Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How Tom Petty is helping Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign

My new When Falls the Coliseum post concerns the recent brouhaha between Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and musical performer Tom Petty, over her use of one of his songs at a campaign rally. You can read the whole thing here, but below is a bit of what is in store for you if click over:

When I heard that Tom Petty wanted Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to stop using one of his songs at campaign rallies, my first thought was, "Didn't former Democrat presidential nominee and all-around sleazy guy John Edwards use a Tom Petty song at his campaign rallies?"

Yes, he did.
Edwards speeches were filled with references to fighting corporations and American revolutionaries, often urging his listeners to rise up against special interests. Through 2007 and 2008, Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” could be heard in a repertoire of Edwards campaign songs that fit his themes and underlined his message. In gearing up for the New Hampshire primary in August 2007, for example, Edwards spoke in the town of Hookset. After the event, the campaign played “I Won’t Back Down” as Edwards shook hands of supporters on the way to boarding his “Fighting for One America” campaign bus.
If you follow the link above, you will also see that Petty actually performed the song "I Won't Back Down" for Al Gore and his supporters, after Mr. Gore "backed down" from the 2000 presidential race. It was also used by former New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer, who has now fallen so low that he hosts a nightly program on CNN.

Anyway, having thus refreshed my memory, a second question naturally came to mind: "Why would TEA Party stalwart Michele Bachmann want to associate herself with Al Gore, Eliot Spitzer, and John Edwards in the minds of voters?" I tell you honestly, I will not vote for anyone who is in any way, even remotely associated with those people. In fact, I will not associate with anyone who has voted for any of those people, or who would even consider voting for any of those people. I would not associate with anyone who would even think of those people. If I could, I would stop associating with myself, because I actually thought about those people. Why can't I go into a fugue state or something? I think it would be beneficial in a lot of ways.

So, at least to me, and to other high-minded individuals such as myself, Mr. Petty has done Ms. Bachmann a great service by asking her to cease and desist:
The Minnesota congresswoman played "American Girl" yesterday when she walked onstage at a rally, and Rolling Stone has confirmed reports that Petty's management team immediately sent the Bachmann campaign a cease and desist letter.
In response Ms. Bachmann apparently played the song again, at another rally -- or, at least 29 seconds of it. But they say that a woman decides in 30 seconds whether or not she's going to sleep with you (in my case it might take a little longer, but I'm not very good at opening condom wrappers), and a voter usually takes at least that long to decide whether or not to vote for you, and if you've wasted your first 29 seconds reminding everyone of John Edwards, especially potential Republican voters, you have killed your chances of sleeping with any of them. Actually, I think I got my metaphors mixed up about halfway through that paragraph, but you get my meaning, which is this: When you think about it, Mr. Petty is actually trying to save Ms. Bachmann's campaign from itself.

Not only that, but Ms. Bachmann chose Mr. Petty's song "American Girl" for her rally. This is the song that Catherine Martin was singing along to on the radio in the movie "The Silence of the Lambs," right before Buffalo Bill kidnapped her. As far as I'm concerned, this is no different than if Ms. Bachmann had walked on stage carrying a poodle and sing-songing into the microphone, "It rubs the lotion on it's skin, or else it gets the hose again," because that is what I associate with that song: Being kidnapped by a serial killer who is making a skin suit and lowering lotion to his victims who are stranded in the bottom of a hole.

The most terrifying scene in the film "The Silence of the Lambs" is the one in which Catherine Martin threatens the life of blameless Precious the Poodle.

Ms. Bachmann wants us to think of John Edwards, serial killers, and holes in the ground. The one mitigating factor in all this is that Buffalo Bill had a poodle, named Precious. If Ms. Bachmann wanted us to think of poodles, the most refined and intelligent of all dogs, then she certainly chose a roundabout way of doing it. And, again, Precious was the third or fourth thing I thought of, not the first thing, when I heard about this. If I was a woman, and Ms. Bachmann was a man, and I was trying to decide whether or not I should sleep with her, I would have already left the bar with another man, probably Ricky Sprague, and slept with him, if we hadn't gone into the bathroom and done about four times already, in the time it took me to think of the poodle and how much I like poodles.

Again, you can read the whole thing here.

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