Gaaahd, it’s all I can do to ignore the truly batshit insane presidential campaigning going on these days. (Do you realize that Ted Cruz’s “gun bacon” shtick has been eclipsed many times over by now? That that even happened and is now part of history?) But then, the problem for me becomes one of being hyper-aware of how common it is to rail against political candidates. I’m perturbed by people who say they “don’t get politics” and then write off all contenders — or, often enough, just say “Trump’s hat LOL” and click “Tweet” — and I’m not very interested in even sounding like that.
Poking fun at the presidential flock is boring and depressing. It’s too easy.
Still, I quite like Jeb Lund’s new “Candidate Book Report” series on MSNBC. He’s not given the longest leash in the world for these segments, but it’s crucial to bring his biting wit onto mainstream primetime. These bits follow in the “war on bullshit” championed by Jon Stewart, et al. Lund very simply reads these chumps’ books, and then fine-tunes his attack with the ammo provided by, say, Ben Carson’s weirdly beatific reproduction of the U.S. Constitution.
“It’s sort of funny, like when you the read the book, his history is kind of so optimistic that it doesn’t actually accord with what happened. You get to points like on Page 3 — Page 3! — where he’s talking about how the Constitution is so good at establishing a separation of the powers and checks and balances, so we don’t have any tyranny, and then he segues into a quote from Andrew Jackson — a man who ignored the Supreme Court and prosecuted a genocide. And it’s upbeat! It’s about what a great thing this is. Everything’s alright.”
But sunny rhetoric earns votes.
The way I see it, taking an X-Acto blade to the presidential flock is another matter entirely, and one that, for better or worse, audiences must seek out on their own these days.