You know what pisses me off? Everything. You know what pisses me off about the two-party system? Everything, but especially when people assume that I belong to one, and that they know which it is. Most people, accustomed to multiple choice questions, hear “Texas” and think Republican and hear “gay” and think Democrat, much as they hear “Norman Invasion” and think “1066.” As a registered third-party member, all-around son-of-a-bitch, and smart kid, I view the major parties as having two primary functions: ruining the country, and providing me with targets.
Democrats aren’t good for much, but by God, great fun can be made of them. They’re better than Republicans for this for the same reason some kids get bullied more than others: they’re more likely to react in a satisfying way. Republicans don’t historically sulk much unless they get caught with their hand in the cookie jar – cookie jar is, of course, English for “some dude’s underpants” – but Democrats cry if you slam the door too loud. If you don’t believe me, imagine going to a Republican fundraiser. You shove Newt Gingrich, he shoves you right back. Call Libby Dole a cunt, and in a flash, her liver-spotted claws have grabbed a handful of cocktail shrimp and have thrown it in your face as she shrieks, “You’re the cunt! YOU’RE THE CUNT!” and Tom DeLay starts working your kidneys. Barbara Bush smells human blood and has her first orgasm since the 2006 congressional election. Bobby Jindal rips open his shirt with a howl, and before you know it a cannibal bacchanale has begun. A horrified Jenna Bush backs toward the door, as a heavily sighing Kay Bailey Hutchison takes a shot for the road and helps John McCain on with his coat. Faintly, you hear her say, “Oh, this again,” and him reply “Every damn time since the Ford inaugural ball,” as they slip away.
Now imagine you clean the shrimp off your blouse, pee out the blood, crawl away from Sarah Palin’s drunken embrace, and go to a Democratic fundraiser. Joe Lieberman and Arlen Specter are tentatively kissing in a hallway between the two event rooms; unable to decide which event to enter, they have fallen into each other’s arms. It is clear that Joe Lieberman will be the top. Call Nancy Pelosi something relatively innocuous, like “shrill old fart,” and watch the feathers fly. A shriek, another shriek, and – what the hell – another shriek, and she collapses sobbing into Harry Reid’s arms. “Look what you’ve done!” he hisses. “We spent millions of dollars of stimulus money on her self-esteem, and you’ve ruined it! We’ll have to print more now!” Jimmy Carter is so overcome, as usual, that he starts weeping right along with her. This sets off the Kennedys, who have formed an autistic hive mind since Ted’s death, and they begin screaming and banging their heads against the wall in unison. Michael Moore looks up, says, “It’s a conspiracy,” and continues to eat Kool Whip with a spoon while masturbating to a well-thumbed copy of one of his own screenplays. Hillary Clinton pretends to get a phone call and jogs out, calling out over her shoulder that Oz has invaded Atlantis. Her husband glares after her, abandoned. You feel a tap at your shoulder, and turn to see Barbara Boxer flanked by some of the more popular representatives. She announces that she has heard that you are a total skank who eats poop, and that you look fat, and that none of the cool elected officials will ever speak to you again, and you’ll be lucky to even get to hang out with appointed officials, so there! Your work done, you walk out as George Soros tries to get everyone to sit in a circle so everyone can share feelings and look at pictures of the Leader for inspiration.
See what I mean? A violent, drunken orgy is somehow more reasonable than a lot of emotions getting all over everything. (Full disclosure: I would TOTALLY have sex with Bobby Jindal. I bet he does everything, twice.) There is a secondary reason why I like making fun of Democrats better than I like making fun of Republicans, and that’s Jimmy Carter. I could say a lot of things about him; get me drunk enough and I doubtless will, but here’s the crux of it:In 1588, the Spanish Armada was approaching England with the intent of deposing the Protestant Queen Elizabeth and replacing her with the Catholic daughter of King Philip II of Spain (who, because everyone used to marry everyone else, was also Elizabeth’s former brother-in-law.) The English were outgunned and outmanned, and a desperate army was gathered at Tilbury, near the mouth of the Thames, to defend London against a potential landing by the army of the Duke of Parma, a Spanish ally. At this desperate hour, here is what Elizabeth said:
My loving people,
…Let tyrants fear… I am come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to live and die amongst you all; to lay down for my God, and for my kingdom, and my people, my honour and my blood, even in the dust.
I know I have the body but of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too, and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realm…
…not doubting but by your obedience to my general, by your concord in the camp, and your valour in the field, we shall shortly have a famous victory over those enemies of my God, of my kingdom, and of my people.
That’s grace under fire. That’s one hell of a pair. Fast forward to 1979, when James Earl Carter, a peanut farmer from Plains, Georgia, president of the richest and most powerful country the modern world has ever seen, tries to cheer us all up:
I know, of course, being President, that government actions and legislation can be very important. That's why I've worked hard to put my campaign promises into law -- and I have to admit, with just mixed success. But after listening to the American people I have been reminded again that all the legislation in the world can't fix what's wrong with America. So, I want to speak to you first tonight about a subject even more serious than energy or inflation. I want to talk to you right now about a fundamental threat to American democracy.
The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our Nation.
Jimmy Carter is the least majestic person in history.