Giving Mitt Credit Where It’s Not Due

I think Molly Ball (“Mitt Romney’s Humor:  An Appreciation,” The Atlantic) gives Mitt way too much credit and sees something that just isn’t there:

“For all the hype about his woodenness, Romney, I submit, actually has the most sophisticated — and under-appreciated — sense of humor of any presidential candidate.  It is dry, self-deprecating and a bit dark, a far cry from the safely hokey laugh lines of most politicians on the stump.  And it bespeaks a confidence and flair not often attributed to the much-maligned candidate.

“This is the man who famously went to Michigan, the state he grew up in and then left for good, and praised it thus: ‘The trees are the right height.’  You pretty much can’t get a better absurdist parody of politicians’ vapid sure-is-nice-to-be-here patter than that.”

But when you’re actually the candidate running a real campaign, as opposed to a satirical movie or SNL skit about presidential politics, you can’t do a parody of traditional stumping while you’re out campaigning, because you’re not just making fun of yourself, you’re making fun of the people who gave up their free time and spent precious gas money to come out and see you.  If people go to that trouble, they expect and deserve to be taken and addressed seriously, and the touches of humor shouldn’t be Zen-like.

You can appreciate the tree stuff when you’re sitting on your couch watching Jason Sudeikis pretend to be Mitt Romney.   From Romney himself?  It’s just off-putting and bizarre.

As for the hype about Mitt’s woodenness, it’s not because we aren’t cool enough to get him, except for you, Molly.   It’s because he is, in fact, wooden.  Any absurdist parodies that come out of his mouth are entirely unintentional.

Molly can laugh with Mitt, I’ll keep laughing at him.  And whether voters align with Molly or with me, President Obama is still going to win.

Santorum Wants to Save Us from Satan!

So now we know why he’s running.

Speaking at Ave Maria University in Florida in 2008, Rick Savonarola Santorum said this:

“Satan has his sights on the United States of America!  Satan is attacking the great institutions of America, using those great vices of pride, vanity, and sensuality as the root to attack all of the strong plants that have so deeply rooted in the American tradition.

“This is a spiritual war.  And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on:  a good, decent, powerful, influential country — the United States of America.  If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age?

“He attacks all of us and he attacks all of our institutions.

“We look at the shape of mainline Protestantism in this country and it is in shambles, it is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.”

All I can say is, “Jesus!”  And have I been right to call him “Savonarola” or what?

We used to laugh when Dana Carvey as the Church Lady said this stuff on Saturday Night Live.  Coming from a top presidential candidate, it’s not so funny.

I got the above quotes from Matt Drudge, and I assume he got them from the Romney campaign.  Mitt is running scared, so he’s trying to scare the rest of us.  It’s working, Mittens, it’s working.

Tally Ho for Huntsman?

Jon Huntsman is rising in New Hampshire, while Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are falling.  It’s not a surge certainly, but he’s up into the low teens and trending in the right direction.  He won’t win, but he can hurt that other Mormon ex-governor with nice hair.

Full disclosure — I’m planning to vote for Huntsman in my primary, unless I’m having a “zany Newt” moment that day and write in Stefon from Saturday Night Live.

Silvio Berlusconi and Francisco Franco

Silvio Berlusconi’s long, drawn-out resignation reminds me of Saturday Night Live‘s running joke that Francisco Franco was “still dead.”

Every day, we read that Berlusconi is still resigning.

He didn’t cause the euro crisis, and his resignation won’t end it.

Italy and Greece can’t have the same currency as Germany.  They have to have their own currencies that float against other currencies and the ability to print money.  They don’t need less control over their fiscal and monetary policy, they need more.

Was SNL Saying Rick Perry Is Gay?

Last night Saturday Night Live had Bill Hader, who plays the gay Stefon character,  play a very drunk Rick Perry.  The portrayal also came across to me as gay.  Was SNL intentionally picking up on past Texas rumors about Perry’s sexual orientation?

When I watch Perry’s now infamous New Hampshire speech, it seems to me that not only is he drunk or on medication, but he also seems gay.  Maybe that side of him comes out when he’s “relaxed.”

My Fantasy Saturday Night Live Sketch

I’d love to see SNL do a Republican debate where Rick Perry is roaming the stage as drunk as a skunk, bellowing “Bring it,” while Herman Cain keeps trying to grope Michele Bachmann, who bats him away with her long acrylic nails.

Then Sarah Palin (Tina) enters, ostentatiously steps over Perry, who’s now fallen down and is curled in the fetal position sucking his thumb, and takes his podium.  She looks into the camera, asks, “Is there a better choice?  You betcha,” and then announces, “In the ring there, I’m throwing my bearskin hat, also, too, and live from Saturday night, it’s New York.”

Back in the real world, the traveling Freak Show they call the Republican field is having yet another debate next week.  Please, God, make it stop!