Red State/Blue State

Can we do a better chant? Yes, we can! Yes, we can!


A political discussion between Red State conservative Dave Simpson – a former reporter, editor, publisher and columnist – and Greg Bean, Blue Stater and executive editor of GreaterMedia Newspapers. Let us know what you think.

Dear Greg:

In these cold months, I’m enjoying a new hobby, old friend. Every evening inmy knotty-pine rumpus room, I tune in one of the news channels, get out my “Big Chief” tablet and stubby pencil, and add tomy collection of stupid chants from the people who attend political rallies.

I’ve got quite a list now and I’m wondering where the politicians findAmericans dumb enough to chant, on cue, like wildeyed Iranian fundamentalists shouting “Death to Bush!”

I’ve never chanted, Greg, except maybe in college when I might have joined in a chant of “Pass the Beer! Pass the Beer!” Other than that, I’mjust not a chanter and I don’t know anyone who is.

“Yes, We Can! Yes, We Can!” chant the Barack Obama enthusiasts, wildly grinning and shaking their little placards that say “Stand Up for Change,” as if any old change is fine with them.

Do you suppose Obama’s plan to give a lotmore tax dollars to teachers is one of the things the chanters “can”? Some teachers unions have apparently studied this issue and decided they support much higher salaries for themselves.

That’s a change they can stand up for, Gregster, yes, they can! But how will that, and all these tax increases your liberal pals want, go over in incredibly high-taxed New Jersey? Aren’t taxes high enough for you people already? And if you check closely, Greg, you might find that two-income families are getting dangerously close to what your lefty friends call “the rich.”

Youmight want to come over to our side and vote for people who at least have the courtesy to lie to you about stuff like this.

So anyway, the chanting is about as spontaneous as the cheering on “The Price Is Right,” right before the guy says, “Come on down!”

“Oh-bomb-UH! Oh-bomb-UH!” they scream, and I think that if someone started chanting, “E-bol-UH! E-bol-UH!,” the chanters would join right in.

The lemmings are no smarter on our side of the field, Greg. “Mac Is Back!” is every bit as dumb as “Yes, We Can!” but John McCain seems a little more embarrassed about it. And I actually saw dummies chanting “Mi-shi-GUN!Mi-shi-GUN!” back whenMitt “Plenty of Dough” Romney was still in the race.

And Mike “He’s Still Here” Huckabee gets a smile on his face like he’s just fried up a fresh squirrel in his popcorn popper whenever the crowd breaks into “HUCKuh BEE! HUCK-uh-BEE!”

The best show of all, though, is Hillary Clinton, who seems to smile and clap for herself wherever she goes these days, maybe even in the shower. As the assembled chuckleheads chant “Hill-Uh-REE! Hill-Uh-REE!,” she bobs her head to the beat like those three disco guys on “Saturday Night Live,” points at people in the crowd, gives them a big thumbs up and mouths “THANK YEWWWWW!”

Over, and over, and over.

It’s great entertainment, Greg, and I’m eating it up with a big old spoon.

Sincerely, Red State Dave

Dear Dave:

I’ll admit to chanting in public on three or four occasions, each time at the King Richard’s Faire in Massachusetts, one of those medieval Renaissance deals which the kids love and parents sort of love, and sort of hate because they’re so expensive.

It was the end-of-day, to-the-death battle between good and evil at the jousting lists, and the saucy wenches in Robin Hood-era costumes (sporting mondo cleavage as a sop to the dads who had spent so much money on admission tickets and period-correct barbecued turkey legs) wanted to get people worked up and chant for their favorites.

If you were for Sir Farley Strong Heart, you were supposed to chant “Long Live Sir Farley!” Very boring, sort of like those people chanting “They Haven’t!” (Haven’t what? Haven’t kicked a little puppy dog?) at Mitt (Willard) Romney’s concession speech after he lost his last primary.

If you were for Sir Putrid the Black Knight, you were supposed to chant, “Blood Makes the Grass Grow! Kill! Kill! Kill!” When you were done chanting that, you were supposed to chant “Cheat to Win! Cheat to Win! Blood Is Beautiful! Blood! Guts! Doom!”

Now those were chants you could work with. Chants to stir a man’s heart, his very soul. I’m just glad I wasn’t chanting for Sir Farley.

I don’t think you could engage in either of those invigorating chants at an Obama or McCain rally without attracting Secret Service or Homeland Security attention, however. If you remember all the scorn heaped on the guy who started chanting “IronMy Shirt!” at a Hillary Clinton rally, you know what I’m talking about. And more’s the pity, because a good medieval chant would sure spice things up at some of these dreary affairs.

“Cheat to Win! Cheat to Win!” the crowd would chant enthusiastically.

“Hold on a second, Sir (orMa’am),” the political campaign consultant would whisper in the candidate’s ear. “Aren’t we already doing that?”

“What’s that about grass growing?” the candidate would whisper back. “I don’t like the sound of that at all.”

Even if we can’t do those chants in public, though, there’s nothing to stop us doing similar versions in the privacy of our own homes. Next time one of these candidates comes on television, turn the sound down and chant with me, Dave.

Obama: “Oh-Ba-MA! Oh-Ba-MA! Slice ‘Em! Dice ‘Em! SIS BOOM BA!”

Clinton: “Hillary Clinton Wants to EAT! Macs and Barack Burgers Are Her MEAT!”

McCain: “Mac Attack! Mac Attack! Cleave ‘Em! Reave ‘Em! WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!”

See, isn’t that better? Now, please “Pass That Beer!”

Your parched friend,

Sir Gregory the Blue

You can reach Greg Bean at gbean @gmnews. com. Dave Simpson can be reached at