Saturday, January 5, 2008

Huckabee's Caucus Win, Conan's Causality

On Friday night's (technically early Saturday morning's) episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Conan linked the "Walker, Texas Ranger Lever" with Mike Huckabee's Iowa Caucus win on Thursday. Here's the logic behind the joke:

1. Chuck Norris' popularity waned at the turn of the century, or at the very least, it wasn't quite to his 1980s action hero heyday.
2. Late Night runs a hilarious gag that mocks Norris' Walker show by showing out-of-context, yet ridiculous regardless of context, clips from Walker.
3. Popular culture becomes aware of Chuck Norris again, thanks to Conan and company.
4. A list of "Chuck Norris Facts" (and its derivatives) turns the mocked Norris into a pop culture demigod.
5. Norris endorses Mike Huckabee.
6. Huckabee wins the caucus on Thursday and is the current front runner for the GOP nomination.

QED, I suppose.

Humor is very important in digesting the harsh meal of politics, and I'm glad that more Americans (compared to the previous twenty years, about) are energized to ensure their voices are heard. A politically energized Iowa gave Barack Obama victory for the Democrats, and put the assumed front runner Hillary Clinton behind second place John Edwards. Similarly, the Evangelical base (with bass player aficionados, Chuck Norris roundhouse kick victims, and weight loss fans) of the Republican party in Iowa gave Huckabee the win over the wealthy Mitt Romney. Not to be pushed into obscurity, World Wide Web champion / FOX News public enemy #1 Ron Paul placed fourth (or fifth, depending how you look at the McCain-Thompson tie), ahead of one-time assumed front runner Rudy Giuliani. There are suspicions that Dr. Paul will do even better in New Hampshire this Tuesday, despite all of FOX News' efforts to ensure a neoconservative, jingoistic, and fundamentalist GOP candidate pool - meaning, the candidates have to be all of the above qualities.

It's great that there are several contradictory voices, and hopefully this will translate to true debate about issues and the country's direction - and not ad hominem mudslinging (except against FOX news - smirk, wink). I've said this before, but I'll say it again: Anyone who viciously demonizes (without a smirk or a wink) an entire half of the American political spectrum pretty much amounts to supporting totalitarianism - which is the one definitive thing that doesn't belong in the land of the free and the home of the brave. (By the way, last I checked, FOX News doesn't constitute half of the the American political spectrum.)

QED, maybe.

Beardless Conan photo credit: Mikko Paananen.

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