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The 2008 Values Voter Olympics

October 22, 2007

Much to chagrin of its radical right organizers, this weekend's Values Voter Summit of GOP White House hopefuls produced only confusion. Despite the gymnastic contortions and acrobatic back-flips of Republican presidential candidates eager to win evangelical hearts and minds, no clear winner of the conference straw poll emerged. Thanks to his stuffing of the online ballot box, Mitt Romney edged Mike Huckabee, the clear favorite of actual conference goers, by 1,595 votes to 1,565.
Eager to avoid a repeat of this year's inconclusive outcome, the organizer of the event, Tony Perkins' Family Research Council, is moving to a new competitive format designed to produce a definitive winner. Here, then, is the guide to the Values Voter Olympics for 2008:
Waterboarding Graeme Frost. For the radical right, as Al Franken once told me, "life begins at conception and ends at birth." This event gives aspiring conservatives a chance to prove it. Using waterboarding and other Bush administration approved enhanced interrogation techniques, the first candidate to get 12 year S-CHIP recipient Graeme Frost to admit his parents make too much money to qualify for publicly financed health insurance wins.
Terri Schiavo Misdiagnosis. In this sport pioneered by former Senate Majority Leader and physician Bill Frist, each candidate is shown a videotape of the brain-dead Terri Schiavo. Because expert medical testimony and subsequent autopsy results still leave Republicans room for "uncertainty," the gold medal goes to the first candidate to declare that Schiavo was not in a persistent vegetative state and instead could have been a sure favorite to win Dancing with the Stars.
Deportation Pentathlon. Values Voters know that out of control immigration is taking American jobs and destroying American culture. In this five-part challenge, the first Republican to deny medical treatment to an illegal alien, raid a factory in a blue state, deport the Guatemalan wife of a U.S. Iraq veteran, design an electrified border fence and throw a keg party for the Minutemen takes the gold.
100 Meter High Hurdles for Life. Here, the Values Voter hopefuls square off in a race combining speed and athleticism. The winner is the first to complete the 100 meter high hurdles sprint while carrying a jar with a fetus preserved in formaldehyde.
The Boy Scout Test. As any Values Voter will tell you, you can't be gay and be either a Boy Scout or Republican politician. Candidates will be asked to identify as many closeted Republicans in 60 seconds as they can. The White House hopeful adding the most names to the ranks of Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Jim West, Ed Shrock and Ted Haggard wins. (Results, of course, will not be shared with the media.)
The Defense of Marriage Marathon. Marriage should only be between one man and one woman, not another man, a dog or a box turtle. The prospective GOP Oval Office occupant who authors a constitutional amendment banning marriage between a man and the most mammal, fish, reptile, amphibian, bird and other species will wear the marathon crown.
The 666 Yard Dash. Co-sponsored by Christians United for Israel (CUFI) leader John Hagee, this event challenges the Republican candidates to find the shortest distance between Tehran and Armageddon. The first GOP stalwart promising to preemptively attack Iran wins the rapturous support of the Values Voters.
The Phony Soldier Horseshoe Toss. Values voters know that Iraq veterans opposing President Bush's excellent adventure in Baghdad are emboldening the enemy. Republican presidential candidates can show their commitment to stifling such dangerous dissent at home with the most accurate horseshoe toss at the "phony soldiers" of Vote Vets, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Army authors of "The War as We Saw It" and the 12 captains of "The Real Iraq We Knew."
The Intelligent Design Challenge. Man did not descend by chance from apes, but instead was the work of an intelligent designer. Republicans seeking the presidency must debunk Darwin's perverse theory of evolution. Candidates must argue that men rode T-Rex bareback in a pre-historic Kentucky Derby 6,000 years ago. For style points, they must describe how the existence of George W. Bush proves that evolution is reversing.

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Jon Perr
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant and product strategist who writes about American politics and public policy.

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