Friday, January 13, 2012

Fools 1 and All: A Republican Presidential Opera


It rolled across Iowa a couple of weeks ago and just stormed through eccentric New Hampshire. Next up is sun-kist Florida. The Republican clown parade is back in town.

Has it been four years already?

The headlines, the airwaves, the screens all showcase the 2011 class of buffoons, dunderheads, clods, saps and halfwits vying to oust Mr Obama from the White House.  It has been an exceptionally entertaining cast of misfits this year: Herman ‘the Letch’ Cain, Rick ‘Oops’ Perry, Michelle ‘Let’s Abolish the Minimum Wage’ Bachmann, Ron ‘I’ve Never Met a Conspiracy Theory I Didn’t Like’ Paul, Newt ‘Can’t Get on the Ballot in My Home State’ Gingrich, John ‘I’m a Morman Too, you know’ Huntsman, Rick ‘Can I Bomb Iran Yet?’ Santorum and of course, Mitt ‘Flip Flop’ Romney.


In appreciation of the great diversion this posse of clowns has provided thus far, the Washerman’s Dog has put together a little Friday night opera for your listening pleasure. Fools 1 and All follows a typical day of campaigning through the eyes of an overworked, underappreciated and poorly paid American worker, Joe.

Act One. The stage is quiet. It is 400am. The clowns, candidates, have yet to wake up for a hard day of campaigning. The curtain opens to the strains of The Dance of Fools. 

In the nearby home of a hardworking grossly underpaid worker, Joe turns on the radio to hear a summary of last night’s debate and mutters (bitterly), “Trying to Make a Fool of Me.”   Michelle Bachmann, it seems has pulled out of the race, and waves goodbye to  both of her supporters to the strains of Tears of a Clown. “There is so much I could have done for America,” she sobs. “Who’s Fooling Who”, wonders our hero Joe as he sips his Maxwell House instant coffee.

On the front page of the Miami Herald are seven smiling faces with the caption, Chain of Fools. Joe smirks as Act One ends and the Nat King Cole Trio play a soothing version of Laugh! Cool Clown.

Act Two. The scene is a dark working class tavern.  Joe is dressed like a cool cat but is feeling hot under the collar because he’s been turned away from the polling booth. “One Cat, One Vote, One Beer, is the way it should be,” he sings to an uncaring bartender. Just then Jon Huntsman, the dashing former Ambassador to China, bursts into song when he’s asked by a reporter about his credentials to be President: “I’m a Diplomatic Fool, a governmental tool,” he replies.  Nicholas Sarkozy, who happens to be in the US on a State visit snorts scornfully, “Bravo Pour le Clown.”

Newt Gingrich closes out the second Act with his rousing version of the country weeper, The Pocket of a Clown: “Hollow lies, make a thin disguise/ As little drops of truth fall from your eyes/ Inside a memory from the past/Lives every love that didn't last/Sweet dreams can start to fade real fast/Inside a memory from the past/It’s a real sad place place to hang around/Inside the pocket of a clown.”

As he shuffles away into the shadowy hallways of Washington, we hear the melancholy lyric of The Campaigner, and stifle an unwanted but persistent memory of Richard Nixon.

Act Three. Mitt Romney, takes center stage. He holds the mike seriously and the lights dim. It’s time for the front runner’s pitch. He clears his throat and croons,

I'll do tricks for you, just like you want me to
I'll do anything it takes just to hang around
I'll paint a smile for you to cover up my frown
'Cause our love’s a circus and I'm just the clown

The audience goes wild! Encouraged, Mitt goes for glory with a second verse.

Everyone's in love with you, but they just look at me and laugh
And I'll bet when they see me cry, they think it's just an act
Ah, but someday when it's over and we bring the big top down
You can say it was one big circus and I was just the clown

Act Four. The candidates clowns meet for a sandwich and chorus of the American foreign policy anthem, Political Science. Smiles all around. Running a country is SO easy!

No one likes us
I don't know why.
We may not be perfect
But heaven knows we try.
But all around even our old friends put us down.
Let's drop the big one and see what happens.

Back at home after a fruitless morning of job hunting Joe sits down in his Laz-Y Boy, pops a can of Bud Lite and hums the song he can’t get out of his throbbing head, Seven Day Fool.

I work for you baby, work my hand to the bone

Care for you, baby, till the cows come home

Do for you, baby, for the love that I seek

Slave for you, baby, every day of the week.

As he nods off to sleep the stage swells to the strains of Battle against Clown. Though unconscious, Joe smiles knowingly. He’s rudely woken when the door slams and his irate wife demands, “Did Somebody Make a Fool of You?”

Joe mutters, ‘Why is it that all the good Presidents are Dead Presidents,’ as his wife stirs a big cup of tea and runs out to a party.

Final Act. The scene. Deep Down in Florida. The voters have elected Ron Paul as their candidate. Confused and confounded, the late night MSNBC talking heads classify it as a Brilliant Mistake.  The lights dim. Mr President Theme brings the day to a close. The clowns take off their masks and take a bow. As the curtain descends, both George Bushs appear to lead the cast in a final mournful rendition of Lament for a Lost Election.


            Track Listing:
            01 Dance of the Clowns [Felix Mendelssohn-  Bartholdy]
02 Trying To Make A Fool Of Me [The Delfonics]
03 Tears of a Clown [The English Beat]
04 Who's Foolin' Who [Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band]
05 Chain Of Fools [R.L. Burnside]
06 Laugh! Cool Clown [Nat King Cole Trio]
07 One Cat One Vote One Beer [Ry Cooder]
08 Diplomatic Fool [Gregory Issacs]
09 Bravo Pour Le Clown [Edith Piaf]
10 Pocket of a Clown [Dwight Yoakam]
11 Campaigner [Neil Young]
12 The Clown [Conway Twitty]
13 Political Science [Randy Newman]
14 Two Clowns [Galactic]
15 Mr. Fool [George Jones]
16 Seven Day Fool [Etta James]
17 Battle Against Clown [Geinoh Yamashirogumi]
18 Did Somebody Make A Fool Out Of You [Tony Joe White]
19 Dead Presidents [James Blood Ulmer]
20 Deep Down In Florida [Muddy Waters]
21 Brilliant Mistake [Elvis Costello]
22 Mr President Theme [Mr President]
23 Lament for a Lost Election [Tom Paxton]

Weep here.


2 comments:

Holly said...

Oh, well done, sir! :-)

ajnabi said...

:)....they make it easy!