Commentary by Will Durst: For the GOP, all the heartthrobs have left the building
It’s human nature. We mostly want what we can’t have. Grass is greener. The romantic lure of the unattainable. Knowledge that high school girls have long-since weaponized. Nothing entices a hormonally imbalanced freshman like flouncing down a crowded hall, laughing through a gaggle of friends with a flip of the pony-tail and nary a backwards glance. Of course, a short skirt doesn’t hurt.
Same holds true in politics. A short skirt doesn’t hurt. No matter how many dance partners the Republicans convince to attend their courtship gala, you’d swear their head was on ball bearings the way they keep swiveling to the door to see who might be lurking outside. Waiting for the bad-boy rock stars to finish their smokes in the parking lot and make a grand entrance. Or spin out to the highway spitting a rooster tail of gravel.
Can’t blame them. The Right is just getting over its relationship with an older man, which ended badly, and is hungering for some excitement. The reason they can’t get excited about the geeks and dorks and stalwarts like Huntsman and Paul and Santorum and Cain. Oh sure, they’re tolerated and marginally encouraged, but with an enthusiasm one normally associates with favorite dish towels and serviceable oil filters. Library boys. Not the smooching kind.
But to the GOP’s dismay, all the heartthrobs have left the building. Donald Trump flirted extensively this spring, but then ran away with his true love, reality television, that tramp. Ms. Popular Transfer Student, Sarah Palin, dragged out her coquettish tease so long even the most bewitched of beaus lost interest. On the rebound, blushing and gushing, Michele Bachmann accepted a corsage, but shortly after was discovered cheating with a corn dog, and jittery suitors fell out of love faster than a college girl with Justin Bieber.
After extended entreaties, Rick Perry triumphantly waltzed in to the fanfare of a conquering quarterback, and was immediately voted Homecoming King. No more calls, we have a winner. For about a week. Then, the Texas governor unraveled like a badly knitted letter-sweater caught in a threshing machine. A series of threshing machines. Seven to ten.
Even he admits he may have stumbled in debate class. Yeah. “Stumbled” being a polite way of saying, “Dug a hole deep enough to hide at least half of those very threshers of which earlier we spoke.” The more the cheerleaders saw of Captain Haircut, the more the bloom vamoosed the rose. Zero to 60 in 5.6.
With the dance but a couple months away, conservatives are franticly whining and pining for a savior to rise from these streets, turning their attention east to woo another governor, Chris Christie of New Jersey. They’re Crazy for Christie. The right Mr. Right. Too big to fail. Flattered, Christie toned down his persistent “not interested” to a titillating “let’s wait and see.” Oooh. Shivers.
Christie clearly relishes the role of vamping vixen, but continues to dither, aware that his date is a bit fickle, having tossed prospective partners like Kleenex in the midst of a bad cold. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney patiently waits, dressed in his gown, standing at the door. Wondering when the GOP will settle down, come to their senses and get their philandering over with. Might want to change out of those heels; and while you’re at it, a short skirt doesn’t hurt.
• Will Durst is a political comedian who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio. E-mail Will at firstname.lastname@example.org.