Let’s get weird with the candidates

BY DEAN TREFTZ | AUGUST 29, 2011 7:20 AM

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With summer ending, it is once again time for the nation to start remembering that Iowa exists even when our rivers aren’t swamping our cornfields, VFWs, and tractor pulls.

That’s right — it’s caucus time! Like the Olympics, it has already been four years, and there’s something you have to pay attention to even though we’d all really rather talk about Ronnie finally jacking Mike on “The ’Shore” last night.

Except this year’s isn’t the usual crop of six or seven Evan Bayhs (who?) and one or two slightly less-boring dudes who actually have a chance. No sir, this year we’ve got some downright fascinating characters.

You see, our grandparents seem to think our current president is going around replacing every Norman Rockwell painting with Maoist posters of tractors or something, so they decided to take the opportunity to freak the F out. This has allowed the current Republican field to become flat-out nutty.

That’s where we come in. We have tons of creative, interesting people with too much time on their hands here in Iowa City. If folks are going to be going around the state proclaiming the laws of physics, biology, and economics null and void, we have to get in on this shit.

Folks, there’s no way around it; we have an obligation to ourselves to get weird on these mofos. One of the best moments of the 2007-08 caucus cycle was UI Associate Professor Kembrew McLeod dressing up like a robot and demanding Bill Clinton apologize to Sista Souljah.

Here are a few ideas to start:

• Gov. Rick Perry, who seems to have decided to take whatever George W. Bush was smoking and inject it into his femoral artery every morning, very well may have allowed an innocent man named Cameron Todd Willingham to be executed and then fired most of the subsequent investigation panel right before it could announce its findings. We need to get a dozen people in Cameron Todd Willingham masks and T-shirts saying things like, “We’ll just have to agree to disagree” and “I think I looked guilty, too” to show up at a Perry rally.

• Rep. Michele Bachmann is, among other things, married to a Christian counselor who practices gay-conversion therapy. What better welcoming committee than a drag show in which all the queens are wearing sequined straitjackets and singing to the dance remixes of “Doctor, Doctor” and “Patsy Cline’s Crazy?”

• Mitt Romney, the frontrunner-in-hiding, is relatively normal. His biggest quirk is that he seems to only be afraid of himself, which is either an accurate reading of the quality of his opponents or a surprisingly deep statement on the human condition. Specifically, he is terrified of himself circa 2006 when he signed a bill remarkably similar to “Obamacare” in Massachusetts. We need to dress a bunch of bros up in Red Sox gear, get them to learn Southie accents, and have them no-homo-closed-fist hug Romney during an event while saying stuff like “Brah, you saved mah cousin Tawmy from a wicked medical bahnkruptcy.” Make sure to watch carefully on this one, because you will never again see a man run so fast in a suit and tie.

These are just so-so starters. You creative types get working on this, and we can really have some fun with these guys. Beats thinking about them as potential presidents.

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