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Hallowe'en Retrospective

[ Posted Thursday, October 30th, 2014 – 19:42 UTC ]

There will be no original column today, for two reasons. The first is that I have a lot to do to get tomorrow's Hallowe'en column together (in other words: "those pumpkins won't carve themselves!"). The second reason is the San Francisco Giants won their third World Series in the past five years last night, in an exciting seventh game where the outcome hung in the balance right up to the last out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Leaving your humble author somewhat under the weather today, after last night's celebration. Ahem. Also: Go Giants!

Today, instead, I decided to ramble down Memory Lane, and put together all my Jack O'Lanterns from years past. Here is a chronological review of my history of political pumpkin art, starting before I even began blogging.

In the early years, you'll notice, sometimes I didn't even put forth the effort to carve one. Later on, I began carving one for each party's nightmarish storyline. And in some years, I even got so gung-ho I carved a third pumpkin, just for effect.

In any case, join us here tomorrow for this year's spooky tales from right and left, and in the meantime enjoy my historical pumpkin perspective. Each title is a link to that year's article, if you're interested in reading the whole thing. A brief synopsis of each previous story is provided below the pictures.

 

Hallowe'en 2004

This was before I began blogging, and is the first political Jack O'Lantern I ever made, to scare everyone concerned about the possibility of a repeat of the 2000 mess. No story accompanies it, though, being pre-blog.

 

Hallowe'en 2006

Democratic Nightmare
Democrats narrowly take control of the Senate, even with voting anomalies from Diebold voting machines, which includes Joe "Joementum" Lieberman, who wins as an Independent. President Bush surprises everyone by firing Donald Rumsfeld and nominating Lieberman in his place. Lieberman accepts, the Republican governor of Connecticut names a Republican replacement, and Democrats thus lose control of the Senate.

Republican Nightmare
Democrats sweep both houses in Congress, Nancy Pelosi becomes first female Speaker of the House. Investigations of Bush commence, massive war profiteering is uncovered, and House Republicans are the ones who initiate impeachment proceedings. Both Bush and Cheney are impeached and removed from office, which leads to... President Nancy Pelosi!

 

Hallowe'en 2007

This one was a non-partisan scary story about meeting a ghostly witchy woman on a train in Eastern Europe, who had a chilling fortune to tell about America. It's still pretty spooky, but didn't get into partisan politics much at all. Also, for some reason I didn't carve a pumpkin in 2007, sorry.

 

Hallowe'en 2008

Democratic Nightmare
Osama Bin Laden releases pro-Obama election message three days before the election. McCain wins biggest electoral landslide since Reagan. Two days after being sworn in, McCain collapses in his first cabinet meeting, and dies. Sarah Palin becomes the first female president.

Republican Nightmare
Obama wins second term in landslide victory. Joe Lieberman bolts the Democratic Party, but even so Democrats hold a 60-vote majority in the Senate. Dennis Kucinich is elected Speaker of the House, Bernie Sanders wins Senate Majority Leader. Obama announces his cabinet, which includes Michael Moore as Attorney General, Cindy Sheehan as Secretary of Defense, and "some hippie guy who rides his bike to work" as Secretary of Transportation. Thirteen states immediately secede from the Union. Second Civil War begins (also called the "One State, Two State, Red State, Blue State" War). The Union wins again.

 

Hallowe'en 2009

Democratic Nightmare
The (unnamed, but pretty obvious) Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act dies in the Senate with only 59 votes. Democratic Party is crushed psychologically after the defeat. That's pretty much it.

Republican Nightmare
Democrats pass Obamacare, with a state "opt-out" provision. Republicans in red states opt out, but the voters rise up and boot them out for not providing them with things other states' citizens are enjoying. The Republican Party splits in two. Tea Party renames itself "Know Nothings," and their purist candidates lose election after election across the country. Democrats, as a result, take control of the national government for the next generation. Twenty-Second Amendment is repealed, and Barack Obama serves four terms as president.

 

Hallowe'en 2010

Since both stories hinge on Delaware (the Christine O'Donnell Senate race, in particular), I included this bonus Jack O'Lantern, mostly because Delaware is pretty easy to carve into a pumpkin. Fun trivia fact: the northern border of Delaware with Pennsylvania is the only part of a circle in any state's borders!

Democratic Nightmare
This one starts with a short but ominous story for Democrats:

The 2010 midterm elections.

[Roll final film credits, starting with a large: "The End".]

However, I did provide a longer story as well: Democrats get routed in Congress. Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell win their races. Senate is 50-50, with Biden the tie vote. But Joe Lieberman (a recurring theme, here) announces he's switching parties, and throws control to the Republicans. Senator O'Donnell is put in charge of a committee to investigate why we're no longer a Puritan nation, and laws are passed banning pornography and impure thoughts. Homosexuality is declared a capital crime. Hugh Hefner flees the country, Larry Flynt is caught 500 feet from the Canadian border and shipped off to Guantanamo. The Democratic Party splits into factions. One nominates Donald Trump for president (with Paris Hilton as veep). Obama declares himself "bipartisan," and starts signing all the Tea Party legislation.

Republican Nightmare
Republicans fall short of taking the Senate by two seats, one of which is Delaware. Proposition 19 passes in California, which legalizes recreational marijuana in the state. Obama announces a federal crackdown in defiance of the will of the California voters. Republicans, since they are against anything Obama is for, declare their party pro-marijuana. Republicans become the "cool" party for America's youth as a result. Republicans also decide to be pro-gay-marriage, because Obama's against it. Republicans in Congress slash Pentagon's budget in half, and pulls American troops out from bases all over the world. Democrats bicker in response, and dig in on their pro-Drug-War and anti-gay-marriage stance, and the parties flip. Republicans become the liberal party while Democrats become the conservative party.

 

Hallowe'en 2011

Democratic Nightmare
The "Supercommittee" announces it has reached a deal, which consists of 100 percent of what Republicans were asking for. Nobody reads the bill, and it is quickly passed and signed into law. One provision comes to light later, that of solving all of America's long-term Medicare problems by shipping all American seniors down to Mexico, to save money. A new alligator-filled moat on the border keeps them from returning. Taxes on the poor (up to $75,000 income) rise to 75 percent, and those who can't pay are rented out as indentured servants to work off their tax bill (which never happens, this amounts to a lifetime of hard labor in practice). These people are also denied the vote until they pay their debt off. Herman Cain wins the presidency in a landslide.

Republican Nightmare
The Tea Party all throw their support behind the Occupy movement. The new "99 Percent Party" formed as a result drafts Elizabeth Warren for president, with running mate Howard Dean. They announce a new 99 percent tax on all political activities, which covers lobbying and political chat shows on television. The national debt is quickly retired as a result. Mitt Romney is nominated by Republicans, but he surprises everyone by announcing he'll govern as "Massachusetts Mitt" instead of lurching right. President Warren is elected in a landslide. Warren reforms the American economy, which brings full employment and seven percent growth rates.

 

Hallowe'en 2012

Democratic Nightmare
Unemployment rises to 8.4 percent, which throws the election to Mitt Romney. Republicans win Senate control. President Romney tries to govern as a moderate, but also refuses to ever stand up to the Tea Partiers, giving them effective control over the country. Obamacare is overturned and taxes are slashed to one percent for anyone making over a million dollars. Deficits soar to three trillion dollars a year. America begins bombing Iran. Oil prices go up to $300 a barrel, or $15 a gallon at the pump. Mitt decides to invade Benghazi "just for the heck of it." John Woo becomes Attorney General and tells Mitt that it would be entirely legal to name some more Supreme Justices (since the Constitution doesn't specify their number). Romney appoints four conservatives to the highest court, leaving the balance at 9-4 conservative justices. This nightmare ends with: "A massive wave of Democratic immigration flows over the border to Canada, fleeing the ruins of the United States of America."

Republican Nightmare
Obama is re-elected. Romney receives 47 percent of the vote (how appropriate!). Moderate Republicans form a schism by breaking from the Tea Partiers, and announce they'll be working with Obama for the next two years. They become known as the "Red Dogs" and 47 House Republicans and 13 senators sign up with the new movement. A budget agreement is worked out between the Red Dogs and the Democrats, the Social Security income cap is abolished, and taxes are raised for the wealthy. Obamacare is implemented, and works well. The economy booms, tax revenues pour in, and the budget is balanced before Obama leaves office. In the 2014 midterms, Red Dogs wipe out the Tea Party for good.

This was a bonus one I threw in as an "American Nightmare," where Mitt Romney and Barack Obama split the vote in the Electoral College, 269-269. This throws the election into the House (for president) and the Senate (for veep), which results in a Romney/Biden administration. Nothing gets done for two years. The economy collapses as we go over fiscal cliff after fiscal cliff. Bands of heavily-armed marauders begin roaming the streets in frustration. Mitt Romney declares emergency powers for himself, and begins selling parts of America off to the highest bidder. Romney retires after four years to the Cayman Islands, with the billions in "management fees" he has siphoned off from these sales.

 

Hallowe'en 2013

Democratic Nightmare
Glenn Greenwald drops a bombshell on the world from another secret leaker, who exposes the fact that the N.S.A. was providing Obama's re-election committee with transcripts of all calls made by the Republican National Committee, Mitt Romney, and all Republican congressional leaders during the 2012 election. The Obama administration tries to brush this scandal off, calling it "in the same grand tradition that J. Edgar Hoover set -- this is American as apple pie." It is later revealed that Greenwald's secret leaker was none other than Joe Biden. Obama and Biden are impeached in the House, and the Senate trial is set to take place days before the 2014 midterms. Obama resigns. Biden is sworn in, but then immediately removed from office by the Senate. Because he didn't have time to name a vice president, John Boehner is sworn in as president of the United States. Eric Cantor becomes Speaker of the House. Republicans gain a veto-proof majority in both houses of Congress in the election. Glenn Greenwald receives the Pulitzer Prize.

Republican Nightmare
Obamacare works so well that Republicans are robbed of what they expected was going to be their entire campaign. The Tea Party begins a purge of Republicans from a House committee, who streamline the process of removing "Republicans In Name Only" -- essentially any Republican who ever voted for any Democratic bill, ever (even the ones just renaming post offices). Dozens of Republicans each day are found guilty and removed from office. Wall Street is horrified, and begins putting money into moderate Republican candidates. The House announces they might just investigate such donors next, and the big Republican money men on Wall Street beat a hasty retreat. Many Republicans in Congress announce they will have no part in such a bloodbath and will not be running for re-election. Hardline Tea Partiers take over 93 percent of Republican nominations as a result. The public recoils in horror, and elects a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate and also hands the House back to Democrats. The result politically is ever-more-vicious Tea Party infighting, and the Republican Party collapses. Hillary Clinton goes on to win the biggest electoral landslide since George Washington.

-- Chris Weigant

 

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5 Comments on “Hallowe'en Retrospective”

  1. [1] 
    Michale wrote:

    Glenn Greenwald receives the Pulitzer Prize.

    Looks like one of your DEM NIGHTMARE scenarios actually came true!! :D

    Seriously, though.. I have always wanted to ask...

    Do you actually CARVE the pumpkins into those pics??? How do you have the patience!??? :D

    It's some pretty awesome work...

    Michale

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    How to tell if your children should avoid that one house on Halloween.

    If the police approach you and ask if your child could wear a wire... :D

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    All are authentically hand-carved! I can post photos with the lights on later to prove it, but I'm trying to get this year's column done right now....

    The only Photoshopping done is to fix fuzzy images or remove glare spots in the photos. But the pumpkins are real!

    :-)

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am in awe.. I would NEVER have the patience for that... :D

    I bow to the creative genius... :D

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    (O, Ye of little faith) -

    Look at the "99%" pumpkin, and this year's "no veto" -- you can see the toothpicks necessary to fill the circles. I mean, if I was Photoshopping these, would I have bothered with such a detail?

    Also, my "red dog" one was taken with a LED thingie which changes colors, and I snapped the photo a little after it was true red (so it's more "Fuschia Dog"). If I was faking them, that red would have looked a lot more like a fire engine...

    :-)

    -CW

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