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Clinton at the Bat

The following poem is a parody of "Casey at the bat" by Ernest Thayers (1888). It is not the first of this type to appear in the past month.

The outlook wasn't brilliant for Republicans that year.
The score stood all to nothing with the very worst to fear.
But that night, when Ohio turned red, and Florida did the same,
A stunned, shocked silence fell upon the patrons of the game.

A straggling few left the Javits Center in deep despair. The rest
Clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast.
They thought, if only the Rust Belt could stay blue at that,
They'd put up even money now with Clinton at the bat.

All polls, all media, all data said victory was sure;
They couldn't possibly be wrong – they'd never been before...
So that devoted multitude in unwavering faith sat,
For there seemed but little chance of Trump beating Clinton at the bat.

But then North Carolina, to the wonderment of all,
Turned red and sent a chill up every spine in the hall.
And when the dust had lifted, and the men saw what had occurred,
There was Utah in the rebels' camp! Unbelievable! Absurd!

Then from five thousand throats and more there rose a lusty yell.
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell.
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Clinton, mighty Clinton, could not blunder at the bat...

There'd been ease in Clinton's manner as she'd led them through the race.
There'd been pride in Clinton's bearing and a smile on Clinton's face.
And when, responding to the cheers, she'd lightly raise her hand,
No stranger in the crowds could doubt 'twas Clinton who'd rule the land.

Ten thousand eyes were on the map that kept them from their beds.
Five thousand tongues howled in agony as each blue state turned red.
As each news anchor, one by one, began to lose his grip,
Defiance gleamed in her devotees' eyes; sneers of loathing curled their lips.

Soon the results from Iowa came hurtling through the air.
Liberals sat a-watching without a bit of worry there.
Before the confident Democrat, the votes came in with no dread.
"I've got this in the bag," said Clinton, before the state turned red.

From the center packed with people, there went up a muffled roar,
Like the beating of the storm waves on a stern and distant shore.
"Kill them! Kill the electors!" shouted someone in the stands
(And it's likely they would kill them, did the law not stay their hands).

With a smile of desperation, Podesta's visage shone.
He stilled the rising tumult; he bade the watch go on...
Ignoring that Pennsylvania, the most steadfastly blue,
Had just joined the enemy – right by Clinton, its votes flew.

"Fraud!" cried the maddened thousands, and Jill Stein answered, "Fraud!"
(One scolding from a Federal judge, and that would come to naught.)
They felt their insides turn weak and cold; they felt their muscles strain,
But they knew that Clinton wouldn't let a state go by again.

The sneer is gone from every lip; all teeth are clenched in hate.
They cry and moan and shudder as they wait and wait and wait.
And now Wisconsin holds their fate – now, at last they'll know...
And now all hope is shattered by the force of Wisconsin's blow.

For the populace of this favored land, the sun is shining bright.
The band is playing for them, and all their hearts are light.
In the red states, men are laughing; in the Rust Belt, children shout.
But there is no joy in Eliteville – mighty Clinton has struck out.


“There are 47% of the people who will vote for the president no matter what… 47% who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.”

The only appropriate criticism for Mitt Romney’s analysis of the modern American people is that it is completely plagiarized – nothing more than a rewording of an ancient poet’s analysis of his fellow Romans:

“…They shed their sense of responsibility
Long ago, when they lost their votes, and the bribes; the mob
That used to grant power, high office, the legions, everything,
Curtails its desires, and reveals its anxiety for two things only,
Bread and circuses. …”
Juvenal, Satire X, 77-81, Trans. A.S. Kline, 2011.

Unoriginal, Mr. Romney… and depressingly accurate. Sigh Different time, different nation, same tragedy.

Lately, Dinesh D’Souza and many others have been asking, What will the United States be like in 2016 if the current regime remains in power? A silly question to ask – observant minds already predicted decades ago where we have been heading and where we will continue to head if we don’t change course ASAP:

1921: “Listen, you must know: anyone who poisons themselves with nicotine and alcohol, in particular, will be shown no mercy by the One State” for not maintaining the prime, healthy condition necessary “to perform my obligations before the One State.” (predicted by Yevgeny Zamyatin in his novel We)
September 13, 2012: The New York City government proceeds with legislation forbidding the sale/purchase of sugary beverages above 16 ounces in the name of taking care of NYC ciphers’ health for them. (No doubt they would prefer forbidding alcohol, a much unhealthier beverage, if the country hadn’t already tried that once only to watch it fail epically…)

1932: The World State implements “the conscription of consumption” with “Every man, woman and child compelled to consume so much a year. In the interests of industry.” (predicted by Aldous Huxley in his novel Brave New World)
March 23, 2010: The United States government starts by implementing the conscription of consumption within one industry – health insurance, with every man, woman and child compelled to pay to consume this product or else pay the penalty of a fine. In the interests of their own well-being.

Ibis: The World State indiscriminately ensures all fertile women a free lifetime supply of birth control.
March 2012: The United States government shows their superior dictatorial skills to the World States’ by instead demanding others (specifically, all employers, regardless of personal stance) indiscriminately ensure all female employees a free lifetime supply of birth control. Why pay for the bread and circuses when you can simply command your people to do it for you?

1937: The World Council rejects a Brother’s (re-)invention of the light bulb because “What is not done collectively cannot be good.” (predicted by Ayn Rand in her novella Anthem)
July 13, 2012: President Obama shows them how denying others’ success should be done – just claim it was done collectively! Give all credit to the collective government anyway, and tell the pompous individual, “You didn’t build that!”

1953: The United States government answers the demand for protecting everyone and anyone from being offended by employing professional book burners: “Don’t step on the toes of the dog lovers, the cat lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. … All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. … You must understand that our civilization is so vast that we can’t have our minorities upset and stirred.” (predicted by Ray Bradbury in his novella Fahrenheit 451)
2008: It becomes racist to criticize or disapprove of the President of the United States or his policies, actions, or statements in any way because of his minority status.

1960: “Justice had made great strides. Legal Justice, Economic Justice, Social Justice, and many other forms of justice, of which we do not even know the names, had been attained” by making everyone equal in all ways, up to and including forcing women to undergo plastic surgery so that no one is uglier or (gasp!) prettier than anyone else. Alas, “there still remained spheres of human relationship and activity in which Justice did not reign.” (predicted by L.P. Hartley in his dystopian novel Facial Justice)
September 2011: The Obama Administration crusades to bring “Social Justice” to those unpenetrated spheres, such as to the sphere of “Income Inequality” by catering to those who demand no one be more or less prosperous or successful than anyone else.

1984: The Ministry of Truth is charged with “correcting” all written records to make sure everything supports the Party’s current version of reality. (predicted by George Orwell in a certain 1948 novel, which the Obama PR Team really should have read before naming their theoretical poster girl for how government interference improves lives Julia)
February 2012: The Obama Administration creates the “Truth Teams” to combat, discredit, and deny any slanderous lies spread by the President’s enemies, reported by observant goodthinkful citizens.

Ibis: The Ministry of Plenty reduces the chocolate ration from 30 to 20 grams. No word on when they reduced the sugary beverage ration to 16 ounces.

Ibis: Oceania celebrates Hate Week, where the government directs all citizens to rally and riot in the streets and unleash their hate at whatever the easiest target happens to be (one day Eurasia, the next Eastasia...).
September 2011: The Obama Administration cheers on the Occupy movement as its members rally and riot in the streets, trashing and destroying both private and public property, and unleash their hate at evil capitalists (whom the Party of Oceania eradicated long ago, while still constantly reminding its people how evil and oppressive they were, and they can always trust the word of the Party!).

Ibis: “On the sixth day of Hate Week,” after four years of war against Eurasia, “it had been announced that Oceania was not after all at war with Eurasia. Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Eurasia was an ally. There was, of course, no admission that any change had taken place. Merely it became known, with extreme suddenness and everywhere at once, that Eastasia and not Eurasia was the enemy. … The thing that impressed Winston in looking back was that the speaker had switched from one line to the other actually in mid-sentence, not only without a pause, but without even breaking the syntax.”

“Oceania was at war with Eastasia: Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.”

June 28, 2012: After over two years of assurance from President Obama that the Individual Mandate of Obamacare is emphatically “not a tax,” Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court announced that the Individual Mandate is constitutional because it is, in fact, a tax. There was, of course, no admission that any change had taken place. Merely it became known, with extreme suddenness and everywhere at once, that the Individual Mandate is a tax, not a penalty. The thing that impresses me in looking back is that the government switched from one version of reality to another so smoothly, seamlessly, and confidently with no apparent self-awareness of doublethink in any way.

The Individual Mandate is a tax: the Individual Mandate has always been a tax.

The Party of Oceania would be so impressed!

We know where we’re heading if things don’t change on that crucial day in November 2012... and I shudder to think of living in such worlds as Huxley, Rand, and Orwell revealed to us. The most frightening part is that their and others’ books only warned us of the futures we had better avoid... because once we get there, we are doomed. Since we didn’t listen, what we need now is a manual on how to survive in the ultimate totalitarian welfare state where all the fruits of the working citizens’ labor are confiscated to cater to and spoil the nation’s moochers and loafers, where the government keeps dissenters powerless by encouraging conflict, enmity, and mistrust between the rich and the poor and keeps its pets’ support by providing a constant supply of free bread and circuses, and where the only way a girl can keep her family from starving to death is by illegally hunting and foraging and then trading the fruits of her labor on the black market – in other words, by practicing forbidden capitalism...

Oh, wait – we received one from Suzanne Collins in 2008!

If Barack Obama is re-elected President in November and allowed to take us further down the path of the Dystopian Novel, well, Happy Hunger Games, America!

Oh, Mr. Romney, may the odds be ever in your favor!

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