Scandals, scams distract from America’s real problems

Courtland Milloy
Columnist November 8, 2011

I’ve been burned by Wall Street, played like a fiddle by Madison Avenue, taken to the cleaners by clip joints at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. Now comes the 2012 presidential campaign bearing the hallmarks of a Barnum & Bailey circus.

Step right up, folks:

Behold Herman “The Hermanator” Cain — brother from another mother, alleged to have pawed the mother of a another who the brother now says is trying to make his campaign sputter.

Be afraid. The Hermanator is out to getcha.

Hear Michele “Queen of Rage” Bachmann proclaim the end times for our “orgy” of government spending. For God said unto her, “Are you going to start listening to me here?” Bachmann recalled. And she took that to mean He wanted her to run for president and spread the bad news.

From a nation of more than 300 million people, we now have the best presidential timber in the land. And if you’re ever feeling bloated with debt and lacking consumer confidence, try Cain’s “9-9-9”deficit relief and tax elimination tonic. Guaranteed to grow jobs and kill the death tax, too.

(Patent is pending on a formula to make allegations of sexual harassment go away.)

Is there no end to the shell games, flimflams, ponzis, pyramids, pigeon drops and assorted schemes and stings that Wall Street will perpetrate on Main Street with the aid of their political puppets in Washington? Want to see a magic trick, asks the financial wizard? Just close your eyes and — ooops! Where did all those jobs disappear to? Can you say “Abracadabra!” in Mandarin?

I actually thought this presidential election was supposed to be one of those turning points in the nation’s political history, where we righted this listing ship of state and tacked a new course toward justice and equal opportunity.

Gullible me.

The nation teeters on a high wire, and yet we sit mesmerized by the carnival barkers’ tales of sexcapades and pitches for economical cure-alls.

China is gearing up for a global showdown with the United States, supersizing it’s infrastructure, putting millions of its people to work on high-tech upgrades. Instead of doing the same, we content ourselves with a 9 percent unemployment rate even as our cars crash over crumbling roads and collapsing bridges, and we live in darkness when electric grids shortout everytime it rains.

Can Willard “Mitt the Wit” Romney really morph from a person into a corporation since “corporations are people,”as he claims? Just watch. As a person, Romney champions the little people, then transforms into a corporation and replaces them all with cheap labor to maximize his profits. Ta-da!

Quiet, please, as Rick “The Cowboy Seer” Perry tries to conjure a word that describes what Mitt the Wit just did.

“Was it — was before — he was before the social programs from the standpoint of —”

Aw, shucks, it was right on the tip of his tongue.

Now, a drumroll for the star of the Big Show: the incredible Barack “The Human Pretzel” Obama. Watch as he bends over backward to cooperate with Republicans then contorts to support Occupy Wall Street protesters on one hand while lining his reelection coffers with Wall Street cash on the other.

Talk about rubber bones.

Sorry I missed Sarah “Mama Grizzly” Palin, but apparently the bear went rogue in the Alaskan wilderness. On nights when there’s a full moon, I suspect you can still hear Donald “The Donald” Trump quacking like a birther.

That’s two less snow jobs to worry about. But there are a lot more grifters out on that campaign trail.

Just remember what former president George W. Bush said in that policy speech he gave in Nashville back in 2002:

“Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

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