Stijn van der Kasteel (mahnmut) wrote in talk_politics,
Stijn van der Kasteel

...And a pony for all!

We've all been talking about the Republican primaries, but have you heard that Obama isn't the only guy who's running in the Democratic primaries? And no, I'm not talking about Ed Cowan. And neither Ron Paul and Mitt Romney (believe it or not, Ron Paul got 4% of the vote in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, Romney got 3% and Huntsman got 3% too).

Are you noticing a name that stands odd among all those reputed elitist politicians, eh? Someone with a big messy beard and a high pointy hat? Yep, I'm talking of Vermin Supreme! He's not exactly the Colbert kinda candidate (although that might be arguable too). See, Colbert announced the other day that he's running for "President of the United States of South Carolina", and Jon Stewart was appointed manager of Colbert's super-PAC. He "promised" that there'll be no coordination between Colbert and his super-PAC from now on, which I think you might guess is a funny stunt, which exposes the ridiculousness of the whole super-PAC thing, and the awkwardness in the way the current campaign law has been shaped. So a candidate may not ""coordinate"" (double quotation marks mine) with a super-PAC, but there's no problem if said candidate's best ally (say: lawyer, or "former" chief of campaign) runs that super-PAC, and spews all sorts of attack ads on that candidate's opponents. We've seen Romney denying that he had anything to do with those attack ads that sank Gingrich, but I doubt anyone believes this. Same thing about Gingrich's super-PAC, etc. And, since Stewart watching Colbert openly talking about his campaign plans on TV does not constitute "direct coordination", well... you can see where I'm going with this.

That put aside, humoristic stunts like Vermin Supreme and Stephen Colbert are really making a point. We've seen similar "mock candidatures" in other countries, and even some occasions when these became rather serious (see Pirate Party in Sweden, which is a one-trick pony really, but has a real agenda regarding one single issue of their concern). Beer parties are everywhere, too. It's a symptom, and some'd argue that it's a kind of a protest vote of those who are disillusioned with the lack of viable alternatives to the "status quo", and the absence of proper representation of their particular values and views across the political spectrum.

So I give you Vermin Supreme. Glitter-bomb assaults on political opponents, and promises about a pony for everyone aside, don't you dare to tell me you haven't been warned about the impending Zombie Apocalypse!

Tags: elections, humor
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