The Bootblack Stand

Of Ruffled Feathers and Carnivores

Dr. George Washington Plunkitt, our prize-winning political analyst, has recently retired from a staff position with the House Ethics Committee and is working on volume one of his memoirs, tentatively titled Screams From My Father. But he has graciously consented to once again advise American statesmen in these times of trouble.

By From the February 2013 issue

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Dear Mr. Plunkitt—

The last few months were surreal. When PBS funding became a political issue, it felt too close to home. Then when Mitt Romney called me out by name during a nationally televised debate, I almost fell out of my nest!

That said, events also forced much introspection. As the debate wore on, I began to question everything I had ever been told. I learned that PBS receives millions from taxpayers each year, while the federal debt climbs ever higher. My life’s work is to teach children, and now I worry for their futures more than ever!

Coming to these conclusions was unsettling, to say the least. I’ve lived all my life in a cloistered public television studio. Now I feel like I need a rumspringa. I need to spread my wings and fly (although that analogy is probably lost, as my species is flightless—as you might have imagined given my excessive height, rotund backside, and small wingspan). How do you suggest I begin to understand these strange, new feelings?

Big Bird
Number 4
Sesame Street


Dear Big (may I call you Big?)—

Proceed with extreme caution.

To prove my point: Have you ever heard of Fluzzo the Meerkat? No? Fluzzo was one of the great puppets of the 1950s. He starred in several blockbuster movies, and basked in all the trappings of his celebrity: money, scantily clad meerkittens, cover treatment on the New York Times Magazine. But slowly, his political leanings leaked out. On trumped-up charges, he was hauled before a PBS kangaroo court (a puppet kangaroo presided, appropriately enough), and he was disappeared. Summarily executed, some suspect. Public television apparatchiks went to work shortly thereafter and painstakingly painted him out of every frame of every movie in which he had ever appeared. Today, it’s as if he never existed.

Proceed with extreme caution. You will never be safe expressing such feelings as you have described so long as the world remains divided by the Felt Curtain.
 —GWP


Dear Mr. Plunkitt—

I would like to propose a modest constitutional amendment. Our country is politically polarized. Elections are decided by razor-thin percentages. My recent bid for the presidency is a good example. A total of 62 million people voted against me. But 59 million people voted for me.

From a businessman’s perspective, the problem is clear: After any given presidential election, half of the customers are dissatisfied. We need market segmentation. We need to bifurcate the presidency.

Here’s how it would work: President Obama would govern the blue states, and I would govern the red ones. On matters in which the United States can have only one policy, we would make a joint decision. On other matters, we could craft separate policies for our respective territories.

By early next year, I will have red America humming along at 4 percent unemployment. California and Massachusetts can raise taxes to put a chicken in every pot and a Planned Parenthood office on every corner. Can I count on your support for my proposal?

Sincerely,
W. Mitt Romney


Dear Mr. Romney—

Psychologists have identified stages of grief in people suffering a tremendous loss, and you are clearly still in stage three: bargaining. But, alas, your proposal simply won’t go. First, there’s the practical matter of passing such an amendment through the Democratic Senate, controlled by Harry Reid. Second—how can I put this gently?—the proposal seems awful on its merits. What if, while planning troop movements in the middle of war, the two presidents are unable to come to a joint decision? Do they simply play rock-paper-scissors to break the tie?

Call me when you reach the fourth stage of grief, depression, and I shall take you out for a drink. (Well, I’ll have a drink. You can have a Shirley Temple.)
—GWP


Dear Dr. Plunkitt—

I am a paleontologist of some note, and have recently discovered a new species of dinosaur. Per scientific custom, it is my prerogative to christen the beast, and, being politically conservative, I had hoped to name it after our 45th president. Mittasaurus.

Researchers have already named a lichen after Barack Obama. The memory of George W. Bush will live on whenever future generations think of A. bushi, one of the great slime-mold beetles of the world.

It is excruciating to me how far left the academy tilts. My new find is a ferocious predator, larger even than T. Rex. I would have very much enjoyed watching my colleagues squirm as they described Mittasaurus, the largest carnivore ever to live.

But November’s disastrous results have stymied my plan. What am I to do?

Perplexedly,
Dr. Archibald J. McKenzie
Brookwater College


Dear Dr. McKenzie—

Frankly, i’ve never understood why scientific nomenclature is so enamored with Latin. Why not buck convention and use a more interesting dead language, maybe Zarphatic or Khwarezmian or one of the Apabhramśa dialects? Or why not use an obscure living language? I’ve been told !Xóõ is nice. Plus it would be entertaining to hear scientists attempt to make all those clicking sounds.
—GWP

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About the Author
Dr. George Washington Plunkitt, our prize-winning political analyst, has recently retired from a staff position with the House Ethics Committee and is working on his memoirs. But he has graciously consented to once again advise American statesmen in these times of trouble. Address all correspondence to The Bootblack Stand, c/o The American Spectator.