“You want the moon? Just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.”
Jimmy Stewart, with that inimitable twinkle in his eye, spoke those words in 1946’s classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” When Jimmy Stewart offered America the moon, women swooned, children smiled, and everyone dreamed of a world full of romance and promise. But when Newt Gingrich made a remarkably similar offer last week — promising that by the end of his second term, America would have a permanent moon base and possibly a 51st state on that selfsame satellite — those same Americans, withered by a terminal case of cynicism, guffawed.
Say what you will about Speaker Gingrich. Go ahead: there are a lot of things to say about him, and most of them are pretty mean. But don’t say that he doesn’t have some pretty awesome moon-related ideas. It seems to me there are two groups of people to whom a base on the moon sounds appealing. First, NASA employees. Second, eight-year old boys. And for once, the interests of Speaker Gingrich and myself align: the Speaker, you see, was pandering to the former in an effort to win the Florida Republican primary, and I was once one of the latter.
Based on this rare confluence of ideas, and in the spirit of bipartisan cooperation, here is a list of other things about which Speaker Gingrich and I can agree:
Hover cars. What better way to heal the American auto industry? I’m sure no initiative could better revive the economies of cities like Detroit, Flint and Dearborn. And I imagine that any politician who proposed such a bold measure would certainly win the Michigan primary. Also — wow! Hover cars! Mom, can I get one? Can I? Can I? Can I? Mommmm, I want to have one. Mom, it’s like Star Wars! C’mon, Mom. Come onnnn.
Submarines with lasers. The submarine industry (which exists, right?), and the laser industry (which also exists, right?) would both instantly be in Newt’s pocket if he promised a laser-equipped submarine to every American man, woman, child. Just think of the jobs created, or something. Also — Mom! The President said I could have one! He said I could!! Jimmy from down the street has one! Yes I would jump off a bridge if Jimmy did it. Mommm, they’re so awesome! It would be all: FIRE LASER TORPEDOS, MR. MATE. Navigator, set a course for the toy store!!
Unlimited ice cream. The dairy farms of the northern states are hurting, and Gingrich has an excellent chance to win the votes of gruff farmers across the nation, if only he would promise unlimited ice cream at any hour of the day for all Americans. Also — ice cream! Mrs. Jenkins, can we stop for ice cream after soccer practice? Please?!? I want cookie dough! What? Don’t be stupid, Billy. Rocky road is for idiots. Hey, everyone, Billy’s an idiot! He likes rocky road! Hey, Mrs. Jenkins, please? Pleeeeeeaaaaaase?! The President said sooooo!!!
Christmas every day. Speaker Gingrich would surely solidify his support among evangelicals if he promised Christmas every day. Jewish people and liberals who insist on saying “Happy Holidays” would finally be silenced. The War on Christmas would be won — for Jesus. Also — Christmas! Mom, I want an X-Box. I also want a tree house. Mom I want a tree house! I want one! Jimmy has one and he says everyone who doesn’t have one is stupid! Mom, please! Mommmmm! I want an X-Box!!!!
Leave me alone, Mom, you’re not the boss of me. Finally, Newt should promise to make sure Mom knows she’s not the boss of me and she should leave me alone and I hate her and she’s the meanest person on Earth. I hate you Mom!!! I don’t want a time out!!! I don’t want to take a nap!!! I hate broccoli!!!! I don’t want to have a play date with Tommy — he’s weird and no one likes him!!! I DON’T WANT TO GO TO BED!!!! I WANT TO STAY UP AND WATCH TV!!!! MOMMMM!!!!!!!
That’s all I have for Mr. Gingrich. Although he might consider promising a base on Mars, just to cover his bases.