Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Final Presidential Debate: Josephine the Plumber

Above: McCain flaunts his fleshy wattle during the runway portion of the debate.

Above: Obama presents his wedding ring as evidence that he is a family man, yet not an Arab.

Last night’s debate was clearly dominated by the eloquent John McCain, who wooed voters with evocative word paintings like, “breash of freth air,” when referring to his running mate, Sarah Palin. McCain also treated the debate as a platform for a public reading of his latest short story, the allegory of “Joe the Plumber,” soon to be released by Plabnox Cures Publications in The Collected Short Stories of John McCain, Vol. I:2006-2008. The collection includes lesser-known tales such as “Josephine the Plumber” and “My Wife is a Trollop and a Cunt.”

McCain, in top form, was not light on content, either, as he hammered home one of the main points of the debate—namely, that women, a notoriously untrustworthy and tricky fragment of the constituency, shouldn’t be left to make decisions on their own. Both candidates supported this idea; Obama emphasized that women should remain firmly ensconced within paternal, symbolic law and mustn’t decide to have an abortion without consulting beforehand with a bevy of men, including families, doctors, and religious advisors*. However, the two candidates differ on the finer points of the women issue. McCain’s two-point plan for women is broader in scope than Obama’s, and includes overturning Roe v. Wade and then adopting hordes of unwanted newborns. When the topic of partial-birth abortion** arose, Obama, an Arab but not a family man, crumbled by confessing his support of a provision for the mother’s health. Many Americans are concerned with the definition of “health” as it pertains to women and worry that voters don’t have a voice in each woman’s decision to have an abortion, obtain contraceptives, get treatment for cancer, or refill prescriptions. A grimacing McCain spoke for the everyman when he rolled his eyes and squeamishly deplored the extension of “ ‘women’s health’ to mean just about anything.” Neither candidate mentioned that abortion is many times safer than pregnancy, which was probably wise since it is rumored that a few women in isolated households were allowed to watch the debates, under the watchful guidance of their fathers and husbands.

Each candidate managed to weave the coveted Reagan allusion into the American quilt of the debate. Reagan, a former U.S. president adored for his state-sponsored anti-communist terrorism and dismissal of the AIDS crisis, has been extolled by McCain in the past for his virtuous economic doctrine whose goal was to inseminate the entire globe, without consent, with free-trade capitalism. Last night, McCain slyly hinted at Reagan with mention of Nancy Reagan’s hospital stay, while Obama bragged about his own association with Reagan in concert with William Ayers.

Ayers, the "centerpiece" or entrĂ©e of McCain's campaign, came up during a heated portion of the debate in which it was settled that, while McCain shall not be held accountable for remarks directed at Obama like “Terrorist!” and “Kill him!” made by “fringe” attendees at his rallies, Obama shall be held accountable for clever remarks about McCain made by any and all congressmen who exist outside the purview of Obama’s campaign. This segment of the debate further established that, since McCain is a presidential candidate, he shall be allowed to make libelous television ads that apply the misnomer of “Terrorist” to Ayers, so long as they advance his rise to presidency. Neither candidate chose to argue that, hypothetically, if a person has been convicted of a crime (e.g., domestic terrorism, as Bill Ayers has not), paid punitively, reformed, and went on to contribute positively to society, this evolution would be a testament to the efficacy of our justice and penal system. However, such a tactic would have spelled campaign suicide by implying that criminals can reform.

On the subject of oil, the adversaries murmured that Canadian oil is categorically purer and superior to that of Venezuela and the Middle East. Both concurred that it would be preposterous to accept oil from any Middle Eastern country or Venezuela, but not from Canada. The difference between Canada and the aforementioned inferior countries is that Canada and the U.S. have shared values. The candidates and, by extension, the American people, value that most Canadians are white and speak English.

Auspiciously, when grilled by the moderator as to how each would cut spending, neither Obama nor McCain mentioned the war in Iraq. The Plabnox Cures crystal balls forecast that this bodes well for the prospect of future wars—a blitzkrieg in Afghanistan again, followed by a trio of pillaging in Iran, Pakistan, and North Korea—so long as the bloodshed budget remains robust and the government pledges to cut frivolities like Healthcare, Social Security, Education, Public Works, and the Arts.

*Although for centuries abortion was a private matter between only a woman and her physician, the explosion of mass media in the twentieth century has revealed abortion and women’s health to be ripe and entertaining topics of discussion.

**While the AMA does not recognize “partial-birth abortion” as a medical term, this mystical phrase has proven effective in political discourse due to its flowery descriptive properties.

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