Friday, January 4, 2008

Mirror, Mirror

You Should Thank Me For Not Photoshopping The Mirror Universe's Giuliani. Seriously.

Son-of-a-bitch, it took me long enough. In trying to get a handle on Mike Huckabee, I found myself hacking through through the man's veritable forest of dichotomies with a macheté dulled from overuse. There is o much to him. Much that is brutal, and intolerant, like his stance on quarantining AIDS sufferers, his knee-jerk idea of a blanket closing off of the U.S. to all Pakistanis post-the Bhutto assassination, his equating homosexuality to pedophilia and maybe most noxiously, his expressed desire to send Mexican children born in the U.S. back to Mexico.

And yet, there is an undeniable charm to the man. Straight up. He is affable, unlike his fellow policy travelers such as Tom Tancredo. He boasts a genuine warmth, setting him apart from GOP cold fish like the moribund Giuliani or the follicle-perfect, unblinking Life Model Decoy Mitt Romney. At least in words, he scans as having something of a compassionate streak on certain issues that matter to people.

In Huckabee there is the familiar and the alien...a bit of the romantic and of course, the repellent.

I've struggled for weeks to grasp the man and what it was about his whole vibe that seemed so familiar.

And then it hit me. I was surfing YouTube two nights ago and found myself spluttering with laughter at Charlie Murphy's hilarious, gangsta re-boot of Mr. Spock in the Robot Chicken Star Trek figure animations. Shortly afterward, I was shutting down the house bit-by-bit, turning off the lights and then the computers and checking locks and whatnot—all those mundane little things when I ended up padding down the hall to the bedroom in the dark. Groping my way along the wall I thought of Star Trek and laughed.

I stopped. A picture came to mind. Mr. Spock—Charlie Murphy's brash and profane, alternate-universe Mr. Spock.

Alternate universe. Star Trek. Spock sideways. “Mirror, Mirror”. Oh, hell...

“Mirror, Mirror” was the classic episode of the original Star Trek series where we saw the flip side of the characters we all knew so well—familiar still in so many ways, but scarily different in other ways that are to say the least, jarring. Even if you're not a Star Trek fan, the pop-culture ubiquitousness of the episode's alternate reality images—the sleeveless, sweating Kirk and the menacing, goateed Spock, endure beyond the show's mythos.

But just who exactly I thought, was Mike Huckabee the freaky “Mirror Universe” version of?

I needed to look no further than his predecessor as Arkansas governor, one William Jefferson Clinton.

When that thought bubbled up, I went back down the hall and turned the computer back on, to type in a few things—and suddenly, it all made sense.

Both of men were governors of Arkansas.

I popped the TV on and caught a highlight of Huckabee sitting in on bass with Jay Leno's band. Bill's turn on Arsenio blowing sax popped to mind of-Goddamn-course.

Both of them spent time visibly weight-challenged and workied desperately and quite publicly to fix it.

Both men are as friendly and welcoming as a gravy-laden chicken-fried steak after a hard day's work, and are blessed with a quick wit and charm enough for a hundred men.

They're each full to bursting with the gift of gab and breezily capable of waving the oratorical sugar stick that echos from the pew and the pulpit.

And notice the sash and goatee...

You note that Clinton celebrates the inclusiveness of faith in general. Huckabee revels in the exclusiveness of his.

Clinton while walking out the door pardoned a white-collar criminal who did nothing after the fact but found himself pilloried for it. The rapist Huckabee pardoned as the door hits him in the ass promptly went out and raped and murder-death-killed someone.

Clinton passive-aggressively Ju-Jitsu-ed his opponents into damaging themselves with subtle moves. Huckabee it turns out was a notoriously vindictive and “on-the-offensive” partisan office holder. (Agony booth, anyone?)

Bill Clinton is renowned for a sparkling intelligence and his grasp of current events, history and a rapacious thirst for knowledge in general. While Huckabee....oh, my...oh my, my, my...

It is there where the damning, and fatal difference between these good and evil twins lay. The ONE thing no one can ever say about Bill Clinton is that he is ill-informed on issues. Or not up-to-speed on what's going on in the world on cultural and international matters.

Huckabee however, for all of his charm and honey-drizzled platitudes and plays to velvet-gloved Huey Long populism is by dint of a chain of his own recent, telling blatherings...quite the fucking numbskull.

He didn't know a Goddamned thing about the NIE—and when pressed probably thought it was something silly British knights said in a movie once—except I'm guessing he's more of an “Ernest Goes To Camp / “Left Behind” VHS-watching kind of fellow and has probably never heard of Monty Python.

It seems he also spent the bulk of his governorship consulting half-melted 1950's hygiene film-strips for forming policy opinions on dealing with AIDS sufferers.

But...I think it is the following feces-covered zirconia of a statement that frankly cleaves with a flashing axe, protozoans like him from the upright-walkers like Clinton and most sane folk.

"Sometimes we talk about why we're importing so many people in our workforce," the former Arkansas governor said. "It might be for the last 35 years, we have aborted more than a million people who would have been in our workforce had we not had the holocaust of liberalized abortion under a flawed Supreme Court ruling in 1973."

If you took battery acid, roiling lye, a shot of nitroglycerin, ground glass and Clorox and mixed it in an iced tea glass and garnished it with a rusty X-acto blade, you couldn't whip up a stupider cocktail than the above issuance of words from Huckabee. It's got economic theorizing that only Professor Irwin Corey could grasp, a healthy dash of tongue-talked, Christianist law-flogging, and last but not least. one of the most shoe-horned-in bits of Godwin-nery ever heard in an unrelated political discussion.

It certainly doesn't say very much about the GOP that for all their belated gnashing of teeth about their present Commander-in-Chef's idiocy, they seem all too willing to elevate as a successor an equally intelligence-deficient person.

Perhaps that's the most obvious flaw of the wingnut “Mirror Universe”—the key divergence being the outright championing of dumbfuckery.

That penchant for shit-for-braininess certainly explains the newly ascendant Huckabee''s rise in the GOP polls, And the eerie superficial similarities he has to Clinton fills in the rest of the “Mirror Mirror” blanks quite neatly.

How sad is it that I can explain the GOP's shiny, new front-runner in total with nothing more than a creaky plot device from a 40-year-old cult classic TV series. Damn.

But I suppose it's only fitting. M*A*S*H's Frank Burns perfectly captures the last front-runner....and The Hillbilly Bears' Paw Rugg pretty much nails Iowa's #3 finisher.

Shit. There's Commander McBragg!

And Hymie the Robot.

The bitch of it all? They all think they're Jack-fucking-Bauer from “24”.