What do the Oscar presentations and the Republican debates have in common?
Most of my male friends prefer the soft, rounded kind to the Republican kind, but it should be noted that these preferences are by no means unanimous, or political. I am told there are people, real masculine persons, who actually admire one or two of the boys on the Republican presidential debate team. No kidding. Think they’re swell, win-one-for-the-Gipper kind of guys, men you’d want with you in your foxhole or riding at the head of the cavalry column.
But…had the last debate aired at the same time as the Oscars, would those same admiring male persons have been watching Ron Paul’s Adam’s apple go up and down or would they have been ogling J-Lo’s cleavage? We’ll never know but it’s a question that will haunt us like all the great mysteries of human existence. Why are we here? What is the meaning of it all? Is God a Republican or a Democrat?
Over at the Oscars, Meryl Streep took the best actress award for playing Margaret Thatcher almost as well as the old bat played herself. A remarkable performance and one that might serve to inspire Mitt and Rick and Newt when they’re rehearsing for their next audition for the Big Part.
Meanwhile, Mitt, who can play the role of a desperate man as well as any actor alive, tried hard to get his foot into his mouth once again — not easy when your mouth is already jam-packed with feet. Mitt told the voters that in the great state of Michigan, one of his several home states, the trees were just the right height. Many people found this puzzling so Mitt enlightened them by repeating the statement. Apparently, Mitt believes that if you say something incredibly stupid and baffling you can make it right by saying the same incredibly stupid and baffling thing again. Don’t explain, repeat — that’s the idea.
Mitt tried to win some Motown points by reassuring Michiganders that the Romneys were an American-car family. His wife drives not one but two Cadillacs. This is the sort of factoid that resonates so well with the unemployed and the foreclosed-upon. No matter, you need a good car if you’re going to drive to Canada with a dog strapped to the roof.
Newt the Cheerful was named best historian/non-lobbyist in a trailing role based on an existing work of fiction. Good actor though he is, Newt has always had trouble playing anybody but himself. Kind of like Jimmy Stewart but not as tall, a lot chubbier and immeasurably less likeable. As if to confirm that he hasn’t even a skinny ghost of a chance to land the Republican presidential nomination, Newt released an “infomercial” in which he sits at a desk and talks about energy for half an hour. If anyone has sat through the whole thing he or she is not telling.
And let’s not forget Santorum the Sanctimonious, who has also done some fine work in front of the cameras in recent days. Rick ran well against the Mitten in Michigan and he has scored numerous points among the backward, the intolerant and the ignorant. His main problem is that he is running in 21st-century America instead of 15th-century Spain.
But the Rickster knows what plays in the media. He called President Obama a snob for wanting all American children to go to college and he characterized as sickening John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech reaffirming the constitutional separation of church and state. Made him want to throw up, he said. So, not surprisingly, Rick walked away with the award for the biggest hypocrite in a sometimes leading role except maybe for Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney.
Of course any awards ceremony or political debate is thrilling. But the GOP debates might have been that much more interesting if J-Lo and Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayek and a few others had made an appearance. Just a thought.