Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Night at the Oscars for Politicians

Taking advantage of the piddling input I have with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, I’m proposing a new category for the Oscars: Best Performance by a Politician.

Since that dynamic-duo accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, must receive the voters’ final ballots by the Tuesday before “Oscar Sunday,” it’s too late for the 2012 awards, but not too late to propose deserving candidates.

The run-up to the “Best Performance” honors in this new category featured a field of some pretty fair contenders who zoomed in and faded out—with a BANG...

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, whose artless response to President Obama's 2009 State of the Union address all but made King George VI’s speech impediment in “The King’s Speech” look like plagiarism. Rep. Charles B. Rangel of New York, who earned a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his valor during the Korean War, and a “Scarlet Letter” from the House Ethics Committee six decades later on being found guilty of only 11 charges of ethics violations (out of 12)… but refused to resign—bang!—after a trial determined his means could not be reconciled with his ways. Michele Bachmann for her embodiment of every space-kook, from “My Friend Irma” through “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” to “Clueless,” who ever stumbled across the silver screen. And John Edwards and Herman Cain and [your write-in here] who went out with a bang!
...or a whimper:

Anthony Wiener, the poster boy for optimum exposure at flexed shutter speed. John Boehner, who stunned us with his gift for turning on the tears—and concealing the ice in his veins… a neat trick! Rod Blagojevich, the first impeached governor of Illinois!, whose “irreconcilable artistic differences” with the law led to a sentence of 14 years in federal prison. And Rick Perry—the snap, crackle and stupendous fizzle of 21st century politics’ “big picture.”

Plus those serenity-sapping character “actors” who just won’t go away:

Donald Trump, for his unforgettable portrayal of a bigger blustering buffoon than the bankably boorish Donald Trump. Sarah Palin, for her debut performance as a political has-been. Joseph Lieberman, who says he’s going away, but how far?

Let’s CUT TO the award: Best Performance by a Politician. In light of the primaries and caucuses, the Republicans have had the field pretty much to themselves, although they insist on sharing it with President Obama, a gift for the Democrats that doesn’t stop giving. Kind of like an actress, any actress, supplicating Meryl Streep to join her for anything anywhere. (A lucky thing for politicians of every stripe that Streep would rather play one than be one.)

DISSOLVE TO a three-ring circus and a side show. WE PAN the nominees:

Rick Santorum (“Crouching Kitten, Hidden Dragon”) for his memorable performance as a draconian chauvinist who’d rather be extremely right than president. Mitt Romney (“The Year of Living Dishonestly”) for overcoming type-casting with his disturbing portrayal of a multiple choice personality who’d rather be “severely conservative” than moderately truthful. Newt Gingrich (“The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Also-Ran”) for his effortless emulation of all ten principal characters in “The Wizard of Oz.” And Ron Paul (“A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Convention”), unremitting in search of a meaningful role.
I propose that anyone voting for a candidate in this category be required to show a home-state issued Voter ID card. Credit cards will not be acceptable, particularly Platinum ones. Driver’s licenses won’t do. Vehicle Registration cards—negotiable, but since we’re talking Hollywood here, no vehicles older than last year’s. What’s that, Mitt? All right, this year’s.


  1. I think the Romney campaign deserves a Best Visual Effects nomination for turning an entirely empty stadium into a spectacularly empty one.

  2. I believe the best actor award should go to G.W. Bush for "Wars Without End" and no money to pay for the production.

  3. “Crouching Kitten, Hidden Dragon”! Yay, Santorum in a nutshell!!!

  4. I want to see the sequel... to this!

    A Great Admirer