P.J. O’Rourke on the 2016 Presidential election: ‘You’re screwed’

Image result for 2016 presidential candidatesFrom P.J. O’Rourke in Stansberry Digest:

If he or she gets elected, which candidate would have what financial effect on you?

I can answer that question in three sentences: If any of the candidates who are most likely to be elected get elected,you’re screwed. However, there are also some candidates who would keep you from being screwed if they got elected. But they aren’t going to get elected, so you’re screwed.

Who are these jacklegs, highbinders, wire-pullers, mountebanks, swellheads, buncombe spigots, boodle artists, four-flushers and animated spittoons offering themselves as worthy of America’s highest office?

Do they take us voters for fools? Of course they do. But are they also deluded? Are they also insane? Are they receiving radio broadcasts on their teeth fillings telling them they’d be good presidents?

Clinton, Bush, Fiorina, Sanders, Rubio, Cruz, Kasich, Huckabee, Christie, Santorum, O’Malley, Jindal, Graham, Pataki, Chafee, and Trump.

That’s not a list of presidential candidates. That’s the worst law firm in the world. That’s a law firm that couldn’t get Caitlyn Jenner off on a charge of Bruce Jenner identity theft.

Has the office of the presidency diminished in stature until it attracts only the leprechauns of public life? Or have our politicians shrunk until none of them can pass the carnival test – “You Must Be Taller Than the Clown to Ride the White House Tilt-A-Whirl”?

Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that – after all is said and done and the smoke has cleared – the two candidates for president are probably still going to be Clinton and Bush.

Members of the electorate will go into the ballot booth, see those two names, and think to themselves, “Gosh, I’m getting forgetful. I did this already”… and leave without marking the ballot. Voter turnout will be 6%.

The shuttle from the local old-age home will send a few senile Republicans to the polls. A Democratic National Committee bus will collect some derelicts from skid row. And we will have the first president of the United States elected by a franchise limited to sufferers from Alzheimer’s disease and drunken bums.


 Meanwhile, I support Donald Trump – because of something the great political satirist H.L. Mencken said: “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

Trump’s chief domestic policy will be to appear on TV. That’s one reason he’s leading in the polls. Americans can relate to Trump. The first and foremost goal of everyone in America is to be on TV.

As president, Trump will get to be on TV all the time, 24/7. But this might not be all bad. Just spraying his hair during commercial breaks should keep Trump too busy to push any other birdbrain domestic policies the way President Obama has.

And Trump can yell “You’re fired!” all he wants. It will make for a healthy turnover in Trump cabinet appointees such as Ivanka, Dennis Rodman, Larry King, and Vince McMahon.

Plus, Trump understands the American economy. He’ll push America’s economic growth the same way he pushed his own – with bad debt, bad debt, and more bad debt.

The average American household debt is now more than $225,000. Trump has “restructured” $3.5 billion in business debt and $900 million in personal debt. (“Restructured” being the Trump way of saying he didn’t pay it.) We Americans know a leader when we see one!

Americans love debt. Otherwise America’s national debt wouldn’t have gone from $15 billion in 1930 to $18 trilliontoday. If Trump gets in the Oval Office, the sky is the limit.

Then, imagine Trump’s foreign policy. Here’s a guy who seems to be under the illusion that he’s about 10 times richer than he actually is, who believes Obama was born in Karjackistan to the Queen of Sheba, and who thinks childhood vaccination caused the movie Rain Man. Russia, China, Iran, ISIS, the Taliban, and Hamas will be paralyzed with fear. Who knows what this lunatic will do?

What he’ll do is build hundreds of Trump casinos, Trump hotels, and Trump resorts in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran, Raqqa, Kandahar, and the Gaza Strip. Then, all of them will go bankrupt the way Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza Hotel, and Trump Entertainment Resorts did. He will leave Russia trying to palm off eastern Ukraine on angry bondholders, and China, auctioning distressed property in the Spratly Islands.

Hell, this might just work!

So… who else do we have running for president?

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary retains her iron grip on second place because whoever is ahead of her is so far ahead, we don’t know who it is yet.

I mean, at this point in the 2008 election cycle, Barack Hussein Obama was as likely to be nominated for president as a small-time community-organizing junior Senator from Illi-wherever with a name like somebody who tried to sabotage an airplane with an underpants bomb.

Speaking of airplanes, Hillary carries more baggage than the Boeing she used as Secretary of State to visit every country that later blew up in her face in her quest to fulfill the mission of the U.S. Secretary of State, which is to accumulate frequent-flier miles.

On the upside, she’s familiar with the White House. She knows where the extra toilet paper is stored and where the spare key to the nuke-missile launch-briefcase is hidden (the Truman Balcony, second pillar from the right).

Vice President Joe Biden

The Democratic Party Establishment’s Plan B. But, oops, the “B” part of Plan B – the Biden part – doesn’t think the plan is any good. My guess is that Joe decided not to run after Googling himself. Enter “Biden quotes” into a search engine, and here’s what you get:

  • On Barack Obama: “You got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”
  • On diversity: “In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”
  • On his faith in Obamacare, while speaking at a political fundraiser in Missouri: “I’m told Chuck Graham, state senator is here. Stand up Chuck, let ‘em see you.” (Graham is paraplegic.)
  • On Obama’s foreign policy, right after Obama was elected: “Watch, we’re going to have an international crisis.”

Has anyone ever spoken for H.L. Mencken’s “common man” like Joe?

At one time, Joe was thinking about Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as his vice president running mate. I’m thinking Lizzie might still show up on a “Girls Gone Wild” presidential ticket.

Warren has Native American ancestry.


As well you may ask. But it’s a fundraising plus… if she gets her own casino.

Warren is an expert in bankruptcy law, giving her a vision for our nation’s future. She masterminded the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Everybody feeling protected enough yet? And Warren turned left – the only direction that GPS units give in the hybrid cars that vegan aroma-therapist Democratic primary voters drive.

Then there is the candidate who is so far ahead of Hillary that we don’t know who it is yet. That would be the screwy-kablooey commander of the Vermont-Cong.

Senator Bernie Sanders

Bernie is a socialist. He says so himself. Let me give you the dictionary definition of “socialist.” A socialist is somebody who will take your flat-screen TV and give it to a family of meth addicts in the backwoods of Vermont.

Bernie says he wants to make America more like Europe. Great idea. Europe has had a swell track record for 100 years now – ever since Archduke Ferdinand’s car got a flat in Sarajevo in 1914. Make America more like Europe? Where do you even go to get all the Nazis and Commies and 90 million dead people that it would take to make America more like Europe?

Then there are the Republicans…

Jeb Bush

He has everything. He’s young (for a Republican), a Phi Beta Kappa, a successful businessman, and a two-term governor of Florida – where balloting incompetence and corruption are vital to the GOP.

Jeb is fluent in Spanish. His wife is Hispanic. He has a bunch of kids, and they’re Hispanic, too. Maybe he’ll choose Marco Rubio as his running mate. Kiss the Latino vote goodbye, Democrats.

Plus, Jeb is rolling like a dirty dog in campaign contributions.

Jeb Bush has just one problem. Perhaps you can take a “Bush-league” guess at what it is. But don’t worry, Jeb is all set to legally change his name to George Herbert Walker Bush. Everybody likes him… and he only served one term, so he’s constitutionally eligible to run again.

Carly Fiorina

Maybe she can run America the way she ran Hewlett-Packard. I mean, the way she ran HP was fabulous… if you had shorted the stock.

Hewlett-Packard’s stock price fell 65% between July 1999 and February 2005. I may forgive Carly, but my Keogh Plan never will.

Ben Carson

There isn’t a word to be said against Dr. Carson. He’s a soft-spoken gentleman who rose from a background of social adversity and economic deprivation that makes President Obama look like the lost Bush brother.

Carson went to Yale, University of Michigan Medical School, and completed his residency at Johns Hopkins, becoming the hospital’s youngest-ever Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at age 33 in 1984.

To put that in perspective, 1984 was the year that Donald Trump was laying the foundation for his first bankruptcy in Atlantic City… Jeb Bush was chairing meetings of the Dade County Republican Party in a phone booth… Carly Fiorina was in the break room making coffee for AT&T executives… and Marco Rubio was in eighth grade.

Dr. Carson was the first surgeon to successfully separate Siamese twins conjoined at the head. He has 38 honorary doctorate degrees, in addition to his real one. And he has received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

This is why I am asking you, Dr. Carson, to please quit running for president.

Get back to work, damn it! We need you. George W. and Jeb’s heads might get conjoined. True, they’re not twins. But the Bush family is inbred, and freakish things can result from inbreeding.

Or, Dr. Carson, you could be removing Donald Trump’s ruptured silicone brain implant that is endangering Republicans everywhere.

Dr. Carson, you are valuable. Presidential candidates are not.

Your mother wanted you to be a doctor. Politics is the career that we Americans choose for our loser children.

Many of us have sons and daughters who won’t get into medical school, start a business, join the military, learn a trade, raise a family, perform volunteer work, or do anything else of value to society. We send these children into politics.

Politics is a lot different than medicine.

Dr. Carson, if you win the nomination, you’ll be running against Hillary Clinton (not Bernie Sanders – he’s still wanted on a House Un-American Activities Committee subpoena from 1961).

That quack and her husband have been in the Washington political operating room for a long time. They’re splattered with gore from the butchery they’ve committed on their hapless patient, the body politic.

Severed limbs of liberty litter the floor. The country’s aorta has been ripped out and tossed beneath the heart-lung machine of federal bureaucracy. Intestinal fortitude has been disemboweled and the guts of nationhood spill forth while the elected-official sawbones drink the tax dollar lifeblood of America from the IV fluid drip. The mask of media anesthesia has been clamped upon the electorate’s face. Vital signs have flatlined.

Dr. Carson, I don’t think you can save this patient.

And lastly, we come to the candidate whom I actually support – and not just because his dad would kick me if I didn’t…

Rand Paul

Rand believes the federal government should obey the rule, “Mind your own business and keep your hands to yourself.”

I call it The Bill and Hillary Clinton Principle. Hillary, mind your own business. Bill, keep your hands to yourself.

Unfortunately, Rand Paul isn’t going to get the Republican nomination. This is because Senator Paul is not just a Republican, he’s a Libertarian.

The bluenose, mossback Republicans who run the GOP are not Libertarians. They’re as fond of big government interference as the Clintons are – as long as it’s bluenose, mossback Republicans who get to do the interfering.

Rand Paul’s libertarianism appeals to those who consider themselves “fiscal conservatives and social liberals.” This means they want to get high and have sex while saving money. And who doesn’t?

But what bluenose, mossback Republican will admit to that in public?

Rand Paul isn’t going to get the nomination.

My editor has asked me to sum up these analyses, so I will: You’re screwed.


P.J. O’Rourke - thecrux.com 2015

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