Romney: A banging god damn song.

Travis: The fact that you were listening to a song that demonizes greed and holds cash as god, in a private jet..

Romney: With a BUMPIN’ sound system.

Gingrich: Let’s talk about me!

Travis: Just a second.

I turned to look at Mitt with a follow up question but he was mid stupor, shimmying like a spastic five year old hopped up on pixie sticks and pop-rocks.

Travis: Sure Newt, we can talk about you. I guess.

Gingrich: I want to build a base on the moon!

looking like an evil overlord is just a bonus

God damnit.

Travis: Rick, let’s talk about you for a second.

His eyes lit up, tantalized. From across the room Mitt Romney, still in the throes of his dance marathon, screamed.

Romney: You guys watchin’ this? I’m totally bustin’ a move over here.

Santorum: I wrote a letter to Santa yesterday.

Travis: Are you fucking kidding me? So Newt, about this moon base.

Gingrich: By my second term in office I will claim America’s rightful place as the owner of the Moon.

Travis: Seriously?

Gingrich: Absolutely.


And again, zombie like silence.

Travis: How do you guys ignore that?

Gingrich: You get used to it.

Romney: Still dancin’ over here!

Travis: Go fuck yourself.

Gingrich: Romney’ll do that all day. Ron, well, we figure he’s too smart to play in the fly-overs. We ignore him, just like the TV news does. But me? You can’t ignore me once I’m ruling over a moon colony.

Travis: Yeah…about that. For a man running one of the most underfunded campaigns, a campaign that lost most of it’s staff while you were on a Mediterranean cruise with your third wife, don’t you think it’s a bit optimistic to make promises about what you’ll do in your second term in office; when you haven’t even secured your party’s nomination, let alone you first term? Not to mention the fact that we’re less than one year out from scrapping the NASA shuttle program, which took twenty years to get up to speed. NASA may employ some of the smartest people in the world but even they…

Newt spread his hands wide, as if to silence the room and as he spoke his jowels waggled with purpose and commitment, like Droopy Dog chastising an unruly friend.

Gingrich: MOONBASE!

Travis: Do you realize how insane that sounds?

He stared at me, unmoving, cheek fat waggling in time with the air conditioning.

Travis: Are you a robot?

Gingrich: Uh…

Travis: You are; aren’t you? Only something without an iota of understanding of human limitations would think of an idea that insane. Also, it kinda explains your latest wife.

definitely a replicant

Santorum: I’m bored.

Romney: Still dancing!

And he was. Good lord it was like he was a wind up toy with an infinite spring.

Travis: Okay, Newt, we’ll come back to you in just a second. Rick..

He ignored me, digging through the Buzz Lightyear backpack sitting next to his chair.

Travis: Rick what are you doing?

Santorum: Getting my coloring book. The bossy guy in charge of my campaign lets me take it with me so I can stay busy. If I’m really good and stay inside the lines he puts the picture on the fridge in our touring bus.

Travis: Wow that’s…

He opened the book and showed it to me. Pride oozing from every pore. It was apparent that staying inside the lines was a challenge.

Santorum: That’s a transformer. On the cartoon he’s yellow but I like him better red.

He flipped the page.

Santorum: That’s Bugs Bunny. He’s funny.

He flipped the page again to a picture of Barbie and his face scrunched into a mask of kindergarten disgust. He reached into his backpack and pulled out a crayon. One of the jumbo, triangle type designed to make it harder to lose and given, specifically, to the kids who lack manual dexterity. He gripped it in his fist like a club and began marring Barbie’s visage with ruby red hatred.

Travis: Now Rick you’ve been campaigning on a fairly fundamentalist ticket. You’ve made some pretty harsh statements about the sexuality or private citizens, birth control, womens rights. How do you respond to that?

He colored a red hole right through Barbie’s face.

Travis: Rick, can you put the crayon down for just a…DON’T EAT IT.

He stopped, hand hovering in front of his mouth. A kid with his hand caught in the cookie jar.

not the first time this has happened

Santorum: The orange one doesn’t taste like orange. Even though it says orange on the side. I asked my campaign manager to sue the crayon people about that.

Travis: Ignoring all of that; how do you respond to critics who say you are a misogynist Christian extremist? That your views on homosexuality, birth control and pretty much anything existing in the realm of sexuality appear to be not only out dated but based on a premise that is fundamentally contradictory to the separation of church and state – a tenant of this country’s founding.

Santorum: Girls are yucky.

Travis: Excuse me?

Santorum: Kissing is yucky. Boys shouldn’t kiss girls. Boys shouldn’t kiss boys. Girls shouldn’t kiss girls. There’s too much risk of cooties in all of that.

Travis: I guess that explains your ridiculously short sighted idea to ban porn and to unmarry gay people.

Santorum: First off, when I’m President I can do whatever I want. I’ll unmarry anybody I want to. My country, my rules. Also I won’t let girls in the White House. BOYS RULE. GIRLS DROOL.

Travis: Okay, this has to be a joke.

Santorum: I don’t know what “porn” is.

Travis: Pornography. Sexual acts put on display for public consumption.

Santorum: The naked wrestling videos?

Travis: If that’s what you want to call it.

Santorum: I don’t think anyone should wrestle like that. If John Cena doesn’t need to wrestle like that I don’t think anyone should.

Travis: Okay, seriously; where’s the hidden camera?

Mitt came sprinting back to our group, pulled from his dance number by the promise of broadcast time.

Romney: Cameras? TV people are here?

He slid into his seat and proceeded to wipe his brow with a large wad of hundred dollar bills.

Romney: Point me at the TV people.


or; fuck it…i guess?

Travis: Unless Ashton Kutcher is reviving Punk’d then no, there’s no TV people here.

Romney: I should’ve known. If you keep letting Ron Paul talk you’ll never get Fox News out here.

Santorum: I don’t think it’s fair that Mitt gets a bigger allowance than I do.

Mitt crumpled the wad of what must have been, easily, two thousand dollars and threw it on the floor.

Travis: Mitt how much cash did you just throw away like a coffee cup from AM/PM?

Romney: AM what? That’s just what I keep in my pocket if I need to blow my nose.

He pulled another wad of cash from another pocket. Enough money to keep me in low grade porn and cheap, unlabeled, booze for the rest of the year. He held it out to me, completely unaware of the amount of cash in his possession.

Romney: If you’ve got a boogie you can use my back up handkerchief.

With absolutely no reservation I grabbed his cash, pretended to blow my nose on it, and put it in my pocket.

Romney: Ewww. You don’t put it back in your pocket when you’re done with it.


Gingrich: NASA has found a planet made entirely out of diamonds. From our moon base we will launch a mining and excavation mission to that planet and back Moon dollars with the Diamond Standard.

Travis: Newt do you believe in God?

All of them piped up immediately.

Gingrich: Of course.

Romney: Absolutely.

Santorum: He’s my special friend.


Travis: Newt please answer the following question: If god is omnipotent can he create a rock so big that even he can’t lift it?

Gingrich: Of course, god can do anything. But if he can do anything that means he can lift any rock. But if he’s omnipotent then he can make the largest…

Sparks shot from his ears. His eyes rolled back and his head lilted to an awkward angle making it look like he was put together with faulty Legos.

Romney: Aww man. Now we’re done.

Travis: Excuse me?

Santorum: You broke Newt. Now we all have to go away until someone restarts him.

And that exact moment a large group of men in white lab coats entered into the conference room trailing computers and diagnostic equipment. They surrounded Newt, blocking my view, but I could clearly see them plugging cables into the back of his head.

Romney: Well this was fun.

Mitt got up to leave, reached into his pants pocket, and handed me another wad of cash.

Romney: Don’t be gross. You don’t have to reuse that old one.

And with that he left the conference room, climbed into carriage that was hoisted on the backs of several disheveled men and before he was carted away he looked back to me, pointed down to his means of locomotion and proclaimed:

Romney: Haitians. They’ll do almost anything since that earthquake thing.

And with that he disappeared.

Gingrich was strapped to a dolly and wheeled out; the only thing I could hear his technicians say as they left the room was, “…blue screen. Happens with unanswerable questions.”

Rick Santorum slowly and deliberately packed up his Buzz Lightyear back pack, put his hands in his lap and waited. Moments later a large man entered the room. He approached Rick, wrapped him in blanket, gingerly picked him up out of his chair and carried him away. Before he was even out of the conference room Rick Santorum was asleep with his head resting on the man’s shoulder and sucking his thumb with an aggressive fervor.

With everyone out of the room Ron Paul came out of his trance.

Paul: I know one of them will win the nomination but my hope is that maybe, just maybe, if I’m in the race and given a podium, perhaps I can educate the people and give them just enough facts to attempt to think for themselves. If I manage to plant even one iota of fact, a fact that takes the place of political rhetoric and religious zealotry then maybe, once enough time has passed – maybe people will vote with a perspective to the historical significance of this republic instead of with their wallets or their bibles.

I was dumbfounded. Then he stood up, ripped open his dress shirt to reveal a t-shirt emblazoned with an “R” in place of the Superman logo, stretched out one of his arms and pretended to fly away.

Paul: I have to go, my people need me. RON PAUL AWAY!!!

And that is your republican field:

Romney – A millionaire so coddled by money that he is unsympathetic to woes of the populace he wants to govern.

Gingrich – A robot without a firm grasp on reality.

Santorum – A five year old who is so scared of vagina that he would outlaw it if he could.

Paul – A man who is, realistically, too smart to get the average American to vote for him. Also he probably really thinks he’s a superhero come to save our nation.

I pulled my flask from my pocket and took a long drink. Liquor is the only thing I’ve found that can gird the soul against politics. As I was draining the last bit of whiskey I made in my bathtub – and I shit you not – President Barrack Obama walked past the open door to my conference room. He stopped and stared directly at me.

Obama: Politics is a motherfucker isn’t it?

With that he shot me the finger guns and walked away without saying another word.

There’s also that guy…I guess.

could being canadian really be that hard?


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