Time for Republicans to Adopt the Dukakis Factor

This essay represents the fifth post of The Angry Czeck Century Series, a thought-provoking collection of penetrating harangues of rancor leading to the Angry Czeck’s 100th Post. You are currently reading Post 92.

It must be nice to be a Republican.

There’s no pressure to win the White House. The conch of power has been handed to the Democrats, and naturally we made it hard on ourselves by picking a backstabbing woman and a black man with a terrorist’s name as our two front-runners.

Republicans, on the other hand, can relax. When selecting a candidate, they don’t have to consider who’s elect-able because none of them are. Now Republicans, as individuals, are afforded the freedom to select the politician that best represents them! Somebody dig up Lloyd Benson, because he could win the nomination in this climate.

It’s like 1984 again, only in reverse. Remember when we tagged Geraldine Ferraro to Walter Mondale just so Democrats could say they had the balls to put a woman on the ticket? Good times. That’s because we knew Reagan was going to carry every state but Minnesota. What a relaxing election!

By comparison, Democrats came out of 2004 feeling like they went on hunting trip with Dick Cheney. We figured everything was going to go as planned, and then BLAM! We get John “The Lecturing Robot” Kerry and a running mate who couldn’t even out-debate the most despised vice president since Dan Quayle. By the time Tim Russart went through his 4,908th Electoral College scenario, the Angry Czeck was happy just to see it over.

This year, something crazy could happen, and it could happen on the Republican ticket. Already, a comatose Fred Thompson has been tricked into running. Who’s next? Bob Dole? Hulk Hogan? The Nobel Prize guy who said white people are smarter than black people? It could be anyone!

Meanwhile, we already have a pretty interesting menu of Republicans to choose from. But if Republicans really want to have some fun, they must embrace the Dukakis Factor. There are many elements to the Dukakis Factor, and they break down like this:

The Dukakis Factor

1. A totally unpresidential name. (Really. “President Dukakis?” Why not “President Vomit?” Of course, we are the same party than gave you Paul Tsongas.)

2. A funny body shape

3. An easy-to-attack political record

4. A photo op that undermines credibility

5. A Willie Horton in the closet

Which Republican candidate embodies the legendary principles of The Dukakis Factor? All of them, to some degree. But don’t worry. The Angry Czeck has taken the liberty of organizing the candidates for you.

Mitt Romney
This guy has “Dukakis Factor” written all over him. (Actually, it was written on a golden tablet unearthed on a hill, but it was lost before it was actually seen by people who aren’t insane.) Mitt has lots of good stuff going for him: a goofy name and an amusing political record. Plus, just for a bonus, Mitt’s religion is just plain weird – imagine explaining the Angel Moroni to a corn farmer in Iowa.

Really, you can sum up Mitt as “a real handsome guy who likes to change his mind.”

Dukakis Factor Rating: 6.5

Mike Huckabee
I must admit, I love the Chuck Norris ad. What did Mike have to lose? He already lost 100 pounds. Why not produce a campy campaign ad? He went from a hillbilly zero to 1.5 million hits on YouTube inside of a week. Plus Chuck and Mike share the same insane fascination for firearms and public school prayer (prayer and guns make America stronger!). Thanks to his newfound popularity, the media is finally bothering to unearth all of Mike’s seedy Willie Hortons. Everything from Wayne Dummond (asshole rapist) to questionable gift-accepting is seeping to the surface.

Dukakis Factor Rating: 3

Ron Paul
I know next to nothing about Ron Paul. I tried to log on to his Web site, but apparently his server had crashed. Then I discovered that Ron Paul only exists on the Internet. He’s really just an ordered sequence of 1s and 0s who opposes the war in Iraq and might win New Hampshire. If you want another Republican politician from Texas in the White House, or you want a President who can organize your Facebook page, then Ron Paul might be your guy.

Ron Paul also looks dorky.

Dukakis Factor Rating: 2

John McCain
Is it just me, or does John McCain now physically resemble a corpse rapidly bloating in the hot Arizona sun? Regardless, John is a lot of fun because you know that at any second, he’s going to whip out a Hanoi Hilton story just to remind you what a big pussy you are. He also sealed his Dukakis Factor credentials by appearing in Baghdad wearing a helmet and flak jacket – then declaring the streets safe. Ouch.

Dukakis Factor Rating: 5


Fred Thompson

I love the word most commonly used to describe Fred Thompson the Politician: lazy! Dude, drink a Red Bull. You’re running for President, for Christ’s sake! At least try to say something interesting. Fred might get some votes if he hollowed out the carcass of Ronald Reagan and squeezed inside of it. That’s asking a lot of effort, though.

Dukakis Factor Rating: 1

Rudolph Giuliani
Dukakis-wise, Rudy has it all:

A less-than-presidential name? Check! (Which is why his campaign is smartly reducing his moniker to “Rudy.”)

An oddly shaped body? The guy looks like a hung-over Emperor Palpatine.

An easy-to-attack political record? He may have cleaned up Times Square and did…whatever he did…during 9/11, but we’ll remember him as the guy who assigned government security to his girlfriends and mistresses. Nice move, Rude Man! Plus, he’s had more wives than Mitt Romney is religiously permitted.

A credibility-busting photo op? You bet! When Mr. New York is caught pandering for votes at Fenway during the World Series, you got to wonder if the guy would be pulling for Bin Laden later on.

A Willie Horton? How about Bernard Kerik? The guy is accused of receiving kickbacks, including $200,000 worth of renovations to his apartment. $200,000? That’s a lot of shag carpeting.

Dukakis Factor Rating: 10

Clearly, the obvious choice for Republicans is the Dukakis-like Rudy Giuliani. He owns all the key qualities! If I were a Republican, he’d have my vote. (And I’d be insane.) Why the hell not? When Obama exchanges sensitive nuclear secrets to North Korea for an oral promise to “be nice,” I’d shrug and say, “Shit, I voted for Rudy!”

What a relaxing election! For Republicans.

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