Written by Hannah Dunleavy

In The News

Donkeys and Elephants

Guns, hashtags and not-tigers have been getting candidates into a pickle. This week, Hannah Dunleavy plays fair’s fair and goes Trump-lite so she can focus on the other douchebags in the US Presidential Race.

Mike Huckabee

Illustration of Mick Huckabee by Louise Boulter.

Many years ago, my brother and I travelled round Ireland using public transport. One day, we boarded a coach to discover all the other passengers were Italian teenagers screeching, fighting and dry humping each other. “Don’t worry,” I told Other Dunleavy as he backed slowly off the vehicle muttering something about waiting for the next coach. “They’ll tire themselves out. If they’re not asleep by the next stop, we’ll get off there.” Sure enough, we went all the way to Cork in silence.

I think about that journey every time I see Donald Trump’s latest buffoonery. His recent antics – reading out Lindsey Graham’s mobile phone number on a televised event, denying the Des Moines Register access to his Iowa events in revenge for a critical editorial, announcing Sarah Palin would make a good running mate – have led many to complain he’s sucking the oxygen out of the Republican Primary. To be honest, I think he might actually be sucking the oxygen out of America, because I can see no other reason, outside of a slow nationwide carbon monoxide leak, for him topping the polls. So let’s leave him there for the week and look at the other competitors.

Of which there is another: Jim Gilmore. He’s the 17th ‘serious’ candidate to enter the race, making it officially the most crowded primary in history. What do you want to know about him? He’s a former Governor of Washington, a political commentator on Fox News and he’s on the board of the NRA. Sounds like a decent bloke, eh? *chokes on cornflakes*

Gilmore has run before, in 2008, but dropped out early because a lack of support, a lack of money or because he had a detached retina, depending on who you believe.

“Rick Perry, who’s spent much of the last week in a metaphorical scrap with Chris Christie for the last podium in Fox News’ first televised debate, has been concentrating on the serious issues: challenging Donald Trump to a pull-up contest.”

Elsewhere, it remains as easy to empathise with the cast of the Republican Primary as it would the cast of Big Brother: The Serial Killers.

The horrific news from Louisiana that the sort of person that should never have had access to a gun had wandered into a cinema, killed two people and injured dozens of others, led the state’s Governor Bobby Jindal to state that the most useful thing to do would be to shower families of victims with prayers. Now, he said, is not the time to talk about gun control. To be clear, by ‘now’ he means anytime between the moment he was speaking and when hell freezes over. Remind us what rating the NRA gave you Bobby, won’t you.

Mike Huckabee, who’s yet to realise he’d be better suited to be President of the ninth circle of hell, made some staggering statements regarding abortion on the campaign trail in Iowa. When pushed by a Rolling Stone reporter, he said he would consider using all available resources to stop abortions in the US – including a domestic military intervention. (I don’t like using the word ‘hate’, so I’m just going to use ‘cunt’ instead.)

Rick Perry, who’s spent much of the last week in a metaphorical scrap with Chris Christie for the last podium in Fox News’ first televised debate (more on that later), has been concentrating on the serious issues: challenging Trump to a pull-up contest.

Christie, meanwhile, told CNN he was going to punch the American Federation of Teachers in the face, because they deserved it. Face punching, he said – apparently without irony – is the best way to deal with bullies.

Everyone’s favourite climate change denier Marco Rubio’s been a bit quiet, but he did demonstrate that he’s got his finger on the pulse of public feeling, by talking to TMZ about “Cecil the tiger”.

Ben Carson’s been bogged down in a debate about comments he made regarding #BlackLivesMatter but, to his credit, also made a brave (nay suicidal) statement that undocumented immigrants should be allowed to stay in the US as deporting them was impractical and prohibitively expensive.

“Bernie Sanders said he’s going to consider legalising marijuana nationally and Jim Webb’s been preaching the use of bipartisanship to solve major problems. Honestly, this is all so forward-looking, you’d think it was the 21st century.”

Ted Cruz has had to defend his dad, after a video emerged of Pastor Rafael Cruz calling for President Obama to be sent back to Kenya. His son claimed it was a response to something said by a member of the crowd, but this was disputed by Buzzfeed, which claims to have seen the whole tape. Better get yourself a polo neck and an interview with whoever the US equivalent of Kirsty Wark is, Ted.

Over in the Democratic race, Martin O’Malley, who also recently got himself in a tangle over #BlackLivesMatter, unveiled a nine-page criminal justice reform plan, which includes legislation to require racial bias training for police. Bernie Sanders said he’s going to consider legalising marijuana nationally and Jim Webb’s been preaching the use of bipartisanship to solve major problems. Honestly, this is all so forward-looking, you’d think it was the 21st century.

And Hillary, what’s she been up to? She remains mired in talk of money, emails and corruption, with news that she’d earned nearly $141m since 2007 and an inquiry finding one of her aides had been overpaid by $9,000 when Clinton was Secretary of State. I’ve said it before and, in the interests of fairness, I’ll say it again: this shit is too complicated to go into here, but there is loads of analysis, some of it impartial, of this clusterfuck on the internet. What I can say is it seems unlikely anyone is going to be talking about Hillary’s policies anytime soon.

Maybe she should start doing pull-ups.

Fox’s Republican Primary Debate is on air in the US tonight. There will an extra Donkeys and Elephants when I’ve had time to digest it/pulled my jaw from the floor.

@funnypunts

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Written by Hannah Dunleavy

Hannah Dunleavy is the deputy editor of Standard Issue. She likes whisky and not having to run anywhere.