One of the things I want to do before I die is visit the annual Iowa State Fair to see the life-sized cow made of butter because why would you not want to see that? A century-old tradition, the cow is sculpted from 600 pounds of salted butter and placed in a glass case to stop people (me, when I finally get there) from licking it or poking it with twigs.
Other exhibits at the fair are the presidential hopefuls who pile into Iowa to show the ordinary folks that they are just like them by wearing jeans and eating meat-on-a-stick, although they are not at all just like them apart from Scott Walker who is super ordinary and has the personality of a 600 pound butter cow and is pretty damn pokeable, maybe with something sharp.
The fair is one of those intriguing instances of American political theatre, like Senator Tom Harkin’s Iowa Steak Fry, that permits desperate politicians to legally touch meat in public.
Hillary and Donald and Jeb and Martin and Scott and Marco and Bernie were all there this week. Stump speeches were delivered, meat was touched, pictures were taken and kiddies were smacked in the face by footballs.
But I was not there. FURIOUS. So I went to the Congressional Cemetery in southeast DC, 35 acres of rural land that hosts the burial plots of politicians, civil war veterans and public figures such as J. Edgar Hoover (from the cemetery website: “Q: Do you have to be a Member of Congress to be buried there? A: No. You just have to be dead.”).
I wanted to see the herd of goats that the cemetery hires every year to clear the land of weeds. I thought it would just be sad old me watching a stray goat shit itself, but there were lots of people there, all staring at goats.
Disappointingly, the cemetery doesn’t have a plot for political careers that have crashed and burned but that’s ok because I already watched the first Republican presidential debate. And it was awesome.
Mike Huckabee had already got himself into trouble before the debate by comparing Obama to Hitler. On stage, he said that the “purpose of the military is to kill people and break things” which lent itself nicely to a prior suggestion that he would, as President, use federal troops to prevent women from seeking abortions. Yes ma’am, he would literally declare war on you and use military force to get all up in your womanly business. And just to prove that he can be even more of a total and utter shit rag, this week he defended the decision to deny an 11-year-old child in Paraguay an abortion after she was raped by her stepfather. THIS MAN IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. Seriously. He should be running into surgery for a fucking lobotomy.
The rest of the field was either dull, angry or forgettable. This is the best summary of how it went down (spoiler: you will cry laughing).
But then there was Donald.
When Donald Trump entered the race, I was pretty sure the offensive drivel that spurts from his surprisingly tiny mouth would inevitably force him to jack in the political game but no! It seems that the American public hasn’t yet heard enough from the man who, if President, would likely challenge Putin to a dick-measuring competition (“Call that a cock? That’s a clown cock, bro”).
Trump managed to insult and belittle Mexicans, women, political leaders, and his fellow presidential hopefuls (also he is responsible for the entire news media using the word ‘menstruation’: pro tip guys: no woman calls their period ‘menstruation’). AND YET HE IS INCREASING HIS LEAD IN THE POLLS.
America is enjoying the spectacle of traditional politics being booted right up the arse; Donald Trump is to politics what Father Ted was to Bishop Brennan. And to make things even worse for the GOP, Trump appears to favour more moderate policies such the single payer healthcare model, and the necessity of services provided by Planned Parenthood.
At least, I think he does. If you listen to one of his rambling, spitting soliloquies, he doesn’t actually have any serious answers to serious policy issues. To stretch the analogy one more time until it’s bleeding and needs stitches, Trump is the Father Jack of politics, barking the same deluded, incomprehensible shite every time he is prodded. And don’t forget he is a birther who has expressed doubts that Obama was born in the US, so he may be a moderate but only in the sense of being moderately insane.
And yet … where Trump goes, the others follow. His recent foray into immigration policy, suggesting that he would end the constitutional right to citizenship of those born in the US to undocumented immigrants, had all the other presidential hopefuls squealing and flapping like kiddies in a pool after the neighbourhood big boy top-bombed them. Trump is not only leading the field, he is directing the debate.
But for how long? Trump has many flaws but his arrogance outshines them all, and that ain’t a good look for President. And while voters are enjoying an unexpectedly lively campaign, will they be able to bring themselves to nominate someone purely as a giant fuck you to the present political system they have come to despise? My guess is that, come 2016, the two main Republican contenders will be Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
But what the fuck do I know ha ha, at the end of the day we’re all just staring at goats.