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Alien cartoon correct about the GOP

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By Rick Howell

    If ever there was a political cartoon that was just perfectly brilliant, it was the one in the Roanoke Times last week.

    In it, a man and his wife step outside onto their front porch to see a space ship sitting in the front yard. They look at and listen intently to the alien who has emerged from the craft.
He says, “We have been watching transmissions of something called ‘the Republican debates,’ and we see no reason for your species to continue.”
    What a scream!! In this case, we laugh at the absurdity of it, and we laugh because it’s true. It’s hard to believe that a country as great as this one could produce the drivel and the mean-spirited extremism that has emerged from those debates.
    And to think, one of those people might actually become president of the United States! When you wrap your arms around that thought, the alien’s conclusion begins to make even more sense.
    But before we discontinue the species, we need to examine the reality of what the Republican Party is offering us for 2012, and realize that, hey, even if things are bad (and they are) we certainly don’t have to take that route.
    Right now, the Herman Cain fiasco is still running strong in the GOP. According to the latest poll from Iowa, he’s actually leading the field there. But some of the religious rightists in that state are upset with the pizza king after his remarks on abortion.
    Sure, he made certain they understood that he’s “pro-life,” but he also got caught saying that it might not be the government’s role to tell a woman whether or not she can have an abortion. That makes too much sense for the religious right, and he’ll likely pay for that sooner or later.
    Then, there was the strange matter of Cain’s weird commercial, which some have called the worst political ad ever made. It was so bad, some people actually thought it was a parody ad made by somebody other than the campaign.
    It contains only a single close-up shot of the gentleman who is apparently Cain’s campaign manager. God bless him, but he’s not very attractive, certainly not “telegenic.” Someone with acne, a cheesy moustache, and bad teeth should certainly not submit to a close-up television camera.
    While you’re trying to get past the image you’re looking at, you wait in misery for a message. But all you get is a statement that Cain will “put the United back in United States.” At one point, the guy actually pauses to take a drag off a cigarette.
    When it’s over, the camera switches to a grinning Herman Cain, who breaks into a devious smile, almost as if he’s laughing at…what? His candidacy? Or the ridiculous ad he just submitted?
    Now, I ask you….how could this guy – who has no government experience and has never been elected dog catcher – be taken seriously as a candidate for president of the United States? Yet, he leads the field in the Republican presidential race.
    Maybe that alien is on to something, after all.
    It is the job of the opposition party (the one not in the White House) to present credible and serious alternatives for the American people to consider. With the possible exception of Mitt Romney, the GOP simply isn’t doing that.
    The president has made every serious effort to solve the nation’s economic woes, and he’s gotten nothing but delay, deceit, and vicious partisan opposition from the other side.
Any party that could take a clown such as Herman Cain seriously is a party that ought to prompt an alien visit in reality, not just in cartoons.

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Rick Howell, a Bedford native, can be reached by e-mail at NewCenHowell@aol.com.