“Dunciad,” which is written in the manner of Alexander Pope’s famous satire, describes all the figures in government, media, and academia who are colluding to make such economic misjudgments as we face possible. Mr. Heffern writes:
The poem has two attributes, I believe, you can relate to specially: 1) the most prominent dunce featured in the poem is Paul Krugman and 2) the economic principles I champion in the poem are derived from “Meltdown” which, I noticed, is on your favorites list.The poem is long, but well-worth reading!
You will also appreciate there is nothing in the poem about birth certificates, mosques, Afghanistan, oil spills, or other issues that pale in comparison to the economic challenges we are facing.
The poem is divided into six parts:
The invocation of the muse, the goddess Liberty
Obama’s primary race against Hillary Clinton
The general election: Obama v. John McCain
The Obama Presidency
A vision of Obama winning another term and its ensuing effects on the economy
A vision of Obama being checked in his bid for a second term.
Sweet Liberty! Goddess! Attend my rhyme,
And steep my keyboard in a lucid clime.
Great the subject—the poet hardly fit
For whatever muse inspired Dada lit.
Tell how we’ve come to this pitiful pass.
Say who’s a fool and decry the odd ass.
Spare not the media, whom we berate
For fomenting anti-“teabagger” hate.
Denounce our pols through want of prudence curst
Since Bush the second reigned like Bush the first.
Now America’s in an ev’n greater bind
With Bushes three through six all in one combined.
Obama’s his name and much to our grief
We hail him Barack—our wastrel-in-chief.
Born into honor, a babe without guile,
He first drew breath on a Sandwich Isle.
Yet no lack of myths attended his rise—
The mark of a man adept at disguise.
Eager to shape them he took to his pen
(So many bought it he did it again).
Now his polish and Harvard pedigree
Evoke the name of John F. Kennedy.
How strange that a man can inspire such lore
Five years removed from a state senator.
The one candidate whom no one would vet,
Now Midas reversed—his touch turns to debt.
Why mount a resistance—Liberty say;
And how we’ll defeat him—this is my lay.
From the beginning the crowds were raucous,
Forewarning us of the Iowa caucus
Where the Clintons were finally brought to heel
By farmers just up from their evening meal.
A third place showing had Hillary pissed;
(That’s one disaster Nostradamus missed).
The fourth estate in duplicitous bands
Slunk out of town with mud on their hands;
While a sober Barack refused to crow
With one state down and fifty-six to go.
The frontrunner’s mantle became him well;
And resiliency, too, in case it fell.
The ever-faithful wife, taking a stand
To watch what she said with a mike in her hand.
Yet the campaign was still under attack;
A celestial vision bursting with flak.
Potshots at ACORN (not hard to indict);
The impious left and the Reverend Wright.
To base accusers Obama demurred,
And plumbed his past that his voice be heard.
Spoke in Philly; the Reverend Wright foremost;
The speech was butter but his grandma toast.
Forth went Obama, momentum renewed;
Each rally a kind of beatitude,
‘Til Joe the Plumber took to his street,
And flyover country met radical chic.
Candor obtained; “Spread the wealth” was spoken;
Middle class support ne’r seemed so token.
But slips of the tongue make hardly a snag;
The socialist cat crawled back in its bag.
Dialogue done, Barack did not linger;
(The common touch chafes a bitter clinger).
He now moved the chains like a black Dan Fouts
While Hillary struggled with three-and-outs.
When the Kennedy clan shorted her stock,
All but the feminists put her in hock.
The campaigns wound down—contracted in scope,
To who was the change and who was the hope.
The angel of hist’ry with wings unfurled
Gave both to Barack, and him to the world.
To Invesco Field the nominee hied;
And unity spanned the Rockies’ divide.
Shouts of “Yes we can!” reached the cloud-capp’d heights,
And Bob the Builder surrendered the rights.
He spoke at length of effects and causes,
Barren of substance but pregnant with pauses,
Shadowed by columns remindful of Rome,
Ionic, I think, or perhaps just foam.
Earmarks, he said, he’d ax with defiance;
And pork that flouted Shari’ah compliance.
“Not by a dime will the deficit grow!”
(When Obama kids he puts on a show).
He’d harness the wind and exploit the sun;
Clean carbon from coal by the metric ton.
The cost of pollution would start to range
Like pork bellies do on Chicago’s exchange.
Naked with hope, the people were ravished;
His vows of change unstintingly lavished.
A few more touches and “King!” they’d declare;
Like a pope, a crown, and St. Peter’s square.
From dread’s dark depths I glumly gazed my fill;
An ague caught for which there was no pill.
The desert crossed and Canaan near at hand,
November marked Obama’s promised land.
For his VEEP he chose a senator chum;
And Tweedle Smart was joined by Tweedle Dumb.
Up to their hero the press corps sidled;
Mouths agape and integrity bridled.
Women would challenge him, “What’s your beliefs?”
While secretly thinking, “Boxers or briefs?”
Among his disciples many were those
Who felt themselves raptured—but kept their clothes.
Hardball’s my favorite—who first bent the knee;
Now throws like a girl and bats from a tee.
Whom Barack, the healer, inspires like Lourdes;
While “teabaggers” code for “Scythian hordes”.
How tea parties fright him! Make him grow shrill;
As if Martians returned to Grovers Mill.
“Monochromatic?”—sounds kind of fudgy.
Perhaps he means, “pasty, blonde, and pudgy”.
Rush, he believes, is a beetle-browed brute;
Not happy he’s deaf, he’d prefer him mute.
But why belabor his take on the news?
He preaches his gospel to empty pews.
Gone is the glory of SNL fame;
His ego trots on while the show pulls up lame.
Thus was Obama girded for battle,
His army of soldiers lethal in prattle.
They claimed by Heav’n was victory foretold;
And in the millions that Gallup polled.
Pitted against their quixotic campaign:
The perennial maverick, John McCain.
Years in captivity turned his mind inward;
Thence to labor in Washington’s vineyard.
Meshed with his base like a ram and a thicket
Keeping Joe Lieberman off the ticket.
Instead chose Alaska’s comeliest catch;
A curvaceous version of Orrin Hatch;
Creating a duo hard to upstage,
Except by our most grandiloquent sage;
Inasmuch as Obama’s legacy strives
For the face of Mount Rushmore or Plutarch’s Lives.
Portents were grim as autumn impended;
More than the Yankees were being upended.
Impregnable icons of Wall Street banks
Saw balance sheets blow and level their ranks.
Billions of dollars in outstanding dues
From bad SIV’s to worse IOU’s,
Incautiously bundled, dispersed, and resold
In schemes that Ponzi would blush to behold.
Discomfited experts boasted a first:
Th’ unpoppable bubble—housing—had burst.
So many foreclosures, so many liens;
So much for the theories of John Maynard Keynes.
Yet could the phoenix still rise from the ash
If only Treasury would cough up the cash,
And explode, at last, the laughable myth
That we heed the precepts of Adam Smith,
Whose laissez-faire guide to wealth creation
The Fed subverts to our ruination.
For how free is Smith’s invisible hand
When joined at the wrist to Alan Greenspan?
Called “the Maestro” for the wand that he waved
(That created credit from nothing saved)
At the game of golf he liked to piddle,
And the markets knobs he liked to twiddle,
Performing the tasks of finance’s hub
Like Jean Paul Marat, immersed in his tub;
Just a pen and notepad keeping at bay
The threat of a downturn or Charlotte Corday.
Home price inflation, the low interest loan—
From each he made a philosopher’s stone
That removed from risk the specter of fear
And made flipping houses a new career.
Should skeptical investors doubts betray,
Tides of liquidity swept them away;
More dubious critics he urged to reflect
That markets, like golf balls, can self-correct.
With a lovely wife in whom he confided,
(His better half but twice as misguided),
He seemed the exemplar of “brain” and “trust”
By taming the cycle of boom and bust.
Adieu to all that…the Maestro’s wits
Proved more inclining to misses than hits.
Haled before Congress, the wherefores to broach,
(Like a losing team berating its coach)
He implied an excuse, only too true:
“I did what the nation wanted me to.”
Now he’s retired; if his house were bugged,
You’d hear Andrea reading him “Atlas Shrugged”
Compelling the kind of retrospective
That unites the soul with its collective,
Whence theories once boasting the power to save
Now flicker like shadows in Plato’s cave.
While Wall Street titans the public reviled,
On Team Obama Providence smiled.
“Communist!” “Radical!”—every canard
First fizzled, then died like a dud petard.
Independents woo’d, succumbed to his sway
And hedge fund donations all broke his way.
Secure, Barack, watched the White House kindle
A still unextinguished epic swindle,
Fiendishly finagled by “those who have”,
From Wall Street to K Street to Pennsy Ave.
Enter Paulson, whose unflappable calm
Belied obeisance to the outstretched palm.
With Lehman’s collapse he posed our peril
Hinged on the hopes of Goldman and Merrill.
He distilled this poison in Bush’s ear
With grave threats inaction would cost us dear.
Sorely miscast for the crisis at hand,
Bush little distinguished request from demand.
Sword of Damocles! It twisted his view.
What—save for his necktie—wasn’t askew?
Goaded by Treasury, beset by attacks,
He sought terms from the board of Goldman Sachs.
Down dropped the veil over backroom high jinx,
That made Teapot Dome look like tiddly winks.
TARP was conceived; deception redoubled;
“Toxic” and “Worthless” were now termed “Troubled”.
Against such connivance nothing availed;
(The House balked once, but Pelosi prevailed).
Like an infection lanced, discharging pus,
Now the banks were making a run on us.
McCain did much to enhance the drama:
Suspend his campaign—rattle Obama.
It did not work, nor his own maverick bent.
His came, and saw, and without ado went.
The people perplexed—to whom could they sue?—
Chid the old soldier with a sad “et tu?”
Now could Obama post up in the paint,
Trash-talk the bailout, vote “aye” without taint;
Box out the taxpayer, flagrant foul Bush,
Split two defenders and dunk with a whoosh.
Both candidates voted; both were on board;
One triple-doubled; one fell on his sword.
The rest of the race was academic:
Much more encomium than polemic.
Vict’ry’s garland now wove through the story
And Grant Park throngs but gilded the glory.
The millions exulting with heartfelt pride
Quite silenced the shouts of “Liberticide!”
Rahm, too, triumphed; it was no light duty
Making Wall Street’s wants yield so much booty.
He transformed unease and a latent fear
Into a beer hall putsch without the beer.
Even now Hank Paulson evades disgrace,
And flings his subterfuge right in our face.
Ignorant of the incalculable harm
(No fires put out—just killed the alarm);
He justifies all in sincerest prose
For bamboozling us and Charlie Rose.
Touting a secular “fishes and loaves”
Bukharin is famous in Princeton’s groves.
A pedagogue he, imparting with grace
Untruths from a laureate’s weighty place.
On money, high finance, the public crib
He observes the rites of a faithful lib,
Fending off scorn, each Republican foe
By invoking aid from St. Delano.
Duly invested with newsprint’s power
(Like bullhorn blasts from an ivory tower)
He harps on each of ninety-five theses
In minor, jejune opinion pieces,
Propagating the view that brands the Right
As bigots whom blacks unsettle with fright.
At the entire South he wags his tongue
Like a mortarboard-wearing Neil Young.
How he rails!—at pay for corporate brass
To all their scions who sit in his class.
On Fed duplicity oft has he mused;
And come to the notion—he’s all confused.
With friends at court and connections abroad,
He owns up to “liberal” and they applaud.
At Liberty’s expense Europe’s beguiled;
The gullible Swedes and Oslo go wild.
The incarnation of Bukharin’s views,
Obama embarked on his shakedown cruise,
The seas as calm as the tidings were glad
‘Midst hopes that only his bowling was bad.
In ivied bowers Bukharin, aloof,
Beheld his ideas put to the proof:
Trillions and trillions in government debt
Blindly dispensed without hindrance or let.
Like testing Watson by watching a gene,
Or Einstein's eclipse in 1919,
The country in toto became his lab--
Cheap validation when we pay the tab.
Once having seized our national treasure
(Money machines that print at his pleasure),
How quickly Obama did loot the land
(Though Scott Brown’s record will forever stand).
All he perpetrated I can distil
From the inaptly named "stimulus" bill.
Conceived in corruption, nurtured with hype,
All change aside--it reduced him to type.
Now was he cast in the big-spending mold
Reprising the thirties, new deals and old.
To all intents, the dollar’s new master
Inflating it to further disaster.
Congress and he machinated as much,
Like two beads of water that fuse when they touch.
Down came the vote like Jovian thunder,
Loosing Barabbases bent on plunder;
Some like pigs at a trillion dollar trough
Deaf to our pleas that enough is enough.
Ill fares the land when promised reform
And graft this blatant becomes the new norm.
When public employees are forced to toil
Not at their jobs but dividing the spoil.
When Appropriations—stewards of our wealth,
In dispensing cash so exhausts itself
That Chairman Obey, put through his paces,
With lolling tongue breaks down in the traces,
All so cupidity’s deepening sway
Can lord it o’er the American way.
Having baptized his rule in heaps of pelf,
Obama now turned to the nation’s health.
Catchy, new slogans he coined by the day,
Foremost among them, “Get out of my way.”
Specter he welcomed back into the fold,
Who found his prize calf not fatted but old.
Al Franken, too, to belated renown;
(All the Senate received was one more clown).
Reid and Pelosi, their wonted pallor,
Complimenting their feminine valor,
Became like a fortress—their roles would switch:
The one a rampart, the other a ditch.
All now ranged against Liberty’s standard;
Congress a cannon, POTUS a lanyard—
A never-surfeited lust for control
Exciting Dingell to give the word, “Pull!”
Once on this course Obama decided,
Whom many trusted they now derided,
Suspecting his plea for the utmost speed
A specious pretext for power and greed.
As the health care bill gestated and grew
A cloud of unknowing grew with it, too.
It immersed information deep in dearth,
And pledges of openness stilled at birth.
If too much scrutiny threatened delay,
“Choice and competition!” Pelosi would bray.
Progressives echoed her, each errant knave
Provoking Orwell to roll in his grave.
Under such auspices a bill did morph;
A giant in size, in savings a dwarf;
Taxes so high their scope was preempted
So Congress (the rogues!) would be exempted.
Unemployment rates, meantime, looked amiss;
Millions of jobs lost attested to this.
Home starts fell at a rate that was steady;
Gibbs got his b.s. all shovel ready.
Recovery’s road he bedded and paved
With bogus statistics, created and saved.
Even at Princeton conditions were stark
With endowment below the three billion mark.
The board of trustees said, “This cannot stand”
And scores of pink slips went out by their hand.
Fiscal restraint o’er “compassion” had won;
How different Obama is from Princeton!
What of Bukharin? His hectoring zeal?
His silence now deafened the commonweal.
More for his rep the laureate trembled;
His all-knowing air appeared dissembled.
Like an old sophist who’d seen better days,
He sought to deny that he caused the malaise,
Lest his medallion embossed with Nobel
On e-Bay Art Sulzberger tried to sell.
Working the numbers, a graph and table
He humored his fans with one more fable:
A claim that weighed in like a piece of fluff—
The stimulus bill wasn’t big enough!
More confirmation, as the maxim goes,
That quacks, like kings, can parade without clothes.
Health care reform was losing its luster
Though sixty-vote vigils forbore filibuster.
Sleep was disdained and comforts forsaken
Into wee hours when key votes were taken.
Nor could defections threaten adoption,
Not states opting out of the opt-out option;
Congress rescinded the oaths it had sworn
And sacrilege sullied Christmas Eve morn.
Here words fail us—but oh! the duress—
“Twas the night before” mangled by Roland Burris!
Yet, in a trice, would their plan unravel
Abrupt as Franken banging his gavel.
In Massachusetts where Democrats reign
A truck-driving gym rat can still get game.
Poised between parties Scott Brown had the sense
To say with conviction he’d straddle the fence;
Yet preach on the text (how Democrats seethed!)
That seats in the Senate can’t be bequeathed.
He and his rival went toe against toe;
And Coakley came too, but just for the show.
Grim looked Gergen—moderate, debater,
Archly condensed into “moderator”.
His weapons ranged from fork ball to splitter—
The stuff you’d expect to beat a switch hitter.
He graced the mound with impeccable style,
His unbloodied socks imported argyle;
Yet still felt threatened by the tactician
Whose lug could cow the suavest patrician.
When old indiscretions at last bore fruit,
Gergen saw Brown in his birthday suit,
A cake-of-beef sandwich served open-faced,
Samson’s own forearm strategically placed.
“This,” Gergen thought, “is too much exposure.”
Foot on the rubber, he lost his composure.
He hung a fat curve ball out o’er the plate,
Brown crushed it, his swing like a wind-whipped gate.
Both watched the ball disappear in the sky;
Brown morphed into Fiske and waved it goodbye.
Just one new join in the Party of No
And health care returned to the status quo.
Obama shrunk from muscled Colossus
To bungler keen on cutting his losses.
Sad was the plaint of Progressive betrayed:
Bukharin, whose laptop would not be stayed.
Backbone buckling beneath the scrutiny,
He took to his blog, a one-man mutiny,
Proclaiming, “Obama is not The One!
He’s all Attila without the Hun!”
And frailty’s name was exposed as more
Than woman alone….Try famed professor.
The White House, tested, made its next forum
A chance for POTUS to lack some decorum.
An amicus curiae brief of the sort
That asked in a huff who’s friends with the court.
The State of the Union, so oft a dud,
A wearisome bore for the couch-bound spud,
Would swing like a pendulum, loosed pell-mell
From wrath’s own angel, come out from its shell.
Mantled in black, seated all in a row
Like ducks you plug at a carnival show,
The Supreme Court brooded like muses nine,
Enjoined by tradition to ride the pine.
Down from his dais, now like a pulpit,
Obama glared and fingered the culprit,
His words a kind of digital prodding
To chastise, chasten, and wake the nodding.
What a fat target to rip from on high;
It’s the State of the Union! Dare reply!
He made his harangue, confusing the throng,
His oration so right, his facts all wrong.
For a year we’d been mouthing, “It’s simply not true.”
Now Justice Alito was mouthing it too.
The chamber rustled to murmurs, “How bold”,
While cringing, Judge Roberts thought, “Irksome scold!”
Hardball, impressed, had the passing figment
That somehow Barack had lost his pigment.
Whatever the case, the court shrugged it off,
Requiting rebuke with hardly a scoff.
Storing it up for future reference
Should next year’s speech also lack deference.
Forewarned how tactless Obama can be,
Forearmed they’ll come with shooters of pea.
Now change was revealed in all its scope:
Taboo-busting boorishness tinged with hope.
It would stand Barack in excellent stead
As, gibbering, health care rose from the dead.
Against all advice the White House regrouped,
With new depths to plumb, new lows to be stooped.
It queried Congress, testing its temper
To see if its “fi” still had its “semper”.
More pledges exacted, no matter the price;
Unhappy the soldiers conscripted twice.
Obama, his capital nearly spent,
Abandoned all pretense of good intent;
Reneging on vows as if made in jest;
Brokering deals at others’ behest.
The more he wheedled, the more he cajoled,
The more special interests raked in the gold.
Unions made sure he was worth his hire
(Failure found an adoptive sire).
The AARP got such a big slice,
It moved to Palm Beach and retired twice.
Lawyers who traffic in frivolous suits
Not only flowered but sunk deeper roots.
Stupak’s circle was easy to cozen—
Such votes come cheap when bought by the dozen.
Obama, moreover, our stomachs tried
When he and Kucinich went for a ride,
The latter sure the flight would engender
Pride that he, too, was once a contender.
Thus, bribery ran a river in spate
And CBO numbers rigged the debate.
“The CBO scores” meant more than the bill;
Its amorous flings were the talk of the Hill;
Yet how it disproved we’d be in arrears
Got Enron’s director twenty-five years.
All shame was lost as Senate tradition
Sank more debased than life in perdition;
The Twisting of arms an optimum tool;
Goading a man to renounce his own rule.
How firm stood Obama in days of yore
(Reciting from notes on the Senate floor)
Against injustice he swore would take root
Should parliamentarians get the boot.
Here’s a conundrum: under his aegis
Nuclear warfare’s not so egregious.
Gone the alarmist, his dire narrative
Tweaked into a moral imperative
Wherewith Congress, their Rubicon crossed,
Measured their marches in liberties lost.
Passage felt like a bad movie ended—
Disbelief back (it was never suspended!)
To the ship now righted with waves of hats
Bukharin returned with all the rats;
Pelosi clutched her gavel gigantic
(Wanting to touch it Franken was frantic).
In a single year via Obama
Of government growth this was the Mama.
A new vein mined in the mountain of debt;
More booze-sodden toasts on Pelosi’s jet.
Speak! Liberty, in tones becoming age
What further plots these sad events presage.
Complete the equation; your prescient sum:
Obama past, Obama yet to come.
By increments, like layers of guano;
Subtle as Janet Nepolitano,
The debt grew. Insuperably steady,
Always the Treasury at the ready
To gorge this glutton, loosed from Dante’s Hell;
Obesity’s rod to chastise Ms. Michelle.
As orgies of outlays continued apace,
Bukharin restored enough of his face
To champion Obama’s brand new start
With all the gloss of a scholiast’s art.
One foot in his mouth, one in the stirrup,
He mounted his nag, “Following Europe”.
An equestrian byword, gaunt of rib,
Forever in search of a free corn crib,
It seemed to totter, the last of its legs
Less tendon and muscle than balsam pegs.
Consider Pegasus, only larger;
As paragons go, a pure white charger;
And such was this nag esteemed in the press
That hardly a man could think of it less.
The Brians, the Katies, the Michael Moores
(When it rains on the Right it Amanpours)
Curtsied before this ignoble pairing,
Emblem of Washington way past caring.
Not with less favor was Obama buoyed;
Defective or not, his warranty void.
In moralizing tones he lulled the brain
Like Mesmer dangling his watch and chain.
In the mid-forties his favorables polled,
And, crowds upon crowds, the bandwagon rolled.
Guileless soccer moms loathed fixing blame;
Their foresight reduced to the next road game.
Would that their children played always at home;
In time they’d see we’re collapsing like Rome.
Independents held firm: There’s voters who think;
Straight down the middle and up to the brink;
Deists of dignity, atheists glad;
Truth blows in the wind with each hanging chad.
Youths were the vanguard, who, passive as sheep,
Their legacy squandered, the jailer’s keep
Looming in health reform’s legislation,
Still cast their lots with Obamanation.
Such was the spirit of undeterred zest,
The Leibniz-like hope, “It’s all for the best”
That spread contagion, each vote like a germ,
Vaulting Obama to a second term.
Now darker impulses came to the fore,
Cued by interest rates starting to soar,
And all the misery multitudes faced—
The ultimate crisis that Rahm wouldn’t waste.
The White House, gladdened, saw reason to fete;
The drama foretold, the stage had been set
For founding Utopia with the repute:
A nation of equals, all destitute.
To this idea Obama held fast
Even as businesses sputtered their last.
The yoke of tight credit eliciting groans,
And, bound by red ink, banks calling in loans.
Emboldened, Geithner, redoubled his haste
That dollars, devalued, be more so debased.
The press devils harked and took extra heed,
Obliging their boss with consummate speed.
As trading in greenbacks hit a new low
The clattering presses started to glow;
The belts and bearings so hot from the strain,
Whole sheets of bennies would burst into flame.
America’s creditors got their comeuppance,
Paid back in dollars not worth a tuppence.
Nor could Bernanke’s obsequious pleas
Silence the rage of a billion Chinese.
Just blocks from the White House, dismal days dawned:
At Beijing’s request the Smithsonian pawned;
Removed from the coinage our trust in God;
Torn up and discarded the Mall’s new sod.
Yet in a panic they STILL dumped our debt
Like “junk that sinks but doesn’t get wet”.
Progressives, convulsed with laughs of elation,
Thrilled at the currency’s immolation.
Obama, unmasked, delivered his creed:
“From capital’s chains the nation is freed!
Fallen from azure are Liberty’s minions;
Their wealth dispersed and melted their pinions.
Their fate has devolved by nature’s command,
Like beasts to the sea relinquishing land.
By government sufferance they’ll still survive
And by their toil their countrymen thrive.
“Hereinafter debate is discouraged;
Of bile and spleen be lawmakers purged.
Time’s expired though Lieberman stammer;
Franken presides. Behold his sledgehammer!
“No rancor too great, I’ll heal the rift;
Make lions lay down with Eleanor Clift;
Focus America’s eyes on the prize:
Newsweek’s resurgence, Rush Limbaugh’s demise.
No more on the Yank will foreigners sour;
Gone is the stigma of temporal power.
Lest there’s doubt our hegemony’s through,
The United Nations has vouched it true.
“Liberty’s statue a title will bear
For indoctrination: The Great Au Pair.
She’ll tend the docile from cradle to grave,
But rule like Draco the home of the brave.”
Liberty! Swear by all that’s heroic;
By Tom Paine’s cry or some martyred stoic;
That legions of devotees still unbowed
Can via the ballot box make you proud.
Fled is your vision of unchecked decline;
Observed and noted; defeatists repine.
Awaits the nation whom you’ve anointed
To thwart Obama, and what’s appointed
In Two Thousand Twelve—the electoral shock
Bigger than Mayans resetting their clock.
Called from rule of a people set apart;
Whisked from the North into the nation’s heart,
Liberty’s Chosen One graces our cause
With unvarnished reverence for all her laws.
Dian the Huntress! O thrice-noble one!
Who cradles, in camo, a twelve-gauge shotgun;
To her our great nation its homage pays.
She lifts the spirit and dazzles the gaze!
Ev’n as a baby shaking her rattle,
So shook the earth from Gnome to Seattle.
As harbingers go, a Democrat’s curse:
The rattle betiding a grip on their purse.
Born of good stock, a family of teachers,
She cherished life and slaughtered its creatures;
And learned to subsist off a mountain ledge:
“The roughest berry from the rudest hedge”.
Inured to long winters, her snow-broth blood
Flowed like a freshet in a warm spring flood.
For proof against cold—just braided tresses,
Seal-skin knickers and party dresses.
Many a skinned knee would her gambols cost
While skipping through darkness on permafrost.
But summers were heav’n, abundant with light;
Sly Morpheus vanquished by wakey night.
Two a.m. ice cream in downtown Wasilla;
With thirty-one flavors—all vanilla.
Steeled by decades of hardscrabble life,
Risen to governor, mother, and wife,
She preached an ethic of courage and faith
To all of her ilk, to whom she saith,
“The Republican Party’s one big tent,
Reached only by floatplane, like Jonah sent
To urge reform from Sidon to Tyre;
Or risk a rain of brimstone and fire”.
The pundits mocked her like jesters at court.
Her high aspirations they turned to sport;
Demanding more than just her pilloried,
But swift boated, borked and ev’n hillaried.
With a regent’s poise she contained her rage
When a satyr struck from his late nite stage
With viscerally wrenching jabs to the gut
That felt like Carson degraded by smut.
All she endured like an Alaskan Frost;
Her family maligned, her privacy lost.
When a Grub Street hack bent to his labor,
She built a fence and made a good neighbor.
Now backed by an army of raw recruits,
In numbers like locusts, in brains like Newts,
She’s fixed their will like a diorama,
Pledged to unseating Barack Obama.
Although from rustics her ranks are drawn,
It suffices that Sarah leads them on;
With a gig’s worth of Toby on her ipod,
Hers the conservative scepter and rod.
There’s no demographic she can’t get,
From harp seal hunters to the paint ball set.
Rose among brambles, she’ll start a new vogue
That will not stop ‘til we’ve all gone rogue.
Lady of Iron! Like whom in stature
None can compare but Margaret Thatcher;
She’s picked up the gauntlet and entered the lists,
Her finger erect in spite of the fists,
To launch a campaign with a monster rally—
A million strong at the base of Denali
That could ev’n swell by a factor of two
United with migrating caribou.
On behalf of Liberty she’ll proclaim
Austerity’s Era in all but name.
A purging of all that soils this nation
Couched in the virtue of deprivation.
In gemstone jellies and a gingham dress,
She’ll dub her campaign the “Dime Store Express”
Exalting thrift that begins in the home,
Then wends its way to the Capitol’s dome.
Uncle Sam’s belt she’ll cinch ‘til it rankles
So pants at the knees don’t bag to the ankles;
A balanced budget required by law,
And further enjoined by Mama’s big paw.
Bernanke’s Bastille she’ll take by storm;
(Rejecting all pretense of Fed reform)
Ransacking its books, exposing to view
Webs of corruption and monies undue.
Dare Wall Street object? They’ll live with their lot,
Cowed by “You betchas” that terminate “NOT!”
Wrought of the stuff that gives virtue its soul,
Dogma inscribed on her hand like a scroll,
She’ll scatter a new political seed
That rewards hard work and punishes greed.
By chanting her name will children applaud,
Their futures preserved from government fraud;
Their voices attuned to freedom’s allure,
Anointing the blind with patriot myrrh.
Like Joseph with harlots we’ve left our robes;
In fortitude Davids; in patience Jobs.
Forgoing the fruits of Liberty’s horn,
That orchards remain for ages unborn.
Of vulgar indulgence we stand confessed;
Our penance accepted; our penitence blessed.
Shriven, we’ll labor with each passing breath
Commending ourselves to a glorious death
When rising triumphal in Liberty’s cars,
We take our inheritance with the stars.
About the author:
Born in 1964, Jim Heffern grew up in Lawrenceville, New Jersey where he now resides. A career carpenter, he attributes his political bent to his father, Adrian Heffern, now retired, who covered New Jersey politics as a journalist for over thirty years. Jim had the distinct pleasure of attending high school with Jon Stewart. Two years younger than Jon, he only had one class with him-a history class called "The Making of Modern Europe" taken when he was a sophomore and Jon a senior. He recalls Jon had a special rapport with the teacher-a Reagan supporter (the year was 1980) who relished belittling all things liberal, his students not excepted. Such was their rapport, however, that the teacher, in perverse deference to Jon, kept pinned to his bulletin board a replica of a 1920 campaign poster featuring (in prison garb) the socialist candidate for president, Eugene Victor Debs.
Jim suspects this was a gift from Jon to the teacher and by its display, a way of honoring the gift more than the man. It remained in the classroom long after Jon had graduated, and the image of Debs' spare, wizened figure
in paper-thin tunic, his graybar digs in the background, sticks in Jim's mind even to this day. It's the image of dignity, resolve, and sacrifice-three virtues that today seem as obsolete as the philosophy which inspired them.