Opinion » Bill Cope

A Brand Newt Man

Red gets all counter-counterculture


"Take a bath, ya' dirty hippie!"

"What's your problem, Red?"

"And get a haircut while you're at it!"

"I got a haircut yesterday, thank you very much, and I shower a hell of a lot more than you do. So what's the deal? You having some kind of flashback to the '60s?"

"I wasn't in the '60s, Cope."

"Weren't in the '60s, huh? You're as old as I am, pal, so don't tell me you weren't in the '60s."

"Wull, I weren't in the same '60s as you, Cope. I stayed clear o' that '60s you were in and did my time in the good '60s. I weren't squatting around no lava lamps, slopping acids and feeling groovy. No sirree bob, weren't no Lucy in the sky with diapers for me. No purple grazing, neither. I stuck to good ol' Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, an' I never ate no brownies with anything in 'em more suspicious than mouse droppings. I could see right off how that counterculturing stuff you was up to weren't leading anywhere but straight to H-E-double toothpicks, what with all them graceful deadheads and songs like that 'In a God o' Velveeta.' What the heck's that supposed to mean, anyhow ... 'In a God o' Velveeta?'"

"Listen, what brought this on? Doesn't have anything to do with the Occupy Wall Street movement, does it?"

"'Course it does. I wouldn't o' seen it myself, but thank heavens, we got ol' Newt Gingrich showing us how them 99-centers ain't nothing but toilet-hijacking bums too lazy to get 'emselves a job."

"And that 'take a bath' crack, you got that from Gingrich, too."

"That's how come Jesus told Newt to run in the president race. It's his job to get all the silent majority folks to remember how our troubles all started when them atheistic pinkos kicked prayer out o' the schools. See, that's the very day the ... what Newt calls ... the 'moral center' dropped out o' liberals like a five-speed trannie drops out of a VW bus when you cram it into reverse by mistake. When you think about it, tweren't but a few years after that them college smart-alecks started growing their hair down to their fannies and wearing bell-bottom trousers and getting that patchouli oil all over 'emselves. And that's why I'm a Newt booster now."

"Red, not even four weeks ago, you were going on about how great Ron Paul is."

"Yeah ... well ... ol' Ron's pretty good. But I heard him say that if potheads want to be potheads, we oughta let 'em, and I'm just not sure this libratarian stuff should be allowed for everyone. Like pot heads, f'r instance. But Newt now, he sees the whole picture. He knows we ain't gonna be a great country again until we have something nasty and demeaning to say about every misfit and oddball and bra-burnin', draft-dodgin', flower-powered secular humanistic free lover that ever climbed out from under an ivory tower and made it against the law to put Mexican children to work mopping out school houses."

"So you must be happy Gingrich is climbing in the polls."

"You know it, Cope! Just imagine how he's gonna wipe up your side like a spilt beer in a bowling alley when he talks about how Barack Obama don't got himself a moral center, and how Obama don't love this country nearly as much as Newt does, who hardly even knew he was adulterizin' back when he was cheatin' on those other wives because his big brain was so busy with lovin' his country so much. Imagine!"

"Uh, that's pretty hard to imagine, that Barack Obama is ever going to be out-moraled by Newt Gingrich. But frankly, I'd love to see them debate, especially in front of a general election audience instead of one made up entirely of feral assholes like in these Republican debates. And say, Red, have you noticed how the older Newt gets, the more he looks like he was dabbed together out of wet bread?"

"Dangit, this ain't about hows a feller looks. This is about a future for our great country. That's what Newt's worried about. Not whether he looks like he's eaten one truckload of marshmallows too many!"

"Ah, I see. Newt's thinking about the future when he dredges up those old shibboleths from the '60s like 'take a bath,' or 'put prayer back in school.'"

"Cope, I don't know nothing about no old ship-o'-lips. I just know there's no one better at connectin' loose dots than Newt. He can see a way to blame whatever goes wrong on you durn liberals, from why we ain't got orphan houses no more to why a mom would drown her kids in a lake. Nobody's better at that than Newt."

"Know what I think, Red? I think this great thinker of yours, this big brain of the Republican Party, is so empty of ideas, so bankrupt of imagination, that he has to try to stir up 40-year-old resentments in whatever's left of the crowd that's still pissed off because we had more fun than they did. His natural base are those sour dips who, even in the '60s, were so unpleasant and stupid, we didn't want to be around them. But I'll tell you something, pal. It isn't going to work. And you know why?"

"I 'magine you're gonna tell me one way or the other."

"It's not going to work because this time, the hard hats are out there with the hippies, holding up signs and saying the same thing."

"I don't know what you're talking about, Cope. Hard hats and hippies?"

"Oh, that's right. I forgot. You were in the other '60s."