In the span of just a few short months blogging at Esquire’s The Politics Blog, Charles Pierce has emerged as the web’s preeminent snark machine. But can you match up the following Pierce-penned snark to the correct Republican presidential candidate? Possible answers: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, or Mitt Romney.
1. [ ] has the brain of a vandal, the instincts of an arsonist, and the heart of a born saboteur.
2. Actual economists are looking at his signature economic plan and holding their heads while reaching for the bourbon.
3. And, I’m sorry, people, but, sooner or later, the man reveals his hopeless inner loon, willing to follow his arguments blindly, head down, until he goes straight off the cliff and down into . . . the Great Lake of Fail.
4. Seriously, the amount of time that [ ] spends thinking about other people’s lady parts, and what some men may be doing with their pee-pees, is highly disturbing. I mean, if the bus driver spent as much time talking about this stuff as [ ] does, you’d report him to the cops and carry your kids to school ten miles on your back.
5. Governor Goodhair J. Marblemouth.
6. Which former firmly held position will go overboard this time? How profoundly will he demonstrate that he doesn’t even remember how little he once knew about anything? How deeply will our boy bow and scrape? How hard will he tug his forelock? How well-tailored will be his sackcloth, how perfumed his ashes? It truly is like that breathless moment under the Mexican circus tent right before they bring out the monkey who can suck his own dick.
7. In addition, she’s one small step away from adopting the pay-your-doctor-with-a-chicken health-care plan, and appears to be opposed to general principles of math. At this point, she seems to be running for Congress in 1962. Let’s do the time warp again! Throw deep, [ ]. See Jesus in your bran muffin this morning.
8. That [ ] himself, of course, is afflicted with one of his chronic bouts of invisibility. Some day soon, I expect to see his pants walking down a street by themselves.
9. Of course, [ ] couldn’t stand firm on a metal plate in magnetized boots.
10. Some day, volumes will be written about how [ ] managed to get everyone in the Washington smart set to believe he is a public intellectual with actual ideas, and not just the guy at the club whose life gets changed for him every time he reads a new book.
11. [ ] believes there are only two countries in the world — America-Fk-Yeah! and Meskinland.
12. Rarely do you see a man visibly carving himself in marble before your eyes. Or, in this case, fitting himself with a stovepipe hat and chin whiskers.
13. . . . she is electrifying the same way a defective electric razor is if you grab it while you’re in the shower.
14. But mostly, this is because a substantial part of the Republican party realizes, as does any sentient human being, that [ ] is the Piltdown Man of American politics, a massive public hoax cleverly built from the dead bones of other campaigns. He’s as perfectly manufactured a fake as ever has been handed to the American public.
15. He is as lead-footed on his feet as any major candidate I’ve ever seen. He doesn’t have what the football coaches call “lateral quickness.” He thinks on his feet with the dexterity of an andiron. He adapts to an unfamiliar question like a duck confronting the space shuttle. He corners like an oil tanker. Watch him when he tries to deliver a zinger. He looks like a guy learning to dance by following the footprints painted on the floor of the studio. Move one of the footprints a quarter-of-an-inch, and he’ll dance himself out the window and down three floors to the sidewalk.
16. At the moment, the only thing standing between [ ], and the Republican nomination that he clearly believes should be his by acclamation, is the fact that most of his party is divided between people who don’t like him, and people who want to run him over with a road grader.
17. . . . the Harold Camping of economic policy.
18. His megalomania… er… self-confidence is utterly boundless, and his attachment to actual reality and to the truth is just tenuous enough to keep him in touch with the propeller-on-the-beanie crowd in his party’s base.
19. Watch me wring the life out of the words “infer,” “imply,” “legal,” and “implication” until they scream and pass out on the floor.
20. If you’re keeping score at home, that means, according to [ ], a woman has no right to control what’s going on in her uterus, but she has untrammeled liberty to control what’s going on in her desk lamp.
21. By any conventional measure, and entirely through their own fault, the Republicans have produced a field of candidates so utterly comical, so completely devoid of conventional political merit, that the field itself is strong evidence for the elimination of the Republican party.
1. Newt Gingrich
2. Herman Cain
3. Ron Paul
4. Rick Santorum
5. Rick Perry
6. Mitt Romney
7. Michele Bachmann
8. Jon Huntsman
9. Mitt Romney
10. Newt Gingrich
11. Rick Perry
12. Newt Gingrich
13. Michele Bachmann
14. Mitt Romney
15. Rick Perry
16. Mitt Romney
17. Herman Cain
18. Newt Gingrich
19. Herman Cain
20. Michele Bachmann
21. All of them.
19-21 Correct: Abe Lincoln
15-18 Correct: Theodore Roosevelt
12-14 Correct: Dwight Eisenhower
9-11 Correct: George H.W. Bush
6-8 Correct: Ronald Reagan
3-5 Correct: Richard M. Nixon
1-2 Correct: Warren G. Harding
Zero Correct: George W. Bush