Clark: Losing an election is no reason to stop slinging mud

TUESDAY, NOV. 2, 2010

We did it, my friends. We have somehow reached the finish line of Campaign 2010.

Tonight the votes will be counted, the winners will be declared, and the country will be polarized even worse than it was before all the name-calling started.

But I’d like to take this moment of calm to address a part of the political process that is in desperate need of an overhaul.

Sore Loser Etiquette, that is.

See, there comes a moment in every race when even an Appalachian high school dropout can read the scrawl on the wall.

Not too many hours from now, the results will come in and half the candidates will have to face up to their doom.

The battle was lost. The ship has sunk. The Other Side was more effective at committing voter fraud than your team was.

Defeat comes with many excuses.

Then, after the shock settles in, losing candidates everywhere will take a microphone step in some ballroom or cheesy convention center and utter the most unbelievable nonsense to ever come out of their cake holes.

“I just got off the telephone with my worthy opponent, (fill in the name). I have conceded the race and congratulated (him/her) on running a spirited contest and for beating me fair and square …”

This is when I come closest to hurling the nearest heavy object through my television set.

I expect politicians to lie. It’s part of their metabolism, like breathing or hitting on interns.

But how dumb do these bozos think we are?

For months and months we have watched as candidates worked tirelessly to disembowel each other like Mel Gibson at the end of “Braveheart.”

And that’s just the Minnick-Labrador race.

Murray-Rossi has been more like the zombie feeding scenes in “Dawn of the Dead.”

It’s been that way in races everywhere. Political parties have shoveled dirt faster than grave robbers on crack.

And now we’re supposed to sit back and watch as Candidate Loser takes the High Road?

That’s as false and unsatisfying as the fade-to-black finale of “The Sopranos.”

I remember seeing that and thinking, “What? Are you freaking kidding ME? Six seasons of mob murder and mayhem and you hand us fade to black?”

We voters have had to put up with much torment this political season. Robot campaign telephone calls. TV and radio attack ads. Glenn Beck’s fake crying jags.

I believe I speak for all voters when I say that we deserve an emotional payoff.

I want to see furor. I want gnashing of teeth.

I want the vanquished to go after the victors with the same vindictive venom that they’ve been spewing in all of their attack ads.

I want these spoilsports to face the cameras and say …

“I just got off the telephone with my worthless, no-good $#%$!! of an opponent, (fill in the name). I told him he could stick this #$%** election where the sun don’t shine.

“Oh, yeah. And I WANT A RECOUNT!!”

It’ll never happen, of course.

These phonies are just too good at, well, being phony.

But wouldn’t it be great if Delaware’s soon-to-lose Senate candidate, Christine O’Donnell, finally got even with all of those who cruelly capitalized on that preposterous notion that she might be a witch?

I can almost hear her now.

“I just got off the telephone with my opponent, Chris Coons, and I told him he’s about to turn into a toad because …

“It’s true! I really am a WITCH!!

“That’s right. And now that I’ve lost the election you’re all going to pay.

“In fact, when I leave here I’m going straight to my basement where I keep my eye of newt and gingivitis of salamander.

“And I’m going to whip up a spell on everyone who didn’t vote for me.

“Bubble bubble. Toil and trouble.

“May boils erupt on your nether regions! May your babies all be born looking like James Carville!

“I’ll get you, my pretties. Heee-heee heeee …”

That’s a political happy ending I want to believe in.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at

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