We need the Marx Brothers today. Well, not the Marx Bros. physically – they’re dead. But their brand of humor: silly enough to be laughable but satirical enough to be thought-provoking. Take their movie, Horse Feathers (1932), for example. Their slapstick antics are woven around a clever indictment of the misplaced priorities given to collegiate athletics. In one famous musical number, “I’m Against It”, Professor Wagstaff (Groucho) asserts that “Whatever it is, I’m against it”. “It” being the absurdities of life.
After being subjected to the scowling Women in White at last week’s State of the Union speech, today I’m going Groucho. Like a drunk bridesmaid seeking to sap the spotlight away from the bride, they tried to make it “all about me”. At first, dour and morose; then high-fiving and giggling like a gaggle of sophomores who just got asked to the prom. “I don’t care what they have to say. It makes no difference anyway. I’m against it!”
The most recognizable is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. With her Evita Peron signature hairstyle, she’s a walking billboard for the old adage, “Don’t get your hair in a bunch”. But she stands out. Her ideas, unfortunately, also stand out. I don’t like the rich any more than she does. They have stuff I don’t. But I doubt if making the wealthy less wealthy through vengeful taxation is the answer. Her goals are admirable, but her solutions cartoonish. She wants to address global warming. Great! But eliminate planes and farting cows? All her knowledge seems to have come from her days as a bartender. That might explain her fantasies. There’s always some guy at the end of the bar, into his sixth Jack-on-the-rocks, who knows for a fact that all you have to do is catch a leprechaun and he’ll grant you three wishes. Maybe that’s where the money will come from for those “unwilling to work”. Liberal? Yes. Progressive? Yes. Socialist? Yes. Absurdist? Oh Yeah! Groucho would be all over it: “Your proposition may be good. But let’s have one thing understood. I’m against it!”
Next we got to watch the gum-chomping, oxygen-hungry drama queen, Rashida Tliab from Michigan. Her icy stare could freeze helium. She’s convinced herself that Allah is a girl. Some girl! Some god! In her hometown of Somalia, even a girl-god can’t drive, can’t go to school, or show her face without getting stoned. As for the President, she wants to “impeach the mother-fucker!” You hear that word a lot. Mostly in Cell Block D. From dignified women – not so much. She praises terrorists and singles out Israel for economic punishment. “I’m opposed to it. On general principles, I’m opposed to it!”
Nearby (maybe in the next seat, who knows?) was Ilhan Omar, the Jew-hating representative from Minnesota. In a Farrakhanesque tirade, she once tweeted “May Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.” The Iranian mullahs must be proud. After a behind-closed-doors beat-down by puppeteer Nancy Pelosi,she coughed up an unapologetic apology for her anti-Semitic rant that marginalized her push for the Bernie version of one-payer health care and a $15 minumum wage. I must say that “Even when you changed it all. Condensed it. I’m against it!”
And the award goes to Kamala Harris! Her head shot could have been an audition for Mommy Dearest. When it comes to outrage, Kammie’s the Full Monty. Congressional hearings are, for her, a throwback to the Spanish Inquisitions where the poor bastards were badgered relentlessly until they spit out the desired answer. Then they stopped the torture and just killed them. The ultimate absurdist, she would abolish private insurance, take away everyone’s guns, remove your choice of doctor, cap your income, and take away your car. Her stock answer to “How will we pay for everything?” – a dismissive wave of the hand and “Let’s move on.” My sympathies to Mr. Harris. But to Ms. Harris, I say: “No matter what it is. Or who commenced it. I’m against it!”
Before you accuse me of mysogyny; I equally disagree with Bernie and Spartacus. But! I have found a Democratic candidate I truly like – Amy Klobochur from Minnesota. Her ambitions are not so different than the scowling Women in White but her solutions are grounded in reality. She’s not coming off as a freakshow or soap-opera extra. I hope she gets the nomination. Otherwise I have no choice but to vote for the mother-effer. In the meantime: “I’ve been yelling since I first commenced it. I’m against it!”