Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Not the boss of me

I see that Keith Olbermann has taken to referring to the de facto head of the Republican Party as "Boss Limbaugh." I think he had it right before, when he called him "Comedian." Limbaugh could wear Boss Tweed 's pants, but he couldn't fill his shoes. At the height of Tammany power, Tweed ran the biggest city in the country. All Limbaugh runs is his mouth.

If Limbaugh recalls anyone, it's Falstaff, the broken-down knight who dreams of political power. And we all know what happens to Falstaff when his friend becomes king -- he is publicly humiliated and given three days to get out of town. No self-respecting statesman can afford to have a dissolute glutton in his inner circle. The difference, of course, is that Falstaff is never vicious or nasty. Orson Welles once called him "the only truly good man in literature." I don't know about that, but surely he's more loved than hated. If the first is out of the question, I guess you're entitled to go for the second. And who exactly fears Limbaugh? I haven't seen anyone except Republicans crapping their nappies. No doubt the Democrats hope he'll avoid a massive coronary until after the 2012 elections. I'm starting to regret giving him that gift membership in Pie of the Month Club.

As the Republicans wander the political desert tasting the unaccustomed brackish water of defeat (did I just type that?), it's not surprising that Limbaugh has become their unelected Moses. The great war hero McCain turned out to be a confused, slightly pathetic old man. Romney is too creepy, Giuliani too repellent, Huckabee too fringy, Palin too stupid to replace him. Jindal needed exactly thirty seconds to become a national punchline, and Jeb Bush is still named Bush. Charlie Crist means nothing to the rank and file, Arnold was born far away from America, and Rap Master Michael Steele would probably be happier working for the International House of Waffles. I couldn't figure out why their Congressional leadership makes my skin crawl, and then one morning it came to me in the form of an old joke by Joy Behar: John Boehner looks like a child molester, and Eric Cantor looks like the child he's molesting. (Joy was talking about Daddy Bush and Quayle, but doesn't it work better with these two?) Further, Mitch McConnell looks like Eric's oblivious granny, who tells him to go play with Uncle John while she watches her stories. It's all I can do not to call Family Services.

In one of his recent performances, Lewis Black joked about re-animating the corpse of Ronald Reagan. Of course, that's ridiculous. You can't re-animate the dead. The Republicans will have to clone him.

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