So what's the difference between the leading contenders for the country's presidential nomination this sad election year? In the middle of still another rambling kumsitz billed as a "debate," something
The Kingfish had it all figured out long ago. Back in his heyday, namely the 1930s, Senator/Governor/Humbug Long would tell a story about a traveling salesman who offered two varieties of a popular patent medicine: High Popalorum and Low Popahirum.
The first was taken from the bark of a tree from the top down. The other came from the bark of the same tree cut from the bottom up. Huey's conclusion: The only difference between the two types of politicians the country was producing at the time was that "one of them is skinning us from the toes up and the other from the ears down." OK, he was exaggerating, but his analysis of the political climate then wasn't much different from that of savvy types today. Especially now that we've lost the best hope of Republicans, Democrats and Independents --
Huey's cynical theory was -- and remains -- a common enough thought but nary so well expressed. It would apply just as well now to the supposedly crucial policy differences between
If the Kingfish was an aspiring tyrant with his eye always on the next rung up the political ladder, he was also a keen judge of his fellow politicians -- and their tricks.
More high popalorum and low popahirum is sure to come as the presidential election heads even further downhill -- like a mudslide.
To borrow another metaphor from
"A hoot owl bangs into the nest and knocks the hen clean off and catches her while she's falling. But a scootch owl slips into the roost and scootches up to the hen and talks softly to her. And the hen just falls in love with him, and the next thing you know, there ain't no more hen!" Ol' Huey had both these pols figured out long ago.