Columns » Bob Lancaster

Campaign noogies

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Bro. Huckabee is courting Iowans with a TV commercial in which he says as president he'd have a two-word answer for stopping illegal immigration, the two words being Chuck and Norris. And, voila, appearing there beside him vidiotically is ol'Walker, Texas Ranger, himself, crunching knuckles in apparent eager anticipation of knocking whole slews of the Damp Lumbars back where they came from.

The suggestion is that the Huck and Chuck presidential team — yes, alack, Chuck is aboard — could and would handle the other presidential campaign issues, opponents, and critics in the same simple easy kick-ass manner. They would be kicking global warming's complicated ass, probably with Al Gore's face painted on it. They would be kicking cut-and-run's unpatriotic ass. They would be kicking Mitt Romney's pretty-boy ass. They would be kicking Hillary Clinton's bony ass, even if the inevitable headline concerned how fashionable the outfit she was wearing at the time was or wasn't. They would be kicking Max Brantley's unappreciative old ass, perhaps as often as he theirs. They would be kicking Rudy Giuliani's immoral phony New York ass until his comb-over stood straight up, like Buckwheat seeing the ghost. While they were at it, they might also give Guiliani a Dutch rub — what we used to call noogies — and I'm already betting that would be the No. 1 entry in all the late-night highlight retrospectives of Campaign 2008.

I'm not vain enough to think they might get in mind to kick my ass, too, but if they ever should get it in mind, I'm giving them fair warning that I have a black belt, and that this ass-kicking business works both ways. And if the black belt doesn't give them pause, I've got something that will — a pair of red suspenders filched nimbly off an unsuspecting Larry King.

Unless I miss my guess, the marketing strategy here borrowed heavily from the TV commercial that Chuck did recently for Mountain Dew — the one in which he tracks down and kicks the punk asses of a couple of geeky computer gamers who have mocked his tough-hombre image in a commercial of their own. He films himself kicking their asses, then replays the ass-kicking over and over, obviously deriving great satisfaction from each and every kick by him and yelp by them.

Chuck supposedly came over to the Huckwagon because he had adjudged St. Paul-like that God was on the Bro.'s side, or vicey versey, as Pap used to say, and I have to admit that God would make a pretty good third when it comes to a presidential campaign that doesn't have much going for it except a lot of imaginary ass-kicking by a couple of post-adolescent nitwits.

When he's of a mind to, God can kick some ass now. He usually calls it smiting, and he can smite like nobody's business — whether it's one small smite for a man, as in Adam exiled, or one giant boot for mankind, as Caananites ethnically cleansed from the Trans-Jordan. And Chuck might be right about this, God right now might very well be hunkered there astride the Huckwagon, loins girt, if for no other reason than to return the favor for Huck grandstanding in his behalf, especially the time when he bawled out impious Arkansas legislators and newspaper writers for referring to floods and tornadoes and such obvious deviltry as “acts of God.” God wouldn't author a cyclone that afflicted the undeserving, everybody knows that, although he might reroute one as a backatcha touch of the hatbrim to, say, a longtime greasy televangelical intimate with a numskull boy, his own law school, his own diamond mine, and a giant head. You know the one I mean.

What goes around comes around seems to define both God's politics and Lucifer's naders on this shallow back-chute of this stagnant politico-teleological slough.

If Huck and Chuck and God together still have trouble getting an issue's or opponent's ass kicked, well, yonder comes the Fourth Horseman of this unlikely ass-kicking Apocalypse. That would be Nature Boy Ric Flair, who used to be the rassling ring's ass-kicking mon arch and champeen, more so than Hulk, Haystacks, Andre, and the Rock-and-Rollah Ayatollah put together. Ric could kick it right up there between your shoulder blades. Or at least he had the mouth for it. And the hair.

You could look in Nature Boy's eyes back in his heyday and see a kind of intelligence burning there, a very low flame somehow perfectly iconic for the Huckabee campaign. It was the same intelligence, and pretty much exactly the same height of flame, that used to bemuse the physiog of the rassling ref when he couldn't quite remember what the pin count was that came after two.

You still might catch a quantum glimmer of it in Chuck's lifeless little beads just before he kicks down the door on the 10-gallon Texican dastard who has chained Ranger Walker's best gal to the four-poster and has just begun wicked though many-times-rerun advances. A very low flame indeed. Ric and Chuck both have it, Huck does not, and insofar as God it would be just a guess on my part that the flame both grew and gentled after the wild and wooly chariot ride through the O.T. back in deistic ass-kicking's prime.

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