Hail to the Losers

February 17, 2016

The lead poisoning of the water in Flint, Michigan, presages health issues for the city’s children, including learning and behavioral disorders, which will qualify them to become Sarah Palin speechwriters.

Palin recently endorsed Donald Trump in a speech so rambling that some have said she wrote the speech by pulling words randomly from the dictionary, but a dictionary would have spelled the words correctly.

It therefore behooves us to consider how close this woman came to the White House. An alternate reality exists in which Vice President Palin is the presidential front-runner and favorite to become the next president.

Today we’ll examine what would have happened in those alternate realities if the losers had won. It’s a perfect way to celebrate Presidents’ Day, which I know was a few weeks ago, because shut up.

•Adams beats Jefferson, 1800. Adams saves the life of Alexander Hamilton when he exposes Aaron Burr as a Lizard Person. Unfortunately, Hamilton gets drunk and loses the Louisiana Territory in a poker game with Denmark. Jefferson is taken off the $2 bill and replaced with an empty oval in which consumers are encouraged to draw their favorite cartoon character. Ironically, the most popular is Aaron Burr.

•James Monroe loses, 1820. In reality, Monroe ran unopposed with only one token protest vote. In alternate reality, a bureaucratic mix-up causes the Electoral College to elect Governor James C. Unopposed of West Virginia, who continues to serve to this day, despite dying in 1857.

•Van Buren beats Harrison, 1840. William Henry Harrison doesn’t give his infamous inauguration address in the rain. Hence, he doesn’t die of pneumonia, but is later killed in a drive-by horse-and-carriage shooting by a rival gang of hootenanniers.

•Douglas beats Lincoln, 1860. Eventually, states begin repealing slavery on their own. As usual, Mississippi is the last state to do so, some time around the year 2215. Also, no one is able to figure out what the hell to do with these Douglas Logs. Lincoln hosts a talk show called The Lincoln-Douglas Debates featuring future TV star Mike Douglas. Unfortunately, the show is canceled and Lincoln fares even worse when he co-hosts Crossfire with John Wilkes Booth.

•Tilden beats Hayes, 1876. In reality, Hayes lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College thanks to disputed votes in several states, including Florida, which were later found in Hayes’ beard. Surpassing all expectations, Tilden cracks down on racial repression, creates single-payer healthcare, and legalizes gay marriage 100 years before people even knew what that was. Thanks a lot, Florida assholes.

•Harrison beats Cleveland, 1888. In reality, Cleveland became the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms when he won a re-match with Benjamin Harrison, who was busy trying to figure out who Benjamin Harrison was. In alternate reality, Cleveland narrowly loses again. The result: Not a damn soul notices.

•Dewey beats Truman, 1948. Dewey holds up a newspaper declaring, “Dewey Beats Truman,” to which the rest of the world responds, “Duh.”

•McGovern beats Nixon, 1972. In reality, McGovern won only DC and Massachusetts. Fortunately for McGovern, they have 519 electoral votes. Hippies are allowed full control of government, but are too stoned to retaliate when Russia invades. Worse, God is angered by the abortionists and sends a hurricane. Nixon’s starting to look pretty good now, isn’t he, hippies?

•Mondale beats Reagan, 1984. In absolutely no reality does this happen. This guy can’t even beat his meat.

•Dukakis beats George H. W. Bush, 1988. Yeah, the economy improves, the deficit gets under control, and only a few mass murderers are pardoned. But his legacy is that tank helmets are the new fashion rage.

•Gore beats Bush, 2000. This sort of did happen, but you know what I mean. In alternate reality, warnings of 9/11 aren’t ignored, the Iraq War never happens, and climate change is reversed, saving thousands of lives and billions of dollars. Thanks again, Florida assholes.

•Kerry beats Bush, 2004. A Kerry administration is very successful, but no one notices, because the entire world hears nothing but how Vice President John Edwards schtupped his videographer.

•Romney beats Obama, 2012. Romney delegates his decision-making to a chimp with a Magic 8-ball. The country does OK, though his spokesman answers a high percentage of questions with, “Ask again later.”

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