(apologies to John Godfrey Saxe)
Twelve Republicans of Washington
To party much inclined,
Tried to cure the elephant
(Though all of them were blind).
The first approached the elephant,
Then something stopped him dead,
He touched its broad and sturdy side
And grinning, shook his head.
“It’s clear this beast won’t compromise
Its hard-line rigidness.
The Tea Party and its purity tests
Have left us in this mess.”
The second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Sharp as any tack!
With this the GOP establishment
Has stabbed us in the back!
Keep pushing liberal nominees
And we’re never coming back.”
“Cheer up! The elephant is fine!”
Said the third upon inspection.
“Our grand old party’s in great shape,
Our jobs need no protection.
We kept the House and gained a Gov,
‘Twas a status quo election.”
The fourth man grasped its swinging trunk
And, laughing, said, “Look here!
When liberals drive us off the cliff
That’s fiscal, have no fear –
The voters will come swinging back
And kick them in the rear.”
The fifth man felt the animal’s feet,
And said, “It’s such a plight,
The elephant can’t make a fist
And so we lose the fight.
The Democrats play hardball
While we play dead. I’m right!”
The sixth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said, “Who denies the datum?
I know our principles can win,
We just don’t clearly state ‘em.
Don’t change our views or policies,
Instead, communicate ‘em.”
The seventh grabbed the beast’s short tail,
And said, “How light and thin!
Obama got the vote this time,
But didn’t really win.
There is no mandate, just a man,
Anything else is spin.”
The eighth, an evangelical, said,
“Your analysis is flawed.
We’ve lost the culture war in
Public schools and Hollywood.
Gay marriage, abortion, birth control?
We must return to God.”
The ninth man disagreed with that,
Saying, “God has just forsaken us.
It’s demographic winter, boys,
Illegals have overtaken us.
Unless Sharia kills us first.
America has lost its greatness.”
The tenth said, “No, we lost Hispanics,
Seventy to thirty.
We cannot bash the immigrants
And hope to save this party.
Speak Spanish, grant some amnesty
And we’ll win. Si se puede!”
The eleventh said, “I’m colorblind.
Here’s why we lost this race,
To a Kenyan Muslim socialist
Who won’t reveal his birthplace.
He runs a liberal plantation,
And he’s so obsessed with race!”
The twelfth man told the elephant,
“I’m a writer for Team Red.
The answer’s written on my blog,
The solution’s in my head.
We could have been victorious,
If you had listened to what I said.”
John K. Herr is a speechwriter and standup comedian. He has written for three Governors and four Cabinet secretaries, and served in the White House under two Presidents. His standup act has taken him to numerous states and cities, including Las Vegas for the World Series of Comedy. Herr also wrote jokes for former President George W. Bush. Follow him on Twitter: @jherricane.