Monday, September 15, 2008

I've never heard of this Thomas L. Friedman dude, but he was pretty great on Letterman the other night. He talked about how oil drilling wasn't a solution to anything, despite what the Republicans said. He said the "Drill baby drill!" chants that Giuliani led at their convention were roughly equivalent to standing outside Bill Gates' house twenty years ago and chanting "Carbon paper, carbon paper!"

Smart as he is, though, Mr. Friedman is completely wrong on one point. He thinks Republican politicians are wicked puppeteers, and their followers are clueless victims. This is absolutely insulting, and I personally will not stand for such ridiculous talk. Republicans are determinedly, passionately dumb! Portraying them as bumbling idiots is like saying Lance Armstrong likes to pedal around once in a while. Republicans take pride in their stupidity, guarding it like a Jason Giambi home run ball. They happily seize any initiative to break new boundaries in imbecility, and grab the stupid bull by the horns in their quest to be dumber than any other people in human history.

Remember when, late in 2004, we suddenly began to realize that the Idiot Bush had an actual chance of being re-elected? We couldn't believe it. All over the world the cry went up. "Ve have to stop zeez eediots!" the French declared. In England, they formed groups to write INDIVIDUAL LETTERS to swing voters in red states, saying things like, "Cheerio old chap! Just wanted to let you know that your chums across the pond think you'd be a Grade-A moron to put that imbecile in office again. Pip pip!"

Sylvia Browne could have predicted this campaign would backfire. The red-state folks were already calling anybody with a grade-school diploma the "liberal elite." How did we think they'd react when people actually sat down and wrote them letters saying they were too stupid to vote? The red-staters didn't see folks concerned about America's future, but busybodies telling them what to do. They took these letters as calls to arms, as divine messages from God saying their stupid lifestyles were in danger. If they wanted their home-schooled children to have the same God-given freedom to shop at Wal-Mart and watch Jack Black movies, they'd have to take action fast. They organized, they networked, they proudly marched to the polls with their banners held upside-down. "We'll show y'all!" they declared. "Now we're really gonna vote for Bush!"

Flash-forward four years later, and we find ourselves in the same boat. "How can 59 million Americans be so stupid?" the (UK) Daily Mirror asked on its front page last week. It's a good question, but it begs another: exactly who is stupid here? Regardless of IQ points, the definition seems set in stone. Smart people figure out a way to control others. I don't care if you read David Foster Wallace in between yoga and grad school: if your actions prompt a redneck to vote for a moron, you're not smart in my book.

What we have to do is convince the red-staters that we're just as stupid as them. With just two months left before the elections, that means we need to tear down all the boundaries of incompetence and go for the Guinness record. When asked about Bush's record, our candidates can't just cobble together a feeble reply: they should proudly declare that they have no idea what the dude been doin'. For qualifications they'll reminisce about being named Mini-Golf Champion of their high school. When asked about vision they'll bring out their hunting rifles. And they'll parade their pregnant and unwed teens around as proof that they're incompetent parents, and their families are pure white trash just like all the rest.

What? Sarah Palin? Really? Oh.

Well, cheerio, mates, and here's to 2012.

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