A(nother) Modest Proposal

I hereby propose that an award, analogous to the prestigious Darwin Awards, be created uniquely for egregious politicians. The Darwins, you may remember, are presented annually (usually posthumously) to individuals who have annihilated themselves through acts of monumental stupidity.

My proposed accolades would acknowledge politicians who essentially have done the same thing: fatally compromising themselves, while nattering into open mics and live cameras.

As a comics fan, I might name the award in honor of the Walt Kelly (Pogo) fire-and-brimstone character Deacon Mushrat, whose persona Kelly deemed “about as far as I can go in showing what I think evil to be”; or the Al Capp (Li’l Abner) Civil War hero Jubilation T. Cornpone, known throughout Dogpatch for “Cornpone’s Retreat,” “Cornpone’s Disaster,” and “Cornpone’s Rout.”

Once the name is settled, I suggest that the first medal stricken acknowledge the Brobdingnagian callousness toward the poor recently displayed by Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer (R) of South Carolina.

Many of our grannies baked cookies and pies, or whipped up chicken fricassee, to share with down-on-their-luck neighbors—but not Bauer’s, it would seem. Even more unlikely is that Bauer’s Granny sported a “WWJD?” bracelet, or ever read the Good Book to her grandson about Jesus feeding the multitudes with a few loaves and fishes.

According to Bauer, expounding recently on public assistance, “My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so, what you’ve got to do is—you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.”

Perhaps Bauer is confusing his Grandma’s advice with satirist Anna Russell’s brilliant Gilbert and Sullivan parody lyrics: “For it’s very, very funny, when you’ve lots and lots of money/To be horrible to those who’ve none.”

I will admit that Bauer’s solution has specific applications: Enforced fasting might have kept the obviously overfed John Edwards less reproductively focused.

While still surviving, it is my hope that recipients of this award, having hoisted themselves on their own petards, successfully will remove themselves from future electoral gene pools.

So, what’ll it be: “The Deacon”? “The Cornpone”? Or, even more graphically pleasing, “The Petard”?

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