I wouldn’t normally stay up until the early hours unless I was on a promise, but last night’s battle between some people to win something in a way that I didn’t understand in a place I’d never been to was absolutely thrilling.
I knew the evening would end with a bang when CNN started calling it a three-way. Then, a little later, it was all Mitt-on-Rick action. A roller-coaster, pillow-biting race to the finish, with Mitt squeaking past Rick by the seat of his lovely beige slacks. But finishing first by just eight votes isn’t exactly the biggest vote of confidence from the electorate. It’s a bit like winning a raffle only to discover the prize is a sock full of old men’s balls.
So now the crowd is thinning, and the Campaign to Occupy Michele Bachmann’s Brain has put up its tent for the last time. We’ll miss you, Michele. No-one wears white better than you, apart from God. Rick Perry, at the time of writing, can’t decide between remaining in the race or heading back to Texas. Hmm, first decision in political campaigning: be decisive.
The Super PAC-sponsored walk to Washington DC now takes a sharp right and heads for New Hampshire. But it’s a wonder that any of these wingnut nominees actually want to go anywhere near DC, given the damage the city is clearly causing their collective spleen. Pity poor DC. It’s the only capital city I know of that is utterly despised by everyone in the country who doesn’t live there.
Over the past two centuries, DC has become tainted by the failings of successive politicians and the creeping stain of ‘Big Government’, a detested state of perceived bureaucracy at odds with the aspirations of the founding fathers. In this super-size super-power, Americans love everything big but their government and their taxes.
So DC has become the whipping boy of choice for Americans, the kid with ‘KICK ME’ written on his back. In the UK we moan about Westminster but not the capital city in which it resides. Here, DC is to Americans what Iran is to Americans. And it’s not even a proper state, it’s a district; disgracefully, its residents have no representation in Congress.
Throughout the campaign the nominees have been lining up to drop their knickers and take a massive shit on DC, a move more popular with the conservative electorate than bombing Syria or outlawing heavy petting. Rick Perry thinks DC is seedy and that “We need to uproot, tear down and rebuild Washington” (see? DC is that seedy it has roots). All the candidates have criticised DC for being out of touch, a lazy argument about governments that echoes regularly across the globe.
Of course, everyone knows it’s a huge pandering exercise; as journalist Sally Quinn explains “you have to pretend to hate Washington in order to get elected“. If only the nominees criticised DC for the things that really matter: the appalling lack of supermarkets and cycle paths and eligible heterosexuals and clothes shops and how very dare you suggest I’m even remotely shallow.
But it’s not just the nation’s capital that has conservatives blowing the froth off their beer (that’s the only thing they’d blow, jesus christ, they’re not liberals). Republicans hate lots and lots of things. A
quick Google search recent major scientific study revealed that they dislike, in no particular order, cyclists, taxes, Elmo from Sesame Street, compromise, gun control, women, Jersey Shore, social security, yoga and public education.
So don’t feel too bad, DC. I love you. Let’s go and eat worms.