Snarky campaign slogan contest

Taking suggestions for the best snarky campaign slogan.

My friends at The Democratic Strategist have for a while now been running at the top of their home page a picture of an Etch-a-Sketch containing the words, “Romney: you may not agree with what he says but you can trust him to deny he ever said it.”

That’s good. And it’s the kind of snarky wit we need more of in American campaigns, which tend to veer between the two great, awful, American registers, namely Midwestern Nice and moralized outrage—or  sometimes American Jeremiad, an art form which by platypusing the worst aspects of both those registers manages at once to voice optimism, or at best Christian hope, and self-righteousness.

So: I hereby solicit candidates for the best snarky campaign slogan. Entries may be original or may quote somebody else, but if the latter please give proper credit. The goal is not a campaign slogan that would actually be effective—which would almost certainly require less snark—but shivviness: cruelty, humor (or better, humour), and the shock of recognition that comes from naming a truth, or at least an effective partisan accusation.

I have my own suggestion: “Vote GOP: it’s great to have a party of old people led by children.” If  you can do better than that, please do.

[Slogans from the other side are welcome too, and I hope I can take a joke at my team’s own expense. Try to top this, as you probably can: “Vote Obama. Because  a nice speech makes unemployment all better.”]

The winner will receive eternal fame in this space, and a gift certificate for a Heffalump. The contest ends Wednesday at noon, Pacific time. Update: make that Thursday (September 21 20) at noon, Pacific time. I forgot about Rosh Hashanah and want to give all our readers equal snarking opportunities.

Update: We have a winner.

Author: Andrew Sabl

I'm a political theorist and Visiting Professor (through 2017) in the Program on Ethics, Politics and Economics at Yale. My interests include the history of political thought, toleration, democratic theory, political ethics, problems of coordination and convention, the realist movement in political theory, and the thought of David Hume. My first book, Ruling Passions: Political Offices and Democratic Ethics (Princeton, 2002) covered many of these topics, with a special focus on the varieties of democratic politics and the disparate qualities of mind and character appropriate to those who practice each of them. My second book Hume's Politics: Coordination and Crisis in the History of England was published in 2012; I am currently finishing a book on toleration, with the working title The Virtues of Hypocrisy, under contract with Harvard University Press. A Los Angeles native, I got my B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard. Before coming to Yale I taught at Vanderbilt and at UCLA, where I was an Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor; and held visiting positions at Williams, Harvard, and Princeton. I am married to Miriam Laugesen, who teaches health policy and the politics of health care at the Mailman School of public health at Columbia, and we have a twelve-year-old son.

68 thoughts on “Snarky campaign slogan contest”

  1. “…platypusing the worst aspects of both those registers …”
    Biology fail. The platypus is an evolutionary survival, not a hybrid created by Dr Frankenstein in a bubbling vat of green slime. A pit bull, toy poodle or “Persian” cat or supermarket tomato would be a better example of warped hybridisation.

    1. Pshaw. I follow Arendt’s maxim: “In politics, being and appearance are the same” (Or, even nicer, Auden’s sentiment, which Arendt quotes: “Does God judge by appearances? I suspect sometimes he does.”)

      I know very well that the platypus was not engineered, that in functional terms it’s an evolutionary survival—as is, presumably, the American jeremiad, which wouldn’t be prevalent if it weren’t popular. But have you ever seen a platypus up close? It very much looks as if a not very competent mad scientist tried to cross a goose with an otter and gave up halfway through. The Jeremiad is about as attractive. I stand by my story.

  2. “Vote Romney. We’ll tell you why when you need to know.”

    “Romney: No apologies and so much to apologize for.”

    “Stop us before we hold the government hostage again.”

    “Jamie Dimon will go to sleep tonight without a fifth yacht. Won’t you help?”

  3. Mitt Romney knows tne value of America.

    (might work better if immediately followed by “Wholesale.”, but then the grim joke might be too obvious)

  4. He wants to be President in the worst way. And he will be. (or if you are targetting the guy in office, “And he has been”) — Bob Dole

  5. Mitt Romney: He agrees with you on every issue (but probably not all at the same time.)
    or
    Mitt Romney: If you don’t like his positions, just wait a few days.
    or
    Mitt Romney: What can we believe for you today?

  6. All Americans lie, so get over it, and vote for Romney!

    or

    Vote for Mitt – you’ll always be welcome, most of the time!

  7. Obama: an actual compassionate conservative.

    (It is not against the rules to snark about both parties at the same time, right?)

    1. I should hope not, esp. if you do so from the left.

      Bonus points if you can not only hit both parties/candidates simultaneously, but this blog as well (I know, I’m taking liberties here, but I suspect the bloggers here would go along. And if not, then I will award them on my own authority).

  8. The Cayman Islands want YOU to vote Romney!

    Mitt Romney. Posing in front of small businesses since 2012. Buying them outright since 1984.

    Obama gives Grandma Medicare. Paul Ryan gives Grandma the freedom to re-tranche her insurance derivative swaps. Vote for freedom!

  9. In honor of the new Romney “47%” tape:

    “Romney: because you are a worthless piece of shit.”

  10. Romney/Ryan: Vote for us, or you don’t vote. Period.

    Vote Republican: Because those poor folks are forgettin’ their place.

    Romney/Ryan: It’s mourning in America. Again.

    It’s the economy, stupid. And stop calling me a liar.

    According to Ann Romney, Mitt’s spoon was terribly, terrible tarnished.

  11. I got more:

    Vote Republican. Vote Freedom and Liberty. Whatever That Means.

    For A Good Job, Call Mitt Romney 555-1212

    Vote Republican: America Is Beautiful Enough Without All Those Brown People

    Vote for Romney/Ryan: Because the Backbench is Even Crazier Than You Think

    Romney/Ryan: What Do You Have to Lose?

  12. And more:

    Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: The Men, The Myths, The Legends, The Half Truths, The Slightly True, The Almost Truths, The Misstatements, The Mistakements, and The Women Who Love Them

    Romney/Ryan 2012: We’ve Just Begun To Lie

    In an increasingly dangerous world, America needs the steely resolve of a man who knows how to sacrifice the many for the few. Mitt Romney: Keeping the Dream Alive.

  13. IMHO this contest was already pre-won:

    “The demographics race we’re losing badly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.” [so vote for the Red team!]

  14. Vote GOP: We broke it. We can fix it.

    Vote GOP: We did it before, and we can do it again.

    GOP: Because Cutting Taxes and Invading is better than cutting and running.

    Romney: Retruthing the American Dreamers

    Romney: Let safety out of the net

    Romney: Securitizing American Futures

    The White Way is the Romney Way

    Romney: America’s White Knight after a Dark Night

    Romney: Red blooded, all white, and true blue

    Romney: Believe him when he says your beliefs are his beliefs.

    Nobody can pin down the uncolored and unvarnished Romney Truth.

    You want a man or a boy? Vote Romney.

    Romney: Retelling the Truth Our Way

    Romney: One of us.

    Romney: One of our kind, ya’ll.

    Romney, America’s CEO, with the Frequent Buyer’s Protection Plan.

  15. Cribbing from something on Sullivan, and responding to his propensity for Gaffes:
    Here Comes Rmoney Boo Boo!

    (I hope and assume it’s too topical, that the referent will be forgotten too quickly for this to be a good meme)

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