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post #410
bio: stu
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11/7/2016
12:12

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On the Greatest Political Satire of the 21st Century


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On the Greatest Political Satire of the 21st Century
My favorite piece of political satire from this century, beating anything put out by the Onion, is The Autopsy of the 2012 Loss by the RNC. It really is worthy of Alexander Pope, except in this case it was written by committee based on interviews with 2,600 people along with focus groups and professional politicians. So really it's like the SNL writing staff ran Reuters and wrote "A Modest Proposal" based on their research, and could refine their wit without needing to hit the Saturday night deadline.

It's written in the voice of an addict who knows they need to change but is unable to admit they've hit rock bottom. Except it's about politics rather than drugs or alcohol. It's really adept the way the narrative--written in a unique second person plural--dances right up to the edge of admitting that they understand their issues without actually addressing them.

They even call on their Higher Power a number of times! It's a really top notch piece of fiction. "We are not a policy committee, but among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, must be to embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform," they write, somehow without breaking character. "If we do not, our Party's appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only."

Without corpsing at all or acknowledging that they were contradicting nearly a century of Republican politics, they continued, "The RNC cannot and will not write off any demographic or community or region of this country."

"The Republican Party needs to stop talking to itself," its authors write without a wink or a nod to let the reader know they're in on the joke. "We have become expert in how to provide ideological reinforcement to like-minded people, but devastatingly we have lost the ability to be persuasive with, or welcoming to, those who do not agree with us on every issue. Instead of driving around in circles on an ideological cul-de-sac, we need a Party whose brand of conservatism invites and inspires new people to visit us."

The end result is a pitch perfect satire of a clueless political party just self-confident enough to make the same terrible mistakes for the rest of their life. It's like A Confederacy of Dunces with actual Confederates.

It's not a fault of the satire writers that they pulled the "we've hit rock bottom" satire one presidential election too soon. Oh well. They can do a sequel later this a month.






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