The Guffaw Factor

In which our man Will Durst grades the candidates according to their potential to supply political comedians with at least four years of decent material. Damn that Buchanan for blowing the curve.

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We all have vested interests. They’re the main reasons we favor a particular candidate. Might be his or her stance on a single issue, like the establishment of a commission to block Steven Seagal from directing any more movies. Could be something in the candidate’s background like drug use, or even the way he picks his nose. We’re people. And capriciousness is one of the best parts of our nature.

That’s why I don’t want Clinton to quit. I need him. I’m a comedian. And he was great for me. And no, I’m not talking about that whole Lewinsky thing. That turned every two-bit hack into a political comedian for 30 seconds. I’m talking about the way his scruples blew away like dandelion seeds in a wind tunnel. No matter what you thought of his policies, you had to admire his ability not to get involved with them. I say screw the 22nd Amendment. Four more years!

Of course, I will always have a job no matter who gets elected. With 24-hour news channels and the Internet news cycle, we get to know way more than we need to about these guys. And an eventual gaffe, crisis, or revelation is a dead solid certainty. So with that said, here’s a rundown on what the future might hold for me.

Nader/LaDuke: Most likely the best shot for the country to level the playing field, but face it, Nader has the sense of humor of an end table and the charisma of Kevorkian. He makes Al Gore look positively electric. Also, I agree with most of what he says, and would find it most difficult to mock and scoff and taunt. I’d probably be forced to mine that whole “legalize marijuana” stance which means I’d be free to reclaim decades old material.

  • Grade: D+

 

Gore/Lieberman: Probably good for the country, but a disastrous choice pour moi. After eight years, RoboVeep is too well known a commodity. Would rather spend four years watching varnish harden than the strained ministrations of a Gore administration. Lieberman could be interesting, but how many pork jokes can one comedian not named Jackie Mason do?

  • Grade: C-

 

Bush/Cheney: I’m rooting for them. Although why anybody should vote for a candidate whose own running mate couldn’t be bothered to is beyond me. But Bush is attractive in oh, so many ways. Even members of his own party say he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer. I say he’s more like that slotted wooden spoon that keeps getting caught in the garbage disposal. For me, that’s gold, as is his mangling of the English language. A Bush win could prove to be Quayle-esque in its comedic magnitude. Which is to say: Hall of Fame material.

  • Grade: A-

 

Buchanan/Foster: “Ah, Sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found you.” It would be like discovering a Mickey Mantle rookie card in the lining of my sock drawer. Can you imagine? It would be like my birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve all rolled into one. The other comics and I, not to mention the editorial cartoonists, would jump up and down like kids in a candy store after we ditched the adult supervision at the track.

Buchanan is just a little to the right of Pol Pot, and stuff falls out of his mouth like toxic waste leaking from a fried-up garden hose. Then there’s his running mate Ezola Foster, who received disability compensation from the state of California for a mental condition which she now claims she never had. So she’s either a fraud or crazy. Gotta love that combo.

  • Grade: A+++

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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